It is high time the focus shifted from the banal bloviations of the Great Bloviator to allow more attention on a different example of Donald Trump’s many afflictions.
Simply stated, the man is now semi-officially nuts. More to the point, the guy nominated to be a justice on the Supreme Court was selected by a babbling madman. In a few weeks, Brett Kavanaugh may well be the newest justice of the United States Supreme Court at a moment that only bodes well for Trump.
It is hard to say whether candidate Kavanaugh is a good appointment or not. The hard-core left despises him and the hard-core right sees him as the guy who will destroy Roe v. Wade.
At the center of the storm, another drama is unfolding in the Senate between its red and blue antagonists, the warring factions debating whether 42,000 pages of classified documents detailing the candidate’s utterances are germane to the examination of him. Republicans have classified the information as “need to know.”
Democrats insist on pretending that somebody is going to actually read those classified pages before the hearing ends — if they can be revealed over stout Republican objection. Their real intent is to slow the proceedings for as long as possible. To that end the Democrats are risking censure and expulsion from the Senate to get their way.
It is a very exciting, but also a very pointless drama.
Democrats can’t win unless a few Republicans turn their backs on their party. Senator Chuck Grassley, a Senate fossil and Judiciary Committee chairman, seems confused that the two side simply won’t obey him the way his cows do back home in Iowa.
While the committee reduces its objective work to unrecognizable mush, the rest of the country is pondering whether Trump’s mental condition changed when it was semi-officially elevated from “probably nuts” to “no-doubt-about-it” by author and journalist Bob Woodward. The journalistic icon from the Watergate days at The Washington Post downgraded Trump’s sanity on a cable news broadcast while hyping his new tell-all book. His tour was supposed to be out of the way before the Senate confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh took away Woodward’s oxygen, but it didn’t happen.
The Senate hearing tried to take center stage but never got all the way there. The fairy tale presided over by Grassley would have you believe that it’s an impartial examination of Kavanaugh to decide his worthiness. The execution, however, is blatantly flawed. People like to see red meat, but by classifying so many documents, Republicans took away all the knives.
Meanwhile Woodward, the unofficial talking head for the elite, apologist for the powerful he chooses not to examine, and the Edward R. Murrow wannabe for the masses, was imbedding himself under the Klieg lights of 24-hour cable news. His erudite, proven manner, his cool, patient countenance and decades of underplayed indiscretions he chose not to exploit are traits appreciated by people with negotiable reputations. Shredding others is delicate work when one lives in a glass house.
When Woodward proclaimed that Trump is nuts — attributing his discovery to some of the biggest names in the Trump Circus — then that’s it, the deed is done,Trump is going down. The 25th Amendment that has been lurking in the shadows for close to two years is suddenly a blacker cloud than Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ponderous examination of the facts.
Woodward got his biggest gasps when he revealed that Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, two crusty retired Marine generals, had told him their commander-in-chief is nuts. A lot of bullshit detectors lit up on that one, and both generals are now saying Woodward’s claims are flagrant malfunctions. In Marine parlance, the firing line is no longer clear.
In the tight-lipped Corps’ world order, honor and obedience, generals do not say such treasonous things to disgusting civilian pukes — especially reporters — unless there is a higher purpose for shading the president and sacrosanct commander-in-chief.
The only logical purpose for them saying and then denying that Trump is an idiot is that somebody really important wants the world to believe just that, and Woodward seems to have put an exceptionally fine point on the matter. Who has enough steam to compel two honorable officers to fall on their swords for God and country? The very thought that there might be somebody like that should scare people to death.
If Woodward screwed the pooch and his revelations are proven false, or simply hearsay from people who shared plausible close encounters with the generals, his book is dog food. Already. Mattis has equivocated about alleged claims that Trump has the attention span of a newt, and John Kelly on Tuesday vehemently denied he called Trump an idiot.
The generals’ fierce rebuttals, and a similar denial from Trump’s former defense lawyer John Dowd are equally vexing. Dowd is a former U.S. attorney and a Marine Corps JAG lawyer with sterling credentials. Together, their denials are stinging nettles in Woodward’s book that the author will have to remove.
All that seemed clear as a bell until the New York Times printed an anonymous op-ed piece that condemns Trump with backhanded praise. Purportedly written by a big shot in the know, it is a combination burrito of ham and cheese, the meat being the marvelous successes the Trump administration has enjoyed despite the lunatic president’s dismal unfitness. The cheese is in the notion the writer did it to warn America about a despotic clown. Nobody makes it inside the Washington Beltway being that magnanimous.
Just the timing is enough to raise the suggestion that the release of Woodward’s book and the publication of the Times op-ed are no coincidence. It appears somebody at the highest levels of government is engineering a subtle coup. Perhaps it is the best way to forestall a constitutional crises. If powerful people continue to say Trump is nuts, it becomes more palatable to remove him with the mechanisms of the 25th Amendment. Unless he resigns first.
It is not important who wrote the op-ed, at least any more than it is important whether Bob Woodward gilded the lily when writing about Trump’s chaotic White House. The significance of both efforts, as well as the mockery of a hearing being conducted to select a Supreme Court justice with a lifelong term, suggest the foundation of the American experiment is under attack.
It is no longer about a lunatic prince in the White House, it is about whether we as Americans are still citizens of a democratically elected constitutional republic or merely a soccer ball being kicked about for the amusement of the super-rich and powerful who are the real owners of America’s political institutions.