Where the Devils Are Hidden

Kellyanne Conway says that there’s no sense of humor in Washington. Might I remind her of Jack Kennedy’s HILARIOUS take, that Washington is a city of Southern efficiancy and Northern charm…. or Harry Truman’s half-joke that The White House is the crown jewel of the federal penal system, or his other half-joke when FDR died, well, gentlemen, if you’ve ever had a bale of hay dropped on you, you know how I feel. Or perhaps Ronald Reagan, one of the funniest presidents on record, that when he and Helen Thomas did the opening of a Lebanese community center in The District and Thomas broke ground, that he could hear the ghosts of every former president yelling push her in. Or when Reagan heard that the Sandinistas were shooting at press helicopters, said, well, there’s a little good in everybody. Or, and I’m paraphrasing, that you should always run for public office, because if you win, you’ve won. If you embarrass yourself, you can always write a book. Or when Lynne Cheney said of Dick, I like it when they call you Darth Vader. It humanizes you.

What’s not funny is a theory Aaron calls Schrödinger’s Douchebag, which is that the joke is not deemed funny until the crowd reacts. It’s Conway’s permanent mode, trying to laugh off a gaffe, which, in the beginning she meant totally seriously… that our microwaves are capable of spying on us. So far, President Trump hasn’t said anything even remotely funny, except for the things that come out of his mouth that Twitter makes funny afterward. 45 doesn’t have time to work on serious problems, but he always has time for a Twitter war… which, in my mind, is the least presidential thing about him. It’s the thing with which I was most terrified, that we’d forsake a policy wonk that’s not afraid of diving into the details for someone who has no idea how Washington works and is rebelling against it by leaving as often as he can. His avoidance tactics are doing nothing but showing how ill-prepared he still is, despite briefings designed to educate him. He doesn’t seem to want to try to learn anything, and stupid is as stupid does.

I get wanting to reject the establishment. I really do, even though I don’t necessarily agree with it. If you want to reject the establishment for a Washington outsider, you at least have to pick someone who knows how a bill gets through Congress, how committee assignments work, limitations of Presidential power, etc. Even if you’ve never run for office before, you at least need to know which committees work on which problems and how to get a bill from the committee to the floor. You have to know the difference between the power players and the rank and file. You have to know something about the history of the country, and voters need to understand that intelligence is an asset and not a liability. Like it or not, there’s a system in place, and not being able to affect change from within gets you approximately nowhere…. as well as issuing executive orders in which you have no idea what kind of legal precedent they set. The Supreme Court is becoming more and more important, because at least there is a place where the “airing of the grievances” has some modicum of sanity…. at least for now.

The president is not the “national daddy,” nor is he your drinking buddy. By reducing him or her to such, you’ve alienated the people who are actually capable of doing the job. The skills needed to campaign and the skills needed to be president are vastly different, which is why I believe Hillary Clinton and Al Gore lost. Bill Clinton was the ultimate hybrid, telling people he could hear their pain while also being one of the smartest guys in the room, but he had so much help from both Hillary and Gore, because they were the people willing to drill down into the details with him. Trump doesn’t want to read thousand page bills and sum up what he thinks of them. He just wants to enjoy the title of President, because it plays to his celebrity ego. True government runs on details, where the devils are hidden. He doesn’t care that the pork barreling begins on pp. 500, because he’ll never get that far.

What he’s done with the Joint Chiefs of Staff is absolutely disturbing, because he’s dismantled the few people capable of educating him in favor of people who just agree with him…. people who don’t have a history of the chessboard and believing that you can checkmate by moving one pawn at a time… never thinking eight moves ahead.

Senior intelligence is an oxymoron, because he’s fired everyone who’s tried to plead their case that he’s wrong.

Michael Flynn…. gotta talk about it. When did he become the most insane guy in the room? Historically mild-mannered Democrat becomes Caligula. Why Hillary Clinton hasn’t sued him for libel and slander is beyond me.

The same with James Comey, who caused irreparable damage to her reputation a week before the election, after hammering her over and over before then with no tangible result. What was the point of re-opening the case against her? What is the point of not opening the investigation of private e-mail servers in this presidency if he was so damn concerned? Trump is using an unsecured Blackberry, for God’s sake. Does he not know that Blackberries are also computers, and if you can hack a network/desktop/laptop, you can also hack smartphones? Sounds unlikely for the head of the FBI.

James Comey should have been out of there before the Trump presidency ever began, and if there’s any justice in the world, he’ll be prosecuted one way or another.

It was also inappropriate for Hillary to be slammed with so many Benghazi investigations, because even though she was on the hook for it, she wasn’t the only one responsible. Republicans slashed funding for the amount of security actually needed, the CIA had a rescue mission in place but got delayed, shit went sideways, and therefore Benghazi did not happen because of one person’s actions but the twofold approach that it was a series of missteps by a lot of people AND sometimes ops just fail. PERIOD. Everyone, from the top down, is crushed when it happens, but there’s no room just to say it was an accident of enormous proportions, and therefore, no one person’s fault and everyone involved contributed to a horrible thing that could have been avoided but wasn’t. Voices that should have been heard couldn’t blow their covers, and therefore, could not have added to the discussion that might have made people realize what a clusterfuck the situation was beyond State’s power to do anything about it.

So, due to a number of factors, we’re stuck with someone who has great power, but seemingly no culpability for his actions, because there are too many Congressmen willing to excuse that kind of behavior, along with ignoring their constituents’ wishes. Where’s the outrage that 45 wasn’t even in the sit room when the latest failed op was national news? Would he have even bothered to read the sitrep?

My guess is no, because it would have taken someone willing to drill into the details, you know, where the devils are hidden.

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