Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Monday, December 12, 2016

"But they're sure comin' slow..."



It is clear now the Trump Administration will lie the way ordinary people draw breath:  it's a matter of course, they don't even think about it.

These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It's now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'
"The election ended a long time ago":  the Electoral College has yet to meet, but the election is ancient history.  Please to be moving on.  "[O]ne of the biggest Electoral College victories in history."  Except for all the other elections that didn't end in a tie, or with the winning candidate getting fewer popular votes than the losing candidate.  But why niggle over details?   It is now time to move on.  After all, our democracy is so fragile.

Isn't it?

We were persuaded that we were far too delicate these days for the kind of brawling politics in which this country had been born, and for which the Founders had set up the Constitution to maintain something resembling boundaries. We were fed cheap junk food instead of actual information until we developed a serious jones for it. Our belief in our counterfeit national innocence was that with which we washed it all down. We became a fat and lazy excuse for a democratic republic.

Because we must know who won the electoral college vote before midnight on Election Day.  Because we mustn't question the wisdom of polling, the reports of the Associated Press (the entity that apparently determines which candidate won the electoral college vote, weeks before that entity actually meets to vote), and because we don't even blink at claims the election was a long time ago, and the margin of victory was huge; even though we know it wasn't.  Words, what do they matter?  It's feelings that count.  Besides, the election was a long time ago; we have Christmas shopping to do.

And, like Jonathan Chait, I don't have a good feeling about this:

The Obama administration declined to publicize, wary of being seen as intervening on Clinton’s behalf. Instead, it devised a fallback plan. Concerned that Russia might attempt to hack into electronic voting machines, it gathered a bipartisan group of lawmakers to hear the CIA’s report, in the hopes that they would present a united front warning Russia not to disrupt the election. According to the Post, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.” Other Republicans refused to join the effort for reasons that can only be understood as a desire to protect the Republican ticket from any insinuation, however well-founded, that Russia was helping it.

Even the most cynical observer of McConnell — a cynical man to his bones — would have been shocked at his raw partisanship. Presented with an attack on the sanctity of his own country’s democracy by a hostile foreign power, his overriding concern was party over country. Obama’s fear of seeming partisan held him back from making a unilateral statement without partisan cover. No such fear restrained McConnell. This imbalance in will to power extended to the security agencies. The CIA could have leaked its conclusion before November, but held off. The FBI should have held off on leaking its October surprise, but plunged ahead.

Cynical?  Then how do we describe the President-Elect?

President-elect Donald Trump, in an exclusive interview with “Fox News Sunday,” decried as “ridiculous” the CIA’s reported assessment that Russia intervened in the election to boost his candidacy – describing the claim as another “excuse” pushed by Democrats to explain his upset victory.

“It's just another excuse. I don't believe it,” Trump said. “… Every week it's another excuse.  We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College."

And you wonder why Obama didn't push that intelligence information in September?

By the way; in 1972 Richard Nixon won 49 states and 520 electoral votes.  I'm old enough to remember that.  That was a landslide victory.    LBJ won 486 electoral votes, to Goldwater's 52.  That was a landslide victory.   I'm old enough to remember that, too.  Trump lies as casually as other people say "Hello."

Country doesn't matter anymore.  We learned that in November.  All that matters is power, is victory, is winning.  Once you win you control reality, you get to call a squeaker victory the greatest rout in history; you get to call a crude lout "Mr. President."  You get to berate people who don't look like you because this is your country now and if someone doesn't like that fact they can leave!

I'm old enough to remember "America:  Love it or leave it!"  This time around, I think they mean it.

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