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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!"



In other words, the only things that would disincentivize Trump from pulling a 2016 again are, like, personal propriety and a sense of shame. And frankly I don’t think that’s going to be enough! 
Let me start with the obvious that nobody notices.  Mitch McConnell was not elected by the people to be Majority Leader of the Senate.  He was elected by the majority of the senators.  He retains that position because he's doing what the majority of the Senators want him to do.  I mention this because the problems with the Senate don't begin and end with Mitch McConnell.  It's the majority of the Senate that's the problem.

And the only recourse to what Donald Trump has said he'll do again in 2020, is impeachment.  But he won't be removed from the Presidency by the Senate, because the majority of the Senate won't remove him.  Despite the fervent hopes of people like Lawrence Tribe, you can't shame a whore, and the U.S. Senate majority is a confederacy of whores.  So Trump is not leaving until November, 2020, if the electoral college goes against him.

In the meantime?  The DOJ won't indict him (as if Barr would let that happen), the House can't remove him, and impeachment would just prove to Trump (at least) that he was invisible and bulletproof.  So I ask again:  what is going to be "enough"?

We elect public officials to office assuming they will not be corrupt and/or indifferent to corruption.  Even the GOP Senators in 1974 were not so blinded by Nixon's landslide victory (one of the largest in U.S. history; McGovern didn't even carry his home state, all he got was Massachusetts) that they thought Nixon's obvious corruption was something they could ignore.  When it turns out we are wrong:  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Because that's where we are.

We cannot "disincentivize" Trump; he doesn't even understand the concept.  Nixon left office convinced he was right in all he had done.  It was long after he was an ex-President that he told David Frost that when the President does it, it's legal.  He was justifying his actions until the day he died.  He wasn't "disincentivized," he was prevented from ever having the authority to do anything for the nation, by the representatives of the nation.

Today, we don't have enough such representatives.  And we're not going to anytime before November, 2020.  "Disincentivizing" is not the solution here:  removal or criminal conviction is.  And neither option is available to the nation until November, 2020.

And after that?  That's a problem, too; although Trump is making it much, much easier to envision criminal prosecution that the majority of Americans would not be bothered by, would not consider political or a "witch hunt."  If you look at it that way, there's actually a bright side to this.  Well, that and people are reporting the very sensible notion that maybe the President needs to be someone who understands government and how it functions, not some "outsider" without a clue.  We used to elect generals and senators and governors, and then we leapt to former actors (longer than he was governor) and a failed oil man (also longer than he was governor), and finally a serial bankrupt boob. Sometimes hitting bottom just makes you look up.

But if you think the system is going to step in like Mommy and make everything right again and teach the bad guys a lesson they'll never forget....well, then you've been watching too many movies, and you need to grow up and face facts.  Criminal justice is more criminal than justice, the law more closely resembles the building in Kafka's parable than not, and the disincentive to commit crimes is not that the cops will put you in jail; that's just the risk you take.  Most of us just don't want to commit crimes in the first place; and rich people generally get away with it more than poor people, if only because they don't have to use a gun.

Welcome to the real world.

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