Remember that Motown song “Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over)”? The singers felt like they were having a bad dream — their partners were about to leave them for “the love of a stranger,” and all they wanted to do was be awakened at the end. Unfortunately, we have no such luck. We seem to be consigned to live through this.
Some of my Republican friends will think my lament smacks of partisanship, but I remember being disturbed by Ronald Reagan’s election and his attacks on poor people, but never seeing him hurl paper towels at American citizens seeking help after a disastrous hurricane. I remember shaking my head at George H.W. Bush’s antics, but admitting that he, though clueless about many things, was a gentleman and a statesman. I recall raising my fist and hollering, “hail to the thief” after George W. Bush snatched that election from then-Vice President Al Gore with the help of the totally partisan Supreme Court. And I remember many of his rather hapless moments as president, but none so crass as to tell people in disaster that they had to help themselves. He was wrong with Katrina, but he never attacked leaders and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, nor Gov. Kathleen Blanco. I remember these Republicans behaving as if they had good sense, some decorum, perhaps too much partisanship, but at least some concern about appearances.
That man who currently occupies the People’s House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has none of the above.
Outside, where we can all see his sick shenanigans, 45 is picking fights with football players, beleaguered mayors and even his own Cabinet. It is said that he wants to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson because Tillerson called him a moron, with perhaps a few expletives around the word. Secretary Tillerson didn’t deny calling him a moron, but instead said he did not fool with Washington innuendo and pettiness. But we all know that Tillerson called him a moron. Anybody with sense has called him a moron two or three times over. They just didn’t put it on their Twitter feed as the Moron-in-Chief is so willing to do.
But I’m not as concerned about what is happening in front of the news cameras as what is happening away from them. You see, if President Barack Obama did it, 45 is determined to undo it. So while President Obama insisted that for-profit college be better regulated, 45 and his Education Secretary Betsy Devoid (of good sense, that is) are committed to reversing those regulations limit the for-profit education industry in their exploitation of Black and brown young people, especially those hoping to improve their lot in life. They take out too many loans to attend exploitative institutions that provide them with too few student services and job leads. We know their names — Corinthian, ITT Tech, DeVry and more. The need to restrict these folks is acute, but support for them, especially led by the clueless secretary of education, is considerable. This is what 45 does in the dark while he is excoriating an outstanding leader (who, as Gen. Russell Honore said, was living on a cot in Puerto Rico while 45 was playing golf in New Jersey), and tossing rolls of paper towels at needy people.
Is 45 really here? One day, while standing next to Melania, he said she wished she could have been with him. Was she a clone, or is he? There is something clearly wrong that only vapid and venal Republicans will ignore because they are so eager to hold on to the People’s House. There may be more than a few screws loose in the brain of a man who would lead us to war because he has to exchange wolf tickets with a North Korean leader he constantly belittles. Yes, Tillerson was right to call the man a moron, and even more right to echo the pleas of leaders like former President Jimmy Carter, who recently wrote that talks with North Korea are the only way to go.
I have been a partisan all my life, supporting a Republican for public office with a small check only once. I’ve described myself as a “ride or die,” “yellow dog” Democrat. But I have also almost always believed (white supremacists excluded) of the fundamental decency of most Americans. I’ve always thought that, in the face of insanity, somebody would step up and say enough. Thank you, Sen. Sue Collins, Sen. John McCain, and few others.
But ya’ll, is this nonsense really OK? Is it OK for a terrorist (let’s not call him anything but) kill at least 58 people with automatic weapons and 45 pooh-pooh calls for gun control? Is it really OK to treat U.S. citizens like afterthoughts and throwaways? Is it really OK to turn back the clock on decency?
Somebody wake me when it’s over.