This is a day when I feel like Michael Corleone, not out of guilt or self-delusion, but because of my tattered New Year’s Resolution.
You see, I promised myself that in 2018 I would Not fall into the daily outrage distraction trap. Instead, I would look behind the surface blather and twittage, examining the real significance of Trump administration actions.
They are happening, after all, and they’re awful (unless you prefer, on your stroll down the Carmel Beach, to dodge tarballs and drink-in the sweet bouquet of heavy crude). I’ve also been musing about other topics – like the GOP’s flexible federalism, the French rejoinder to the #metoo movement, and the weird imprecision of the term “populist.” Maybe I could bother you with those topics?
Fat chance. Like the doomed gangster in Godfather 3, just when I resolve to get out, I get myself dragged back in.
I needn’t repeat the language, nor wonder whether to veil it in hyphenation. You've heard it - it was crude; it was repulsive. It was deeply insulting. It is racist beyond denial, and it flies in the face of the very ideals and promise of America. It endorsed the worst demons of our history - those times when the ideal has eluded us. The president revealed himself once-and-for-all time to be homegrown wretched refuse - a pig in the worst human sense (sorry, pigs).
With THAT off my chest, as with last week's epistle, the question again remains – does it matter? After all, he has foreshadowed such antipathies from the outset with his Mexican rapists, and maintained that tone throughout, as in defense of those very fine Charlottesville nazis.
It may matter specifically if it prompts the Congress to send him bi-partisan immigration reform of exactly the kind that provoked his verbal dysentery (the more veto-proof the better). Of course, he’d find a way to take credit for bringing the Parties together, but it would really be a signal legislative achievement – as well as an appropriate rebuke.
More generally, it may shave another point-or-two from his dismal approval rating, and incent a few more incumbent retirements. But that said, his stolid base has already perfected the arts of deflection and defending the preposterous, so it probably will not crumble under this new insult. It is a good bet to further inflate the throngs in Walnut Creek and SF at the second Women’s March on January 20, although nothing short of a national strike seems likely to bring about fundamental personnel change.
But maybe that’s just me – what do you think? Is THIS the point of no return? Or is it just more of the same, worse only by degree? Or are you okay with it (anonymously or for attribution)? Will there be consequences for Trump’s presidency, his agenda, his majorities?
Or not, and why?