by John Walters
Don, Con, Gone*
*The judges will also accept “Crime’s Up”
Let’s begin with Van Morrison…
On inauguration day, 2016, I suggested to my Newsweek editor that he let me watch the ceremony from the bar inside Trump Tower. The day was gray and I remember exiting the place wondering, with anxiety, just where we were headed. Trump’s speech was dark (“carnage” and “law and order”) and everyone inside the bar acted as if they were either judge Smails or related to him.
Turns out that all of our fears were well-founded. No, Mr. Pence, Trump did not get us into a foreign war, but he certainly launched one here at home.
But, we all made it. What’s your overwhelming emotion today? Mine is not euphoria or ecstasy or anything like it. Mine is simply… RELIEF.
President Trump boarding the marine helicopter on the South Lawn for the final, and we mean FINAL, time. Yes, that is a white power symbol he’s flashing.
All A Twitter
In this morning’s New York Times, all of Donald Trump’s Twitter insults in one confined space, from 2015 until he was permanently banned on January 8th. You have to wonder how much better shape this country would be in if @Jack had banned him at least two years ago. But what corporate titan has steel balls like that?
Let’s not forget how this all began: Trump promotes the birther lie for four or so years, and it gains followers among the disaffected white wing. And finally Obama produces his birth certificate and shuts him down. And then, in 2011 I believe, Trump attends the White House Correspondents’ Dinner where both Obama and Seth Meyers roast him. I mean, Jeffrey Ross probably even guffawed at the lines. And Trump had to sit there and take it.
And most people, myself included, thought, Well, we put that one to bed. But no: Give Trump credit; he got the last laugh here. And it almost cost us democracy.
I like what Te-Nihisi Coates wrote here (and I’m sure that makes him feel good, knowing I approve) in The Atlantic:
To Trump, whiteness is neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power. In this, Trump is not singular. But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies. The repercussions are striking: Trump is the first president to have served in no public capacity before ascending to his perch. But more telling, Trump is also the first president to have publicly affirmed that his daughter is a “piece of ass.” The mind seizes trying to imagine a black man extolling the virtues of sexual assault on tape (“When you’re a star, they let you do it”), fending off multiple accusations of such assaults, immersed in multiple lawsuits for allegedly fraudulent business dealings, exhorting his followers to violence, and then strolling into the White House. But that is the point of white supremacy—to ensure that that which all others achieve with maximal effort, white people (particularly white men) achieve with minimal qualification. Barack Obama delivered to black people the hoary message that if they work twice as hard as white people, anything is possible. But Trump’s counter is persuasive: Work half as hard as black people, and even more is possible.
It’s Over: The Rainbow
Who better to put all of this into its proper perspective than Donald Trump’s new Florida neighbor, Randy Rainbow?
Here’s how much things can change in just two weeks:
January 6, 2021
January 20, 2021
“You BLEW It!”
Someone sent me Mitch McConnell’s about-face in the U.S. Senate yesterday in which he says, and I quote, “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
And someone actually thinks Mitch deserves a golf clap for this? After five people were dead and he knew the truth months ago? When I saw this my mind raced to a favorite scene, from Copland, in which Sly Stallone is Mitch and you and I are Bobby De Niro.