It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
And the treachery of their leaders
If you lie with the pig –if you embrace the pig — you will become muddy like the pig.
That is what I think about when I read articles like this one that appeared in the 4/18/18 Chicago Tribune and other papers:
Donald Trump is contagious. He turned James Comey into Donald Trump.
By Karen Tumulty
Donald Trump is contagious. He turns everyone he touches into Donald Trump. Now he has done it to James B. Comey.
The former FBI director has a book to sell, one that knits a compelling and credible story about his experiences with a president who built “a cocoon of alternative reality that he was busily wrapping around all of us.”
If only Comey had stayed focused on what is important. But instead, he stooped, revealing a pettiness, insecurity, and need for affirmation that are among the hallmarks of Trump’s own character.
He noted that the president’s hands were not as large as his own, and we know what that means. Comey, who is 6-foot-8, observed that Trump is shorter than he appears to be on television, that his face is “slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles.”
The former FBI director also wanted us to know that President Barack Obama respected his integrity and his ability, even after Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation contributed to her 2016 defeat.
He tells us that a tearful Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) sympathized with his “impossible position.” As he blasts the president for being driven by ego, Comey reveals that his own stays in high gear as well.
Another case in point: White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. Comey writes that after he was fired by the president, Kelly — then homeland security secretary — called him to say that he wanted to resign, rather than work for “dishonorable people who would treat someone like me in such a manner.”
Less than a year later, Kelly would show that he was capable of calling a top staffer accused of spousal abuse “a man of true integrity and honor.”
Nor could he resist humiliating former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the way out, making sure that reporters were informed that Tillerson was on the toilet when Kelly delivered the news of his dismissal.
In big ways and small, everyone around him ends up being Trump.
And then there’s this article from The Week
GOP strategist Steve Schmidt has some advice for Nikki Haley: Run
By: Catherine Garcia
Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist who has worked on campaigns for George W. Bush and John McCain, is doling out free advice to Nikki Haley, and President Trump’s not going to like it.
Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Sunday that the Trump administration was planning to impose new sanctions against Russia on Monday, which ended up not happening.
Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said on Tuesday that Haley had “momentary confusion,” to which Haley responded, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
Schmidt thinks Haley must step down. “Trump has shattered Nikki Haley’s credibility as irrevocably as he obliterated his moral authority after Charlottesville,” he tweeted Tuesday night.
“Trump has humiliated her and she is at a fork in the road. Her choice is either to resign or take on the permanent stench of one more tainted factotum.” The “first person to resign from this cancerous administration on principle will look back on that day the same way Powerball winners look back on the moment they bought their golden ticket.”
Should Haley remain part of the administration, he added, “it will be at the cost of her dignity.”
James Comey, John Kelly, Nikki Haley, Larry Kudlow — once respected, they all had their times of lying with the pig, and all now are muddied.
Never mind the Michael Cohens, the Sean Hannitys, the Steve Bannons, the Anthony Scaramuccis. They began with dirty reputations that merely became dirtier from their association with Trump.
But what of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of hyper-religious Mike Huckabee, the woman who is forced, every day, to lie on behalf of Donald Trump? Her press conference responses have become a running joke. What will be her reputation and legacy after lying with (for) the pig?
What of Kellyanne Conway, a bright woman whose attempts to explain what cannot be explained, are even more humorous than those of Sarah Sanders. Will she be remembered for anything other than her outrageous misstatements?
And then there’s Defense Secretary Jim Mattis:
Mattis Wanted Congressional Approval Before Striking Syria. He Was Overruled. It marked the second public divergence of views between Mr. Trump and Mr. Mattis over Syria in the past two weeks. (The 105 missiles did not hit Syrian military units believed to be responsible for carrying out an April 7 suspected chemical weapons attack on Douma.)
Part of Mattis’s legacy will be as the general who fired 105 million-dollar missiles that hit nothing.
What of Ethics Office Director Walter Shaub (Donald Trump has an ethics office???) How will Shaub be remembered. The New York Times offers an opinion on that:
Mr. Shaub called for nearly a dozen legal changes to strengthen the federal ethics system: changes that, in many cases, he had not considered necessary before Mr. Trump’s election. Every other president since the 1970s, Republican or Democrat, worked closely with the ethics office, he said.
A White House official dismissed the criticism, saying on Sunday that Mr. Shaub was simply promoting himself and had failed to do his job properly.
“Mr. Schaub’s penchant for raising concerns on matters well outside his scope with the media before ever raising them with the White House — which happens to be his actual day job — is rather telling,” Lindsay E. Walters, a White House spokeswoman, said in a statement that misspelled Mr. Shaub’s name.“The truth is, Mr. Schaub is not interested in advising the executive branch on ethics. He’s interested in grandstanding and lobbying for more expansive powers in the office he holds.”
And let us not forget elfin Jeff Sessions as described in this article:
“In Trump’s latest move to make Sessions look like an idiot, he has sided with states that have legalized marijuana.”
Sessions thought he was going to be a Trump guy, coming out early in support of Trump for president. He thought he was in for sure when Trump put him up for the U.S. attorney general job.
Poor, stupid Sessions. When he recused himself from the Russia investigation, he should have known old Donnie was a fair-weather friend.
Then, dare we mention Trump’s daughter, Ivanka? Remember her? She was supposed to modify Trump’s erratic behavior, essentially being the adult in the room. Having failed, she has disappeared along with her revealed-to-be-crooked husband, Jared, and her revealed-to-be-idiot brother, Don Jr. Three reputations, besmirched.
Donald Trump is the tar baby of American politics. You cannot touch him and come away clean.
Let us not forget the so-called religious-right, nee “moral majority,” which so long as they can own guns, deport dark-skinned people, and prevent poor girls from getting abortions (Rich girls have no problem with that), they are willing to overlook the immorality of a multiple adulterer, assaulter of women, compulsive liar, and cheater of employees, students, and creditors.
In short, the religious right, faux Christians have sold their souls to the devil, and that is how history and perhaps even their Lord will remember them.
In that same vein, consider the Republican Party. Traditionally, it had been the party of “law-and-order,” the party of honor and morality, the party of family values.
But its leaders — Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Orrin Hatch, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise — felt that political expedience was more important than law, honor, morality and family values.
So, they defended and embraced an unlawful, immoral man, a man most distant from family values.
Political expedience is proving not to be so expedient, as the nation now moves away from the Republicans in disgust, and I expect this will be reflected in coming elections.
And finally, and most importantly, think about the reputation of the United States of America, being led by the least qualified President in your lifetime, perhaps ever.
Trump’s First Year: Everyone Hates Us Now
A damning new Gallup poll shows how the perception of the United States has changed under Trump.
In 2016, 48 percent of the world’s citizens approved of the United States from a leadership perspective. By 2017, just 30 percent did.
What changed, of course, was the leader. President Donald Trump has overseen a destructive period for America’s reputation abroad since he took the reins from Barack Obama a year ago.
Thus, does Trump “make America great, again.” If you lie with the pig –if you embrace the pig — you will become muddy like the pig.
Trump has muddied us all. Many years will be required for us to cleanse ourselves.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
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