I’ve been depressed and unproductive for the past couple of years, but these days I’m starting to feel better. My Christmas song this year, I hope, reflects this. Of course, it’s a song that is beyond my ability, which has become an unwritten rule for The revision99 Holiday Recording Pageant. This year the song I’m trying to do that I can’t really do justice to is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
Four-hour memorial tribute to John Lennon this morning on “Breakfast With The Beatles,” the 38th anniversary of his death. Listening, I found myself wondering what John might have done if he’d lived as long as I have.
Call me crazy, but when the president of the United States announces that he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and not lose any supporters; when he refers to Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us” as “very fine people;” when he’s OK with a Republican congressman assaulting a reporter; when he says that business deals in Saudi Arabia take precedence over the life of a journalist; and when he calls the press “the enemy of the people,” should we be surprised when one or more of his crackpot fans decides it’s acceptable behavior to mail bombs to prominent members of the “enemy” party, namely the Democrats?
Republicans Have Now Realized Their Decades-Long Dream of Taking Over the Supreme Court.
I reached adulthood in the late 1960s, and looking around the political environment in those days, I thought the country was firmly set in the ways of fairness, honesty, compassion and unity. Before I was born, rich guy Franklin Roosevelt had reached “down” across the class barrier to offer federal support to regular folks during the Great Depression. Harry Truman had desegregated the Army. Social Security, which had been attacked by conservatives since its inception, had matured into a popular, successful program no longer questioned by the majority of Americans. When I was still a kid the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act were passed. Medicare was passed. The war in Vietnam was ended more or less by popular declamation. In the years to come the Supreme Court would hold that women had a right to control their own bodies, police couldn’t beat confessions out of suspects, and gay couples could marry if they wanted to. We were imperfect, but we were generous. We sought justice.
Republicans in the Senate are going to push through confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, and it will look and feel as if they’ve scored a “win,” but little good can come of it for them.
The Supreme Court was specifically designed to be a non-partisan institution. That’s what the lifetime appointment was intended to accomplish. Justices wouldn’t have to answer to those in the political wings of government who put them on the court . Their only agenda would be to measure the law against the Constitution, and rule on cases based on whether the legislation in question adheres to the intent of our founding document.
Last Friday the New York Times ran a story suggesting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had attempted to remove Donald Trump from office by secretly recording a conversation with the president and then getting Mike Pence, half the members of Trump’s cabinet, and two-thirds of both houses of Congress to invoke the 25thAmendment (unfit to serve) and throw him out. Rosenstein has emphatically denied the allegation (given to the Times by a source they decline to name), but frankly I think if there is anyone in the administration who doesn’t want to remove Trump, someone should check to see if that person might be unfit.
After acting more or less like an adult for a couple of days, the Celebrity Apprentice President turns to Twitter to lash out at Christine Blasey Ford for daring to disrupt his Supreme Court party.
When Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s identity was leaked and she decided she had to come forward with her story about Brett Kavanaugh trying to rape her when they were both in high school, everyone in Washington knew she’d have to be treated carefully. Mainly, they understood that they would have to act as if they believed her, and they would have to pretend to respect her as a woman, and not go down the Anita Hill road like they did in 1991. Mainly, this meant somehow stopping the president from tweeting something insulting or demeaning at her.
Yes, he is damaging our environment. Yes, he is enabling racists and fascists at all levels of society. Yes, he is making the U.S. look ridiculous on the world stage. Yes, his ignorance is dangerous.These situations represent real harm to our system and our people, but the destruction can be reversed, maybe in as little as a decade. So I have decided it’s better for my mental health to mock him rather than let his childish tantrums and incoherent tweeting and his obvious self-dealing raise my blood pressure.
But tomorrow is a different thing: Brett Kavanaugh starts his Senate hearing to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, and his presence on the Court will be something Americans will have to live with for perhaps 40 years, and for another 40 after he’s gone the decisions in which he takes part will continue to haunt the nation.