Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Is it me or does it seem as if Americans are holding their collective breaths waiting for the next shoe to fall. In that sense Yeats’ poem is all too prophetic. The center is not holding. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity” could easily describe what is going on in America in general and Washington specifically. When the head of state wallows in his own lies, belittles the masses, and shadows of anarchy and conspiracy seem as believable as the truth which lies bloodied and dead in the trenches of the halls of Congress. What are we to do?
I’ve written about how the number of negative events surrounding the Trump charade with the endless scandals, controversies, and embarrassing gaffes, missteps, and effronteries is enough to make Americans throw up their hands and run screaming into the night. Yet, they just keep on coming. Wikipedia has a list of controversies that is surprising in their number and frightening in just how much has gone awry during the last 598 days and counting.
This week is shaping up to be more of the same as the hunt for anonymous continues in the White House with Trump calling on the Justice Department to investigate the opinion piece writer and the release of Bob Woodward’s book, Fear, due out today. It is almost impossible to believe one man can fuck up so badly day in/ day out. The situation is so bizarre that it begs the question: To what end? What shoe will be the one that drops, crushing our democracy and sends us into the realm of a glorified Banana Republic?
As bizarre as all of this seems, I think there may actually be a method to this madness. Think about it. Our congress is run by a host of partisan hacks as the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing last week so aptly demonstrated. In his column for the Washington Post this morning, titled The Kavanaugh Hustle, E. J. Dionne, Jr. discusses just how shady the whole confirmation proceeding have been up to now. Summing up how damaging a Kavanaugh Supreme Court appointment would be, Dionne wrote,
Kavanaugh will push the court much further right. Everything we know about him points to a man who is fierce and unapologetic in his partisanship and relentless in advancing his ideology. His confirmation will be the equivalent of handing the court over to the Heritage Foundation and the legal staff of Koch Industries. (my emphasis) WAPO
Senate Judiciary Chair, Chuck Grassley’s (R-I), actions have been undemocratic, underhanded, snide and caustic in his treating of Democrats as they’ve tried to gain transparency by the release of thousands of Kavanaugh’s documents. Documents that would give Americans a better understanding of just how ideological and far right he has been in the past. Democrats are outraged both of their marginalization by the Republicans and the futility they feel in light of how important the appointment of a Supreme Court justice is in the scheme of things. This is especially true in light of the Republicans stonewalling of Merrick Garland in the last year of Obama’s administration.
The Kavanaugh debacle aside last week’s revelation of a mole (or moles) inside the White House as revealed in an anonymous opinion piece published by the New York Times and the impending release of Woodward’s book paints a none too rosy view of just how unstable the Trump administration and the man are on a daily basis. The uproar that ensued resulted in a number of Trump officials publicly denying they were the author of the New Times opinion piece or that they had revealed anything untoward about the Orange One to Woodward.
The upshot of all that has happened over Trump’s tenure is a slowly evolving climate of chaos like America has never seen before. Think about how everything Trump touches either blows up in his face or is so disruptive that the nation has been put into a tailspin that goes on for days and days. Just when one scandal runs its course, another lies waiting in the wings. Think back to the G 7 meeting, the Helsinki summit, caging immigrant children, the Puerto Rico debacle, the renegotiating of NAFTA, and on and on. If someone plotted to throw the nation in chaos, Trump seems to have the blueprint tucked away in his breast pocket.
To what end? While driving nominally sane people bonkers, Trump is busy attending campaign rallies across the nation. In an article posted on September 7 in the Washington Post, Philip Bump outlined Trump’s whirlwind campaigning schedule over the past two years. He wrote,
Trump has held two dozen campaign-style rallies as president in 16 states, all but two of which voted for him in 2016. Over the past month, he’s held three such rallies; extend that window back to the beginning of August and the number climbs to five. WaPo
I was a little put off when Hillary Clinton called Trump’s hardcore base a basket of deplorables, but now, I’m not so sure. The optics of these rallies is breathtaking in the amount of vitriol that pores, not just out of Trump’s mouth, but from the mouths of his supporters. The visuals of the people standing or sitting behind him on stage is an image of raw adoration for their “guy” and unbridled hatred for anyone he attacks in his speech. After the anonymous article and part of Woodward’s book leaked out, Trump took an even bolder stance.
In Montana last week, Trump actually embraced the idea of impeachment, but not for the reasons you might think. CNN detailed it this way,
(CNN) Suddenly it’s Republicans talking about impeachment.They’re using the threat of impeachment to get out the vote and almost daring Democrats: Go ahead, impeach this guy.Both President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought it up in recent days.“I don’t even bring it up,” said Trump at a rally in Montana, as he launched into a riff on the subject. “Because I view it as something that, you know, they like to use the impeach word. Impeach Trump. Maxine Waters, ‘We will impeach him.’ But he didn’t do anything wrong. ‘It doesn’t matter, we will impeach him. We will impeach.’ But I say, how do you impeach somebody that’s doing a great job that hasn’t done anything wrong?”
Many of Trump’s more candid and caustic supporters vow a civil war of sorts if the Democrats do take back the House and have the guts to begin impeachment proceedings, or God forbid, actually impeach him. The idea of Americans defying the Constitution and the will of the majority should scare the bejesus out of anyone with a scintilla intelligence. Chaos would ensue.
Which brings me to a hypothetical question. How would such a situation be handled? One scenario is for Trump to declare martial law in the name of keeping the peace and protecting the government and the nation. Chaos, after all, would be a logical reason for him to seize the ultimate power position to make America great again. I am no conspiracy theorist and believe that America is better than this scenario. Still, when the last shoe drops and the center doesn’t hold , bet your last dollar, Trump has something planned. Count on it.
he actually is from his past decisions.