We joke about Speaker Pelosi being the highest level official in the USA while the higher level sleazes of the GOP are out of the country at once. “Quick, throw their stuff out on the lawn and change the locks!” we jest, but around us in news in the United States of America are decidedly unfunny headlines describing frightening and appalling events involving said sleazes and their minions or former minions. I wish I could find a word to describe all of this, but “shame” is all I can think of right now.
Hypocrite and budding theocrat, Vice President Mike Pence was in Bogotá, Colombia on Monday to work with leaders in Venezuela, but I can’t tell for sure if it’s wise for him and his group to jump on a side just yet. It could be they’re there to tell people not to come to the USA anymore, to remind them how horrid we are to refugees. It could be it’s about sanctions. I’m still working on that one, but I’ve learned not to trust Pence. Ever. If he wants it, it is probably bad for good people so be very fucking sure before you back him. I probably don’t have to remind you why Pence is not trustworthy especially if you are a woman, a non-Christian, a member of the LGBTQ community, or really, any kind of reasonable, compassionate human being.
The “president” is in Vietnam, more than 50 years too late, but he’s finally there. Unfortunately, he’s there to give more stuff to his “friend”, North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un; they’re in love in case you hadn’t heard. I suppose it is nice they’re not insulting each other these days, but 45 appears to have no concern for the plight of other human beings whatsoever still as he fawns over the leader of the country responsible for the worst human rights abuses in the world right now. Of course, Lavrov’s there, too. Perhaps he’s brought more news and “love” from Putin to this dictator pow-wow?
While Sr. snuggles with his true love(s), Jared Kushner is visiting the Middle East ostensibly working on that peace thing he’s never going to finish because he has no idea how to do it and because he doesn’t care to bring peace to the Middle East. It’s the first time Kushner’s been to meet with
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since the Saudi government ordered the murder of one of our journalists, Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi. Our administration still has no interest in getting to the bottom of that brutal murder. They’re not afraid to admit they don’t care what the Saudis do to our people, to our journalists. They simply don’t care as long as the prince is happy.
And then there’s the Michael Cohen testimony to Congress, but this time he’s going to tell the truth when he answers questions from the people we elected to represent us. Don’t get me wrong here; I’m glad Congress is finally doing the work, trying to get to the truth unlike how it went when the GOP was “investigating” (wink) our concerns related to Russia, Trump, etc. Honestly, it seemed to me that Cohen is telling the truth today, and he does seem to regret what he’s done now that he’s been caught and is going to prison. I feel a little bad for Cohen’s family, but I can’t find much sympathy for the man, himself. He made these choices, treated people the way he did, bullied, broke laws, proudly sucked up to pond scum Trump Sr., and gladly took his money for years. It’s good Cohen’s finally working on the side of justice. I guess. Listening to the things he was okay with up until he had to face the consequences for his part it in makes me feel. . . unclean. . . as an American. Knowing he was part of these crimes happening literally in our Oval Office makes me physically sick.
There is a positive headline, a ray of sunlight bursting through the black clouds, as the House of Representatives passed its first major gun control bill in 25 years. The bill means federal background checks will be required for all firearms sales and transfers, but it still has to get through the NRA’s Senate, and even if it gets through there, the “president” would have to sign it which is unlikely. He’s not real concerned with what Congress or The People want. His national “emergency,” another black cloud, is evidence of that.
I often read or hear of people claiming they’re “proud” to be an American or a Canadian or whatever, and I’ve never been able to understand taking pride in where one’s mother was located when they were born. It has nothing to do with the baby, anything he worked for or accomplished; he’s just a baby. So why does the adult take pride in that thing that happened to them, being born in a particular place, decades ago? Even their mothers, the people who did the actual work, probably aren’t “proud” of where their child was born unless that mother had to do some crazy stuff to be sure they were in a particular place when the labor ended. Perhaps she was walking to another country or crawling through a desert as she labored, barely making it to some safe place in time for the birth or something? Whatever. I don’t understand it.
What I do understand, sort of, is the ideas we’re raised with about who we are. They were mostly lies. Not only are the ‘who we are now’ stories lies, but so are the stories about how we got to be where we are, the abuses, the slavery, all of it. It’s all designed to prop up Americans (white guys, the non-“others”), the “discoverers” and “innovators” and “builders.” Don’t get me wrong, there was some of that, but there were some pretty heinous atrocities filed under “discovery” that were actually raping, pillaging, murdering, and enslaving human beings. “Discovery” sounds better, sure, but it’s not what happened. White-washing it doesn’t hide the filth, the truth, of how America came to be.
That said, knowing where we came from, the lies we tell ourselves and each other about who we are and what our goals are, I’m still surprised and ashamed. As much as I’d like to blame it all on one party, and much (most?) of it is their (and their enabler’s) fault with their pride and power and money and corruption, we are still supposed to be The People. It would be pride talking if I was to concern myself mostly with who is right rather than what is right, what needs to be done. Looking around, all the people with a say in this fucking mess up until now are not right. It’s time for those in government, in the parties, etc. to drop their foolish pride, to stop worrying about their elections and primaries, to remember who they work for, and get to work fixing their mess. They should be deciding where they want to be when the fall happens, and someone is going to fall. I hope it’s not just the regime but also the party that is still defending them, their bigotry, their lying, their abuses, their corruption, their treason, even today. I hope it’s not the country that falls. Ultimately, it’s up to us how much further down we go. If we are to get out of this mess, though, the first thing that needs to go is our pride because we know what comes next if we don’t.
As hard as I’ve worked to get this regime out, to undo as much of their damage as I can, some days I feel powerless despite the protections of our Constitution and our belief as Americans that we, The People, are the ones with the power. I look on, and I resist, as these proud abusers, criminals, and traitors shamelessly take. From everyone. Perhaps one day I will be a part of something great, be a part of the reason for our greatness, and there will be a reason to be proud of my country of birth, but for now all I can feel is their shame.
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Link: “Commentary: Michael Cohen’s testimony reveals as much about the GOP as it does about Trump” – by Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post
Link: “Credible Cohen testimony has Trump, GOP shook up” – by Maria Cardona for The Hill
Link: Something is Better Than Nothing – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Link to original Tweet from shauna (aka goldengateblond).