This world has seen its share of dictators, and they all tend to share common characteristics. Hard, steely eyed autocrats, Men of iron will, with fists to match. Men like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Amin, and Ceausescu come to mind.
But when the have-nots, never-wills, and shitless-wonders of the United States decide to vote themselves a despot into power, who did they manage to saddle the rest of us with for 4 years? None other than the real life version of William J LePetomaine, Mel Brooks’ moronic, lazy, incompetent, horndog Governor in Blazing Saddles, wandering around the office all day with his pants around his ankles, talking to his secretary’s cleavage, “Work, work, work. Hello boys! I missed you.” Only in America can “life imitates art” equate “art” with a Mel Brooks movie.
But most dictatorships share something else in common. Sooner or later, they tend to fall apart. Sooner or later, they kind of tend to push people to a point where dying just ain’t all that drastic of an alternative to living. And once the dictator is finally deposed, dragged through the streets being pelted with garbage, and thrown into an unmarked grave, people start to finally realize that he couldn’t have done it alone.
For two idyllic, halcyon years, the Trumpocracy has chugged along down the tracks unabated. Oh sure, the great unwashed have howled with indignation at the excessive corruption and decadence of the reign on King stewie the 14th, but as Empress Ibanka is wont to say, “Let them eat, like, you know, cake or something.” With the Republicans firmly in control of the government, the madness could continue forever, to the merry “Ching!” of shekels clinking together.
But then the sore loser Democratic peasants stormed the Bastille, and took over the House. And while Der Gropinfuror may still be sitting in the bunker (change in similes), screaming about some phantom army of GOP voters massing to save the day, some of the underlings are finally being called to the Principal’s office.
And once again, history is repeating itself. I caught some clips of the House hearing on HHS yesterday regarding Trump’s child separation policy, and the administration flunkies replies to House members questions gave me a historical case of “Deja vu all over again.” As Yogi Berra used to say. Pretty much their response when called to the carpet for their brazen indifference and stupidity? “I vas chust vollowink orders!” That ring a bell for anybody?
It didn’t work then, and it can’t be allowed to work now. If you get a chance, try to catch up on a little of that testimony, and pay attention to the faces and expressions of those being grilled. There was no nervousness there, no shame, no apology. Instead, their faces were blank, arrogant, and almost dismissive. Their body language seemed to say “Well, DUH!” before they even opened their mouths. When asked if they understood that by ripping families apart without having a system in place to keep accurate track of the individual family members, they were making eventual reunification almost impossible, the reply seemed to be, “Not my department, I’m in demolition, not rehab,” said with a blank, uncaring, monotone quality to it.
I wrote yesterday about the obscenity of literally thousands of migrant children, both unaccompanied, as well as separated from their parents by CBP, being systematically sexually abused while in HHS care and custody. Because of the medias blind fixation of a closed door hearing featuring Michael Cohen, with no new information forthcoming, this story received almost no air time. That has to change, pronto. There were mass protests all along the border, and beyond, over the original issue of separating minor children from their parents at the border, and that was before anybody even knew that those children were about to be sexually abused by people being paid with our tax dollars. The media went insane over the abuse of minors by that rich asshole Jeffrey Epstein all those years ago, how about sparing an on air minute or two, and a little of that outrage for brown children being abused right this minute by thugs without yachts and mansions.
As a practical matter, the Democrats do have weapon at their disposal. If there is one part of his government that Donald Trump seems to be having some problems controlling, it is the independent Inspectors General of the departments. Just ask Ryan Zinke, trailing a probable upcoming indictment behind him like a bridal train when he left his post. Every time an outrage like this is discovered in congressional hearings, the Democrats need to demand a full, impartial investigation by the applicable Inspector General, with a report to be submitted to the committee, for dissemination to the public. Nothing quite sums something up, and brings it back to the front of the memory after months have passed quite like an official report.
In finding ways to extricate himself from every sticky situation that comes along, Trump has become known as the “master of distraction.” But in this case, Trump himself is the ultimate distraction, and these lackeys are taking cover behind his buffoonish “damn the torpedoes” bravado. That can’t be allowed to happen. This isn’t Hitler’s Germany, or Stalin’s Russia. And these aren’t brainless automatons either. In this country, we expect government employees, from soldiers to copy boys, to use moral judgement to determine the validity of an order. And it’s about time that these soulless ghouls are reminded of that.
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