Monday, May 15, 2017

Correcting Uncivilized Behavior

Here's the thing: When you get ordinary middle-aged mothers like me involved in politics, you know something is fucked up.

Generally, I'm just not that interested in politics. A year ago, I was focused on my own problems, driving Nick to driver's ed, getting estimates on a roof repair, walking the dog, and writing about the daily grind of life in a way that I hoped would resonate with people and make them laugh.

Don't get me wrong. I try to vote with knowledge of the issues and candidates. And I was pissed when the obstructionist Congress shut down the government but didn't lose a day of pay. In 2001, I overcame inertia when George W. invaded Iraq despite the fact that none of the terrorists who hijacked airplanes had come from Iraq.

Yet, my daily life was about daily life. Politics was like a bit of food that got stuck between my teeth. It was good for grousing with my friends. Mike paid more attention to politics than I did, telling me the latest news at night when we settled down together.

Now, I'm alert. I'm involved. That means something is wrong.

When Nick was young, I listened to the sound of him playing in the other room with his friends. Yes, it was loud. Sometimes, it was irritating. They went to the edge of rudeness, calling each other 'buttheads' or some other generic insult. But occasionally, there was a moment when it fell off the side of civilized and I would march into his room.

 "You will not shoot rockets at the cat," I said one time.

"You will not play kamikaze and trash each other's Lego castles," I said at another.

"You will not play murder games," I demanded.

It crossed the line of what is civilized when they pretended to murder each other, one lying on the bed and clutching until the poison took effect. They explored the edges. I showed them where the edges were. I was loud and firm when they crossed the line.

So now, Trump and his administration keep crossing the line.

Freedom of speech is on trial. A woman laughed at Jeff Sessions and he had her arrested. She laughed.

Sean Spicer tells lies to our faces over and over. He's lied about stuff we could see, crowd sizes, angry tweets, and the meaning of well-defined words.

And whenever someone gets close to the truth, someone gets fired. Just look at who's been fired so far: Preet Bharara, investigating money laundering; Sally Yates, warning of Michael's Flynn's inappropriate conduct; James Comey, investigating the Trump administration's ties to Russian influence on our election.

Doesn't it creep you out that Comey said he was asked to pledge an oath of loyalty to Trump? Doesn't it freak you out that Yates was the one fired one business day after warning the White House that Flynn had compromised his position and he was only fired three weeks later because it leaked to the press? Doesn't it piss you off that Bharara was fired before he could follow up on a money laundering investigation in Russia?

We should all be pissed off! Why isn't Congressman Dave Reichert, a man who used to be a Sheriff, more concerned about upholding the laws and Constitution of the United States than playing along with Trump?

Where are our checks and balances now? Have too many members of Congress already pledged loyalty to Trump? What are they receiving in return? Are we in Constitutional crisis right now? It sure feels like it.

I'm telling you, I am listening to what's going on in the other room and it has crossed the line. The President of the United States is supposed to be a public servant, not a king who spends his people's tax money on vacations to Florida every weekend. He's supposed to support his people, not divert their resources to his corporations and those of his rich cronies by eliminating existing regulations. The President of the United States is supposed to be outraged when  another country interferes with our democratic process. He is not supposed to encourage meddling in our elections or congratulate the interlopers. He is not supposed to invite them into the Oval Office.

And so I'm standing here, being loud and firm: The Trump administration has crossed the line of civilized behavior and they need to be forced to behave. Now!

Thank you for listening, jules

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