Thursday, June 04, 2020

Silence, Signifying Much

On Monday night, President Trump sicced the US Army on peaceful, law-abiding citizens. Therefore, this is a critically important set of questions (asked pre-Mattis), whether rhetorical or otherwise:
There are a few mayors, governors, and Episcopal leaders in the Washington, D.C. area speaking up, at least on CNN and MSNBC. And now there is former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who has issued a statement in which he remarked

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

That's not likely. After Donald Trump had served more than three years in the White House, 52 of 53 GOP senators voted not to convict him of abuse of power and 53 of 53 voted to acquit him of obstruction of justice. Even now, they are silent about the President's effort to ignore SARS-CoV-2 while destroying democratic institutions and American prestige abroad.

Betting the sunk-cost fallacy is itself a fallacy, they are all in on their leader, fearing that if he goes down, they do, also. But what excuse do Democrats have?

On Wednesday, former President Barack Obama gave a speech about the protests across the USA and said this about President Trump:

Nothing. He said nothing. In a speech with even less substance than most he has given since leaving office, Barack Obama said nothing.  Nothing.

Oh, there were words, 14 minutes and 50 minutes of them, well strung together as always. The evening before, his successor had threatened to send the military into American cities, decided to walk across Lafayette Park to stand in front of a  church to hold awkwardly a book he has never read. He then denied it was a photo-op. Still, Barack Obama did not mention the name "Trump." He did not utter the word "President." He did not even suggest that the presumptive nominee of his party, Joe Biden, would not have an Attorney General who would engineer....

President Obama did, amidst all evidence to the contrary, try to convince us that God is in his heaven and all is fine with the world, especially when he claimed

There is a change in mindset that’s taking place, a greater recognition that we can do better. That is not as a consequences speeches by politicians. That’s not the result of spotlights in news articles. That’s a direct result of the activities and organizing and mobilization and engagement of so many young people across the country who put themselves out on the line to make a difference.

Better than what, he did not enlighten us. However, the former President did seize the opportunity to take a dig at the news media, without which we wouldn't know about those young people he professes to admire. Yet, he assiduously avoided questioning the leadership of President Trump. It's almost as if the speech was not about the protests roiling the nation but about Barack Obama and avoiding angry tweets from the incumbent.

When Obama speaks, liberal pundits and establishment media swoon.  Practically no one questions the brilliance of his vision (an exception, here). When Robert Reich and Binyamin Applebaum and so many others- justifiably- lament the failure of Republicans to question President Trump, we need to acknowledge that Democrats also know how to give blind allegiance.

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