In the wake of the “national fire drill” regarding Rod Rosenstein on Monday it was announced that he and President Trump would meet on Thursday. (Act II?) Trump is talented at few things but one of them is manipulating the media therefore my almost instant thought was what a wonderful (from Trump’s standpoint) way to distract from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Brett Kavanaugh. Let’s explore.
If we were dealing with honorable and patriotic Americans either Kavanaugh would have withdrawn by now or Trump would have pulled the nomination. However we are dealing with two egos that at this point are more focused on self-preservation than anything else. If the hearing goes forward on Thursday – which at this writing is still somewhat of an “if” – just what form it will take, who will testify and for that matter who on the GOP side will ask questions are all still up in the air. Assuming it does take place the hearing will not be something that Trump or his enablers want to dominate the news. Regardless of outcome, a meeting with Rosenstein is a perfect distraction that is sure to eat into news coverage. The really scary though is that both events are noise covering the signal of executive branch actions that are doing long-term harm and won’t be covered at all. America will pay for the actions of this administration with the treasure and lives of its citizens for decades.
The Kavanaugh situation gets grimmer by the day. In addition to the high school era rape accusation by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Sunday news broke that Deborah Ramirez had accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both freshmen at Yale. (I don’t know how else to describe an act which I cannot more graphically depict and still maintain my PG rating.) Monday night attorney Michael Avenatti went on national TV to proclaim that a client of his would come forward “within 48 hours” (that means tonight at the latest) to back up her claims of being both a victim of Kavanaugh and a witness to his behavior. This is no longer a he said/she said. It is a he said/ they said and every “they” appears to have corroborating evidence and/or witnesses. It should make for compelling television to watch Chuck Grassley try to contain this three ring circus and claim he ran a fair hearing. All Grassley wants to get to is a party line Committee vote in favor of Kavanaugh and there is a good chance he will, but it should be a spectacle. With good reason Trump and the Republicans want to distract persuadable voters.
Before I go I have to address one last thing. I never thought I would live long enough to see the day when the American President was literally laughed at as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly but it happened to Donald Trump less than one minute into his speech on Tuesday. I have to invoke the title of Matt Taibbi’s book Insane Clown President as the most accurate description of Trump. I was among the many who thought George W. Bush was a buffoon but even he was never laughed at when addressing an international gathering of diplomats and heads of state; (generally polite to a fault people in public.) What kind of great is this?
The line that prompted the wide spread laughter was Trump bragging about what a great job he is doing saying his administration’s achievements exceeded those of, “Almost any other administration in the history of our country.” Trump repeated his basic mistake of last year by going before an international body whose goal is international peace and global cooperation and talking like an isolationist. His delegation included Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Stephen Miller and John Bolton. The only one whose presence was the least bit justifiable is Bolton’s because he is the current (and Trump’s third) National Security Advisor. Remember he is the unconfirmed (and unconfirmable by a Republican Senate) former UN Ambassador who is openly anti-UN. This is only the best?
William Shakespeare was famous for inserting comic relief into his plays. I’d like to see Trump divert us from the scandal and incompetence with a concrete achievement. Perhaps the world would not be laughing at America then.
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