Not going away

Claire Potter on Kavanaugh as Trump’s surrogate bully:

While two Republican senators have condemned what is now routine behavior from the President, Kellyanne Conway, the President’s designated sexual assault spokesperson in the West Wing, indicated that Blasey had caused everyone enough trouble and she should go away now. “The woman has been accommodated by all of us, including Senate Judiciary Committee,” Conway snapped. “She’s been treated like a Faberge egg by all of us, beginning with me and the President. He’s pointing out factual inconsistencies.”

You know what seems like a Faberge egg right now? Democracy. Process. Human decency. The damage that the Kavanaugh hearings has done is so thick you can practically taste it floating in the air. Not only must we deal with a bully President for at least the next two years, but Trump’s surrogate bully – a man who makes Clarence Thomas look like a guy with a dorky sense of humor and a few bad pick-up lines – now threatens to perpetuate a lifetime dry drunk from the Supreme Court.

What do we do if we start having stress reactions to all this? We get over it, that’s what. Kellyanne Conway did so why shouldn’t everyone else?

Where do we go for help if the people in charge – Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Mitch McConnell – are telling us that the event never happened, or if it did, we need to just get over it? Furthermore, our efforts to seek help only seem to make things worse. We read about the various details of Brett Kavanaugh’s high school and college drinking obsessively. We fulminate on Facebook and Twitter, activating the fantasy that we live in a democracy where anyone cares what we think. We ask for investigations. We march. But nothing we do seems to change anything.

We try to follow the news, we try to share the newest highlights.

We report stories, as if it will support our version of the truth that Trump, and everyone associated with him, are grifters and carnies. Just last night, an eighteen-month investigative report from The New York Times broke, detailing chronic tax evasion by the Trump family dating back at least to Donald Trump’s babyhood, when he earned thousands of dollars a week as his father’s “employee.” Journalists David Barstow, Suzanne Craig and Russ Buettner estimate that by undervaluing property, steering money through shell companies, and “taking improper tax deductions” Fred and Mary Trump passed on around $550 million to their children that properly belongs to the American people. Other than a history of felonious behavior, what this story reveals is that the narrative of Donald J. Trump, self-made man and master dealmaker, is about as fraudulent as the idea that the Devil’s Triangle is a drinking game.

Can we send him an invoice for the $550 million?

“PTSD symptoms,” the Department of Veterans Affairs concludes, “usually start soon after the traumatic event. But for some people, they may not happen until months or years after the trauma. Symptoms may come and go over many years.” But to know when the symptoms began, we would also have to know when the event began.

But we don’t. It crept up on us when we weren’t looking. And it will take more than another election to make it go away.

Ah well…maybe all the glaciers will melt first.

4 Responses to “Not going away”