by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ November 5, 2019
There are now only two groups of employees remaining in Trump’s executive branch: the professional administrative staff who are holding on in the name of professionalism and what the US once was; and the marginals on the sanity spectrum attracted by Trump. These were managed originally by a third group, the cold blooded opportunists, but those have been replaced by a subset of the second group.
The first group are heroes risking abuse and loss for the public good. In the early days of hoped for normalization of a Trump/Republican regime, the third group were to be the ‘adults in the room’. No one remembers those days.
The second group are what they appear to be. As we enter the last phase of this tragedy I’m amazed to find how hard it is to watch so many people, even in this second group, commit a very public and painful career suicide for a completely oblivious, garden variety psychopath.
As the facades built of denial and lies fall revealing the criminal juvenility of the Trump disaster, admittedly never very well hidden, it is stomach turning and embarrassing to watch, even asshole, senior executives in slow death agonies impaled on their own ambitions. The revulsion is heightened by the antics of Trump demanding these sacrifices and then mocking those who have sacrificed themselves.
While any number of current names in the news are in this group, Gordon Sondland is one, Mike Pompeo comes to mind as an agonizing example. The man is one of the types that was drawn into the Republican Tea Party fiasco created by the worst of the oligarchs, so there is little reason to feel sorry for him. But the extent of his self inflicted misery and pointlessness of its purpose is as troubling as watching animals being slaughtered.
Pompeo is representative in being driven down from any pretense of integrity to grovel in constant contradiction of his own statements and in denial and abandonment of the professional State Department staff he is nominally managing. This is so bad that US diplomacy appears to be near terminal collapse.
Understanding the garden variety psychopath is ridiculously easy. Anyone with a few years of maturity has run across these in the wild. With massive egos and zero empathy they burn through people at a high rate. Mr. Pompeo is about to be tossed under the bus because he has nothing left to give.
But he will be replaced by another of the same breed if Trump can find one. This recalls classic horror movies and the mindless character who insists on opening the forbidden door behind which the monster waits while the audience shouts ‘No, you idiot!’.
The extent of decline in this country is illustrated by the total absence of a Boris Karloff to at least say, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Not that anyone ever listened even when we had such a character but the complete absence probably contributes to such things as a Trump in the White House.
The pickings are getting very thin as the Executive Branch is obviously now a suicidal destination. Yet there always seem to be a few more ready to debase themselves for reasons that only they can understand. But we all have to watch this repeat one more time.
The only thing that could pass as light hearted now is the spectacle of the tattered carcasses from under Trump’s bus struggling to find a place for themselves in their ghost life. Hopefully we won’t need to watch the process again on Dancing with Stars or listen to endless interviews on books rehashing Trumpian insanity. Trust me, standard narcissistic based sociopathy is surprisingly consistent and boring.
The question now is the rate at which the first group mentioned above decides to abandon ship. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who is the only White House staffer to testify so far is a good representative of this group. Hopefully his willingness to do what is right will stiffen the spines of others with direct knowledge of the goings on as all Trump’s shenanigans are drug into the light.
While he has returned to his job in the West Wing we can assume that he is soon to meet the pavement under the Trump bus. That is too bad because of what I think it will mean in the post impeachment world. It will become very difficult to keep the US functioning as the thousands who keep things going decide the return is not worth the abuse and shame.
We are clearly at that point now. While our previous history, as limited as it has been, expects difficulty in finding a smoking gun, Trump has proven very different. There are a surfeit of smoking guns. The problem is picking the best one to complete what is assumed to be a ritual impeachment.
The ritualized confirmation of the political system’s failure requires a quick and efficient case for impeachment which is Nancy Pelosi’s goal. No logic to wasting too much time on this given the criminal leadership of the US Senate under Moscow Mitch and associates. The real action will come after the entire ritual is finished and Mitch is busy congratulating himself for quickly removing the threat of Trump’s ejection from office.
Among the aging traditionalists, including rulers of both parties, the assumption is that the 2020 election will decide the fate of the nation. I think it will be decided well before that as the post modern world is increasingly in the hands of the networked, predominantly young, population.
When the existing systems display their limits with egregiously bad decisions or failure to make necessary new ones, the final response is mass action. In the US there is the additional factor of the people in the second group above. They are becoming politicized by shame under the Trump Party regime.
Pompeo’s State Department mini-disaster with morale at an all time low and departures at an all time high is an example of what this could mean. The most stupid and treasonous parts of the Trump Party schemes will be increasingly met with refusal to perform.
I’m betting that we will see a new form of protest with staged failures of the federal system up to and including military work stoppage. Trump, after all, has alienated all professionals in the federal government and proven himself to be both a traitor and an idiot in management of our massive and extended military enterprises.
These enterprises are not good things and must be ended but that is not what the Trump Party regime is doing. They are destroying the people who have maintained the American Empire. If you have not been in the military, let me tell you that few things are more hated than abandoning your units and allies for personal gain.
There is a long history of this but in living memory this was a major theme of the disastrous Vietnam War. Many incompetent officers and NCOs were ‘fragged’. I can see the Trump Party regime being ‘fragged’ non-violently in 2020.
This will be more in line with the Hong Kong opposition but with the benefit of federal employee assistance. Even if that doesn’t happen at a significant level we will see massive departure from the professional ranks of the federal government. When all else fails and disgust is at the maximum, our younger population will find a way to register their feelings.
This will be a very interesting process. We will all be part of this and I’m betting it will likely break the US apart unless a full revolution happens first.