TRUMP (FINALLY) IS CHARGED AS A CROOK. SO, WHY AREN'T WE DANCING IN THE STREETS?
How long have we waited for this headline?
Remember when Trump was elected, it seemed just a matter of minutes, maybe hours, until this very thing happened?
There were pictures – albeit made up – imagining people wearing windbreakers with “FBI” in big yellow letters on the back, entering the White House to haul out the 45th President of the United States. The possibilities were endless, given that Donald Trump was a career criminal.
These were followed by the glory days of the Mueller investigation, in which America’s Most Honest Lawman was going to get to the bottom of all the bad things that the gangster-in-chief was up to. The delicious part about the special counsel’s investigation was imagining all the things he knew that we didn’t – yet.
But now that this seems to be finally happening, centuries later, why am I not all that excited.
Maybe you feel the same way. In my case, I’ve figured it out, I think. (With anything about Trump, you always have to add a qualifier).
Here’s what it’s not.
It’s not that I believe that through legal trickery, Don is going to wriggle out of the legal net.
I mean, he may get out of this one, but legitimately. There’s the Bad Case Theory. Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, may not have all of his ducks in order; appeals courts may throw out the case; it’s always possible that Donald John Trump may not be guilty. At least of this one; more investigations are in the works.
And it’s not that Trump has super powers. He is subject to the laws of gravity. It’s not true that he always goes scot-free. He had to settle the case involving his phony Trump University. He did pay to squash the story about his tryst with Stormy Daniels; not that it was very much money, even for a mostly fake “businessman.”
Also, in case you haven’t heard, he did lose the 2020 election, and you have to assume, that was kind of hard to take, especially if you are an egomaniacal, narcissistic psychopath.
Bad things do happen to bad guys, even if justice takes a while and isn’t all that you wish. Meaning that I haven’t been brainwashed into thinking Trump isn’t above the law as he daydreams about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue without losing votes..
The real reason I’m not excited about TRUMP INDICTED is that I’m sick and tired of Donald Trump.
I’ve had it.
I’m tired of his lies. Tired of his voice. Tired of the long-lens photos of him playing golf. Tired of The Base. Tired of his racism, his cruelty, his contempt for democracy. Tired of waiting to find out what hold Vladimir Putin has over him. Tired of his hair.
I’m tired of the same old story. It’s like Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day,” minus the humor, where the plot is nearly always the same and happens over and over.
Let’s review the latest version.
SATURDAY – MARCH 18
Trump announces that he’ll be arrested this coming Tuesday. In his own words:
It should noted that most news stories include a qualifier: his spokesperson says Trump has not been notified of an arrest.
The news people go crazy, anyway, ignoring the fact that the information comes from the most-documented liar in political history, and that whatever he says, it’s (probably) not true.
So, the familiar game plays out, bolstered by “insider” information that the Big Apple grand jury is winding up it’s work, and Trump has been invited to have his say to the panel, as the New York law allows. The nation waits to see what happens on Tuesday, sort of the way we might when a cult leader predicts that the world will end at a time certain.
TUESDAY, MARCH 21
Trump is NOT indicted.
FRIDAY – MARCH 24
Trump says something awful (quotable).
This is from the Reuters news service:
“Former U.S. President Donald Trump warned of potential ‘death & destruction’ if he faces criminal charges....”
Specifically, Trump writes on his not-the-Truth Social media service:
Here he goes again, ginning up a potential Jan.6 rampage. Outrageous thing for a former president to say, calling for chaos in the streets. How can he say this? It certainly can’t help his case in the on-going federal investigation into whether he was responsible for the Jan. 6 rampage at the Capitol.
Could it be that Trump is again playing the news folks, whipping up attention to his rally in Waco, Texas, the next day, the kind of event where “death & destruction” is usually on the menu?
SATURDAY, MARCH 25
The rally goes on, as usual. No surprises. People have been showing up for 24 hours. Despite this demonstration of loyalty, Trump keeps the faithful waiting in the Texas sunshine for an extra hour or so before speaking.
He e seems tired and almost uninterested as he plods through the familiar liturgy of the stolen election, the rotten news media, the terrible state of the nation and how wonderful things will be after The Restoration.
He mentions that the nation needs more babies. Strange, even for a philanderer. But reading about the rally later, I learn that it’s a racist trope. Trump means that America needs more white babies, more white baby boys, more white baby Christian boys to counter demographic changes which feature too many girls and boys of color and uncertain Christianity.
MONDAY, MARCH 27
A gun-person, whose legal arsenal includes a familiar item from the mass-murder toolkit – an AR-15 – kills three 9-year-olds and three adults at a private school in Nashville, Tennessee.
This has some personal connections to my wife and I in Rhode Island, because the school is near the home of close friends, who can hear the helicopters hovering over head as they watch live coverage on cable TV.
One of our friends is a retired private school teacher – a past Teacher of the Year in Tennessee – and it’s not hard to imagine her being in a school under attack. Her husband is a retired professor at Vanderbilt University, where one of his former students is related to one of the slain adults.
The latest shooting leads to a new chapter in the gun debate.
Gun control advocates are eloquent, as usual. In some states, game hunters are more closely regulated than human killers, who like the Nashville shooter, are mostly free to hunt children.
Gun extremists say the usual stupid things. Among the stupidest are remarks from a Tennessee Congressman, Rep. Tim Burchett:
The Washington Post, meanwhile, is publishing a stunning series, long in the making, about the history of the AR-15. Memorable points:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29
Sending a chill through the anti-Trump camp, the Washington Post reports that the Manhattan grand jury, whose activities are secret, isn’t expected to take up the Donald-and-Stormy case again until late April.
Alarmists like me fear that something is going wrong with the whole thing. What if the grand jury WON’T INDICT?
My favorite line in the Post story: “….the soonest jurors are expected to hear evidence in the Trump case again is April 24, said the two people, who were briefed on the plans and spoke on the condition of anonymity ….”
So much for the inside poop, we find out the next day.
THURSDAY, MARCH 30
Here’s the Washington Post’s version:
This time, the Person Familiar With The Matter appears to be passing out the right stuff. Bragg’s office confirms that TRUMP INDICTED, but leaves until Tuesday, the date of the expected arraignment, details about the actual charges.
Republicans, as usual, instead of disavowing Trump as a shameful, disgraced criminal, come to his defense. Including U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who Tweets:
What a hoot, that South Carolina sycophant: In one simple Tweet, Graham: a) defends Trump; b) ridicules DA Bragg as soft-on-crime; and c) jokes about violence.
It’s left to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to bring together both horror stories – the latest development in the Trump insurgency and the Nashville slaughter. Carlson remarks that this is “probably not the best time to give up your AR-15’s.”
SEE WHAT I MEAN?
We’ve been here, seen that, done that, are sitting through the same movie again and again, listening to the same album playing on repeat, watching the same sitcom reruns, driving, hiking, sailing, flying around the same circles over and over.
We’re still talking about, still thinking about, still worrying about Trump, and nothing seems different and that's why I’m tired of and bored by the Trump story.
Which doesn’t mean I and everyone else have a right to ignore it.
In a democracy, being bored by the likes of a treasonous Donald Trump isn’t allowed. Nor is ignoring people who think that an AR-15 is a joke.
In a democracy what happens next still matters, boring, familiar and unexciting as that may be.
BRIAN C. JONES