The State of the Union is Precarious

...but the banner yet waves.

THE STATE OF THE UNION is precarious. We may not be hanging by a thread, but the fabric of our great republic is torn, the garment rent.

The President of the United States—a usurper, a decisive loser of the popular vote, installed in the Oval Office by his Russian whoremasters—is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. He has extorted a fragile ally. He withheld military aid to that ally, and denied them an official White House visit, in order to coerce them into announcing an investigation into a political rival. In short, he 1) exploited the office of the presidency 2) for personal gain, and 3) used a foreign power to do so—three things the Founders found most detestable.

The few remaining members of his cabinet and staff are lackeys, minions, sycophants. All of them were in on the scheme to varying degrees: the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Energy, the Vice President. Of these senior staffers, only the national security advisor refused to play along, but he is more interested in selling books than saving democracy. The President’s personal attorney, once regarded as an American hero, appears to be the prime mover of this scheme, the liaison between the crooked president and the criminal underworld.

The House of Representatives did its job nobly, presenting a simple case of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. But the Senate, its disproportionate representation of the country an obsolete artifact from the shameful days of slavery, sided with the President. Neither the President’s lawyers nor his apologists on Capitol Hill deny the facts of the case. Yes, he is guilty as charged. They all but concede this. But they will almost certainly vote to acquit him regardless.

One senior statesman, once regarded as reasonable, appears intoxicated as he makes the rounds of the news shows. He speaks with the fire of a man whose very life depends on the exoneration of a patently guilty man. Another Senator, once the GOP presidential front-runner for president, hides his assaults on logic behind a sparse and unflattering beard, which he wears as a mask. A third, son of a Congressman known for trading in conspiracy theory, is determined to “out” the whistleblower, knowingly and deliberately putting that hero’s life in danger. A fourth, insanely rich, once a presidential candidate, has been cast out of the GOP’s good graces for daring to suggest, in the least inspiring way possible, that the trial in the Senate allow witness testimony—rather like being thrown out of the NFL for opining that the forward pass be allowed in all games. Still another hides behind random Bible verses he tweets out, hoping this will inoculate him from the overwhelming will of the people.

The lesser lights are angrier, more indignant, nastier to the journalists putting them on record. One notable is a witness to multiple sexual assaults of young men, who covered up those crimes for decades. Another is a recidivist drunk driver with a chequered past dating from the bizarre circumstances of the death of his college friend. A third, the ranking member of the House Intelligence committee, was in direct communication with one of the President’s hoodlums. Many if not most have taken, at the least, illegal campaign donations funneled through middlemen from a hostile foreign power. What a sad and loathsome gaggle of poltroons!

The President’s primary legal representative is a man notorious for representing only the most hopelessly guilty: matricides, underage sex traffickers, traitors—he is the St. Jude of lawyers. He was for many years close friends with one of the most odious sex criminals this country has ever produced. He has credibly been accused of raping underage girls at that friend’s manse, a charge he denies by insisting that the woman “massaging” him was in her forties—as if anyone in that friend’s orbit was even half that old. This odious attorney has advanced an argument that goes like this: the President is a king, and his power is absolute.

The other attorneys on the President’s team appear, in the main, to be co-conspirators to one crime or another. The blonde woman, who seems to have been chosen based on that qualification alone, declined some years ago to investigate a fraud case against the President—a case in which he was clearly guilty—because he donated a pittance to her political campaign.

Over this charade of a trial, which pits Atticus Finch against the forces of darkness and evil, presides the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a man I respect and admire. He has allowed himself to be humiliated by the President’s defenders. He has made no attempt to use the mighty powers at his disposal to insist upon a fair trial. From his throne on high, he may as well be a gargoyle—although gargoyles, at least, kept away evil spirits, as they were constructed to do.

The state of the union is precarious, my friends. The President will be acquitted. He will take acquittal in his sham of a trial to mean total exoneration. He will insist, against all logic, that acquittal by sham trial means he was never impeached at all. This enablers will hammer this point home until November. Fueled by rage, he will lash out. The climate will grow uglier, nastier, more ruthless in the months ahead. As Yeats wrote:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   

Are full of passionate intensity.

And the kids remain in their cages, and the rights of all of us are under attack. The contagion comes from China, and the President has gutted the agency in charge of the response—the same man who thinks Kansas City is in Kansas, and Paris in Germany.

Meanwhile, the best candidate the Democrats offered has bowed out. The Soviet booster, the choice of both the President and the hostile foreign power who installed him, is ascending. We hang by our fingertips from the ledge, and this fraudulent scold, unelectable in the general, grinds down on our ragged fingers with jackbooted foot. If he is the nominee, the republic as we know it will be no more. If the President wins re-election, the republic as we know it will be no more.

I remain hopeful as ever. Cases before the Supreme Court will be heard in the next few months. Release of obstructed documents will prove that the President is a criminal, and has been for years. The vice president, too, is complicit. Surely some revelation is at hand! The House has not yet used the full powers afforded it by the law. That time is coming. The President’s health, meanwhile, continues to deteriorate. His decline is marked, ineluctable, permanent.

The star-spangled banner continues to wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave. But the state is of union is precarious. Is precarious. Is precarious.