Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pardoning The Pardoner

Pardon my French but something is fucked when the guy in hand-cuffs pardons himself on the way out the door. He might as well pardon John Wilkes Booth while he’s at it. After all, Lincoln was a loser; he lost his son, Willie.

I was raised on Cagney, Bogart and George Raft movies in the late 30s and 40s. But I never saw this one……….

Come out with your hands up. The place is surrounded. Your situation is dire. We’ve got you between the muck and mire.
Oh yeah? I’ll take a flier ‘cause my alibi is as tight as a pliers. But just in case, I fired the guy who hired the guy who’s got me on his wire. So go tell it to your choir.

My sympathies have always been with prisoners but I’m willing to make an exception in this case. Count me among those who root for the bad guy to break out of prison. Of course it helps if he really wasn’t bad, just down on his luck or better yet, framed. In those old movies he was often the poor sucker who took the rap for his ungrateful brother and went up the river for a stretch in the big house. It wouldn’t surprise me if Cool Hand Luke was the last one of that genre I saw. I get no kicks from brutality or even confinement particularly if it’s solitary. It feels too much like an extended time in an MRI.

Some of my favorite people were jailed. Thoreau spent a night in the slammer protesting a poll tax which went to support slavery and the Mexican-American War. To his credit Eugene Debs was imprisoned as a conscientious objector during World War I. He even ran for president from there and received almost one million votes. He was pardoned by Warren Harding, of all people. The poet, William Stafford, one of my all-time model human beings, spent World War II in federal camp as another conscientious objector. And then there were the Hollywood Ten whose crime was that they wouldn’t name names and Martin Luther King in solidarity with other Civil Rights workers and finally the Viet Nam war–protesters, some of our best and brightest.

In the matter of the Trump family, Flynn, Manafort et al versus the people of the United States I really don’t care if these people are incarcerated, only that they are indicted and removed from public office. Maybe the in-laws could be assigned to community service with Planned Parenthood or the Black Lives Matter movement. As for Donald perhaps we could smuggle him across the Mexican border to pick the avocado crop.

Arguably Trump is the largest president in history which is to say he takes up the most space. There isn’t a day in the past year when his inane blurts, boasts or barbs haven’t dominated the print and otherwise-media. He has colonized my psyche, an affliction for which there may be no known antidote. Consider my blog as a primal scream. One can barely remember a time when he wasn’t there. Ceding territory is not something he may be capable of doing, and yet…..

To beg your own pardon while pleading innocence, firing the investigator and damning your opponents is something only Donald could have conceived of. It probably began as the schoolyard bully, when revealed as the goat of the game, taking back his ball and going home. The ultimate chutzpah. If Louis XVI had thought of this he might have saved his head. It seems that our inspirational leader was absent the day they taught civics in school. Maybe he cut class and went off to see The Madness of King George instead.

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