Tuesday, February 27, 2018

If Truth Be Told

I asked a man in prison once how he had happened to be there. He said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.   Mother Jones

By latest count fifty-one members of Congress will call it quits in November, most of them Republican. They have done the indefensible, allowing a man to subvert our democracy. As in Nazi Germany they have un-caged the beast. If we’re lucky they will get book deals and tell all. A book, said Kafka, is the axe that breaks the frozen sea within. And for these guys there is much ice to be axed. Lies have a way of clotting one’s blood-flow that feeds the mind and the heart.

If they are not still on the take they may even start squealing in their waning days. Free from their puppeteers the ring of truth can occasionally be heard. It didn’t take John Boehner very long to spill the beans. After he left as Speaker of the House he was asked how he dealt with all the sniping within his own Republican party. He replied that garbage men soon learn to put up with the smell of garbage.

John McCain, in his decline, speaks like a maverick … now and then. At least in his rhetoric he calls for a more bi-partisan approach which is tantamount to heresy in today’s polarized climate. Jeff Flake, his colleague, having announced his own departure went so far as to write a check for his own Party’s opponent in the Alabama race.

Truth-telling is something we’ve grown not to expect from Republicans, particularly what emanates from the executive branch. In-your-face, frontal lying has become the norm. Donald’s truth is to be found in the diametrical opposite of what he says. When he proclaimed that he won by a landslide it meant that he lost by a landslide but got elected by the fluke of a senseless, antiquated Electoral College. When he now claims that he would have confronted the Florida shooter the truth is that he ran away from such an armed man in an incident years ago.

On a good day we may get anything from mere spinning or obfuscation to laying the blame for everything on Obama. I’d love to be a fly in his confessional booth.

A man like our inspirational leader who lies to himself begins to believe his own lies. He is then unable to recognize truth either in himself or anyone else. So said Dostoevsky. 

Trump would do well to read Crime and Punishment or at least listen to the Mikado (Mueller) whose object so sublime / I shall achieve in time / is to have the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime. We’re not in Titipu or Oz any more, Toto, we’re back in Kansas…and Washington. Truth will out.

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