The Bully Pulpit

Today, the former head of the CIA had had enough:

 I will speak out until integrity returns to the White House
John Brennan / Washington Post

John Brennan served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2013 to January 2017.  —  My first visit to the Oval Office came in October 1990, when I was a 35-year-old CIA officer…

The Holder of the Office of President of the United States of America decided to personally attack a female comedian and, hopefully, destroy her life and the lives of those of her production staff: the writers’ room denizens, the director, the lighting crew, the camera crew, the set design crew, the graphics department, the editing department, and so on and so forth.

Because he didn’t like what his daughter was called.

This is more feckless than his sadistic plan — fully realized — to deny an FBI employee with a distinguished career record of his retirement and medical benefits. For reasons darker and more self-serving, in this case.


In other words, Samantha Bee annoyed him, so he cavalierly decided to sic the sick puppies the Right Wing smear-o-sphere* on her and her network and her advertisers, hoping to wreck her basic cable show.

Clearly Ms. Bee used the right word, but on the wrong Trump.

[*You know, the one that suddenly found unthreatening PBS news hour anchor Gwen Ifill to be a vicious Black Nationalist, Commie, Pinko, dirty evil wicked slut from hell in the weeks leading up to the 2008 VICE-Presidential Debate (Joe Biden and Sarah Palin) that she moderated and subsequently never found a single solitary thing to protest about Ms. Ifill until and following the day of her untimely death on November 14, 2016.]

And that’s why he’s turned it from Teddy Roosevelt’s “bully pulpit” — a soapbox to draw the nation’s attention to pressing and ignored needs — into Trump’s Bully Pulpit: a platform for ruining anyone he decides to dislike.

Washington Post printed something you didn’t like? Attack Amazon dot com’s contract with the United States Postal Service, because the owner of the Washington Post (who intentionally has no say in editorial decisions) founded and runs Amazon dot com.

Rosa Parks, arrested for refusing to  move to the back of the bus and
give a white man her seat. Alabama, December 1, 1955

Black players kneeling at football games to protest the demonstrated “It’s OK to shoot any Black I confront, because I wear a badge” syndrome? Bully and harass the NFL (touchy already because its revenues and viewership are down NOT over Colin Kaepernick’s protest, NOTE) until they capitulate and require either mandatory patriotism or the ultimate move to the back of the bus: stay in the locker room, invisible to virtually all of humanity without a pass to the locker room.

And Trump is a classic bully, which is to say that he’s a fraidy-cat who, having made his reputation on his tag line (from his “reality show” The Apprentice and variant titles thereof) “YOU’RE FIRED!” hasn’t had the STONES to fire a single member of his administration, with James Comey — whose firing precipitated the Mueller investigation — having to find out his position as DIRECTOR OF THE FBI had been terminated from watching CNN.

Or Rex Tillerson, who left the chairmanship of Exxon-Mobil to serve as Secretary of State (no matter what you think of Tillerson’s performance, or, more precisely, lack thereof) who was fired … by a TWEET.

Gutless and ball-less, the bully of Pennsylvania Avenue misrules and misstates, attacking all who assail him with the glee of a sadistic boy tearing the wings off a fly. A ‘man’ too afraid to fire anyone personally, but firing people in wholesale–and seemingly arbitrary–lots.

Oh, that c-word applies, if ever it applied to anyone to Donald Jong Trump, the Bully hiding in the Oval Office.

As for me, I defend Ms. Bee and her right to make the joke that she made (one of compassion for the downtrodden and the dispossessed, a group conspicuously absent from the bully’s ruminations) and urge anyone with any moral courage whatsoever to stand up for her, too. We already have enough moral cowardice in this nation, with a significant percentage of it emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Combover Caligula.

The impact of the Trump presidency will be felt for many years to come. Most worrisome is that his use of falsehoods, his mean-spirited and malicious behavior, and his self-absorption will be emulated by many young Americans — indeed, young people globally — who look to the president of the United States as a role model.  [John Bennan, from the aforementioned op-ed, ibid.]


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