This morning, the national papers to which I subscribe were topping their apps and browser sites with the apparently stupendous news that that twit George Santos was under arrest for at least some of his nonsense.
My first reaction was, why did this take so long? I thought, wouldn’t it be great if these things worked like in an old Western movie? It would go like this:
- The doofus rides into Washington.
- He enters the House chamber through the swinging doors (you know, like in a saloon in a Western town).
- Someone — preferably a House member who looks like this — would shout, “It’s that no-‘count hornswagglin’ George Santos! He’s got no bidness bein’ here! Somebody fetch the sheriff!”
- A kid who sweeps the place would drop his broom and go tearing out through the swinging doors, leaving them flapping.
- The sheriff would come, and throw George into the hoosegow.
- The story — about something more interesting, one would hope — would resume…
All of that would take about 30 seconds of screen time, if properly edited.
Yeah, I know why it took more time in real life. We have this thing called the Rule of Law, and our latter-day sheriffs needed to come up with something more substantive than bein’ a lyin’ doofus before tossing him into the hoosegow. Which is a good thing, if often unsatisfying.
But of course, none of this solves the problem. The problem is that he was there because some people in a district in New York voted for him.
Which brings us to the more substantive story, which had just happened a few hours before, but inexplicably got pushed way down on the page because of the stupid Santos thing. I mean this:
Donald Trump Sexually Abused and Defamed E. Jean Carroll, Jury Finds
Which is gratifying to see. Of course, I’d like to see something done — something effective, that would assure us it won’t happen again — about the greater crime, which is the fact that this slimeball was actually, once upon a time, president of the United States.
Of course, the guilty parties in that case are the people who voted for the slimeball, and would do it again whatever happens. Because we live in a post-truth world, one in which people are easily duped into voting for a Santos, or much worse, a Trump.
So what are we going to do about that? Somebody fetch the sheriff…
Santos is the practically inevitable next step in the decline of American political culture. Why inevitable? Because phenomena like him are an inexorable consequence of a liar-in-chief being encouraged and rewarded with millions of votes — many if not most of whom weren’t duped by his lies, they approved of them. They saw him as THEIR sheriff, their avenger. “I am your retribution,” he said recently, and the crowd cheers him on.
I’m reading the second book in Edmund Morris’ Theodore Roosevelt trilogy. (FINALLY — I had read the first one years ago.)
Anyway, the other night I was reading something illustrating Teddy’s propensity for going ahead and saying what he thought. And it struck me — these Trumpistas actually see their boy as their very own T.R.
That’s because they don’t know enough to understand the huge difference — which is that when Roosevelt spoke his mind, he knew what he was talking about. Among other things, when he became president at the age of 42, he had written more books than Trump has read — probably quite a few more, I’m guessing. Also, he had this penchant for telling the truth. Of course, these people think Trump is doing the same, in spite of the mountains of evidence to the contrary…