The Monday Morning Teaser

Lately, Republican refugees like Bob Corker, John McCain, and even former President George W. Bush have begun arriving — a year late and few billion dollars short — in the camp of Trump critics. For the most part their warnings are oblique and their recommendations don’t include any actions that would make a material difference, but at least they’re positioned to unleash a strong I-told-you-so if we eventually wind up in World War III or the Fourth Reich. Good for them.

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are still making nice with Trump, even though they surely know what he is by now. Eventually they too will probably defect, after it’s too late to make any difference. I predict that their authorized biographies will be full of angst and trepidation and dire predictions made privately to nobody in particular. Like Flat Nose Curry after Butch Cassidy wins the knife fight, they’ll come up to whoever does finally manage to end the Trump regime and say, “I was really rooting for you.”

Thanks Paul. Thanks Mitch. That is what sustains us in our time of trouble.

This week I express the Republican dilemma — how to avoid blame for the looming disaster without taking a stand that will actually mean anything — in a musical parody. I start with a song about a denial no one believes: Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. (Don’t you think the kid really is his son?) Picture it sung by some unspecified congressional Republican, backed by a chorus of corporate donors. “All I wanted was lower tax, regulation lax …”

That should be out between 9 and 10 EDT.

The second featured post is less fun and more scholarly: “Niger, the Condolence Controversy, and Why the Founders Feared a Professional Military”. Historically, militarism and democracy haven’t played well together. Professional soldiers can be sent places where a voting majority would not tolerate risking their sons and daughters. Leaders of a professional army can come to think of themselves as an elite class, and develop the arrogance of a John Kelly. This week we’ve seen lots of signs that would not have surprised the people who wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I’ll predict that for 10 or 11.

That doesn’t leave much space for the weekly summary, which still has a number of things to cover: Congress’ budget outline, what Bush and McCain actually said, the bipartisan (but probably doomed) effort to keep the health insurance market from collapsing, some reflections on the Values Voters summit, and a few other things. I’m hoping to have that done by noon.

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  • Herb Feinzig  On October 23, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Seeing major players finally speaking out is positive
    Next is to act. Wait too long and regrets become meaningless.

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