Good on you, Bob!
Once again, through “shoe leather” research, through pain staking insistence on multiple sources, through a compilation aimed at accuracy and therefore fairness you have shown a light on the dark shadow lurking in the Oval office whose existence there threatens not only us but the whole world.
But we knew that.
Woodward’s portrait of a man-child, ignorant, self centered, vulgar, cruel and incompetent whose staff works frantically to suppress his dangerous instincts and wild schemes is a picture that has emerged for all to see from the day Donald J Trump swore an oath he did not understand and certainly has not upheld.
Still, the new detail Woodward has assembled is fascinating. A sample:
-Defense Secretary Mattis says Trump has “the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader.”
-Chief of Staff Kelly says Trump is “an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown.”
-Former Economic Advisor Cohn says he stole a memo from Trump’s desk to keep Trump from acting on it in the name of the Nation’s security.
-Former Trump personal lawyer Dowd told Special Counsel Mueller that Trump could not sit down for an interview with Mueller because Trump would lie.
-Trump calls Attorney General Sessions “mentally retarded…a Dumb Southerner.”
Would that all this – and more since these are only a few highlights of a book yet to be read – make a difference. The White House can and already has branded Woodward’s account inaccurate but the author’s reputation, earned in the Watergate trenches and burnished through years of reporting on the powerful makes it difficult to dismiss it as “fake news.”
The truth is, the real Donald J Trump has been on display from day one for all to see but apparently nothing, no outrageous action, no ignorant move, no cruelty will sway about thirty two to thirty five percent of our nation’s population from blindly following and supporting him.
Woodard’s book will not change that.
I have come to believe (reluctantly, sadly) that Trump’s so-called “hard core base” is unredeemable.
The damage they and the spineless, selfish Republicans in Congress are doing our Country is, truly, “deplorable.”
The majority of Americans must stop them. Years ago when the hard right wing’s slogan was “Take Back Our Country” I said this was not just their Country, it belongs to all of us.
Today, I say this Country belongs to any who would follow the ideals laid down by our Founders, who would attempt to live up to the “better angels of our nature,” who would attempt to live by the “Golden Rule” and with obedience to the law treat others with understanding, civility and kindness.
We cannot stand aside in the name of “letting all flowers bloom” while weeds among us threaten to choke out the great blossoms of liberty and justice.
So, we must fight Trump’s “base” and check their ability to enable him to wreak his damage. We must fight them in the public square and at the ballot box. We must be relentless and unswerving in our resolve to destroy Trumpism and preserve the America we know.
When he heard Woodward was finishing a book about him, Trump called Woodward and said he would have talked to him if he had only known about it.
When Woodward detailed the many unsuccessful attempts he had made to get an interview Trump at first denied that anyone had told him Bob wanted to talk to him, then conceded perhaps Senator Lindsey Graham had mentioned it to him.
Here is a transcript of that exchange toward the end of the phone conversation.
“Trump: I’m just hearing about it. And I heard — I did hear from Lindsey, but I’m just hearing about it. So we’re going to have a very inaccurate book, and that’s too bad. But I don’t blame you entirely.
BW: No, it’s [?] — it’s going to be accurate, I promise.
Trump: Yeah, okay. Well, accurate is that nobody’s ever done a better job than I’m doing as president. That I can tell you. So that’s . . . And that’s the way a lot of people feel that know what’s going on, and you’ll see that over the years.”
And what about the stinging, contemptuous rebukes from Defense Secretary Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelley, who clearly are among those who “know what’s going on,” as reported by Woodward?
Both men deny having said such things and in a tweet Trump claimed “Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public.”
Which reminds me of the time someone said President Reagan had “taken leave of his senses” to which Mr. Reagan replied “It takes one to know one.”