Will the Last Enabler Please Turn Out the Lights?
By Merrill Lynn Hansen
I know everything I need to know about the people who stormed the Capitol Building, other than their names and whether they are going to be prosecuted. I long ago ceased having any curiosity about their psychological makeup, or how Donald Trump was able to tap into their grievances, and justify them. It’s a tired old cliché by now: they distrust our country's institutions, and they believe that there is no way Trump could have lost the presidential election, because "their people" voted for him.
I've always believed there was a potential for thousands of Trump supporters to be violent, and I've always believed that Trump is entertained by that kind of loyalty. But I must admit I don’t understand why some people remain loyal to the President and Melania.
As I was watching the mob take over the Capitol Building I was almost in tears. At that point, one of the correspondents announced that the First Lady’s Chief of Staff, Stephanie Grisham, had resigned "effective immediately.” My first thought was, Could the woman who helped Melania pick out her I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U? jacket be resigning because a mob is trying to overturn our government? Is it possible she didn't like what some of them were wearing? I was sick to my stomach seeing their CAMP AUSCHWITZ T-shirts, but I wasn't surprised. Grisham has worked with the Trumps long enough to know that Trump loves neo-Nazis because they love him. She wrote that she was very proud of the accomplishments of the Trump Administration, which was ironic in view of the fact that she was resigning in the middle of one.
The media said that there would be more resignations coming, and sure enough, among them, was the White House Social Secretary, Rickie Nicita, whose resignation was also effective immediately. My guess is that while she was watching the mob, it dawned on her that Trump really had lost the election, and she wasn't going to be the event planner for any more Covid-19 super spreaders or the next White House Easter Egg Hunt.
And the resignations kept on coming. I don’t doubt that some of those resignees were truly upset by what they'd witnessed at the Capitol Building, but I couldn't help but wonder if they didn’t wish they had joined the Lincoln Project months earlier.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned and said the attack "has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside". She failed to mention that her husband, Mitch McConnell, helped create the Trump monster. And oh yes, that she learned the day before the attack that Mitch was no longer going to be the Senate Majority leader, in large part because of Trump.
And then there was the resignation letter I found the most ironic, the one written by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who, along with her family, had paid millions of dollars to have Trump appoint her to destroy public schools. She wrote that "impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us. I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgment and model the behavior we hope they would emulate." Maybe DeVos doesn’t know that she and her family contributed to political organizations that encouraged people armed with assault weapons to storm Michigan's Capitol with their "impressionable children” and declare they have a constitutional right to spread Covid-19 throughout the state. Hopefully, millions of parents will now find it easier to keep their children from emulating Trump (and her).
But it was former Attorney General Bill Barr's press release the day after the mob takeover that made it necessary for me to remove all sharp objects from the room; I was flailing around so much, I thought I could hurt myself. Barr, who resigned just before Christmas, said that Donald Trump's actions in orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is “inexcusable” and ]"a betrayal of his office and supporters.” Prior to his tardy resignation, Barr did everything he could to create Trump's dream of a lawless presidency, including interfering with investigations of Trump, and trying to ruin the lives of the President’s enemies. Barr lied for Trump on countless occasions, and the only difference between him and Trump was he couldn't bring himself to lie and say there was widespread evidence of election fraud. That, and the fact that Barr doesn’t color his hair with mascara, are the only things that distinguish him from Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
Of all of these deathbed conversions, though, I'm most frustrated by the anonymous sources who have confided to the press that Trump has been “mentally incapacitated” since the election. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that one GOP source who speaks with Trump regularly told him that Trump is "out of his mind.” I can't stand these anonymous "we've always known he's crazy" confessions. During the past four years, I have told hundreds of people that Trump is crazy, and I've never done it anonymously. I expect that some people in the Administration are going to falsely claim that they were anonymous sources, because they're embarrassed they stayed loyal to Trump. ("I swear I never liked him.")
In the meantime, I’m paying close attention to the people who have not resigned. I suspect they're hoping Trump will issue them preemptive pardons before they go.
Is Stephen Miller still there?
Merrill Hansen is a legal assistant, living in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She describes herself as a frustrated writer, who wishes she could be Nora Ephron (when she was alive), if only for a day. She is a news-, political- and FB-junkie, a combination that requires a constant reminder that she needs to take deep cleansing breaths when responding to people who don't agree with her.