Witness–The Indictment II

A lot of feelings.

It echoes my previous assessment for the NY-related indictment:

This is definitely more substantial. I mean, logarithmically more substantial. Watched MSNBC as soon as we heard, which was maybe an hour, hour and a half after the fact and watched it until midnight. Thoughts:

  • How can the commentators have anything to say?! He crimed so obviously that elaboration is redundant.
  • And yet… they actually had much that was insightful to say.
  • Who else was in the conspiracy? That is a fascinating aspect.
  • Jesus Christ espionage?!?!?
  • Venue of Miami is a ballsy move. T’s home turf and Jack Smith went there instead of NYC/Washington. Ball-Sy. He is very confident of what he’s got.
  • There is no defense and his lawyers are clowns.
  • Sad day for our country because it suggests the presidency is a corruptible figurehead? Fuck you, it’s a happy day. Recently Claire McCaskill said of Pence’s, and those other asshole’s, rehabilitation tour: you don’t get a pass. Where were your morals when you were next to this corrupted man and you said nothing? Again: Fuck. You.
  • The defenses that his lawyers were presenting, at least in the press, were comical. “It’s not a crime because the documents were copies and not the originals.” I. Fucking. Love. That.
Yes, those are Biden Inauguration glasses.

We watched three or so hours of MSNBC and were not disappointed. I still have many questions about aspects that are not clear in my head, but it helps to get a basic framework of understanding. Side Note: Stephanie Rhule has more legal and incisive acumen than I knew. I may need to watch more of her.

The facial expressions of all involved were hilarious.


Witness–The Indictment

Running a long string of failed tests with a coworker and there’re only two tests left. Looking hopeless. As test T-minus-1 is running, he sends me the AP news and I reply “if this test works I’m going to pass out.” Lisa had just poured a drink minutes before the news because she’s leaving for a long weekend in Baton Rouge tomorrow and it’s her First Friday. It’s my coworker’s wedding anniversary. It’s my niece’s birthday. Top story on Reddit before the news was the celebration of the birthday of a Redditor’s grandmother’s 100th birthday.

And Mother Fucking Trump is Mother Fucking Indicted.

Credit where credit is due: the first thing my coworker said was we need to drink Manhattans tonight.

6:00 PM

Much like my interaction with my brother on Victory Over Fascism Day (when the election was called for Biden), celebration can be simple:

(Side note: I was thinking this morning about what my next compositional work would be and it often goes to write-what-you-know, and thus for me to such life-changing events as Those Four Years or The Year of Pestilence or The Year of the Flood (personal) or Our Burgeoning Civil War. Ultimately, I’ve done this before and so must find another inspiration no matter the intrusive resonance of these events.)

OMG same building where the Central Park Five were arraigned in. Jesus Fucking Christ this is beautiful.

Please, please, please, take out a full page ad and do that GoFundMe thing.

7:30 PM

I can’t, can not, focus on a depressing endgame with this. The indictment is not a guarantee but it’s a move forward and, more important at this point in these hours after the event, a move forward that can be celebrated for how far it’s gone.

Joy Reid is speaking with a (Jewish) Lawyer. Oh my, how do you respond as a Jew, or as anyone but you-know-what-I-mean, to the DeSantis references to “Soros-backed-investigations”?! Often I think about Those Four Years and how it was a master class to me, as a White Male, to appreciate what black people and Jews and LGBTQs and whoever, go through, and just how much I’m not prepared for it and how much I now look to them to give me insight into how to survive. How to survive mentally. How do you survive the garish lawlessness? I’m not sure I can justify it logically, but Those Four Years made me feel as if justice had become not only meaningless but anarchic. And yet I’ve always appreciated empathetically the anguish that minority or marginalized groups must go through. They experience it from birth to death. Trump’s decisions absolutely never affected me, but they were such a surfacing and normalization of the ideas that were so completely repugnant, that I felt that they affected me (again, I say this without the naivety of an oblivious white male).

8:00 PM

I am told of a “perp walk” and as much as we salivate for the “perp walk” I also understand the need for circus-less-ness. Jesus Christ the security that will be needed.

I won’t be able to find it, but I often think of Tom Nichols’ essay on how Trump has made us all lesser socially and lesser morally. I want the worst for Trump. I want the greatest pain for him. And I hope I can facility the worst for his followers. I think of myself as a humanist and humane and my desire for cruelty to another is discomfiting morally. But maybe I think too charitably of myself when I’ve also often said “It’s always OK to punch a Nazi.”

8:20 PM

And maybe this is the day that moralists and those who are moral realize that it is always OK to punch Nazis.

Conservative judgement and the convenience of power

The Hershel Walker thing has prompted a minor revelation.

The most egregious laws (ok, a subset of egregious laws) are those that are regularly broken without repercussion. These are the “soft” laws that include jay walking (illegal) or driving over 55 (illegal). Everyone does it; everyone is a criminal. But the exercise of them and subsequently the exercise of subsequent “probable cause”s are a convenient path to selective enforcement. When the police can choose who they deem criminal, above a low bar of criminality that is regularly ignored, the police have the power and not the laws.

The canonical example for me is the 55 mph speed limit. I don’t know how many times or for how long I’ve broken the law. As has (let’s face it, a far majority) everyone else. So its ubiquitousness is such that we seldom consider that it’s a breach of the law. Nine times… ninety-nine times out of a total there is no consequence and no expectation of consequence.

Unless you’re black.

So, yes, we are wary at 59 mph and above, but let’s face it: when you’re in a group of cars all going the same illegal speed you’re not too concerned.

Unless you’re black. Or brown (let’s be realistic).

So this recent completely-expected-but-still-absurdly-frustrating situation where Herschel Walker is not only forgiven for his ongoing lies and endemic Religious Right Defined amorality is a point of both befuddlement at best and un-surprise at worst… since even though we don’t expect morality from the self-appointed gatekeepers of morality we still can be aghast-by-proxy for their brazenness. It is crazy-making.

So now we have Walker’s seed spreading peccadilloes. Just what you’d expect from the moral majority to racewash to their convenience.

And this seems the reciprocal of the 55 mph law: you define a restriction that everyone will naturally elide from their moral vocabulary because it is a societal norm, and that then allows you to selectively enforce. To your own benefit.

The conservatives, and any Moral High-Grounders, have always used this approach to subjugate the Other while absolving themselves. Transgression becomes perversion for those they want to dehumanize but redemption for themselves. Walker has said he regrets his choices and has chosen a new, moral path.

This is just an example of selective law enforcement manifest as selective morality and it works to demonize a group or a race or a gender. This is an ageless problem but as it is, America as a country will not survive it’s current virulent manifestation.

Here’s to being wrong: 🍸