Why doesn’t somebody do something? by @BloggersRUs

Why doesn't somebody do something?

by Tom Sullivan

A running joke at home is that an exasperated, "Why doesn't somebody do something?" often leads to more personal cost and responsibility. If you're somebody, you do something. Would that more of our leaders on Capitol Hill did. The "personal responsibility" people, especially, seem fresh out.

James Fallows wrote yesterday in The Atlantic that the revelations in Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury are no surprise to anyone in Washington, D.C. or to anyone in political journalism: "Who and what Trump is has been an open secret." The problem is that answer to "Why doesn't somebody do something?" seems to be that those with the power to (the Republican majorities in Congress) have neither the guts nor the integrity. Nor the devotion they solemnly claim to this country.

Fallows writes:

They know what is wrong with Donald Trump. They know why it’s dangerous. They understand—or most of them do—the damage he can do to a system of governance that relies to a surprising degree on norms rather than rules, and whose vulnerability has been newly exposed. They know—or should—about the ways Trump’s vanity and avarice are harming American interests relative to competitors like Russia and China, and partners and allies in North America, Europe, and the Pacific.

They know. They could do something: hearings, investigations, demands for financial or health documents, subpoenas. Even the tool they used against the 42nd president, for failings one percent as grave as those of the 45th: impeachment.

They know. They could and should act. But they don't.
We are watching the political equivalent of the Weinstein board paying off the objects of his abuse. We are watching Fox pay out its tens of millions to O’Reilly’s victims. But we’re watching it in real time, with the secret shared worldwide, and the stakes immeasurably higher.
Wolff writes that those serving in the Trump White House believe the president is incapable of doing the job to which he was elected. In temperament, in maturity, in intellectual capacity, hell, in literacy.

Joe Scarborough writes in the Washington Post about an interview with Trump in which he bluntly asked the candidate for president if he could read:

Mika Brzezinski and I had a tense meeting with Trump following what I considered to be a bumbling debate performance in September 2015. I asked the candidate a blunt question.

“Can you read?”

Awkward silence.

“I’m serious, Donald. Do you read?” I continued. “If someone wrote you a one-page paper on a policy, could you read it?”

Taken aback, Trump quietly responded that he could while holding up a Bible given to him by his mother. He then joked that he read it all the time.

I am apparently not the only one who has questioned the president’s ability to focus on the written word. “Trump didn’t read,” Wolff writes. “He didn’t really even skim. If it was print, it might as well not exist. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semiliterate. Others concluded that he didn’t read because he didn’t have to . . . He was postliterate — total television.”

That's the catch with a system of government relying on established norms almost as much as rules. The Constitution requires a president these days to be "a natural born Citizen" and thirty-five years-old. It says nothing about emotional maturity or being literate. Those are assumed. An informed citizenry is also assumed, as is voters having the wisdom and maturity to elect someone who is intelligent, developmentally fit, and literate.

The reason the majority in Congress cannot be entrusted with removing a semiliterate, authoritarian, emotional toddler from the Oval Office is how closely they reflect the voters who put him there.

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