The watchers are awakened

The watchers are awakened

I was out of pocket most of yesterday, so I had to catch up on news rather quickly.

The one piece of news which stood out for me is encapsulated in this tweet:

I don't normally do this in a piece, but I will quote in full from his letter in the Washington Post.

Dear Mr. President:

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.

A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.

Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.

If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.

This is the caliber of leader speaking out against the putative authoritarianism of Donald Trump. Trump thinks that because he purloined the office of the presidency, that he's due the respect of the office. But he's done absolutely nothing to earn that respect. In fact, he has done everything to sully the office, making it a cheap bauble for pettifoggers and scaramouches. He is nothing but a clown. not fit to command the men and women of the armed forces, not fit to represent this nation on the foreign stage, not fit to hold any office of responsibility in this republic. 

By revoking John Brennan's security clearance, he thought he was dealing a blow to a critic. But Brennan's auctoritas derives not from his security clearance, but from the decades of service he has rendered to this state, to administrations of both parties. He has earned a respect which Trump will never earn, because Trump has no notion of self-sacrifice, of service to a higher cause, of self-abnegation. And by revoking his clearance, what Trump has done is finally turn the "deep state" against him fully. These are public servants who have given their lives for a calling, a calling which Trump refused with his spurious bone spurs. Trump is not fit to kiss the feet of a servicemember. By every action denigrating those who have true patriotism, he is sealing his own fate. 

Some say that Trump will never see a day in jail. I'm starting to disagree. His transgressions against the the Republic are such that only a jail term will wash away the stain. And his attacks on those who protect and serve this nation encourage them to seek that that penalty be inflicted upon him. A year ago, I would have grudgingly assented that he wouldn't see a prison. Now, he's crossed a Rubicon, and unlike Caesar, all he has behind him is Sean Hannity and a mouth-breathing following who will bellow but rear in fear when confronted with the anger of a righteous nation.

Attacking John Brennan may seem like a trivial, petty matter. But the repercussions may in fact make it be his Waterloo.



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