Had enough excitement this week?
We’ve watched a couple of 5-year-olds with nuclear weapons trading schoolyard threats; Illinois schools held hostage to the governor’s pique; a plan to give the fun-loving Blackwater gang military and diplomatic control of Afghanistan; and a serious, realistic assessment of our climate prospects leaked for fear it would be kept from public knowledge.
What else? Oh, yes: the probe into Russia’s meddling in the last election now involves a criminal grand jury and pre-dawn raids by the F.B.I.
That’s enough for me just now.
It is difficult to write in measured terms when governance — what remains of it — is continuing to fragment and our leaders seem incapable of rational behavior.
Donald Trump is a one-man vaudeville show that offers contrasting, noisy, brightly lit acts; ones that command our attention and absorb the media. It is a show that delights his partisans and appalls his detractors. But as dangerous and mercurial as his behavior has been, the real action is backstage, where some fundamental changes are taking place.
We read of hundreds of government positions yet to be filled and we take that as a sign of ineptitude and passivity. It is actually a silent wrecking ball. You don’t have to take the dramatic action of eliminating an agency; you can let it wither from within. And that’s what’s happening.
The State Department has been reduced to Secretary Rex Tillerson’s briefcase. (To his credit, he stays calm when the president explodes.) The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back procedures to preserve the quality of air, water, and soil. The Department of Education is working to cripple our proud heritage of public schools, while getting a healthy assist in Illinois from Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Meanwhile, Congress continues to wrestle with its principal goal: paying back its…