Saturday, November 23, 2019

Dedicated Public Servants: the Antidote to Trump

The Trump/Pence regime and its entourage of grifters and crooks is a huge malignancy on America.  It is like watching a crime syndicate writ large except that even in "The Godfather,"  Don Vito Corleone had some shred of principles.  Trump has none.   This past week in sharp contrast, Americans got to witness the testimony of career diplomats and public servants who  take their jobs and duties seriously and adhere to a code of duty, honor, country. The contrast between these individuals and Trump - and Devin Nunes based on the new CNN reporting - could not be more stark.  We need more of these people in government and in politics if we are to save the nation and its soul.  Andrew Sullivan notes this in column in New York Magazine that focuses in particular on Fiona Hill who dismantled the lies and obfuscation being put worth by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee.  Here are excerpts: 
I’ve been in Britain, so it was tough to give this week’s impeachment hearings the attention they deserve. But one obvious theme has emerged: the imperturbability, professionalism, and courage of the women who have testified. When I sat down last night and watched some of the footage of Fiona Hill online, I was gobsmacked.
One of the wretched things about the last few years has been following and staying sane in the blizzard of bluster, misinformation, gaslighting, conspiracy theories, and the actual empirical, complex reality we have been confronted with. To keep one’s focus while enduring this torrent of deliberate confusion and competing narratives has been extremely hard.
But not for Hill.
Watching her listen carefully to Castor and Nunes’s questions and arguments, and then just as carefully, methodically dismantle them was a kind of cleansing shower in an impossibly humid summer. Her clear distinction between national security and a “domestic errand” is at the heart of the profound corruption in this presidency, and I have simply never seen it expressed so coherently and plainly.
This is why we needed impeachment hearings. We can see this “deep state” for the patriotic professionals so many of them are. We can pierce through the propaganda and see the Washington that many of us who live there have always seen: countless quiet, principled public servants, usually genuinely seeking the public good. Yes, there are many, many cronies and lobbyists and swamp-dwellers as well. But they are outnumbered.
And to see how these people have had to endure a president this deranged, this indifferent to the truth, this craven toward the enemies of the United States because they can be assets for his domestic political purposes is to experience the appropriate amount of anger toward the damage he has done. It feels like a moment to me.
And it is right and just that it has been women who have faced down this belligerent, blustering tyrant. And not just women but immigrant women, whose commitment to this country and its ideals can often be more intense than those of the native born.
She knows what’s at stake. And she has done her part. It gives me hope, I guess. Hope that we can, in fact, expose and defeat this malignancy at the heart of our democracy.
If we see Trump as the poison he truly is, we have now also seen something else. We have seen the antidote. 

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