Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
Today is Groundhog Day, but in this strange new world of the United States of Trump I always feel like I am waking up to Groundhog Day. A President and administration that has been the subject of numerous real scandals, a President who has told over 2000 verifiable lies and counting barely a year into office, and a Congress, especially the GOP majority in the House of Representatives that has bound themselves to those scandals, lies, and possible treason by their actions that appear to be assisting in the obstruction of justice.
I could go into all of that but there is so much going on. The biggest event will happen today Congressman Devin Nunes releases a secret report with the approval of the President attacking the veracity and integrity of the investigation of Special Prosecutor Robert Muller of potentially illegal and maybe even treasonous actions by numerous members of the Trump Campaign staff. Including some who became members of the administration like the Bungee-National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. As a former Republican I never in a million years expected Republicans to so shamelessly discredit the FBI, other intelligence agencies and the Department of Justice. So much for all that I believed about Republicans respecting the Rule of Law.
Then there is the mutual admiration society that White Supremacists and neo-Nazis like former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke , Richard Spencer and the publisher of the neo-Nazi The Stormer Andrew Anglin seen to have with the President.
But that’s not all, we have a Republican Paul Nehlen running to oppose Paul Ryan in Michigan who is so anti-Semitic that he divides his critics into two categories; Jews and non-Jews. We have the leader of the GOP controlled Pennsylvania State House who is refusing to implement the order of the State Supreme Court to redraw gerrymandered congressional districts before the 2018 mid-term elections. In Missouri there is a GOP State Representative named Rick Brattin who has stated that human beings are different than LTBTQ people.
Even after the defeat of Roy Moore in Alabama there are two Federally convicted felons running for the Senate, Joe Arapaio in Arizona, and Don Blankenship, former Chairman & CEO of Massey Energy in West Virginia. Arapaio was convicted of civil rights violations as Sheriff of Maricopa County and pardoned by President Trump. Blankenship was convicted for conspiracy to violate mandatory federal mine safety and health standards, conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials, making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as securities fraud after 29 coal miners were killed in Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.
Then there is the GOP Congressman Scott DeJarlais from Tennessee who paid a mistress to have an abortion despite the fact that he is a married supposedly “pro-life” Evangelical Christian. He wasn’t alone Congressman Tim Murphy , another pro-life Republican did the same. But that doesn’t matter because Christian preachers like Tony Perkins and Franklin Graham are willing to give the President a “gimme” for an affair with a porn star after his third wife and now First Lady Melania had given birth to his son, and that he has been a serial adulterer cheating on all of his wives.
If all of these events were were isolated instances or aberrations one might be able to shrug their shoulders and sigh, but they are just a few of many more that could be named.
Thus today when I think of Groundhog Day I realize that I and yes you too are doomed to endure it for I think will be a minimum of three more years, and by that time the damage to the very fabric of our Republic will surely last for the rest of my lifetime, if not far longer.
I wish that things were different, but as Timothy Snyder noted, it only takes about a year for an authoritarian to take over or fundamentally change a country.
It’s been a year and the President’s attacks on the Constitution, the legal system, the judiciary, Federal Law Enforcement, the free press, African American sports figures, America’s allies, as well as any opponent while backed by his party and a third of the electorate mean that this is not going to end anytime soon.
I am not optimistic and wonder when the President will be afforded the chance for his own Reichstag Fire event, something that he seems to have its upsides. Let’s not even talk about the coming war with North Korea tonight.
So anyway, until tomorrow, Happy Groundhog Day.