Holes are in Houses, and a Lie is a Lie

Trump protests in West Palm Beach (Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP)

New Orleans  If it weren’t so pathetic, it would be tragic. If it weren’t so harmful and destructive, it would absurdly be funny. This is now what passes for Presidential leadership and the Republican Senatorial enablers, including, shamefully, several from the South, among them notably Tom Cotton from Arkansas to its great embarrassment.

A great ACORN leader in the early days the organization’s history in Arkansas was Bill Whipple, a carpet cleaner, originally from Nebraska. Bill ended up as an elected member of the Pulaski County Quorum Court in the later 1970s. He was infamous for several often repeated one-liners. The one that I would like to share in the wake of the continued reports of ridiculous hair-splitting rather than truth telling, apologizing, and fence mending. Bill used to ask me if I knew the definition of a “rationale?” The answer was supposed to be, “No,” regardless of the number of times he had told me the same story, so that he would then say, “Wade, a rationale is a lie in the skin of a reason.” Yes, exactly, but as Brother Whipple clearly would admonish, still a lie.

So, the spinning and so-called damage control from the White House over President Trump’s racist and ethnic slurs in the immigration meeting has run from “strong language,” supposedly used by one and all, and, frankly, who cares, since there had better be strong language when it comes to finding a solution for 800,000 Dreamers and more than 10 million immigrants, to the aiding and abetting “rationales” from the suddenly memory-restored Senators Cotton and Perdue from Georgia. Originally, Cotton and Perdue were the two monkeys who heard no evil and did not evil. A day later they adopted a new strategy in coordination with the White spinmasters or as we should call them more appropriately ****diggers. Now, they attacked Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham’s versions of the quotes. With their restored memory they were now clear that they heard everything, and it was not as Durbin told or why Graham had risen to challenge the President.

Now a day later, the plot doesn’t thicken so much as it gets waist-deep. Cotton and Perdue’s story is hanging by the thinnest layer of toilet paper. Reportedly their rationalization is based on the fact that they heard Trump say African and other countries were “shithouse” countries, rather than “shithole” countries. This now defines a distinction without a difference.

Still 100% racist, no question about that. There will be no African country or leaders from Haiti for example, who will now say, “Oh, hey, no problem, sure we’re definitely not shithole countries, but we’re OK, being called shithouse countries.” Anyone other than perhaps Trump and the White House staff and their enablers, Senators Cotton and Perdue, must be the only people this side of Pennsylvania Avenue and the Trump Tower who don’t know that in an outhouse, the hole is in the house. In fact that’s the whole purpose of the house.

Not only are they all bald-faced liars, but they are so totally out of touch with Americans that they have obviously never been in such a house or they would have all shut their mouths and pleaded for mercy and forgiveness. President Trump is lucky to have Senators Cotton and Perdue handy to wipe up his mess, and, no, I won’t get anymore specific than that, but they all need to come clean before they humiliate themselves, the country, and their states anymore than they already have.

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Please enjoy Sherman Ewing’s Prodigal Son#22: Tombstone.

Thanks to KABF.

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The Difference between Senators Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton

Rally for Haiti on the 8th anniversary of the earthquake in Miami, Fl.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New Orleans   President Trump seems determined to remind the American people and the world that he is a chauvinist and racist, and his recent vulgar and boorish behavior in a White House conference on trying to sort out a deal that includes a government shutdown and a path forward on immigration and the Dreamers is just the most recent example. Trump is by now a known commodity, so we should sadly expect this from him, even as we continue to demand more. We need to worry more about the Trump effect and what it is doing to any semblance of character and dignity in American politics, and there is no better example than the reports that emerge from other witnesses to the Trump tirades and what they reveal.

We could make a point about the fact that Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, long an outspoken advocate for the rights of immigrants broke the code of silence on the meeting, and revealed Trump’s comments to the president’s embarrassment, though it seems not his shame. We won’t do that because he’s a Democrat and some might tune out the message as partisanship. We’re talking about character and dignity as bedrock national principles, so let’s look at two southern senators who were in the room with the President in order to see this more clearly.

Lindsay Graham and Tom Cotton are both Republican Senators and both are from the South, Graham from South Carolina and Cotton from Arkansas. Both are ambitious. Graham had a brief run for President, losing in the early primaries. Cotton is widely touted as a wannabe future candidate. Graham has reportedly mended his fences with Trump and become a valued adviser and interpreter for the President, especially on immigration. Cotton has been the subject of numerous media reports that he is the “Trump whisperer” offering a sounding board for the President and hugely influential.

Reports now emerging from the meeting are giving a clearer picture. It turns out that Graham rebutted and chided the President after his racist remarks, correctly saying that “America is an idea not a people.” His comments were reported by others, including Durbin. They were lengthy, well understood and widely heard, just as the President’s remarks were. Cotton on the other hand when asked, claimed that he heard nothing. How is that possible? Was he in another room? Had he left to take a call or visit the washroom? Or, is he just “playing politics” and trying to protect the President and his own policy positions and access to Trump. He has not offered an alibi that I have heard, and likely believes his “see no evil, hear no evil” answer serves as his “no comment” on the whole affair. Several other Republican Senators who were not at the meeting were clear that the President needed to apologize to the American people and other countries that he disparaged. Cotton, continuing to dishonor himself and his state, says no such thing.

Plutarch, centuries ago wrote “a small thing…often makes a greater revelation of character than battles where thousands die.” The one thing that Americans and the world are going to takeaway from the Trump presidency and its horrific escapades is that character is hugely important in the leadership and stewardship of a country and its highest offices. It trumps party, politics, and short term transactional policy points.

A country song has the lines, “if you don’t stand for something, you don’t stand for nothing at all.” Senator Tom Cotton has now proven that he has insufficient character to be in public life and stands for nothing at all aside from his own petty ambition. Trump has proven conclusively that such vacuity disqualifies you for any office and Graham has established that character is a minimum standard for public leadership, no matter what your position.

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