Little Rock Some close readers and listeners may have wondered why the radio silence from me about the rolling document drama? No? Well, regardless, I’m going to weigh in, just as soon as I finish yawning. Basically, I understand that there are documents involved. I understand that these are sometimes important matters of state marked confidential, super-secret, eyes only, and kill-on-sight. I just can’t see the drama in it, and I don’t believe it’s just me having this problem, especially as this issue now spreads like a virus from politician to politician.
Part of this may be personal, and reflect my ultra-casual way of dealing with paperwork. I would have added filing, but I just put all that seems too important to recycle in a box. When that box fills up, I either stack it on top of another box that lived a similar life, or move it to our warehouse in the back of the office. Once upon a time, every year or so, someone would try to sort and file, but that was then, now, for me, it’s the box “system” and pretending that some fine day, in the by and by, maybe when I quit work, or maybe when the archivists from the Wisconsin Historical Society show up, it’ll all get filed in its proper place. In short, I can fully understand how some of these documents crawl under the desk, hide on the shelves, and lie forgotten in various homes and offices.
Sure, President Trump was different. He was clearly hiding some and deliberately took some with him when he left the White House, perhaps even for later sale. The National Archives had also been on his case for years trying to get them back, and he was stiffing them. None of that is good, but compared to all the more major sins of the former president, it’s small potatoes. Furthermore, for him and the rest, the harm quotient is not what was done, but what could have happened. Yet, it didn’t happen, so for all the tut-tut, Trump’s problems and polling didn’t budge a percentage point over the documents. Docu-drama is not on anyone’s top ten issue list now, nor will it ever be.
Now Biden’s lawyers have found documents as well in his old think tank office, in his garage, and, for all I know, in his underwear drawer. Quell, shock. Where’s the surprise? He was in office for eons, and was almost forced marched out of the VP house and offices when the Trump team came in, so there are bound to have been loose ends dragging. Whoops, Mike Pence, Trump’s VP has docs housed in his hideouts as well. Ok, I got it. Paper is a problem.
I’ll take anyone’s bet that if lawyers or the FBI started bloodhounding almost any top cabinet chief, military boss, White House chief of staff, or muckety-muck, they will find government documents, and odds are some of them are going to be marked “Top Secret.” Let’s just admit it: we’re a sloppy bunch. We’re all ashamed and deserve to be scolded, but anyone who believes that Trump, Biden, Pence or anyone else is going to pay a big political price for this with the American people or the voters is dreaming about a different country and world than most of live in.