Carnes: Diddle in the middle with a fiddle
Surprise, surprise: The real impeachment debacle begins Tuesday, officially.
Sure, the House has already impeached Trump, and no amount of tweeting — even in ALL CAPS — will ever remove the humbling and bouncing asterisk from future history books and websites.
But Phase Two kicks into high gear Tuesday, and what happens from this point forward is anyone’s guess, no matter how hard the spin doctors attempt to sway the masses.
So will it all be over by Wednesday, or will we be forced to endure month after month of each side spinning its latest version of “The Truth” to the point of not a single American understanding what the hell is really going on?
At which point not a single American will really actually care either, except those deeply entrenched on both sides.
Each equally guilty of instantly stirring even the tiniest of issues into a complex geopolitical hodgepodge of goulash meant to satisfy only the tiniest of hungers.
And most of us aren’t even hungry.
What I hunger for, and what bothers me the most about this entire internationally embarrassing situation, is how no one here in Happy Valley ever runs defense for Trump.
It’s all over-reactive offense, attack-attack-attack, but never defend and comes down to, or at least the closest thing to an extremely limited defense I ever hear is, “Ignore what he says, but look what he’s done.”
OK, but the only thing the xenophobic child breaks faster than promises are marriage vows, and his drooling cult followers never seem to care.
From Mexican walls to American health care to our ballooning national debt, virtually none of his major promises have actually been accomplished, unless one counts more illegals, fewer citizens with health care and a 25% increase in national debt as accomplishments.
But to quickly recap what “he’s done,” ignore unemployment, which has been trending down since 2011, and that other constantly referenced barometer of how “all things must be good if …” — the stock market, which has been trending up during the same time period.
To wit: Credit card debt is near an all-time high, with delinquency rates increasing over 25% just since 2016.
In the past four months the Fed has increased the size of its balance sheet by 11%, the fastest rate it has printed money in our history, via the “repo market,” a form of short-term borrowing mainly involving government securities.
In other words, printing money devalues currency.
This is bad.
This is really bad.
And to top it all off, worldwide trust in the United States has plummeted by more than 50% since 2016, the sharpest drop of any nation in the 2020 Best Countries report.
This is downright embarrassingly bad.
So as Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell are busy promoting smugness to their respective bases, debating furiously over whether witnesses can be used during a damn trial (of all things), and Trump is busy golfing, tweeting, whining and creating childish nicknames for foes, all three are busy diddling around and fiddling with egos while Rome is preparing to burn down to the ground. And yet none will bother to defend what the man has “done.”
I’ve never felt so Roman.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.