Words cannot begin to describe the joy of being a liberal during this time. Not just a liberal, but an anti-conservative. If there is a God in Heaven, then he has delivered American conservatism into my hands. To observe daily the self-immolation of this wretched enterprise does not merely gladden my heart., it invokes in me a lust to see their blood. The kowtowing to ancient mythology, the self-righteous disdain of those at social disadvantage, the homage paid to ingrained self-deception, the sacrifice of truth on the altar of greed–these are the institutions of American conservatism being corroded from within by an object of its creation. And that object is President Donald J. Trump.
The final crack may have come last week when that which had been generously put off as a personal idiosyncrasy was revealed to be the President’s working asset. When President Trump secluded himself inside the Oval Office with the Russian foreign minister along with a known Russian spy, excluding American media representatives, but welcoming in the state-run Russian press, the optics were foreboding. At the time I feigned a lack of concern, avowing that was ahead of the game, already conversant in what may be the new national language. Of course I was joking, since I am not fluent in Russian, nor do I expect Russian to soon become the lingua franca. It was just a bit of fun.
The fun is over, and so may be the party. Both The New York Times and The Washington Post report that at this meeting, with only Russian reporters making videos and taking photographs, President Trump bragged to his perceived friends of certain American intelligence, intelligence so secret that its revelation endangers our relationship with the country that supplied the intelligence and possibly endangers the lives of those collecting the intelligence on the ground. From the Times:
WASHINGTON — President Trump boasted about highly classified intelligence in a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week, providing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected, a current and a former American government official said Monday.
The intelligence disclosed by Mr. Trump in a meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was about an Islamic State plot, according to the officials. A Middle Eastern ally that closely guards its own secrets provided the information, which was considered so sensitive that American officials did not share it widely within the United States government or pass it on to other allies.
Mr. Trump’s disclosure does not appear to have been illegal — the president has the power to declassify almost anything. But sharing the information without the express permission of the ally who provided it was a major breach of espionage etiquette, and could jeopardize a crucial intelligence-sharing relationship.
By just about every account, this was a major FUBAR. The President’s response was characteristic:
4:03 AM – 16 May 2017
This morning I gagged at the response of one conservative pundit on TV. The outrage was not against a President who colluded with this nation’s enemies. Instead, the cry was repeated, “Who leaked this supposedly private conversation?” Really? You have to ask? Could have been some concerned participant from the White House staff. Could have been the Russians.
President Trump reminds us of his legal right to divulge classified information to governments not friendly to this country. And I remind supporters of this man, those who trumpeted his qualities in the face of a continual string of lies and outrageous behavior on the campaign trail, those who bought into the false claims of misconduct by opponent Hillary Clinton, chanting along with the candidate and along with now disgraced General Michael Flynn, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” Your moral outrage is now revealed to be a sham, perpetrated to justify your inner demons, to make yourselves comfortable with your prejudices.
Conservative Facebook friends who supported this phony undertaking and participated by posting insults against the sitting president and his wife, including comparisons to disreputable animal life, these same conservative friends, as soon as I responded in valid and egregious critiques of candidate Trump, ever so quickly disappeared from my Facebook feed. So often is wretched philosophy coupled with abject cowardliness.
To conservatives who supported the Trump candidacy, who voted for him, who still hang on his false promise, I wish you a long and fretful life. Were you to pass today from this world, I would be the one who mourns most deeply, having been deprived of the pleasure of watching as you squirm in a miserable world of your own making.
And that’s just me at my most pleasant.