Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Friday, May 12, 2017

MOMENTARY UPDATE

I have hesitated to blog about the firing of Comey and the extraordinary series of events that have followed because anything I might write is superseded by revelations before my two fat forefingers can hammer out a comment.  But I think I have an obligation to say something, so herewith several observations.

First, for my younger readers who do not remember Watergate or even Iran Contra, the speed with which this is all unfolding is like nothing we have ever seen before.  In the two days that I was away, there have been three or four twists and turns.  If your familiarity with Watergate is All The President’s Men, recall that from burglary to resignation was thirteen months, during which an entire presidential election took place.   I honestly do not believe this will continue for another three or four months before some explosive resolution occurs.

It is patently obvious that Trump is covering up something that he is terrified to have revealed.  What is it?  I do not know.  He is unstable, authoritarian, frightened, blustery, crafty in a small way but not at all clever in a large strategic fashion.  He literally just makes stuff up.  As I watched the Lester Holt interview, he seemed to be inventing imaginary details on the fly to flesh out his lies.  He claimed that Comey assured him he was not under investigation.  When Holt rather skillfully pressed him for details, you could see him inventing the two phone calls as additions to the dinner, which actually took place.  “Did you call him, or did he call you?” Holt asked.  Trump, on the spot, made up the answer, “Once I called him, and once he called me.”  I would bet the ranch that is simply false.  Not a lie.  That would presuppose that Trump knows the difference between truth and falsehood.

Why is it important?  Well, one simple reason is that if Trump gets away with it, we are on the road to dictatorship.  I mean that quite seriously.  We are on the edge right now.  If he gets away with it, this behavior will become the new normal.

A second reason is that Trump and the Republicans want to do a great many simply horrible things.  Trump's cabinet of deplorables have already begun, and they will continue to do grave harm to countless millions of people, but many of the worst things they want to do require legislation, and Trump’s behavior is weakening their ability to legislate.  In the present climate, there will be no tax bill, no faux infrastructure corporate giveaway, no repeal of legislative protections to LGBT Americans [although there will be a great deal of weakening of those protections through simple non-enforcement of existing laws.]

I am apprehensive that Trump will actually behave so self-destructively that he is removed from office too long in advance of the 2018 mid-term elections.  It would be a great relief if the Democrats can take back the House, and as things are going now, that looks more and more possible.  But if he is gone by the Fall, Pence will settle in and the Republicans will proceed to pass one horrific bill after another.

This is an ugly country, for all its pretensions at moral world leadership.  No matter how well this turns out, that fundamental fact will continue to be true.


What will this evening or tomorrow bring?  I honestly have no idea.

3 comments:

David Palmeter said...

Trump fits Harry Frankfurter's definition of a bullshitter to a T. A liar cares about the truth in order to avoid it. A bullshitter doesn't care one way or the other. He will say whatever he thinks will work at the moment.

Jerry Fresia said...

I am pleased to see that the emphasis on Russia-gate seems to be shifting from an"attack" on our elections to a Russian mafiosi entanglement with Trump, possibly centering on money laundering.

I am not optimistic about Trump being removed anytime soon or at all, unless The Donald can be caught with his pants down or exposed as a crooked mobster. Americans seem to respond more
to repugnant personal behavior than to the possibility that Russians meddled in our elections. Voter suppression is so varied and massive, and the general obstacles to voting so much a part of our political culture, it is not surprising that the claim that the Russians influenced the outcome by hacking into the DNC seems has been greeted with a yawn by most voters,. (Note: Kris Kobach of interstate-crosscheck fame has just been hired by Trump to meddle with the 2018 elections and leading Democrats don't raise an eyebrow.) My guess is that Democrats understand this dynamic and have something juicy up their sleeve. My bet would be sexual misconduct charges against Flynn and money laundering charges for The Donald - ahem, the President.

Jerry Fresia said...

PS This is what Dutch TV is saying:

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/watch-explosive-dutch-documentary-says-trump-has-deep-ties-to-russias-mafia-underworld/