“English Is My Native Tongue”
With those words, Senator Everett Dirksen disarmed a witness before his committee investigating President Richard Nixon’s coverup of the Watergate scandal. I was reminded of that repartee on hearing the questioning of James Comey by the second ranking Republican on the Senate committee investigating possible Russian tampering in the U.S. election last year.
The position of this second ranking Republican was very clear: his job was to protect the President from charges of obstruction of justice. The method he chose was to make the point that no prosecutor would try to get a conviction of the President based upon Comey’s testimony that the President had said to him, in a private meeting, “I hope you will see your way not to pursue the investigation of Flynn,” or words to that effect. The aforementioned Republican’s emphasis lay on the President’s use of the word “hope.” His point was that the President’s expression of “hope” was not an attempt to give an instruction to his then FBI director to lay off Flynn.
If only Comey had had the presence of mind to quote Dirksen.
I mean, who who treats English as his native tongue would not have known what the President meant? Assuming the President’s native tongue is English.
That English might not be the President’s native tongue follows simply from listening to him a bit. Following Comey’s testimony, for instance, the President promised to reveal whether there really are tapes of the meeting with Comey “over a very short time” when the only phrase involving the word “time” which made sense in the context was “in a very short time,” which differs only in the preposition.
Alone this is not a lot of evidence, But the tweets of the President all contribute to the image of a nutcase that means something different from what he says. What he is really saying is always that he is more powerful than you. And he was long before he became President, for the simple reason that he had more money than you, even then, most likely.
How did we ever get to this place? I’ve been trying to read Thomas Friedman’s latest book, “Thank You For Being Late.” I say “trying” since I doubt I will be able to finish it. Like his earlier works, such as “The world is Flat,” the premise is very compelling, but the style moves me not at all. I just can’t get into him. In this case the premise, based only upon the first chapter or so I’ve completed so far, seems to be that things are changing so fast none of us can keep up with it. Definitely true of me.
I had hoped to read enough to see his proposed solution for the problem, but I am quickly losing my drive. It’s all I can do to keep up with Trump. I suppose that is at the root of the problem. It certainly seems to be at the root of Trump’s strategy. I’m so tired of hearing his voice that I am ready to let him rule the world, if that’s what he wants, just so he’ll shut up.
But that is hardly an adequate response. For one thing, he’s not going to shut up. He’ll just crow the louder. For another, he’s not going to get in sync with reality unless reality gets in sync with him.
The guy is just crazy. Impeach him while we still have a chance.