A long-time famous columnist with a large vocabulary lost his you-know-what with the latest – what’s the word, antics? lies? degradations? or depredations? or both, or all of the above? — committed by the current occupant of the Oval Office and the famous columnist wrote these three paragraphs which some (not me) might view as intemperate:
The president’s provocations — his coarsening of public discourse that lowers the threshold for acting out by people as mentally crippled as he — do not excuse the violent few. They must be punished. He must be removed. …
This unraveling presidency began with the Crybaby-in-Chief banging his spoon on his highchair tray to protest a photograph — a photograph — showing that his inauguration crowd the day before had been smaller than the one four years previous.
And, soon after in the same column:
This weak person’s idea of a strong person, this chest-pounding advertisement of his own gnawing insecurities, this low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron.
Which squishy liberal said this about Donald John Trump? I won’t drag it out any longer. It was columnist George F. Will of the Washington Post, a long-time leader of American conservatism who still sets the standard for conservative thought and argumentation among those who haven’t traded in their lifelong principles for Trumpian lies, insults and other expostulations.
George F’ing Will wrote the above. Pardon me while I collect my jaw off the floor. I was aware that Will disapproved of Trump, but didn’t realize he was in the running for demolisher-in-chief.
Will has not been a rider on the Trump Train. But he has grown ever stronger in his denunciations, and the last few days of Trumpian offenses against many traits and ideas that Will holds dear led him to write the paragraphs above, and he went further, urging voters to vote out all members of Congress who have been riding on said train. Or, as Will put it, right-thinking voters must:
dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting.
Senate Republicans must be routed, as condign punishment for their Vichyite collaboration, leaving the Republican remnant to wonder: Was it sensible to sacrifice dignity, such as it ever was, and to shed principles, if convictions so easily jettisoned could be dignified as principles, for … what? Praying people should pray, and all others should hope: May I never crave anything as much as these people crave membership in the world’s most risible deliberative body.
I’ve seen the word “condign,” but never used it. To be sure, my online dictionary elucidates that it refers specifically to a deserved punishment, appropriate to the crime or wrongdoing.
I suspect I’ve read a few thousand George Will columns in my many days. I don’t recall ever seeing him this angry, disgusted nor calling for a rout of Republicans who, although Will didn’t mention it explicitly, would likely be replaced by members of some other party.
Will, a highly literary fellow, still in the same column, worked his way around to a few final nouns and adjectives describing some combination of Trump and his Republican enablers, and then to an excerpt from a famous T.S. Eliot poem titled “The Hollow Men.” Thus:
A political party’s primary function is to bestow its imprimatur on candidates, thereby proclaiming: This is who we are.
In 2016, the Republican Party gave its principal nomination to a vulgarian and then toiled to elect him. And to stock Congress with invertebrates whose unswerving abjectness has enabled his institutional vandalism, who have voiced no serious objections to his Niagara of lies, and whom T.S. Eliot anticipated:
“We are the hollow men . . .
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
or rats’ feet over broken glass’ . . .”
I mention this one last time: The above-referenced columns is from George Will, the high falutin’, bow-tie wearing, bespectacled guy you’ve read and seen on TV all these years as the voice and conscience of principled conservatism.