|"THE NIGHTMARE" BY MARK BRYAN|
By HUGH C. CUTLER
(DECEMBER 1, 2017)
At the tail of this momentous day in our national experience, I'm left with an awkward feeling of suspension, of unrealized but perilous portent – and some measure of disappointment. First (and someday a decade along we might declare this still more confounding), I watched as the Republican majority of the world's purportedly "greatest deliberative body" cut-and-pasted together a grab-bag of special-interest gifts for its grandest donors – some hand-written in the margins by favored lobbyists – and did its level best to whisk it past any protest within hours of its distribution.
The ghosts of this tax measure will haunt middle-class and poorer taxpayers a decade hence, when the minuscule individual breaks evaporate, while those for the corporations and fat cats live on indefinitely. Meanwhile, the $1 trillion-plus budget hole created by this "Christmas Tree" measure is likely soon to force onerous entitlement cuts for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security recipients.
In Pollyanna fashion, I'd long hoped that the dysfunction of the Trump administration coupled with the riven GOP ranks would make majority accord on any such Treasury robbery an idle conservative pipe-dream. But the Repubs' so-called "deficit hawks" swallowed their principles to appease their deep-pocketed campaign underwriters to screw the rest of us. Amen.
Regarding the historic day's other mind-blowing headline, one might like to think that the perjury guilty plea and agreement to cooperate by former Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn will become, as historian Michael Beschloss opined tonight, just as crucial as the day John Dean turned state's evidence against Richard Nixon.
Yet so far, that portent is merely a tangible prospect. Some retributive part of me wishes that a conspiratorial ass like Flynn would ultimately get his just desserts: something like the "lock her up" that he directed and parroted toward Hillary Clinton from the 2016 GOP national convention dais.
If Flynn, as proposed, can drop the dime that ejects and banishes Donald Trump from the Peoples' House, providing the appropriate foundation for the impeachment articles that all can agree are too seditious to deny any longer, I'll be forced to stomach Flynn's skating off on this one count of lying to the FBI, which is apt to get him less than five years and perhaps even a suspended sentence. God will deal with him.
Flynn once apparently served his country well, and only in recent years did he turn more manic and treasonous, his former compatriots suggest. Lately merely an evil and crazy man, he doesn't hold a candle to the delusion, duplicity, greed, hedonism, misogyny and pathological narcissism that 27 psychiatric experts recently chronicled in a published tome that deems Trump not just unfit for office, but actually perhaps a threat to be walking around loose among civilized citizens.
So even though I'll raise a Kentucky whiskey toast to Mr. Mueller and his persistent partners for their yeoman's work until today and hereafter, I'll heave a breath of anticipation for more finality in days to come – and for the severest possible comeuppance to all those, in the White House and in Congress, who choose to forget the promise and ideals that the Founders left for us to treasure and preserve.
HUGH C. CUTLER, A CAREER JOURNALIST, WAS THE DISTINGUISHED LONGTIME NATIONAL EDITOR OF THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE