Reading and watching what is happening under Trump’s presidency is demoralizing. His unbalanced regard for the Constitution, along with the Republican sycophants who refuse to hold him accountable, is beyond distressing, it is downright scary.
Watching a so-called institutionalist such as Mitch McConnell willingly concede so much power to Trump is not only a complete reversal when one considers how he treated Trump’s predecessor. It’s an anathema to what Madison wrote in Federalist 51 about each governmental branch, “keep each other in their proper places?” What is it about Trump that McConnell fears?
After eight years of blocking Obama at every turn, he was overcome with the joy of the prospect of having what he believed would be the pasty Grover Norquist advocated for in his 2012 CPAC Conference speech:
“All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it.”
Trump’s election stunned the country. But energized McConnell. As he realized he now had the opportunity to make Norquist’s words a reality. So like Hrothgar, the King of the Danes from the epic poem Beowulf, “he would allot, to young and old, all the spoils of battle which the Lord had bestowed upon him.”Trump was indeed the “Republican with enough working digits,” Norquist opined for. With Trump’s unexpected win, McConnell found he “was granted such success in battle and glory in combat that all his kin obeyed his bidding, and his band of youthful followers grew to be a mighty army.”
McConnell and his cohorts wasted little time in dishing out the spoils acquired under Trump, tax cuts, deregulation, judges, confirmation of inept and unqualified cabinet members, and department heads. The funny thing about the abundance of riches, it causes those with them to embark on a thorny path of stupidity.
Instead of logically considering how they would handle their newly acquired booty, the Republican trifecta of incompetents (in the White House, Congress, and Senate), they made a mad dash to undo all things Obama with no real plans for recovery if they failed. Nor did the realize what they had in the White House was not a malleable piece of clay they could control, but a “monster, dark as the shadow of death,” that would, “ambushed both young and old and dogged them over mist-covered moorlands, lurking there in the long hours of the night, for men know not where the haunts of these creatures from Hell may be.”
So when things started to fall apart for McConnell, like failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it didn’t take long for McConnell to have his version of Hrothgar’s “dreadful demon that ruled unrighteous and raged against all.” For Hrothgar, his dreadful was Grendel. For Mitch, his dreadful demon is named Donald J. Trump.
Trump and Grendel share a common trait, both are “greedy, and savage, and seek “to inflict grievous injuries upon the people.” Trump will go out of his way to tear down anyone, or anything he believes puts him in a bad light. Or, that exposes his lies, deceit, and abject lust for power. Like Grendel, Trump has no concern for the havoc he unleashes or the destruction it causes even if it rips at the very fabric of our most set of sacred documents, and core beliefs our country hold true to the level it requires all who desire to hold the office he now occupies to take the following oath which he has completely ignored;
I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
So how is it that members of House and Senate take who also swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and consider themselves institutionalists and staunch supporters for the separation of powers as Madison laid out in Federalist 51 “Therefore, the government must be structured, designed, so that the three constitutionally branches and their relationships will have the ability to keep each other in their proper places.”
Suddenly these so-called staunch constitutional institutionalists become weak-kneed jackanapes who willingly modify the to preserve, protect, and defend part with “unless Trump tweets something bad about me.”
Before the tragic events of 9/11, members of the house and senate staunchly held to “the ability to keep each other in their proper place. But after 9/11, hairline fractures within congressional guardianship of separation of powers appeared, and they started granting more of their authority to the office of President than what the Founders laid out. With Trump’s election, it became far more pronounced than it was under Obama. So now with Trump, Mitch McConnell mimics Hrothgar, “often in council with his ministers, seeking advice as to what was best for strong-hearted men to do against the dread of sudden onslaughts.”
Sure, McConnell comes out of this shell to claim all is well, but one can see he and those of the Republican delegation in both the House and Senate are deathly afraid of this modern-day Grendel. Thus Grendel ruled unrighteous and raged against all until empty and deserted stood that best of lordly buildings.
Most all in congress who have an R after then name are afraid to challenge Trump. Fearful, he will send a nasty tweet, and suddenly become a pariah to be primaried. So they forsake their oath of office and replace it with blind loyalty to Trump and allow him to usurp all they swore to protect and defend while McConnell, like Hrothgar, “brooded unceasingly on his long-lasting sorrow. He could not assuage his sadness, for too painful was the anguish, awful and loathsome, the worst of night-terrors, that had befallen his folk.”
McConnell occasionally comes out, stands before a podium with his faithful lackeys behind him and utters some nonsense he hopes the people will believe and quickly scurries back to his office hiding under his desk hoping Trump will not call, while, incessantly praying for “the most strong and most stalwart, noble and fearless” of heroes to come forth. Praying for his Beowulf.