♪ It took a short walk and a talk
To change the rules of engagement
While you searched frantically for reverse
And them claiming
That virtue never tested is no virtue at all
And so I lost my ignorance ♪
— “Must I Paint You a Picture,” Billy Bragg, Workers Playtime
Over the decades that Uvular spent training for the last bender that almost took his life, he regularly took liquor holidays lasting as long as three months. He kept a six pack in the fridge or a fifth in the cabinet throughout those weeks of abstention because he knew that no real alcoholic could live within a few feet of a bottle without emptying it. He had no problem because the ready booze supply remained untapped.
Virtue duly tested and affirmed after an indeterminate period, he would justify treating himself to several days of 24/7 drinking. As one does when the rules of engagement have changed.
He shares this with you fine and forgiving Politicados because he recognized the exact same degree of suicidal denialism in the White House’s official statement on the revelations that AT&T paid Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen $600K to secure advantageous policies. The company has admitted in word and deed that it offered bribes and fully expected the money would funnel through Cohen to Trump.
The scheme largely worked,* with the killing of net neutrality and the relaxation of rules meant to prevent the formation of telecom monopolies. Contrarily, Trump ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue a nuisance antitrust lawsuit aimed at blocking AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.
Time Warner owns CNN, which Trump wants to jail. Not the reporters, commentators, staff, and executives, mind. Trump would prefer to imprison the network itself because he believes that could happen. He maintains the weakest of grasps on reality.**
Trump’s people claim his purely spiteful resistance to the merger proves that he refuses to take bribes. “This further proves the president is not going to be influenced by special interests,” spewed Sarah*** Huckabee Sanders. “This is actually the definition of ‘draining the swamp.'”
Hogwash.^ Trump only acts when he receives emoluments, hears baseless praise, or feels burning resentment. The AT&T mess only shows that Trump will take what you got without holding up his end of the deal. See, for reference, every single business arrangement Trump entered into during his venal and vacuous life. Trump would no more turn down free cash and break faith than he would substitute quinoa for jumbo fries.
Put in AT&T’s place, Uvular would go fully public with the “Trump welched” narrative. Facts will out, so why not redeem some moral authority? Or must Trump’s hostile takeover of the Oval Office result in us losing honor among thieves along with every other tenet of the social contract?
Your Weekend Politics Thread pledges to always invite ideas and memes. Like what just happened there in the preceding sentence. Do your part lest it all spiral into chaos, a webpage red in tooth and claw and comment counts under 2,500.
n.b., No album will ever do a better job of making politics personal and personal matters political than Workers Playtime. Billy Bragg released naught but stone cold classics of socially conscious, sometimes militant but always affecting, urban folk tinged with Motown/Stax throughout the Thatcher-Reagan ‘80s. Listen to them all and understand almost the entirety of your humble WPT host’s worldview.
*Wink in a mirror and rub the side of your nose or tug your earlobe as you read the necessary disclaimer that we do not yet have proof that any cash went to Trump.
**He insists, for instance, that this Weekend Politics Thread header attracted the most clicks ever. Many more than the video of Michelle Obama dancing with a toddler, which will live for the rest of forever as the last pure thing.
***With a superfluous aitch for “huckster.”
^Which makes great swamp feedstock, should you ever need to fill one.