… Cuomo, Hillary — and Enemies of the People: A weekly roundup of some unfamiliar yet ultimately too familiar types.
During a busy fortnight when it is impossible to comment daily on the inanity and insanity of the 24-hour Fake News cycle in Year 2 of the Age of Trump, there is a certain equanimity that comes with realizing that so many of the daily crises are not crises at all, and that so much of the media screaming is like visiting an ice cream store — each day a different flavor, but all the same basic product ready to kill you if you don’t control the portions, the frequency… and if you don’t take statins to control the cholesterol and co-Q-10 to control the statins. A closer look:
Charlottesville and Masked Antifa: The Fake News Media as Enemy of the People
By now we all know that the White Racist Nazis who were expected in their thousands by the Seedier Media arrived few in number, but a ton of masked Antifa Nazis showed up. To the degree (i) that “The People” benefit when White Racist Nazis remain few in number; (ii) that “The People” are hurt when the media go out of their way to inflate the numbers of White Racist Nazis in a self-serving coordinated media frenzy to increase numbers of White Racist Nazi demonstrators for more interesting television that leads to better ratings and increased advertising revenue; and (iii) that such fake news build-ups for days leading up to the Charlottesville anniversary actually threaten to draw more White Racist Nazis and to threaten the civil order… the Fake News Media indeed proved themselves to be the Enemy of the People.
Charlottesville and Masked Antifa: What’s With the Masks?
Those Antifa masks absolutely have to be legislated as illegal. Bank robbers wear masks to avoid being identified when they commit felonies. Cattle rustlers and train robbers wear masks for the same reason. Outside of Halloween and Purim, occupational safety, theatrical performances, airplane travelers and others carrying communicable diseases, leaf blowers, and celebratory masquerade parties, there seem to be few justifications for wearing masks in public. Antifa mask-wearers are as likely as not to wreck property, smash store windows, assault and batter law enforcement and first responders, and to do their best to recreate Kristallnacht images on the streets where they demonstrate. They are entitled to speak and to engage in every form of protected communication. But Congress has to go beyond threatening, and it has to legislate a federal content-neutral ban against wearing masks that addresses the same concerns that have led some states successfully to ban Klansmen from hooding their faces. It is not about the politics of KKK or Antifa. It is about barring people from hiding their identities from law enforcement in anticipation of perpetrating violence and other felonies. Perhaps such laws will not withstand First Amendment strict scrutiny, but Congress should give it a try, crafting the language very narrowly, aiming clearly at appropriate time, place, and manner restrictions.
Omarosa and Omarosi
I know Omarosa personally. Not the clown on TV who just came out with that book I will not buy or read, but other Omarosi. You see, Omarosa is not really a person. Rather, Omarosa is a concept. We all know Omarosi.
As a rabbi, I have met more Omarosi than have most. These are people who present initially very well. They speak well. They are coherent, even quite intelligent. They are presentable, sometimes even attractive. And they come forward with a story of woe, that they sometimes never have attained their potential nor achieved the greatness to which their skills and knowledge should have taken them by now. For some reason, they have gotten a bad break — or many. They have been pigeon-holed unfairly. They have been misunderstood. And now they unfairly have been blacklisted even though they have so much to offer. All they beg for is a break, a chance, sometimes a job, sometimes some bucks — usually, all.
Rabbis, priests, and pastors meet more Omarosi than does the general public because, often, for Omarosi we are the last station on their increasingly desperate train line. They have gone everywhere else. Either they have been denied by all others, or some others actually have given them their chances — and those opportunities inevitably ended up disastrously with them fired, ejected, blacklisted, or just begged and even paid handsomely just to get lost and never to call again. So now they come to the Rabbi: Please — just one more chance. All I need is one break, one chance.
When I was younger, I always was a sucker for the Omarosi. I always believed — as I still do (Yom Kippur is only a month away) — that people can repent and atone, can change, can find and earn redemption. Any pastor, priest, or rabbi who does not believe that is in the wrong field. Even so, over the years I have been burned by my share of Omarosi, and I am not the sucker who believes that every human being inherently is a sugar-pie who simply is the victim of an unfair childhood, poverty, the lack of [White / Religious / Gender / Ethnic / Pronoun (Don’t Ask!)] Privilege. (If you believe that beneath every hater is a pussy-cat waiting simply to be stroked gently and to purr, take a bike ride through Whereverstan.)
My professional experience has been that 98.7% of all Omarosi ultimately bite the hands that feed them, disrupt, and cause grief. However, rabbis, priests, and pastors always focus equally on the 1.3% who can be redeemed. Donald Trump gave The Omarosa a chance. He knew her, and presumably he kind-of felt that he owed her one. After all, she had been so vituperative, venal, vicious, villainous, vile, vulgar, and very-cringeworthy that she made the first season of Trump’s The Apprentice compelling “must-see TV.” No Omarosa, maybe no The Apprentice second season. No The Apprentice second season, then maybe today Bill Clinton would be back to raping women in the Oval Office. Indeed, then, maybe we all owe The Omarosa.
That was back in 2004.
A person can change in a dozen years. She went through a divorce a year later. In 2012 she found her boyfriend in cardiac arrest and saved his life with CPR, though he died eventually of his heart ailments later that year. Those are life-changing experiences. She started appearing regularly on a radio talk show in Los Angeles, sounding remarkably normal, quite reasoned and modulated, and later advocating for Donald Trump. She sounded so normal that it seemed hard to believe that was The Omarosa. So it is not impossible to grasp why President Trump gave her a White House opportunity. She really seemed different, redeemed.
Alas, Omarosi almost always do. White, Black, Blue, Male, Female… all ethnicities, religions. And 98.7% of them ultimately revert to being the Omarosi they always were and always will be. So this one, too, soon was audiotaping her friends, people who believed in her redemption, spreading lies. In the end, the fool released a tape of herself, being fired by Gen. John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, fired on grounds that she lacked professional ethics. And what was her proof that Gen. Kelly was unfair for questioning her professional ethics? Her proof was that she had taped him surreptitiously in the White House Situation Room. Res Ipsa Loquitur. Quod erat demonstrandum. And don’t let the door hit your recording device on the way out.
To the degree that “The People” benefit from news focusing on issues that matter — the economy, the conflict over China and European unfair trade practices towards America, crime in the streets of Chicago, immigration — the Seedier Media’s frenzied coverage of The Omarosa earns them a nomination as Enemy of the People.
Brennan and the Security Clearance
The reality is that John Brennan never should have been named to head the CIA. Only an Obama could pick such a dubious character for such a sensitive role. The guy voted for Gus Hall — the Soviet Communists — in a Presidential election when the Democrats offered an alternative to the GOP. No matter how much Brennan may have changed from his Soviet Communist inclinations — if he changed — he never should have been made head of the CIA. Without getting ad hominem, honestly there is something objectively not normal about him. Most assuredly, Americans are entitled to hate President Trump, and it does seem that roughly half the country falls into the category of Trump haters, resisters, or more moderate rejecters. Any political figure who shakes the system at its roots will generate above-average love and loyalty, and above-average animus. But Brennan has been and is off the charts, repeatedly calling the President “treasonous.”
Under American law, a traitor is liable for the death penalty. 18 U.S.C. § 2381. (“Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”) When your friend calls you a “traitor” because you no longer root for the same sports team, that is banter. When your vegan restaurant calls you a “traitor” because you now finally have joined the world of carnivores, it is what it is. When your employer calls you a “traitor” because you just accepted a job offer from the competition at twice the pay and half the hours, that is angry frustration. But when a previous CIA head calls the President of the United States a “traitor,” either formal charges must be proffered and the trial begun, or the maniac typing those frenzied words must be deemed a nut-job whose access to state secrets and national intelligence must be withdrawn immediately.
Brennan’s tweets and interviews seem characteristic of a person who now is unstable. Given his prior support for Communist Russia, who among us knows what this nut believes now, what goes through his mind? We all are much safer today now that he no longer has security clearance. To the degree that the Seedier Media have made a circus this week of how no President previously has withdrawn the security clearance of a former CIA director, the other side of the analysis is that America never before has had a former CIA Director with a previously documented preference for Soviet Union Communism and who thereafter has hurled at the President of the United States the legal charge of “treason.” He is a nut. If he is entitled to security clearance, then so are Kathy Griffin, Madonna, and Chelsea Handler. (But don’t give that idea to the Seedier Media.)
Cuomo Was Never That Great
One of the greatest contributions of the Trump presidency has been the President’s uncanny ability to provoke people into revealing their hidden innermost selves. He draws it out of them. It is amazing, uncanny. We now know that the former CIA Director is a real screws-loose nut job. Consider how many millions of dollars it would have taken a Special Prosecutor to uncover this matter of national security? And yet Trump drew it out with a tweet. Look at what he has drawn out of Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, James Comey, Andy McCabe, Bruce Ohr. It is unbelievable. For those who wondered how deep the Deep State is — indeed, whether there even is a Deep State — look at what this President has uncovered. He is so amazing at eliciting the secrets that no one else ever uncovered that, if Mueller were smart, he would have let Trump investigate all the targets. He draws it out of them at a fraction of the cost. Maybe that is why Mueller wants to interview Trump — not to discuss Russian collusion but just to find out: How in the world do you do it, Mr. President? How do you get them all to reveal themselves, their secret agendas and their true intentions and plots and conspiracies, just with a midnight tweet?
And now, without doing anything we can identify, the President effectively has ended the elevated aspirations of New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo. If we sensed that he lacks a love for country — a love that his father, Mario, deeply felt and manifested — we never could have proven it. It took President Trump. Just that thing he does — whatever it is. And there it was for all to hear: “[America] was never that great.” Wow! Another secret mindset elicited by the President without even trying.
Hillary and the Kneeling Kiddie
An eleven-year-old girl opted to kneel at school during the Pledge of Allegiance. In a country where the former Director of the CIA had voted for Pro-Soviet Communist Gus Hall for President, while an Omarosa is busily recording conversations in the White House Situation Room, and Antifa masked thugs threaten violence and society, it would seem inconsequential that some kid somewhere chose to kneel in a classroom. The school did not care enough to discipline the kid. It was a non-event.
Yet Hillary Clinton, who now thankfully is relegated to non-events, made national news by tweeting encouragement to that child. Imagine if Hillary had been tweeting encouragement to self-righteous eleven-year-olds decades earlier, before Twitter. “Back in the day,” it was not about kneeling and the flag in sixth grade. Rather, eleven-year-olds had much greater ambitions: it was about shooting spitballs. You removed the ink-thing from the inside of the Bic pen, rolled a small itsy scrap of paper, and pointed at your target. If only Hillary had been there to inspire and cheer on the troops!
Thank G-d that we voters consigned Hillary to a place and role in our society where she now can devote her time and, uh, charisma to encouraging eleven-year-olds to kneel in class during the Pledge. And if she is smart, she will stick with tweeting and stay away from emails that run more than 140 characters. Meanwhile President Trump leads the country, appoints the federal judges, oversees the economic revitalization, deregulates the Obama morass, and deals with foreign affairs.
So let the kid kneel and try out for the NFL with Hillary cheering her on. And meanwhile the President can continue calling out the enemies of the people.
Omarosa Manigault at CPAC (Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons)