Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Listen: Flynn shows that our institutions are strong.

I'm not a blind optimist.  Even though my purpose here is to reassure my readers, that reassurance is based exclusively on what I honestly think is the truth.  It wouldn't help anyone if I was willfully ignorant or deceitful about what I think will happen, so I tell it as straight and seriously as I can.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of nonsense out there.  Many people have an interest in ginning up outrage or disgust, and so Facebook is filled with false alarms or gross exaggerations.  Is it possible that Donald Trump will try to enact a fascist revolution?  Sure.  Is it possible that he will try to marginalize the free press?  Yes.  Is it possible that he will start a war?  Maybe.  But there's a difference between realistically talking about possibilities and spinning that into probabilities.

It was always possible that President Trump would manage to cripple or destroy the institutions of America that stand in his way: an independent judiciary, a stable bureaucracy, a co-equal legislature, a free press, and academia.  But -- despite what you might read on Facebook -- none of this damage looks very probable at the moment.

Our institutions are strong.  They're resisting.  We're winning.

I've mentioned this before: when we lost on DeVos, when I talked about our system of checks and balances, and when I spun the nightmare scenario of a Cruz presidency.  It's a theme I will return to in the future, because it bears repeating and celebrating: the nation has not crumbled before Trump.  It's risen up.

The Muslim ban -- nullified nationwide by a half-dozen disgusted courts -- was one example, but the recent departure of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is another.  The media picked up on his unsavory connections to Russia immediately, and have doggedly followed the story.  The bureaucracy and career officials found no internal outlet for dissent and dismay about Flynn's behavior and lies, and so they became steadily more amenable to giving details to the the persistent reporters.  And now Congress, pushed into action, is moved to investigate.

The President and his people have a lot of power and a lot of clout -- but if they intended to try to grind down everyone else, they've failed.  Our institutions are standing strong.  Want to help?  Subscribe to a newspaper.

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