February 8, 2020 · Politics

The Friday Night Massacre

“In this country right matters, and so does truth. Truth is not partisan. If we allow truthful voices to be silenced, if we ignore their  warnings, eventually there will be no one left to warn us." - Ambassador David Pressman

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman and his brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman were "escorted" from the White House today. Ambassador Sondland was recalled at roughly the same time.

In America, at least as it stands now, war criminals are celebrated while dutiful soldiers, respected diplomats, and legitimate experts are harassed and shown the door. It's not like we didn't see this coming.  You shouldn't have any doubts about what is coming next either. It gets much, much worse from here.

In the short term, it looks like the massacre might not be over:

The Post’s team — Josh Dawsey, Robert Costa and Greg Miller — also  reported that White House aides are also “discussing whether to remove  or reassign several administration officials who testified during the  impeachment inquiry." It remains to be seen what will happen with the  others. At the very least, the White House seems to be sending a message  that heads are about to roll.

John Gans is also looking at the long term impact of all of this:

At great risk to the country, Mr. Trump and Mr. O’Brien are finally winning the war at the council. But it’s the next president’s loss, and  thus all of ours. Whoever replaces Mr. Trump will inherit a weaker and  less worldly National Security Council, and learn the hard way it’s far  easier to deconstruct a staff than rebuild one. As a result, even after  Mr. Trump leaves the White House, Trumpism will continue to corrupt  American foreign policy.

It's a bleak assessment but I'm far more worried about the next several months. We have to ensure that there will be something worth fixing if and when this ends. That isn't a given.

Meanwhile there's no shortage of trollish crowing (and calls for more extreme measures) from the usual political opportunists, moral cowards, and grifters but here are some perspectives that matter:

You could set aside their service to their country, and their achievements, and this would still be fundamentally wrong and dangerous. I guess we'll have to wait until November to see if Americans still value democracy and decency. I'm not sure if enough do at this point.

On a very related note, please visit USA.gov where you can learn how to register to vote and find the deadlines for voter registration in your state.

Previous Post: Anthony Bourdain: The Last Interview: and Other Conversations
Next Post: Staying Sane in an Insane World