LET'S NOT IGNORE THE OBVIOUS
For the first time since the one known in recent court documents as Individual 1 became president, we haven’t woken each morning terrified about what we’ll learn about the terrifying things he did or said overnight. And we haven’t had to prepare ourselves for the dreadful thing – several dreadful things – he’ll do during the day.
Yup, we’re relaxed, calmer, dreamier. Cat has been managing two smiles a day. I’m increasingly able to complete a thought not afflicted, even subliminally by the number 1.
We’re wrong, of course.
The warning signs are everywhere.
The worst Constitutional Crisis since the Civil War (don’t you love it when dogs use big-but-boring words like Constitutional?), as Individual 1 gets ready to make his biggest move so far to fire Bob Mueller, or in some way, stop, cripple or maim the investigation into Russian election trickery.
“Impossible!” Cat exclaimed as I outlined the scenario. “The Democrats will control the House beginning next month. Mikey Flynn, Individual1’s former national security advisor, has been singing so loudly and long that Mueller is recommending no cage time for him. So lots of potential impeachment/ felony fodder there.
"And people are catching on. Like at the George Bush funeral yesterday: Every time someone said something nice about the president in the casket, it was like they were pointing out another thing lacking in the living one crouched in an aisle seat, pouting," Cat said, then proclaiming, not that originally: "This national nightmare is about to be over!”
“All the more reason for Individual 1 to make his move - and soon,” I said to Cat.
“But impossible for him to get away with it,” Cat retorted. “It’s going to be Watergate déjà vu all over again. Next time we see Individual 1, he'll be doing the Nixon Wave from doorway of Marine One, just before the chopper whisks him out of the Oval Office and out of our lives.”
“We don’t know that, Cat,” I said. “History doesn’t repeat itself, not exactly. What makes you think the Russia scandals will have that kind of an ending? What if 1 and his creepy fractions make the Mueller investigation go away, or Individual 1 issues pardons to every man, woman and child in the United States, just as a precautionary move?"
“Individual 1is a coward, and he’s just not going to even try to fire enough people until he finds one who will help him make the investigation go away,” Cat said. “He won’t dare, period.”
“You are ignoring the obvious,” I said. “Individual 1 may be a serial liar, but he’s pretty obvious about what’s on his mind, using the word loosely.”
“Not releasing his tax returns,” I said.
“That is so yesterday,” Cat said. “We all lost interest in that a trillion headlines ago.”
“But it’s also so obvious,” I said. “He’s hiding his tax returns because they have something damaging – like whether he’s in debt to the Russians, the Saudis or the International Dictators’ Monetary and Assistance Fund. But for sure, thar's gold in them thar returns.”
“Why don’t I hear much about the tax returns?” Cat retorted. “The pundits hardly mention them.”
“That’s because the pundits don’t like the obvious,” I said. “When things are obvious, you don’t need pundits to explain them. The obvious puts them out of business.”
“He’s fired people already,” I said. “So, it’s not like he hasn’t practiced this.”
“When Jim Comey was FBI director and indicated he wasn’t going to be ‘loyal’ – like going easy on Individual 1’s former national security advisor, Mikey Flynn, he fired him.”
“Old news, again,” Cat said.
“When Jeff Sessions ‘recused’ himself from the Russia investigation, Individual 1 ranted incessantly against the attorney general, who’d done every other mean thing that 1 had wanted him to, like being cruel to immigrants. Finally, Individual 1 forced Sessions to resign,” I said.
“More old news,” Cat said.
“But so obvious,” I said. “Without being in charge of the investigation, Sessions wasn’t in a position to screw it up or shut it down. Obvious also is that Individual 1 was on the edge of obstruction of justice."
“Next?” Cat asked.
“Session’s replacement,” I said. “Obviously, Individual 1 wouldn’t be choosing the FBI deputy director, Rod Rosenstein, who’d been overseeing the Mueller probe and letting Mueller go about his merry way and do whatever the $%$@! he pleases. So he picked Matt.”
“Matt who?” Cat asked.
“Matt who, exactly,” I said. “Matt Whitaker. “Most of us never heard of Matt before he became Instant Acting Director of FBI. But it took reporters about five minutes to discover he wouldn’t be most people’s Number 1 choice for AG.”
“Matt ran unsuccessfully for Iowa state treasurer, and failed to win the GOP nomination for a U.S. Senate seat from Iowa. He served a few years as a U.S. attorney in Iowa. At one point, he was an advisor to a questionable business that was investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, then forced to close and pay a big fine. Last year, his Republican connections led to his being named Sessions’ chief of staff, and last month, Matt took over Sessions’ job. Et tu, Matteus?
“So, besides being unqualified, what about the Matt Man appealed to Individual 1 as the right guy?" Cat asked.
“Before he went to the Justice Department, Matt was a pundit, and apparently the country’s Number One TV viewer saw Matt saying negative things about the Mueller probe," I said.
"Like in 2017, Matt appeared as a “legal consultant” on a CNN program where the discussion turned to what might happen if Sessions wasn’t in the picture. Matt Whitaker laid out this possibility:
“… I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced, it would (be a) recess appointment and that attorney general doesn't fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigations grinds to almost a halt.”
“You can see the attraction,” I said. "Matt's a man with a plan."
Cat was amazed and actually opened his other eye, which he’d kept closed all this time, in case I stopped talking and he could get back to sleep. Cat pawsed (Get it?) and then went all sentimental on me.
“I still believe in Truth, Justice and the American Way," Cat said. “And before you know it, Individual 1, Individual 1, Jr. (Sometimes referred to as Individual ½), and Mrs.Individual 1 will be on Marine One, to be whisked away from the White House and out of our lives. With the only question being whether Mrs. 1 will be wearing her overcoat, the one with that question stenciled on the back: ‘I really don’t care. Do you?’ ”
“THAT'S CERTAINLY THE RIGHT question, Cat,” I said.
Cat looked confused: “What’s the right question. It’s not obvious, at least to me.”
“Look, Cat," I said. "It's obvious that the outcome ultimately doesn’t depend on Mueller, the courts or even a House full of Democrats."
"What matters in a democracy," I pontificated, "is whether enough of us care enough."
"Whether enough ordinary citizens, voters, undecideds really care,"
"Care about what?" Cat asked, clearly exasperated. "What to you mean?"
"I mean," I said, "Does a majority of Americans care whether or not we have a scoundrel for a president?”
“Isn’t that obvious?” Cat said.