Reviewing my shiny new set of Fulton County Indictment Cards, hearing a TV analyst piercingly call events “corruption colliding with consequences,” I thought of a nice old lady I encountered in 2016.
Well, not exactly nice. Gray-haired and petite, she certainly looked less than deadly. That was before she saw literature with which I had volunteered to canvas area apartments for Hillary Clinton.
At that, she made a four-word case against Clinton and for Donald Trump:
“Better coarse than corrupt!!”
Then she darted off.
An interesting claim: With the latter I assumed she was referring to dealings with foreign interests by the Clinton Foundation in its efforts to assist in varied global crises – AIDS, malaria, climate catastrophe.
Clearly suckled on Fox News, the woman knew all about what she assumed were compromising deeds by the Clintons. Apparently she didn’t know that her guy, while running for president, was negotiating to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, and denying it.
Or maybe she knew all about that stunningly compromising conflict of interest and couldn’t care less.
Since that day, a lengthy list of corrupt Republican acts has cascaded upon our land, each in full view for a person like her not to care about.
But we don’t even need to mention the coup plotters, the fake electors, the classified document hoarders, the election equipment snoopers, and Trump’s ceaseless and costly obstruction of criminal investigations. (One who has “done nothing wrong” seemingly would cooperate with investigators with a smile.)
If you want to talk about foundations, we could mention judges shuttering the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Or we could review the abominable con job of Trump University, or the criminal conviction of the Trump Organization.
We don’t need to mention any of those, not even the four criminal indictments facing a guy most Republicans still consider White House-worthy.
Yes, we could take Donald Trump off the board entirely, and from his partisans we would have more rank and raw corruption than any self-respecting citizen could stomach – or so one would assume. I guess it comes down to the definition of self-respect.
Almost no one in Rep. George Santos’ party calls for his removal from our lawmaking payroll despite a life that is one big criminal deceit.
No Republican in Congress will demand accountability for the king of corruptly concealed handouts, Justice Clarence Thomas, and his partner in grift, Justice Samuel Alito.
In Texas, Republican voters knew they had a shady character when re-electing Attorney General Ken Paxton, a MAGA coup-coup bird of Trumpian renown.
He was retained as Texas’ chief lawyer though a criminal indictment hangs over his sweaty noggin for felony securities fraud and self-dealing.
Now Paxton is facing impeachment for essentially turning the assets of his office over to a big-money developer who is fighting a federal investigation.
Talk about juicy. The developer allegedly paid to remodel Paxton’s home and facilitated an extramarital affair with the use of a fake Uber account. Paxton is accused of using burner phones to cover up his deeds.
Just another day in Republican corruption. You can bet Trump is rooting for his man Ken in his fight against the “deep state.” And if he is, you can bet Trump’s cultists in Texas will do the same.
As I admired my Big Lie collector set, my mind drifted to that encounter with Corruption Lady in 2016, those heady “Lock her up” days.
What does Corruption Lady think now? I imagined meeting her again and sharing a respectful litany – a review — of all the corrupt things her guy and her party had done. It would take some time.
I imagined arriving at the apartment complex and asking around, only to find that Corruption Lady had moved out, homeless — living at a curb, in a refrigerator carton, with yellowed pages of the National Enquirer as insulation.
“She’s a junkie,” an ex-neighbor would tell me. “Completely lost.”
A precipitous fall for one hooked on rationalizations.
“She became so addicted to excusing Republican corruption that she no longer could muster any shame, righteous umbrage — anything based on reality. She could barely find the light switch.
“All those years in the Republican echo chamber — her eyes and ears are shot. Her conscience? Fried.
“So sad to see a person’s dignity and discernment headed right down the grate.”
Addiction will do that.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.