Guys, how do you do it? Deal with the news, that is? Because I gotta tell you, I’m approaching an intervention-type crisis. I now have two novels open, and am making my way through them at…well, snails generally move faster. Why? Because I have to read this Jill Abramson review of the Woodward book, and even though it tells me nothing that I don’t already know, besides the fact that there’s one more person out there who feels like the walls are closing in and we are in real goddamn danger, I still have to read it and let it wash over me and make me angry, yet again.
Just these two grafs make my eyes cross:
As a profile of Trump, the book is devastating. Even the most jaded readers will be struck by numerous examples of his childishness and cruelty. He denounces his generals in such harsh language that his secretary of state cringes. He derides the suit McMaster dons for an interview as something a beer salesman would wear. He greets his national security adviser, whose briefings he finds tedious, by saying, “You again?” He imitates Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Southern accent and calls him “mentally retarded.” He tells his 79-year-old commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, that he has “lost it” and not to do any more negotiating.
Cohn, who comes as close as anyone in the book to being a principled character, is alarmed that Trump doesn’t understand the rudiments of the economy. The president thinks it’s inspired to call his tax cut measure, the only substantial legislation passed in his first year in office, the “Cut, Cut, Cut Bill.” In childish scrawl on his edit of a speech, and reprinted in his hand in the book, the president writes, “Trade is bad.” As Woodward explains it, “The president clung to an outdated view of America — locomotives, factories with huge smokestacks, workers busy on assembly lines.” When Cohn presses Trump on why he clings to such beliefs, the president simply responds: “I just do. I’ve had those views for 30 years.”
And I generally never read books like this, because to me, books are a retreat, a refuge. Periodicals are for information. (Obviously, I make exceptions.) I especially don’t read Bob Woodward books, because a) the important parts are all excerpted; and b) he’s a terrible writer. (Look up his description of the cheeseburger-cheeseburger SNL sketch in “Wired” if you doubt me.)
I need better coping strategies. Rules I can make and then actually follow.
So hello, all. It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this. Sixty-one degrees, going down to the 50s overnight. By the end of the week, it should be back in the 80s. Can’t lie; it was nice to have a few days of break from the heat, to be able to actually wear a long sleeve and shoes that aren’t composed of straps and a sole, but it feels weird, too. I think my feet expand over summer; they never go back into a proper shoe without a little complaining. Summer isn’t over-over, but it’s over.
I was going to post a bunch of links that made me insane this morning, but maybe some self-care is in order. OK, one. This:
Voters across the country are now realizing that they, too, have crossed into the twilight zone: citizens of America without full citizenship rights. The right to vote is central to American democracy. “It’s preservative of all rights,” as the Supreme Court said in its 1886 ruling in Yick Wo v. Hopkins. But chipping away at access to that right has been a central electoral strategy for Republicans.
Anthony Settles, a Texas retiree, had been repeatedly blocked from the ballot box because his mother changed his last name when he was a teenager, and that 50-year-old paperwork was lost in what he described as a “bureaucratic nightmare.” After spending months looking for the wayward document, and then trying to get certified by the name he has used for more than half a century, he knew, beyond all doubt, that he had been targeted.
People, register and VOTE. While you still can.