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Trump has turned the swamp into a cesspool
on September 19, 2017 at 7:57 AM, updated September 19, 2017 at 8:05 AM
Clete Wetli is a liberal political activist living in Huntsville and a regular contributor to AL.com. Email Clete at [email protected] or visit cletewetli. com.
During the campaign, Trump assured his supporters that the biggest problem in Washington was that it had become home to establishment insiders, or "swamp creatures", who were solely responsible for all government dysfunction. Yet, the first year of the Trump administration will be remembered as a time when Trump's lawyers had to hire lawyers to represent them in the investigation into Russian meddling and collusion.
Trump has, indeed, drained the swamp of career professionals with expertise who knew how to run government efficiently and effectively. What's left behind is a treacherous cesspool of lawyers working overtime to defend the indefensible. Key government posts remain vacant, but you can't spit without hitting a lawyer. Everyone else in the cesspool is apparently an "outsider", which means they have no experience or competence.
Lawyers liked the swamp, but they really love the cesspool. It has become the new home for Trump's legal team as it attempts to cooperate "transparently" with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
In this case, "transparent" means withholding information, giving misleading accounts of events, and doing everything possible to obstruct and distract. Like tweeting fake video of yourself driving a golf ball into your opponent. Like calling a maniac with a nuclear weapon "Rocket Man" and teasing him about sanctions. Like going to Huntsville, Alabama to endorse "Bigly" Luther Strange whose only campaign issue is to love Trump more than Trump loves Trump.
Swamps, cesspools, fire and fury. At least, no one is talking about Russia, right? Sorry, Russia isn't going anywhere.
Every day the Russian smoke gets thicker and there appears to be a fire flickering in the haze. Now, we discover that Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort was under FBI surveillance for suspicion of money laundering, and you guessed it, colluding with Russians. But as the swamp drains to leave behind more cesspool amidst all that Russian smoke, it's hard to know what to focus on these days.
Before Trump, in the age of the swamp, a press conference was a rather boring affair during which questions were answered often with some over-handed political spin. Now that Trump has drained the swamp, a press conference in the cesspool he's created is an angry, resentful affair and most questions are unanswered, outsourced, or delayed indefinitely.
In the swamp, there was always concern about potential corruption and the power of lobbying money influencing votes. In Trump's cesspool, there is a family blatantly and shamelessly enriching itself off of the executive office. Well, not just the Trump family as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin jumped in on the act and tried to use a taxpayer purchased aircraft on his honeymoon that would cost $25,000 an hour.
In the cesspool, it all just stinks because the only things that matter to Trump are continual chaos and unrequited loyalty. Nothing is sacred and everything is uncertain. Even his supporters are beginning to smell the stink as he waffles on DACA and explains how building a wall means repairing what's been already built. The cesspool is being filled with lies, big and small, that are rotting our republic. Whether it's fake polling data he's spouting or incorrect statements about a deadly hurricane, our president just can't help but make the cesspool deeper.
The funny part about Trump coming to Huntsville is that he picked a creature from the swamp instead of the cesspool. The sad part is that Strange and Moore aren't really that much different from each other.
The swamp may not have been the meadow we had all hoped for, but at least it wasn't a rotten cesspool that just keeps getting deeper and smelling worse.>
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