Ikat and impeachment

Dear President Trump,

I may end up needing to scratch the non-political part of what I want to tell you about this morning to make room for any significant revelations from and/or responses to Mueller’s testimony today and that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. Already, right out of the gate, Nadler got some nice solid bits on the record including that the Mueller investigation did not exculpate you, that you can be indicted when you leave office, and that the obstruction charges you will face upon leaving office are associated with significant jail time. Not bad for the first 10 minutes – hopefully this crucial information won’t get lost as the day proceeds.

The stakes are high for all sorts of reasons including, as Greg Sargent (WP) points out, your belief that Article II gives you license to do whatever the hell you want as President is currently married up with the House Leadership’s apparent unwillingness to effectively disabuse you of this notion by starting impeachment proceedings. This combination could very well mean that you effectively do get away with whatever you want to do even if you do not have the right to do thse things. I refuse to concede that might is right (as in whatever someone can force through is, in the end, right), but it will be tragic for the US and for democracy if you do get away with all this shit.

So the totally random thing I want to tell you about is how the reflections on the water in the reservoir across the street from us looked like ikat fabric last night. There are a bunch of fir trees bordering the Western rim of the reservoir and they are constantly reflected in the water, but the quality of those reflections changes dramatically depending on the light, clouds, and water conditions. Last night around 9:30 it was already fairly dark, the water was a little unsettled by a light wind, and there were several North to South eddies moving through – it was these that caused the ikat effect as they streamed through the reflections of the trees, distorting them in really cool ways.

I hypothesized that maybe such extra blurry reflections were inspiration for early ikat weaving, but the Wikipedia entry on it says the blurriness is actually a result of imprecision by less skilled dyers and weavers. Apparently if ikat dying and weaving is done extremely well, the intended patterns are crisply rendered; there are none of the blurry horizontal (if it’s weft ikat weaving) lines projecting out from the central design motifs. I find this a little sad because I’ve always loved the funkiness of the unpredictable blur in ikats and it never occurred to me that it meant those fabrics were somehow less-than.

I get it now that it’s a rare thing for someone to be able to line everything up perfectly in any context so when someone can pull it off, it’s a marvel (or at least has that potential, depending what it is). But so often in life we can’t do that, so maybe the less perfect ikats can stand in as reminders that it’s ok to let things be looser; the resulting fabric is no less functional than one with sharp color lines and really, to me, it’s a lot more interesting.

It’s a stretch, for sure, but I think maybe I can connect up ikat fabric and some aspects of our current political impasse. I was thinking about how most politicians, Nancy Pelosi included, tend to wear bold solid colors. I’m guessing there are several reasons; bold solids appear strong and certain, they look good on camera, and they keep the focus on the person’s face and what they are saying rather than on trying to figure out if those little dots are just dots or maybe are ladybugs.

Well, I’m thinking specifically about Pelosi’s reluctance to start impeachment proceedings against you and her apparent need to have the case for impeachment rendered in bold solids right from the get go. Maybe she’s waiting for the results of the FBI’s ongoing counterintelligence investigations into whether you and yours are compromised or maybe it’s something else – us mere mortals here at home aren’t privy to that information. There are, however, a lot of others in the House (plus millions of us mere mortals here at home watching all this with churning guts) who are ready to go with an ikat version of the facts, who believe that the outlines and central motifs are clear enough to start at least impeachment inquiries. There are millions of us who believe we cannot wait for bold solids, that the perils for our country and democracy are too grave to hold out for some perfectly clear indication that you are going down.

In fact, I don’t actually believe that you will be impeached in the end – you have the Senate GOP too firmly wedged into your back pocket (I almost feel sorry for them with this analogy); they are never going to let you swing if for no other reason than they would have to admit they were either stupidly duped or were going along with a corrupt administration to save their own hides (and/or to benefit themselves). So no, they are not going to come through for America because it’s more important to save face (and stock options) than it is to stand up for what’s right for their children and grandchildren, let alone the rest of the country. You are just a tool – they are the real villains in this story.

And even though the Democrats won’t get to look like superheroes with eye-catching bold solidly colored capes who decisively save the day, they still need to make the righteous effort on behalf of us all.

May we be safe from corrupt, compromised “leaders.”
May we be willing to let go of guarantees and do what’s right.
May we be strong and true.
May we not make peace with the indefensible.

Tracy Simpson

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