Dirty, filthy tactics

Dear President Trump,

Ok, so I just read one of the HP banner articles (the one by Fuller, Delaney, and Bendery) about how things are somewhat confusing on the impeachment front since Pelosi actually only called for a formal impeachment inquiry, which was already happening. I guess I was engaging in some serious wishful thinking yesterday when I thought the question was whether she would bring articles of impeachment against you given the stark evidence before us.

Apparently though, the Democratic Caucus is satisfied, for now, likely because Pelosi has elevated the inquiries enough that we can think of them as ‘Impeachment Inquiries,’ which are real formal things deserving of some capital letters, rather than ‘impeachment inquiries’ that are easily shrugged off. I don’t get though, what is going to change if you all continue to stonewall, which I’m assuming you will do despite the illegalities of it. I’m also assuming you’ve got judges lined up who will say that you can invoke executive privilege or provide you with some other cover or who will handily stall for months. And months. In the last 24 hours several articles have reported how the Judiciary Committee has been conducting an ‘impeachment inquiry’ for 9-months and has largely succeeded in a lot of wheel spinning and little else because you can only do so much when you have only 3 of the 100 things you need to put a case together.

So I want this to be a breakthrough moment, the start of some real “Oh happy day!” days when we are finally able to pull together the other 97 (or whatever number) pieces of this sordid puzzle to show the American people the travesty of your presidency and to salvage our democracy before it’s too late. It really doesn’t seem like that much to ask, does it?

This is going to feel like a major tangent, but bear with me….. Whenever we are working on communication and assertiveness skills in therapy, one of the hardest things for clients to accept (and not be paralyzed by) is that no matter who beautifully they do their part, the other person may or may not respond how they’d like them to respond. Of course the whole idea of working on these skills is that some ways of communicating and asserting, such as aggressing or being passive, are almost sure to fail so it behooves people to at least up their chances of success by learning better alternatives. It’s frustrating though, that the response might still be “no” or “not now” or some other less than desired outcome and the person saying “no” or whatever might think this is perfectly legitimate. What’s really a pisser, though, is that sometimes communicating well and asserting oneself appropriately meets with stonewalling, lashing out, deflecting, and/or undermining to name a few ways that master turkeys use to diminish and disempower the asserter.

In one particular therapy (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), there’s a lot of emphasis placed on the type of relationship the client has with the person they want communication with better. Sorting out this piece helps them gauge how to approach challenging interpersonal situations; is this someone close in they need to keep dealing with? do they care about the person? For example, Greta Thunberg has clearly made the calculation that there’s no reason to waste her breath on you. At all. If looks could kill, you’d be one dead rat.

Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, knows she has to deal with you over a longer timeframe and she knows she has a massive audience watching her every move as she deals with you. And you know all this too and I’m certain this is part of your calculation with all the stonewalling, lashing out, deflecting, and undermining you’ve already done and that which you will let loose from here on out. Your base loves it when you act like a big hairy testosterone-laden asshole. In fact, they expect this from you and would be disappointed if you weren’t a bully and instead met this Impeachment Inquiry with serious maturity. So you get to be gloves-off while you know full well Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats cannot afford to go there with you.

This is obviously a variant of the situation Michelle Obama was talking about when she encouraged liberals to “go high when they go low,” but boy howdy (or really, just – f*ck) if this isn’t going to be a crazy challenge as you and your deranged little minions dig into your bottomless bag of dirty tricks and nastiness.

May we be safe throughout the ensuing high stakes drama.
May we be willing to hang tight for freedom and our children’s futures.
May we be healthy and strong and courageous and resolute enough not to respond in kind.
May you not start a war.

Tracy Simpson

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