Dignified, principled competence

Dear President Trump,

I’ve got another “what gives” for you today. Here goes – what gives with Oversight America having been able to get those documents of Rudy’s (to include phone records and emails) linking him to Mike P. through the Freedom of Information Act when Congress couldn’t get them for the impeachment inquiry? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy someone who’s looking out for American democracy has them and is sharing them, but I really don’t get why they were able to get a court to hand them over under the FOIA and Congress couldn’t. You’ll no doubt say it’s because the Democratic Congress is incompetent, but that’s not a valid answer so you can put a sock in it if that’s all you’ve got.

Wait, did Congress decide not to go to court when you blocked release of all the requested records? I can’t find anything about it online (I didn’t try too, too hard), but I seem to remember they opted to treat such moves on your part as obstruction and to fold them into the articles of impeachment. Maybe that’s it. Really, it makes sense that they would feel done with wrangling with a greased snake and would rather focus their time and energy on the copious damning material and testimony they were able to obtain pretty darn easily.

And gosh, now Oversight America is handily furnishing various missing pieces of the puzzle (apparently there’s more to come) so Congress will end up being able to use these bits to fill out the picture and still nail you for obstruction. Woot x 2!

Shifting gears some, did you see the lovely picture of Fiona Hill where the camera angle caught her head framed by the arched window and curtain behind her? There are a few different versions of the image and the one that Kathleen Parker used at the top of her WP editorial is especially well done – Hill’s head is perfectly centered and the light colored half-circle of the curtain looks like a glowy aura, an aura that only a person of integrity could rock. She looks quite intense and intent, as though what she has to say is important and people need to listen. No flash, no histrionics – just laser-focused intellect and integrity shining forth. Parker and others have noted that Hill and most of the other witnesses who testified (I’d say Sondland is the exception) have shown us a silver-lining to this mess in that they are clearly competent, articulate, and dedicated and we are fortunate to have them in our midst.

It’s a little tiny thing, but in that picture of Hill she has her right index finger raised and on that finger, she has a Band-Aid. I bring it up because it’s a good reminder that she is very human. She gets hangnails or accidentally cuts herself when chopping carrots. She’s brilliant and forthright and is one of the best truth-to-power-speakers we’ve had the good fortune to see in action in a long time, and she needs Band-Aids now and again. It makes me feel tender towards her even as I am in awe.

May we be safe to bear witness.
May we be willing to see and appreciate one another’s humanity.
May we value and support our civil servants.
May we be at peace with dignified, principled competence.

Tracy Simpson

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