Bob Franken




Let’s deal with the letter “I.” No, it’s not because we are run by a bunch of self-involved leaders, including the narcissist in chief, President Donald Trump. It’s because, for whatever reason, much of our news right now involves “I” words.
Where do we begin? How about with IMPEACHMENT, which is back to dominating the news cycle now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stopped IMPEDING the transfer of the articles of Trump’s impeachment to the Senate for reasons that were never clear, no matter how many times she explained them.
Perhaps it’s because the Senate majority leader looks ready to blatantly ignore the oath of IMPARTIALITY that members take before they hold a trial to determine whether the Trump presidency would be INTERRUPTED for good. And yes, I will freely admit that this will quickly become a stretch, but onward and downward.
Where was I? The impeachment narrative was overtaken by the IRAN one, which is fair, given that for reasons only he or his accomplices know, Trump decided to take us to the brink of war by assassinating one of Tehran’s really bad actors, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, leader of proxy forces that have been responsible for killing hundreds of Americans. But Soleimani had been in that murderous role for decades. Why did Trump order his obliteration by drone now? Was it by sheer coincidence that impeachment was about to rear its ugly head or, as the Don Trump and his henchmen claimed, was he bypassing the legal requirements to notify Congress and taking this country into an all-out military confrontation because of an exception when there is an IMMINENT danger to America or Americans. Yeah, that’s the word they came up with … Soleimani presented an IMMINENT danger. What it was, the Trump mob failed to make clear, either in subsequent congressional briefings or in various public pronouncements. As for the Don himself, his descriptions of the threats spiral with his every telling. His latest version is that unless the Iranian general had been taken out now, an INCREASING number of U.S. embassies would have been attacked. And we should take him at his word, because we all know how INVIOLABLE his word is.

Happily, after much chest-beating, the Iranians seemingly decided to let things cool off to allow a return from the precipice to the normal ILL WILL. They did fire off a few face-saving rockets at bases in IRAQ where U.S. troops were stationed, but they also did everything but take out TV spots to announce their plans. They probably would have done that had Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer not bought out all the ad space. The warning gave Americans a chance to head for the safety of bunkers, so the missiles hit without casualties, and without real INCIDENT.
By the way, we don’t know how Vladimir Putin INTERCEDED. Obviously, he’s usually an ally of the mullahs and just as obviously an ally of Donald Trump, so perhaps he did get INVOLVED.
And now it’s back on the impeachment I-WAY, which, among other things, will INTERRUPT our focus on the real work of our political leaders, which is the “E” word, as in getting “elected.” Actually, come to think of it, the “I” words and the “E” word are both part of what has become our dysfunctional democracy, defined these days by little more than the IMPOLITE names that our leaders call one another. There is little that the various sides can agree on in this day and age of social media superficiality, which spreads division at lightning speed. Perhaps, in the case of Iran, a decision was made in Tehran that overt hostilities are not necessary; they can just sit back and watch the United States IMPLODE.
All that remains for us to see I to I on is that my word game has gotten really tiresome.

© 2020 Bob Franken

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