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September 30, 2017


It seems that the high-flying ex-Secretary of HHS has been grounded. The White House says he offered his resignation and Trump accepted it (translation – “Quit, Tom, or I’ll fire you. Better to leave with the dignity of a resignation than getting fired, like I’ve had to do with a lot of guys who wouldn’t quit and forced me to pull the trigger, like I did for years on The Apprentice.”) First Class was not good enough for Tom; he preferred his caviar by way of unbelievably expensive private air accommodation, all at taxpayer expense, of course.

I cannot pretend to be shocked Casablanca style at Tom’s preference for (literally) high living. After all, he and his fellow Republican cabinet secretaries represent the rich and corporate class, a class that Trump has scheduled to pay even less taxes into the government’s coffers than they are now, so such big corporations as Boeing and Verizon (who pay no taxes at all lately along with GE, who not only paid no taxes in 2010 but who managed a REFUND for that tax year though profitable) couldn’t care less since they have no skin in the game. Let the poor and middle class fund Tom’s airfare. Tom’s preference for private air accommodation rather than merely flying first class commercial didn’t cost them anything, so why the big fuss? He was doing a good job in dismantling the agency he was appointed to destroy and it cost us nothing, so what’s the big deal?

The big deal, of course, is the same big deal that attended the departure of General Flynn, whose Russian and Turkish connections Trump (and Pence) knew about but kept their mouths shut. Flynn was confirmed by senators who did not know about the depth and sweep of his foreign connections and he lasted only some three weeks on the job before he was fired. The connection between Flynn and Price could not be clearer and it is this: That Trump doesn’t care about high priced plane rides by Price or even Russian or other foreign connections of a National Security adviser set to be privy to all the nation’s secrets and will by his silence even endorse such threats to our nation’s health (Price) and national security (Flynn). What Trump fears is that such misconduct becomes known, which leads careful citizens to wonder what other misconduct Trump knows about but will do nothing about until discovered.

So who blew the whistle on Flynn’s foreign connections and Price’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in air fare? Why, it was that guardian of truth, the press, which Trump calls “the enemy of the people.” Those such as Trump who will only responsibly act when discovered are themselves threats to the nation’s health and national security, and much more in the case of Trump, who is the appointing authority and responsible for the conduct of those he appointed in other such capacities, capacities such as those in Education, Defense, and other such important areas of public concern.

Not speaking up when one has a clear duty to do so, especially when our national security is involved,  is, in my opinion, a very serious breach of duty and one I hope Mueller will include with his report to the Congress for Trump’s impeachment and/or indictment, or both. This is not a game and not another installment of The Apprentice, and Trump, who was and is responsible for the conduct of his appointees, needs to come out of his narcissistic otherworld and live in the real world you and I inhabit in these dangerous times by putting aside his ego and honestly living up to and performing his constitutional duties as president. If he can’t or won’t, then he should follow the example of Price and tender his resignation from office.    GERALD        E


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