Selfies, Watermarks, Despair.
A small movement — initially dismissed with contempt — has now acquired impressive momentum: the drive to have the Electoral College thwart the dangerous presidency of Donald Trump. Millions are now involved; the strategy has been covered in the national media; and the goal, however unlikely, is not impossible. Democrats have learned a brutal lesson in statistical odds, and success here seems hardly less probable than the election of a man like Donald Trump.
Trump can still be stopped. The Founding Fathers foresaw just this catastrophe, and built a fail-safe into the Constitution. It’s called the Electoral College. Alexander Hamilton was explicit: this mechanism was designed to ensure that “the office of president will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.
(I just discovered this essay on an obsolete blog that I’d forgotten I’d ever had. Seems I wrote it on May 20, 2005. I’m proud of this piece. So I’m going to resurrect it.)
In February 2002, President Bush announced that the Geneva Conventions would not apply to prisoners associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. In December of that year, an innocent Afghan taxi driver was tortured to death, mostly for the sake of entertainment, in an American detention center.
(This story about Hurricane Mitch was initially published in Fathom.)
If you live somewhere, you don’t want me to visit. No, really. I’m approximately as safe to have around as the Grim Reaper. In fact, I seem to be his official advance scout. I can’t count the places that have experienced genuine disaster soon after welcoming me with warm, soon-to-be-severed arms.
Nothing so unnatural as “natural causes.” Look, I designed the whole system of demise, and I assure you, disease and old age were an afterthought. Ideally, men should kill men. I’ve been tweaking the man-killing-man scenario for millennia, and I’m not sure many of you recognize what I’ve had to go through to arrive at the current virtuosic state of affairs.
How long did it take, I ask you, for my good friend Joe Lieberman to invoke Me in an effort to bolster his campaign?Now, I must confess, I think he overplayed his hand: you can capitalize on Death without trivializing the Holocaust. (I know I’ve been accused of insensitivity, but even I do not treat this subject lightly.) Still, this does indicate how potent the reminder of Me can be in garnering votes.
At last we have details regarding “special rendition” (or, if you prefer, “extraordinary rendition” — a phrase which is even more doubleplusgood). This is important. If you are mistakenly kidnapped and tortured by the CIA, it’s useful to know what to expect. The intrepid Dana Priest (WaPo’s new star, now that Woodward has become Dubya’s pet hack), has written yet another remarkable exposé of the Cheney/Bush reign of (t)error — Wrongful Imprisonment: Anatomy of a CIA Mistake.
That Harriet Miers is a joke, we have no reason to doubt. David Frum reports that Miers “once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met.” David — whatever you may think about his views; he’s a very swift guy — must have choked. I mean, it’s one thing to argue that Bush is the Right man, but I can’t imagine that David seriously considers him a Bright man.