*From "Lives in the Balance" by Jackson Browne
If 400 people showed up at my house, I would have no place to put them. Maybe I could squeeze them into closet space and storage areas, maybe even on the front stoop or in the garage, but none of them would be comfortable.
That, along with the fact that I don’t know 400 people, is why I don’t invite 400 people to my house. If I did, I’d make damn sure I had a place to put them so that they’d feel comfortable, probably figure out a way to feed them, and generally try to make their lives bearable while I figured out how I got into this mess and how to get out of it.
I’d probably have more to say than “this is tough stuff.” But that’s all we got from Mike Pence last week when he visited some migrant holding facilities/internment camps in Texas.
Now Pence, for all his wackadoodle viewpoints on homosexuality and its “cures and treatments” is not the egomaniacal misanthrope that Trump is. In fact, it’s a tribute to just how low Donald Trump has fallen in our estimation—not as a politician but as a human being—that Mike Pence is, if not a breath of fresh air, at least a whiff.
And yet, even he seems to have fallen under the thrall of his führer, to wit here’s what Pence observed last week:
detainees lying on kindergarten-like napping mats on the floor, covered with a thin tinfoil-like blanket.
100 people crowded onto on benches waiting for showers,
a horrendous stench in the entire area,
detainees shouting at reporters that they had been held 40 days or longer and and that they were hungry.
And here’s what Pence said after that observation:
“What we saw today is a facility that is providing care that every American would be proud of.”
It’s no longer surprising when people who purport to have values fall in line with their dear leader, but it does illustrate again that extirpating Trump from the American landscape will take more than an election defeat in 2020. His particular malignancy has infected so many, has ravaged so much of what used to make America great, that undoing it may take years, even decades. Since getting him out is a good start, driving him distracted with even a failed impeachment attempt may be worth it.
I don’t think we ever imagined three years ago how bad a Trump presidency could be, but now that our imaginations have been rejuvenated, we should be able to imagine how good the country could be without him and start working toward making that happen. Waiting for 2020 may be as futile as waiting for the Mueller Report, waiting for the Mid-Terms Elections, waiting for the Access Hollywood tape to derail him, or waiting for Godot.
As the song says—a week or a month or a year—they're all too long at this point.