Occasionally, a political figure comes along and I think to myself, "Ah, Greg Stillson!"
Greg Stillson was the populist political psychopath played by Martin Sheen in the movie adaptation of Stephen King's "The Dead Zone." He's running for Congress, and Johnny Smith, a local schoolteacher who woke up from a coma with psychic abilities, sees that Stillson will become the president who starts a nuclear war.
Johnny decides to kill him, and tries to assassinate him at a rally, but misses. Stillson grabs a nearby toddler, holds him up as a shield and the resulting picture destroys his career.
So that's how I judge Republicans: Is this someone who would use a baby as a human shield?
Of course I wonder about Donald Trump; people who grow up with that kind of money strike me as (at the very least) pathologically narcissistic and maybe borderline sociopathic. You get the sense with some people that their parents never said no to them. They finally get so out of control that their parents send them to a military academy to straighten them out. (I used to work in a sandwich shop near a famous military academy. Some of these rich kids were actually sweet -- but I suspect I also met many future psychopaths. Even at that age, you could tell when something was off.)
Trump is a guy whose ex-wife described some really brutal treatment (she said he pulled out clumps of her hair) and actual rape (although "not in the legal sense"), but of course the divorce settlement has since guaranteed her silence on this incident.
Allegations of rape and assault aren't enough, right? Nor should they be, because we are allegedly a nation of laws. Because just like with Bill Cosby, we can't prove anything. But the fact that Trump's lawyer response to recent news accounts was saying "you can't rape your spouse" should give decent people pause.
Yeah, we can't prosecute them. But we should at least shun them.
I also wonder: Would using a baby as a human shield even be enough to ruin someone's political career these days? Wouldn't the spin be that he was actually trying to save the baby, but slipped and had to hold the kid up to keep his balance? Wouldn't the talking heads all nod and say, "I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one"?
Look at the Iraq war. Look at Abu Ghraib. Look at how Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz are treated like honorable men.
Is there anything a politician can do that's heinous enough that our compliant media can't -- or won't --distort, brush off or help cover up?
Your librul media.