Monday, June 1st, 2020

“I think the sooner that you mass and dominate the battlespace, the quicker this dissipates and we can get back to the right normal.”

The Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, on a first of June that was filled with comments from the Trump administration (particularly the President) that give us a clear indication that they look at the protests as insurrection that must be met and overcome with force.

You know, as in Iraq. Afghanistan. Vietnam.

The President on a conference call (it was unclear if he was in his bunker during it) lambasted America’s governors for what he saw as a weak response. The comments, so unhinged and deranged-sounding, leaked widely during the call itself, with reports that “those on the call” were outraged. One Governor (were there more?), JB Pritzker of Illinois, dared to speak some truth to unhinged power:

“I wanted to take this moment — and I can’t let it pass — to speak up and say that I’ve been extraordinarily concerned about the rhetoric that’s been used by you. It’s been inflammatory, and it’s not OK for that officer to choke George Floyd to death. But we have to call for calm. We have to have police reform called for. We’ve called out our National guard and our state police, but the rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse. And I need to say that people are feeling real pain out there and we’ve got to have national leadership in calling for calm and making sure that we’re addressing the concerns of the legitimate peaceful protesters. That will help us to bring order.”

Trump basically said, yeah, well, buddy, I don’t like your rhetoric very much either.

Clueless. Like a 9 year old.

All I can say is: protest is speech. The First Amendment protects speech. The police are supposed to protect peaceful protestors. Black lives matter.

I was going to sit back and nostalgically write about the 40th anniverary of CNN’s launch, as I did, yikes, 20 years ago. But it just doesn’t feel right.