Frigate! Ship Happens.

This President's Day, the Executive and Commander in Chief setting the nation's course1 is an incredibly impolitic politician with at least one shade of cray (sic) for each state of the Union, a megalomaniac who embodies the worst qualities of Biff Tannen and Captain Queeg.2 Welcome aboard the Ship of State, the flush-class destroyer, the USS Caine. Seaworthy or not, sail she must, come Hell or high water.

What could possibly go wrong? Nothing!—Unless you fret over trifles like annihilation of the human race through global warming and/or wars, or de facto repeal of the Constitution of the United States (admittedly already as shredded as thousand-dollar jeans). While laser focusing on Trump seems to be the agenda of the PPPC (Politician Pundit Plutocrat Complex), it is about as useful to you and me as a beer keg at a meeting of Women's Christian Temperance Union. It's not about Trump, or shouldn't be. It's about our lives. So, for me, the only important thing is: What now?

Barring resignation, removal or death,3 Trump will likely be the most powerful man in the world for the next (yuck!) four to (yikes!) eight years. That is a long time these days for a nation to do nothing positive for its people or the planet. So, how should the PPPC, especially Democrats, deal with Trump? WWPPPAOPPD? (What Would Pragmatic Politicians, Pundits, And Other Pragmatic People Do?) In other words, What now?

Early in this millennium, the Democratic PPC spent years firing us up against Bush the Lesser. Ah, but when Democrats got power, they "pragmatically" taught us to clear the table and look only forward. With Obama's having replaced Bush at the helm, Democrats pivoted to schooling Americans that rooting against an incumbent President equals rooting against the nation and therefore, ultimately, rooting against oneself—and what could be more unpatriotic and self-defeating? When we learned of the Republican "strategy" of frustrating anything Obama might attempt, Democrats descried it as incredibly selfish and unpatriotic, which, of course, it was--and still is.

Now that Trump is Presidnut, would Democrats be so shamelessly hypocritical as to again engage in behaviors that they themselves described as unpatriotic, selfish and self-defeating? Aye, mate, they already have. Apparently, it's how the game is played: Shameless hypocrisy and self-interest under the misnomer "public service." Whether as career politicians and/or as influence peddlers, the Democratic and Republican PPPC and their families will do just fine financially, no matter what. However, we hoi polloi and our families do stand to lose in this game. But, I digress....(Maybe) Back to Trump/Queeg.

In The Caine Mutiny, Lt. Barney Greenwald successfully defends the officers of the Caine against charges of mutiny for relieving Captain Queeg of his command. Lambasting the officers privately later, however, Lt. Greenwald points out that Captain Queeg could not help himself because Queeg was too sick (emotionally). However, the officers who had relieved Queeg of his command had made intentional choices.

Had the officers chosen to support Queeg from the start, they would not have had to relieve him of his command. Instead, they chose to mock and undermine him at every turn, driving an already impaired man over the edge. For that reason, Lt. Greenwald claimed that it was not the Captain, but the officers (the PPPC) who had put the ship (nation) and its crew (us) at risk. Greenwald says something like, "You don’t support the captain because you like the way he parts his hair. You do it because, unless he can do his job, you’re no good."

Granted, Trump is not a counterpart of Queeg. And, I doubt that merely supporting Trump could save him from himself. Nor do I want him supported in his every endeavor. To the contrary! Still, Lt. Greenwald's rant does have some application to what has been happening since the end of the balls to four watch the morning of November 9, 2016.4 Members of the PPPC can do their damnedest to try to bring out whatever may be best in Trump and to seek common ground with him in the hope of getting something positive for us accomplished. Or, they can continue to choose actions contrary to what they preach when a Democrat holds the Oval Office. Denigrating Trump takes no intelligence or skill: He's too easy a target. Beyond that, doing so stands to help only the PPPC, not us. So, what now?

The highest priority of a public servant would be working with the President, regardless of who the President may be, to attain the maximum benefit for the greatest number of people. However, you don't attain or maintain ability to work with the President by ridiculing him publicly and promising to block him at every turn. Those things are, in my opinion, tacit acknowledgment that your goal is benefiting yourself, not benefiting Americans. Yet,that is exactly what the PPPC, especially has been doing since at least November 9, 2016 and what Democratic plutocrats have promised to keep doing while Trump is President.5

We can spend the rest of Trump's time in office focusing on trying to humiliate Trump. Or we can focus on the greater good. We don’t need to be Trump's accomplices or to enable him, or even pretend to agree with him when we don't. But we also don’t have to go out of our way to degrade him or undermine him. Nor must we attempt to generate hurricane category 5 level public hysteria over every misstep or "misspeak" of his, significant or not.6 And we certainly don't have to fabricate stuff. Or egg on or cheer any of those efforts.

I have zero optimism about mainstream media. However, for the sake of the country, I must hope that at least some adults are somewhere in the immense and incredibly costly room we call the federal government. If so, I hope the adults in the room do their best to accomplish something productive for us.7

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FOOTNOTES

1 Italicized terms that are not titles or foreign words are nautical terms, most of which are defined at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_nautical_terms.

2 Of Back to the Future, esp. Back to the Future II, and The Caine Mutiny, respectively. The Caine Mutiny. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=film+The+Caine+Mutiny

3http://caucus99percent.com/content/impeach-impeach-part-1; http://caucus99percent.com/content/impeach-impeach-part-2

4http://caucus99percent.com/content/msnbcs-self-styled-liberals-sounding-...

5 Among many others: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/315238-schumer-democrats-wi... tooth-and-nail; http://thedailybanter.com/2016/11/democrats-do-to-trump-republicans-obama/; http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/28/michael-moore-lists-the-exact-ways-dem... https://www.yahoo.com/news/democrats-stop-trumps-white-house-143309101.html

6 One recent example of ginning hysteria is characterizing as a "Constitutional crisis" the utterly unremarkable act of a President's appealing a lower court's ruling to a higher court. Another example: Trump said that Putin is not the only killer (in the world), followed by "Do you think this country (the U.S.A.) is so innocent? The PPPC then pretended that Trump had said that the things the US has done are as bad as the things Putin has done.

Most likely, the U.S., being 228 years old, with racism, misogyny and plutocracy enshrined in its Constitution--the last two until 1919 and 1964, respectively--has "out-bad guy-ed" Putin by orders of magnitude. However, I think I may agree that an incumbent President should not cop to that so freely--or so bluntly. President Obama's "We tortured some folks" and Michelle Obama's "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback," caused a stir, too, but not from both left and right, as did Trump's comment.

7 Synchronicity? I started this essay in January, then diverted to other essays and life in general. I saw this on February 12: http://www.mediaite.com/online/grow-up-dnc-chair-candidate-says-democrat... I would not mind seeing this adult as DNC head. Purple state, too!
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IMAGE GALLERY

Clemson Class destroyer, like the USS Caine
The U.S.S. Constitution, under fire
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Amanda Matthews's picture

doesn't want change. I know because Nancy Pelosi said so. /s

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@Amanda Matthews

Recently, some Boston professor claimed he'd never heard complaints about the left from the left. Which planet is his university on?

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@Amanda Matthews

saying "For Pete's sake." But wikitionary speculates that it's either a reference to St. Peter or a corruption of "for pity's sake." https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/for_Pete's_sake

Not very satisfying.

There's a day to celebrate it, though. http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/02/21/neuharth-for-petes-sake...

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Amanda Matthews Dear gods this makes me never want to use the terms "left" or "right" again ever ever ever. Nancy Pelosi "left?" Ow, my head.

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Voting for the party currently agitating for war with Russia seems adverse to the notion of promoting good government.
--on the cusp

Arrow's picture

Remember the Maniac!

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If we wish real hard and believe...we can save Tinkerbell...next time for sure. My prognostication of what people at TOP and that party will think about it.

@Arrow

Which reminds me:

Remember the Maine.

Remember the Lusitania.

Remember the Arizona.

I think World War II marked the end of using names of ships as a casus belli. After that, we began pretending we were not at war. We began the Korean Police Action, whatever that means, and the Vietnam Era, whatever that means. Truman actually began both, although with Vietnam, our involvement under Truman was supposedly limited to money. It was also under Truman that the Department of War changed its name to the far more deceptive Department of Defense. Apparently, Truman was a p.r. genius.

Under Eisenhower, our involvement in Vietnam morphed into sending "advisors." (Who knew advising could be so fatal and so expensive?) I am not sure, but I think we may have been close to admitting we were fighting by the time JFK got shot. And then, it was on to Johnson and Nixon and 550000 fatalities.

After Vietnam, we didn't even feel obligated to name stuff. We just killed people. Why give people a handy way to discuss and remember things by naming them? Since 911, we get to do whatever we feel like wherever we feel like under the guise of "defending" ourselves against terrorists.

Then again, we've always been at war with Eastasia.

Fun facts about war!

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@HenryAWallace "Tell me what were their names, what were their names; did you have a friend on the good Reuben James" - a WW2 song about a destroyer

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"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

@duckpin

However, I am partial to original versions, especially if sung by the writer. And, Woody Guthrie is a national treasure. I think it useful to distinguish, though. Guthrie paid tribute to people killed during a war. Governments suggest (cynically, IMO) that we wage war over sinking of a ship. X number of people died, so we must avenge them by sending many multiples of X to death, loss of physical and mental abilities--and that's only on our side--and destruction of somebody's country. The insanity of war boggles the mind, yet we cannot seem to evolve into sanity.

But, as usual, I digress (maybe).

The Sinking of the Reuben James” is a song by Woody Guthrie about the sinking of the U.S. convoy escort, the Reuben James, which was the first U.S. naval ship sunk by German U-boats in World War II. Woody Guthrie had started to write a song including each name on the casualty list of the sinking. This was later replaced by the chorus “tell me what were their names.”

The song is set to the melody of Wildwood Flower, an antebellum tune by Joseph Philbrick Webster.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sinking_of_the_Reuben_James

The real life story story of the ship's sinking. Your reference is especially fitting, duckpin. The Reuben James was Clemson class, like the fictional USS Caine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Reuben_James_(DD-245)

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Arrow's picture

@HenryAWallace You inspired me..

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If we wish real hard and believe...we can save Tinkerbell...next time for sure. My prognostication of what people at TOP and that party will think about it.

@Arrow

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@HenryAWallace Why was Truman such a shit!

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Voting for the party currently agitating for war with Russia seems adverse to the notion of promoting good government.
--on the cusp

earthling1's picture

We see only a shell. This regime is a labyrinth where the people's causes are sent to and lost. It is a feature, not a bug. The ONLY way out is to never go in.
Credexit. Cut their money supply. Stop borrowing from them. Live a cash existence.
Otherwise, a slow and inexorable boat to slavery for our grandchildren.

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@earthling1

convenience, but I pay in full on time every month, so I don't pay interest. That still allows the credit card company to make money from the vendors from whom I buy. The vendors reflect the cost of their credit card dealings in the prices they charge the public, including me. But my convenience is worth something to me, too.

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@HenryAWallace retailers rarely give discounts for cash. So it's a question of whether the credit card company or the retailer gets the value of the credit card fee. If you pay ALL of it every month you pay no interest and may even get a rebate.

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@FuturePassed

though the vendor saves somewhere between 2% and 4% on cash purchases and no doubt would prefer cash for any number of reasons (including for small vendors, a greater possibility of understating income with no paper trail).

No flies on the credit card company lobbyists!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@earthling1 I think they're coming after that option. We might need to go to barter. Jesus Christ, they're deconstructing civilization.

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Voting for the party currently agitating for war with Russia seems adverse to the notion of promoting good government.
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earthling1's picture

And have actually walked out when denied. But more than that they can no longer track where you have gone. Too much information. No one needs to know where I shop or buy.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@earthling1 I like how you think.

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Voting for the party currently agitating for war with Russia seems adverse to the notion of promoting good government.
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earthling1's picture

that interest expenses used to be deductable from your Federal income taxes?
Yeah, it's true! Back in the late 50s and early 60s Banksters lured Americans to buy into the credit scheme to put a little plastic card into everybodys wallet. All interest was deductible.
Clasic bait n' switch. Get America hooked on credit then yank the deductibility away from us. TPTB continue to attack the last remaining interest deduction, mortgage interest.
Credit profit is their lifeline. Without this interest income the banksters would collapse. America MUST stop doing business with these banks.
Ironically, we don't need a congressman to do this. Nor any kind of law enforcement. Even the entire Executive branch can be totally ignored. This is all us, a united American people acting as one and voting with our wallets. No one can stop us. Not even Taft- Hartly.
Credexit. Stop borrowing from them. Use cash wherever you can. Join a credit UNION!
Since 44% of voters are now independent, any new party should be called " The Independent Party ".
IMHO.

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@earthling1

Just don't borrow.

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