Special Counsel: Checks and Balances Working!

“I think it in one sense it is bad news for Trump and it is good news for people who want a robust investigation because Mueller is definitely a straight shooter and he has a good reputation as an FBI director,” said Jens David Ohlin, a Cornell University law professor. “It means that the investigation goes on. It is not going to be stopped and it also means that the Deputy Attorney General doesn’t want to do Trump’s bidding on this.”

The checks and balances of democracy, in other words, hold.

Mueller’s arrival on the scene represents another learning experience for a President determined to wield wide executive power but who has been thwarted by checks built into the nation’s political infrastructure, for example, the courts that blocked his travel ban for people from Muslim nations.

–CNN article, Now it’s up to the special counsel, 5/18/17

Okay, who had six months in the pool?  You just might win.  Or, more importantly, the American people win when the system set up by the Founding Fathers protects us from tyranny.

And, of course, Trump takes to Twitter to proclaim himself the victim.  Yet more narcissistic behavior from this “president” who never should’ve made the nomination, let alone the election.  Does he really think that anybody–other than his core group of supporters–takes him seriously?

He gets dumbed-down intel reports which deliberately use his name to hold his attention.  His aides are afraid he’ll screw up while meeting with Middle Eastern leaders, because he doesn’t understand the intricacies of the politics there.  (Source here.)

Meanwhile, he uses the authoritarian tactic of accusing the press of falsehood, so the people will put their trust in him instead–taking away our constitutional check on presidential power, a free, unencumbered press.  See Historian Timothy Snyder: “It’s pretty much inevitable” that Trump will try to stage a coup and overthrow democracy.  Also below, as Snyder explains that first you lie, then you claim all your opponents/press are lying, then the people don’t know what the truth is, and the game is over:

I’m still not sure if Trump is a buffoon who’s so narcissistic that he stumbles into behaving like an authoritarian leader because he keeps “suffering” narcissistic injuries and lashes out…or if he’s purposely trying to become an evil dictator.

I am up to nearly page 300 of Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, however, and note that Hitler was much smarter than Trump.  Hitler would not have needed dumbed-down intel reports, for example.  He also lived/breathed politics since his youth, and had long-term plans for carrying out his agenda and taking over the country.

I get the impression that Trump was–like many people–saying, “If I were president I would do such-and-such,” you know, armchair presidenting.  And didn’t realize that being President is not at all the same as running a business, or as being a king.  That you don’t suddenly have everybody in the country jumping to do your bidding no matter what, and that it’s not just about knowing top secrets or getting awesome chocolate cakes or the best seat.  That it’s not about giving your family cool positions, nor is your family running the country now like some dynasty.  That if you screw up, somebody could actually die.

Maybe next election, people will stop decrying “career politicians” and recognize that some political experience and knowledge in a president is crucial!

As for Mike Pence taking over–I’m ambivalent about that.  On the one hand, yeah, he could become the next Scott Walker and screw over the country.  But then again, at least he seems to be a grownup.  I don’t think he’d be egging on North Korea into a nuclear war.  I’m impressed by how he treated this autistic kid who got bopped in the nose.  (Apparently now people on FOX are calling this poor kid a “snowflake” for standing up for himself.  Geez, people, he’s 8, and learning how to be assertive despite challenges, not a “snowflake”!  What bullies, picking on an 8-year-old!)

 

 

 

Reblog: The Misogyny and Heresy of Church Authority | john pavlovitz

Hatmaker was specifically named-dropped in the piece—and the timing wasn’t at all accidental. The popular pastor/writer/blogger has recently received tremendous castigation from within a Christian pop culture machine who’d previously been enamored with her—as she’s publicly affirmed the LGBTQ and pushed back against much of the hypocrisy she’s witnessed in organized Christianity.

Source: The Misogyny and Heresy of Church Authority | john pavlovitz

John’s post alerted me to a situation that I–not spending much time in the Evangelical Christian blogosphere–was not aware of.  I found Jen Hatmaker’s blog, read how she’s suffering from this persecution from so-called “Christians,” and left a comment to help her mend.

I also subscribed to follow-up comments.  One left this evening was particularly disturbing: Somebody left a comment linking to a horrid blog post about Ms. Hatmaker, and said it was the “best response yet.”  The tone of both the commenter and the blogger reminded me of the trolls who came around here a few months ago, and how they normally treat their usual target.  It’s a huge red flag of narcissism and/or sociopathy, so commonplace around the Net these days.

Here is the comment I left for John Pavlovitz:

John, somebody just linked this horrid post on Jen Hatmaker’s blog: [LINK DELETED BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO IT AND MAKE THE POST GO UP IN GOOGLE]

I’m so glad to see people–like you–sticking up for her. She’s suffering and people are viciously attacking her for being upset. It’s the same narcissistic attitude and trolling behavior that’s all over the rest of the Net, here coming from “Christians.”

My gosh, I post things all the time similar to what Jen said about LGBT….Other bloggers I know, and people I know in real life, say the same things. LOTS of them. Christians. But Jen is getting pilloried for being compassionate and refusing to just blindly follow rather than thinking and considering the truth of what she’s supposed to believe.

As I wrote above, I removed the link to the horrid post because I didn’t want to drive traffic to it from my blog and make it look good in Google.  But you can see the link in my original comment to John Pavlovitz.

(Turning off comments in case John’s and Jen’s trolls come here.)

 

An example of controlling spouse forbidding same-sex friendship:

Eventually he forbade me from seeing her unless our kids were present. I still would hang out with her alone as adults here and there; I’d just not tell him. I never told her my husband did not want me seeing her. Eventually, she found out and was furious. The next day, my husband looked her email up on the school contact list and sent a hate-filled email to her. He never told me and acted completely normal. She forwarded it to me and said we couldn’t be friends or even speak anymore.

Source: Help! My Husband Sabotaged My Best Friendship in Order to “Get Me Back.”

I was just editing my post on jealousy and marriage last night and glanced over the section on same-sex friendships.  And then today I read the above.  It’s yet another example showing that jealousy is about control more than keeping a spouse from falling in love with somebody else.  The above husband behaved as if his wife’s friendship with another woman somehow threatened their marriage.

I am against all sorts of jealousy and controlling the friendships of your spouse.  It doesn’t matter to me what sex the friend is–especially since, in some cases, you’re dealing with gay couples or bisexual spouses.  (Can they have no friends, then?)

I have been on both sides of this myself: I was the good friend that the spouse hated, until the spouse sent me a series of hate-filled e-mails.  I, too, said that we could no longer be friends, and that was that.  So I know what that’s like.

I’ve also been in the position of the letter-writer, with my ex.  This was in college; I had a whole group of friends which he objected to.  He kept trying to drive wedges between us, badmouthing them, getting mad at me for not “sticking up” for him even though I did not see any bad behavior on their part (or, in one case, they objected to his bad treatment of me).

When that didn’t work, he broke up with me, then his friend–a flying monkey–tried to scold me into breaking off these friendships.  These friendships were not just close and dear friends, but also my roommates!  They had seen me through other bad relationships, and stuck up for me.  How could I reject them?

It’s good to see advice columnists–such as Dear Prudence and Carolyn Hax–calling out such behavior for what it is.  Here, Prudence calls it “controlling, creepy, abusive, and cruel.”

 

This “winning” over narcissists is not really winning

Several years ago, I feared the merger of my church with my narcissistic abusers’ church.  At the time, it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen.

Meanwhile, my abusers found my blog and decided to threaten me and start stalking me at church.  However, their threats soon fell away and turned to nothing, until the only “stalking” they do now is to read my blog once in a while.

As for the merger, it did finally happen last year.  I was afraid they would start coming to my church all the time.  Thankfully, however, they did not.  I have not seen them at my church in several years, even though I occasionally see them in the church website stats.  Their church had no services for a few years, so I guess they go wherever they’ve been going for the past several years, if anywhere at all.  When I do see them in the church stats, it’s usually around a major holiday such as Christmas or Easter.  If they’ve been to my church, it’s been on a day I wasn’t there.

But this time around, I saw no sign of them at all in the stats even around Easter.  I guess they’ve moved on.  The threat is long over.  Yes, it’s a huge relief, and yes, I am glad about that.

But I have to be careful.  I must not gloat or feel like I’ve “won.”  Nobody has “won” here.  The best outcome of this whole situation would’ve been repentance and reconciliation.

People say narcissists don’t repent and it’s better not to reconcile with them.  Still, my faith–and, apparently, current research–say that narcissists can sometimes choose to repent and work on eradicating their narcissism.  The victim of a narcissist needs to be careful, though, because oftentimes an apparent repentance is actually a ruse to manipulate the victim.  I’ve been through that in the past, too, with an abusive ex.  Though years later, he did finally regret what he did.

But I’ve also experienced, again and again, past bullies or abusers apologizing to me.  Maybe I find them on Facebook or at a class reunion, and they are nothing now like the mean person I remember.  Time and growing up led to their apologies, which I did not seek out.

So a part of me can continue to hope that one day Richard and Tracy will repent and try to make things right, though it’s just in back of my mind now, not something I’m “waiting” for.  And while yes, it is a relief to not deal with them except as information in my blog stats, I still need to look at the situation with sadness that it was not resolved in a proper, Christian manner.  And also sadness that a friendship I poured so much of myself into, that meant so much to me–meant nothing at all to him.

There is no “winning” here.  The ultimate goal is salvation for all parties, not beating a narc.