The storm before the storm

I’ve always been fascinated by movies that manage to build to their end by weaving a collection of disparate storylines into one broadly dramatic climax. I just never thought I’d be living through one. With the November elections serving as a hard deadline whose outcome will change everything that comes thereafter, we’re now seeing the various Trump-era scandals coming to a head, even as the various Trump-era factions try to hurry up and finish the job. Amidst the backdrop of this growing storm, there is – of course – an actual storm.

It was already surreal enough to watch the Republicans try to finish the job for their wealthy donors by rushing the overwhelmingly unsuitable Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court before they potentially lose control of Congress, even as Donald Trump spends his limited remaining time in a psychological downward spiral, even as Special Counsel Robert Mueller and several of Donald Trump’s own people try to finish Trump off.

Now, even as these storylines begin to coalesce into each other, Hurricane Florence has brought everything into crystal clear focus. American lives, lots of them, are on the line with this historically dangerous storm. Even as Trump is facing heightening questions from all sides about his presidential competence and mental competence, he and his inept shell of an administration are tasked with trying to prepare a storm response.

It’s brought Donald Trump’s disastrous failed response to the Puerto Rico hurricane back into focus. It’s also exposed that he cut the hurricane response budget to help fund his ICE gestapo, which in turn has put his immigrant child concentration camps back into focus. This comes even as Trump’s Supreme Court nominee begins to look like some kind of degenerate gambler in the middle of his confirmation hearings. Meanwhile, Paul Manafort, the only indicted Trump underling who had been trying to remain loyal to Trump, is now negotiating a plea deal against him.

So of course a metaphorical historic storm is playing out against the backdrop of an actual historic storm. Everything is about to collide. Here’s hoping everyone out there can stay safe – whether they’re in the path of Hurricane Florence, or they’re simply in the path of Hurricane Donald.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report

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