OpEd: Another bizarre week of winning
Just when you thought things could not possibly get more bizarre in America they do. We had not one, but two massacres resulting in dozens of people dead. For reasons that are not completely clear these two mass killings seem to have gotten the attention of the Republicans. Maybe it's because there's an election coming up or maybe it's because the NRA is in shambles. Who knows? It should probably be seen as a good thing that they've suddenly decided to care. That said, the leader of the Senate, "Moscow" Mitch McConnell, has just said that the Senate is not going to get going with gun legislation anytime soon.
Then there was arguably one of the strangest, most distasteful and disgusting photo-ops of all-time. Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, went to a hospital in El Paso; one of the towns that had a shooting. They apparently were there not to console any of the victims, or to offer sympathy and compassion. Nope, they were there to talk about Trump and for a photo-op. Both parents of a baby child were killed, leaving the child orphaned. What a great opportunity, Mr. Trump must've thought, as they brought the discharged, orphaned baby back to the hospital to be photographed with the president. That's right, they had to bring the baby back to the hospital for this photo op.
There was no expressions of sadness or remorse. Nope. Instead, there was Trump and the First Lady beaming; big smiles adorned their otherwise morose faces. Melania was holding the baby as if she'd never held one before. Inasmuch as Barron was raised by a nanny, there's a pretty good chance that Melania might not have ever held a baby. Rich people have nannies. Regular people raise their own kids.
Donald Trump was jubilant. He flashed great big smile and a big thumbs up. Who gives a big thumbs up while getting a picture taken with a newly orphaned child? Donald J. Trump, that's who. I guess having the kid's parents killed was a great thing for the Trumps to celebrate. Good for them. I guess this was there "Be Best" moment. They should be very proud.
Cosmically, a day or so later the courts dumped a lot of files on one of Mr. Trump's former running buddies, Jeffrey Epstein. You may remember Mr. Epstein. He's the man who hired women to lure very young girls into his lair for sex with him and his friends. As Trump once said, "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."
Yes, many of them were on the younger side. Funny how Mr. Trump would know this, don't you think? Then the inevitable happened; Epstein got busted. Immediately Trump's response when asked about his relationship with Epstein was, "I wasn't a fan." Seriously? That's what he said. Well, there once was a time when he was a fan; a big fan of Epstein's. Just how big we may never know.
This morning as I was driving to the hardware store listening to the radio I learned that Epstein was dead. He allegedly committed suicide. This is particularly odd in that he supposedly attempted suicide when he first went to prison while awaiting trial. This man has a truckload of issues, yet for some reason someone decided he should be taken off the suicide watch list. A week later he's dead.
Attorney General — currently playing the role of Trump's personal attorney and fixer — Bill Barr immediately declared that the prison was at fault. No point in waiting for an investigation to learn what really happened. Then again, Mr. Barr has a history of spinning events. The Mueller report comes to mind.
There is no doubt that there are a lot of very important and powerful people breathing a sigh of relief tonight. Dead men not only tell no lies; they don't tell the truth, either. Epstein's is a most fortuitous death. We may now never know the extent of his operation and the complete list of men who chose to participate in it. Not sure even Agatha Christie could solve this mystery.
It's entirely possible that Epstein's conscious finally got the best of him and he took advantage of guards looking the other way. But it's not beyond the realm of reason to think that someone, or many someones, thought it would be best if Mr. Epstein's time came to an end.
There's never a dull moment here in America today. It would seem as though the events above would be enough for any country, but we have one more tidbit of information that was nearly lost in the din of the week's events. To top off the week, we learned that a few countries are issuing travel warnings for coming to America, saying we're a gun culture and it's dangerous here.
If the shoe fits .
Bob Stannard writes a regular column for the Journal.
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