Is Anyone In Charge?

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides – on many sides…” [President Trump on Charlottesville violence, as quoted by Fox News].

What is this remark supposed to mean? Is there no distinction to be made between extremists and their victims? Are those calling for hatred and violence simply one side in a debate with those who happen to prefer some other approach? Does Trump have any idea what happened while he was playing golf? Is anyone responsible for keeping him informed of national emergencies? While he is off duty (for we all deserve a rest), who is covering for him? Do we still have a Vice President?

Should we assume that a race riot by apparent Neo-Nazis who apparently seek to re-ignite the Civil War does not qualify as an “emergency” requiring action by the nation’s Chief Executive? Then, what would? Or am I missing the point? Rather than asking if this emergency—and I assert that an act of domestic terrorism that succeeds in murdering someone does, at some level, undeniably constitute an “emergency”–rises to the level requiring Presidential attention, should our conclusion be that the events in Charlottesville constitute, in the President’s mind, a useful step in the direction he wishes this country to go?

Indeed, in Trump’s defense, the President should not micromanage every problem. That is why the nation has…well, for example, an Attorney General! Is Sessions also playing golf? OK, it is, after all, August. Who covers for the Attorney General when he is otherwise occupied?

And what about the FBI? Doesn’t the FBI have a new director? Does he also play golf? If Sessions is too busy to attend to domestic terrorism (should it occur), shouldn’t the head of the FBI perhaps stay in the office, just in case?

There was a day, perhaps now forgotten, when police dogs were turned against school children whose skin was the “wrong” color. The President of that day, although a Southerner, was first an American, and he felt it proper to send military forces to patrol the streets. He acted to protect innocent victims against extremists, even though the extremist in question was the sheriff!

Down to the very lowest level of management in the Federal bureaucracy, when the boss (even a branch manager with only 3-4 guys) is out of the office for the day, someone steps in to fill the temporary vacancy. Things happen; decisions need to be made…because even at the lowest levels of the Federal bureaucracy, the work they do matters. So, at the top…

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