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We have a problem with our federal government, but it’s not exactly the one we’re used to thinking about. Frankly, we don’t want to think about it all – better to deny the reality entirely. Easier to lie and lie and lie, and blame our problems on everyone else. Easier to blame Liberals, or Wokesters, or (the current favorite among the increasingly reality-averse folks who still cannot face that Trump has immolated himself once and for all time) traitors and sabotage. It is, of course, all lies. Mind you, lies can be useful – especially when trying to avoiding hurt feelings (our own not the least), but they’re still lies. At one time rebellions against ruling monarchs favored the lie “We’re not really rebelling against the King, he’s just the victim of bad advisors.”
The lie we all tell ourselves today is that we are the helpless victims of “The DC Establishment” (or whatever other term you want to use). Synonyms for this include “Wall Street,” “Big Tech,” and a host of others. They are the “bad advisors” we blame for manipulating Congress, for stealing elections, or for disloyalty to Trump (fact check here: the only consistent disloyalty in the Trump administration came from Trump – watching his cabinet members go from vaunted heroes to filthy traitors and sellouts in the commentariat was much akin to studying Soviet photography for disappearing faces alongside Stalin). We are very good at lying to ourselves about why Trump lost this or that political battle, about why Congress is a dysfunctional mess, and about why the “authoritarian ratchet” is inexorable. The truth we cannot confront about it is all is simple, and we all bear the shame of it. We do not really want any of our congress critters, our president, or our courts to lead us out of our morass, we want them to follow us into the pit of our own making. And follow they blithely do.