America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Confessions of America's Political Elite
By Elaine Kendall
23 August 2017
Yes, Trump could be right.† I do have a few Russian connections; dinner twice at the Russian Tea Room before it closed in 2012, and as I recall, we had Beef Stroganoff and Chicken Kiev, though I donít remember ordering caviar or borscht, or which time I had the chicken and Bill had the beef. When Chelsea was about 3, she had a set of Matryoshka nesting dolls. If only she had saved them for Charlotte, we would be glad to turn them over to the investigation. Ours came from Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev. President Reagan gave them to us. You can order them now from Amazon, but those are fake Matryoshka dolls made in China.
An Enemy of the People? The Ibsen Play written in the late 19th century? I know it quite well. The politician brother of the doctor owns a spa with water polluted by a leather tanning factory, and the doctor wants to shut it down to keep the patrons from getting typhoid or cholera. Heís the hero and his brother is the villain. I only read it and never saw it, but plan to go if itís back on Broadway. Itís amazingly pertinent now.
I believe two of my Princeton friends became Democrats and still may be. †I havenít seen either of them since 1966, but one of them is a Noble Laureate in physics, and the other is an orthopedic surgeon practicing in Hawaii. Please do not ask me for their names. There were quite a few would-be Democrats in Princeton during the 60s: about 50% of our class.
I would say yes, I am beleaguered. Who wouldnít be beleaguered if he or she were Attorney General under current conditions? I wonder if the president knows the meaning of the word. Actually, it connotes being surrounded by hostile leagues of warriors. From the gospel of Matthew, whosoever shall smite thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also. †Having done that, I have exhausted my allotment of cheeks. †Furthermore, I regret to say that I might be considered weak by someone who could bench-press a VW Beetle, but that sort of activity doesnít pertain to law or any conceivable duties of the Attorney General.
Guilty of disseminating Fake News?† The closest thing to fake news I ever mentioned was a mistake in the number of desks our charity was able to put into African schools. I neglected to count this monthís number, which has now brought the total over to a thousand instead of the five hundred thirty-five I originally announced two months ago.
I assume the number I gave in June is now called fake news, but it was real news when I thanked all the contributors to the K.I.N.D. fund. Any rational person would call five hundred thirty-five just old true news. Nothing fake about it. Not a single desk.
President Obama ruled that transgender people can serve in the armed forces, and though I doubt that thousands of them are lining up to enlist, I certainly believe that they should not be discriminated against. Transgender people would be superb spies, able to switch identities with greater facility than anyone else.† That would make them invaluable.
Becoming a transgender person requires more courage, daring and dedication than anything I can imagine, especially if that person knows anything at all about the military services. There are infinite jobs in the Army, Navy, Air Corps, Coast Guard, and Marines in which gender is a non-issue. The Medical Corps and JAG, just two of a million. So, cancelling Obamaís order makes President Trump Enemy in Chief of Civil Rights.†
General James Mattis
Is the president aware that he has already fulfilled the requirements for a Court Martial? †As Commander in Chief of all our armed forces, he is welcome to choose the Navyís Captains Mast as a prelude to the following Court Martial. The Commander in Chief is certainly subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and has committed all seven of the punishable offenses in the UCMJ. I suggest he not bother with the Naval prelude, but go directly to Court Martial. Captainís Mast usually deals with a single less serious infraction.
Branded an enemy of the people by the president, even though The New York Times may not reach the hundreds of millions who see my colleagues on television and other devices, I want to make it clear that I am merely the enemy of an assorted 32% of the people. (Thanks for the compliment) 68% may not agree with everything I write, but they donít consider me an enemy, only a columnist with hundreds of adjectives and nouns that I am willing to share with the president if ever he asks for them.† When I hear him repeating the same hackneyed words over for the thousandth time I actually feel a pico-second of pity. When he manages a sentence, itís bound to be a three-word antique clichť, Time will tell, time will tell; three shabby words, and he actually had to repeat them. Here at The New York Times, we tell time; time doesnít tell us. And we make our deadlines.
Leaving the White House was entirely my idea. Who else had ideas? †What can you do inside the White House that you canít do outside? You donít have to dress up every day in a suit and tie to step outside for a bit fresh air and a conversation with the president. Dressing up is not what I do.† Iím proclaiming myself ďSteve the BarbarianĒ and Iím not a racist. Was George Bernard Shaw a racist? Bertrand Russell, who became a Nobel Laureate when he suggested that all people be given various color-coded procreation tickets to prevent the gene pool from dilution by inferior humans? †H.G. Wells? That was Eugenics, not racism, and Iím bringing it back by tomorrow. †††
A journalist and playwright, Elaineís books of American cultural history were published by Little, Brown, Putnam and Capra; her plays by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus and Art Age. Musical plays are An American Cantata; The Would-be Diva; Isadora! and COLE and WILL: Together Again! Non-musical dramas are The Chameleon; Two Margarets; The Trial of Mata Hari and The Nominee. The ďIĒ Word; Gun Show Follies and Secrets of the Showroom are short comedies. She has written for many national magazines; The New York Times and the LA Times. Current articles appear monthly in the aptly-named online journal The Satirist.