I have nothing but outrage left for those who chose this week to leave the sinking ship that is the Trump administration. While this past week was awful, these folks didn't draw the line at kids in cages, at Muslim bans, at Charlottesville, at politicizing the pandemic, and all the rest. So, I want to do two things in this post, ok, three if one includes venting my spleen: discuss the consequences and rank the awful.
First, the thing that comes to mind is "to the pain" that Wesley/Dread Pirate Roberts threatens Prince Humperdink at the end of Princess Bride. No, I don't mean that we should chop off the hands and feet and cut out the eyes of the various Trumpists. But the idea that these folks will not be able to walk the streets without the wails of disgust as they go by--that is what I want. None of them should have a comfy dinner in a restaurant. None of them should get comfy fellowships at Harvard. If Heritage and other right wing institutions want to soil themselves by letting these folks hang out there, then so be it, let their reputations decline as a result. None of these folks should ever serve in office again.
Second, I listen to too many podcasts that rank movies and rank athletes and such. And, yes, ranking is a Spew tradition from early on. So, let me suggest the different circles of awful with slightly declining "to the pain" treatment (although all should never be seen as legitimate ever again).
First level, we can call the Trump Suite: Donald Trump. He is the worst of the worst. He stands alone for instigating all of this, for all of the awful he has done just so that can he can get some tv time and some grift for graft or some graft for his grift.
Second level: we can call Mitch.
Third level: we can call the Family: Don Jr., Ivanka, Jared, Eric, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, Mick Mulvaney, Pompeo, Mike Flynn, etc. These are folks who played central roles in getting the Trump graft and incitement train running and maintaining it. We deserve to hear from none of these people ever again, and none of them should hold a position of power or influence. The only one that "earned" it was Bannon through his opportunism. The rest rode coattails, and chose to ride with Trump to end of the line (Mick can pretend otherwise).
Fourth level: we can call the Circle of Hate. This would be Fox News, Sinclair, OAN, Steve Bannon (saw awful, he deserves multiple levels), Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, whoever Q is, Jeff Sessions, Bill Barr, John Kelly, Kirsten Nielsen, Chad Wolf, Kris Kobak, Kayleigh Mcenany, Sean Spicer, and the like. These are the folks who engaged in two related enterprises--fostering an alternative reality for the gullible, koolaid-swilling cultists and promoting violence against Americans and against the government. This is where the xenophobes and the gaslighters reside.
Fifth level: we can call the Graft-tastic. This would be Betsy DeVos, Elaine Chao, Ben Carson, and pretty much most of Trump's cabinet and other hangers-on who profited from their time in Trumpland. They sold out the country for some additional wealth. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue and other inside traitors go here.
Sixth level: we can call Roomless Adults. These are the folks who were viewed as the responsible people that were supposed to restrain Trump but mostly legitimated Trump and were the living embodiment of the wishful thinking of the desperate. HR McMaster, Jim Mattis, Rex Tillerson, etc.
Seventh level: we can call the Re-Animated Deplorables. Best exemplified by Elliott Abrams, who keeps getting chance after chance to do awful things.
Eighth level: the bad faith cowardly enablers. This would be Rubio, Graham, and others who have defended, explained away, and facilitated the Trump era.
I am sure I am forgetting both individuals and levels. The key is that none of these people should be forgiven for what they have done. They should live in shame, despite their inability to feel shame. People should be embarrassed to be seen with them, to employ them, to give them platforms. They should only have each other as friends and companions. They should live lonely lives of desperation for what they have wrought. It is easy for me to vow to have nothing to do with organizations that embrace them since, well, I am not going to get any speaking engagements at Harvard and Heritage anytime soon. But vow I will to condemn those that treat these awful people as if they belong in the conversation. They have done tremendous damage at home and abroad, and it will take generations to mend (if we are lucky). So, no, no forgiveness anytime soon. Only if there is genuine remorse, a full fessing up, and consequences. I don't expect any of that from these people.