Papering Over the Cracks

Builders will tell you that cracks need to be dealt with.  In fact, they advise that a crack in a plaster wall actually needs to be enlarged, with the edges broadened, and then the whole fracture should be filled with joint compound (modern plaster), so that the entire area is made stronger.  If a crack is merely papered over, it will simply extend and enlarge, weakening the structure.

Relationships are similar in that, if minor controversies or fissures are continually ignored and dismissed, rather than resolved, an extreme stressor can cause collapse.  “Getting a divorce over the uncapped toothpaste tube,” is a well-known meme, begun decades ago by an advice columnist.  If irritations, resentments, and secret sorrows accumulate in silent misery, the eventual meltdown and explosion may be irreparable.

The U.S. today is a country of deep divisions; we see that every day.  Class and wealth differences, religious divergences, and most glaring recently, political disagreements.  Of course, in some cases, the religious and political convictions follow the same fault lines. 

The tectonic plates of the right and left rumbled last week, sending shock waves through the country.  The edifice that is our government teetered for an instant, but quickly stabilized.  Most of us were traumatized.  Some were aghast at the severity of the disturbance.  Others were unsurprised, because the signs were there, in bold type.  A large handful helped create the conditions and the impetus (Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, to name the two worst).  Still others reportedly did their parts to set the rumble in motion (Representatives Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and Mo Brooks).  Of course, the person in charge at the White House triggered the plate shift itself. 

As the aftershocks continue, the legislative branch of government is facing the dilemma of what to do about the tremors targeting its collective person, its People’s House, and its capacity to do its job.  In essence, one part of the coequal triumvirate that runs the country detonated a bomb that opened up cracks in the structure as a whole.  The Constitution provides two remedies for such a bomber:  the 25th amendment and the impeachment process.  The first option relies on the cooperation of the Vice President, along with the Cabinet and Congressional leaders.  The second option involves initiation by the House and trial by the Senate. 

Vice President Pence has already indicated that he will not invoke the 25th amendment, though many in the House and even two in the Senate (as of this writing) have called for him to do so.  His reasoning for protecting a man who effectively called for his head is obscure; I can only speculate it’s due to a warped party loyalty that continues to hold sway among most of the GOP.

The House, having filed an article of impeachment, has said that, failing action by Pence, it will vote on impeachment likely by the end of the day tomorrow (January 13, 2021). 

As usual, press and punditry opinions are all over the map.  The two camps seem to be composed of those who are convinced that impeachment at this late date will accomplish nothing and will create more hostility between the right and the left; and those who believe that, no matter what, the incumbent’s actions last week cannot stand, that there must be accountability. 

I fall solidly into the latter camp.  Yes, the cult surrounding the incumbent is strong, vocal, and vicious.  They have infiltrated both law enforcement and government.  They will not rest until the object of their devotion has his way.  They are not the first cause of the right/left fissure, but they are responsible for widening it and upsetting the tension that keeps the plates in line.  Letting the events of January 6th subside into an uneasy, temporary stasis is ignoring the potential for further rumbles.  Instead, all of those responsible for the shake-up must be held out in the sunlight and called what they are:  seditionists and insurrectionists.  That label encompasses the Orange Menace, who represents the bomb that could set off the Big One.  Those who vow to create more quakes must be confronted head-on and made to understand that they will not shake the country apart.  Try as they will to create a schism powerful enough to shatter the government, they will not succeed, and will face justice for their attempts.  We must do the necessary and repair the fissures firmly, taking the measures necessary to ensure stability, even if major repairs need to be undertaken, however difficult to execute.  Those who seek to cause more shockwaves must be rendered incapable of doing so.

If we keep papering over the cracks in our society, pretending they don’t exist or are inconsequential, the next cataclysm may bring the entire building down.

20 thoughts on “Papering Over the Cracks

  1. Well put, Denise.

    I think Pence still has presidential ambitions and needs “the base,” hence his decision to oppose invoking the 25th amendment. Also, he may believe it’s better for others (the Democrats) to do the dirty work of trying to remove Trump. Why should he dirty his pure Christian hands? Let Pelosi & Co. handle it.

    So it’s yet another impeachment, this time well-deserved. If inciting a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol and imperiling Congress isn’t impeachable, what is?


  2. pence, the craven poltroon, does not have sufficiently bloated balloons between his upper thighs to assume the role of quisling, which in this context, as w/ every courageous ‘traitor’ like julian assange, does not fear speaking truth to power. we are scant-different from any other of the multifarious eusocial species, such as hymenopterans whose ‘soldier’ ants summarily and unceremoniously eliminate any member of the colony whom the soldier ants detect as housing a scintilla of maverick DNA. a shred of genetic divergence triggers the soldiers to savagely attack the outlier for fear its iconoclastic behaviour will be a threat to the nest. pence, cruz, hawley, et al are relegated to pumping up the bloated ego of their bloviating ‘queen’ to whom they bend in misplaced idolatry in terror of being displaced or replaced. they were long ago neutered and neutralized.

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  3. Properly thought out and well said Denise. As Col. Astore points out, future aspirations infect their patriotism. What will be telling is how they spin the stance they now posture before us. No spin cycle created by man should remove the stains of compliance that fouls the congressional clothing they parade around the hallowed halls. Suits with no substance, empty and hallowed out; they left their hearts at the crossroads, took the money and decided to run. Their consciences have been seared, with a hot iron; narcissism scars their heart center. Having lost all feeling; the deep currents of brother and sisterhood that are woven in our founding principles are never able to motivate and inspire their decisions. Only the steady drip of a monied IV that was inserted at the crossroads gives them life. Fearful and cowardly… the whole lot of them. Their now Global devilish handlers that carved out their hearts, and robbed this nation have sett sail for fortunes around the globe; leaving these ghostly pirates to make the commoners walk the plank. Cowardly dogs in deed.

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    1. they are indeed, utejack… ‘in deed’, word, and cryptography, aka, politicians’ and MIC’s soi-disant ‘double speak’, which only the mentally alert, such as assange, snowden, manning, and others, are privy to and are sufficiently courageous to divulgate… even if the semi-literate troglodytes in the US’s frog-bog can barely manage a coup d’oeil toward those divulgations.

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    2. As so often with your comments, utejack, quite poetic. Like your references to crossroads; perfect metaphor. Your phrasing makes your message all the more powerful, and I think you have it exactly right: the enablers/co-conspirators have nothing left inside.


  4. utejack, your poesy is arresting, but i suspect you propine credit where none is deserved; the ‘enablers/co-conspirators’ never disported consciences in the first place. if they did, they would have avoided politics and found their way to meaningful, productive, charitable, and enlightening pursuits, rather than making careers out of preying on the nescient, intellectually challenged, and gullible donnards among us.

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    1. Jeanie…You’re on to an interesting interpretation and most likely correct. But compassion would have me leave them with this observation regarding their plight.
      I speak for no other body, how could I ever know what each portion of existence is allotted when the sperm and egg unite. These are the mystical ceremonies of creations act that suspend me in awe, and void of sensory insight.
      As consciousnesses emerges to this awareness in dawns first light there appears a vessel shaped similar to that crossroad which clings to every moment until perception slips away into evenings dark delight. Conscience lies at the junction where opposing directions advocate in the halls of the human heart; where council fires are best kept burning with the timbers of do no harm.
      I suspect there are those whose consultations of cranium’s upper birth, have piled the weight of unnatural acquisition on the heartfelt council embers and scorched tender conscience in their greed filled bonfire pyre. No comfrey salve will ever heal the scar tissue that encapsulates elegant inner voice. Imprisoned agile guidance is never heard from evermore.
      What credit can one claim; when born into the lap of luxury, nourished by the silver spoon? I suspect the offspring of these admirals of monied flagships had their consciences seared by the toxins of the language they were bathed in at the sumptuous evening feasts. Children’s minds infected by the dominant demands of “sit up straight and still, be silent and only speak when spoken to” ! Surveilling policing adults , capturing imaginative explorative possibilities, frisking pure minds, standing thoughts of creativity up against the wall; and choking off the oxygen of liberating free expression. This deceitful wisdom, these aged archaic concepts, of greed and synthetic style, have caused me to ponder about their soul; as Christ did consider about a trusted friend. Maybe it would have been better had they not been born.
      Because regenerating a seared conscience is one of life’s most difficult weights to bear. They have come to solve a most difficult enigma. I would say to them this as they search for their healing… Hope dies last!

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      1. exquisite elucubrations, utejack, from the cortical furniture of a multi-hued philosopher, one imbued w/ the misericordia and unimpeachable [no pun intended, despite present circumstances in congress] attributes of an eleemosynary.

        to address your captivating metaphor, “the offspring of these admirals of monied flagships”, they too were the recipients, whether indign or flawless, of the same catalyzing sperm/ovum demiurgics that nearly every eukaryote undergoes to manifest itself as a zygote, after which the conative fun begins. if it survives but is surrounded by the toxic ambit of a reproducing adult that is either unhealthy or disdainful of its zygote’s struggle ‘toward the light’, the zygote will not flourish during its developmental stages; it will persist in an etiolated state. in more complex life forms, as you adumbrated, even if its caloric requirements are met, should the developmental environment be awash in toxins from listless, indolent, irresponsible, self-serving, hyper-critical, or nasty cynosures, the etiolation will be amplified through time, particularly of heart and mind.

        thus we have, the ‘endorsers/co-conspirators’ [thank you, denise], the trumpian acolytes of violent protest, the savagers of those societal norms that reflect decency, integrity, and honourable behaviour, the environmental rapists, and the esurient war-mongers who stamp their boot-weals upon the flesh of the vulnerable whose zygotes also managed to survive, but did so in a less toxic, more salubrious ambit.

        it would seem from your insightful excursus, utejack, that our dilemma is to understand but not comply w/ the spiritually etiolated, and our challenge is to find the means by which we can neutralize their deleterious impacts on others and their lethiferous depredations against our finite planet, which has nurtured life for over 4.2 billennia… and me for 8 decades w/out my finding a way to repay her. as you so sagely descried, utejack, “hope dies last”… but it lies buried in the finality of one’s last heartbeat… perhaps even the trumpetting trumpians’ heartbeats.


  5. …and for your “ever-expanding instruction” as well, utejack.

    altho i’m a computer and cybernet dimwit, having been birthed in the non-comps medieval era of 1941, i cannot help but applaud the ancillary advantages we have been propined by the military’s science, engineering, and intelligence apparatus; they have endowed us consociate motor-mouths and dreamers w/ the opportunity to communicate w/ each other in a ghekko’s lid-blink.

    b/c i endeavour to refrain from being judgemental, it is my oft-repeated quiddity that such cults aligned w/ the KKK, charles manson, reverend jones in guyana, or trump devotees, have had their fragile egos vellicated and shattered during their critical developmental years through no fault of their own. none can be held culpable, not even their parents or other authority figures who themselves were damaged by their own caretakers through no fault of their own. these yin/yang cycles relentlessly repetend through time, but, as you observed, hope springs eternal to the end, which in itself is an ameliorating gift.

    in the multifarious countries overseas in which we have ‘cultivated’ a sui-generis habitat for our 7 bantlings, it became argutely clear that the proverbial ‘bullies’ in their respective schools were precisely the ones who were suffering the most egregiously from the non-nurturing parental/caretaker zeitgeists in which they were being raised. it was a situation that called, in high-pitched clarion decibel levels, for our children to address and to help mollify by becoming their friends. i fear that the bullying trump and his agitating devotees were deprived of such moderating interventions during their critical developmental years. like you, i am an unapologetic pollyanna, but what else can a pacifist do?

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    1. I agree with your reasoning to a point, Jeanie. However, assuming reasonable mental capacity and awareness of reality (that is, absent a clinical psychotic state), then, given the example of the surrounding society, even the most neglected, abused young adult can learn to co-exist. That is, by the time one reaches mid-teens, one has ample examples of right and wrong. One knows the feeling of being mistreated. Therefore, actions are choices, meaning that culpability can indeed be assigned. If there is a barrier with a guard behind it, one can reasonably infer that one is to stay on the outside of the barrier, and to breach it is forbidden at least, lawless at most. You get my drift.


      1. yes, w/ certitude, i catch your drift, denise! as i plunge headlong into the forever-sleep, i’m increscently disinclined to spend what exiguous time remains in a fugue of acrimony and pessimism. i prefer to plunge headlong into delusional optimism… tho i rarely succeed.

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      1. too troooo, trevor. hence my ignominious sobriquet, ‘motor-mouth’. growing up in the 1940’s, i refused to fight w/ fists. b/c i fought w/ words the bullies had no clue the meaning of, they left me alone, assuming i was a kook unworthy of further harassment. instead, they would lumber off twirling their index fingers around their ears in circinnating patterns of mockery, accompanied, of course, by a cacophony of guffaws from their gaggle of devoted pursuivants and myrmidons… precursors of the tangerine turd’s lackeys. at least i would arrive home free of bruises and blood-smeared clothes. i should have bludgeoned them w/ my hefty dictionary, but i was too craven to incite their wrath, preferring to hide behind a sesquipedalian lexicon comprised of archaic words that were even more out of fashion than i was.

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