Exploring Human Potential

Lickspittle Support For Trumpcare.

Posted on | May 4, 2017 | 4 Comments

Peggy Noonan

Mike Magee

Today the Republican House voted against their own self-interest by caving to Trumpcare. In doing so, they failed to heed conservative columnist Peggy Noonan’s advise from just a week ago.

In her opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, she wrote “Being loyal isn’t being a lickspittle.” This of course sent me running to an online dictionary to find out what the word lickspittle means.

(lick·spit·tle (lĭk′spĭt′l) n. A fawning underling; a toady. lickspittle (ˈlɪkˌspɪtəl) or lickspit. n. a flattering or servile person. lick•spit•tle)

Her advice to Republican legislators was pretty stark. She said:

“Republican officeholders should by now have figured out how to speak about our ever-interesting president, and most have not. They think since he is a Republican and they are Republican, they must defend him on all things. They are looking at it wrong. He is Donald Trump. He is not ‘a Republican.’ He is a wholly unusual historical figure who happened to them, and who now heads their party.”

What then do they owe him? Peggy says, “They owe him an eager and open-minded willingness to work with him, to create helpful legislation, to join in debate and support him on areas of mutual conviction.” Note the word “helpful”, versus destructive and discriminatory in a Tom Price kind of way.

What do they not owe him? Peggy says, They do not owe him a thing in terms of covering for his gaffes or oddnesses, mistakes or failures. They should not defend him on his tax returns unless they think he is right not to reveal them. They should not defend him on his refusal to make public the White House visitor’s logs—unless, bizarrely, they think that constitutes good public policy.”

She concludes by suggesting the radical notion that they stand up for their constituents and oppose Trump – and not buckle like Billy Long and Fred Upton did yesterday. Going to elected officials and their staffers most primal fear – that opposing the leader of their party could get them fired or otherwise defeated, she speaks truth to power:

“If you’re a staffer and say that, you’ll get fired. But you’ll have shown some style and helped the country. You’ll for the first time get some respect, and will be able to support your family and go on to a good living while having rescued your reputation. The first paragraph of your obituary, years hence, will say you were fired for speaking the truth, not that you were embarrassing back in the Trump era.”

Lickspittles – fawning underlings, flattering and servile.


4 Responses to “Lickspittle Support For Trumpcare.”

  1. Susan Pellerin
    May 5th, 2017 @ 7:33 am

    If they aren’t listening to her, why would they listen to me? The sheer degree of cowardice in this congressional body is a clear indication that ‘all’ yes ‘all’ both sides of the aisle need to be ‘sent home’ and ‘we’ need to start over with people who remember why they were elected – they are supposed to be representative of the people they, dear I say, represent – instead they seem only to be self serving.

  2. Mike Magee
    May 5th, 2017 @ 7:58 am

    This certainly will be a test for our Democracy. Thanks, Susan!

  3. Denise Link
    May 5th, 2017 @ 3:15 pm

    While I agree that there is very likely a fair amount of cowardice that resulted in some of the votes, I believe that the vote had more to do with a firm conviction that people who have pre-existing conditions did something to deserve them and therefore should bear the consequences of their bad judgement or behavior. Likewise, those that are poor or struggling just need a good kick in the pants or advice to “try harder”. Many conservatives in Congress and the people that put them there believe that most people (except of course their own relatives and friends) create and sustain their own misfortune and to try and help them is enabling behavior. Or worse yet, they believe that God gives good things to some and not others, so they must not be “righteous” enough to win God’s favor. Those are the attitudes that disturb me as much if not more than cowardice.

  4. Mike Magee
    May 6th, 2017 @ 12:00 pm

    Denise- Thanks so much for your very thoughtful comments. The cultural disconnect is real for certain, and over many years has been magnified and reinforced as “American exceptionalism”, Manifest Destiny, and genuflecting at the altars of “free enterprise”, entrepreneurism and “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. In the immediate post-WWII period, Canada set a very different course through universality, simplicity, and inclusion when it came to all Canadian citizens. This reflected both a generosity of spirit and a believe that there is room at the top for all. We chose a very different course and are still paying the price – literally and figuratively. But the battle for redefining the “American Dream” is most definitely engaged. We simple don’t know yet its outcome. Best, Mike

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