Let me say first of all that these are my own remarks and don’t represent the views of anyone else here at InsiderNJ. To head off the whining by they who will attribute a partisan specter in this comment, I should also point out that I believe the concentrated power of the Democratic Party such as it is in this transactional state continues to present a grave public threat, which made the Trump presidency much more dangerous in New Jersey. Trump’s infantile incompetence gave an excuse for the Dems here to do whatever the hell they damn well please, convinced the public will continue to mostly squirm under the excesses of wayward federal Republican “leadership”.
If we don’t trust those in power, we accept them for the moment to fight the clearer threat.
So it goes, that trust slips utterly into the gears of what Ralph Nader once called our two-party duopoly.
That said, I want to remark on the “statement” issued this evening by Republican Chairman Mike Lavery, because it represents a common theme expressed in the squall of supposedly conscience-easing releases barfed into cyberspace tonight by the Republican Party’s “leaders,” as they present the illusion of attempting to rubber band back into the real world out of the Trump era.
Another statement (in this case co-authored) appeared by Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-21), which had about as much substance as Lavery’s, and yet Lavery’s will suffice as our chief exhibit here mostly because the chairman’s relative prolonged lack of substance in his statement gives us more to work with – or less, depending on your perspective.
For no other reason than his position as leader of the part, Lavery’s effort deserves special attention.
Here it is:
“The violence we saw in Washington today was inexcusable and reprehensible, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. We all enjoy the right to peacefully protest, but the actions we saw today went beyond that into violence and are flatly un-American. We join with millions of Americans in praying for our law enforcement officers in and around Washington, and wish for a peaceful conclusion to this sad episode.”
I suppose the chairman or the people around him thought they did a good job with this when they issued it, believing they had plugged that salivating maw of public appetite with something suitably civilized, while fashioning just enough of a non-sentiment to keep the base mollified. As it attempts to navigate the poles of political peril otherwise known as Republican Party viability in New Jersey, the theme of this apparently thoughtful one graph blurb can best be described as “nothingness,” which might seem a suitable condition if the country at this moment did not dangle from a cliff.
Like most contemporary statements issued by people who either don’t read anymore, tailor their comments to those who don’t read, or have allowed themselves to become anesthetized by the twittering non-reader in the White House, the statement lacks all meaning. Primarily, like most insignificant political statements, which include Gov. Chris Christie’s emotionally delivered post-Bridgegate assertion in Trenton that “mistakes were made,” it poses a problem of grammar.
Mr. Lavery cites “violence” as the offending party today in a President Donald J. Trump-incited storming of the United States Capitol by his insurrectionary followers who apparently believe their leader did not lose the 2020 election.
“Violence was inexcusable and reprehensible.”
If we believe the statement he issued, the good chairman wants us to believe that “violence” caused the problem.
He does not draw our attention to an individual.
He does not identity the victim of violence or the perpetrator.
He does not insist on presenting a subject-object relationship that restores any semblance of accountability.
“The actions we saw today went beyond that into violence and are flatly un-American.”
In addition to a (presumably intentionally) weak construction, the sentence again flatly refuses to meaningfully ascertain the cause of the mischief.
He goes on to lament today’s “sad episode,” which, without grammatical context, and without the stamp of an authoritative leader ascribing blame, again falls into the category of amorphous feeling.
Of course, we know why the statement by the GOP chairman today reads in such an insufferably meaningless way. Mr. Lavery cannot say that Trump, from the twittering toadstool perch that he rendered of the American presidency, caused this terrible and dangerous breach of trust that we witnessed in our nation’s capital, and which imperiled not only those of our elected representatives present there today but also the foundations of our republic.
He cannot, of course acknowledge what the president refuses to acknowledge, and which any man acknowledges when he loses, namely that he lost. He can only attribute blame to a nonentity, violence, which provides, in this case, cover for someone who expressly cannot assign blame to one who refuses to take blame.
The Republicans’ inability to cast aside this president they shamefully protected these past four years goes directly to a question of character.
Now, perhaps Mr. Lavery simply fell prey to the fact that he has been chair of the NJGOP for a mere few days. He hasn’t yet developed the technique of someone like his predecessor, Doug Steinhardt, the former chairman of the NJGOP, but we unfortunately suspect this not to be the case, as Steinhardt, of course, now wants to be governor, mostly on a Republican Primary message of unabashed and unashamed fealty to Trump.
That offers no promise of leadership to New Jersey, which, as always in its byzantine, subterranean culture of subservience to bossism, desperately needs leadership.