Moscow's favorite: That used to be us Democrats. We were the ones who had to worry—and we did, every four years—about being tagged as "soft on Communism" and paying for it at the polls. The Republicans were the party of the "bear in the woods." If you're not familiar with it, "Bear," its official title, is one of the most famous ads in recent political history. The 1984 ad was in support of Ronald Reagan and against Walter Mondale. It's all about whether there is, or isn't, a bear in the woods. It went like this: "There is a bear in the woods.
There's an old saying that if you wait long enough, every historical figure gets rehabilitated—or at least outdone, in the worst ways, by their successors. But if you'd asked me a few months ago for an exception to that rule, I would have cited former President Richard Nixon, forced to resign in disgrace for obstruction of justice and brazen contempt for the Constitution. And then along came Donald Trump. Firing the attorney general for standing up to the president? Check. Attempting to interfere with a Justice Department investigation? Check.
The holidays are never easy for anyone except the Hallmark family, but this year seemed especially disquieting: Donald Trump acts like he's still playing bully in some schoolyard somewhere; fingers of blame point in all directions in both parties; and it's a dangerous world that is impossible to ignore. My son made me watch a documentary produced by Vice News about the Islamic State; terrifying doesn't begin to describe it. And Trump only needs one intelligence briefing a week.
It was a joke on "Saturday Night Live": The president-elect and his fossil-fuel-loving EPA administrator were going to protect us from the environment. But really, it's not a joke. It's an accurate depiction of all of Donald Trump's appointees. Instead of serving to ensure minimum standards for labor, Trump appoints an opponent of the minimum wage to be secretary of labor. An ardent opponent of civil rights and voting rights will, if confirmed, be in charge of Justice, which will not be the kind of Justice we are used to.