Definition of whistleblower:
one who reveals something covert or who informs against another especially:
an employee who brings wrongdoing by an employer or by other employees to the attention of a government or law enforcement agency
NOTE: A whistleblower is commonly protected legally from retaliation.
What do we know?
We know cable news networks have lots of time to fill. This means they often fill it with talking-heads offering far-ranging speculation—’speculation’ that often never gets any kind of fact-checking or accounting later on. Much of what these networks produce is helpful. But then, much is quite harmful, too.
No ‘political dirt’ stores
We know there’s no mall where one can go shopping for political dirt on opponents. To abuse one’s presidential power in order to get political dirt on opponents requires opportunism. One of President Trump’s proven skills is in finding vulnerable people and situations, then making them opportunities to exploit—like Biden and Ukraine. We imagine those kinds of opportunities are rare and, so, extremely valuable; to Trump, worth pursuing even at the risk of reckless cost.
We know that if you or I were the target of an investigation by oversight authorities, we wouldn’t get to have any say in how the investigation worked. We can’t decide to ignore warrants/subpoenas. We don’t get to have our lawyer present as investigators interview witnesses, do their discovery, and build their case. Most often, the first you or I would know about any problem would be an unexpected knock at the door, followed by authorities going through all our stuff, confiscating items, and perhaps taking us to jail until we post bail. The grand jury, or district attorney, simply hands down a warrant for our arrest (an indictment), then authorities come knocking.
We know that we have a right to a trial where we, thankfully, get an opportunity to present our exculpatory evidence and witnesses, and that it’s in our best interest to do so.
We know even when a plan completely blows-up it can still accomplish its mission. Joe Biden was smeared on the Senate floor by the president’s defense team. Quite ironically, the process of holding the POTUS to account for trying to use Ukraine to smear Biden, smeared Biden. We seem to be finding out that, politically, ‘abuse of power’ is in the eye of the beholder.
We know, now with greater conviction, the president’s defenders will quickly turn on their own when a matter of loyalty to their “leader” interposes. This week, when parts of former Ambassador John Bolton’s forth-coming book hit the news, the winds of grace from the president, Republicans, and FoxNews toward Bolton abruptly shifted and turned ill. The day after the House voted to impeach the president, I wrote:
Unless one is prepared to argue that Ambassador John Bolton is really a deep-state never-Trumper, then I still feel like a vast majority of Americans would like to hear from the people who could bring clarity to what Ambassador Bolton referred to as “whatever drug deal Mulvaney, Sondland, and Giuliani are cooking up in the Ukraine.” [“Perfect call” Defense Fails]
I guess I hadn’t fully appreciated the fact that the president’s supporters were indeed “prepared to argue,” and to immediately demonize anyone who crossed the president, even one having conservative bona fides with Senate Republicans as Bolton surely has/had.
We know leadership styles vary in results and consequences. Whether one appropriates the principles of, say, Dale Carnage or Niccolò Machiavelli directly effects how leadership looks and the way relationships work. The past couple weeks have starkly demonstrated something to me.
The Bolton situation last week may best be expressed through this classic film [e.g., depicting Bolton outside Senate]:
Along with Mrs. Robinson, Republicans hoped “He’s too late.”
Turns out, he was too late—shut-out from direct inputs into the Impeachment record. However, his book comes out in weeks. So, not too late for history.
The Bolton-bombshells are only a recent example of what I’ve seen—well, actually, what’s being reaffirmed—these past couple weeks.
I’ll explain the analogy after you watch:
To me, the timely surfacing of Bolton’s revelations is what’s amazing.
When one makes deceit, divisiveness, misusing people, unkindness, and bullying one’s M.O., it’s no surprise when a whistle-blower pops up. “Leaders” who boorishly wield power unfailingly produce an army of ready whistle-blowers who faithfully keep watch. Anywhere Trump is up to anything, “someone from our [whistle-blower] staff is on the scene.”
I never know what I’ve said till I hear the response. What did you hear me say?
Note: Introducing a big-picture idea like Spiral Dynamics in this format is ambitious. So, I’m using a serial-approach. Blog introduction (June 30, 2018). First in series (July 1, 2018).
2 thoughts on “Whistle-blowers”
“We know even when a plan completely blows-up it can still accomplish its mission. Joe Biden was smeared on the Senate floor by the president’s defense team. Quite ironically, the process of holding the POTUS to account for trying to use Ukraine to smear Biden, smeared Biden. We seem to be finding out that, politically, ‘abuse of power’ is in the eye of the beholder.”
By design, by the President and assisted by the GOP. Or was it designed by the Russians?
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David, thanks for writing!
Well, I have no trouble imagining POTUS brainstorming with Putin.
Sadly, though, after last evening, I can also imagine Putin inquiring of his aides, “Did you accomplish the train-wreck in Iowa?” ‘No,’ I imagine them answering, ‘the Americans accomplished that one all by themselves.’