Such Competence and Moral Integrity

Such Competence and Moral Integrity January 21, 2021

I could be talking about any part of the last 24 hours, other than Trump’s own “farewell do”, which looked like a wholly embarrassing affair (with desperate appeals for almost anyone to turn up).

I am actually referring to the press briefing that I (being a very odd and obsessed Brit) stayed up last night to watch. Jen Psaki brought so much normalcy to the role, and the briefing was everything it should be and more. And given how quickly Biden has started out of the gate, laying out his executive orders to reflect what is important to him and his administration, it is looking at being a frenetic couple of weeks full of substance.

I also very much enjoyed watching the “Celebrating America” special, including some truly uplifting and emotional moments and some superbly chosen songs.

It is also necessary for me to include the awesome performance poem from Amanda Gorman that stole the day:

That said, Biden and Harris were on point. So much so that Chris Wallace announced it was the best inaugural speech to date:

Which brings us back round to the press briefing. Wallace talked about the responsibility of the press and of speaking truth. Truth too power. Psaki, too, mentioned repeatedly the importance of transparency and truth.

Much of the strategy going forward is about rebuilding broken relationships. It really doesn’t matter what fawning Trumpistas here or anywhere else might say: Trump has pretty much ruined all of the positive relationships that Obama and others had constructed over the years. Instead, he cosied up to dictators – Putin, Kim Jong Un, Bolsonaro – and left the rest of the world pitying the US. Trump shot America’s soft power to pieces.

The US – or any country – has no true power unless sat at the top or in the middle of the table of all the big players in the world. We are in an era of co-operation where organisations, agreements and networks like the UN, WHO, Climate Accord, the EU etc. are where the US needs to be, influencing and driving (hopefully positively). Trump’s isolationist strategy has left the US on the sidelines being laughed at by the rest of the world.

One does wonder what the future of political comedy and satire now that the endless source of ridicule has left the building. But he’ll be back “in some form”, most probably in court somewhere.

Here’s a bit of Meyers for you:

Anywho, I just wanted to say that I had a huge mixture of relief, happiness, respect and hope. How are you people feeling? I wonder what Trump fans make of it all? All I see from Trump commenters online on various threads is constant reference to paedos.

Pathetic.

Let’s hope conspiracy theories conspire themselves to jog on.

I did want to write a whole article on the fact that Trump has been utterly AWOL from governing, presiding, leading for six months. During a pandemic, he has not attended a pandemic task force meeting for 6 months. That is incredibly, utterly, completely irresponsible. As Biden comes in with actual policies, strategies, action, the difference is stark. I wonder what Trump supporters actually think about Trump’s performance over the last year, playing golf and ignoring deaths.

Yes, I know the UK is doing even worse, with the worst death stats in the world. That’s what you get when you put a Trump mini-me in charge who tries to drive through a middle approach and by doing so achieves the worst of both worlds.

Back to the US: I simply felt a great relief in watching a press briefing that was beaming competence and moral integrity into the homes of those who bothered to watch. Long may this continue.


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