Draining the Swamp?

"Pssst - Do you think they've given up?" The slime monster arose from the fetid waters of the Potomac swamp, trailing tendrils of foul-smelling algae from its scaly skin. "Do you think they've stopped trying to drain this wonderful environment?" the creature asked me, as I was sitting alongside the tidal basin on a fall afternoon.


"That's difficult to say," I replied, only slightly startled to be addressed by a creature that should have been typecast to come out of Tokyo Bay instead of DC. "It looks like their plan is proceeding very well, and succeeding beyond their wildest dreams. By using a master of distraction to rivet the nation's attention, no one seems to be paying heed to all of the shenanigans happening behind the curtains."


"That's good to hear," said Slimey (or so I named him, though he had not referred to him (or her)self as having a name). "Mind if I sit beside you? It gets a little cold down there in the water this time of year, and it's good to warm my bones."


"Help yourself," I said, though I did scoot down a bit towards the end of the bench, as much to get away from the drips streaming from Slimey's arms and torso instead of out of concern for Slimey's clawed limbs. I said, "You know, we don't often get to see your kind around here. What brings you out of the depths?"


Slimey stretched, wrapped his tail over the side railing of the bench, and sat silently for a bit, as if pondering the question. Then, he shrugged and said, "Last year we heard they wanted to drain the swamp in DC. Kept hearing it again and again. When he won, we figured that we needed to move somewhere else where we would be appreciated, like maybe lower Manhattan. But then, we heard about the people he brought in, and we kept going, that fellow isn't going to drain the swamp. He's going to expand it. We just didn't get it."


I nodded, understanding the confusion. I told Slimey, "We were surprised as well. He kept talking about how the nation was being taken over by Goldman Sachs during the campaign. Berating Ted Cruz for his and his wife's ties to Goldman. Complaining about Hillary being beholden to Goldman since she gave a speech to them. Then, POW, onto the Trump team comes Cohn, and Mnuchin, and Bannon, and other underlings, all from Goldman Sachs. The art of deception. Say one thing, then quietly implement the opposite."


Slimey sighed. "Then there's all that talk about how bad the banks were during the campaign, how they were getting away with murder after the financial crisis, and he was going to break them up. Do something good for the little people. But once he took office, all we hear about is breaking up the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, and freeing up the banks from Dodd-Frank. " Slimey held up a front limb to shield his eyes from the sun. "Don't the "little people" see that he's helping their enemies, and destroying their friends?"


I turned my head for a moment, looking back over the monuments of our nation's history. I realized that never had our founders anticipated such a bizarre disruption of our national character when the avenues of this town were laid out. Then, realizing that Slimey was looking at me in anticipation of my answer, I said "Those "little people" don't see it. They are used to only listening to their leaders on TV and the radio, and following what they say. They've lost their ability to analyze what they are hearing and seeing, they only believe what comes their way on Facebook. How else can they keep believing their ears when their eyes see the opposite?"


Slimey nodded, his crest flapping loosely atop his head. He turned to me and said, "There's one thing I'm glad to see, though. That Pruitt guy at EPA, he seems like he's our best friend."


"How so?", I asked.


"Well, he just seems to be turning the clock back on all of the environmental regulation of the past. We figure it's just a matter of time before he rescinds the regulations on pollution in the Chesapeake watershed, and when he does, we'll get all that luscious nitrogen and phosphorus coming back downstream. You wouldn't believe how good that is for all of the green glop we love." Slimey licked his chops as he thought of the bonanza he expects to come sliding on downstream in a year or two.


I pondered what this basin would look like festooned in green and blue growths of algae in the turgid waters. The odor it would create would match the mood in the city. Suddenly I grew tired of the conversation, and straightened my body against the bench. Slimey sensed my mood.


"Friend, I'm going to go on back to my kind" he said. "But before I go, there's one thing I wish you'd help me to understand. Why was it that all of those evangelicals, who oppose the sins of the flesh, supported someone who cheated on his ex-wives, who curses in public, who oozes greed and lust? Someone who waxes wrath on twitter any time he's criticized. I've never seen someone who epitomizes all seven of the deadly sins at once. And he's the one with the control over the most massive military force the world has ever seen? Can you explain that to me?"


I nodded, finally having an answer that I know would satisfy this creature. "He wasn't Hillary,"


Slimey stood up, bowed stiffly to me, and said. "Of course. That explains everything." Then he stepped off into the tidal basin, disappearing into the dark waters, never to be seen again by me.


Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 3, 2017 - 7:32pm
LOL, that was great, thank you.
wsucram15 Added Oct 3, 2017 - 7:49pm
It was good..all seven of the deadly sins at once...Great!  I ask myself that often. 
Good work EABC....^
George N Romey Added Oct 3, 2017 - 7:54pm
The swamp hasn’t lost an ounce of swamp water or one swamp creature. The swamp needs what we did as kids to our neighborhood swamp. We’d light up M80s and thrown them in the swamp and up would come the snakes, toads, lizards, and bugs.
Bill H. Added Oct 3, 2017 - 9:48pm
Trump drained the swamp of catfish and replaced it with alligators. It's all about whatever benefits his empire and those of his business associates.
How long does it take for everyone to figure this out?
Tubularsock Added Oct 3, 2017 - 9:57pm
Now you have to admit NO REAL PEOPLE really believed any swamp was going to be drained. It was just a great sound bite.
And then there was the sound bite, make america great again.
And then there was hope and change.
The United States IS A SOUND BITE! Fuck it.
Once again, Tubularsock repeats himself ........ THEY are in it together!
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 5, 2017 - 10:11am
Thanks for all of your comments. The best part of writing this is that I didn't even need to use his name at all.
Dino Manalis Added Oct 5, 2017 - 12:20pm
Corruption has to be dealt with, but the Establishment has to function, preferably in a bipartisan manner, and Trump needs to triangulate legislators with centrist ideas to force them to negotiate and compromise to pass important legislation.
Ari Silverstein Added Oct 6, 2017 - 9:16am
I do find it ironic when people express their frustration with the swamp in Washington, then finally someone gets elected that has nothing to do with this swamp.  Someone’s that’s never held elected office of any kind.  Someone that has total disregard for every job killing regulation and tax the swamp has imposed on our people.  This someone one is then derided as being a part of this swamp.  It proves one thing, some people just like to bitch. 
Hey, I didn’t mention his name either. 
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 6, 2017 - 10:35am
@Ari Silverstein:
"I do find it ironic when people express their frustration with the swamp in Washington, then finally someone gets elected that has nothing to do with this swamp."
A swamp dweller, just of a different type.
"Someone’s that’s never held elected office of any kind."
Yes, it shows, doesn't it?  I've never seen a president act like a three-year-old child, it would be funny on a reality TV show....oh, wait.  Well, anyway, it really isn't funny in real life.  
"Someone that has total disregard for every job killing regulation and tax the swamp has imposed on our people."
Well, I'll give him credit, he shows a keen willingness to help out his friends with getting rid of regulations put in after the 2008 crash.  But, hey, who doesn't need a good recession now and then?  
From what I've seen of his tax plan it will definitely help out those with money, after all, the rich need to keep their money more than anyone else.
"This someone one is then derided as being a part of this swamp."
Well, this someone seems only interested in digging the swamp deeper.  With Pruitt in charge it means it will be filled with all kinds of toxic shit.
"It proves one thing, some people just like to bitch."
Some people are genuinely concerned over the state of this country and where it seems to be heading.  I feel like such naive child, I thought things were getting better.

"Hey, I didn’t mention his name either."
That makes it unanimous, then.  None of us need to speak the giant orange anus' name.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 6, 2017 - 1:01pm
My advice to everyone is to just enjoy the calm before the storm. Jeffrey, your responses were spot on.
Ari, my concerns with Donald Trump do not have to do with his policies (whatever they are). I definitely do not like his policies and those that the Republican majority are trying to implement, but I do recognize that elections do have consequences.
My objection to Donald Trump (now I've said it twice) are that he is totally unfit for the office, and he is an existential threat to our democracy and our life. Back in July of 2016 I had a letter to the editor printed. Here is a portion of that letter:
But mostly I despair due to the real possibility that a charlatan such as Donald Trump could ascend to the leadership of this nation. That our nation is so foolish that we could ever be suckered into believing the lie that is the story of Donald Trump, and that his brand of evil will be foisted upon this nation and the world. If that were to happen, I can only pray that we are able to avoid the apocalypse he could bring down upon us.
I stand by my statement of July 2016. Donald Trump has lived up to all of my expectations of him - a huge clusterf***
George N Romey Added Oct 6, 2017 - 9:52pm
The swamp has been drained for a cesspool.
Don Added Oct 9, 2017 - 8:29am
As an ardent supporter of the president and everything he does, your article was pure pain. At the same time kudos, for great writing.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 10, 2017 - 10:43am
Thanks, Don. I appreciate that. I like Writerbeat because we do have a diversity of viewpoints here.
George - couldn't say it better myself.