Denials, Deceptions And Derelictions Of Duty

It seems a basic Republican MO has emerged under the reign of Trump. It is: deny and/or lie; then don’t do your job anyway. The examples day back more than a few years but they are much more frequent now; in fact they occur so frequently the news media can’t possibly cover them all. What once would have been a scandal that would have dominated the news for weeks if not months has to fight for coverage. A few examples of the denials, lies and plain refusing to do the job they were elected to by Republican office holders occurred recently. Let’s explore.

The President is famous for telling lies, many of them have to do with how great he is and the terrific job he is doing. He idolizes people like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung-un who elicit unquestioning loyalty. In a recent tweet he referred to himself as America’s favorite president of all time. In another he said he was more popular than Abraham Lincoln. Gallup is the most famous American pollster; when I was a kid Gallup was the only pollster anyone quoted. The parent organization of what today is the Gallup Group was founded in 1935 and conducted its first political poll in 1936. Lincoln served from March 4, 1861 to his assassination on April 15, 1865. Somehow Trump expects us to believe that political polling was commonplace some 80 years before the first firm doing it was founded.

Evidently the gene is inherited. Donald Trump, Jr. posted an obviously photoshopped chart on Instagram showing his father was more popular than President Obama. Perhaps Don, Jr. is the moonlighting as the spellchecker in the White House because the posting misspelled “America”.

For some credible polling I’d like to take a look at the latest effort from Marist College. 45% said they feel Trump is doing a poor job. In 1974, 45% of Americans polled said they felt Richard Nixon was doing a poor job. Nixon resigned in 1974 and never had Fox News acting as his personal propaganda cable TV outlet. Considering the media of 1974 and the media of 2018 it is fair to say that Americans are even less satisfied with Trump’s job performance than they were with Nixon’s on the eve of his resignation in disgrace.

The name Andrew Miller began its “fifteen minutes of fame” in American politics late last week. It seems Mr. Miller, who worked as an associate of Roger Stone, has thrice refused to testify before the “Mueller Grand Jury” despite being subpoenaed. The nickel version of Miller’s objection is that Mueller’s probe is illegitimate. That claim has already been adjudicated and denied by at least two federal judges. I have previously outlined how the Trump organized criminal enterprise is simply keeping the clock running so that they can continue to enrich themselves. This goes beyond a delay offense is and much more like having a player fake an injury.

Along those lines I find it amusing that Trump lawyer/clowns Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow keep taking to the media and talking about the negotiation they are having with Mueller’s team to lay out the terms of a Trump interview. To get to the bottom line, Trump is never going to voluntarily sit down with Robert Mueller or any member of his team! Since Mueller and his team do not leak we don’t know (and I serious doubt) that any real negotiations are ongoing. Mueller and/or his people may well have meet with Trump’s attorneys out of courtesy but why would they negotiate? They hold all the cards excepting a change in the Supreme Court where we have five justices who are more concerned with protecting Trump than protecting America, its Constitution and democracy. (Add Brett Kavanaugh and that becomes a real possibility.) If there were an earnest negotiation why would it be going on for eight months? The talk of a negotiation is another PR stunt aimed at the lowest common denominator in the American electorate who comprise the majority of Trump’s base.

Last Wednesday Republican Representative Chris Collins of New York was indicted on insider trading charges. The feds have a videotape of him caught in the act. That night he held a two minute “press conference”. It was very Trumpian! He spent most of the time talking about how great he is and all he has accomplished for the people. Then he turned to saying the charges were meritless and that he would fight them while continuing to serve and run for reelection. Many of his statements have been totally discredited by fact checkers. Since then leadership must have gotten ahold of him because Saturday he suspended his campaign. However it is worth noting that the initial reaction of the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Trump was to lie and deny. Also Trumpian was a “press conference” sans taking questions from the assembled press.

I am among the many liberals who opposed Gina Haspel’s confirmation to be the CIA Director because of her involvement in the cover-up of torture. Saturday the Washington Post reported detailed descriptions of torture sessions Haspel sent to superiors in 2002. Somehow I have a problem reconciling that with her testimony during her confirmation hearing. However, it is consistent with how a Capo in the Trump administration would be expected to act – lie and deny.

To nobody’s surprise – well certainly not mine anyway – California Republican Representative Devin Nunes recently was caught on tape effectively saying that the number one obligation of Congressional Republicans is to protect Don Trump. To that end late last week Republican Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced that confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh would be held on September 4th, 5th and 6th. Interestingly what will amount to thousands of pages of documents have yet to be released to the Judiciary Committee members despite the Democrats on the Committee going to the unprecedented length of filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for them. This is a case of suppressing the evidence but rushing the “trial”. I consider that to be dereliction of duty by a Trump enabler.

Rick “The Fifth” Scott is the current Governor of Florida and the Republican nominee to unseat Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. (In full disclosure I have endorsed Nelson. I also voted for him in 2004 when I lived in Florida.) Nelson has publically stated that the Russians are currently attempting to interfere with the 2018 elections in Florida. His claim is based on information given to him by the Chair (Richard Burr of North Carolina) and Ranking Member (Mark Warner of Virginia) of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Neither of those Senators has refuted Nelson. We also know that Florida was one of seven states that the Russians penetrated the local Boards of Elections of in 2016. Some years ago I gave Scott the nickname “The Fifth” for having taken the Fifth Amendment 75 times in a single deposition. You weight the relative credibility. Scott’s reaction was to basically accuse Nelson of being crazy and do absolutely nothing to look into the allegation. That sounds like convenient and self-serving dereliction of duty to me.

Every American capable of critical thinking accepts as fact that the Russians interfered with our 2016 election in the process attacking the very foundation of our representative democracy. Despite occasional lip service to the contrary and one sham meeting President Trump does not. Therefore he is derelict in his duty to protect America against foreign enemies.

The pattern is clear and Team Trump is doing a good job of executing the game plan.

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One thought on “Denials, Deceptions And Derelictions Of Duty”

  1. In advance of the 2016 elections, I speculated that maybe what this country needed was a fool like Trump just to show us how ridiculous and dangerous it can get. Boy! I sure didn’t imagine Trump could be this much of a policy nincompoop and criminal. And his approval rating is in the mid 40s. I guess I grossly underestimated the number of people in this country who could be so fooled by this consummate con man.

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