The Trump presidency has shown me the inadequacies of my talents. The only way to cover this administration in anything resembling a comprehensive manner would be to write a book a week. I simple lack that talent and capacity. What is old is once again new seems to fit part of what we saw unfold last week. With all that in mind, let’s explore.
At his core Trump is a low intellect guy who thinks whatever he sees and likes on TV is reality. In May of 1977 one of Richard Nixon’s interviews with David Frost was broadcast. It was conducted long after he had resigned the presidency in disgrace. Frost asked him about some of his nefarious deeds while in office and Nixon replied, “Well, when the president does it that means it is not illegal.” That answer is commonly remembered as, “If the president does it, it is not illegal.” Trump appears to be taking that as a guiding light and legal principle. It is only a guiding light for the corrupt and is certainly not enshrined in law.
In one of his many tax lawsuits his attorneys claimed that a sitting president cannot be investigated, let alone indicted or charged. Nowhere in law can that be found. The closest thing to that is a policy at the Department of Justice that says a sitting president cannot be indicted. That is only an opinion and has never been tested in court. Deep down Trump knows that, as the big story of last week appears to illustrate.
If you want a blow by blow timeline I suggest you consult any number of news outlets but here is a thumbnail, albeit, in many cases a connection of believable known dots. During a July phone call with new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump promised needed military aid to Ukraine if they would investigate activities of Joe Biden’s son in their country. Trump denies any wrongdoing yet his Attorney General Bill Barr is blocking a whistleblower’s report from going to Congress as the law stipulates it must. The law is explicit as to the path of the complaint and does not involve the Justice Department. As of this writing the story is still evolving – as I expect it will for some time – however the most interesting development is the involvement of Vice President Mike Pence. To me, the utopian solution to the Trump problem is a simultaneous impeachment of both Trump and Pence which would yield President Pelosi.
Trump seems to be on a mission to either be above the law or effectively neuter it.
I often travel a stretch of a major artery in the Raleigh areas where the speed limit is 55. During rush hour it resembles the Long Island Expressway (nicknamed: the world’s largest parking lot). Other times of the day conditions will allow you to travel at 70 miles per hour in relative safety. I still keep it at or very near 55. Why? I do so because it is heavily patrolled by the local police. The moral of that story is that in reality there is no speed limit sans enforcement.
The Federal Election Commission is essentially the police force and judicial system of federal elections in America. Currently, thanks to the handiwork of Trump and Senate Majority Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell it lacks a quorum. The net effect of that is that the Commission cannot either initiate a new investigation or render any penalty in conjunction with a concluded investigation discovering wrongdoing. There are “speed limits” but no “police” to give you a “ticket” and no “judge” to make you pay it. The bottom line is that if the 2020 elections are conducted under these circumstances they are effectively no federal election laws.
As to public opinion Trump relies on the method used by 1930’s European fascists of saying anything uncomplimentary is, “Fake news”. That doesn’t work on the majority, but a sizable minority is willing to accept it. Remember those same 1930’s European fascist leaders came to power without the benefit of the popular vote.
If you are totally innocent why work hard to hide the facts that will exonerate you?
What’s old is new again. That’s why some people never throw out old clothes.
Those who ignore history will be condemned by it.
Just because the president does it doesn’t make it legal.
Fortunately Nixon and those villains of the 1930’s came to bitter ends. Let’s hope Trump and his international compatriots suffer a similar fate but sans a world war this time!
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