The New Nullification

Nullification: That is a word you don’t see bantered about much on the liberal side of American politics because it is a nonsense theory that is antithetical to America. It is one of the justifications white supremacists like to use to defend confederate statues. Basically it says that if you or a small group don’t like a certain law you can simply decide not to obey it. Donald Trump is attempting to take it to a whole new and much more dangerous level. He and his minions appear to want to nullify the Constitution of the United States of America. Let’s explore.

The House of Representatives, having been returned to the responsible control of the Democratic Party, is attempting to investigate many of Trump’s and Trump related scandals. Trump is simply stonewalling every attempt by refusing to release documents or allow people to testify.   This is in direct conflict with the Constitution which established three co-equal branches of government and gave the legislative branch oversight responsibility over the executive branch. Note the use of the word “responsibility”. It is not an option; it is a responsibility. In other words it is Congress’ job.

Many of the guidelines have been codified in statute law. The current glaring example is the authority vested in the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to obtain the tax returns of any American. (Interestingly the statute was enacted in response to the Teapot Dome Scandal during the administration of Republican President Warren G. Harding. After Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt the Republicans have been challenged to come up with any good presidents.) Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has failed to meet two deadlines to produce the tax returns and the latest news is that he will inform the Committee of his decision on May 6th. What kind of malarkey is this? The applicable statue simply states shall. This is not a multiple choice situation.

Various administration figures are either in contempt of congressional orders or contemplating it. A major part of what is happening is Trump trying to keep the clock running in order to prolong his organized criminal enterprise but in the process he is actually trying to nullify the Constitution.

If his minions are stonewalling on Trump’s orders (as many of them claim) then Trump is simply obstructing justice. If my reasoning holds up in court Trump may have a surprise in store in that it might hurt his attempt to run out the statute of limitations (another clock he is working). Each new occurrence starts the clock again and prosecutors can go back from there another five years. The problem is that if Trump is successful he will have effectively nullified major provisions of the Constitution. I don’t like to use the term “Constitutional crisis” but others are proclaiming this to be one. As to the minions, I suggest they be treated like the common criminals they are and get locked up. That might modify their attitudes a bit. Would America really be hurt if people like Mnuchin and Bill Barr were out of the office for a bit? I don’t see how.

Blowing My Own Horn

On January 22nd I published an article entitled, Bet The Under. Basically I predicted Trump would tell his 10,000th confirmed public lie in office before Mother’s Day. Monday morning the Washington Post confirmed that Trump has blown past that landmark and was proceeding full steam ahead. During his ego-satisfying alternative to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner pep rally in Green Bay he again repeated the debunked lie about mothers deciding to have doctors kill the babies they had just given birth to in an attempt to solidify support from the anti-choice crowd. That would be a compelling argument except for one inconvenient fact – it is a total lie. Repeating the same debunked lies is part of how Trump is racking up the numbers he is. Interestingly it, like many other Trump tactics, comes directly from the playbook 1930’s fascists used in Europe. Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Reich Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945, perhaps expressed the theory best when he said words to the effect that if you keep repeating a lie long enough it becomes the truth. While it never really becomes the truth many people believe it to be.

Lies and the avoidance of questioning; something has to stink somewhere when that is your dominant political strategy. Trump is neither defending the country nor the Constitution; who is he working for? Unfortunately I think we know the answer to that question.

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