Saturday, July 22, 2017

Imagine Someone Like Trumpy The Clown Destroying What Took Over 200 Years To Build


Trump's like the guy, pulled over by a traffic cop for speeding, who says to the cop who comes over to write him a ticket, "you better not look in the trunk or else!" The analogy falls apart a little when you realize Mueller had already been looking in the trunk-- even if he isn't putting out press releases or leaking about it. Trump's flipping out that Mueller can examine his tax returns-- i.e., that there's a real sheriff in town who's going after the bad guys. And Trump knows exactly who the bad guys are-- and how bad they are.

Yesterday the Washington Post reported that "some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort... Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves." That would be... unique. Seems like a big story-- Michael Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Matt Apuzzo were tasked with covering it for the NY Times, "it" being the pretext Trumpanzee is looking for to fire Mueller and end his investigation into presidential criminal-- and probably treasonous-- behavior.

The search for potential conflicts is wide-ranging. It includes scrutinizing donations to Democratic candidates, investigators’ past clients and Mr. Mueller’s relationship with James B. Comey, whose firing as F.B.I. director is part of the special counsel’s investigation.

The effort to investigate the investigators is another sign of a looming showdown between Mr. Trump and Mr. Mueller, who has assembled a team of high-powered prosecutors and agents to examine whether any of Mr. Trump’s advisers aided Russia’s campaign to disrupt last year’s presidential election.

Some of the investigators have vast experience prosecuting financial malfeasance, and the prospect that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry could evolve into an expansive examination of Mr. Trump’s financial history has stoked fears among the president’s aides. Both Mr. Trump and his aides have said publicly they are watching closely to ensure Mr. Mueller’s investigation remains narrowly focused on last year’s election.

During an interview with the NY Times on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he was aware that members of Mr. Mueller’s team had potential conflicts of interest and would make the information available “at some point.”

Mr. Trump also said Mr. Mueller would be going outside his mandate if he begins investigating matters unrelated to Russia, like the president’s personal finances. Mr. Trump repeatedly declined to say what he might do if Mr. Mueller appeared to exceed that mandate. But his comments to The Times represented a clear message to Mr. Mueller.

“The president’s making clear that the special counsel should not move outside the scope of the investigation,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said during a news briefing on Thursday.

Trump's not normal and nothing about his Regime is. As Jonathan Chait asserted in his New York column yesterday, "Trump has shown himself immune to widespread warnings that certain steps are simply not done. His hiding of tax returns, firing of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (who was investigating Russian financial crimes when he was let go), and ousting of FBI director James Comey were all steps that would seem to immolate his career. Ordering the Department of Justice to fire Mueller, or pardoning the targets of his investigations, would be an open announcement that Trump considers his financial ties to the Russian underworld and state to be beyond any legal accountability. The ominous threats emanating from the White House are that of an administration mobilizing for war against the rule of law." That's really not normal. So not normal that we certainly seem to be hurtingly towards some kind of an unprecedented constitutional crisis. It can't happen here? It is happening here... right now.

Mueller... by Ohanian

And the problem with all this is the Republican Party. As Brian Beutler pointed out for the New Republic, "Republicans have given every indication over the course of the past several months that no malfeasance, no matter how naked and severe, will impel them to rein in Trump or impeach him. Beutler concludes that
Should Trump fire Mueller, with the tacit assent of Republicans in Congress and the DOJ leadership, there will be little recourse. It is feasible (though difficult) to imagine a GOP House and Senate passing an independent counsel statute to restore Mueller to his job; it is nearly impossible to imagine them doing so by veto-proof margins. And should Trump pardon himself and his inner circle, it is dispiritingly easy to imagine Republicans reprising their familiar refrain: The president’s power to pardon is beyond question.

If this crisis unfolds as depicted here, the country’s final hope for avoiding a terminal slide into authoritarianism would be the midterm election, contesting control of a historically gerrymandered House of Representatives. That election is 16 months away. Between now and then, Trump’s DOJ and his sham election-integrity commission will seek to disenfranchise as many Democratic voters as possible, while the president himself beseeches further foreign interference aimed at Democratic candidates. Absent the necessary sweep, everything Trump will have done to degrade our system for his own enrichment and protection will have been ratified, and a point of no return will have been crossed.
And, by the way, yesterday every single Senate Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voted to advance Trump’s nominee for Comey's replacement as FBI director. That doesn't seem normal either-- at least not to me.

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At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Trump is going to fire Mueller.

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disclaimer: I do not draw, and nobody else should either, any comparison between Trump and the genuine monsters that Hannah Arendt wrote about. But the behavior of Trump and his inner circle (Ivanka, Jared, Bannon, Miller and a few others) does bring to mind the beautifully descriptive phrase she coined - THE BANALITY OF EVIL.

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never any cowboy justice around when it's clearly necessary.

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when the orange-utang fires Mueller and the R majorities do nothing... and americans also do nothing... Can we then dispense with elections and just crown the drumpfs our royal family and get on with the purges?

As to who destroyed what took over 200 years to build... well, it isn't the royal family. it isn't obamanation. it isn't the Clinton or bush royals either.

it's us. we elected insanity, evil, dementia and corruption pretty much since the signing of the equal rights and voting rights bills. And even when we saw the incompetence, stupidity, evil and corruption... we RE-elected most of them.

We had something. And we relentlessly fucked it up until it's now just a fond-ish memory.

Let the drumpfs own this sinking titanic. We clearly aren't capable of keeping it afloat.


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