So much of what this reality-TV president does is simply wrong, some of it illegal too. I’m tempted to use the word evil for much of what this divisive demagogue does. It is not that hard for the average impartial citizen to make a strong case against him, based strictly on his public actions. He has been showing us the worst of himself, and ourselves, since the day he declared himself a candidate for President of the United States.
One of his first acts as president was to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio for contempt of a federal court who slapped him down for running a punitive outdoor “concentration camp” (his term) penal colony in the Arizona desert. That pardon sent the clear message that if you are brown, red or tan, or have a Hispanic surname, you are fair game for any rough treatment our bold law enforcement officers can come up with, no matter what a so-called federal judge may have to say about it.
It wasn’t long before Trump’s cruel family separation policy at the southern border was challenged in federal court. That court ruled that the children must be reunited with their parents. The Trump administration has yet to comply with that order, after offering excuses to Congress, including the inexcusable fact that they never really kept track of which little confiscated illegal belonged to which Mexican or Honduran rapist/terrorist/drug dealer.
The largest detention center for illegal immigrant and asylum seeker children separated from their parents is a military base that was a former concentration camp for interned Japanese Americans. The Trump administration is in court, defending its inhumane policy towards brown children. Republicans are hissing at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for calling a concentration camp where inmates sleep on the ground a “concentration camp”.
Trump’s father was a young man when he was arrested at a Klan Rally in Queens, NY, in 1927. He was released without being charged. He gets the benefit of the doubt, he may have just gone to watch the Klan parade out of pure curiosity rather than to show solidarity with a group of racists whose beliefs he shared. His son, our president, who has publicly insulted the intelligence of every black woman who ever criticized him, gets no such benefit of the doubt (particularly in light of the Trump dynasty’s obscene defense against the DOJ’s well-documented charges of race and ethnicity based Fair Housing Act violations).
If you consider only Trump’s reactions to murderous racist rage at a provocative rally staged by White Supremacists in Charlottesville, you get the picture. In his mind there are some very fine people, on both sides, fine Nazis, fine Klansmen, fine black sons of bitches who should be thrown off professional football fields if they don’t show respect for the American flag and all it stands for.
There is his lifelong view of the law and lawyers. The law is an obstacle to making profit, lawyers are the tool to remove that obstacle. A time-tested strategy is the lawsuit meant only to delay and wear the other party down, if not bankrupt them. Trump has used this blunt axe literally hundreds, if not thousands, of times over his long career as a deadbeat billionaire.
Trump’s legal philosophy is to never back down, no matter what the so-called law says. Any defense is better than no defense. Trump continues to claim never to have lost a lawsuit and never to have settled a case, even as he did both days before the 2016 election and in the weeks after. As the man himself said, in a rare moment of telling the truth (he told an interviewer candidly that he tries to tell the truth, when he can), he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and his base would still love him.
He has, in fact, done the legal equivalent of shooting somebody in the face by his deliberate, public obstruction of justice. Not only his pattern of trying to obstruct the investigation into the 140 documented instances of his campaigns coordination with Russia. Forget Russia, with whom Mr. Trump apparently did not have every provable element of an indictable criminal conspiracy (though there were plenty of instances of coordination, if you don’t like the word “collusion”) and just look at the clear and unwavering pattern of obstruction of justice laid out in Mueller’s summary, right before Mueller’s conclusion that, based on this mass of evidence, he could not exonerate Trump of obstructing justice.
Or, if you prefer, just look at how Trump has doubled and tripled down on his obstruction since the strategically redacted Mueller Report was released. Recall that the unredacted report was carefully vetted by the president’s legal team before anybody else in the world saw any part of it. After that consultation, Barr famously (infamously, actually) concluded that Mueller hadn’t proven jack shit, that all his “evidence” was nothing and that Mueller had “punted” and left Barr to decide, and Barr decided “nothing to see here, case closed.” Millions of Americans, on both sides of the political divide took this as the final word on Mueller’s investigation/”witch hunt”. Trump himself added “no re-do, no do-over, no backsies, I’m the rubber you’re the glue, I know you are but what am I? make me!!! nyah yah yah yah yeah!”
Bill Barr’s cynical distortion of the findings of the Mueller investigation (accurately trumpeted by the president and his followers as ‘no collusion, no obstruction, complete and total exoneration!’) ,was immediately protested by the “by the book” Robert Mueller III. Here is the heart of Mueller’s immediate reaction to Barr’s first public spin and strong suggestion of complete exoneration, aired live, worldwide on March 24th (broken into sentences for ease of reading/digestion):
As we stated in our meeting of March 5 and reiterated to the Department early in the afternoon of March 24, the introductions and executive summaries of our two-volume report accurately summarize this Office’s work and conclusions.
The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions.
We communicated that concern to the Department on the morning of March 25.
There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation.
This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations. See Department of Justice, Press Release (May 17, 2017).
Again, Mueller writes like a careful, cautious, subordinate, rules-bound lawyer writing respectfully to his superior. You actually have to decode the lines about Barr’s misleading summary of the investigation which: “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the report and consider it alongside other careful, lawyerly Mueller euphemisms.
Mueller is the same lawyer who characterized Trump’s complete and total NON-ANSWER — the transcript says “TRUMP: (no answer provided)”– as “inadequate”. Trumps refusal to answer certainly resulted in an answer that was not adequate, the non-answer could hardly have been more inadequate, but it was also NO ANSWER WHATSOEVER and a clear and unmistakable expression of the president’s utter contempt for the law. I’d venture to guess that no mafia boss ever had the gumption to give a silent “fuck you” as his final answer to a prosecutor’s interrogatories.
Mueller apparently sent follow-up questions to Trump that were also disposed of by “inadequate answers.” These “answers” were inadequate for the same reason Trump’s final answer to the original written questions was inadequate. Trump simply ignored the follow-up questions because “I know you are but what am I? Make me, loser. You’re the rubber, I’m the man! My lawyers will fuck your lawyers UP!” In Muellerspeak, bending over backwards to remain impartial even when the weight of the evidence you have uncovered points to the guilt of the subject you are investigating, a silent “fuck off” is, to be as candid as he can, “inadequate.”
There are dozens of articles of impeachment that could be drafted against this unimpeachable man with his narrow majority of politically motivated zealots in the Senate who will never convict him no matter what and a Justice Department that has already shown no hesitation to lie, evade and equivocate to protect the Unitary Executive.
The president’s shameless, open monetizing of the most powerful office in the world by itself should be enough reason to open impeachment hearings. The fact that White House staffers have Mar-a-Largo credit cards that can only be used at the president’s expensive private membership resort should, by itself, be enough for Congress to open immediate hearings.
Trump’s refusal to turn over financial documents, and ordering his dumbly smiling Secretary of the Treasury to illegally refuse to produce documents pursuant to a legal request by Congress (as his lawyers simultaneously and baselessly appeal a judge’s ruling that Deutsche Bank must produce records of their hundreds of millions in suspicious-looking loans to Trump), alone are probably grounds for his impeachment. (Make the weak Dems take me to court, if they want to try to force me to follow the law. I own the courts!)
His utter disregard for the rulings of federal courts over reuniting children ripped from their mothers’ arms by itself could probably be stand-alone grounds for impeachment.
The seven or eight instances in Mueller’s summary of obstruction of justice that directly involve Trump in a seamless pattern of presidential obstruction should be seven or eight articles of impeachment.
Forget how distasteful and embarrassing it is to have a routinely lying bully and braggart as our president. He is an easy person to dislike (unless you love him). An EXTREMELY stable genius who cannot seem to express a single thought without veering toward an incoherent attack on some real or imagined enemy who is persecuting him without any cause whatsoever. “… time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying and Treason.”
I understand, he speaks to people who are, as most Americans find ourselves, desperate, powerless and angry. But Trump speaks ONLY to desperation and anger (also greed, must not forget the never sated greed of our greatest and most important citizens and their eternally living corporate avatars) and the bar for stoking righteous rage is very low– it’s “us” (yay!) or “them” (lock them up! lock them up!). It’s especially easy to keep the rage going full tilt with a fawning mass media echo chamber to bellow into. So simple, as we’ve seen, that a supremely confident simpleton can do it!
Forget all that for a moment and look only at what Trump is doing, in terms of normalizing presidential contempt for the rule of law. He has always been above the law, as the greatest human mankind has ever produced (also the most sensitive to a slight, which is an odd contradiction) and his position as president, the world’s most powerful man, is that he is still and always above the law. He is a law unto himself. Truth and “lies” are beyond the point, not worth discussing, really, unless the lie is slam-dunk provable perjury, which is exactly why only a moron takes an oath to tell the truth.
Trump once bragged to an interviewer about what a great athlete he was, claimed that he could have been a professional baseball player (and considered it, though the money at that time wasn’t very good, which is why he never allowed a major league team to draft him). He was playing baseball at this superstar level at exactly the same time that crippling bone spurs kept him from being drafted into the Vietnam war, over the course of several deferments. Truth and falsity are purely transactional elements to Trump, to be mixed and matched as required to “win”.
The law, Trump has long held, is for “ethical” suckers and black and brown sons of bitches who are vicious, criminal parasites who need to be hammered hard by law enforcement. That’s why you hire an army of the best lawyers who will work for you, to keep yourself free of fucking rats, spies, traitors and enemies. Mr. Trump lives in a vulgar gold-plated world where his word is law and undying loyalty to him is the only quality he prizes. Like in the fondest dreams of the spoiled, abused little millionaire bully he was at eight years old.
This uncouth, impulsive, contemptuous child-man is not a president who embodies the democratic aspirations American patriots have been dying for all these years.
He is an inexorably spreading stain that needs to be removed before it succeeds in blotting out democracy itself.
As the earth itself becomes uninhabitable because the most powerful man in the world refuses to believe that the unanimous opinion of the world’s scientists, including US government scientists, means nearly as much as record-breaking profits for private, government subsidized oil companies.
God bless our two and a half century experiment in democracy. This inexorably spreading stain needs to be removed before the experiment is fouled beyond salvation.
Yeah, I know, fuck “science”.