Sunday, September 29, 2019

Calling the Impeachment Bluff

Well. That was predictable.

And given that the administration has also moved phone calls to Russian and Saudi leaders into a classifies computer shows you just how common it is for the president to embarrass, at the least, and be criminally liable, at the worst, when performing his presidential duties. This president, though, has always been woefully unprepared to be president, both temperamentally and intellectually, and clearly believes that anything goes in foreign policy because, well, he has advisers who who have supported that view.

And this was not just Trump's interpretation. The powers, both real and perceived, have grown exponentially since the end of World War II, and were greatly enhanced in the Nixon White House because of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. Until now, though, we've had presidents who understood the constitution and the basic ideas of democratic republicanism. Now we have an executive who thinks he has unlimited powers and doesn't understand how to use the system to get his agenda passed.

Which also makes Trump's lament that an impeachment inquiry will bring his legislative program to a halt the howler he doesn't recognize it to be. He had two years of Republican rule and barely got a terrible tax cut bill passed. He could have started with infrastructure and had a bipartisan agreement  on something that would help the whole country. When you rule through your base, you don't go very far.

So here we are, facing months of investigation because the president put us here. And I'm sure there are more revelations to be learned, more finger-pointing, more resignations and more vile, unrepentant, personal attacks from a graceless man who considers himself history's greatest victim. I don't know what else he expected when he released the transcripts of his phone call with the Ukrainian president and essentially confirmed everything the whistle-blower's report contained. The president is the perpetrator, not the victim, and thankfully we have people in the government who see his actions as undemocratic and dangerous. Add in the fact that Rudy Giuliani was acting as a de facto Secretary of State, and you can see why this scandal is so grave.

Unlike the Mueller Report, which showed the president trying his best to cover up and ask people to do illegal things, and his people delaying, stonewalling and denying his requests, we have a clarifying situation here where the president has been caught red-handed perpetrating an offense that he doesn't see as a problem.

That's a problem. And like Nixon, but unlike Clinton, there is far more below the surface of his actions that will reveal him to be the unfit leader we always suspected he was.

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