Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Dominoes Are Starting to Fall


Let me just come right out and say it. I fully expect that Robert Mueller will be fired within a week. This president is determined to stop this investigation by any means necessary. Immediately after the firing of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe only two days before McCabe was eligible to receive his pension - a scumbag move even for this White House - Trump's personal attorney John Dowd called on Rod Rosenstein to end the Russia investigation. This is the exact quote from Dowd:
"I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the F.B.I. Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt dossier."
Translation: See what happened to poor Andy McCabe? Gee, it would be a real shame if something like that were to happen to you. Jesus, Tony Soprano was more tactful.

Forget protocol. Forget the adults in the room cliches. In case you haven't been paying attention what passes for adults is quickly becoming an endangered species. Rex Tillerson was fired over Twitter for Christ's sake. Next up will be H.R. McMaster. When Trump is done his cabinet will look like a dress rehearsal for The Apprentice. Laugh if you will but when you start seeing Gary Busey doing White House briefings don't say I didn't warn you.

I would say this is embarrassing, but we're way passed that now. Unchartered waters? Yeah, we're passed that too. Sadly, I'm running out of metaphors to describe what is going on here. Am I scared? You bet your ass. I'm slowly watching this country I love get turned into a banana republic and one of the two major political parties has decided to do nothing about it. Worse, the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee issued a report that not only exonerated this president of any wrong doing but, spitting in the face of every intelligence agency in the country, it concluded that Russia did not help Trump. In other words, nothing to see here.

I wonder if this what a psych ward looks like. I've never been in one but from what I've read this comes pretty damn close. If it weren't for the reporting coming from The Washington Post and The New York Times, who knows, the coup might've been completed by now. But the problem with the press is that they have no legal authority to affect change. They can sound the alert that there's a runaway train, but they're powerless to stop it. Woodward and Bernstein didn't bring down Nixon; they just furnished the justification. It was left to Congress to do the heavy lifting.

Well this Congress couldn't lift a ham sandwich. Democrats are still in the minority, and even if they manage to win both chambers in the midterms - still a long shot - they will not have the necessary votes in the Senate to remove this president, even if the House votes to impeach. Trump knows this and so do his supporters. That's why he's been acting especially dickish of late. He doesn't care what he does because he knows nobody can touch him. He isn't looking for a "perfect" cabinet; he's looking to consolidate his power over the country by eliminating anyone or anything that threatens it. 

When China announced that Xi Jinping would be president for life, Trump commented that "maybe we'll give that a shot some day." Don't look now, but some day is beginning to look like today.

The only bright spot in this incredibly ghoulish nightmare is that McCabe took notes of every meeting he had with Trump and before he was fired he gave them to Mueller. If Mueller is smart - and he is - he'll make sure those notes are safe and sound, along with every bit of evidence he has obtained so far.

It's the only hope the nation has that history will have an accounting of what went on here so that future generations - assuming there are any - won't make the same mistake and elect a despot posing as a savior.

1 comment:

druid said...

Nice piece, Peter, though I would quibble with some points.Is Trump acting this way because he feels safe from impeachment? I would say almost the opposite: I think that to the extent he's thinking about the real world at all (which is very little), he doesn't feel safe at all, but is terrified and desperate. The risks are not all within his control, even as the most powerful man in the world. His daughter and son-in-law are in danger of being prosecuted, convicted, and (God willing) imprisoned under the laws of the state of New York, and perhaps others -- all matters beyond the presidential pardon power. Worse than that, the cascading disclosures about how the secretive Trump empire has amassed its fortunes may support civil litigation all over the planet seeking to recapture some of the funds these grifters have stolen. Trump cannot afford to let any of these lawsuits go before a jury, and so his empire (such as it is) is doomed to start hemorrhaging money in settlements. That I think is the biggest peril he perceives. So long as that is averted, he is happy to bask in the unparalleled attention he is getting.