By D. Allan Kerr
Donald Trump claims he isn’t trying to get dirt on a political opponent from foreign leaders – he’s just pursuing international corruption. Well, House Democrats aren’t pursuing a vendetta against Trump – they’re just investigating corruption in the Oval Office.
Between phone transcripts and whistleblower complaints, cover-ups and serial stonewalling, it’s clear Congress needs to do its job and figure out what the hell is going on there.
But at the very least, this investigation – which is all an impeachment inquiry really is – should remind Donald Trump he’s a president, not an emperor.
When you get right down to it, Nancy Pelosi is doing him, and America, a favor – she’s saving Trump from Trump.
This is a guy who has always considered himself above the law. That’s why he once told TV personality Billy Bush he could grab women by the crotch and get away with it. Back in 2016 he claimed he could shoot somebody in the middle of New York’s 5th Avenue and not lose voters.
And this was all before he was elected president.
Back then, the 5th Avenue comment seemed like a contemptuous view of his own fan base, but you have to admit – the man knows his audience. Since the election he has become even more emboldened. And untethered.
His pronouncements have grown increasingly outlandish over these several months. He’s totally abandoned any pretense for bringing in the “best of the best” for the dream-team cabinet he assembled at the beginning of his term, and now just welcomes whoever will swear fealty to him.
Trump has always been a wannabe gangster – or as much a gangster as a squeamish, teetotalling, germophobic, Ivy League debutante can be.
It’s funny to remember how he used to refer to the courtroom practice of pleading the Fifth Amendment as a tactic used only by the Mob, when considering the “executive privilege” often cited by his minions is the Capitol Hill equivalent of the same tactic.
And witness intimidation, a long-favored Mob tool, has always been key to Trump’s arsenal. It’s how he frightened 20 or more women from pursuing sexual assault and harassment complaints for years, even before he became commander-in-chief, until they realized they weren’t alone and raised their voices together.
He brazenly and publicly employed intimidation and coercion tactics during the Mueller investigation, threatening the families of hostile witnesses and dangling the possibility of pardon for those he hoped would remain loyal. Right in broad daylight.
Anyone challenging Trump can be assured every pimple and blemish will be held to the public spotlight, especially if he can’t dispute the facts at stake. And if there isn’t sufficient dirt, he’ll fabricate it.
The spotless reputation of special counsel Robert “Captain America” Mueller III was one such obstacle. The draft-dodging Trump was so frustrated in his attempts to besmirch Mueller – a combat-decorated ex-Marine and revered public servant – he had to resort to lies.
Among them was his contention Mueller had a conflict of interest because he had been rejected as Trump’s FBI director. Even Trump supplicant Steve Bannon had to acknowledge this wasn’t close to being true.
Trump is attempting to do the same to Biden, reaching for even the most implausible conspiracies to convince the gullible it’s Biden, not Trump, who is corrupt. Anyone who takes five minutes to research the truth will see these, too, are false charges.
Personally I hope Mueller and Biden sue Trump for libel someday.
Now Trump wants to identify the Ukraine whistleblower so he can launch similar attacks on this person’s character.
GOP supporters encouraging this effort should consider the consequence for future whistleblowers. If people with knowledge of bad deeds are too cowed to step forward, corruption will flourish.
Which in this case is just what Trump wants.
Listen to his words, read his tweets, and it becomes clear he sincerely believes no one should question him. Ever.
He claimed Democrats were “treasonous” for not giving him a standing ovation during his 2018 State of the Union address.
Those who disagree with him are labelled traitors or publicly ridiculed, not for their argument but for their physical appearance or past misdeeds, even if they have nothing to do with the topic at hand.
He’s attempting to portray the House probe as a legislative coup, but consider this:
- If this was just a campaign to overthrow his presidency, the House could have already launched impeachment proceedings based on the obstruction efforts list in Mueller’s report. Constituents have clamored for this process for quite a while now.
- If the whistleblower complaint was a purely political attack, the complainant could have gone straight to the media instead of thru proper internal channels. Remember, this has been going on behind the scenes for more than two months now.
- If Trump’s concern was corruption and not partisan politics, why did he wait until presidential primary season to make this push with foreign leaders? And if Biden truly committed crimes overseas, wouldn’t these countries have already exposed it?
Pelosi for a long time resisted those who called for impeachment. Trump is in this position now because he continued to flaunt his imperial arrogance before the world. He essentially double-dog-dared the Democratic Party to call him out.
And now they’ve responded: No man is above the law.
D. Allan Kerr enjoys the verbal gymnastics of Trump defenders on TV.
(Oct. 4, 2019)