“This time is different.” How many times have we heard that? The dot-com bubble was different, the housing bubble was different, Bill “the boy king” Clinton was different, “compassionate conservatism” was different, Barack Obama was different. The sequence of events following each remained predictably the same as previous, similar events. Bubbles burst. To paraphrase Mamet, old age and treachery rise to obstruct youth and exuberance. Conservatism is not compassionate.
What did we learn from these events? We learned that no time is different. We learned how short our memory is.
It used to be said that change was the only constant in life, but now we should add to that “failure to learn from the past.” Richard Nixon and Watergate were not so long ago; my generation has had plenty of time to digest what occurred and what was learned from it. We apparently did not.
The current presidential trip abroad appears to be different. Perhaps the Democrats will remain mum about politics, as is the tradition. Politics, we like to say, ends at the water’s edge. Perhaps the Republicans will stay under the rock they’ve used for cover as Trumpian shame has rained upon them. But something odd is happening back home, happened just as the president departed.
We learned there are investigative footsteps approaching the Oval Office, even as the president is away.
An active inquiry into the president’s campaign antics and his people’s connections to Russian agents has swung into high gear. Committees of the United States Congress that should have been dedicating full-time personnel to their own investigations are suddenly clamoring for a waning bit of spotlight, as Special Counsel Bob Mueller, by all accounts an honest, well-regarded leader and investigator, gets about his business.
Appearances are deceiving. These machinations of government are not different, not really. They’re the normal course of responding to the outrage of citizens and rising Congressional worry that this man Trump may truly be a danger to the republic.
It’s a hell of a thing to bring down a president. It’s an act not approached in haste. And yet the word “impeachment” was heard just days after Trump’s election last year, from people more familiar with the Donald Trump of the eighties, nineties and oughts. The Donald Trump who sidestepped and handed off responsibilities just in the nick of time, leaving someone else holding a bag full of failed development, worthless investment, and unpaid labor.
Certainty of Trump’s epic demise emerges from study of his previous acts. The man cannot help himself from helping himself and lying about it. Combine that with the power and prestige of the presidency, and the exposure of the campaign leading up to it, and the result can only be catastrophic. There’s no-one to whom he can hand off responsibility or culpability this time.
Truman was right; the buck really does stop at the president’s desk.
So here we are. The president is abroad on his first diplomatic trip, a nine-day odyssey that would tax any previous chief executive, one that he tried in vain to pare down to five. Bob Mueller is organizing, beginning his investigation all the while.
Bob Mueller will learn what the FBI already knows, perhaps what the intelligence community already knows. Bob Mueller will, eventually, produce a report, and with that, hopefully, the bad ship Trump will burn and sink, and we will have a new and unexpected entry in our history books. Or Bob Mueller will be fired, or ordered fired, and the attorney general, the deputy AG, or anyone else left breathing at the DoJ will have a choice to make: president or country.
An oath to the Constitution of the United States is no small thing. “Preserve, protect, and defend.” Every soldier, sailor, marine, airman, guardsman, civil servant, senator, representative, president, and Supreme Court justice utters those words. Time to make them count.
This time is not different. The Constitutional oath has been taken in vain, the republic would be, in the hands of a more competent thug, in peril. Time to right the ship of state and throw this bastard overboard. Men and women of good will and clear conscience demand it.
#Trump #fraud #impeachment