By Jason Taylor
We are moving towards an inevitable conclusion to the Presidency of Donald Trump. As his words and actions become ever more erratic and disturbing the Republican Party moves in conjunction with him by defending and excusing his behavior. This, in turn, causes Trump, whose ego is already bursting at the seams, to believe he is truly infallible.
Watching his Cabinet on Monday become the amen choir was a sight to behold. Except for Mattis, there are no profiles in courage here only raw political ambition. Whether Trump will fire Mueller remains to be seen, but Trump’s henchman are already trying to bloody him. The consistently vile and despicable Newt Gingrich is only too willing to lead the unholy charge.
The media attention on Trump’s reality show presidency is providing cover for the legislature and administration to dismantle more of the safety net and protections for workers.
Last week while the media was fixated on Comey the following happened: The House passed a bill to gut Dodd-Frank, the Senate proceeded with their top secret gutting of Obamacare, the Labor Department rescinded the Obama era rulemaking franchises somewhat responsible for the labor policies of their franchisees, and the Los Angeles school board election put in place a majority of members favoring charter schools, thanks to a massive influx of campaign dollars from educational corporations aimed at achieving that outcome. Trump voters who expected a government in favor of the “little people” were conned. This is a big business presidency.
The concern that the Trump/Russia investigation will take a long time, and that impeachment is not around the corner, misses the rather obvious point that not quite five months in, there is no wall, no repeal/replace, no tax cuts, no agenda. Plus, more importantly, there is no question that Trump in the NEXT five months will continue to shoot himself in the foot — the actual grounds for impeachment may not have yet occurred, but how can one doubt that they will?
It may be possible that Trump won’t complete the term, but it’s also possible that enough people will continue to support him, and the Republican party, that they will be able to implement enough of that “agenda” to destroy the body politic and undermine the general welfare. The press is finding it difficult to provide objective information to the public. They can’t resist the impulse to offer their opinions and that undermines their credibility.
My knowledge of the Watergate debacle is that it took a long time for the public to be willing to accept that the president, the man who was elected to lead the country, was indeed some kind of crook. America didn’t want to believe it. There are a lot of differences between the Nixon and Trump administrations, but reluctance to believe that what we’re seeing goes beyond normal “mistakes” is quite natural. Add on the Internet, which makes fake news all too credible, and there is a danger on the horizon. Donald Trump is not leading; he’s performing in a scary reality show.
Public anxiety and our politicians’ zeal to score big political points could well derail what is sure to be a Special Counsel’s investigation that will lead to prosecutions. We’ve been there before. No prosecutions arose from Iran-Contra because certain people were given immunity. That must not happen this time. Our president is a bully who has hired other bullies to intimidate former FBI Director and current Special Counsel, Robert Mueller. We can be sure that Mueller will not be any more intimidated than James Comey was.
What we need is an abundance of patience and trust in our special counsel. We need to make sure he has all the time and resources he needs and that his work isn’t interfered with.
Our best bet is to be relentless in blocking every single action by this criminal. Harass him. Troll him directly. Call him out. Counterpoint his claims with the truth. Go after every single vulnerable person on his team. Go after his propaganda arm, like Breitbart and Infowars and find collusion there. Never give up. Never relent. And if you waver, listen to Churchill’s famous speech where he promises Britain will fight and never surrender. Replace your anxiety with conviction. Stall, humiliate, call him out and freeze his agenda.
Shame his surrogates. Shut them down. When they lie on television programs, take away their microphone, then categorically dismantle each and every false claim and do so to their face with video and any and all proof at hand. Discredit every single mouthpiece for this buffoon. Call him out at his press conferences, with facts that counter his lies.
There are few who are more dismayed, sickened and disgusted by the words and actions of Mr. Trump and his administration than I am; few more opposed to the far-right-wing agenda. But this is no time to pander to or indulge wounded psyches. It’s time to toughen up and face reality. Reversing right wing entrenchment in our politics, an ever growing 30-year tide that is cresting and breaking over us now will take time and perseverance. Impeachment is no magic wand that will make it recede and go away. Only committing to doing the hard work of citizenship that our democracy demands, will get the job done.