Conservative Pundit Says Trump Could Cost the GOP a Generation of Voters

 

It would not be an error to say that Donald Trump is not turning out to be the “god-sent” messiah a fair number of Republicans expected him to be. It was actually reasonable for conservatives to expect great things for the Republican movement with a tiny-handed rubber-stamp idiot in the White House and a GOP-controlled Congress. But by now even Republicans understand, at least in private, that they are in a life-and-death struggle dealing with an aspiring tyrant who has no idea what it takes to be an effective administrator, much less president of the United States.

There have been a few conservative pundits who recognize that Trump is a disaster, incompetent, lacks morals, and is a pathological liar. They also comprehend that between Republicans’ inability to reach a consensus among themselves on legislative governance, and their struggle to keep their distance from Trump while avoiding blowback from his base, “a Republican reckoning is on the horizon.”

That “reckoning” is the assessment of conservative pundit Erick Erickson who took to his pen to write a chilling prophecy for the Republican Party’s future; a future he says is in dire jeopardy with Trump in the White House. In fact, devout Republican Erickson warned that Trump is leading the GOP into a “generational wipeout.” It is noteworthy to mention that Erickson was not an early adopter of Trump as president, because as he elucidates in his commentary, he believed Trump “would be deeply destructive to the national fabric and to the conservative ideas” Erickson supports. Thus his warning that “a Republican reckoning is on the horizon” because Trump is in the White House.

Mr. Erickson related the two primary issues he has with a Trump presidency, and it is noteworthy that they are the exact same issues he preached during the presidential campaign. Besides being destructive to the nation and conservatism as a Republican ideology, he “strongly believes that Trump lacks moral character.” Except for Trump’s racist supporters, there are very few Americans who would disagree about Trump’s lack of morals, or character, or compassion, or patriotism, or awareness of just how incompetent he really is – see Dunning-Kruger effect. Trump exists to elevate Trump and enrich his portfolio; nothing else matters and it is becoming increasingly clear to everyone but the clinically insane. Obviously Erickson is not clinically insane and he can see the “generational” damage Trump is wreaking on the GOP as an establishment and viable political party.

Erickson states the obvious according to polls that voters are increasingly dissatisfied with the Republicans’ inability to govern, and he asserts that part of the issue is that congressional Republicans have found themselves in between the proverbial “rock and a hard place” with Trump in the White House.

Mr. Erickson is right, of course. Increasingly, the Republicans who are still ardently supporting Trump find themselves rightly being accused of neglecting their sworn duty to hold the corrupt con man accountable for the myriad conflicts of interest and what increasingly looks like treason against the United States of America.

However, if Republicans do put patriotism and country before party loyalty, Trump’s mean-spirited base will attack them mercilessly as betrayers of the faith and do what Trump has suggested on more than one occasion; recruit and run primary candidates against them. It is highly likely that their fear of a primary challenge is the force prohibiting most Republicans from doing the right thing and fleeing Trump’s treason and corruption. It is a curious position to take because Republicans are assured that they have a second-string rubber stamp waiting to fill in for Trump if he is evicted from office.

Apparently, Erickson is just as concerned about Trump’s “lack of moral character” setting a horrible example for his fellow people of faith as he is his children seeing an ignorant lying savage as president. Erickson must be more religious than once thought because he claims to have had plenty of serious discussions with his Christian brethren throughout the presidential campaign about the danger of supporting a sinner like Trump. He relates telling people of faith during the campaign that “if god wanted Trump in the White House, he would not need Christians to dirty themselves to make it happen.”

As a secular humanist, one feels a sense of duty to remind the faithful that their mythological god had nothing whatsoever to do with Trump being in the White House. That atrocious credit belongs to Russia, James Comey’s ill-timed revelation that there was nothing in a “new” email inquiry, emoprogs, and Republican voter purges. The biblical god did not get to cast one vote for Trump.

Still, Erickson argued with Trump’s evangelical Christian supporters who told him “whether we liked Trump or not, we needed him to save the Supreme Court.” His response was that “four years of Clinton appointing judges, while awful, would be nothing compared to ‘a generational wipeout of the GOP;’” thus Erickson’s prophecy that “a Republican reckoning is on the horizon.”

Erickson also made an important statement that Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman made a few months ago about people getting to close to Trump, whether in political support or in his corrupt administration, can never come away without compromising their character. As the bastardized interpretation of a verse in the Old Testament says;  “you are the company you keep.” No matter how gullible Americans can be, they are just savvy enough to conclude that every foolish Republican still fervidly supporting Trump is just as corrupt, greedy, incompetent, and mean-spirited as he is.

Mr. Erickson said that it is becoming clearer every day that Trump has the potential to cause more damage to the Republican Party and compared him, wrongly, to President Obama and Democrats. He did, though, see a major distinction between Democrats’ electoral setbacks during the Obama Administration and what will drive the “day of reckoning for Republicans.” He said that while  “President Obama is deeply respected and liked by a majority of the voters,” Donald Trump is “increasingly disliked, and the Republicans who enable him are increasingly distrusted.”

It is a stunning admission, but Erickson said the majority of Americans can be forgiven for thinking the GOP has lost is collective mind; especially because Trump’s supporters in Congress and his base “cheer on his every inane statement, delusion, lie and bad act.” The result, according to a staunch conservative and faithful Republican, is that the Republican movement may lose an entire generation of voters through a combination of the sheer incompetence of Trump and a party rank-and-file with no ability to control or distance itself from its dangerously idiotic leader.

While Erick Erickson’s prophecy may come true, and he makes several fine points, it seems as though he underestimates just how much alike Donald Trump and the GOP faithful are ideologically and as a political movement. If that wasn’t the case, Trump wouldn’t be in the White House, Congress wouldn’t be in Republican hands, and America would be going forward, not reverting back to 1920.

Republicans Will Implement Heritage Foundation Budget With Or Without Trump 

 

 

It isn’t a revelation to a few people that Americans can be, and typically are, the most gullible human beings on the planet. It is also true that some Americans believe a fair percentage of the population are stupid as well as gullible and it is likely because few of them actually pay attention to the obvious. There are a few reasons why that’s the case, but it’s fair to say that “confirmation bias” and wishful thinking are at the top of the list.

Right now many Americans are cherishing the “seeming” demise of Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House, and many are arguing that a Pence in the White House cannot possibly be worse than Trump. While that may be true as far as making blunders, conspiring with hostile governments, insulting America’s allies, and attacking any person or organization that fails to lick Trump’s boots, a Pence presidency will be exactly like a Trump presidency as far as domestic and foreign policy.

Right now there are no small number of assessments by pundits and commenters on the left going batshit crazy over the cruel, barbaric social program cuts in “Trump’s budget” for fiscal year 2018. It is a vile representation of exactly what Trump and Republicans think about the American people, especially children, the elderly, infirm, disabled and poor, but it shouldn’t be a revelation to anyone. And for dog’s sake it shouldn’t be attributed to dirty Donald Trump. It is not his budget and if attribution is a such big deal to then get it right and give credit where it belongs or put a sock in it. There are plenty of opportunities to confirm one’s anti-Trump bias, or a reason to rank on the tiny-handed buffoon. It isn’t constructive, or informative, to accredit something to Trump that belongs to the entire Republican Party and its neo-conservative “belief tank;” the teabagger-led Heritage Foundation.

As this author said months ago, all of the proposed cuts, privatization schemes, agency eliminations, healthcare and nutrition cuts in Trump’s budget outline hew closely to a Heritage Foundation blueprint that was published early in the new year; prior to Trump’s sparsely-attended inauguration. If that doesn’t fit the “blame it on Trump” distraction the left is embracing, then the boasts from the Heritage Foundation fawning over “Trump’s budget” should clarify things.

According to the introduction to “an expert assessment” of Trump’s “America’s First Budget” by a bevy of Heritage Foundation “experts” in cruel and unusual punishment:

The Trump administration relied heavily on The Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance” to craft some of the ideas included in Trump’s own budget blueprint.”

The Hill reported Heritage Foundation crafted Trump’s budget like they crafted Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” plan over the past few years. So any idea Republicans will rein in their drastic cuts if Trump isn’t in the White House is insane. As a close confidante of the Heritage Foundation and former chair of the RSC, Pence would demand and embrace the harshest cuts possible and it is likely why the inaptly-labeled “Trump budget” contain cuts that Heritage and the RSC know will easily breeze through the Republican-controlled Congress; it doesn’t matter which lying Republican sits in the Oval Office.

Many of the specifically harsh cuts in “Trump’s budget” were part of the 2017 budget adopted by the uber-conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC). The RSC is just as teabagger extreme as the House Freedom Caucus and it is closely affiliated with, and highly praised by, the teabagger-led Heritage Foundation.

In fact, Trump’s current director of the Office of Budget and Management (OMB), former Republican House representative from South Carolina, Mick Mulvaney bragged that he voted for the RSC budget because it was a more conservative alternative to Ayn Rand-inspired House budget Paul Ryan offered up over the past few years.

Now, why this is important is because many Americans are deluded in believing the nation will transform into some kind of socialist paradise if Trump leaves office, whether in handcuffs or in a straight jacket, and Pence becomes president. Pence is more closely tied to the Heritage Foundation than any member of Congress and it would be difficult for anyone to identify any Republican in Congress who does not ‘hew closely’ to the policies, mission or agenda of the Heritage Foundation.

Americans are in this situation because they do not pay attention to the important issues when it matters. Oh they are diligent in focusing on whatever is trending on Twitter or how many times dirty Don plays golf, but they aren’t attentive to why their government and way of life is doomed. At this juncture there isn’t much anyone can do to stop the Republicans, the Koch brothers, evangelical extremists or the Heritage Foundation, but they can start identifying the real source of the impending disaster so maybe by the next decade voters will know it’s not just Trump or any one Republican that’s the problem, it’s the entire conservative movement.

Impeach Mike Pence For Continuing to Lie About Michael Flynn

 

One can’t help but wonder why, or how, all these devout evangelical Republicans violate one the most well-known commandments from the “Big Ten” and do it with conviction. Mike Pence, the religious right zealot Trump put in charge of running the government took the time again to lie about when he learned that Trump’s pick to run the NSA was a paid foreign agent for Turkey and had discussed lifting sanctions with the Russians during the transition. For a so-called Christian who wants every student in America to be exposed to and indoctrinated into learning the Ten Commandments, it’s obvious Pence is either grossly ignorant of those god-rules or is a pathological liar like the rest of the Trump administration.

The revelation that Michael Flynn informed the Trump through his lawyer that he was an agent for the Turkish government before being appointed as national security advisor gave Pence an opportunity to do the Christian thing and tell the truth. However, instead of acknowledging that as head of the transition team he did know about Flynn’s foreign agent status and supported Flynn’s appointment as national security advisor, Mike Pence stood by his previous lie and claimed through a spokesperson that “ The Vice President stands by his comments in March upon first hearing the news regarding General Flynn’s ties to Turkey.”

Pence lied and claimed in March that he first learned about Michael Flynn’s Turkish lobbying work through media reports and he is standing by that easily debunked lie. He is lying even after the “new report indicating [that] Flynn informed the transition team in January that he was under federal investigation for not properly disclosing the paid work.”

Of course Pence knew about Flynn’s status long before January, but it is beyond the pale that he expects any sane human being to believe that as head of Trump’s transition team that he only learned that Flynn was a foreign agent two months later after Flynn informed the Trump transition team that he was under investigation for being a paid foreign agent.

There is a simple reason one has no qualms calling Christian Mike Pence a dirty, filthy lying sinner who is no more a real Christian than the Moon is a big piece of cheese. The reason comes in the form of a letter dated November 18, 2016 informing Pence about Flynn’s paid work for Turkey and his contact with Russia. The letter, on official Congressional House stationary, lays out in detail, with 11 cited references, everything Pence said he just learned from media reports in March of this year. The letter was addressed to Mike Pence and cc’d to House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).

The letter, from the House Oversight Committee’s ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings, not only informs Pence of Flynn’s paid work for Turkey, it describes Flynn’s paid speech denigrating America to Trump’s Russian collaborators at an event he attended with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Still, Pence not only lies that he was unaware of any Flynn issues, he supported his appointment as Trump’s national security advisor with full knowledge he was a paid foreign agent and was being investigated. It is also noteworthy that Trump and his legal team certainly knew about Flynn’s work and collaboration with Turkey and Russia because Flynn alerted them in January. But they appointed him national security advisor regardless.

Maybe it is a requirement to be a liar in Trump’s administration because two of Pence’s closest aides lied and told POLITICO that Pence had never been made aware of Flynn’s Turkey work; one even said that in his role as chair of the transition meant he “would not necessarily be privy to all conversations.” However, that official letter dated November 18, 2016 from the House Oversight Committee’s ranking member was not “a conversation” any more than Flynn alerting the White House transition team Pence chaired, and Trump, that he was under investigation for being a paid foreign agent. It was something that happened weeks before Trump’s sparsely attended inauguration and prior to Trump appointing Flynn as his national security advisor.

There are rumors floating around that there are increasing calls for an in-depth investigation into Mike Pence for his involvement in the Russian scandal, and they certainly must concern his well-documented knowledge that Flynn was being paid by foreign governments. The real travesty is there is no apparent section in the  U.S. Code criminalizing filthy lies, but there is plenty about treason as well as collusion. According to the existence of an easily available letter from the House Oversight Committee alerting Pence to Flynn’s activities on behalf of foreign governments, Pence not only knew about Flynn’s activities several months before he claims he did, he kept that damning information to himself and supported a foreign agent as national security advisor.

Mike Pence is no Christian. For dog’s sake even a marginal believer would stop short of repeating an easily debunked lie if for no other reason that to avoid jeopardizing their chance at going to proverbial heaven. Mike Pence can claim his evangelical bona fides forever, but he is nothing but a filthy dirty liar on par with his boss Donald Trump. One can only hope that when Trump’s little castle starts crumbling, it will crush Mike Pence for lying to the people, for colluding with a treasonous cover-up and tacit cooperation with a hostile foreign government; and for his part in appointing a paid foreign agent as America’s national security advisor.

Conservative Pundits Are Abandoning Trump in Droves

 

Ardent sports fans comprehend that it is a completely natural tendency, and duty, to support their favorite team regardless of their win-loss record, or if a team member makes an embarrassing public misstep. It is no different in the sport of politics. Republicans support their own and it is the same with Democrats. This is particularly true for the team leader; never waver in support for the man or woman at the top.

In the case of Republicans, their standard bearer is a man they have known all along was ill-equipped to ever be in the White House and that is not including Trump’s predilection to criminal behavior, authoritarianism and blatant unrepentant corruption. Republicans certainly were aware of Trump’s corruption because no “renowned” business man declares bankruptcy six times and still maintains a multi-billion dollar business empire; shady deals have been a staple of Trump’s so-called business acumen but the Republican establishment and conservative punditry supported him all the same.

Apparently, to protect the conservative “brand,” the Republican brand, right-wing columnists discarded any sense of decency they may have developed over the years and fully embraced and supported the Trump directly after the election, but now they are finally showing signs that they recognize their folly and are speaking out. It isn’t entirely clear if finding their voices is to distance themselves from Trump to protect their credibility or the conservative brand, but at least they are speaking out.

Three noted conservative columnists have made cases against Trump’s fitness for the White House gig and they have argued points that Democrats and those of us on the left have trumpeted since long before Trump won the Republican nomination, not the election. What is very telling is that Republicans and conservative pundits and writers witnessed the same Trump behavior as Democrats and liberals for well over a year, but they embraced him as a demigod anyway because he carried the home team’s flag.

Erick Erickson is one conservative who heartily embraced Trump post-election, but his tune changed this week after it was revealed that Trump exposed highly-classified intelligence to the Russians. Erickson “reported” that according to a White House insider:

What Trump did  is far worse than what is being reported. The President does not seem to realize or appreciate that his bragging can undermine relationships with our allies and with human intelligence sources. He also does not seem to appreciate that his loose lips can get valuable assets in the field killed.”

Unlike many conservatives, Erickson is not defending Trump’s mammoth blunder because he knows one of the sources intimately and trusts their word explicitly. Erickson was defending the “source’s” need to “leak” the information because he understands it is the only way to stop Trump and protect national security. He said:

If the President, through inexperience and ignorance, is jeopardizing our national security and will not take advice or corrective action, what other means are available to get the President to listen and recognize the error of his ways?”

David Brooks, NYT’s conservative columnist penned an opinion piece titled “When the World Is Led By a Child.” In the conservative’s article he writes:

Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.”

It is worth the short read to get to the finer points Brooks clearly makes about why Trump is ill-equipped to be president, besides acting like “a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom.” Brooks also notes that Trump is “the all-time record-holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect; the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence.”

Although Brooks goes through a litany of accurate assessments of Trump’s childish behavior, he seems to be most concerned, and rightly so, that:

The Russian leak story reveals one other thing, the dangerousness of a hollow man. Our institutions depend on people who have enough engraved character traits to fulfill their assigned duties. But there is perpetually less to Trump than it appears. When we analyze a president’s utterances we tend to assume that there is some substantive process behind the words, that it’s part of some strategic intent.”

Obviously, Brooks is stating that Trump has no strategic intent, but he also knows like everyone on the left that Trump never had any “strategic intent.” He has known that obvious fact since Trump entered the race for the presidency, and yet he reined in his criticism to protect the conservative brand that Trump is decimating every day he occupies the White House.

New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat proposed using the 25th Amendment as opposed to impeachment to get Trump out of the Oval Office; a place he shouldn’t be allowed to visit, much less occupy. Douthat fairly summed up what kind of mess Republicans are desperate to get away from despite his “exhortations” to them a few days ago about fulfilling their duty to America. He wrote:

If the G.O.P.’s surrender to candidate Trump made exhortations about Republican politicians’ duty to their country seem like so much pointless verbiage, now President Trump has managed to make exhortation seem unavoidable again.”

Douthat  explained that Trump lacks even the basic traits necessary to be president, traits Trump wouldn’t know if they walked up to him, introduced themselves and then smacked that silly orange right off his face. Douthat wrote:

One needs some basic attributes: a reasonable level of intellectual curiosity, a certain seriousness of purpose, a basic level of managerial competence, a decent attention span, a functional moral compass, a measure of restraint and self-control. And if a president is deficient in one or more of them, you can be sure it will be exposed.”

Douthat ends his piece with an open and public appeal to Republican leaders to put an end to the “team’s” and the country’s nightmare before Trump can inflict too much damage on the “brand” and the nation. He wrote:

I respectfully ask Mike Pence and Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to reconsider their support for a man who never should have had his party’s nomination, never should have been elevated to this office, never should have been endorsed and propped up and defended by people who understood his unfitness all along.” (author bold)

It isn’t often, if ever, that a conservative of any stripe echoes the deep-seated sentiment of Democrats and the left even if they tacitly agree. But in this case, in pleading with Republicans to do the right thing and stop defending a corrupt, incompetent criminal, something liberal columnists have called for since Trump was inaugurated, Douthat is saying exactly what the left started screaming about a year ago. Except at this juncture, and amid the daily revelations that Donald Trump is as corrupt as he is criminal, removing Trump from office because he is unfit to serve is not going to cut it. Trump needs to impeached and sent to prison along with every last one of his subordinates who aided or covered for his disastrous and criminal administration.

Trump’s Incompetent Big Mouth Put An Israeli Agent’s Life At Risk

 

 

Employers typically avoid hiring an employee that is incompetent because they have the foresight to go through a careful vetting process most employees are unaware of. Incompetence, like ignorance, can kill a business depending on the nature of services or products they offer, but when a customer’s safety is put at risk due to incompetence, any competent business owner will terminate a careless employee if for no other reason than avoiding lawsuits. It may not seem to be the case, but there are more professions and jobs that can have an adverse effect on citizens’ health and lives than one might think.

Of course an incompetent mechanic who forgets to tighten a wheel’s lug nuts or connect a brake line could be liable for material damages and physical injuries in a car crash when the brakes failed or the wheels fell off. It is a similar situation when a medical professional’s incompetence leads to an unnecessary death whether that death is from a sloppy surgeon or careless nurse administering the wrong medicine. In those cases there are laws and the judicial system to hold the incompetent professional accountable. There is no such thing for a president when Republicans control all three branches of government and it is why Trump will get away with endangering the life of a close ally’s agent.

As a few people have noted, when incompetent and ignorant Trump shared Israel’s highly classified intelligence with Trump’s close friends in the Kremlin, he put at great risk the Israeli operative who infiltrated ISIS and provided the intelligence Trump may as well have made public. ABC News reported that according to several current and former American officials, when Trump disclosed classified information to the Russians, “he put the life of a spy placed by Israel inside ISIS at risk.”

It is irrelevant what the Trump told the Russian officials last week, even if it was because he is compromised and indebted to Vladimir Putin to divulge U.S intelligence secrets. What matters is that he threw America’s closest ally in the Middle East under the bus and threw one of their operatives to the hungry lions in ISIS. Perhaps the next time American intelligence officials warn Israel, or any of our allies, to be particularly careful about sharing information with the new administration for fear of exactly what happened, they will pay closer attention. Intel officials in the Obama Administration did warn the Israelis and now one of their spies is likely compromised.

However, it is not that the Israelis failed to take what they surmised were the necessary precautions in telling the intelligence community to keep the highly-classified intel as secret as humanly possible, including not sharing it throughout the government; something all reporting says they certainly did. But they underestimated Trump’s incompetence and instead of sharing it throughout the government, in a fit of braggadocio he shared it with a hostile foreign adversary that happens to be a very close ally with Israel’s sworn enemy Iran.

Israel has repeatedly warned American officials that it would put a screeching halt to access to such sensitive information if it were to be shared too widely, according to one former American official. Besides putting the life of an Israeli spy at risk, there is justifiable fear that Russian intelligence will easily  determine exactly how the information was collected  and be able to easily disrupt Israel’s  espionage efforts. The Russians don’t even have to waste one nano-second determining where the information was collected because Trump told them.  Part of that fear on the part of Israel is Russia’s very close ties and allegiance to Iran. It is something that any competent government official is already aware of and it is added proof that Donald Trump is not only a corrupt criminal, he is either  the epitome of incompetence or is deeper in debt to Vladimir Putin than anyone can possibly imagine; likely it is a combination of the two.

As many commentators have noted, of course a president can share whatever information they want with impunity, but this is a different story and more than just a breach of intelligence sharing protocol; especially when it compromises America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East and puts the life of their agent at serious risk. As the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) noted:

The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order. It’s got to happen. To compromise [an intelligence] source is something that you just don’t do, and that’s why we keep the information we get from intelligence sources so close as to prevent that from happening.”

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) is vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and he had a similar assessment to Senator Corker’s. He said on Twitter: “This is a slap in the face to the intel community. Risking sources and methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians.”

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee was not nearly as diplomatic as either Senator Corker or Warner. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) lashed out at dumb Donnie and said:

President Trump’s recklessness with sensitive information is deeply disturbing and clearly problematic. The president of the United States has the power to share hare classified information with whomever they wish, but the American people expect the president to use that power wisely.”

In this case, Trump’s recklessness not only put Israel’s intelligence-gathering abilities at risk, his need to boast put an Israeli operative’s life at risk by revealing highly-classified intelligence, and the location from where it was collected. One can only imagine the Israelis, particularly their powerful spy agency Mossad, are fuming and carefully considering what method of retribution to impose on Trump, and it is likely that very few people on the planet could possibly blame them.

There are many theories floating around about what drove Trump’s latest dangerous action; is he compromised by Putin, did his ego push him to boast he knew a secret few in the government were aware of, or is he as incompetent as he is corrupt; something a growing number of Americans have finally come to realize. Regardless if it is incompetence or corruption, Trump’s latest action seriously jeopardized America’s standing and partnerships with each and every one of its intelligence gathering allies around the world to either impress or repay Vladimir Putin.

Trump Must Be Impeached For Obstructing Justice In Comey Firing

 

People of color might disagree with the idea that justice is blind in the same fashion that highly-connected rich people disagree with the concept that no man is above the law. Regardless that the justice system does not always seem equitable, the fact still remains that the law applies to all Americans equally. That being the case, there is a federal law that Donald Trump violated by all accounts and it is not only reason enough for him to be impeached and thrown out of office, once he is out of office he can and should be indicted and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And if convicted by a jury, he should go straight to a federal penitentiary to serve out his sentence with his tiny little hands bound to keep him off of social media.

When Trump fired James Comey because “I said to myself, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’” he sent a signal that he was attempting to pervert the course of justice. In America the term is “obstructing justice” and according to the Cornell University Law School definition:

Obstruction of justice is defined in the omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. § 1503, which provides that ‘whoever . . . . corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be (guilty of an offense).'”

Cornell goes on to explain that “a person obstructs justice when they have a specific intent to obstruct or interfere with a judicial proceeding. For a person to be convicted of obstructing justice, they must not only have the specific intent to obstruct the proceeding, but the person must know (1) that a proceeding was actually pending at the time; and (2) there must be a nexus between the defendant’s endeavor to obstruct justice and the proceeding, and the defendant must have knowledge of this nexus.”

The Ohio State Bar Association’s legal definition of obstruction of justice is a tad simpler than Cornell University’s:  “Obstruction consists of any attempt to hinder the discovery, apprehension, conviction or punishment of anyone who has committed a crime.”

What all of this means to regular Americans is that it is a crime and an impeachable offense to act with the “specific intent to obstruct or interfere with a judicial or congressional proceeding, or a proceeding before a federal agency (such as an investigation). The proceeding must be pending at the time of the conduct and the defendant must know it.”

Now, there is no doubt whatsoever that Trump’s firing of the FBI Director meets the standards to be charged with obstruction as a federal crime because his specific intent was interfering with the investigation he damn sure knows is “actually pending,” according to his own admission. And, he has knowledge there is a nexus (link, connection) between his firing Comey and the proceeding; in this case “the proceeding” is an active FBI investigation into the Trump and his connection to Russia.

Regardless of needing to meet the legal definition of obstructing the course of justice, it’s not as if there has to be an investigation into whether or not Trump terminated James Comey as FBI Director to “pervert the cause of justice;” because on two separate occasions he admitted that was his intent.

After he fired Mr. Comey and during a nationally broadcast interview with Lester Holt on NBC’s Nightly News program, Trump brushed aside his administration’s public excuses for the firing and blatantly confessed his purpose in removing Comey. He was defiant in saying:

I was going to fire Comey. When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.’”

But some Trump supporters might say he was just being Trump, acting like a “badass boss;” that excuse might be even be believable if not for the night before the firing. Before officially dismissing the man leading the investigation into collusion between the Trump, his campaign, and Russia,  Trump used his preferred media outlet, Twitter to say:

The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”

The very next day Trump then took matters into his own hand and likely believed he put an end to the taxpayer-funded “Russia-Trump collusion story” by firing Mr. Comey. Regardless whether the investigation continues going forward or not, Trump’s action was an attempt to obstruct justice and no small number of legal experts, political pundits, and politicians agree.

This action on Trump’s part is a very serious breach of the law and a sign that he is emulating authoritarian monsters like Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin, Egypt’s Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, Philippine president Manuel Duterte and Adolf Hitler (sod off Godwin). Of course Trump hasn’t yet had Mr. Comey assassinated on the street like the above mentioned dictators, but he did attempt to obstruct justice and according to Article II, sec. 4 of the Constitution, he must be removed from office for what qualifies as “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Former President Gerald Ford once said that “an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment.” And, it is important to note that “the Supreme Court has held that matters of impeachment pose political questions unsuitable for judicial review;” the conservative High Court can’t interfere and save Trump. (author bold)

Although there is no black-and-white definition of what an impeachable offense entails any more than what is regarded as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” there is a consensus among legal experts most Americans would heartily agree with. For example, “conduct that violates the public trust, including serious abuses of governmental powers” would be regarded as high crimes and misdemeanors by anyone not related to Donald Trump. However, in this case those standards are reinforced with conduct that is otherwise criminally prosecutable making the case for impeachment much stronger.

Look, it is important to note that in the case of the attempted impeachment of Richard Nixon, he was accused of “obstructing the due administration of justice” for just attempting to interfere with an investigation by the FBI.

It was exactly the same situation with Bill Clinton’s impeachment; the two articles of impeachment were “grounded in allegations he had impeded the administration of justice by making false statements.” The only reasons for making false statements was to obstruct the “administration of justice.”

In both cases, articles of impeachment were drawn up for either “impeding the administration of justice” or “obstructing the due administration of justice” by “attempting to interfere with an FBI investigation.” There is no possible scenario where any sane human being would not consider Trump’s actions as anything other than “obstructing the due administration of justice by attempting to interfere with an FBI investigation.”

It seems that since Trump moved into the White House on day one there were myriad “possible” reasons to impeach him and throw him out of office whether it was using the office of the presidency to make money off taxpayers or colluding with Russia; but this is a different story. By any measure Trump himself revealed the only reason he fired the FBI Director was to subvert the course of justice and put an end to the investigation into his collusion with a hostile foreign power. If he sincerely felt Comey had lost confidence of his underlings due to a perception he mishandled the bogus Clinton email case, or didn’t handle it according to Trump, he could have fired him on day one of his administration; but of course he didn’t – he waited until the FBI was closing in on his collusion with Russia.

There is every reason to believe that Trump conspired to obstruct justice to cover his acts of treason in colluding with Russia. And if Republicans weren’t traitors to the Constitution they would impeach the criminal and throw him out of the White House; right into the waiting arms of federal prosecutors to try him for the federal crime of obstruction of justice and send him to prison.

America Is In a Constitutional Crisis And Its Democracy Is In Jeopardy

 

If Americans are paying attention, and they certainly should be, to the state of their government it is jarringly apparent that in Trump’s administration the criminals are running the justice system. It only makes sense because a pack of criminals are running the White House and there is every reason to believe a fair number of criminals are running both houses of Congress. No matter how one appraises the current and rapidly developing decline of American democracy, Trump is responsible for throwing the nation into a constructional crisis.

Were that not the case, that America’s government is compromised on various accounts, Trump would not have terminated Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James B. Comey to stop the investigation into the Trump-Russian attack on America’s democracy. As noted in a New York Times opinion piece:

It’s now clear that Trump’s Justice Department has no independence. Both Sessions, and Sessions’ deputy, Rod Rosenstein, are acting like Trump enforcers. And now the F.B.I. is compromised [or is going to be compromised] as well.”

A conservative columnist at the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, explained why Trump firing Mr. Comey is not only a reason for a very robust and thorough independent investigation, but why Trump can be impeached. Ms. Rubin wrote:

Using one law enforcement body (or set of individuals) to stop another from investigating presidential wrongdoing was the nub of Watergate and the ensuing impeachment proceedings. We do not know whether that is what is at issue here, but Congress has no alternative but to determine why the president acted and why he acted now. That should entail questioning under oath of any persons aware of or involved in the firing process and ultimately an accounting by the president of his own actions.”

It is important to recall that Trump praised Comey just prior to the election and has kept him at his post without issue for nearly four months since his inauguration. According to several reports, what appeared to set Trump off first was Comey’s Senate testimony that he was “mildly nauseous” at the thought of swaying the election to Trump. There are also plenty of credible reports that Mr. Comey was fired for requesting more funding from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to more effectively conduct the investigation into collusion between the Trump cabal and Russia.

It is noteworthy that Rosenstein is in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation at the DOJ because Jeff Sessions was “pressured” to recuse himself over his own undisclosed contact with the Russians during Trump’s campaign; a fact he lied about under oath during his Senate confirmation hearing. That act of perjury is the reason he should be prosecuted and sent to federal prison for five years instead of colluding with Trump to stop the FBI’s investigation.

The question, then, is why did Sessions as Attorney General appeal to Trump to fire Comey for investigating Russian collusion when he is out of the loop on Russian grounds? The White House public statement announcing Comey’s termination plainly puts Sessions in the center of the criminal endeavor. It said, in part:

President Trump acted on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Any sane person can’t possibly believe that Comey’s termination had anything whatsoever to do with the FBI’s handling of the bogus Clinton email affair. One cannot possibly believe it was anything other than Trump’s despotic attempt to put a criminal conspirator in charge of the FBI’s investigation who will join the thugs in the Justice Department, obey Trump’s dictates, and halt the investigation.

As no small number of pundits and commenters have opined, Trump’s action is “a premeditated and terrifying attack on the American system of government” and “ushers in a constitutional crisis.”

Here’s the thing, Trump, Sessions and Rosenstein can claim whatever lie they think the public will believe, but their claims are still lies. Yes, it’s true Americans can be incredibly dense and painfully so, but no-one is as stupid as Trump believes they are. Remember, as late as Monday, Trump took to his press outlet, Twitter, to call for the end of the FBI’s investigation into his administrations collusion with Russia. Trump tweeted:

The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”

Within a day, Trump did what a criminal tyrant would do and attempted to put an end to the Trump-Russia collusion story unilaterally, with a little aid from the criminals leading the DOJ. Mr. Comey’s firing was not about emails, or that he wasn’t doing his job. He was terminated because he was doing his job without Trump’s direction and wanted to go deeper; that likely sealed his fate and prompted Trump to do what a tyrannical dictator would do – fire the man investigating him.

Trump was already livid that Comey publicly humiliated him when he summarily dismissed Trump’s paranoid claim that President Obama wire tapped him as “outside the realm of normal,” even “crazy.” Then Trump seethed that Comey told the Senate he “mildly” felt like throwing up at the idea his actions swayed the general election results. But what likely frightened the life out of Trump was Comey’s request for more funding for the Trump-Russia collusion investigation; a request that certainly means the investigation is not only widening but producing an abundance of evidence.

Now that it looks like Trump will find a sympathetic sycophant to do his bidding at the FBI and deliver the predetermined outcome Trump wants and close the investigation, Congress’ duty to democracy is to reassure the people that Trump is not above the law. That necessitates a robust independent investigation “completely free of Trump’s oversight” and without interference from Trump’s criminal conspirators at the Department of Justice. America’s democracy is in jeopardy and it is in a constitutional crisis, and save a few brave members of Congress it is increasingly apparent that Republicans have little interest in saving the Union from their hero in the White House or themselves.