Sunday, June 3, 2018

L'etat, c'est lui.

     Donald Trump believes that, because he has the power to end the Mueller investigation, he cannot be subpoenaed by it. Because he can pardon himself if convicted of crimes, he cannot be accused of them.
     Is he right?
     The argument set out in a letter by his lawyer claims that since the president can "if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon” that he can also refuse to testify before the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
     A court will no doubt decide this, in the months to come. But clarity can be found now by simplifying it to a more mundane level, by asking a few hypothetical questions:
    Can a police chief, who has the power to hire and fire officers, be arrested?
    Can a county sheriff, who has authority over prison guards, be put into jail?
    Can a senator, who has the power to pass laws, himself violate a law?
    Can a president?
    The answer of course is yes, yes, yes and yes. Because if it isn't "yes" in every case, then we no longer have a society of laws, but a society of men.

    Men like Donald Trump.
    Not a society of rules, of order. But a society where ordinary citizens follow orders. The orders of men like Donald Trump.
    Every American is facing a choice, right now. Respect the United States, respect its laws and traditions. 

    Or respect Donald Trump. 
    Follow our morals, values and laws. 
    Or follow Donald Trump.
    It's that simple. 
    Simple, yet so many don't get it. Trump supporters, having put their bets on Trump, whether out of economic anxiety, racial bias, seething resentment, ordinary fear, free-floating malice, Republican habit, gender bias, or whatever pathology causes a supposedly freedom-loving American to support a would-be tyrant, refuse to be put off by whatever new low Trump sinks to. They are willing to pay any price, bear any blunder, meet any transgression, support any traitor, oppose any relief, to assure the continuation of the Trump era. 
    It is shocking how many people bend their knee to him. Past rivals, abused and trivialized on live television, now kiss his ring. Politicians who fought and struggled against Barack Obama's every act—try to bring more health care to more Americans—roll like puppies at the feet of this demagogue.
     I see on Facebook the common meme that someday Trump supporters will regret their support. I severely doubt this. First, because if you go down South, you will not find aging bigots who battled civil rights tooth and nail now hanging their heads in shame. I never see those people. It is far easier to deny folly and keep denying it than to eventually face it. People, generally, are cowards. Hence the popularity of Donald Trump.

     The only time such reckoning has a chance is when the people lost in follow are soundly defeated. The Germans, crushed, began to sincerely wonder whether they had erred, morally, with all this Nazi business.
     Keep that in mind, foremost in mind, this November. Unless these guys lose, we all lose. We won't be given many chances to reverse this. It will set in, settle in our bones. It might already have done so. It might already be too late. Some days, it feels too late.
     Because second, he may prevail. The abused system of laws and standards and decency gives way, day by day, inch by inch, and we stagger toward the same power-driven, money-driven dystopia we find in so many other countries. A world where Russia has won. It's so strange. They couldn't defeat us through strength, through bombs and armies. But they have us on the mat through guile, their tool in the White House, the evidence of his perfidy being quashed before it has come out. And 40 percent of the American people eager for it to happen.
    We could not only end up with Trump, but worse to come. If you can gaze at Trump's words and actions and endorse that, put your words and your heart and your vote behind it, I believe you can endorse anything.
     Here's what I don't understand: What do his supporters get? What's in it for them? A frisson of self-love? As bad as betraying your country is, at least Trump and his family and cronies get a payday, in money and power and perceived status. What do their supporters get? Nothing, but a pat on the heads, a few facile lies, a couple sympathetic judges and country in ruins. Maybe that's secretly what they wanted all along, chaos. Finally, a reason for all those guns.


  1. Answers below to International Liberalism's Questions

    Here's what I don't understand: What do his supporters get? No war in North
    Korea, 200 Billion more in trade with China, a President that will stand up to secular bullies in the media and put them in their rightful place, an end to the status quo Neo-Liberalism that sold the country down the river by importing cheap labor and destroying families!

    What's in it for them? See above.

    A frisson of self-love? Yes absolutely! Normal people look out for themselves. You've just been used to pooping on us for so long and this is the backlash!

    As bad as betraying your country is, at least Trump and his family and cronies get a payday, in money and power and perceived status. What do their supporters get? Again see above.the economy is roaring and liberals continue to throw tantrums. That alone is worth the Trump presidency. Oh and we don't get to get nuked by North Korea or sucked into another idiot Middle East war like the Neo-Convicts did us in 2003. As I recall you were cheer leading us into the war, right Neil?

    Nothing, but a pat on the heads, Trump loves us and we love him back! Sorry the people at those loud rallies are not cartoons but real American loving patriots.

    a few facile lies, and country in ruins. Again you talk of lies look at the economy, the border wall is being built, we're getting tough on China and we won't get sucked into North Korea or the Middle East, it is you that's lying!

    Maybe that's secretly what they wanted all along, chaos. Nah, that's the Liberal hate machine that wants open borders and high taxes. This is order.

    Finally, a reason for all those guns. We don't have 300 million of them for duck hunting. Guns preserve FREEDOM.

    Be a man and post this or better yet respond.

    1. The economy is not as roaring as you think. Wages are stagnant. Companies are not bringing jobs back. Apple and other corporations basically got interest free loans due to the large tax break they got. We still have a few days until the alleged summit with North Korea. If you think that will go well I have a bridge I would like to sell you.I Companies are always looking to pay less. If there wasn't cheap labor you would be paying more for your food. Are you enjoying spending your tax break money on gas? It is bound to go higher. Are you going to fight the army with your duck hunting guns? Good luck with that. What are you going to do if we have another melt down. A lot of economists think this will happen again.

    2. So Paul, Do you think the President has these powers?

    3. You are so stunningly uninformed. Such a puppet. Come back when youve done some research deeper than Limbaugh, Facebook and Fox news.
      Do keep your guns safe, son. The government you yehaws expect to TAKE YOUR FREEDOMS is alive and well, already working on it. And you put them in office.

    4. Such a puppet. Not one thought his own.

    5. You are so stunningly uninformed. Such a puppet. Come back when youve done some research deeper than Limbaugh, Facebook and Fox news.
      Do keep your guns safe, son. The government you yehaws expect to TAKE YOUR FREEDOMS is alive and well, already working on it. And you put them in office.

    6. Maybe God had it right when he ordered a flood to destroy the wickedness of men, though he wiped out all of mankind in the process. Feels like that's where we're headed.

    7. With our democracy under attack by Russia your man Trump has nothing but love for the murderous Putin. Even Senate republicans accept as fact Russian meddling in the last election but the American president does nothing, less than nothing to protect our virtual border. That is treason, pure and simple, and that Americans are not marching in the streets with pitchforks and torches scares me as much as fools like you, Paul. JP

    8. Our Democracy is under attack by Russia, even Senate Republicans accept their influence in the 2016 election. That Americans are not marching in the streets with pitchforks and torches in outrage scares me more than fools like you, Paul. Donald Trump endorses the Russian attack on our cyber border by his traitorous silence and his fealty to the murderous Putin. A warning, Paul, Trump lies to everyone, even you. JP

  2. Ironically, if Trump attains autocratic rule, gun ownership will become illegal.

  3. Trying to understand and explain the underlying causes for the support of Trump will be debated and studied forever. It may be as strange as an evangelical Christians desire to bring about the End of Days by supporting their version of a vengeful leader who will punish us all for our wickedness

  4. Or Americans are just selfish and greedy and devoid of the power of critical thinking to realize how badly they're being screwed.

    1. or they just don't want to admit it.

    2. Hard to believe this article is from 2016. The date line was after the election. But I am pretty sure these people are Trump voters. From the article. he paradox that most baffles Hochschild is the question of environmental pollution. Even the most ideologically driven zealots don’t want to drink poisoned water, inhale toxic gas, or become susceptible to record flooding. Yet southwestern Louisiana combines some of the nation’s most fervently antiregulatory voters with its most toxic environmental conditions. It is a center of climate change denial despite the fact that its coast faces the highest rate of sea-level rise on the planet.

      Hochschild discovers a walking personification of these ironies in a Cajun oil rig engineer named Mike Schaff. In August 2012, Schaff was entering his home in Bayou Corne, about seventy miles west of New Orleans, when he was jolted by a tremor. His concrete living room floor cracked apart. The sound, said a neighbor, was like a “garbage truck had dropped a dumpster.”

  5. In a way, it's similar to the Civil War. Why did 90% of poor Southerners fight & die for a way of life that was never theirs? Impoverished because of cheap slave labor & a economy designed for the rich landowners. Maybe their guns gave them some comfort even then.

  6. It seems that both sides are firmly entrenched even yet, from the above comments. One can only hope that the voters who chose to let someone else decide their destiny by staying home on Election Day will somehow be moved to take the country in whatever direction it truly must go. As scary as that sounds, the majority will then be our path.

  7. Nixon deservedly gets credit for rapprochement with China. Maybe Trump can save a shred of his reputation by making some sort of peace with North Korea. Or he could set in motion a process that would initially cost millions of Korean lives and eventually an irreversible breakdown in U.S. relations throughout Asia. Though I’m hoping for peace, I welcomed the cancellation of the meeting because chaos seems all too likely with anything Trump sticks his fingers in.


  8. So true about southerners not admitting past errors.

  9. If Fearless Leader does not nuke North Korea and start WWIII, or get sucked into Gulf War III, Paul and his trigger-happy "patriots" will eventually have a use for all that firepower: Civil War, Version 2.0--which is what Paul and his ilk are waiting for and hoping for. Law and Order. The Final Solution. Lynch the liberal traitors, smash the pinkos, kill a Commie for Christ, and make America white again. A heads-up for you, Paul: Some of those 300 million guns are already in the hands of the ethnics, the minorities, those who are not Christians, and folks who lean left. We will not go quietly. You will get the fight you so badly desire.

    Whether it's nuclear destruction from abroad, or self-destruction at home, the results will be the same: a people in lawless chaos, a country in ruins, an economy destroyed, and countless lives lost. Easy pickings for Russia and China, when they eventually come around to pick up the pieces. And, most likely, both of us at rest in our unmarked mass graves. Those left alive, in what was formerly known as America, will envy us.

    Thanks for everything, Paul. And thank you even more, Unca Donald.

  10. If Trump becomes a tyrant in fact but not in name, I would remind him that when you make peaceful change impossible, you make violent change inevitable. I do not understand why so many people think that the President should be above the law. If he/she commits a crime, then he/she should be indicted and be tried in court.


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