Disruptions, Relativism, Witches and The Constitution


Reading time – 5:10; Viewing time – 7:24  .  .  .

Time for some brutal satire

In the early days of Saturday Night Live! Chevy Chase was doing the Weekend Update and reported a tragedy, roughly remembered as,

“A Japan Airlines 747 crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 385 passengers and crew aboard. But none was an American, so no worries.”

Now picture Donald Trump doing the Weekend Update today and the satire would sound like this:

Jamal Khashoggi was a legal resident of the United States. Originally from Saudi Arabia, he was a harsh critic of his home country. Khashoggi was murdered and brutally dismembered by a gang of Saudis directed by Mohamed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. But Khashoggi wasn’t a wealthy white Christian American, so no worries.”

There have been so many outrages that have been left in the dust by Trump’s ongoing assaults on reason, morality and good sense that it’s easy to forget many of them. For a stroll through the wasteland that will be Donald Trump’s legacy, have a look at Bryan Behar’s FB offering (thanks SS for the pointer). You’ll remember all of what he lists. What will be stunning to you is how easy it has been to forget major assaults on American values in the wake of the continuing tsunami of Trumpian disruption.

Trying to put a happy face on all that disruption, a conservative pundit recently waxed idiotic on CNN over the wonderful “conservative accomplishments” – policy stuff – that Trump has notched on his conservative golden belt. His was an effort at relativism and justification. According to this pundit, these accomplishments include:

Tax reform. Sadly, Trump’s victory actually wasn’t tax reform; it was tax reduction for the already wealthy, including Trump.

Benefits to the middle class of the tax reform deal. Sounds great, but the vast majority of the tax savings for corporations went to repurchasing their own corporate stock and not to raise workers’ wages, as was promised by Trump. That had the effect of raising stock prices, which primarily benefited – don’t get ahead of me, now – already rich people. That didn’t help you. And your pain hasn’t hit yet. Check your taxes next year and the year after for that.

Reducing regulations. Surely, there are regulations that deserve to be deep-sixed. However, the Trump administration is going about it with artillery bombardments and flame throwers. It’s leading to a lot of bad things that were supposed to be prevented by those same regulations – things like drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and now doing so without so much as a thought to consequences.

Immigration reform. Religious discrimination is unconstitutional. So is race discrimination. Neither makes us safer. Neither protects our borders. There weren’t any muscular Central American terrorists in the so-called caravan and there weren’t any middle-east terrorists in the caravan, either. We’re no safer today than we were before Trump ordered children to be ripped from the arms of their mothers and thrown into cages. We are no safer today, now that those same mothers have been deported and no record was made to make it possible to reconnect parents with their imprisoned kids – ever.

SPECIAL NOTE: There are still more than 3,000 children imprisoned in Tornillo, TX and the number is growing. Click here and sign the petition demanding that this concentration camp for innocent children be shut down.

Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court. That there are credible and serious accusations against him and that he showed that he hasn’t the temperament to be on the Court don’t matter to our conservative pundit. All that was necessary to get Kavanaugh on the Court was for Trump to make sure that the FBI was hamstrung so that they couldn’t find anything negative about Kavanaugh. Somehow our conservative pundit considers that an accomplishment.

Trade tariffs. Go ahead, Mr. Conservative Blatherer – list all the good things that are coming from that. Be sure to include American job losses, increased consumer and industrial prices, drastic harm to our international relations, plunging farm prices and all the rest.

I need someone to explain to me how any of those “conservative accomplishments” is either conservative or an accomplishment. So much for dumb relativism and justification, especially since we find ourselves now with our president very close to the pointy end of the sword of justice.

The Trumpian craziness is already escalating in the face of the new information coming from the Mueller investigation and Trump is acting more and more like a cornered animal. He posted 10 unhinged attack tweets in 4 hours last Friday.

Robert Mueller, the Southern District of New York, the State of New York and the city of New York are rapidly closing in on what appears to be blatantly obvious, that Donald Trump, his children, his company, his foundation, his campaign, his transition team and his administration are law breakers. That clarity by those who protect justice in this country is going to lead to things we have not seen before.

Expect a constitutional crisis in the first half of 2019. That’s going to happen, but more important is to look to see if those in Congress have the spine to do what we hired them to do, what their job description and oath of office demand of them: to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Ken Starr investigated President Clinton for wrongdoing. He searched everywhere to find Clinton guilty of something indictable. He looked into the death of Vince Foster, the Whitewater land deal, Paula Jones, Madison Guaranty, the Rose Law Firm, the White House Travel Office and he couldn’t find anything illegal. There was plenty of opportunity for moral judgment, to be sure, but nothing illegal. At last Starr managed to skewer Clinton by setting him up to be embarrassed and then to lie to a grand jury. Starr’s work was, in today’s parlance, a witch hunt that spanned over four years. And Starr didn’t find any witches. Nevertheless, Congress stepped up and did its job.

Trump began complaining about the length and breadth of Robert Mueller’s investigation after just a few months of inquiry and he’s whined bitterly all along that it’s a witch hunt. The difference between Ken Starr’s efforts and those of Mueller is that Mueller is finding witches and he’s doing it a lot faster than Starr did. Now we wait to see if Congress will step up and do its job this time.

Congressional Oath of Office

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Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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