The Trump-Republican Train Wreck – Just Keeps Going (#104)
For years the Republicans looked and hoped for a man who could lead them with a fearlessness that was not squeamish of taking on the whole governing system. And they wanted someone who would disregard all the rules that till now had held them back in their frustrated desire to chuck the shackles of Constitutional requirements, and free them from all constraints of democratic, proper behavior.
Republicans wanted a despot, and in 2016 they finally found their man in Donald J. Trump.
From the very beginning (the GOP primaries), Trump showed that he would not play nice. And he was predictably offensive. At first his targets were the other Republican Candidates, competing to win the Republican nomination.
He tagged every Republican adversary with a derogatory nick name. He insulted their wives as being too ugly for him. He insulted the men as either too short, too little, or too lazy, or son of the killer of John F. Kennedy or some other offensive accusation that was neither true nor acceptable in political discourse, till then.
But Trump didn’t care, he brought the nomination race down to the gutter where the rest could not quite follow, even though some like Senator Marco Rubio tried but even he ultimately failed. It was then that the realization dawned on the Republicans that they had found their man; a man who didn’t play by any rules.
The Republican Party nominated him as their nominee, and with help from highly unusual sources, like foreign governments (Russia), entities like WikiLeaks, and a host of criminally inclined close advisers and associates (most of whom were later indicted, and some of whom are now in jail), Trump unexpectedly won the election and became the 45th President of the United States, ‘a day that will live, in infamy’. And since Trump’s election the U.S. has not been the same.
During his Campaign, Trump and his top level advisers and his family members, were willing to do whatever it took, meet with Russian operatives, accept help from illegal and unacceptable sources, break campaign finance laws, and lie to all investigative agencies that questioned them, to win the election for the Presidency. And in the whole gang that was involved, were many senior level Republicans that were not only assisting him but were themselves breaking all the rules to get their man elected. The Trump Train started to come off the rails as soon as it had gotten on the tracks, and it has been careening along since then.
The wrongdoings of the Trump team during the Presidential Campaign were so blatant that a number of investigations were started almost immediately. After the election, the Justice Department, headed by the handpicked Trump and Republican Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, had no choice but to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the obvious violations of law.
The Special Counsel chosen for the job was the Republican, decorated veteran and much admired, former FBI and CIA Director, Robert Mueller, taciturn and beyond reproach of both political parties. And since then, and to this day (to double underscore the point), Trump’s improper and oft-times illegal behavior has resulted in endless investigations that keep growing with the passing years of the first term of Trump’s Presidency. Each investigation is indicative of the unsuitability of Trump to be President, and proof of his desirability to the Republicans. The more Trump broke the laws and the rules, the more his ‘advisers and associates’ got convicted, the more the Republicans loved their man.
Throughout the investigations, and at the end of some, like the Mueller Investigation, Trump and the Republicans had adopted the strategy of bald-faced denials to all facts, by mindlessly repeating - ‘It’s a witch-hunt, it’s a hoax!’.
Well the first ‘witch-hunt’, the Mueller Investigation, produced 34 indictments and guilty pleas from 8 of the closest, top level, advisers of Trump’s Campaign.
The Mueller Investigation also concluded, unequivocally, that Russia had interfered in the 2016 US Presidential election in order to help Trump win.
It showed numerous and deep connections of the Trump camp to Putin and Russians. And while it refrained from judging the evidence to be enough to prove ‘collusion’ between the Trump Campaign, it left no doubt that the Trump team, and in fact Trump himself, were actively open to using any and all means, including working with outside adversarial governments, and organizations, to win the election. The Republican response was as predictable as it was blind (See no evil), and as unpatriotic as any American that had previously favored their own self-interest and Russia’s over the interests and security of the U.S. Yes, there had been a number of Americans in the past, some in very high positions of trust, who had sold-out America to Russia, at great damage to National security.
Now, there were Republicans, some in high positions as lawmakers, who openly stated their preference for Russia over the Democrats. The Republican enabled ‘Trump Train-wreck’ was well off the rails and rapidly gaining momentum.
The investigation also showed Trump, on several occasions, actively tried to shut the Mueller Investigation down, which resulted in provable ‘Obstruction of Justice’ charges that could be brought, once Trump is out of Office (something about the DOJ precedent, till now, to not charge a sitting President). Further off the rails.
The Investigation led to charges against Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for lying and for paying off two women to keep their affairs quiet during the Campaign, resulting in the breaking of ‘Election Finance Laws’. Michael Cohen is now in jail, and in spite of his confessions, which led to his conviction, the Republicans kept denying any wrongdoing by Trump. And since then, the Republicans have kept to their ‘See no evil’ mantra for their man.
And so it went, a steady stream of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’, from the time of the election campaign, to Trump being emboldened enough to hold the Congress approved $400 Million Aid to Ukraine, for the promise of an investigation into Joe Biden, a Democrat Presidential Candidate in the 2020 Presidential Election. Holding up Congress authorized Aid to Ukraine, for an investigation into an American political opponent, is an Impeachable Offence.
The Democrat controlled Congress had no choice but to start Impeachment Hearings that are now in the next step in the impeachment process.
Through the whole sorry saga of Trump’s Campaign and his Presidency, so far, the Republicans have chosen to ignore all evidence of wrong doings that have filled the 400 plus pages of the Mueller Report, a Republican Special Counsel appointed by a Republican headed Department of Justice, resulting in the 34 indictments of Trump advisers, associates and Russians. Instead, the Republicans have adopted the stance of ‘See no evil, hear no evil’.
Glaringly missing in the Republican stance has been the all important ‘Do no evil’.
Stubbornly, blindly, denying all of Trump’s illegal and anti-Constitutional behavior, no matter grievous, has resulted in a colossal train wreck of American governance, and that which had once been the functioning American Democracy. And that has suited the Republicans just fine. They finally have a lawless man, Donald J. Trump, running a Republican-led lawless country.