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He’s going to fire Mueller

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He says he won’t, but do you believe him? He’s the biggest liar in American political history.

He will.

I tried over the weekend to think of another political stunt as contemptible, dangerous and blatantly cynical as this Republican attempt to inoculate Trump against the charges Mueller is about to file against him, and I couldn’t.

Here we have the Republican attack machine—Fox “News,” the Wall Street Journal, Breitbart and others—in the process of sliming the Constitution, and they are unconcerned with the fact that they’re about to move this country closer to a fascist state.

Maybe “unconcerned” isn’t the right word. Perhaps they’re happy that their brand of fascism—clerical and corporate, more Mussolini than Hitler–is closer to realization than ever. The closest American parallel is, of course, the Nixon-Watergate years, when another rogue regime—albeit one not so wedded to rightwing Christianity–decided to do an end-run around the Constitution. That didn’t end so well for Nixon and the 40 members of his administration who were indicted and/or imprisoned.

This one may succeed, if a generation of sleepy, dulled Americans doesn’t stop it.

What we’re seeing from the Republicans is something I’d expect from a banana republic, or a bad mafia movie. The fish rots from the head, so for starters we have Trump himself, with his fake, shrill allegations against the F.B.I. The Boss of Bosses issues the order through his consiglieres, and their hit men carry it out. The target: all legitimate forms of law enforcement that could make life unpleasant for Trump, his family and his co-conspirators.

It’s ironic, isn’t it, for a law-and-order president, as Trump pretends to be, to insult and degrade the nation’s top law enforcement agency, the F.B.I., but there it is. Trump loves law enforcement when it’s directed against people he hates: Mexican immigrants, Muslims, transgendered folk, scientists, the women whom he sexually molested, the free press, liberals. But when he (likely) colludes with an enemy nation, and then patently obstructs justice to prevent the law from discovering his transgressions, suddenly “law enforcement’ isn’t so lovable.

There is no parallel in American history to what this regime is about to pull off. Even in wartime, no U.S. president has attacked his own Department of Justice. In the Civil War crisis, Lincoln of course sided with the Constitution; it was rebellious southerners who attacked the rule of law—much as they do today.

A century later, the Kennedy administration famously had its problems with J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I., but they never mounted a full-scale attack against it. (Perhaps Robert and John were afraid of Hoover’s notorious files.) Republican minions in the Congress often have lied to the American people, but none have chosen to disregard mounting evidence that their president is a felon. During Watergate, the best you could say of Republicans was that while some of them remained bitter-enders, most came around, fortunately for American justice as well as the reputation of their party, which might have reeled into oblivion had not Hugh Scott, John Rhodes and Barry Goldwater made their fateful visit to the White House.

We had “good” Republicans back then; no such luck today. From everything we can see, this Republican Congress, to a man and woman, will not permit their man to be brought down. Corrupt to the core, they don’t care how strong the evidence is. They don’t care how airtight Mueller’s case is. They don’t care how personally distasteful they find Trump. They don’t care how patently irrelevant their distractions are. I mean, Lisa Bloom? That’s the best Trump’s apologists can come up with? But, you see, the more ridiculous the counter-charges, the more believable they are to a Republican base that’s so dumb, even Jared Kushner mocks them.

The formula is simple: Every time a serious fact implicates Trump and his gang, counter it with a fake fact—a smokescreen, red herring, call it what you will. The point is that the rural white Trump supporters in their trailer parks are looking for something, anything, to restore their faith in a faithless president. They don’t need much: just something to get outraged by, like a faux Lisa Bloom or Peter Strzok “scandal.” The Trumpists won’t know the details of the story; they can’t be bothered with reading a newspaper. But they do know that Rush Limbaugh is telling them The Washington Post did something horrible, and Sean Hannity is telling them that the Lamestream Media is trying to destroy their values, and the Wall Street Journal (which they’d never read) is telling them that the cause of all their problems is Democrats, and Breitbart is telling them that there’s a conspiracy by Hillary Clinton and American Muslims to install sharia law in this country. And that’s all they need to know! Rush said so! Sean said so! Bannon said so! And Alex Jones, meanwhile, is stirring up this aromatic stew to fever pitch: Grab your guns! Get ready to shoot! Protect your babies, the liberals are coming to kill them!

Over all the madness, presiding like a psychotic Dr. Jekyll, is the conspirator planning the coming coup. He has been dreaming and scheming all his life: now, his hour come round at last, Donald J. Trump slouches towards his goal: upending Constitutional law, so that his criminal regime may last.

  1. So what does Karl Rove — no fan of presidential candidate Trump or elected president Trump — have to say about firing Mueller?

    Quote: “Don’t do it, Mr. President. If you do, you’ll regret it more than you regret anything else in your life.”

    From The Wall Street Journal “Opinion” Section Online
    (December 6, 2017):

    “Why Donald Trump Would Regret Firing Robert Mueller;
    The inquiry would go on anyway, and voters would trust the president even less.”

    Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-donald-trump-would-regret-firing-robert-mueller-1512601923

    By Karl Rove
    “Commentary” Column

    Excerpt:

    “Memo to the president: Firing Mr. Mueller would be a terrible idea. Already, 49% of Americans believe ‘Mr. Trump himself committed a crime,’ according to a November poll by the Washington Post and ABC News. Firing the special counsel would only make Mr. Trump look as if he has something to hide. Firing him would put Mr. Trump’s already pitiful approval rating — about 39% in the Real Clear Politics average — in the gutter, never to recover.

    “Even if the president fired Mr. Mueller, there would still be enormous pressure to continue the inquiry. Even if the Justice Department refused to name a new special counsel, the investigation and its consequences would not stop. They would move to other venues, namely Congress and the campaign trail.

    “Congressional Democrats would pursue the matter with every trick they could dream up, including subpoenas, hearings and lawsuits. The issue would dominate the midterm elections, with Democrats aggressively on the offense and Republicans unable to explain why Americans don’t have a right to know.

    “Democrats would almost certainly win back Congress and wipe out Republican candidates for state and local offices, too. Mr. Trump may not care about the GOP, but he should care about his place in history. A presidency crippled by scandal so early would be unprecedented.

    “If Mr. Trump has done nothing wrong — and so far there has been no evidence of collusion with the Russians — then he has nothing to fear. Mr. Mueller has indicted only people who created problems for themselves. Paul Manafort and Richard Gates were allegedly caught up by shenanigans in Ukraine and trying to bring their ill-gotten gains home without paying taxes. George Papadopoulos and Mike Flynn lied to the FBI.

    “The president should wall off the investigation and focus on his Oval Office duties. He should pay the legal costs for staff caught up in the inquiry or allow them to set up legal-defense funds. Most important, he should calmly express confidence in the outcome. Raging against the probe only deepens the belief that he’s guilty of something, while also burying any good news about his policy victories.”

  2. Rove has been playing an interesting game since trump appeared on the scene. Rove is an outsider to trump–who doesn’t like him and never consults him. Rove resents that. At the same time Rove can’t come out and completely denounce a Republican POTUS. His warning to trump not to fire Mueller is no doubt sincere, but trump doesn’t give a damn what Karl Rove thinks.

  3. Political wags have observed that the first duty of an elected official is to get re-elected, Trump would be committing political suicide to fire Mueller without cause.

    And no dispassionate observer of the machinations in Washington can see any “cause” to fire him.

    As I have commented before and now: let the jurisprudence process work. Honor a bedrock tenet of our constitutional system.

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