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writing for godot

Comeuppance - Trump deserves one; America needs one

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Written by Zepp Jamieson   
Saturday, 15 December 2018 09:39

December 14th 2018

We’re at the point now where there is no longer any reasonable doubt that Trump committed dozens, perhaps hundreds of felonies in his sordid and tawdry life, and at least dozens following his decision to become President. At the very least, he turned his candidacy and presidency into a cash cow. At worst, he conspired against his own country with a hostile foreign power for personal gain.

Yes, I know: ‘Innocent until Proven Guilty.’ But he has admitted—even bragged about—a number of felonies he committed on Twitter. His personal lawyer and his campaign chair have pled guilty to felonies they committed at his behest. He is a liar. He is a thief. His presidency has been an utter disaster, one that has cost America, and Americans, dearly.

It’s the “much worse” items, the ones not already proven in a court of law, that should scare people. If he didn’t openly betray his country, he certainly betrayed the people who voted for him.

So what happens next?

Well, until the past couple of days, when the magnitude of the case against him became more evident, most Republicans and centrist Democrats were saying that impeachment was out of the question. I believed myself that until fear for their own futures outweighed their lust for power, Senate Republicans would never convict, no matter how compelling a case. It’s a sad state of affairs when most of the Senate is on the exact same level as the juries in those old Soviet show trials of the thirties.

It’s part and parcel of the Republican approach to the law in what is supposed to be a nation of laws. They are now openly contemptuous of the law—Orrin Hatch said yesterday that he simply didn’t care if Trump broke the law. He walked it back later, after discovering that the optics were bad, but you can be sure he still feels that way. Republicans sneer at the law, using it only as a device to attack Democrats and anyone else who doesn’t support them. We didn’t see those endless, fruitless investigations into the Clinton and Obama because Republicans loved and respected the law. They just wanted to use it as a cudgel if the found anything, and as a smear if they didn’t. Beyond that, they think the law is for suckers, for the little people.

We didn’t get to this point by accident. Nixon, who probably should have been hanged as a traitor, was dragged into the spotlight, accused of many lesser crimes, including perjury and obstruction of justice. The evidence was overwhelming, and he was forced to resign or be impeached. The nation breathed a sigh of relief. “Our long national nightmare has ended.” Remember that?

Then Ford pardoned him. Nixon would face no charges.

It was a body blow to American’s faith in the system. I remember that evening going to a coffee shop with a friend, and the waitress, who knew us as regulars, asked why we looked so down. “Ford just pardoned Nixon,” I replied. She snarled “Oh, goddammit” and threw the tray down. She ran out to the kitchen, and a few minutes later saw the manager walking her out, talking angrily to her. I was about to get up and defend her, tell the manager I said something that upset her and wanted to apologize but then saw the manager stop dead, stare at her, and as I approached, said, “Really? He did that?” He paused. “OK—clean that up, get back to work.”

It hurt America that that vicious dirtbag walk free.

Then George HW Bush did the same thing, issuing a raft of pardons at the end of his term, kicking the huge Iran-Contra case to splinters and letting many felons and traitors walk free. Instead of keeping his senile ass out of jail, Republicans felt free to talk about putting Reagan on Mount Rushmore, or replace FDR on the dime with their broken hero.

By that time, Republicans knew they were well above the law, but were free to abuse it to hurt others.

The people building the case against Trump know about Republican unearned privilege, too. That’s why a lot of the investigations have been taking place at the state level, where Trump’s power to pardon is annulled.

For Americans who haven’t drunk from the poisoned chalice of Republican entitlement, there is a sense of dread. Dread that Mueller, the Congress, and the other investigatory agencies might bring a damaged case that will let Trump and his minions off on a technicality (remember Ollie North?). The law-and-order crowd, who scream about people getting off on “technicalities” (such as police falsifying evidence, or browbeating simple minded victims into making false confessions) would just love it if Trump walked because a form was filed ten minutes after the deadline.

There remains the argument that a president shouldn’t be indicted. Trump named a ratfucker to the Supreme Court solely on the basis that said ratfucker believed presidents cannot be indicted, only impeached. Same ratfucker who fought for Jones vs. Clinton, upholding the right to sue a sitting president.

They dread that a trial might pull the country apart. A fair trial might; a biased trial certainly would.

They dread he’ll get a slap on the wrist. The sight of the near-treasonous Flynn walking while an abused 16 year old girl gets 51 years for killing her “owner” is a stark reminder of how fucked up justice is in the country, and how far the scales are biased in favor of rich white privilege.

And of course, they dread the pardon. Republicans have abused it to tear the soul out of the country, waitresses, soldiers, any honest person who wants an honest system. It’s possible that Pence will be indicted and convicted alongside Trump, since he’s tits deep in a lot of the emoluments violations, but will Pelosi, as president, have the resolve to allow justice to be done? Centrist Democrats are seen, with good reason, as being too accommodating and obliging to the fascist right, a party of Chamberlains who fail to grasp the nature of their adversaries.

This isn’t just a test of Trump and his sleazy criminal gang; it’s a test of the country, and the countries resolve to administer justice to the rich and powerful.

If they blow it again, that will be strike three.

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