If this president, after all he’s done in just two years, including everything proved and everything illuminated in the Mueller Report, doesn’t deserve to have the House consider impeachment, why bother having impeachment in the Constitution? What offense against the Constitution, and the law, and preserving good international relations, and political ethics and societal norms and common sense and plain old good manners, will it take for the men and women we elected to look out for our nation to get off their asses and do their jobs? There is too much smoke there now for it not to be prudent for them to make sure that nothing’s on fire.
By the way, threatening not to work with Congress on anything—not even infrastructure!—until it stops investigating allegations of wrongdoing against him should make it clear to all that he doesn’t understand how the system works. He wasn’t elected king.
And people who are subpoenaed by Congress don’t get to choose whether to comply or not. Not how it works. They can refuse to testify once they get there, and be held in contempt and go to jail as a result (and be proud that they stood up for what they say they believe in), but if they claim to believe in the rule of law they can’t ignore a subpoena. Keep your eyes open for the proliferation of Trumpeters arguing that for some dumb reason or another the law doesn’t apply to them. Then imagine making that argument in your own defense.
It was a very busy weekend in the presidential election, and I’m finding it harder and harder to keep up with the developments. But when the New York Times details how Donald Trump probably (we don’t know for sure—still no tax returns!) managed to legally avoid a big income tax bill on money his investors lost in his casinos (still wondering, how do you lose a bundle on a freaking casino?) and that fails to register as the top story because the director of the FBI pops off to let the nation know that there might (or might not) be some new email evidence that’s pertinent to the Hillary Clinton private email server case, evidence found while investigating an unrelated case (although that case is related to an investigation of Hillary Clinton’s top aide’s estranged husband), at the same time that there are new and dubious stories alleging Trump’s connection to top levels of Vladimir Putin’s government, then I’ve about reached my limit of good news.
It’s only a week until the election and I need some help synthesizing. That’s the point of commentary, and today in The Atlantic Conor Friedersdorf made a nice contribution in reminding that an apples-to-apples comparison of the faults of Clinton and Trump doesn’t do enough. The FBI/email news is big big big right now mostly because it is new; we’ve all seen how developments that seemed insurmountable have dwindled to near nothingness as this campaign has dragged on and on and on.
It is proper for journalists to keep informing the public about [Clinton’s] misdeeds as new information becomes available, whether it concerns her emails or her family’s nonprofit foundation and its donors. There are so many politicians, many Republicans among them, that I would rather have as America’s president. If not for Trump, I would not even consider voting for her. And yet, strikingly, Clinton’s behavior doesn’t come close to the depths of awfulness displayed by her opponent. He isn’t just a little bit worse. He is orders of magnitude worse, and would do irrevocable damage to the country in ways totally unrelated to his preferred policies.
You can get a good reminder of the details in this May story from David Frum that finds seven “guardrails” in American political life that Trump plowed through to bring us to this point; things like, our presumption of restraint and honesty in a candidate, and even a basic knowledge of public affairs.
But the most moving thing I found today was in a clip trending on YouTube from Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” in which John Oliver sums up my feelings nicely: