So I’m sitting here on a rainy afternoon, dealing with some back soreness that would have made playing golf problematical anyway, and instead I’m working on a blog post. And I’m hashing through ideas trying to develop the topic, which is always a thing, when I find that our president and his band of accomplices and enablers are doing the hard work for me right now. Thank you, Mr. President.
In case you missed the early chapters here, last night Attorney General Bill Barr issued a statement announcing that the U.S. Attorney in New York City, Geoffrey Berman, was stepping down and the president had nominated the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to be the new U.S. Attorney. (Well, it wouldn’t be the first time Donald Trump has fired the man in charge of the Southern District of New York.)
BUT, Berman takes issue: “I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning:”
And Twitter is aglow about (1) what seems to be a poorly-executed Friday Night Massacre by the Administration, five months before the election, of the prosecutor leading the office investigating multiple cases against Trump, his associates, and his businesses, AND (2) that Barr’s letter is lying when it says Berman resigned.
I learned from reading about this today that Berman was appointed to the job in an acting capacity by the federal judges in New York, after Trump fired the Obama-appointed U.S. Attorney (who refused the standard request to submit his resignation) but never nominated anyone to be confirmed by the Senate. And, that Berman is/was a Trump supporter.
This afternoon, Barr issues a letter to Berman expressing surprise that Berman was saying he wasn’t going anywhere, and taking the tough stand that “I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so.” Really? Because it turns out, Trump doesn’t think he has done that at all. He says this is all on Barr:
This, given the most favorable spin I can think to put on it, is evidence of a complete lack of professional competence by the attorney general. Without offering any explanation at all of why he would try to remove the federal prosecutor in New York. To not try to spin it, it sure as hell looks like the White House is trying to cover Trump’s ass. Again. Which takes me back to where I was when I started this, and that is to think through why it is that people who support Donald Trump do not/will not acknowledge the evidence of their own senses of what he is doing.
I started out writing “people who are conservative” but that’s not right. “Being conservative” is not the problem; being conservative is not a problem at all. Fact is, there are plenty of conservative people who have been very vocal about the problems they see with this president, and declared their intention to work against his re-election. Take a look at Republican Voters Against Trump on Twitter for example, where they’re lining up a series of short videos by long-time Republican voters who explain, calmly and logically, why they believe Trump should not be re-elected…and for many, why they think the current Republican leadership should be routed, too.
This is not about conservatism, nor I think is it about any political philosophy, unless Know-Nothingness is still a thing. This is about people who are unwilling to be honest with themselves about what’s going on right in front of them. And when the things going on are tearing down the institutions of American democracy, that’s a problem.
The problem is not what Donald Trump believes in. I am persuaded that he doesn’t have any deep and abiding beliefs or philosophy other than that making money, for himself, is the only worthy goal of life. Period. Running for president in 2016 was a publicity stunt to raise his profile and open up money-making opportunities; he didn’t believe he would win. Since then, his actions have been intended to (1) maximize his profitability and (2) placate the voters who supported him, as a means of shoring up (1).
The problem is not that too many Americans support Trump or his policies. Remember, although he legitimately won the election he did not get the majority of the votes that were cast. In fact, the Census Bureau reports “In 2016, 61.4 percent of the citizen voting-age population reported voting” and we know Trump won 46 percent of that 61.4 percent total, which means he won the election with the support of (roughly) just 28 percent of Americans who were old enough to vote!
The thing that annoys me so much is to see what Trump does, and then see the people who don’t get it or who don’t care about it. Today, Trump and his attorney general couldn’t get their story straight as they tried to fire a federal prosecutor who is investigating Trump businesses and Trump associates (a bad look all around), but it won’t make a damn bit of difference to the MAGA crowd. Not-a-doctor Trump suggests people inject themselves with cleaning products to fight a deadly virus, or take a drug that the medical experts say has no value in this case, while he is adamant about setting a bad example in not wearing a mask, and there are plenty of Trump supporters who decide to see that as a courageous stand against government overreach into our daily lives.
Nothing bad that happens is ever his fault, despite being the guy who asked for the job that carries the ultimate responsibility when it comes to actions by our government. It’s one childish excuse after another. You wouldn’t stand for this whining from your children; why do you accept it from your president?
OK, a couple more, just for fun: