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The Shearing of Hair Trompf (54)

April 18, 2019

Herr Trompf, narcissist traitor and political terrorist, should resign, to serve justice and save the nation from ongoing emotional torture.  (Lots o’ luck.)

A grinning Satan (the Shadow at the Heart of Darkness) knows that Herr Trompf is guilty as all hell, because Satan knows, with doubt beyond reason, both the intentions and the destructive acts.

As for intent (which in a court trial must be proven, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as part of a legal finding of criminal guilt, punishable), Trompf’s intentions always are: Self-service and self-aggrandizement, Domination of everyone by inflicting pain, and Accumulation of wealth.  His actions in realizing those intentions always are: Whatever he wants to do and can get away with.

T knows he is guilty, although that is not the way he thinks of it, since he does not do wrong.  He knew, before the investigation, that many of his actions were such that if they were revealed to the public he would be ruined politically, and thereby hurt financially.  That’s why, when he was told of the investigation, he said (as quoted in the MRpt):  “Oh my God.  This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.” That’s why he did everything he could to put a stop to the investigation (sometimes thwarted by his aides), and why he lied so often about the investigation. That’s why he obstructed justice (e.g. 10 efforts), although, again, he considers it to be just, that his AG has exonerated him, contrary to the MRpt and without basis in fact.  He does not do wrong and is a law unto himself.  If there is pushback, he is protected by his Fixer (Cohen, Barr).

Q:  What’s in this for you, Bill Barr, that makes you so eager to defend a person and president whose craziness, criminality, and cruelty already write him a villain, of historic proportion?

Contra-Barr, Mark Sumner (DKos) has put together a summary of the Rpt,in the words of the Rpt:

Pt One, on Russian interference, and possible T conspiracy in that interference (e.g. Sattler; Applebaum):

The investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference. Some individuals invoked their Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination and were not, in the Office’s judgment, appropriate candidates for grants of immunity. Even when individuals testified or agreed to be interviewed, they sometimes provided information that was false or incomplete.

Further, the Office learned that some of the individuals we interviewed or whose conduct we investigated—including some associated with the Trump Campaign—deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records. Accordingly, while this report embodies factual and legal determinations that the Office believes to be accurate and complete to the greatest extent possible, given these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on the events described in the report.

Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities. [Remembering that “conspired” includes “intent.”]

Pt Two, on obstruction of justice:

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has issued an opinion finding that “the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions” in violation of “the constitutional separation of powers.” [Therefore M should not bring criminal indictment, but instead should inform congress.]  Given the role of the Special Counsel as an attorney in the Department of Justice and the framework of the Special Counsel … this Office accepted OLC’s legal conclusion for the purpose of exercising prosecutorial jurisdiction. 

If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.

In sum … an argument that the conduct at issue in this investigation falls outside the scope of the obstruction laws lacks merit.

Although the President has broad authority under Article II, that authority coexists with Congress’s Article I power to enact laws that protect congressional proceedings, federal investigations, the courts, and grand juries against corrupt efforts to undermine their functions [my bold; i.e. Herr Trompf’s failure to execute a vital constitutional duty of the presidency, and his abuse of the powers of the office, i.e. “high crimes and misdemeanors” (George Conway details this point)].

But the Rs are “playing politics” with it—politicizing it as Us v Them—because politics is all they’ve got; Ds must, in Thoreau’s words, take “action from principle” to “change things and relations,” or politics will be all that the nation has left. By impeaching Clinton and refusing to impeach Trompf, Republicans have made a mockery of that constitutional option for assuring good governance with democracy.  If we will not initiate impeachment proceedings in the present example of bad governance, we might as well amend the Constitution to remove that option, so that at least it cannot be used as a weapon against democracy. (See Robinson, and Sargent.)

Note that Barr is himself continuing the Trompfic pattern of obstructing justice—but he obscures justice to achieve injustice.  In B’s theory of a Unitary Presidency, the President can not be obstructing justice, because the President is himself the law, in matters of the Executive, and thus of administration of the nation as a whole.  Congress makes laws for everybody else.  On the presidential level of the constitutional organization, a presidential action is both the law and justice.  There is no higher authority, and presidential authority must go unchallenged, legally, for the safety of the nation.  Father knows best.  The legal authority of a particular president can be challenged at the moment of a presidential election, but only at that moment, by replacing the particular man in the office with another equally authoritative man. Accordingly, Republicans have put major effort into rigging the presidential election to guarantee a victory for their man.

Like plantation owners controlling a large population of slaves and small farmers, Lee fighting defensive campaigns against larger Union armies,  KKKs lighting local fires in the Reconstruction nights, the reactionary majority on the SCrt gifting the presidency to W, and McC denying a SCrt selection by a president who was twice put in office by majority of the popular vote, with Fixer Barr the Republicans are practicing their craft of minority rule, waging active and passive aggression against democracy.  Lesson:  slowly but surely they lose and we expand our democracy.

An obvious remedy is available, to exorcise this demonic presidency.  It is time and past time for the Republicans to remove T and replace him with VP Pinch.  P is sane, if not the brightest bulb; and he is not corrupt on such a grand scale.  Republicans need not fear the voters.  The bulk of the Trompf cult will soon leave him lying in the mud under the bus.  P is an adequate Republican operative, who will do the bidding of the Koch Bros and their ilk.  The obesely rich will still get their privileged taxation.  McC will still get his reactionary judges, per-approved by the Confederalist Society.  The fundamentalist Christian Nation will still have their champion in the White House.  White supremacists will not have a vocal champion, but they will have a president who, like Reagan, moderates the message with code and looks away.  Fossil fuel and cyber profiteers will still get their profits.

If I didn’t know that the R owners and operators are morally depraved, I would think they will increasingly be tempted to dump T.  House Dems are going to follow M’s implicit suggestion that a president must be prosecuted by a separate, co-equal branch of gov, not by the executive branch itself.  In this process of “doing its job,” as Sen. Leahy put it (M having done his, as he saw it, within the exec), the ongoing Congressional investigation of T will further expose T’s corruption and criminality.  In response, T will further reveal (and revel in) his cruelty and insanity (including, face it, progressing dementia).

So I’m thinking now, that although Herr Trompf has been fashioned a temporary toupee, the process of his shearing is complete.  Congress will proceed with his unmasking (to change the metaphor) with an impeachment investigation (probably under another name).  In Nov 2020 the voters will castrate (switching to R senator Ernst’s metaphor). So for the purposes of this novel this episode is complete.  I have better things to narrate than foolery over whether a Jerk is a jerk.

Perhaps I’ll add an occasional update to this page.  But the episode is over.

Often things become clear with passage of time, i.e. the stream of change, actions, attention, reflection.  That doesn’t guarantee justice in court.  Often we don’t get that.  In its place we get truth.  Sometimes we can act on that truth to get more wellbeing.  So let’s breathe and do that.  We’re into a good election campaign.  Vital importance beyond the mindlessness of a Trompf and those of whom he is a symptom.

Updates already. Warren calls on Congress to exercise its constitutional authority and begin impeachment proceedings . And Castro. And Harris.

Last Thoughts of this episode:  In addition to his venality and his oath-breakingly high dereliction of duty and abuse of power that are now so obvious that not to impeach is to throw the Constitution to the wind, Trompf’s criminality is now so obvious that not to bring him to trial and put him in jail is to say, collectively as a society, “It’s okay.  If you’re a white heterosexual male star we’ll let you do anything.”

While the Republicans sow and cultivate mindlessness, let’s pay attention to everything.

Recommended Reading: Nails for the coffin:  Rubin, “What we need to hear from M.” And: Marshall, “Maxing it out for T.” Bump, “What AG Barr buried, misrepresented, or ignored in clearing T.” Apuzzo, Goldman, “The M report is 448 pages long.  You need to know these 7 key things.” Ruiz-Grossman, Boboltz, Karanth, “Key Takeaways from the full redacted M report.” Rubin, “Five questions that still need to be answered in the M report.” Gessen, “The hustlers and swindlers of the M report.” MacNeal, “Trump’s 4 most willing lackeys, as told by the M report.” Bookbinder, “Mueller’s Damning Report.” Waldman, “The M report puts it beyond dispute:  T is profoundly corrupt.” Sneed, “Which T obstruction acts did M find to be the most obstruction-y?” Nichols, “M report: DT failed us as commander in chief.” Cohen, “RM in the age of the unicorn.” Solnit:  “Why the president must be impeached.”

5-29-19 Coda: Trompf from Here on Out (2) about today’s Mueller.

[Previous page of this episode.]

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