Approaching the line of departure

Approaching the line of departure

The American nation has survived three weeks into the Donald J. Trump Presidency and the contrast in the performance of a novice administrator and the expectations the job demands of a public servant could not be more glaring.  With less than one month gone since his inauguration, President Trump has yet to begin making the transition from campaign mode into governing.  I must admit it is rather painful watching a businessman with no military or public service experience find out in the first person that government is not a business.  Even more excruciating is knowing how Mr. Trump thrives on media attention and ratings and is accustomed to having all his own way all of the time.  He does not like being told “NO” by anyone.  He especially did not like the unanimous ruling by three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a lower court hold placed on his Executive Order banning visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries.  This came later in a week when polling data revealed some disappointing reality for the new Administration.  Rachel Maddow presented it in about as much of a matter-of-fact fashion as possible on her Friday MSNBC segment.

Rachel Maddow:  Contrary to Popular Opinion.

Despite winning the electoral vote last November, President Trump is obviously not doing enough or anything really to endear himself to a majority of the American public.  With so many nagging issues of conflicts of interest and unknown ties to foreign entities, the specter of impeachment may not be all that far fetched, especially with enough support for it already near critical mass.  As Ms. Maddow pointed out in the above linked clip of polling data, the one thing working in Mr. Trump’s favor with regard to who would be the choice for President is the unpopularity of Vice-President Mike Pence.  Like everything else in these times of rapid alterations in policy, national priorities and public opinion, that I’m sure will also eventually be subject to change.

For all the ubiquitous calls for putting the divisiveness of such a polarizing Presidential campaign behind us, it seems there is looming on the horizon yet another huge decision confronting the American public.  While all the Trump supporters still take a great deal of delight in gloating over their candidate’s electoral victory and making all manner of excuses as to why he didn’t win the popular vote and their giddiness in rubbing salt into the wounds of Clinton voters, they have yet another major in-their-face decision that will soon present itself.  For the Trump faithful, I have a question to submit to them.  At what point are they going to put country ahead of politics?  To borrow an old GOP campaign slogan from 2008, when are they going to put COUNTRY FIRST?  As I have stated on this blog just last month, there is a cancer growing on the Presidency.  In another of her late week segments, Ms. Maddow presented a clarifying piece on Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s Russia scandal magnitude.  This problem is NOT improving for the Trump Administration.

Magnitude of Trump advisor Flynn’s Russia scandal gains clarity 

As much as the Trump Administration would like the Russian hacking scandal to go away, it is still hanging around and it is only hurting Mr. Trump.  That said, we are rapidly approaching the point beyond which there will be no friendship, kinship, collegiality or camaraderie.  All Americans are going to have to choose, much like so many had to in the summer of 1974, if they are going to be loyal to the values of the rule of law embodied in the U.S. Constitution or are they going to sell out to a media created personality cult figure and go down with the ship.  There will be no middle ground.  All must choose between national loyalty and selling out.  I am sure this will be an easier decision for those not invested in a bill ‘o goods sold them in one of the most grueling Presidential campaigns in history.

I am curious as to how much abuse of privilege by the Executive branch of government borne of ignorance and inexperience the American public is willing to tolerate.  President Trump has successfully engaged in hiding his real monetary worth and motive for showing a cozy relationship with a foreign leader that has a reputation for being intolerant of criticism, vindictive and violent toward political adversaries and possesses a penchant for autocratic authoritarian governance.  For all the demands of transparency he made during the campaign there seems to be a glaring lack of it in the Trump White House.  It would help his good faith image if he were to release his tax returns in spite of what anyone would think of their contents.  Regardless, it is becoming more clear with each passing day that it will not be a matter of IF but WHEN the depth and extent of President Trump’s relationship with the Russian government, during and after the campaign, will be disclosed.  I think it is entirely reasonable that the American people hear about what he actually knew regarding the DNC hacking, when he knew it and if he received any fruits of the crime in terms of information used in altering the election outcome.  Whatever the findings may be will not change the outcome of the 2016 election.  It may have a direct impact on shortening the tenure of a current office holder.  Lest anybody forget, Richard Nixon resigned from office when confronted with the threat of impeachment.  Bill Clinton was impeached for one lie under oath about one act of fellatio which only hurt himself.  President Trump has yet to come fully clean on all his dealings with the Russian government, an entity that has been thoroughly identified as being behind a cyber attack on the sovereignty of the United States.  We are rapidly coming upon that line of departure beyond which there will only be law abiding Americans.  In the end, the United States is still a nation of laws and not men or women.  Despite Mr. Trump’s defiance of so much conventional wisdom and so many established norms, I do not think he will prevail over the essence of what it means to be a law abiding American.   We can only hope he recognizes when it is time to move on and make a decision that benefits the welfare of the entire nation.


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    Feb 15, 2017

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  2. Route66Kid
    Feb 15, 2017

    Andrew, like all the Trump supporters have insisted we do, we for the most part have moved on from the election. Now we have a problem. We have a President with clear and present conflicts of interest and a National Security Advisor who just resigned. For all campaign rallies where Flynn and Trump delighted in the leading of the chant “Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!” they are now confronted with the prospect of that possibility themselves. Like I said in the post, whatever the findings are of this hacking scandal, what Trump knew and when he knew it will do nothing to change the outcome of the election. It may shorten the tenure of an office holder though. Being a Trump voter, which side of the line are you going to stand, Andy? Are you going to stand on the of the Constitution and the law or are you going to ride the S.S. Trump to the bottom? Well?!

  3. Andrew
    Feb 13, 2017

    I’m still amused at how those on the left still contend how Hillary won the popular vote and a majority of Americans support core democratic values. Hillary did not WIN anything. She received more popular votes in an electoral election. Huge difference opposite party suppression exists in electoral elections if the candidates had campaigned and advertised in the large blue states more republicans would have turned out in a popular vote election. California was won by Hillary 66%-33%. California has more republicans than any other state. That static means there was a lack of republican turn out. This works the other way also, however the biggest most populous states are blue. In a popular vote election the election would swing in the republicans favor. In fact, in a popular vote election where republican turn out is higher in blue states it would affect down ballot races and the democrats could actually suffer. Just saying

  4. Carl A.
    Feb 12, 2017

    Good column, Stan! Couple of points:

    With the GOP controlling both the House and the Senate, there is not going to be any impeachment proceeding regardless of how many ordinary people may want that to occur… and as for the specter of VP Pence, the GOP would simply breathe a sigh of relief with him at the Nation’s helm, so that is not really an issue. As long as the Repubs remain sharply divided as a party – and as long as T-Rump continues to do their bidding (or most of it) on his own – there will be no political move to replace him as the Chief Executive. Any boo-boos he makes as POTUS only have repercussions on him, at present – and that is just fine with the GOP, who have no interest in draining any swamps anyway. (They like the present cesspool just fine the way it is, thank you very much…)

    “That said, we are rapidly approaching the point beyond which there will be no friendship, kinship, collegiality or camaraderie.” All very true, but T-Rump is merely a symptom of that phenomena, not it’s cause… there have only been two times in the history of this country that it’s people have been so polarized and divided: during the nation’s War For Independence, and during it’s Civil War.

    Neither of those two events happened overnight. Both grew and expanded into their final culminations over the course of about 10 – 15 years. And that is what we are presently witnessing again… how it will eventually work itself out remains to be seen, but the fact that this country is in the process of breaking apart (again) is plain to see, for anyone who cares to look it in the face.

    And that is not going to desist, with or without the present idiot in the White House.