Unhinged Donald Trump poses a threat to the US republic
The Financial Times editorial “Without Fear and Without Favour”, a well reasoned, articulate analysis of Trump’s celebration of his acquittal whereby he targeted “the liars” “human scum” “leakers” “corrupt cops” “evil on his presidency” and other verbiage towards the prosecution of his high crimes, misdemeanors and treason, has, in its well reasoned low key way, overlooked some frightening issues.
Trump’s behavior is without question an example of mental illness – out of control. I would like to believe he skipped his meds that morning but I fear he has crossed the line of psychosis; at least the rout was, indeed, an example of psychotic behavior.
Trump will not go away gently should he lose the election – should there be an election?
Should he sense defeat his first activity will be to go to war with Iran – Israel, the Saudis and the Emirates on board for the ride. Second, he will use every tool including “emergency powers” to rig or cancel the election. Third, should an election take place and he was to lose he will use his new found powers, the lame-duck senate, and the stacked Supreme Court to void the results. He has no intention of leaving office.
Expect the stock markets to continue to be supported (rigged) using taxpayer monies. Ask yourselves the likelihood of the economic statistics being real or adjusted by the administration.
The schizophrenics are always the persecuted in their own minds. Because of Trump’s growing entitlement theory, that is he is entitled to an extended term due to his and HIS nation being persecuted for this term and not able to complete the works he promised because of it.
the Editorial Board, Financial Times
February 7, 2020
Hell hath no fury like an acquitted Donald Trump. Another US president might have used this week’s reprieve to express some contrition for his excesses, or to call for national healing. Yet it is hard to imagine any of his predecessors — even Richard Nixon — soliciting foreign interference in an upcoming presidential election.
Mr Trump instead staged a White House celebration in which he targeted the “liars”, “human scum”, “leakers” and “corrupt cops” who had perpetrated this “evil” on his presidency. “It was all bullshit,” he said. In an epic of unchained venting, Mr Trump suggested he could be entering an even more worrying phase of his presidency. Having secured fealty from 52 of 53 Senate Republicans — with Utah’s Mitt Romney as the lone profile in courage — Mr Trump is now free to pursue vengeance on those who impeached him.
The last time a US president was acquitted after having been impeached was Bill Clinton in 1999 for having lied about sex with an intern. He apologised for his behaviour in a statement that took less than two minutes. Mr Trump spent an hour and two minutes declaring war on all who opposed him. Mr Romney and Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, were top of his list.
No objective reading of what was presented to the House could escape Mr Trump’s guilt for “high crimes and misdemeanours”. Among the two articles of impeachment was obstruction of Congress. Mr Trump refused to co-operate with the inquiry. He deprived it of the witnesses and documents he was legally required to produce under the most conservative reading of the US constitution.
In the Senate trial, the president’s lawyers blocked any new evidence, including testimony from John Bolton, the former national security adviser. According to his forthcoming book, Mr Bolton directly witnessed Mr Trump’s attempts to extort political help from Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, in exchange for releasing almost $400m of US military aid.
Mr Trump taunted his accusers that they lacked direct witnesses while simultaneously forbidding witnesses from testifying.
Mr Trump treated the other article of impeachment — abuse of power — with the same mix of contempt. His lawyers argued that there were almost no limits on what a US president could do, including the diversion of public funds for political gain. This is known as the theory of the “unitary executive”. Mr Trump has reduced it to a caricature.
Under his reading, the US president is little different to a monarch. The only check on his power is voters. For all practical purposes the US electorate is now his chief restraint. Other than Mr Romney, now a pariah among Republicans, conservatives have swapped limited government for an untrammeled vision of executive power.
It is hard to overstate the danger a re-elected Mr Trump would pose to America’s system of checks and balances. Most pressing is what he could do in the eight months before the election to influence the outcome. This week showed there are no penalties for doing so. As a divided Democratic field heads to its first primary in New Hampshire, candidates should keep this top of mind.
Whatever their differences, which are in some respects deeply ideological, the priority should be to preserve the US constitutional order. They must nominate a strong and credible rival to Mr Trump. This week Mr Romney displayed principle and courage. History will celebrate those who follow his example.