Discover more from America, America
All About Trump
Whether we like it or not, the actions of the disgraced former White House occupant continue to drive the news cycle
The last few days have been thick with news for anyone who cares about the state of democracy and wonders whether Donald Trump will eventually get his just deserts. I spend a lot of time reflecting on the spectrum from alarm to hope—and the last days have sent me ping-ponging from one to the other.
From the 52-48 failure of the Senate to carve out an exception to the filibuster and address voting rights legislation (thanks to every Republican and Sens. Manchin and Sinema) to the 8-1 decision of the Supreme Court refusing to block the release of January 6 documents to the House Select Committee (no thanks to Ginni Thomas’ husband, Clarence, the sole dissenter). These two stories broke within just a few hours of each other.
But in the same few days that President Biden conducted the longest press conference in US history (including a Newsmax reporter frivolously, obnoxiously questioning his mental fitness, even as the nearly two-hour event provided the answer), the flurry of other stories reminds us that just moving on is not possible until the criminality and lies of election fraud perpetrated by Trump are confronted. Whether we like it or not, the disgraced, twice-impeached former White House occupant continues to invade the body politic and haunt our daydreams of a better life.
Would passing voting rights legislation have the same urgency if Trump’s constant lies of election fraud didn’t trigger GOP-run state legislatures to pass dozens of laws to deny access to the ballot box and push new tactics to install partisan electors to count votes and decide election outcomes? Would every Republican oppose voting rights if they weren’t still frightened of Trump?
Would Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue be touting on Thursday his phony plan for an “Election Law Enforcement Division” intended to “enforce election laws, investigate election crimes and fraud, and arrest those who commit these offenses”?
Would the Supreme Court need to weigh in on releasing documents if Trump wasn’t determined to keep the truth of January 6 locked away? (On the brighter side, House Select Committee co-chairs Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney could revel in their victory: “The Select Committee has already begun to receive records that the former President had hoped to keep hidden….”)
The list goes on.
Would Fani Willis, Fulton County Attorney General, need to request a special grand jury to investigate Trump if he didn’t call Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and try to strong-arm him to overturn the results? (“I just want to find 11,780 votes,” Trump infamously said.)
Would New York Attorney General Letitia James be driven to release a 115-page court document detailing the “fraudulent or misleading” practices of the Trump Organization and its principals —inflating assets when he sought loans, undervaluing the same assets when tax collectors came calling—if Trump didn’t try to block her from questioning him and his offspring, Ivanka and Donald Jr.? Is anyone surprised that Trump had pulled out his tiring trope that this was just another partisan witch hunt?
Would there be heightened talk as a result of this civil investigation—running parallel to a criminal investigation led by newly elected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg—that Trump will run in 2024 in an effort to avoid prosecution and cry that it’s all just partisan abuse? (“Any question of whether Trump runs seem to have been answered this morning,” tweeted The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman after AG James’ release of court papers. “His aides have always signaled that if the investigations progressed that he would run for president again.”)
Whenever I tweet about Trump, I get attacked by cultists who insist I suffer from Trump derangement syndrome or serve up some childish insult (“idiot,” “nitwit,” “moron” or other equally thoughtful judgements). But it’s no profound observation to note that in the 1,426 days (that’s 35,026 hours) Trump occupied the White House, it was always about him. The job he did was always focused on feeding his own ego (and his pockets).
While he was eventually banned from Twitter, thankfully losing his favorite spot to keep the madness flowing and the attention fixed, you know he’s been lingering in Mar-a-Lago by the buffet table and dying to grab back the spotlight. Not because he has something new to say, of course, but because of his pathological need to lie and rant about the results of the election and the reason for January 6.
I can’t think of just about anywhere I would want to be less than Mar-a-Lago this week as the flood of bad news for the vindictively malignant Trump arrived. But however much he was raging, he was also getting his wish.
Much of the news a year after his exit—from the troubling battle over voting rights, the dangerous attacks on democracy, the escalating number and accelerating pace of investigations—is implicitly or explicitly about him.
No one knows exactly where this is headed. Will he finally be held accountable for his criminal misdeeds? Could this convince some portion of his radicalized adherents that maybe, just maybe, crime doesn’t pay? Or will he and his legal enablers continue to find ways to obfuscate and delay, extending his path straight to 2024 and demoralizing Democrats resigned to the fallacy that no one is above the law?
What I do know is that without holding him accountable—and that means prosecutions and convictions—President Biden and all the elected leaders hoping to convince voters that they offer a better vision for the country’s future will be drowned out by the drumbeat of a hostile minority and its seditious hero.
I hope you’ll consider becoming a paid subscriber. It’s still just $50 a year or $5 a month.