Tragedy, black humor, satire, self-parody — call it what you want, but the dumpster fire of the Trump presidency is rooted in his lack of character and morality.
Cynical politicians often promote false propaganda. When it “works” there is a real danger that the perpetrator will begin to believe it himself. That is the trap that has ensnared Trump. The final storm over the Ukraine that led to a formal impeachment proceeding against Trump was triggered by Trump’s own wacky belief in a widely discredited conspiracy theory originally created to help him.
That is just one of the ironies engulfing the country.
The GOP argues Democrats should ignore Trump’s crimes and get on with governing. Democrats are not actually the governing party. The GOP had ample time and power to address problems like health care reform, control of drug prices, gun legislation, fair immigration reform and a slew of other issues — but they weren’t, and aren’t, interested.
Trump defenders argue that impeachment will distract Trump from governing. He wasn’t really governing, he was just sending out malicious tweet storms.
Trump defenders say the “do-nothing Congress” is moving too fast. They argue that Democrats must investigate Trump first — but then turn around and argue that Democrats must immediately vote for impeachment before investigations are finished. At the same time Trump and his allies do everything they can to slow down and undermine investigations. Mitch McConnell, who refuses to take up piles of bills the Democratic Congress has passed, is just fine with doing nothing.
Trump says he thinks impeachment will be great for him. If that is so, why does he lash out with such exaggerated false accusations at everyone involved?
Trump invited China to investigate the Bidens in a recent press conference just as blatantly and publicly as he invited Russia to hack Hillary’s email. The supposed issue with those emails was the potential compromise of U.S. security data. Trump’s administration has been so sloppy about vetting, leaking and having people without any security clearance working sensitive jobs that it defies belief.
Trump talks about his “great economy.” That was a gift from President Obama. Trump defenders cling to their final argument that Trump will appoint “conservative” judges. If his cabinet appointments are any indication, he will simply continue to rig the system by putting in people open to his corrupting influence. The Mueller report didn’t exonerate Trump, it merely said his prior obstructions of justice had worked.
Trump yells loudly at his rallies about how he will easily win the next election. In fact, almost two years before the 2020 election, he started desperately trying to recruit foreign help. There is just one reason for that. He knows he can’t win without it.
Trump defenders argue that the election (not impeachment) is the proper way to remove Trump. Ironic that they think the decision should rest with an election Trump is already trying to rig. The GOP has thrown millions of eligible voters off the voting roles. Trump and the GOP have undermined every real effort to protect the 2020 elections from meddling, foreign or domestic. In many states, Republicans are not even holding presidential primaries.
Trump has committed abuse of power, obstruction of justice, extortion and election rigging in plain view. We are only about 1,000 days into his first term. Republicans seem willing to gamble that in the next 400 days, Trump will not commit another fatal blunder. That is a dangerous bet. Just two weeks ago, Trump committed the biggest foreign policy blunder since Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He created a Middle East crisis with a single phone call. Can we really wait for elections?
There is a saturation point where irony turns to inanity: a point where the overused word “unprecedented” simply reverts to the more correct words “outrageous,” “intolerable” or “impeachable.” That time has surely come.
Irene Rasmussen is a resident of Toledo.