From day one of his accidental presidency, Donald Trump has exhibited clear signs of his aspirations to emulate the brutal dictators that he so admires (Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin). His reverence for the trappings of totalitarianism has been thinly disguised as he openly exchanged love letters with his autocratic heroes and behaved in a manner that mimicked their oppressive methods of governing.
On Friday evening Trump committed yet another act of obvious abuse of power. Hoping to avoid media scrutiny, he quietly sent a letter to Congress indicating his intention to fire Steve Linick, the State Department’s Inspector General. Linick just happened to been investigating misconduct by Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
The Inspector General’s position is supposed to be an independent watchdog post to protect the integrity of government agencies. That’s why Trump could not fire Linick outright, but had to give Congress a 30 day notice. Unfortunately, due to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s blind obedience to Trump, it is still likely that nothing will be done about this, at least from McConnell’s perch.
This negligence on the part of Republicans in Congress is all the worse considering that this isn’t the first time that Trump has fired an IG who was investigating his administration. Nor is it the second time. Or the the third. Linick’s dismissal follows that of Inspectors General Christi Grimm (Health and Human Services), Glenn Fine (Defense Department), and Michael Atkinson (Intelligence Community). Each of these people were non-partisan career professionals who served administrations of both parties. Each of them were probing misconduct in the Trump administration. And all of this took place within a six week period.
Trump has been executing a slow-motion version of a Saturday Night Massacre, wherein he’s terminating honorable public servants who were doing their jobs on behalf of the American people. His brazen lawlessness seems to be growing unchecked ever since the Senate failed in their duty to remove him from office after his impeachment.
Trump is becoming ever more desperate in recent days as the coronavirus death toll for Americans approaches 90,000. Which is another even more tragic consequence of the GOP’s acquiescence to Dear Leader. Lately Trump has been fixated on a thoroughly imaginary “scandal” that he has been calling “ObamaGate.” There is no rational explanation for what he’s alleging, and given the opportunity, even he couldn’t define it. But he has been tweeting up a storm with links to rabid Obama haters making bizarre and unsupported accusations.
On Saturday morning Trump embarked on a raging Twitter-palooza that included one tweet saying that “Scandal has defined the Obama Administration.” Which is peculiar considering there is not even a hint of any untoward activity by President Obama over the eight years of his presidency. However, there is nothing but scandal and corruption engulfing Trump and his confederacy of criminals, many of whom have already been indicted and convicted.
So Trump’s current obsessive acting out against IGs is just his way of trying to put a lid on the discovery of his raging malfeasance in office. He is writhing in fear of losing in November and being held accountable for his presidential crime spree. He knows that his approval ratings are plummeting and most polls show Joe Biden beating him nationally, as well as in many of the crucial swing states. So it is especially sweet to see Biden excoriating Trump in a succinct yet effective tweet of his own:
It seems the way to get fired by President Trump is not to commit wrongdoing, but to investigate it. https://t.co/7cb5FAZRJP
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 16, 2020
Indeed. While there are many former Trump staffers who have left his employ under a cloud, the only person Trump ever fired for wrongdoing was his disgraced National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who got the ax for lying to both the administration and the FBI. But now Trump is praising Flynn after having had his Attorney General, Bill Barr, drop all charges against him. Never mind that Flynn had confessed and pleaded guilty twice.
Trump keeps demonstrating that he will cozy up to those who swear their unflinching allegiance to his White House mob family. Loyalty to him always takes precedence over loyalty to the United States or its Constitution. And he will continue to poison the waters of justice in order to avoid being held accountable for his innumerable crimes. You have to wonder if there is any breach of law or ethics that will provoke Republicans to act with integrity and dignity and patriotism. but don’t hold your breath.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.