There was a sense among some this week that we had at last reached that golden “inflection point” when all of Trump’s lies, scams, cons, and crimes finally sink in with Republicans, and the cult begins to crack.
I tend to think something else is happening: that we are entering the most dangerous phase of Donald Trump’s presidency. We always knew this would happen — that the rule of law and Trump would at some point be unable to coexist — but we had no idea how it would specifically play out. Now we see the lay of the land a little more clearly.
He is still incensed at his attorney general Jeff Sessions … The entire notion that one of his appointees actually swears loyalty to the Constitution, rather than personal fealty to Trump, is incomprehensible — no, infuriating — to him.
… the criminality has now become text rather than subtext …
Who else … do you know has spent four decades of his life “watching” the intricacies of mob round-ups? Yes, I know Trump made his fortune in part through the mob. They were regulars at his Taj Mahal casino, which was found to have “willfully violated” the money-laundering rules of the Bank Secrecy Act, was the subject of four separate IRS investigations for “repeated and significant” deviations from money-laundering laws, and was forced to pay what was then an industry record for the largest money-laundering fine. The Russian mob was critical to buying his real estate in secret as well. This is a president who has surrounded himself with criminals, especially Russian criminals, for decades. But still: the man who took an oath to enforce the laws of the land is openly touting the logic of mobsters in their battle with law enforcement. Before this presidency, that would have been inconceivable.
A republic cannot be governed by a man who acts like a mafia boss, following mafia rules. The minute that happens, the corrosion begins. Every day such a crook holds the highest office in the land represents yet another crack in the law of the land. If this figure decides to wage an actual war on the rule of law, and retains the solid support of his own party, all bets are off. And it is a staggering fact that in the wake of this week’s verdicts and Trump’s responses, no Republican leaders have yet decisively called their president out, and no right-wing media outlet has sounded any kind of alarm. It has fallen to Jeff Sessions to issue a statement defending the DOJ.
Andrew Sullivan (emphasis added), who struck a few false or hackneyed notes but got the basic story arc right.
J. Budziszewski explained in 2015, before a “President Donald Trump” was even a patently absurd publicity stunt (we thought), and again this week (contra Walter Williams), why a bad man cannot be a “good President.” The 2015 item reads like prophecy.
Budziszewski nods toward the possibility of voting for a lesser evil, but you must never, ever call evil “good.”
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Our lives were meant to be written in code, indecipherable to onlookers except through the cipher of Jesus.