Friday, June 09, 2017

Quote of the Day

Whether or not the president’s actions ultimately rise to “obstruction,” . . . it’s clear these are serious allegations that suggest a kind of lawlessness in the White House, from a president with little regard for the norms that govern conduct in the Oval Office. Trump’s alleged demand for [then-FBI Director] James Comey’s personal loyalty – in a government where officials pledge allegiance to the Constitution, not the president – would itself be a profound attack on the rule of law. In an ideal world, or at least a more functional one, lawmakers on both sides would see and treat this as a crisis that demands resolution, lest it corrode American democracy.

But that’s not what we have. Just one of our two parties is interested in checking this president’s abuse. The other, the Republican Party, is indifferent, content to tolerate Trump’s misconduct as long as it doesn’t interrupt or interfere with its political agenda. What defined [yesterday's] hearing, in fact, was the degree to which Republicans downplayed obvious examples of bad – potentially illegal – behavior and sought to exonerate Trump rather than grapple with Comey’s damning allegations about the president.

. . . James Comey’s sworn Senate testimony, both written and spoken, is evidence of one political crisis: A president with little regard for rule of law who sees no problem in bringing his influence and authority to bear on federal investigations. The Republican reaction – the effort to protect Trump and discredit Comey – is evidence of another: a crisis of ultra-partisanship, where the nation’s governing party has opted against oversight and accountability, abdicating its role in our system of checks and balances and allowing that president free rein, as long as he signs its legislation and nominates its judges.

Americans face two major crises, each feeding into the other. Republicans aren’t bound to partisan loyalty. They can choose country over party, rule of law over ideology. But they won’t, and the rest of us will pay for it.

Related Off-site Links:
Trump Can Commit All the High Crimes He Wants. Republicans Aren’t Going to Impeach Him – Jonathan Chait (New York Magazine, June 8, 2017).
Wall Street Journal Roasts Trump In Deliciously Brutal Editorial – Whatever Jones (Liberals Unite, June 6, 2017).
Comey on Trump: Liar, Liar, Liar, Liar, Liar. But Will Republicans Care? – Joan Walsh (The Nation, June 8, 2017).
Bernie Sanders Responds to Comey Testimony: "Donald Trump Is a Blatant Liar" – Clark Mindock (The Independent, June 8, 2017).
Trump Just "New at This": As Comey Hearing Concludes, Paul Ryan Jumps to Defend President – Jon Queally (Common Dreams, June 8, 2017).
If Trump Is Too Ignorant to Be Guilty, He’s Too Ignorant to Be President – Jeet Heer (New Republic, June 8, 2017).
James Comey Is Not a Leaker. He Is a Whistleblower – Dana Gold (Slate, June 9, 2017).
Writers from the Right and Left React to Comey’s Testimony – Anna Dubenko (The New York Times, June 9, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Profoundly Troubling and Tragic Indictment
Quote of the Day – May 17, 2017
Quote of the Day – May 13, 2017
Trump's America: Normalized White Supremacy and a Rising Tide of Racist Violence
Quote of the Day – April 2, 2017
Quote of the Day – March 26, 2017
Something to Think About – January 20, 2011
On International Human Rights Day, Saying "No" to Donald Trump and His Fascist Agenda
Progressive Perspectives on the Election of Donald Trump as President of the United States
Election Eve Thoughts
Carrying It On
Progressive Perspectives on the Rise of Donald Trump
Trump's Playbook

Image 1: Donald Trump with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, two of his most powerful Republican enablers. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
Image 2: The cover of the June 9, 2017 edition of the New York Daily News.

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