On Politics: ‘Elections have consequences’
May 21, 2017
Winston Churchill famously said: "Democracy is the worst form of government; except all others."
I wonder if he could look down at Washington, D.C., from his golden prime minister's throne in Heaven and retract the last three words of his bon mot. But is Trump's performance really any different from what we expected based on the election campaign? Here is an excerpt from my column appearing in the July 26, 2016 edition of the Bonanza, right after Donald Trump won the Republican nomination:
"How about Mr. Trump's game strategy? Clearly his 'law and order' acceptance speech at the Grand Old Party (GOP) convention, followed the next day by senseless slaughter in Munich, rang a bell with security-minded voters. How about international trade? Everyone who has ever taken a course in economics knows about the "division of labor" principle . . . how world trade leads to efficiencies, which benefit everyone. That doesn't impress American workers from industries whose owners took their companies to Singapore or Mexico in pursuit of the last possible penny of profit. How many workers? Enough to get Trump the GOP nomination.
"How many Berners will vote for Trump? Pew Research says 9 percent. Could there be more? The Democratic Party email leak could resonate with even more Berners. Granted some just want the free stuff they think comes with socialism, but many are disgusted with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) establishment and its super delegate system, which gave the nomination edge to Hillary Clinton even before the Iowa Caucuses. Will the leaked emails drive them to Trump or perhaps to sit on their hands next November?
Again and again Trump says: "The system is rigged." Again and again, events such as the DNC email leak and Clinton's ducking of criminal charges even after the FBI director indicts her on national TV for lying and sloppy handling of the nation's secrets lend credibility to his charge (just try to get a copy of her multimillion dollar secret Wall Street speeches). Will voters, who have been relegated to "outsider" status by the "establishment 1 percent", rally around outsider Donald J. Trump?"
We all found out in November, but winning did little to change the unpredictable Trump. Faced with a white hatred from the left, which includes most of the press, Trump responds to the din of criticism with mutually inconsistent tweets and public remarks, often cutting his own press secretary off at the knees. That causes the left to turn the heat up even higher, but Trump remains nonplussed. Kind like head fakes in a championship basketball game.
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The Jim Comey termination is perhaps the prime example (so far). In July 2016, Comey found that then-candidate Clinton was grossly negligent in her handling of the nation's secrets, but not indictable because he couldn't find that she intended that our enemies get US classified information. Republicans called down curses on Comey's head, while Democrats applauded the decision. Then a week before the election he reopened the investigation because Clinton's aide was forwarding official emails to her ex-husband.
The Democrats called for Comey's head, while Republicans tried to repress smiles. Ultimately, he closed the investigation without action and Republicans and Democrats again changed sides in the Comey War. The ink was hardly dry on Trump's letter terminating Comey when, once again, Democrats and Republican changed sides. As this goes to press Democrats (and a couple of Republicans who never supported Trump) are screaming for a special counsel, some are even screaming "impeachment!"
My prediction: probably no special counsel and certainly no impeachment. President Obama once famously said: "Elections have consequences." Congress could authorize a special counsel, as could the attorney general. Problem is both are under GOP control. House Democrats can move to impeach, but they don't have the votes; in the Senate removal of the president requires a two-thirds vote.
Ain't gonna happen.
Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Nevada and Washoe County GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.