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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre to the Titanic: The White House Ship of State (Part I)

Adult: It's about time you learn the universe doesn't revolve around you. Teenager: Maybe YOUR universe. Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman

When the President of the United States learned of Japan’s attack on America on December 7 did he exult or strike back?

When the President of the United States learned of Al Qaeda’s attack on America on 9/11 did he exult or strike back?

When the President of the United States learned in 2018 of Russia’s attack on America from 2014 to 2016 did he exult or strike back?

To even ask these questions serves notice of the perilous world in which we live. For the first time in the history of the United States, the President of the United States declines to fulfill the constitutional responsibility to be commander in chief, the one job title/description actually in the Constitution.

To some extent on a human level, it is reasonable to understand why the target of the Mueller investigation would breathe a sigh of relief when the Russian indictments did not include him or his staff and went back to 2014. Indeed the Bull Trump network shared in this exultation declaring it a day of victory and vindication for the President.

To be fair, the Mueller indictments reflect no loss of American life, occurred years ago, and were well known to the American intelligence community, Facebook, and Twitter, and the American public excluding Republicans. In this context there was no sense of urgency as there was on 12/7 and 9/11. So for a first reaction, the sense of triumph is understandable.

What about the second reaction?

Did it occur to him or the Bull Trump network that there might be a second and equally exhaustive report on the hacking of the DNC?

Did it occur to him or the Bull Trump network that there might be an equally exhaustive report of money laundering for the Russian mob in violation of U.S. law and sanctions?

Did it occur to him or the Bull Trump network that there might be an equally exhaustive report and detailed timeline of the contacts with Russia during the campaign?

Did it occur to him or the Bull Trump network that there might be an equally exhaustive report of the obstruction efforts to prevent the documentation of the Russian violation of America?

Exactly what to Devin Nunes, Jeannine Pirro, and Sean Hannity have to celebrate about their efforts to prevent Mueller from exposing the Russian violation of America? The new indictments of Manafort and the guilty plea of a lawyer following Gates’s cooperation hints at the indictments to come given the still-secret information Mueller has. The lawyers who don’t want their president client to testify because he cannot tell the truth undoubtedly realize how much greater the risk is now. Don’t they realize that these indictments are the beginning and not the end? It’s not going to be over soon.

As it turns out there was a second reaction and it was about the legitimacy of the 2016 election. Suddenly the Huckabee Huckster spewed forth the bull trump that of course the President knew and said so all along that the Russians had meddled in the election. Now the line was such meddling hadn’t made a difference (a claim difficult to prove or disprove) and that it was all Obama’s fault since the violation of America began under his watch and he did nothing. Imagine what the Bull Trump network would have said in 2016, if the administration then had announced that Russia was meddling in the election to support Trump!

So maybe the third reaction would be about fulfilling his responsibilities as commander in chief to defend America from outside attack and to attack the attackers. The idea that this third reaction would occur to him is so preposterous and so silly that it is embarrassing that anyone would take it seriously and even ask the Huckabee Huckster about it. Let’s look at the record.

First, any time Putin wants to end this presidency he can do so. He knows the hidden tax returns reveal ties to the Russian mob. He knows that the dossier is true or at least those portions which are. He knows what contacts were made during the campaign and probably could produce reports documenting them if he wanted to. He has the means to destroy the current American president if he chooses to do so.

Having said that, he has no reason to want to at this point in time. His immediate goal is the removal of sanctions. The American President has been a good little boy and not applied the most recent set of sanctions authorized by Congress. The American President has been a good little boy and not called for any additional actions to be taken against Russia for violating America. So why remove him? Who would do a better job of protecting Russia than the current good little boy?

Second, people have forgotten that oaths have no meaning to him. As I previously wrote concepts like separation of powers and oaths to the Constitution are adult concepts beyond the mental necessities of our immature child president. His mind genuinely does not function on that level. He may say the words but they cannot sink because his brain never reached the state of development where he can absorb adult ideas. The question he asks is are you loyal to him? The question he asks is who is his Roy Cohn? He never acknowledges anyone else’s oath to the Constitution, loyalty to We the People, or professionalism so why should it be any different when it comes to him? The oath he took at inauguration was simply lines from a script to be performed; they have nothing to do with how he thinks or operates. The only way he can act to defend America is if he thought not acting would make him a loser.

Although I can’t prove this, my first reaction to the idea of his running for president, was that it was just a stunt. There were two things I thought he had no interest in, couldn’t do, and would not want to do. The first was that he could never be America’s Comforter in Chief. The thin-skinned narcissist was incapable of feeling yet alone expressing the sympathy and empathy necessary for the discharge of this duty. I think it is safe to say that events have proved this prediction true.

The second was that he could not start every morning with a security briefing. It would make no sense to him. He didn’t know where the places were. He didn’t know who the people were. He didn’t know what the issues were? And if he didn’t have resort there, why should he care? Furthermore, during the daily briefing he would be in a room full of people who knew their stuff. How long before they caught on that he was ignorant moron with nothing constructive to contribute? You can fake it in the professional wrestling arena where you have the right to your own facts; that won’t work in the briefing room. I acknowledge that at the time when these thoughts first occurred me I didn’t know that he couldn’t read more than a page. I think it is safe to say that events have proved this prediction true.

Tom Friedman is exactly right to declare that our democracy is in danger but let’s not get carried away. We have seen so many James Bond movies showcasing the vaunted power of Spectre/KGB that we may think it is real. While we should resist and respond to the Russian violation of America, we should not exaggerate its effectiveness. We should not be building Putin up, we have a President who does that!

We know that our President will never act directly against Putin. He will be as dismissive of Russia’s violation of America as he was of Putin’s assassination of political opponents – after all we kill people, too. We meddle too.  It’s no secret that the Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln. Now it would seem it is no longer the party of Reagan either. What is the political downside for the failure of the American President to be Commander in Chief? Do the American people really want him to act against Russia? Does his base want him to act against Russia? Who knew that all those white males shouting USA! USA! USA! We’re Number 1. We’re Number 1! We’re Number 1! actually have no objection to being violated by Putin?