It would appear President Donald J. Trump has taken to heart the "exoneration" letter penned by his Head Consigliere, er, Attorney General William P. Barr. Yes, he's convinced himself that he's been given a clean bill of legal health and thus is free to wreak his vengeance on all his real and perceived enemies. How do we know this? Well, for one thing, our nation's Chief Executive has once again decided to declare war on the Affordable Care Act, ignoring the sound advice of his Health and Human Services Secretary as well as the self-same Attorney General in the process.
Yes, it would seem that Mr. Barr's letter of exoneration has gone to the President's head, making him think that he is totally in the clear, at least from a legal point of view. In turn, this has convinced him that he must be a total cinch to be elected President in November of 2020. As long as the next election is in the bag, why not take on some of his old enemies and wipe them off the face of the earth? After all, what better time to destroy the key legislative triumph of his much maligned predecessor?
Of course, this reveals one of President Trump's most glaring weaknesses, his raging sense of arrogance. He apparently is operating under the delusion that he is much more popular than any of the political polls seems to indicate he is. His fawning political base seems to LOVE this super-charged ego, mistaking it for a well-earned sense of confidence, thus helping him to over-estimate his popularity. In the twinkling of an eye Attorney General Barr has helped the President forget the shellacking the Republicans took in the 2018 mid-term elections. Somehow the President has forgotten that the Democrats won an historically significant victory in the House of Representatives by countering the President's argument that an insubstantial wall is absolutely necessary for our future peace with the proposition that affordable access to the greatest health care system in the world is much more important. This was a victory won at the only kind of poll that matters, the poll taken on Election Day.
Maybe I'm wrong about all this. It's possible that the President has his finger on the pulse of the American body politic and not me. Ultimately we'll find out who's right and who's wrong when we get the results of the 2020 Presidential election. But I have the feeling that if the President emerges victorious in the next election it won't be because he was right on the issues but because he was able to once again manipulate the emotions of a fearful electorate that is facing an uncertain future with a great deal of trepidation. It will show that he has the ability of play off our distrust of government to his political advantage, still leaving us with the same sense of fear and insecurity we had on the day before he was first elected in the first place.
Some people may characterize such a possibility as the end of democracy as we know it. That's just a lot of horse hockey. It is possible that we will allow Attorney General Barr's legal sophistry to convince us that just because Robert Mueller refused to point an accusatory finger at President Trump that this wipes away all the stains of wrong-doing that has been the hallmark of his Administration. It is even possible that we can be convinced to give President Trump a second term as President of the United States, a very discouraging prospect indeed! But we have to remember that there will be other elections. Other men and other women will one day occupy the White House and they will do all in their power to wipe away the stains left on that venerable building by its present occupant. If they are able to do so, that will be just fine. God will reign in heaven and all will once again be right with the world. But if we allow this stain to set, if it becomes a permanent blot on our country's history, it will have been due to the bad political judgment of the American people that will have caused it, not some ill-advised legal blathering from the President's "Roy Cohn". William Barr may possibly have set the destruction of America's democracy in motion with a four page letter, but it will have been the American people who allowed it to happen in the first place!
Filed under: Politics