An astute Bracing Views reader described the Trump-Comey-Russia hearings as “the audio version of a glittering disco ball,” which captures the moment. Sure, there’s lots of flash there, but the real problems of the USA are being very much ignored. Put differently, it’s hard to hear any real news when the thump-thump-thump of Trump-Comey-Russia drowns out all other voices.
I’ve already said my piece (at TomDispatch.com) about some of the big problems that face our country, so indulge me for a moment as I consider the disco inferno of Trump-Comey.
My take: Trump wanted loyalty, Comey didn’t promise that, nor should he have. Trump, it seems, also felt upstaged by Comey (not only because the former FBI Director is taller than Trump and more vigorous). Comey, in short, was uncooperative, not one of Trump’s guys, so he fired him. As president, Trump has that power.
Was it a smart move? No. Does it look bad? Yes, especially the timing. Is it obstruction of justice? Apparently not, since the various Russia-Trump investigations are progressing. (To my knowledge, there are at least three of them ongoing.)
More than anything, Comey’s testimony makes Trump look like a dick (to use a technical term). But we already knew that. Trump’s been posing (it didn’t require acting) as a dick for years on TV, taking great relish in saying, “You’re fired!” to a range of has-been celebrities. Should we really be surprised that Trump is acting like a dick as president? Even his followers knew he was a dick; they just thought he was their dick.
Did Trump collude with Russia? Of course he did! He admitted it himself. Remember when Trump called for the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton — to find her “thirty thousand” missing emails, ha ha! That may not be the legal definition of collusion, but if you heard that and refused to consider that Candidate Trump’s encouragement of hacking by a foreign power in an election for his benefit was wrongful, well, so be it. Those Americans who voted for Trump were apparently untroubled by it.
I’m not defending Trump. The man is a menace to the world, with his denial of global warming/climate change, his embrace of nuclear weapons, his cocksureness fed by his ignorance, the list goes on. But, based on the evidence that’s been presented so far, he’s done nothing that reaches an impeachable offense. Major league dick status, yes. Impeachment? Not yet. Or Nyet.
The biggest problem with Trump is not that he’s a Russian stooge. It’s that he’s not presidential. He doesn’t understand public service. It’s utterly foreign to him, not just because he has no experience of it but because it’s contrary to his egocentric personality.
Look at his priorities as president. (They are the same as they were when he was a real estate developer.) #1 for Trump is Trump. #2 for Trump is his immediate family, joined by a few trusted lackeys, toadies, and sycophants. #3 for Trump is his money, his position in society, and his reputation among his peers and fellow billionaires, those “masters of the universe,” to use Tom Wolfe’s phrase.
Make America great again? That’s never been Trump’s priority. Make Trump greater and greater? That’s more like it.
Trump is fulfilling his version of the American dream. Too bad it’s a nightmare for America.