Friday, November 30, 2018

The Day of Reckoning is Nigh

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Americans who support Donald Trump--whether they consider themselves Republicans, conservatives, or simply people grateful for certain policies he has put forward--are soon to face a reckoning point.  That is, given what is certain to be shown as serial, reflexive dishonesty wrapped around utter disdain for anything but personal gain, the outcome of which has been an invigorated American left and a smoking wreckage of a GOP--how can one continue to support Donald Trump as President.

Notice I did not mention anything here impeachable. I do not think Donald Trump will be removed from office (though the House may impeach him). Not because I do not think he should be removed, but because as of yet, I have seen nothing to convince me that a sufficient number of Republicans in the Senate would vote to do so. That said, armchair Constitutional scholars will point to "...treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors..." without processing the larger point that what is impeachable ultimately boils down to what a majority of the members of the House of Representatives say it is.

Putting impeachment aside for the moment, we will soon be treated to findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who has conducted his affairs in the highest of standards in stark contrast to the serial obfuscaters and sycophants who publicly slander him and his team, including the President himself. Mueller will deliver a report that will ultimately reveal several things which are simply beyond dispute:

--Candidate Trump's inner circle was deeply enmeshed in routine interactions with Russian government figures, Russian intelligence officers, and Russian organized crime figures, interactions that were routinely denied by both Trump and his circle.
--Candidate Trump and members of his inner circle were aware of in advance and supported the activities of Julian Assange and Wiki-leaks to reveal embarrassing emails from major Democratic figures in order to impact the Hillary Clinton campaign.
--Mr. Assange's and Wiki-leaks reputation as a front for Russian Intelligence was an open secret at the time. 
--Candidate Trump continued to pursue lucrative real estate deals in Russia that included solicitation of support from Vladimir Putin until the summer of 2016, six months after the Iowa caucuses. During this time, Candidate Trump made a number of "Putin-friendly" statements that were not aligned with prevailing Republican attitudes. 
--Candidate Trump and his inner circle actively sought to suppress potential embarrassment caused by revelations from former sex partners, to include financial payoffs. These revelations were vehemently denied by Candidate Trump, President Trump, and his inner circle. 

The points above represent what I consider to be irrefutable assertions based on what we know in court filings thus far in the Mueller investigation and that of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Behind these indisputable assertions of fact lie some interesting inferences that not only raise the specter of impeachable offenses, but which make the point of reckoning mentioned above that much more real.

--Reports of the surprise of Candidate Trump and his inner circle that he prevailed in the election lead to the conclusion that he believed he would likely lose. What then, are the links (if any) between his business objectives and his campaign statements, especially those that were at best--soft on Putin, and at worst--admiring of him? Was the future President of the United States setting the course of US foreign policy in a pro-Russian direction simply as a hedging strategy for his own business? Just yesterday, he admitted as much. 
--Further to this point, there remain open questions about the suppression (by Paul Manafort) of a plank in the GOP platform in the summer of 2016 that advocated arming Ukranians in their conflict with Russia. Could this have been yet another instance in which Trump sought to curry favor with Russia in furtherance of his business goals?

Please notice--neither of the previous two inferences--serious though they may be--involve "collusion". Dead-ender supporters of Trump (the "I could commit a murder on fifth avenue and they'd still support me" types) have created a construct in which only a video of Trump and Putin strategizing in shirtsleeves would represent collusive behavior--so I'm not addressing these people. I'm writing for the rest of us, who--while we may be unable to believe that there was collusion (coordination, strategizing) between the Trump Campaign and the Russians at this point, are perfectly willing to entertain the possibility, presented with sufficient evidence. To that end:


--Was there any information passed from the Trump campaign--either directly or through intermediaries--as to where (geographically--remember, 80,000 votes in three key states tipped this election) "friendly" online activity ("fake new", targeted emails, etc) should be concentrated?
--Was there any coordination between the Trump campaign as to the timing of release of information damaging to the Clinton campaign, such as the release of DNC emails in close proximity to the "Access Hollywood" tape becoming public 2 days before the  second Presidential Debate?

Again---this post is not for the MAGA- hat wearing, dead-ender who simply wants to drink "liberal tears". This post is for thoughtful, patriotic Americans who have for one reason or another, continued to support President Trump in the face of serial dishonesty, churlish behavior, and disreputable dealing with friends and allies. The GOP just lost 40 seats in the house and squandered the most favorable Senatorial map in a generation, even as it gave back a third of the seats it won in state legislatures in the age of Obama. Things will not get better while this man is supported.

Cut this anchor loose; regroup, move on, and live to fight another day.

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