Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Donald Trump's Flying Circus and the Fifth Avenue Watch

Well, Donald Trump hasn't shot anyone in the middle of Fifth Avenue so far, but he does seem to be testing to see just how much he can get away with.  Last week he fired the FBI director who was investigating his possible ties to Russia.  This week he blurted out highly classified information to Russian diplomats.  So maybe he'll shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue next week.

But I have come to the conclusion that my account of what would follow was inaccurate.  It would be something more like this.  Trump would shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue.  He would then send out a parade of spokespeople to deny that he had done any such thing.  One of them would explain why we shouldn't believe the film showing him do it. Another would undermine the credibility of the witnesses.  Another would attack the forensic evidence.  And so forth.  And then Trump would come out and cheerfully proclaim that shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue was a glorious blow for the Real American against the Manhattan elite and besides, it was part of his prerogative as President.  Republicans in Congress would make a lot of throat-clearing noises but not actually do anything.  It would be poetic justice for Trump to be done in by one of the spokespeople who he has tricked into lying for him, but somehow it never seems to happen.

A suggestion here for any Republican who insists that it is the President's prerogative to declassify any information he wants so the whole episode is just fine.  Imagine if President Hillary Clinton had continued sending e-mails on a private server and defended it on the grounds that as President she could do anything with classified information that she wanted.  Would you have gone along with that?

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