We’re looking for a few good men and women in Congress to understand the gravity of this debasement.
We don’t need more parsing about the bad “optics” or “timing” of Trump firing the man who could have ended his presidency.
We need a Republican in power to call it what it is:
a bungled attempt to obstruct justice.
And the tragic part is that Trump is likely to succeed, at least in the short term.
The person he chooses for F.B.I. director will never assemble a prosecutable case of treason that leads to the doorstep of this White House.
The courts can do only so much.
They can block orders that violate the Constitution.
But they can’t be real-time truth seekers in a moment of real urgency.
As for Ivanka Trump, the supposed sane person in an insane White House,
she has only so many whispers into Daddy’s ear that will be listened to.
Thus, it falls to a half-dozen or so Republicans to heed the words of a man whose statue they pass every day in the Capitol:
Will Rogers, Oklahoma’s gift to American gab:
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
As it is, those RPBs are getting run over.
Things that never happened before now happen with such regularity that the numbing and the dumbing down can make a rational human inert.
Here is a man who doesn’t share basic democratic values, who uttered nearly 500 lies or misleading statements in his first three months in office,
and it has all become mere background — the screen saver of this presidency.
The civilized world was recently appalled at Trump’s outreach to tyrants from North Korea, the Philippines and Turkey.
This week, we find out the family of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, offered Chinese business owners a path to US citizenship if they invested in a Kushner property.
And a White House visit of Russian political operatives was closed to the American press.
We needed Tass — which is to Vladimir Putin what Fox News is to Trump — to provide official documentation for that meeting.
The Trump White House makes gangsters look more civilized, and organized.
With Trump, as with most outsize characters in fiction or real life, character drives action.
He’s a lifelong charlatan, a con man, a habitué of bankruptcy courts.
He thinks this will blow over — everything always does.
He’s off to Europe soon, the rogue man out.
And that photo with Pope Francis will surely make people forget the chaos back home.
But the truth will out.
It’s obvious Trump fired James Comey because he was getting closer to the truth of what happened with Russian manipulation of the American election.
His advisers say an enraged Trump screamed at the television when this story would not go away.
“Russia, Russia, Russia,” Kellyanne Conway said, sounding like a “Brady Bunch” brat complaining about “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.”
Trump’s assertion that Comey told him three times he wasn’t under investigation has yet to be backed up,
and looks like another bogus Trump claim, if not a violation of Justice Department protocol.
So, we turn to a handful of people in Trump’s own party to do something courageous — to do the job they were sworn to do.
Trump was at 38% approval in Gallup’s tracking poll on Thursday and 36% in a Quinnipiac survey — both historic lows at this stage in a modern presidency.
These numbers may stiffen the spines of some Republicans in Congress.
The Irish Undertaker, Paul Ryan, is a lost cause — and increasingly looks like a bystander to the multiple-car wreck happening before him.
The Senate leader, Mitch McConnell — whose wife, don’t forget, is in Trump’s cabinet — is also sitting this one out.
Call out the names:
- Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake,
- Richard Burr and Bob Corker,
- Ben Sasse and Lisa Murkowski.
They have committees and investigators at their disposal.
Their party impeached Bill Clinton for lying about sex.
The least they can do is demand some accountability of a man whose entire presidency is a lie.
V.O. Tim Egan, New York Times Contributing Writer