Friday, July 21, 2017

Trump & Treason

Trump's latest is beyond description. He is seeking to fire Special Counsel Mueller, on grounds that some of Mueller's staff may have contributed to Clinton's campaign and Obama's, which to Trump indicates prejudice. For Trump anyone who ever disagreed with or opposed him is out to get him and must be eliminated.

Usually called a purge.

It's been useful to think of Trump in relation to the belligerently anti-Communist Roy Cohen, his mentor, but maybe it's time to remember Stalin. Trump and Stalin in the same breath? Sure. Autocracy is autocracy. Since there's no inherent limit to Trump's autocratic cravings we'll see how this country's democratic traditions hold out against them.

And then there's Trump seeking advice about whether he can blanket pardon himself and family — in advance, for anything. (Point of reference: Nixon did not dare to pardon himself, leaving that to his successor.) Words fail. This is new territory cowardice and slime. Again, since Trump lacks limits, they must be applied to him.

I've argued that Trump has not yet committed a single certifiably treasonous offense. I withdraw that argument. It's insufficient. While it may still be true that he has not committed any one crime for which, let's remember, the punishment is death, he goes on committing mini-treasons which together amount to more: a multi-form, death-by-a-thousand-cuts, attack on the Constitution and democratic traditions. Trump represents a new kind of assault. Call it postmodern fascism, or whatever you like.

We don't really have the words, just as we don't yet know what the defense will be.

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