Monday, December 19, 2016
Tricky Dick Nixon once bragged, "When the president does it, that means it's not illegal."
And now, the Weathered Saddlebag Covered In Cheez-Whiz has updated the Dick's boast: "The law is totally on my side. The president can't have a conflict of interest."
Well, yes he can, and Mein Trumpf has a boatload of 'em. In fact, we've never had a president with so damn many unresolved conflicts of interest, foreign entanglements, and ethical problems. Some may be technically permissible, but most are not, and all are clearly inadvisable. There is the Emoluments clause of the Constitution which prohibits U.S. officials from benefiting in any way from foreign states. There are laws against nepotism. There is our long presidential history of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. Obama put all his assets and investments in a truly independent blind trust, Carter sold his peanut farm, et al.
Trump intentionally violates both the spirit and the letter of the law, and willfully ignores a couple hundred years of precedent. His business interests and debts are global, not just Russian, and he has no intention of severing ties in any meaningful way. He's behaving like a banana republic dictator.
Imagine the outcry if it had been discovered in 1940 that FDR was a financial partner in a number of Berlin hotels and office buildings! We'd be reading about President Wendell Wilkie in the history books.
To put it in more modern terms, WWRDIODT? What would Republicans do if Obama did this?
We know the answer: They'd go ballistic! They'd throw an absolute shit-fit! They'd call for blood! We'd never hear the end of it.
Nixon was wrong then, Trump is wrong now. There are a few basic rules.
I believe we must now apply the WWRDIODT principle to Little Donnie Whinydiaper's boundless ethical dilemma.