Sunday, May 20, 2018

Trump and the GOP Congress are who Madison warned us about

A version of this was published in the Sky Hi News, June 5, 2018

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

What we are witnessing now is the very thing  founding father Madison warned our new country about.  The writers of our constitution divided the power centers of government into three, executive, legislative, and judicial, each with a check  on the other. Madison warned there was a way to undermine these checks and balances. What was not yet formed when he wrote this were political parties, but he described them as “accumulation of all powers in ...the same hands”, " of many or a few."  The "few" today is one party, the Republicans, in control of all three branches of government with members unwilling to check actions of the president. Worse, they have taken advantage of their party’s control  to protect the President , actively attacking  the credibility  of the investigators and their findings, and obstructing  the investigation into  Russian meddling. They are knocking the props out of our three legged  stool of checks and balances, and separation of powers.. 

Donald Trump's  defense is that the FBI is a "deep state" full of Obama people out to get him just as they were in the 2016 election. That is worthy of a belly laugh, since while the FBI was keeping secret their investigation into Trump during the campaign, Comey  twice announced to public they had Clinton and her emails under investigation , which played into her defeat, causing her  polls to crash each time. Furthermore,   every major player on the FBI, Mueller probe, and  judges approving surveillance warrants,  are also registered Republicans. 

The GOP dominated Congress is a profile in cowardice.  GOP congress members  fear that the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller would damage  their control of Congress and loss of the White House in 2020, or cause  early removal of the president.  Mueller is investigating whether the President or members of his close circle conspired or  wanted to coordinate activities with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election on Donald Trump’s behalf as well as whether he or his circle  obstructed justice, and/or  engaged in financial crimes.

The GOP Congress  has done more than just nothing. They have become  Trump's active partners in his attempt to obstruct   Mueller's criminal  investigation of Trump, a subject of the investigation,  by demanding investigations of the investigators and  unmasking of FBI informants, Now  Mueller's boss, Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is  under a threat of  firing,  or contempt of Congress unless evidence Mueller found to date be turned over to Trump and the GOP to help with  Trump's self serving defense . Rosenstein agreed to brief them but only GOP Congress people were invited, excluding Democrats., That makes this so ultra partisan and deck stacking Trump supportive, it  is more than making a  joke  of the House  Intelligence Committee's bi partisan oversight purpose for which it was established,  or  violating the established  rules of discovery in a criminal case. It is clearly obstruction of justice by the President for his own benefit, and  of GOP Congresspeople obstructing justice as well.. 

The  House Intelligence Committee headed by a GOP Trump loyalist, Rep. Devin Nunes, cut short their investigation, refused to call key witnesses, and announced there was no there, there. A Senate committee  showed more spunk, concluding  there was some “there there”, that Russians did interfere in the 2016 elections to support Trump. Duh. Their findings were issued after the text of Mueller's  indictments of thirteen Russians provided the evidence and public release of thousands of Facebook ads   engineered and paid for by Russians ,  and after a report issued  by US intelligence agencies in January 2017.

 In the meantime, the GOP  Senate is attempting to control  an independent judiciary for future years,  fast tracking approval of nominees to 140  lifetime positions as judges in federal courts who  pass GOP ideological public policy litmus tests instead of  showing a devotion to interpretations  based on independent judgment and legal precedent. 

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