I found myself yesterday watching Harvard Law professor, Laurence Tribe, and former Solicitor General of the U.S., Kenneth Starr, discuss the possible impeachment of Trump over his firing of Comey. Tribe’s perspective was that Trump’s firing of Comey was an obstruction of justice and, therefore, was an impeachable offense; while Starr countered with his belief that the President was acting within his authority and his action would not lead to impeachment. To my dismay, I found myself agreeing with Starr. Since his ill-fated role as Special Prosecutor and then shabby ending as President of Baylor University, I had little regard for him and have thought that Tribe was a universally acknowledged constitutional scholar. However, what Tribe was saying makes no sense in the real world that we live in. Evidently, there is a liberal bubble that is so unhinged over Trump’s behavior, they can only pounce on every absurd thing he says and does and declare that his demise is just around the corner. Even with Trump’s most recent disclosure of classified information, I simply do not believe that is a viable perspective.
Now I am sympathetic to the view that Trump’s behavior is essentially absurd. His mendacity is boundless and those people who keep trying to view Trump as a normal person are trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. I will leave that futile task to those who believe they should blame James Comey and not Hillary Clinton for Trump being President. What we have is a political environment that is dysfunctional in several ways.
For starters, we have a President who is clueless about the job he has. His party, instead of being able to bring him into some field of normalcy, acts like he is not the embarrassment that he is in almost every situation. They lower their heads and pretend not to notice because their base constituents still like him. Instead of doing their jobs by pointing out to their constituents his problems and helping them understand what is going on, they are waiting for that moment to occur organically so they can then point out their differences when they will not have to pay a political price.
Before the Democrats reading this break out into applause, let me point out that Democrats are not doing their jobs either. Instead of coming up with legislation to fix Obamacare, they are hoping secretly that the Republicans will pass a bill like the House did to essentially eviscerate healthcare for millions. Then, they think, the midterm elections will sweep away the Republican majorities in Congress where, if successful, they can treat President Trump in a manner similar to the way the Republicans treated President Obama.
So what to do? What if the leaders of both parties decided to wall off their legislation from the fringes in each party? The Republicans would find things to pass and the Democrats could ensure certain things they hold dear. The President clearly understands nothing about policy nor does he care, so he will sign anything. Alas, this would require a degree of courage from Congress that doesn’t exist these days. Until Democrats start holding Democrats accountable and Republicans hold Republicans to a higher standard, we will wallow in the swamp of whether the involvement of the Trump campaign with Russia is the equivalent of the Clinton Foundation’s machinations to assure jobs for their friends and lucre for their leaders. If we are still stuck on that question for the next few months and years, nothing good will happen.