Thursday, June 08, 2017

Me? Or your lyin' eyes?

Comey's testimony will be the subject of endless evaluations and assessments, including what he said and how he said it, and whether he said what I heard, or what you heard.

So it goes.

It all comes down to one thing, as Comey said in answer to a question:  who is more credible, Comey or Trump?

I have no reason not to believe Comey.  I have no reason to believe Trump if he says it's raining outside.  As many have noted, the man lies the way normal people breathe.

The question is not whether Comey can prove any crime in a court of competent jurisdiction, either, at least against Trump.  Nixon never faced a court trial on the question of obstruction of justice, and not just because Ford pardoned him.  Nixon resigned because he knew he was going to be impeached and removed from office (two separate steps, but he knew the fix was in).  Impeachment is a political process, and probably absent a tape of Trump committing a crime in the open way Nixon did on tape, he won't be impeached; not before 2018, anyway.

Nixon was guilty of many crimes, but when the tapes revealed undeniably and irrefutably that his actions were criminal, his Presidency was over.  That so seldom happens in real life it proves, not how venal Nixon was, but how stupid he was.  Without that tape the investigation and even the effort to impeach (just in the House) might well have consumed the rest of his second term.  A terrible outcome for American government, but completely Constitutional in practice.  Nixon damaged the country and the GOP, but the GOP didn't push him out until he was indefensible.  Trump may never reach that point.

Trump's presidency is over, regardless.  It is over in part because of Trump's stupidity, in part because of his gross incompetence, in part because of his sheer venality.  None of that may be criminal, in the legal sense or in the sense of the language of the Constitution ("high crimes and misdemeanors" are what the House says they are; look at the Clinton impeachment).  Trump brags that his tax bill is proceeding through the Congress, when there is no tax bill at all.  He claims to have repealed regulations that affect the construction of infrastructure across America, but regulatory repeal is a process, not a declaration.  Besides, unless Congress appropriates funds for infrastructure, it doesn't get built or repaired or replaced or improved.

Josh Marshall says Trumpcare may well become law, and quickly.  If he's right, it will be the GOP driving the nails into its own coffin.  Voters may forget, or not care, about the Paris accords; they may not care about Michael Flynn or even what Trump told the Russian ambassador in the Oval office.  They won't forget that they lost their healthcare, or that it became even more expensive, in 2018.

So it goes.

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