Often times when I write these…whatever the hell they are…I remind anyone in the unenviable position of reading them that I’m not a political scientist. I’m a comedian. So what the hell do I know? But I approach political satire and comedy from a historical perspective; because nothing to me rings more true than, “Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to vote for Donald Trump.” Or, at least I think that’s how the axiom goes.
One thing I know for certain though? Republicans didn’t learn their lesson from Richard Nixon. At least not enough of them did. Because that man was a walking, talking imperious president if ever there was one. It’s hilarious to me that the GOP has called every Democrat to hold office kings or imperious, and yet the guy who made the phrase, “When the president does it, it’s not illegal,” was Richard Nixon, a Republican.
Now, in President Trump we have someone even worse than Nixon. Because not only does he think he’s above the law, unlike Tricky Dick, he doesn’t have a faction within his own party willing to hold him accountable. It’s the same story that’s been told about Donald Trump his whole life — monumental fuck-up with absolutely zero accountability. And all the while, Republicans both in office and in the streets are turning a blind eye to his absolute disregard for the rule of law and established norms.
Keep in mind that, like Nixon, Trump ran on being the “law and order” candidate. Remember, the right fear mongers over Black Lives Matter because they can use it to demonstrate some rising lack of respect for law enforcement officers. Instead of us taking a good, hard look at how we train cops, we assume they’re always right, and the Republicans in this country lap that shit up with a fork, knife, spoon, and dump it into a feeding trough to swallow it whole.
But just looking at the Russian collusion scandal gives you all the insight you need into figuring out that Republicans actually don’t respect the rule of law in the slightest. The shifting narrative from the Trump team has been comically bad…at least for any Democrat who was in office with a Republican majority Congress. Think about how much the talking points have changed.
We’ve gone from:
All from the “Law and Order” candidate from the “personal accountability” party. If we can’t even rely on the Republicans to call bullshit on this whole Russian mess, we can’t assume they’ll do anything to protect the public from the machinations of a piss-haired, tiny-fingered, trust fund racist piece of shit.
To think about the idea of the president pardoning himself is an exercise in farcical philosophies. If we accept this alternate reality that the GOP is proposing — one where presidents can pardon everyone and anyone, including themselves, that renders any law moot and unenforceable on the president and his close circle. That, my good people, is another way of saying, “dictatorship.” The very idea of the presidency isn’t that it’s some kingly position above the law. It’s a servant position that’s supposed to protect and uphold the law.
What exactly would stop a president from just being sworn in and immediately pardoning himself and his cabinet for any future laws they break? The precedent set by a self-pardoning president is that nothing matters once you win the election. We’ve resisted that bullshit for 241 years, but leave it to the “We want our country back” mouth breathers to tear down that wall in order to build their racist, anti-Mexican wall instead.
When you have people like Rand Paul, who professes a sexual love of the Constitution, telling us that he thinks the president can just pardon himself, you have a four alarm fire on your hands. Does Randy think it’d be cool if Trump pardoned himself for killing someone? What, exactly, is the point of any law if the president doesn’t have to follow it.
For eight grueling years, we had to listen to Republicans insist that Barack Obama didn’t respect the rule of law. Because he had to respond to obstruction from the right, and had to improvise some executive solutions to problems, they saw him as a usurper, taking power away from the people But just imagine the squeals if Blacky McDemocraticPresident had talked about pardoning himself, much less Crooked Hillary.
They would have him impeached, removed from office, drawn, and quartered before noon. Because they pretend to love the rule of law. They pretend to worship the Constitution. But they don’t.
I remember being a young Republican in my late teens, and I remember being told by older Republicans that Nixon got a raw deal. Over the years as I took more and more advanced history courses, I realized what an utter sham that notion is. Nixon wielded, or attempt to wield, the power of the presidency for purely personal gain, and used the federal government to punish his adversaries. This is what Trump wants, and it’s what Republicans salivate over…a return to Nixonianism.
Republicans don’t hate lawless presidents. They pine after them. They don’t loathe cheaters and criminals, they elect them. Over and over again, since the Civil Rights era, they’ve elected buffoons, war criminals, and criminally buffoonish war criminals.
Fuck it guys. America is over. It was pretty rad being alive for the dying breaths though.