My Turn

Opinion: Chilling reminders of the Republican president's character

By Stephen Long, Arroyo Seco
Posted 4/3/19

It appears "General Cover-Up" William Barr has fulfilled his promise to Trump and the "Republi-cons" by not holding a president responsible for criminal behavior. Barr won his nickname during the …

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My Turn

Opinion: Chilling reminders of the Republican president's character

Posted

It appears "General Cover-Up" William Barr has fulfilled his promise to Trump and the "Republi-cons" by not holding a president responsible for criminal behavior. Barr won his nickname during the Bush Sr. era by getting a number of criminals off and stopping the investigation into the Iran-Contra affair. I don't need Barr or Mueller to tell me Trump wasn't in collusion with the Russians. I watched him on TV as he implored the Russians to investigate Hilary Clinton's emails. I also watched him admit that he fired Comey to stop the Russian investigation. Moreover, on the Howard Stein show he admitted that he "inspected" underage girls at the Miss Teen USA and we all saw him brag about sexually assaulting women.

With over two years of anxiety-producing "reality TV" shenanigans, the nation has taken steps towards curbing the excesses of the Trump administration. Of course this wouldn't be happening had the Democrats not taken the House. It appears we might finally hold the Republicans accountable, though their compliance with Trump's criminal insanity appears unwavering and cultish.

Republican behavior at the Michael Cohen hearings was simply repulsive. Florida Congressman Mark Gaetz's open badgering and threats against Cohen bordered on unlawful. Mark Meadows' openly racist behavior invited criticism (which he vehemently denied), though by evening's end, video of the North Carolina congressman openly calling for Obama's return to Kenya was widely circulated. The Republicans were lockstep in their attacks on Cohen without ever addressing the issues raised around Trump's criminal enterprise and constant lying, at this point, 9,000 plus lies (according to the Washington Post and PolitiFact, March 2019).

Then there was Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan doing his usual schtick around an energetic misrepresentation of the facts, something he is well rehearsed in. Who can forget his denials around the sexual abuse scandals that took place at Ohio State? Of course, lying has become a standard political practice among Republicans.

You have to wonder at the constant sexual innuendo that swirls around Trump concerning harassment and pedophilia. With over 18 women making claims against the POTUS and his support for Roy Moore in Alabama, it makes paying off a porn star look relatively minor.

And then there is Trump's association with a certain Jeffery Epstein. In the last few weeks a Florida judge has ruled that laws were broken when Epstein was given a "sweetheart" deal that gave him a slap on the wrist for industrial scale abuse of underage girls aged between 13 and 16.

And who was responsible for making the "deal"? Current Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta. Acosta was being considered for heading the justice department when the scandal broke, instead they chose William Barr, who hails from the same law firm. Barr is best known for his obstruction of justice in the Iran-Contra affair that should have put people like George H. Bush, Oliver North and Elliot Abrams in jail.

Of course, we know where Abrams is now.

Surely one of the more chilling statements made by Cohen during the hearings was his insistence that Trump really meant it when he said that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his followers would let him get away with it. But I find Cohen's warning for the future of this country even more chilling: "I fear that if [Trump] loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power."

Stephen Long lives and writes in Arroyo Seco.

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