Faux News: Green Light, Baby. A Faux News Editorial.

I thought I was watching Saturday Night Live. Someone impersonating the famous Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, was making the hilarious argument before the U.S. Senate that the President of the United States could do literally anything he wanted as long as the president thought it was in the “public interest of the country.” Trump believes that it is in the “public interest of the country” for him to be reelected. Ergo, he can do anything he wants related to his reelection. No exceptions.

Pretty funny.

But wait! This was not SNL. This was really happening.

Pretty scary.

Of course, the Republicans took the bait and rejoiced that one of the most famous lawyers in the country–a revered Harvard law professor, no less– was taking their side that Trump should not be convicted and thrown out of office for withholding military aid to a foreign ally pending an investigation of Hunter and Joe Biden. It appears that McConnell has the votes to prevent anyone from testifying and that the Senate trial should be over by the end of the week. While there never was a question as to the verdict by the Senate, the closing legal arguments by the Trump legal team raised more than a few eyebrows.

So not so fast Republicans. You could, one day, rue the day….

But in the meantime, what do you think the Trump reelection machine will be doing? Certainly, calls to Russia and China are on the to-do list, perhaps to other adversaries as well. Why stop with social media interference? Why not go whole hog? Hey, there are lots of opportunities for tampering with the voting machines and repressing voter turnout; and if that is what it takes to achieve what Trump believes is in the “public interest of the country,” there is not anything that anyone can do to stop him. According to the Republican legal team, he can’t be impeached, and since no sitting president can be tried for a crime while he or she is in office, Trump is covered. Green light, baby, whatever it takes. “All for the public interest of the country.”

It does not take a constitutional scholar to realize where this could take us. What if Trump were to determine that it was in the “public interest” for him to remain in office indefinitely, for martial law to be imposed, for the news media to be shut down? What if he actually were to shoot and kill someone on Fifth Avenue?

The United States of America is not a totalitarian country. Not yet. We still have a free press. So far. Political adversaries are not locked up. Not now. And we used to be able to say that our voting process assured the will of the people, that America was the shining light of democracy.  We know now that this is not the case because of all the money that corrupts elections, gerrymandering, and interference by foreign adversaries. Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 by three million votes and yet won in the Electoral College. Many think that the popular vote margin will be even greater in 2020. Yet we may be stuck with him for another four years.

Make no mistake: Our democracy is at risk. We have set the record for the longest lasting democracy on the planet Earth. But it is not guaranteed. I recall the words in a James Taylor song, “nothing lasts forever.” Watch out, America. We are getting close to the line.

Editor, Faux News


2 thoughts on “Faux News: Green Light, Baby. A Faux News Editorial.

  1. Joe,
    I saw that line of reasoning presented yesterday by, as I recall, one of Trump’s lawyers, paraphrasing and expanding on the Dershowitz testimony. It is, of course, ludicrous. The AP is reporting this morning that Dershowitz himself is calling it a gross distortion of his defense testimony.

    During the Watergate hearings someone asked someone ( I think it was Sam Rayburn asking John Erlichman ) if the president could order that someone be murdered, this in response to a similarly expansive description of executive privilege. I can’t remember the response, but he was most unsettled.

    This whole process is getting increasingly toxic for me. I have seen the video clips of Dershowitz, Nadler, Starr, and Schumer all making diametrically opposing arguments in 1998 compared with their arguments in 2020. I see why Pelosi dragged her feet so much in starting the impeachment process. At the end of the day, barring a new development of cosmic proportions, the Senate will not remove Trump from office and the national divide will be even worse. I think she saw that. She should have followed her initial instincts.


    1. So, JGK, you think Pelosi was wrong to call out Trump for trying to rig the 2020 election, with a foreign government, and using tax payer money no less?! No, what is wrong is a GOP that has completely lost its way to Trumpism, with shameless, cowardly congresspeople and enablers like that publicity-seeking fraud, Dershowitz. The “divide” is not because both sides are wrong. The dems did make a tactical error: they should have left the impeachment open all this year, so that people would not forget that we have a crook in the WH.

      A recent editorial in the NYT makes this point in a nice summary.
      From The New York Times:
      A Dishonorable Senate
      Republican legislators abdicated their duty by refusing to seek the truth.

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