There’s a constitutional crisis on the horizon. Will Congress and John Roberts’ Supreme Court intervene or aid and abet?
What led to this perfect storm?
- The digital revolution empowers individuals and organizations, while blurring the ability to distinguish fact from fiction.
- The rapidity of economic change resulting from said revolution has left many behind.
- With no regulatory oversight, is the nation safe from those seeking to destabilize us? Nyet.
- The White House is occupied by a thin-skinned narcissist who discredits those with whom he disagrees.
The balance of power envisioned by the Constitutional framers included unwritten assumptions. One was that organic tension between the branches would prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful.
Another was the power of the unnamed Fourth Branch, we, the people, represented by the Media. Jefferson reasoned, “when the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” Unfortunately, Jefferson didn’t envision a free press trivialized by an unregulated internet.
Thin-skinned, Donald has historicallty struggled with the press. When threatened, he responds with knee-jerk litigious groin kicks, NDAs, and PR campaigns flaunting himself. And his election cries of “Fake News” were not part of an Executive Branch power grab. Pshaw! He’s not that strategic.
Like a real life “Dr. Evil”, Trump is a bumbling super-villain who styles himself as a dictator, and somehow managed to get close to his goal. And like the cartoonish, yet all too real villain he is, Trump comes complete with such fictional villain tropes as derisive nicknames for his foes, brow beaten henchmen who praise him effusively and swear his every lie is true, constant, outlandish bragging, and insisting that press reports are lies.
Nonetheless, in this perfect storm of circumstances his attacks have resonated with his base:
- Those not knowing better who believe Trump’s lies
- Those basking in the glow of Trump’s racist empowerment.
- Those embracing the notion of running the country like a for-profit business.
- Those profiting financially from criminally-irresponsible deregulatory agenda, and sham tax reform.
- Those ideologues, enamoured with the appointment of extremist Federal judges who will wreck havoc on the nation for decades.
Trump’s playbook is straightforward. Delegitimization of his enemies with the support of his Fox propaganda machine, led by the American Goebbels, Sean Hannity. With Fox News parroting Trump’s bald-faced lies, Jefferson’s notion of a free press and the power of the Fourth Branch has been largely negated, now no more than just another echo in the chamber.
Much of the Legislative Branch have revealed themselves as cowards and quitters, supine like a treasonous weasel submitting to an even bigger, treasonous, orange weasel. Is there hope for Congress? Recently the Freedom Caucus seemingly rediscovered its spinal cord, joining Democrats to defeat the Farm Bill. Aberration or sign o’ the times to come? For now, a majority of the GOP prefer first class accommodations on the Trump Titanic, ignoring the Mueller iceberg looming ahead.
When Mueller reveals three-ringed binders full of high crimes and misdemeanors, will the Roberts Court, mindful of its own legacy, especially after the disastrous Citizens United ruling, do the right thing? Will the GOP remember their oaths or fight the facts, fight history, all in the name of an indecent, greedy thug.
Stay tuned. As Trump continues his assault on the pillars of America’s Democracy, the separation of powers, and the branches of our government, and society, this is going to get worse before it gets better.