Friday, November 30, 2018

Trump wants political opponents tried for treason

I have been wondering if Trump's sending the military to the border to deal with the migrant caravan was not just to get his base to the polls for the mid-terms, but also to nudge the military toward obeying him even when he issues illegal orders.

This week, President Donald Trump retweeted an image that accuses multiple political opponents of committing treason against the United States of America, demanding that they be prosecuted and imprisoned for their crime.

Think about that for a moment, because it is extraordinary. The chief executive of the United States is urging the government that he heads, the people whom he can hire and fire, to arrest those who dare to oppose him. He is equating resistance to his rule and criticism of his actions to acts of betrayal against the nation itself.

In the image tweeted by Trump, the gallery of accused traitors sitting behind prison bars includes Hillary Clinton, the she-devil of every Trump rally. She shares that crowded prison cell with 10 other people, including special counsel Robert Mueller, former FBI Director James Comey. Two predecessors as president, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, are also among those who are targeted as traitors to be punished.


Some would like to pretend that such statements are not to be taken seriously, even though they come from the president and even though Trump has made similar statements at least a half dozen times in just the past few days, demanding that the Department of Justice begin to prosecute his Democratic enemies. It’s also important to note that by removing Jeff Sessions as attorney general and refusing to name a permanent replacement, Trump has succeeded in installing a hand-picked right-wing political hack as “temporary” head of the Department of Justice, neatly stripping the Senate of its constitutional right to “advise and consent” on such appointments.

Among other things, it’s an ominous sign that the Trump White House is seeking and in this case finding ways to work around safeguards written into the Constitution by the Founders.


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