The presidency in trouble
Fernando Mendez | 7/29/2017, 4:51 p.m.
Politicians get the lowest grades from the public. Donald Trump is the least popular American politician in three decades. Perhaps his incessant tweeting is responsible for the bad image. He contradicts himself and contradicts his staff and cabinet. He contradicted Sean Spicer so many times that he could not take it anymore and decided to quit. Well, that and the fact that Trump brought in Anthony Scaramucci. Plus the fact that Sarah Huckabee Sanders had taken the podium and was able to deflect questions with ease. All she ever says when there is a question about topics she doesn't like is: “I will look into that and get back to you.” Which of course she never does. But back to Trump. He is a fascinating figure in American politics because he came out of nowhere--politically speaking--to gain the presidency. And that is the new word he is using. Session’s recusal, he tells us, “is bad for the presidency.” And that explains a couple of things. He forgets that there are three branches of government. And for Sessions, the obligation to serve the constitution trumps Trump’s needs. He took the oath of office like all the other public servants swearing allegiance to the country and the constitution, not the person who occupies the White House. As John McCain reminded his colleagues in the great speech he gave on Tuesday night, “We are not the president’s subordinates, we are his equals.” Trump doesn't understand or doesn't want to accept the constitutional requirement that forced Sessions to recuse himself. The constitution clearly states that public officials cannot investigate a campaign if they have been part of the campaign, which Sessions was. He was the first senator to support Trump at great risk to his standing in the senate. At that point Trump was an unknown politician and few gave him a chance to win. Now Trump speaks mockingly of Session’s support saying that he didn’t need him “because I won Alabama by a wide margin.” Nevertheless, Sessions lied in his testimony when he said he had not talked to the Russians about the Trump campaign. He amended his statement later and admitted to speaking to Ambassador Sergey Kislyak whose report to Putin about two encounters with Sessions was intercepted by U.S. intelligence. For that reason Sessions has to go, but it is very inconvenient for the president to fire him at this point. Unexpectedly, Session’s firing would be a reason for the GOP legislators to challenge Trump. So, Sessions is dirty, Trump is dirtier and can’t move against the former senator who is being protected by his former colleagues. Many images come to mind upon contemplating this scene. One is called a Mexican standoff, in which the parties involved cannot fire at each other without being exposed to danger. The other is a _(fill in any country) firing squad, based on cartoonish concepts, in which the soldiers awaiting the order to fire are standing in a circle. The Trump White House is at this point looking very much like those cartoons, and the president is in the middle of this.
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