The rule of law is the basis for any democracy. And without the rule of law in democracy, you have chaos.
The above quote is attributed to Meles Zenawi who took over as head of the provisional government in Ethiopia in 1991 and later became the country’s 13th Prime Minister in 1995. He was instrumental in leading his country out of the chaotic and devastating 17 year civil war and turned it into one of the fastest growing economies on the African continent. His belief in the rule of law as the foundation of democracy is still true today as when he spoke of them all those years ago.
While Zenawi turned chaos into democratic stability, Donald Trump is taking his playbook and starting at the back of the book and working backward. The United States is one blackbird away from a pie of destruction, and he, his cronies, and the Republican Party don’t seem to give a hoot about that they are wrecking all the good things about America. They care little about what the nation stands for in the light of our freedom and past. The country is in trouble, and there doesn’t seem an end in sight.
It has gotten so bad I have stopped trying to sit down and write a blog on any single subject in the current era of Trump and company. By the time I finish one post, ten other equally galling and mind numbing incidents have occurred and mushroomed into an appalling scenario no one could have imagined in saner times. Yet, I cannot help but feel hope that the Ukraine debacle will spell the end of this reprehensible administration. Hopefully, the fall will come before the president completely destroys the government infrastructure or nukes some unsuspecting nation like Iran to garner points with his rabid base.
Yet, Americans of good conscious have been here before, were appalled, and knew in their hearts that America would rise up and kick Trump out of office. It did not happen. Take your scandal du jour; none of them from the vile pussy grabbing schizoid television spot to the caging of young children to kowtowing to dictators like Putin and Kim Jong Un have had no effect in bringing down the worst president in the nation’s history. It’s as if his orange pallor is the equivalent of a duck’s oily feathers that allows controversy to roll off his back with ease. This time feels different.
As of today, Rudy is in hot water in regard to his exposure and links with the two Russian political operatives who appear to have funneled foreign monies into the American political system in the form of donations to Trump supportive political action committees. The extent of the corruption is not known, but all indications seem to point to Rudy’s involvement which may have been illegal. If one or both of the Russian donors flips on Rudy, the pressure will be on Rudy to consider flipping on the president to save what little life outside of prison that he has left. This time it feels different.
Trump, of course, on his own plate has the brewing impeachment inquiry over his dealings with the Ukraine, the whistleblower, and obstruction of justice that he is committing by not allowing any member of his administration to testify or turn over documents detailing the president’s interaction with the Ukraine. Rumors are flying of other whistleblowers in the wings, and the reality of five court case losses over the past week that has to have Trump groveling in his empty fried chicken buckets like any number of sycophantic Senators who try to cover for him everyday to keep their seats. This time it feels different.
The thing about Trump is his inability to do the right thing. Or maybe, more apropos to his character, his peculiar penchant for doing the exactly wrong thing – take Syria for insance. Beyond the obvious fact that he is literally abandoning allies on the battlefield, he has set in motion a deadly conflict that today, a week into the fiasco, has already expanded with Turkish forces spreading out into a larger swath of destruction than was first projected. The Kurds, with their backs to the wall and no American support to help resist the attack, have turned to the Russians and the Assad regime for help fighting off the Turks as they push ever further south into Kurdish territory. Of course in hindsight, this is exactly what his advisers predicted and voiced to the president when he first discussed pulling out troops from the Syrian battlefield.
Trump’s reaction was predictable, if not constructive, when he commented on the Turkey/Kurdish relationship in the past with a particularly idiotic slam on the two nations and not just a bit ironic.
Trump added that the Kurds and Turks have been fighting for years, a reference to the decades-long Kurdish insurgency in Turkey.
“Others may want to come in and fight for one side or the other,” he said. “Let them! We are monitoring the situation closely. Endless Wars!” Washington Post
The bit about “We are monitoring the situation closely. Endless Wars!” is particularly galling considering he is responsible for the situation in the first place, and second, he created the “Endless War” scenario by pulling American troops out. It is as if Trump is playing army in a private sandbox on the back White House lawn positioning his little rubber GIs around the “battlefield” until he gets tired and cranky then he walks roughshod over the entire scene and quits in a fit of presidential pique. This time it feels different.
Resistance to Trump’s pull out has been swift and across the board. Even evangelicals seem to have grown a conscience (but not much of one) and are decrying the president’s Syria abandonment.
But after last Sunday night’s announcement from the White House that Trump was unilaterally pulling U.S. troops out of northern Syria, a potential crack appeared in Trump’s evangelical foundation. Christian media mogul Pat Robertson announced that he was “appalled” by Trump’s decision to abandon Kurdish allies by exiting Syria. If Trump does not reverse course, Robertson declared, he is “in danger of losing the mandate of Heaven.” Think
The military is far from happy to see Turkey’s incursion into the Syrian homeland which goes against past recommendations to the president on how to handle the situation. Diplomatic circles stepped up warnings that nothing good would come from Trump’s folly. A folly that was the only thing that was holding back Turkish forces from entering the country. Former national security team member, Brett McGurk, who resigned last December, called Trump’s actions “haphazard” and “almost unprecedented in an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition last Tuesday. This time it feels different.
While it is doubtful that American political harmony will ever regain a semblance of equanimity anytime soon, the warning signs that Trump is skating on thin ice are there for the near future. Will those rifts metastasize into an across the board rising up against the Orange One is anyone’s guess. The facts remain, however, that Trump, Rudy, Pompeo, Barr, and the other henchmen and women’s luster is growing a little dull in light of recent events. The fact that the Republicans in Congress cannot bring themselves to step up and condemn Trump’s more egregious faults and actions is still worrisome. However, until Trump’s power is diminished through impeachment, public opinion, or some other equally odious revelation, right now, this time it feels different.