By Philip Drucker
Many of you may have noticed the Trumped Up Beyond All Recognition Transition to a Guilty of Sedition Tradition of Indecision and Revisionist History Division making a mockery of our laws over of all things Hail King Cheatos tax returns. Keeping in mind the issue isn't whether his 1040EZ cash me outside money form isn't about outright and undeniable evidence of federal, state, criminal and civil infractions, indiscretions and acts of outright fraud, usually with a bit of abstract, surreal, crude and unusual acts lunacy added in, just because he could, I guess. So, let's talk about what's really going on here, shall we?
There is a group of individuals, some affiliated, some not, who, imbued with a little bit of money, power and an undeservedly high opinion of themselves and their actual importance to this world have been for years, with some degree of success, obsessed with the idea of doing away with the quaint but annoying idea that America is a democracy and that we, the people elect our own leaders.
To begin with, elections are so messy and lately, they have become increasingly expensive to rig and win. Accordingly, ROI on bought politicians is down and as they say in the business world, pricey to say the least. So, what to do? The right answer, the best answer, is usually the simplest answer. Let's do away with elections altogether. After all, this is American and in America, theoretically, you can vote away your right to vote. The easiest way? Elect a fascist dictator and let him (or her) take from there. Make no mistake, right here, right now, I, you, we, are there.
Let's look at some of the obvious signs of our descent into a state of early term fascism. Starting with the low hanging rotting on the vine vile mango colored fruit, our president, is an out and out disgrace to all that is good, sacred, and hasn't yet passed its expiration date. We can trace the recent history. Reagan started it. An actor, dumb as a rock to start and for the most part and fading into old age dementia as Nancy, his darling but as I recall very nasty wife consulted with various astrologers for guidance before coming out of the royal bedroom to announce "what Ronnie said."
But that didn't get the job done. Ronnie raised taxes at least 12 times, tripled the deficit and grew the size of the Federal budget as a matter of percentage to GDP and caused a recession. But, alas, those pesky Democrats elected Clinton and put the country back on the track of fiscal responsibility and yes indeed, financial stability and success. The audacity of leaving a surplus budget. How dare he! So they went lower.
Enter into the star chamber King George W. Bush II, forever to be known as, or at least should be known as the idiot son who never should have attained the crown, but did. At first glance, he looked the part. Far dumber than Reagan, even richer with no sense of "the people." Someone who admittedly and out loud said America was a great place because a single mother could get a third menial, minimum wage McJob to support her three children if she needed to.
I'd say he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but his foot was already planted firmly within with no room to spare. Dense as a dwarf star with the limited brain capacity to match. He watched as we were attacked on our own soil. He lied us into an unnecessary and costly war. He oversaw the massive housing collapse and tanked the economy. The idea of an "I'm the only one who can fix it" demagogue as a false prophet of salvation was starting to look good. Wasn't it?
Then we got Obama. He fixed it all and gave us health insurance to boot. And ever worse for those who would lead us to an indentured captivity (whether we realized it or not) aka slavery, he was a man of color. A competent, caring, loving, virtuous man of color. The nerve. How dare he? Many a would be monarchy maker would have stopped. But the cabal, individually and collectively, we're dealing with? They are playing the long game and the Obama years were nothing more than a speed bump. The real question was, what's next? In their twisted twister game of limbo, just how low could they go?
As it turns out, quite a bit lower. In fact, way lower. A low I tell you not entirely unanticipated by the Founding Fathers, oh, they knew plenty of decadent and incompetent heads of state in their time, but as with every Rube Goldberg invention, including the US Constitution, there are only so many snakes and ladders, bumps and balls you can shake, rattle and roll until Mousetrap! And the curtain on democracy falls. Exit reality television star, stage (very) right.
Yesterday, May 12, 2020, the US Supreme Court heard oral but far less than sexual, or maybe not arguments to decide the issue of whether the President of the United States is above the law. If he is, then it is indeed, game over for democracy. Game over for the land of the free and the home of the brave. Why? We are no longer free because we were no longer brave. As a nation, we caved. And all over the issue of whether a president must show his tax returns, which BTW is not an actual black letter law mandate of the Constitution.
Or, maybe it is. Let's break it down. There are two suits seeking the tax returns and associated documents via lawful subpoena from a third party. One plaintiff is New York, a state, in context of a criminal matter. The other seeker is the Congress, specifically the House of Representative in a civil matter related to its power of oversight of the Executive branch. Add in the necessary and proper clause and it's hard to see how Congress does not have the virtually black letter right to enforce a legally issued subpoena on a third party whether it is related to the president's personal finances, before, during or after the presidency. Now, here's where it gets really tricky.
If the SCOTUS rules for Trump on both cases, we have our answer. It's a power grab of immense size and scope reaching all the way down into the inner workings and intestines of Brett Kavanaugh and possibly even further down the GrIft track to former Justice Kennedy, who curiously retired at an awkwardly suspicious age, and onto Kennedy's son who just so happens to have worked at Deutsche Bank, the target of the third-party subpoena. Oh, and we're screwed.
If however, if Trump, his useful idiot status now running dry, becomes the sacrificial, formerly fattened orange calf but now ripe for slaughter on the altar of maintaining the privilege and status of the richest, wealthiest and probably going to die of high blood pressure and cholesterol soon anyway among us, he loses both cases, and his financial records are exposed. Then, he, and his crime syndicate family friends and assorted reptiles and amphibians are going to wish all they were in was a swamp, as opposed to a world of hurt, hurt and more hurt.
There is a third way. The limited immunity way. Meaning, while Trump, or any other living breathing, higher than single-celled organism has immunity from any kind of legal proceedings, including responding to a lawfully issued subpoena by and party for any reason, during their time in office. Ever heard of a slippery slope? Would "they" the puppet master be happy with this result? Chip chip chip? Possibly. They are after all playing the long game.
Soon, and certainly before the next election, we will know the answer to all of the above. If I had to guess, I'd say the State will win gold, with Congress getting the sliver, getting their request complied with only after Trump is out of office. How that would work in real life is anyone's guess. Real life of course being of little use to the White House these days. It could happen. If so, then only thing we won't know is, regardless of the outcome, what's next? How much lower than a Trump can you go?
I suppose given the relative intelligence of our current electorate, we could elect a known serial killer, a currently unemployed dictator with a nice genocide or two on his resume (anyone know where Pol Pot is these days?). Or a member of the Kim Jong Un family. I hear his sister is available. Perhaps the Grand Wizard, Duke of Earl of whatever of the KKK? Or hey, why not ISIS? I hear there are very fine people on both sides. At least, that's what I've heard.
Namaste. Be that inner spark of life you have always wanted to be.