Something broke in America this week

Photograph of the diorama of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 at the Chicago History Museum. Much of America feels like that night in Chicago.

It’s a Twitter thread from David Rothkopf. It’s not hopeful, but it’s important to read and digest.

Rothkopf is CEO of the Rothkopf Group, a high-level consulting firm on international and world problems, based in Alexandria, Virginia.

Rothkopf continued his Tweet thread (I won’t post all the Tweets here, just the main content):

The Attorney General sneered at the Congress and placed himself imperiously above its questions. He continued to arrogate onto himself what portions of the Mueller Report–paid for by the people, essentially in its totality to the Congress to do its duty–we would see.

He asserted again that he was the final arbiter of whether obstruction of justice by the president had taken place. He even went so far as to imply that law enforcement authorities carrying out their duty to protect America were somehow “spying”, perhaps illicitly…

David Rothkopf @djrothkopf; his profiles says, ” Proud father of J & L, husband of C, CEO, The Rothkopf Group; host,Deep State Radio;, author of this & that.”

on the Trump campaign. (Ignoring that the reasons for the investigation in question were not only sound…but the core reason…that Russia had sought to aid the Trump campaign in the election had been proven again by Mueller.)

At the same time, the Secretary of the Treasury and the head of the IRS determined to violate a law that required in no uncertain terms for them to provide the president’s tax returns to the chairman of the House Ways and Means committee.

to those who break the law, encouraging a crime and abetting it. We learned that they considered an egregious abuse of power that would involve releasing illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities controlled by Democrats.

We saw the president complain that our military would not rough up immigrants. We saw him continue the charade of an emergency at our southern border which was an excuse for him illegally divert government resources to an unnecessary, racist, vanity project.

The president repeatedly called law enforcement officers who investigated him traitors, guilty of treason–a crime that carries with it the death penalty. We discovered that the president considered appointing his grossly unqualified daughter to be head of the World Bank.

It is the stuff of the world’s most dysfunctional governments. But rather than generating a response from within our system commensurate with the threat, nothing occurred. The GOP leaders in the Senate circled round the president and supported his abuses.

In so doing, they sent a message that they would never challenge him much less convict him of the myriad crimes he has committed. The checks and balances our system was built upon are gone. Worse, the courts are being packed with Trump cronies–often unqualified.

Agencies are being left to appointed caretakers some outside the normal chain of succession, many unconfirmed for their current posts by the Senate. Political opponents tip-toed around these crimes daring not to appear “too extreme.”

This is how democracies die. The rule of law is slowly strangled. The unthinkable becomes commonplace. The illegal becomes accepted–from violations of the emoluments clause to self-dealing to Federal election law crimes to serial sexual abuse.

What once was black and white blurs into grey. Right and wrong, old principles, enduring values, fade from memory. Authoritarians arrive in our midst not in tanks but in bad suits and worse haircuts.

I have long thought our system was better than this–more resilient. But candidly, I’m no longer sure. I remain hopeful…hopeful that the next election cycle can redress this manifold wrongs. But it will not be easy. It will be too close. Trump may be with us for six more yrs.

Why? Because we allowed ourselves to become inured to the unthinkable. We are dying the death of a thousand cuts. Right now, this week, the president and his band of thugs are winning. They have become unabashed in their attacks on the law.

They are daring someone to enforce it. But what if…what if the courts rule against them but they ignore it? What if the Treasury Secretary has violated a law and no one arrests him. What if the president steals and canoodles with enemies and he goes unpunished?

Their crimes will only grow more egregious and their ways will only grow more ingrained in our system. Their violations will in fact become the system itself. Corruption will be the norm-greater corruption,to be sure,since it it was corruption that got us here in the first place.

End of the Tweet thread from David Rothkopf

Here is how some others responded on Twitter.

What do you think? Comments are open.

7 Responses to Something broke in America this week

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    1. Mueller did NOT determine there was no collusion with Russians. In addition, the Mueller report raises the possibility of collusion with Saudis and Israelis. Mueller said he could not interview everyone — but there are more than 100 indictments of Russian entities who violated U.S. campaign laws.

    Mueller said, without too much reading between the lines, that Trump and his campaign acted too stupidly to call it collusion, and may have technically avoided violating the law on that basis. There were plenty of other crimes, however, and Trump aides have already pleaded guilty, been convicted by jury trials, and have served prison time. Don’t pretend that’s normal, or that such a high degree of criminality in Trump’s campaign among his most-trusted aides doesn’t touch Trump. Mueller said he could NOT exonerate Trump.

    2. Did Trump obstruct the investigation by being too stupid to understand the law, and too lazy to look it up, and too ignorant to know what the FBI briefings told him, and too disorganized to have the mechanisms in place that every other federal campaign has to prevent illegal foreign meddling? Perhaps.

    If so, that disqualifies him and his entourage from serving in the White House or in any other federal capacity.

    3. FBI Director is nominated for set term, and may be fired only for cause. According to Trump, Comey was fired for doing the FBI director’s job, not for doing a poor job. Comey refused to violate the law.

    3.1 Rosenstein did NOT recommend Comey be fired. It’s clear from testimony which Trump does not contend that he decided to fire Comey for not stopping the investigation of Trump’s Russia connections and connivings. Rosenstein’s memorandum was an attempt to paper over obstruction of justice. That makes it another obstruction in itself — not in Rosenstein’s detailing actions of Comey, but in Trump’s illegal use of the memo to justify Trump’s solo illegal actions.

    3.2 Under the Constitution, Trump has no right to dismiss an investigation of Trump, and under statute his interference in any such investigation is an obstruction of justice. Anger is not a reason to violate the law. .

    If you want to indict Rosenstein, be my guest. You should review the law on conspiracy before you blunder ahead, though.

    4. Mueller report details 10 times Trump obstructed justice. Mueller said in the report that no indictments were proposed because DOJ rules prohibit that. No other reason. Mueller said the resolution of the crimes is up to Congress. In short, Mueller said Congress should impeach and convict and remove Trump.

    5. Had Mueller declined to take a position on obstruction, that would not have meant there was no obstruction. Mueller was quite specific, that he could not take position for indictment due to DOJ regulations, but evidence is much too extensive to excuse Trump. No exoneration, Mueller said. In short, “Impeach and convict.”


  2. David Xavier says:

    A couple observations:

    First, if there was no collusion( as determined by the Mueller report), there was nothing to obstruct and little reason to obstruct it.

    Did Trump obstruct the investigation by being innocent, knowing he was innocent , asserting he was innocent , tweeting he was innocent …. ??

    The FBI Director is nominated by the President and reports to the Attorney General and, ultimately, the President. If the President thinks he is doing a poor job …he has a duty to fire him. Trump fired Comey after receiving written recommendations from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he do so. No doubt Trump was angry about the Russia hoax ( as determined by the Mueller report but Trump knew at the time he innocent) at the time, but that can hardly transform his proper termination of an underperforming FBI Director into obstruction.

    If Comey’s firing were criminal obstruction then Rosenstein, having requested it, would be a co-conspirator.

    Robert Mueller’s report declines to address whether various actions on the part of President Trump constituted obstruction of justice.

    Doesn’t “declining” to take a position on whether there was obstruction or not mean there was no obstruction? If they couldn’t find it, it wasn’t there; if they can’t find any strong evidence, there isn’t any.


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Read the report again.

    Most obvious case of obstruction was Trump’s firing FBI Director James Comey in order to stop the investigation of his campaign.


  4. david xavier says:

    Wow …No collusion! But ten counts obstruction, that’s serious …and Mueller’s a prosecutor but left no recommendations which he was supposed to do ..maybe something about them is different or unpersuasive. Can you give me your best single charge of obstruction? Just one … the best one! I’m open to being swayed.


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Obstruction of justice, ten counts as listed in the Mueller report.


  6. David xavier says:

    “…..they would never challenge him much less convict him of the myriad crimes he has committed.”

    What are these (alleged) crimes….the crimes that Nancy wants Trump to go to prison for… because assumely that are manifestly obvious and dont require a trial?

    The DNC vowed ‘Resistance’ to the Trump administration by any means possible, it goal was to bring down a newly elected president…i guess thats just democracy in action… not the result , lets cook up a little collusion by Trump ( which we knew about before the elction but though so unimportant taht we waited until we got a result we didnt like, before we ramped it up the TRump knew crap).

    The collusion charge is now debunked. The obtrusction charge was determened to be bunk ( Mueller made no recomendations) and Barr and Rosenstein decided it to be to hairy fairy.

    Meanwhile , the DNC , Hollywood, the media bashes Trump, congress wants his tax reutrns and a million more investigations ( gotta love democracy) and he just tweets back! Behold the dictator!

    There is a crisis on the southern border …but its politically suits the democracts to ignore it to the detriment of its citizens. Trump the dictator implores the democrats to help , they do not….what a dictator….a very poor one at that!

    meanwhile all the economy figures are good, Norks are sort of negoitating , China trade is being reset , NATO allies are paying there share , Iran is being squeezed , ….its being called the GOLDEN TIMES .

    But apparently “America is spiralling downwards and democracy is broken” ….. well thats called the oppositon party frailling at the good times being delivered . To poist the above as objective is a sign of our partisan times …you should have declared that Rothkopf is a Democrat, a clinton appointee and has said he voted for President Barack Obama twice


  7. Yes, as Rothkopf wrote, “This is how democracy dies.” And right before our eyes! Will nothing stop it?


Please play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes. While your e-mail will not show with comments, note that it is our policy not to allow false e-mail addresses. Comments with non-working e-mail addresses may be deleted.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: