Nailing Trump on a technicality will not fix America


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/20/nailing-trump-on-a-technicalit.html


#2

I don’t think anyone can stress it enough: Do not speak to police, save through a lawyer. And even then.


#3

Correct, nailing Trump on a technicality would be troublingly revealing of the ability to do so. However, if they do it all the time as a matter of course, I’m not the kind of person who’d want them to decide to stop at Trump of all people. Nail him, THEN get the attack of conscience and renounce any further wrongdoings.


#4

Trump is not the disease, he is the the symptom. We must treat the symptom, but if we don’t cure the disease, it’s just going to return stronger and more dangerous than before.


#5

You may be right, but the “disease” is the fact that the human species is too stupid to live reasonable lives, and I’m afraid there is no solution to that particular problem…


#6

I think this is an important case to make for the long run, but when you’ve got an acute case of glomerulonephritis, you get on those angiotensin receptor blockers to lower your blood pressure and stabilize your kidney function then look into a run of antibiotics/tonsil removal for the strep…


#7

This is trickle-down human rights. The “we shouldn’t do this to Trump because it’s bad when we do it to poor people” argument has yet to save a single poor person from this kind of treatment. On the contrary, I think treating the rich and well connected as badly as we treat the poor and marginalized is probably the only way the way we do business is going to change.


#9

There is a lot we can do: Cut out the corn syrup and other horribad stuff in the food. Increase spending on mental health. Embrace realistic socialism.

And that’s just for starters.


#10

But…

There is a big, big difference between, on the one hand:

Fibbing to the cops (accidentally, carelessly, or in a panic) when they’ve dragged you out of bed and have you trapped in a squad car in your pajamas (the Popehat story)

and on the other hand

Leaning on the Director of the FBI to drop an investigation when you are the President of the United States, and then firing him when he doesn’t take the hint.

One of those is a technicality, the other is Obstruction of Justice.


#11

Sure there is: http://www.vhemt.org/


#13

Maybe I’m hopelessly optimistic, but I think the disease is actually much more banal than that. Human nature doesn’t naturally produce Donald Trump Presidencies, it’s more specific to this time and place and dominant cultural ideology. And all of that is remarkably easy to change through simple participatory media and democracy.

Not that human nature isn’t a great enabler. :slight_smile:

Indeed. We must treat the symptom. But we can’t imagine that kicking Trump out of office is a fix (remember that Trump is a vile, vain, venal boob…but Mike Pence is actively, almost cartoonishly, evil). A necessary treatment, but a start, not an end.

I think an important wrinkle to that plan is that it is the rich and well connected that get to determine how different groups of people are treated. Donald Trump is getting this treatment - in part - because he’s a Washington Outsider ™. The well connected don’t get this treatment. Mike Pence, for instance, will not get this treatment.

If we take down Trump with semi-legal jujitsu, we won’t be able to repeat that on his successors, or those who see him as a martyr, and President Pepe 2024 will require a fresh strategy. At the same time, this semi-legal jujitsu will persist and be used on many, many more people - with proven efficacy.

In terms of a strategy to defeat Trumpism, it’d be a bit like cutting the head off the hydra. Not that we shouldn’t cut off that head, if it’s currently biting us, but we should also be looking for a poison that will kill the entire thing.


#14

tRump has a lot of those technicalities.


#15

I wouldn’t call it a plan. I recognize this problem. If Trump is impeached it will be because he angered the kind of people who he shouldn’t have angered. Peasants are still under the nobles’ boots even if the nobles might be brought down by court intrigues.

I’m just making the point that I’m tired of this, “We’ve got to protect Trump from capricious use of the law because we all need that protection.” “We’ve got to protect Ann Coulter’s right to spout hate so that we can protect the voices of marginalized groups too.” It’s smoke and mirrors trying to get us to think that somehow giving them a break will give actual marginalized people a break when it never will.

You are right (as is the headline) that nailing Trump on a technicality will not fix America. I take issue with the idea that we should worry about the injustice of doing so on the basis that nailing people on technicalities is unjust. Yes, it is unjust, but as long as anyone in the country is subject to that injustice, I will cheer rather than lament if the president gets that treatment as well.


#16

This is dumb. Reasserting the rule of law by holding Trump accountable to it needn’t “fix America” to be necessary and sufficient in itself. “It’s not enough to take Trump down—we have to fix America in the process!” is moving the goalposts to no real advantage for anyone who opposes Trump.

Trump is white and clearly very lucky. What exactly is your point and how does it follow from this article blurb from the (give me a fucking break) National Review of all places? Why are you endorsing the disingenuous argument that Trump should skate on his obvious (and admitted) crimes because isn’t it sad that “the weakest and poorest among us” are even more vulnerable? How exactly does impunity for the rich and powerful follow from the vulnerability of the poor and powerless?

The fact that law enforcement coerces weak/poor people into incriminating themselves does not mean that we shouldn’t hold our president to the same—or an even higher—standard of integrity and legal savvy. This also completely misses the point as to whether or not any of Trump’s “technicalities” (i.e., crimes) are actually “trifles.”


#17

I agree with you. Human nature has good and bad stuff and even some of the bad can be channeled for good. One thing I’d like to see is a effort from the political and intellectual classes to reconnect or at least regain the trust and respect that has been there periodically in the US.

I’d like it because then when some puffed up person in office made dubious claims about “the science just isn’t there” that wouldn’t be persuasive to usual people because they’d actually have the belief that the eggheads were there to help them.

I’d like to see a POTUS that was generally trusted. Maybe another FDR type? Sure he had his flaws but he also had the political skills to talk to people. Clinton came close but he’d retreat into technocrat lawyer mode.

It is possible.


#18

I could not possibly agree with this headline more.

What are those admitted crimes, exactly? I can’t find them among all the Comey and Putin chaff.


#19

Also because Mike Pence may be an evil bastard, but he isn’t a motor-mouthed idiot. Trump is getting the treatment he brings on himself from his ego. He is too proud/stupid to take advice from people who might be experts on a subject (hence the State and Defense departments are leaking like the Titanic to protect their own reputations). He has no experience having to live by public opinion. So he tweets like a twit and engages in self-destructive political behavior.


#20

What’s wrong with America isn’t that it’s able to convict people just for lying/obstruction. What’s wrong with America is that it was able to elect a Trump administration, and no matter the evidence of just how bad that is, there’s absolutely no recourse for 4 years.


#21

Was the potential crime of obstruction of justice that Nixon committed a “technicality?” It could probably never be proved that Nixon himself ordered the dirty tricks, but it was very clear that he conspired to cover them up and impede investigators. Seem far from a “technicality.”

The fact is that we don’t know what went on with the multiple Russian connections, and the efforts to prevent actually finding out about them are at best gross negligence, and at worst a serious pre-meditated crime. I am personally a tepid Russia skeptic, but I do think we need to have as open and thorough an investigation as possible.

I get the analogy that the article summary is suggesting; it was very lame for Bill Clinton to be impeached for lying about an affair with his subordinate during an investigation into real estate dealings. But I don’t know if people feel so bad about Al Capone being convicted and jailed for tax evasion… Sometimes the powerful are only susceptible to ‘trivial’ prosecutions because their wealth and influence haas shielded them from the rule of law. It’s a fucking travesty to suggest the best way to correct the failings of the legal system would be to start with the most powerful person in the country. He is not a victim.


#22

When Nixon resigned, the blue team (only then it was the red team, go figure!) rejoiced, certain they had achieved something. And then Reagan re-hired Nixons brain trust wholesale, prompting tge doonesbury “slime on parade” strip.

This is not the first time weve had a chance to learn this lesson and thsn blew it.