For Trump, loyalty to him is more important than loyalty to America.
1. “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,” Trump told then FBI Director James Comey in January – even though FBI directors are supposed to be independent of a president, and Comey was only 4 years into a 10 year term. After Comey refused and continued to investigate possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, Trump fired him.
2. Preet Bharara, who had been the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Trump tried to create the same sort of patronage relationship with him that he did with Comey. Bharara’s office had been investigating Trump’s secretary of health and human services, Tom Price, and also looking into Russian money-laundering allegations against Deutsche Bank, Trump’s principal private lender. When Bharara didn’t play along, Trump fired him.
3. Although most of his Cabinet still don’t have top deputies in place, the White House has installed senior aides to monitor their loyalty. As Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign adviser, explained to the Washington Post, “they’re functioning as the White House’s voice and ears in these departments.”
4. Last Monday, the White House invited reporters in to watch what was billed as a meeting of Trump’s Cabinet. After Trump spoke, he asked each of the Cabinet members around the table to briefly comment. Their statements were what you might expect from toadies surrounding a two-bit dictator.
5. His top advisers are his daughter, Ivanka, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
6. To run his legal defense and be his spokesman on the investigation into collusion with Russian operatives, Trump has hired Marc Kasowitz – who’s been Trump’s personal legal fixer for almost two decades – representing him in his failed libel lawsuit against a journalist, the Trump University fraud case that ended in January with a $25 million settlement from Trump, and candidate Trump’s response to allegations of sexual assault by multiple women last year. Bypassing the White House Counsel, Kasowitz has instructed White House aides to discuss the investigation as little as possible, and advised them about whether they should hire private lawyers.
When loyalty trumps integrity, we no longer have a government of laws. We have a government by and for Trump.
What do you think?Robert Reich
Which is why #ImpeachTrump will be a thing, if not for any other reason. He will have to be impeached because he cannot do the job the presidency requires. He cannot because he doesn’t understand what a president is and so cannot fathom the responsibility of the office. He’s not alone in this. There are many other Tea Party Republicans who don’t understand the responsibility of their offices. Anyone who thinks they are in office to execute the things they believe is not representing anyone other than themselves. This is the problem with conservatism in general, Republicanism and to some extent neo-liberalism and the Democratic party of the Clinton era.
All of these groups were made of individuals that were put into positions of power because they were sure of the things they believed and could present their certainty as a selling point. That is not the way that a representative democracy works in principle. A representative democracy is made up of a power-wielding citizenry that delegates portions of its authority and power to trusted individuals who will act in their collective interest. The federal and state legislatures should feel they are as beholden to the homeless in the cities they represent as they are to the people who fund their campaigns. The truth of their corruption by campaign finance bribery is evident in the way they treat the least of us in our midst.
It is a troubling time in America, with dark possibilities ahead of us.