Just now I tried to look up via Google (that is how I do research) if Nixon had considered pardoning himself if need be. I actually thought I had recalled such consideration at the time. Maybe some observer just suggested it, I don’t know. But of course now in the news is the fact that President Trump thinks he would have the right to pardon himself if need be.
Right now I am not concerned about the legality of such a thing. It is just another absurdity this presidency has cast upon our system, which at the moment seems to be falling apart. It is not irreparable I think, but it is in danger.
My sense is that the public in preoccupied with its social media — not news, so much as posting selfies (I’m guilty) and cute baby photos and such that it is somewhat tuned out or indifferent to everything else. And what can one do anyway?
To the extent the public does watch the goings on it might be more for entertainment that anything else. And there is a blur between reality and real.
And when Sean Spicer resigned as Trump’s press secretary because he didn’t get the communications director post Trump commented on what a great job he had done: “look at his television ratings”. I think he was referring to the ongoing Saturday Night Live spoofs of Spicer and his movable lectern that he used to chase after nasty reporters. That was not reality but it was TV ratings and that is what former TV star (or still TV star) Trump is all about. He is neither a statesman nor a leader (and by the way I never watched him on his TV shows).
It’s all a joke.
While I have often thought some people in government are a joke (albeit a bad joke), I have never thought of our government or our system as a joke.
But Trump is doing his best to make it all seem surreal. He is making a mockery of our system. And it is sad.
And that is a way for a demagogue to take over, make light of anything serious and to discredit established norms and to incite animosity between groups.
For Trump it is an ego trip. But there are those, at home and abroad, who are taking advantage of the weakening of our system.
Next time you get a chance, vote in people who can stand up to this denigration of our system, be they Democrat or Republican or whatever.
And poor John McCain suffering from brain cancer and not given a long time to live. I heard a replay of his concession speech to Barack Obama. A study in grace and patriotism. Our current president would be incapable. He is too stuck on himself. And he dodged the Vietnam draft while McCain bravely did his time as a prisoner of war and even refused an early release that the enemy offered as a propaganda tool. Nothing to do with whether the war was right or wrong, it was our policy at the time. Some did their duty when called upon others skipped by. Actually I don’t blame someone necessarily for skipping by — but don’t be a chicken hawk later. Trump is a coward but he had the audacity during his presidential campaign to criticize McCain for becoming a prisoner of war. McCain also corrected a woman during his campaign who claimed Obama was a Muslim (implication that he was some kind of Muslim terrorist mole working his way into the White House). Trump would have just continued to stoke the flames of hatred and lies.