Trump’s firing this week of FBI Director James Comey was the tipping point for our constitutional democracy.
It’s turned jokes based on the president’s absurdity into dark humor.
It’s like making fun of a buffoon at the airport only to realize he’s your pilot.
The jokes were in good fun because you assumed the pilot actually knows what he’s doing in the cockpit.
But it’s no longer a laughing matter once you realize the pilot has no respect for the plane, the passengers or the rules of flight that keep it in the air.
That’s where the the nation is heading right now.
The commander-in-chief should be safeguarding our institutions, not undermining them as part of a mad power grab.
So far, one of the two branches of government supposedly keeping the president in check is thoroughly co-opted.
The Republican Congress spent $46 million hounding Hillary Clinton through 13 different investigations. Yet, it’s only grudgingly looking into far more egregious allegations involving Trump’s collusion with Russia.
It’s clear judging by the tepid reaction, the complaint Republican majority will not stand in his way on anything he does.
His administration’s failure to provide a coherent explanation for Comey’s removal should have sent up warning flags. Instead, it’s abundantly clear neither Trump nor Congress have any regard for the nation’s institutions.
Trump has repeatedly demonstrated he will say anything to divert attention or get his own way. Republicans march in lock-step no matter how much his rants are patently false.
Now, it’s clear Trump will also do anything to cling to power, just like the despots he so openly admires.
Characteristically, he tried to distance himself from the firing by hanging the move on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Oddly, they fancifully blamed Comey’s demise on his rough handling of the Hlllary Clinton email investigation.
When that didn’t fly, Trump finally stepped up and accepted responsibility.
His reason turned out to be based on the flimsiest pretext. He claimed the FBI rank-and-file had “lost confidence” in Comey’s ability to do the job.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe directly contradicted Trump in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to The New York Times.
Trump also grudgingly admitted the FBI’s Russia investigation, was also a reason. On numerous occasions, Trump’s called it a “white wash” and “fake news.”
But McCabe sharply contradicted him on that point as well; the deputy director called the FBI probe “highly significant.”
As things now stand, Trump has fully co-opted the independence of the U.S. Justice Department. Now, with the FBI director out of the way, Trump is on his way to subverting the independence of the nation’s premiere law enforcement agency, as well.
Only the judiciary remains as a check at this point, and Trump does everything he can to demean and undercut the courts when things don’t go his way.
If the Republican Congress refuses to head off the constitutional crisis, Trump will soon realize, if he hasn’t already, that his power is near autocratic.
Then, America may be in for a long night of Putin-style plutocracy.
So, check out SNL’s latest Trump skits. And, pray a little for the nation’s soul while you’re watching.