There’s no doubt that our current White house resident is (clears throat) a one-of-a-kind scamp rascal compared to every other previous occupant of said premises. To his supporters, he’s got a brash, tell-it-like-it-is style — even as they themselves are increasingly surprised by his actions (e.g., the stunned Trump fan who commented during the recent government shutdown, “He’s not hurting the people he needs to be.”) Oops, bad form to let your cards show like that!
But Trump’s actions carry a much greater price for the GOP than simple day-to-day headaches. They are setting a wide range of new precedents for every president that will follow. Here are just a few:
The next president will be able comment freely on ongoing judicial matters, court cases, and sensitive social issues (after all, as Trump’s press secretary has repeatedly pointed out, he is merely expressing his opinion like any other citizen.)
Trump’s successor will also be free to openly criticize and undermine the independence of any federal agency including the FBI, the CIA, and the Federal Reserve. Won’t it be wonderful to have two presidents in a row that are so opinion-y! The next president will also be able to direct the Justice Dept. to prosecute his opponents (as the current one has done with both Hillary Clinton and James Comey.)
She/he will also be allowed to know everything better than anyone else — including persons and agencies that have merely dedicated their entire careers to knowing what they’re talking about. Zip it, righties!
The next president can go hog wild making comments about the personal appearance of others. If a man, he will be able to call women fat pigs, slobs, dogs, horseface, and worse. And we lefties will get to grin ever so slightly and say things like, “Such comments are not how I would have chosen to express myself.” Furthermore, the next president cannot be criticized for any personal or moral indiscretion, either in the past or since taking office. Whatever he or she does or says will be just joking around, locker room talk, refreshing candor… you righties already know all the correct expressions.
He or she will be free to influence witnesses in criminal proceedings — as Trump has most-recently done by threatening the safety of his former attorney’s wife and father-in-law. Lighten up, Pollyannas!
The next president will not be required to disclose her/his taxes or financial information, including glaring conflicts and self-dealings. It almost makes a leftie WANT a deep-pocketed Dem to run for president — er, but not quite.
He or she will also be allowed to lie literally several thousand times before anyone will be interested in hearing a single peep from any sudden relapse from the right of anything approaching ethical standards. The sky is red. The sea is yellow… although, come to think of it, if we don’t get the denier-in-chief out of there soon, both of those things might actually end up being true.
And, if in the next few days Trump declares a national emergency to deal with what only he and an increasingly small cadre of supporters deem to be a crisis at the southern border, it’s Katy-bar-the-door for his liberal successor: åclimate change, immigration, energy, a crumbling infrastructure — any number of REAL crises.
Finally, every day will begin with executive time and morph directly into 18 holes of golf!
So let’s do the math: the exact number of darns righties will be able to give when a Dem president pulls a “Trump”: ZERO. You guys abdicated responsibility to rein this president in many, many times over. And you certainly won’t get to do it with a Dem in 2020. You didn’t just move the goalposts, you dug them up and cemented them into 30 feet of Fantasyland bedrock. You’re going to have to live with the repercussions. Eat those brussels sprouts. And like it.
Of course (sigh) we all know how this is actually likely to play out. The rules of the left are different than those of the right — different in that we actually tend to play by them. We’re Uncle Sam’s ‘good’ child, the one who cleans up all the recessions/depressions, social injustices, and environmental calamities caused by the right. Which means that, rather than adopt a “sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” attitude, Dems can be expected to pass laws that will make it impossible for EITHER side to do what this president has done by shamefully exploiting constitutional loopholes no one from the Founding Fathers to the guy staring at cable news with tears brimming in his eyes ever imagined any person or party would ever dream of taking advantage of.
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Multiple award-winning author Charles Caratti (Carr) writes and edits for many well-known publications. Also a noted playwright and director, Caratti’s works have been performed at premiere venues across SoCal. Contact him at charlescarr.com.