American politicians are like guppies – bottom feeding fish, seemingly aimless and thoughtless, of no socially redeeming value and of little economic worth. They are fungible and little if anything sets them apart one from the other, be they Republican, Democrat or Independent.
They swim aimlessly in schools with odd sounding names: the Tea Party, Republican Liberty Caucus, the Christian Coalition, the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, the Democratic Freedom Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. They accomplish little if anything while on their meaningless and clueless meandering elected-to-office-to-govern rounds in the halls of Congress waiting for a photo or TV opportunity.
Yet they continue to survive election after election as voters continue to return them to Congress, notwithstanding their ineffectiveness, their cupidity, their corruptibility and their lack of moral compass.
But there come times when their survival is threatened, a time that galvanizes even gutless political guppies to action. It’s a random, totally without their control happenstance that makes them realize their vulnerability. Most often it’s another politician’s publicly eviscerated demise that catches their attention.
A visible public evisceration leaves blood in the water. The smell of blood could well make the electorate take to the streets and re-enact the French Revolution’s storming of the Bastille. Any revolution can make the loss of a House seat or a Senate office a real possibility.
The firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend and enforce President Trump’s Executive Order banning refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim countries was a bloodless public execution. Congress in Republican hands rallied around the flag and the President. There was no blood coloring the political waters.
After a flawed and compromised Attorney General’s recusal from the Trump/Russia investigation left a local United States Attorney free to pursue his own leads and investigations Donald Trump summarily fired Preet Bharara. After all, the Southern District of New York is where the Trump Tower is located and should be the locus of any investigation of misdeeds occurring there.
The story found little traction in the press and there was no blood on Fifth Avenue or in Foley Square. Congressional guppies were undisturbed and continued swimming without a goal or purpose in sight, marking time, creating photo ops until the next election.
But the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the Tuesday Night Assassination, was a bloody public execution, a public evisceration that ran blood in the water. To all failed politicians of whatever stripe this was a call to arms in defense of their own sinecure.
The three political executions remind of Richard Nixon’s 1973 Saturday Night Massacre. The Watergate burglary resulted in the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate and, if necessary prosecute. With the investigation about to unearth damning evidence the President ordered his Attorney General to fire the Special Prosecutor. The AG refused and resigned in protest. His replacement, the Deputy AG followed suit and was summarily fired.
The Special Prosecutor was then fired and the Watergate investigation turned over to the Justice Department, a Justice Department controlled by the President’s handpicked flunky. The firing of officials charged with investigating the sitting President roused Congress. Articles of Impeachment were adopted and President Nixon’s resignation soon followed.
Today’s Trump firings mirror those of Nixon’s downfall. Sally Yates was abruptly terminated because she, as the acting Attorney General, “betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order”, a “legal order” soon found to be illegal by the courts. Bharara was fired for refusing the request to voluntarily resign after being promised continued tenure to pursue ongoing investigations, fired for defying a Presidential order. Comey was fired, were we to believe Donald Trump, for not “doing a good job, very simply. He wasn’t doing a good job”. In fact he was fired for refusing to back down from an on-going investigation, disobeying a Presidential order.
Congressmen and Congresswomen are faced with a choice right now, and if not now then 2018 – survival and reelection or defeat and retirement.
The initial choice to be announced in November, 2018 will be survival of the members of Congress, Republican or Democrat, who will have voted or declared to be for the appointment of a special prosecutor. Should a special prosecutor be in fact appointed Donald Trump will be impeached.
Should a special prosecutor not be appointed because of Comey’s firing, the Tuesday Night Assassination, many who have opposed such appointment will be voted out of office and the Democrats will regain control of the House of Representatives. Articles of Impeachment will then be adopted and Donald Trump impeached.
If I were a betting man, I would give you 2 to 1 odds that Donald Trump will not make it as President to January 1, 2018 or 5 to 1 that he makes it to January 1, 2019. Do I hear any wagers?
Deyan Ranko Brashich is a contributor writing from New York. He is the author of Letters from America, Contrary Views and Dispatches. His contact and blog “Contrary Views” is at www.deyanbrashich.com