Trump and his attempts to behead the ‘thousand-legger’
When I was in grade school we all went to a summer church camp on Petit Jean Mountain. At the time, it was infested with a rather large caterpillar with lots and lots of legs.
We called the creature a thousand-legger. If I ever knew its real name, I’ve long since forgotten it. The thousand-leggers were apparently harmless. I never knew of anyone to be bitten.
As soon as we saw one in the leaves and rocks we would scream “thousandlegger!” The girls would screech and shiver, and the boys would swing into action, chasing the poor critter, but rarely catching it. On the rare occasion that one was caught, it was slain quickly and mercifully. Sir Galahad was our role model and sure nuff, that thousand-legger was a real dragon.
This week, we watched Donald Trump attempt to slay thousand-leggers. In an effort to stop the aftermath of the Mueller investigation, Trump has begun to scream. He has even taken to referring to himself in the third person. Freud would no doubt make some observations about that. The politics of grievance has been elevated by Trump to a new high.
First, he’s had some harsh things to say about the House Judiciary Committee vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt. Trump has little knowledge of government, but he understands media, and I’m sure he knew that the Democrats would over-play their hand.
They started in Wednesday morning, and finally got to a vote that afternoon.
It was a total waste of time. Both sides used the time to speechify. At the end of the day, it was a party-line vote. No minds were changed. The Democrats just could not shut up. “That’s what they do,” as one commentator put it. That said it was the correct call.
Barr is condescending, smug and unctuous and went out of his way to offend committee members. He dissed a co-equal branch of government and should be held accountable.
How the contempt citation will be enforced is a mystery.
Second, the Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. It seems that the Mueller Report is at odds with Junior’s previous testimony regarding the infamous Trump Tower meeting and other get-togethers with Russian agents. He had said he had only “peripheral” knowledge of those events.
The committee wants the discrepancy explained and one would think that Junior would jump at the chance to do that.
Instead, he’s threatening, as this is written, not to show up, dishonoring the subpoena, or if he does show up, taking the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.
A former law partner and ace criminal defense attorney taught me that taking the Fifth Amendment was as bad as committing perjury in the eyes of the public. Probably shouldn’t be, but it is.
Third, Trump’s tax situation is breathtakingly stunning. The New York Times got its hands on a period from the late 1980s and 1990s, and found that for eight years he wrote off a billion dollar loss.
Yes that’s billion with a B.
Except for two years, he paid no tax. None.
For the two years that he did pay taxes, they were minimal. This, of course, will have little impact on his solid core of voters. With all of the good economic news, he’s still hovering down around 35 to 40 percent. No matter what good he does (very little), or bad he does (a lot), his percentage numbers remain the same.
Fourth, and this is the big and serious “thousand-legger,” Trump continues to demonstrate an intense dislike for representative democracy. It goes along with his admiration for banana republic and third-world dictators and tyrants.
Mohamad bin Salmon had a Washington Post reporter killed, but that’s fine with Trump because they’re buying airplanes from us.
The president of the Philippines, Duterte, has his citizens gunned down routinely. Putin is a murderer. The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, killed an American prisoner. The list is long. But Trump likes these people, in part because they don’t have to put up with a legislative branch of government.
That’s a very large thousand-legger to be slain in Donald Trump’s world.
George D. Ellis is a Benton attorney. He can be contacted at gellisinbenton @swbell.net.