John McNaughton



Drain Trump Swamp

There’s an old song called “The Pig Got up and Slowly Walked Away” about a drunk who lays down in the gutter next to a pig and a passing lady who remarks: “You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses.”

At which point said porker takes a hike. Donald Trump is not a drunk. It’s one of the few vices he does not have. Change “boozes” to “is a crook” and it ruins the rhyme but fits Mr. T to a T. He has surrounded himself with a host of greedy conniving pigs in his oft bellowed campaign to “Drain the Swamp!” Which is like hiring a gang of arsonists to staff a fire brigade. Robert Mueller and his sleuths have been “following the money” through their labyrinth schemes of fraud, lies, payoffs and tax evasion. He has begun to nail some of them to the wall. Found so much foul muck in Trump Swamp that he’s passed part of it off to other investigators and courts.

“Wonderful guys” Trump once praised to the heavens he now attacks as turncoats and ingrates…and liars. Imagine that! Liars in the Trump administration. His cult followers are incapable of believing such heresy. His apologists in the Republican Party might believe it but would never admit that in public. Besides they’re having “truth” problems of their own. Seems like every week another incumbent Republican Congressman is caught with his hand in the till, or up some staffer’s skirt.

But never fear, the super-lawyer is on the scene, either that or on a golf course in Scotland. Dear old Rudi will save Boss Hog’s bacon! The man who freely admitted that his client paid hush money to hookers during the 2016 campaign, which Trump had loudly been denying. The sage who revealed to the world that “the truth is not the truth.” The man who regularly ruminates over what questions Mueller will be allowed to ask His Eminence, The President. If His Majesty will allow him any questions at all. (And if Mueller would find it worthwhile to ask a pathological liar questions). The man who almost daily demands that the Special Prosecutor wrap up his investigation because he has yet to find collusion between Trump and Russia.

True the “smoking gun” of a Presidential candidate plotting his campaign with the assistance of an enemy of the United States has yet to be found, and may not be there to find, but Mueller’s charge was to investigate all other crimes revealed in the course of the Russian meddling probe. He’s doing that and racking up convictions. And those convictions are moving him closer to the truth about the meddling. As Samuel Johnson once said, “Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging.” Or a long jail sentence. The slimy tale of the lavish Mr. Manafort is not finished. Now that he faces what may be the rest of his natural life in the slammer he will be tried for failing to register as an agent of a foreign power. Which may motivate him to seek relief by telling some unpleasant truths. Penitentiary bound Mr. Cohen may want to come clean on some of the other things he “fixed” for Trump. Not to mention other campaign and administration insiders currently under threat of investigation, subpoena or prosecution. The name Roger Stone springs to mind. There may be a lot of dirty pigs getting up and walking away, or squealing, before this is over. Perhaps the self-besotted Mr. Trump will end up alone in the gutter.

Which means that the door is wide open for the Democrats. “Drain the Swamp!” can become their slogan. But will they seize the opportunity? So many choices: “Take the High Road”-only if you want to lose. A little mud and a big dose of party platform-not enough. Party platform for the safe districts, attack Trump Swamp for those up for grabs-might work, but why not go all out? And the 800-pound gorilla in the room?

The Big I-Impeachment- fires the party’s angry activists. Will put some people off, including me. Our Founding Fathers were wise, and worldly, and pragmatic, but they had their bad days. A vague exercise where partisan politicians pretend they’re judges and everybody has their own idea what a “high crime and misdemeanor” is. The track record on Presidential Impeachments is sparse and would be almost laughable if it weren’t so tragic. The only time impeachment came close to working was in the case of Richard Nixon, but he resigned before he could be impeached.

Impeachment’s a blunderbuss, as likely to kill the shooter as the target. Do we really need another “impeached but not removed from office” deal? Only sure way to run Trump out of office is to vote him out in 2020. In the meantime, the most the Dems can do is cripple him and make things so hot for Republicans that a few of them desert him. But they can’t do that unless they take over the House.

Success in November is being dropped into their lap. Republicans are in disarray, scrambling, on the defensive, desperate. If they survive it will be because the Dems couldn’t, or wouldn’t, get their act together.