Will They Think They Have to Destroy the Constitution in Order to Save It?


The Return of the Aardvarks

Dr. Aardvark and I have returned from vacation. It was a nice vacation, but we have reached a certain age, and now we need to rest up from our vacation.

The Samson-in-the-Temple Routine

A fairly lengthy thumb-sucker in the Washington Post—Trump defies close advisers in deciding to threaten Mexico with disruptive tariffs—elaborates on how a (seemingly) mad emperor Trump is (seemingly) about to wreck the economy, despite strong pushback from his closest advisors. He may back down, or he may not. But, as a talking head remarked yesterday, the market is beginning to think he may be crazy after all. The Dow was down 355 points (1.4 percent) yesterday.

A week or two more of this bullshit, and President Pence will be looking better and better.

Rocket Dockets

Meanwhile, you might recall that I told the garment-renders, concerned that the courts might slow walk refereeing presidential stonewalling versus congressional oversight, the courts have wide discretion over their own schedules, and can act with dispatch when they see the need.

In the case of Donald Trump et al. v. Deutche Bank and the House of Representatives et al., the Second Circuit—that’s the federal court of appeals in New York—has just ordered briefs to be filed on June 18, July 11, and July 18. It’s likely we’ll know the result by the end of July.

Meanwhile,  down in the federal courts in Washington, D.C., where Trump sued his accounts to try to keep them from responding to a congressional subpoena, the court of appeals will hear that case on an expedited basis, also.

Told you so.

Will They Think They Have to Destroy the Constitution in Order to Save It?

It’s likely—didn’t say it’s a lead pipe cinch, but it’s likely—that Trump will lose in the courts of appeals. That will tee up the case for Supreme Court action, or inaction, as the case may be.

At this point, five of the nine justices bear the Federalist Society seal of approval. That would be the Federalist Society, not the Divine Right of Kings Society.

Likewise, it bears noting that the Federalist Society is funded by plutocrats like the Koch brothers, and plutocratic interest groups such as the United States Chamber of Commerce. I think it may be assumed, with considerable confidence, that these folks will not be happy to see Trump do the Samson-in-the-Temple routine and bring the economy crashing down around their heads.

Soo … will the Supreme Court majority vote to do away with congressional oversight, thus destroying the Constitution in order to save it (by keeping the presidency in Federalist Society-friendly hands)? I don’t think so.

And here’s the icing on the cake. Guess who was the keynote speaker at the May, 2019, convention.

Why, that would none other than Mike Pence.

If Pence were to replace Trump, the presidency would still be in very, very Federalist Society-friendly hands.

Character is Destiny


There are many things that might be said about the moment we are in. One is that we are witnessing a compelling morality play.

Michael Cohen Finds His Inner Moral Compass

I just watched the first part of Morning Joe, where Donny Deutch and Emily Jane Fox—both claiming much personal knowledge of Michael Cohen—assert that Cohen, Trump’s consigliere for many years, has truly repented for his sins and decided to join the side of the angels.

I, myself, don’t know whether that is true. But I know that repentance does happen, on rare occasions. And the conclusion that Cohen has repented is consistent with the currently available evidence.

Mark Whitaker Finds His Inner Fear of God

Whatever power he might theoretically have to slow down Mueller, as of this point, Whitaker has so far elected not to use that power for Trump’s ends. I don’t know what he will do in the future, and I don’t know on what bases he will make his decisions going forward. But it’s reasonable to assume that Mueller has told Whitaker some of what Mueller knows about Trump’s legal vulnerability. And that Whitaker, having befouled his pants, has decided not to go down with the ship.

Newly Minted Federalist Society Justices Look for their Inner Madison

Trump, being Trump, clearly thinks that all those Federalist Society judges he appointed will have his back, no matter what the facts are, and no matter what the law is. There is a metaphysical possibility that Trump is right.

But it’s more likely that Trump has made what is, from his perspective, a catastrophic error.

Whatever their faults—and they are many—Federalist Society folks like Bret Kavanaugh are not hacks.

The object of their affection is not Donald Trump, it is James Madison. James Madison, who warned of demagogues and based the Constitution on a system of checks and balances.

And don’t forget this. Trump can fire Whitaker whenever he likes. Trump cannot fire the federal judges whom he has appointed for life.

Republican Professional Pols Keep Cultivating their Inner Bobbleheads

There will come a time when they jump off the sinking ship. But they will be the last off. That will be after most of the lifeboats have been taken.

Donald Trump Continues to Embrace His Inner Clueless Idiot

Some great politicians are saints, some are devils, and some are in between. But they all have this in common: just as the conductor of the New York Philharmonic has the mental capacity to listen to the violins and the oboes and the cellos all at once, so also the great politician has an acute awareness of how the various parts of her constituency think, what motivates them, and what keeps them loyal.And, by the way, the great politician, whatever her moral underpinnings, fully understands the practical downside of bald faced lying and bad faith negotiation. The good politician makes the deals she needs to make, and then keeps her word.

Want an example of a great politician? Nancy Pelosi.

Trump, the black swan who got himself elected even though he is a clueless idiot, never foresaw that his consigliere might strive for sainthood, that Mark Whitaker might be shitless with fear, that “his” judges might not feel the need to overturn the rule of law in thanks for their appointment, or that the lickspittle professional politicians who once embraced him might be compelled to abandon ship.

Character is destiny. And so our destiny as a nation is being determined by the widely varying characters of the characters on the stage.

I am sorry to say that it is also a tale told by an idiot.