By Tom Burke
President Theodore Roosevelt said: “Ours is a government of liberty, by, through and under the law. No man is above it, and no man is below it.”
Now Teddy was a sickly child who pretty-much self-healed; a lifelong naturalist and noted historian; a real cowboy and big-game hunter; got elected a New York state assemblyman; was assistant secretary of the Navy; led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill; was a New York City police commissioner; governor of New York; vice president; and two-term president.
He wrote 18 books (with a couple of genuine best-sellers and no ghost writers); explored the Amazon for two years; won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize; was a true progressive and social reformer; architect of the Panama Canal; and his likeness is carved on Mount Rushmore.
Trump, on the other hand, played golf, screwed around, ducked Vietnam with “bone spurs,” hosted a scripted TV show, and took $413 million of his father’s money and proclaimed himself “self-made.”
But as T.R. said, “Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”
So lets consider what we’ll try to forget about Trump.
We’ll start with the salacious: his $130,000 hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels and the concomitant investigations into campaign finance violations, then segue to the Summer Zervos’s defamation lawsuit after she exposed his alleged sexual assault on her.
Of course that’s tabloid stuff, like his three wives and numerous girlfriends. Very Trumpian and disgusting.
It’s the hard news that’s scary:
• His denial of 2016 Russian interference against the word of the entire U.S. Intelligence community.
• His refusal to take action against Russia’s 2020 interference.
• His announcement he’d let Russia, or other foreign countries, interfere in the 2020 election, saying he’d take “oppo” dirt from them and not report it to the FBI.
• That the Mueller report cites 10 instances of chargeable obstruction (and he wasn’t charged only because he’s a sitting president, said Mueller).
• He’s being investigated for his trumped-up tax returns; his phony financial records; possible violations of the emoluments clause; bogus security clearances for people like Jared Kushner; his inauguration committee’s unreported $107 million spending and who donated (like the illegal $50,000 he got from a Russian oligarch); the bogus Trump Foundation (now dissolved for blatant illegality) and violations of NY state tax law; transactions at Deutsche Bank and connections to possible Russian money laundering; insurance fraud via Aon, his longtime broker; employing illegal aliens at Trump golf courses; and how foreign payments to his businesses and his super PAC may have influenced his presidential decision-making.
He’s in court for: owing Michael Cohen, his lawyer/fixer, $1.9 million in fees he never paid; financial records from Mazar’s, his accounting firm and from Deutsche Bank, his biggest lender; the way he illegally appropriated money for his border wall; his administration’s citizenship questions on the 2020 census; his refusal to turn over his tax returns to a congressional committee as required by law
• He’s an unindicted co-conspirator (Individual One) in Cohen’s Stormy Daniels payoff crime.
• He’s disregarded and belittled the U.S. intelligence community and their advice on everything, but especially Russian interference in the 2020 election.
• He says his FBI chief, Christopher Wray, is “wrong” about reporting foreign government interference with the election.
• His “best people” include those who were: fired, after he hired them, including Kristjen Nielsen, Jim Comey, Randolph Alles, Rex Tillerson (who Trump said was “dumb as a rock”), Shulkin, McCabe, and Omarosa; those pushed out, after he hired them, including Mattis, Zinke, Ayers, Walsh, Jeff Sessions, Pruitt, Anton, McMaster, McFarland, Priebus, Scaramucci, Bannon, Gorka, Spicer, McEntee, Gary Cohen, Sorenson, Rob Porter, Fitzgerald and Higbie.
• He’s in “love” with Kim Jung Un, one of the worst dictator/killers in modern history, because Kim writes him “beautiful” letters (and keeps on building nuclear bombs; short-, medium- and long-range missiles, and killing is own people.)
• And he’s stonewalling on everything, including the census, his inauguration committee, his solo meetings with Putin and all Congressional subpoenas regarding his taxes, finances and everything Congress has legitimately asked for in its oversight responsibility.
Plus he lied, 10,800 times since his inauguration, about everything, but especially, “No collusion, no obstruction,” climate change, who pays for his Chinese tariffs (you do, not the Chinese), the Wall, crying farmers in the Oval Office, and the list goes on.
To conclude, TR gets the last word, “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
Hey base, Teddy’s talking to you.
Tom Burke’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.