Posts © 2011-2012 by Gerald G. Day







Friday, July 26, 2019

July 26, 2019
Donald Trump’s combination of ignorance and authoritarianism is well known, but he apparently felt the need recently to emphasize it by displaying his acquaintance with, and interpretation of, the Constitution.  On June 16, with his focus on the impropriety of the report that supposedly exonerated him, he mumbled this: “. . . look, Article II. I would be allowed to fire Robert Mueller. . . . He wasn't fired. Okay? Number one, very importantly. But more importantly, Article II allows me to do whatever I want. Article II would have allowed me to fire him.”[45]
On July 12, again fretting about the Mueller report, he claimed to have uncovered the forgotten Article II of the Constitution: “And how do you obstruct when there’s no crime? Also, take a look at one other thing.  It’s a thing called Article II.  Nobody ever mentions Article II.  It gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before. We don’t even talk about Article II.” [46]
Speaking to a conservative teen group on July 23, babbling once more about the  investigation, and apparently referring to his alleged ability to shut it down, he asserted: “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president. But I don’t even talk about that because they did a report and there was no obstruction.”[47]  He doesn’t talk about that, having just talked about it, again. 
Assuming that Trump ever read Article II, or had it read to him, or had it put on flash cards, he wouldn’t have found any such grant of monarchical authority, but no doubt he would have been drawn to Section 2, which provides that “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States . . .” and gives him “Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States . . .”  Threaten war; pardon loyalists who get caught: such a deal.
However, Article II also contains that pesky Section 4: “The President . . . shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  Arrogating all power to himself would qualify; he’s saved on that count only by ineptness, indecision and some measure of control by aides.  Obstruction of justice is another ground and he continues to practice that by interfering with testimony before Congress. 
Trump virtually is begging to be impeached.  Some think this is not, as it seems, authoritarian stupidity, but a ploy to turn voters against the Democrats, to ensure re-election.  Does Trump sound like a clever plotter?  Hardly, but he may not need to be.  His followers have been fiercely loyal no matter how repulsive he is; Democrats, instead of confronting the menace, fight among themselves.  Once again, Yeats’ famous phrase applies:         
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. . . ;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity.

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45. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/transcript-abc-news-george-stephanopoulos-exclusive-interview-president/story?id=63749144

46.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-marine-one-departure-52/

47.
https://shareblue.com/trump-constitution-gives-me-the-right-to-do-whatever-I-want-as-president/


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