October 22, 2018


An election that goes way beyond policy issues (Jennifer Rubin, October 21, 2018, Washington Post)

[A]mericans cannot tell whether Trump is so corrupted and compromised that he's running Middle East policy to secure his own finances. The reason we do not know for certain is that Republicans refuse to look for answers. Even during Watergate we did not experience such profound and unchecked corruption, such utter disregard for elected officials' constitutional oaths to serve the people's interests, not their own.

The corruption eating away at the presidency is not merely financial, of course. Conservative Trump critic and former adviser to President George W. Bush, Peter Wehner, in recent days eloquently addressed the moral dimension of the Saudi situation. "I think the fundamental interpretative fact of the Trump presidency - and I think that this Saudi example is only one manifestation of it - is this is a person [Trump] who is fundamentally amoral and immoral," he said during an MSNBC appearance. "He is a man without human empathy or without human sympathy, and in many respects a man without conscience; and I think what you've seen over the last several days is a person who's reacting that way." Wehner continued, "And I think that we've seen that lack of human empathy and conscience in almost every arena of the Trump presidency. It explains the cruelty, it explains the policy at the border, separating kids from [parents], it explains the pathological lies, it explains the fact that he's a man without loyalty -- and I think this is just the latest arena in which we're seeing this ugly drama play itself out."

In short, the country is convulsed by a president whose personal corruption and moral vacuity offend our deepest-held convictions and our self-image as a citizens of the world's leading democracy. His devoted cult and his cynical apologists are content to be lied to and receive trinkets (e.g., a tax cut that really doesn't benefit most of them). The rest of us are not. The energy, the anger and the sense of urgency we see in the run up to the midterm elections reflects voters' disgust and dismay over a president and a party who sully our democracy.

Posted by at October 22, 2018 4:03 AM