Writing about Trump and his administration is difficult to say the least because you don’t know where to start. He says one dumb and nasty thing after another and what he says often has no relationship to what he then does.
Just two weeks ago he said he instructed the Justice Department to immediately release a set of unredacted documents relating to the Russia investigation. Then on Friday he reversed himself according to the Wall Street Journal and said “he no longer planned to swiftly declassify and release sensitive documents related to the investigation into his campaign’s links to Russian election interference, instead sending the matter to the Justice Department’s internal watchdog for further investigation.”
Then, in a Friday tweet, Trump said the inspector general of the Justice Department would “review these documents on an expedited basis, backing away from a previously announced plan to make public a secret surveillance warrant and the text messages of top law-enforcement officials.” Sunday on Meet the Press Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted our allies were upset over Trump’s plans to release certain documents. But then Trump has a history of befriending our enemies and fighting with our allies.
The current most crucial issue for all Americans is what will happen to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. When the initial charges of sexual assault were made against Kavanaugh many were surprised Trump held his fire. He surprised everyone by first saying he believed the charges made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford should be looked at fairly and a short delay in the vote on Kavanaugh was OK. Then his true character emerged in a tweet a few days later when he returned to form and wrote, “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”
As usual he made the issue even more difficult for those who are his allies in Congress. The old white men in the Republican Party on the Judiciary committee were having a hard enough time with the issue, pretending to be fair and then led by Mitch McConnell fell over themselves to suggest no matter what Dr. Ford had to say they would confirm Kavanaugh.
So when writing about Trump, especially in a weekly publication, one can never be sure what to write. It is hard enough for hourly and daily media to get it right. My way of doing it is to always think Trump will do the worst possible thing and thus far in his two years in the presidency he hasn’t let me down. There are a number of things we can say about him knowing they won’t change. He is a certifiable, congenital liar who lacks any decency. He appears to not have the smarts to carry out his role as president of the United States.
Trump is blithely unaware of how outrageous his actions are and if he is aware he doesn’t give a damn. He is pitting people against each other and setting back decency and equality 100 years. With each new outrage he is slowly moving the country backwards on every issue. From civil rights, to LGBTQ+ rights, to minority rights, to women’s rights, to the environment he is efficiently removing safeguards and policy that protect both people and our earth. Agency by agency his minions are destroying so much that is good and which will take us years to rebuild.
This week, the Senate will hear from Dr. Ford and it appears we have not moved forward one iota from October 1991 when Anita Hill sat in front of the Judiciary Committee to challenge Clarence Thomas. She was not given a fair hearing and it looks like Dr. Ford won’t get one either. Trump is on the sidelines cheering this on.
About the only good thing that came out of those hearings for Clarence Thomas, and at the expense of Anita Hill, were the many victories of Democratic women at the polls. We must hope once again American women, and men, will be as outraged today as they were in 1991 and the result will be another “year of the woman” at the polls on Nov. 6.
Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.