Thursday, March 22, 2018

Not A "Flake," Only Irrelevant

Donald Trump is terrified. He is hiding behind his desk and even considering resigning.

He is tortured with fear now that Republican senator Jeff Flake of Arizona has tweeted

We are begging the president not to fire the special counsel. Don't create a constittuional crisis. Congress cannot preeempt such a firing.  Our only constitutional remedy is after the fact, through impeachment. No one wants that outcome. Mr. President, please don't go there. 

"Very strong words," CNN's Wolf Blitzer told the Arizonan when he interviewed him Wednesday (video below from the day after). They probably didn't seem that way, however, to the president who

reportedly told then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe that he should ask his wife, who had lost a bid for political office in Virginia, how it felt to be a loser, NBC News reported Monday.

Trump made the remarks in a phone call to McCabe the day he fired FBI Director James Comey that was placed to demand why Comey was allowed to fly on a FBI plane from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., after being fired.

McCabe told Trump that he hadn’t been asked about the flight but that he would have authorized it if he had.

Trump fell silent before lashing out at McCabe and telling him to ask his wife what it felt like to be a loser, according to NBC.

Intentionally or otherwise, Senator Flake has suggested to the President that nothing will happen to him. "Congress cannot preempt such a firing," he told Trump, so don't expect us to stop you.  Then, you could be impeached- but "no one wants that outcome," so we in Congress will avoid it at almost any cost.

Flake appeared honest in his tweet, as well as in confirming the comment in his chat with Blitzer. "We are begging you," he pathetically remarked, "please don't go there."  However, his words were almost- almost- as misleading as they were pathetic. In late January, TIME reported

Two bills have been introduced in the Senate, both bipartisan. Sponsored by Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, the Special Counsel Integrity Act would only permit the firing of a special counsel in the event of “misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, or conflict of interest.” Sponsored by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act that would require an extensive judicial process to do so.

Both have been in a holding pattern in the Senate Judiciary Committee for several months and have only a couple co-sponsors, indicators that they are not moving ahead any time soon.

Congress could act constructively and patriotically but its GOP leadership in both chambers is loathe do so. Team Russia, captained by Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, has made its choice. It will do as the team's owner, Donald J. Trump,wants it to do, save a letter signed by President Trump reading "I appreciate your help in winning the election. Quid pro quo forthcoming."  (And "appreciate" would have to be in all caps.)

As a member of Congress not running for re-election, Senator Flake could have a little- maybe a lot- more background. Flake is not responsible for the GOP's choice of party over country because no one cares what he believes as long as he votes for tax cuts for corporations and other important initiatives the President he finds distasteful needs to maintain his credibility.  A larger problem than Jeff Flake, other than the likes of Ryan and McConnell, is that the media has set the bar so low for conservatives and Republicans that "begging the president" is welcomed as "strong words."

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