So that gets a little tricky when you’ve got a President who calls people who disagree with him guilty of treason, seemingly for that fact alone.
And calls for “Big Consequences!” for those people, and throws around the specter of “Civil War” in an attempt to get anyone with anything bad to say about him, or of which to credibly accuse him, to shut up.
But complaining about the President is a right Americans have that people in many, many other countries don’t. It seems Trump would prefer Americans didn’t either. It’s something he never quite gets, because he’s doing such a “perfect” job.
Americans take full advantage of that right to speak to power, or even just complain about little things over our morning coffee. And we should. Heck, we even complain a lot about Presidents we like, because that’s part of what they’re there for.
Sometimes it doesn’t amount to much; just blowing off steam. Sometimes it leads to massive protests and real change.
Of course, what we’ve seen over the past few days is no mere complaining, rather credible accusations of misdeeds by the President, backed up by documents he himself provided. Yet he treats it the same, just with more urgency and incitement. We went and counted: Trump has Tweeted and Retweeted 95 times (and counting) in the past day alone, mostly about that.
And with a President piling on increasingly damaging, reckless, haphazard, and now perhaps nakedly illegal policies and behaviors, no wonder that hum of dissent grows into a full chorus. Even Trump himself brags when he does something that drives at least half the population crazy, and often he brags he does it by design.
He gets caught promoting an unscrupulous if not illegal agenda by a whistleblower. Then hides it. Then produces documents himself corroborating all of it. Then accuses Democrats of making it all up. What does he expect?
All this has been on full, escalating display over the past few days as his Ukraine comeuppance boils furiously, and Trump can’t figure out how to get it to stop. The incredibly unhinged President takes to Twitter: calling for the harshest of all punishments for those accusing him of doing and saying stuff he did and said based on an edited transcript released by his own White House after they tried to hide it, and for the “crime” of asserting and offering proof he did a very, very bad thing. Which seems to have involved coercion of the new President of Ukraine by tying the release of already-promised military aid (and more) to things that might benefit him personally, like an investigation of Joe Biden: “I would like you to do us a favor though…” And also a suggestion of what he’d like the Ukrainian President to find. And also doing it through attorney Rudy Giuliani, whose client is Trump, not the country. And perhaps all that’s bad enough to cost Trump the Presidency.
A lot of people have been asking us recently, or wondering to themselves, what’s changed? Why does this Ukraine stuff for now at least seem to be sticking? And Trump’s at first silly, now increasingly threatening push-back isn’t?
We think it’s because people are just finally coming around to the idea that the White House is not being run by a bunch of renegade geniuses, but real lunatics. That may have always been the case, but a lot of people were willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt, and didn’t care much about who he surrounded himself with, as long as he got the job done. But now it’s pretty evident the President’s been leaving huge swaths of the U.S. government powerless to make their jobs count, or even deliberately disabling them, and instead undermining and undercutting with counter-efforts by shadowy freelance figures who work for Trump, not the people. (Giuliani just one of the most visible of many, in many different areas of government).
Trump has a right to say or Tweet what he wants too. And there’s no hint yet that Trump’s Twitter threats are being officially put into action by his minions. Yet asking “Arrest for Treason?” because the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, dares to paraphrase him and characterize his conversation with the Ukraine President in a certain way (much as Trump and his Attorney General paraphrased and characterized the Mueller Report) is maniacal stuff.
Presidents are supposed to be adults, and lead by example. Not infants throwing their mashed potatoes on the carpet.