When Donald Trump repeatedly asked Russia [Vladimir Putin] to find thirty-thousand emails of his opponent Hillary Clinton, The press ate it up like a bowl of gazpacho.

“Russia, if you’re listening — I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” “Let’s see if that happens,” said Trump.

Now we are finding out that not only did the former President take fifteen boxes of White House documents to Mar-a-Lago, some classified and others top-secret, but was allegedly flushing White House documents down toilets. Aside from the mammoth GOP hypocrisy, where is the outrage—around the clock? I have read more about what is looking increasingly like American sponsored faux outrage by a group of (wink, wink) Canadian truckers than the possible selling or compromising of America’s governmental secrets.

Breathlessly, the New York Times would wait for the weekly tranche of the former Secretary of State’s emails—putting the story on the front page a little over 140 times. The public conflated campaign strategy discussions, recipes for ricotta lasagna, and Hillary Clinton’s grandchildren news. It all became this conglomeration of private servers, pizza parlors, and classified information. If all that sounds confusing, that was the point. Mr. Trump and his cronies have made insurrection a virtue, theft of government secrets acceptable, and confessions of criminality palpable.

I constantly read about how the former Trump administration members supposedly took the sting out of their lawlessness by confessing publicly. Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Boris Epshteyn have turned Ari Melber into father confessor. An official from the Justice Department should be waiting offstage with handcuffs. I am sure FBI stenographers have worn their pencils down to the nub. Yet still, Republicans are running and hiding for fear of crossing the boss. He perceives himself as a kingmaker, and the Republican primary candidates have ceded the ground. The RNC has demonstrated its allegiance by first making the GOP platform be—whatever Trump wants—secondly, purging conservative Republicans Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. The only Trump requirement is sycophantic genuflecting.

Mr. Trump’s verbal gymnastics have fooled the party so thoroughly the base does not realize they no longer have an official platform. His maniacal thirst for power has made him feel invincible, and any challenge is considered GOP treason. The insurrection is proof, where his legions erected gallows, in the shadow of the Capitol building, ostensibly for his second in command, Mike Pence—pledging to hang him for what they perceive as a betrayal. There was immediate revulsion by the Republicans who spoke out; Senator Graham, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and Senator Mitch McConnell. As it turned out, it was further confirmation of their cowardice. Kevin McCarthy had hoped the GOP perception of Trump would change enough that the anchor and chain around the neck of Conservatism would be loosened. When that failed, he made a pilgrimage to bow at the feet of Trump and pay penitence to Trump-world.

As quickly as Lindsey Graham said he was out, he was back in days later. Mitch McConnell dipped his toe into the alligator-infested waters of Trump politics this week. We will see how long before he apologizes to the gator. Maybe Mr. Trump was right to flush, and the GOP should follow suit when it comes to the former President. The Roto-Rooter campaign ended with, “and away go troubles down the drain.”  

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  • February 11, 2022