Watergate Nostalgia

  • “The Trump presidency is worse than Watergate.”

No, that’s not partisan hyperbole from Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi or Tom Steyer. That’s the reflection of Carl Bernstein, who’s uniquely qualified to comment. “The heroes of Watergate were Republicans who demanded that the president be held accountable,” recently assessed Bernstein.

Yeah, tell that to Mitch McConnell and Brett Kavanaugh.

  • Senate confirmation hearings on Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, will begin in a few weeks. Look for this 20-year-old quote to play prominently: “We believe an indictment should not be pursued while the president is in office.”

That was Kavanaugh in 1998, when he was a member of Ken Starr’s team that was investigating President Bill Clinton. If Sen. Kamala Harris doesn’t bring it up, it’s because Sen. Cory Booker already had.

  • Lines continue to blur between certain media and the White House. Is Sean Hannity an adviser–not just a Trump-channeling cheerleader? The other day he turned his (three-hour) radio show over to guest hosts: Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow. They brought their Robert-Mueller-Russian-investigation-criticism talking points in defense of their Oval Office client.

Is Larry Kudlow just on loan from Fox?

And not that Trump needs help in doubling down to his white nationalistic base, but that’s what Fox News’ Laura Ingraham did the other day. As in: “The America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people.” The operative word: “foisted.” In short, we’re not becoming more diverse; we’re being made less white. Has the WHITE House ever seemed more redundant?

  • The bottom lines for under-siege, mainstream media or Trump-supporting media: You’re either the enemy of the (Trump base) people or you’re the enema of the (Trump base) people.
  • It’s now official; Slovenia natives Viktor and Amalija Knavs are now American citizens. Yes, those Knavs–the parents of Melania Trump, who had sponsored their green cards. It’s what is known as family-based immigration. It’s also known, as we know from President Trump’s disparaging commentary, as “chain migration.”

What’s the takeaway? If you’re Lady Maga’s parents, some chain links matter more than others.

  • It speaks volumes, doesn’t it, when the lead item–from AOL to the network news–is what is being said and alleged by former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman and how the White House is responding. The president, for example, called her a “low life.” The biggest issue should be Omarosa’s tapes–regardless of embarrassing or scandalous content. Situation Room security was that easily breeched?

Otherwise, it’s all, frankly, about blatant opportunists who actually deserve each other and use the media and a presidential forum to further their own agendas. We deserve better–from an unqualified, overpaid, token African-American “adviser” to an unqualified, pathologically unhinged, dangerous Oval Office cult figure.

  • The era of Trump tweets has brought into focus, like never before, the reality that words truly matter. And it’s not all tweets. We still don’t know, unless a translator breaks ranks, what was said between Trump and Vladimir Putin. Here’s hoping they did a better job than the United Nations’ translator in 1956. That’s when the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev further fanned the flames of Cold War fears by declaring: “We will bury you.” That, as it turned out, was the English version. In Russian, it translated to “We will outlast you.” But the Cold War didn’t do nuance.

Here’s hoping the translators at the Trump-Putin summit exchanged notes.

  • America’s relations with Turkey are, as President Trump recently noted, “not good at this time.” Part of that is an American pastor still held on espionage charges. Another part is a function of the U.S. abruptly and unilaterally doubling the rate of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey. Only two years removed from a coup attempt and with an economy that’s in crisis, Turkey–that most, uh, incongruous of NATO members–would shock nobody by turning to Vladimir Putin for help.
  • In 1970 the U.S. was the world’s biggest oil producer. Not exactly nostalgia producing. Then it was surpassed by the Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia. Now America is on pace to reclaim that distinction. What happened in the midst of enlightened self-interest that began prioritizing pollution awareness and alternative-energy agendas?

In short, innovation that wasn’t limited to wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars. To wit: hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. We know this is right in somebody’s MAGA wheelhouse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *