There was a TV ad on a little while ago for an online shopping website with the tagline of “Every day there’s a new little surprise.” Ironically, that kind of sounds like watching Trump every day, stumbling through life and his Presidency like somebody blindfolded trying to navigate a china shop. It’s like reading a Dr Suess book. Written when he was on peyote.
In the last week alone, The Trumpinator has displayed that not only can ignorance be bliss, when you’re as willfully ignorant as Trump, it can be truly orgasmic. On two separate, completely opposite issues, he has shown that not only dies he not understand the issues, he doesn’t even understand the reality.
Let’s take Robert Mueller first. Trump wants Mueller gone, and has since day one. Now, there are two basic issues involved, and both involve rules, one on each side. And here’s where the disconnect with reality resides. The big mystery question in the Trump-Russia investigation is whether or not Mueller will attempt to indict Trump if he finds criminal, not political, wrongdoing. There is nothing in the constitution that concretely prohibits this, as well as the prevailing ethos that “no man is above the law.” The only thing stopping Mueller from indicting Trump is a Nixon era Justice Department “opinion,” hotly contested, that a sitting President cannot be indicted, only impeached. This is not a codified law, hell, it isn’t even a DOJ regulation, it’s only an opinion that guides DOJ processes. And yet, to hear Trump, the White House, and the GOP tell it, it may as well have been carried down from the mount by Moses on stone tablets. Mueller can’t indict Trump!
Now yesterday, the moral and ethical toxic dump site that is Sarah Flackabee Slanders, stood behind the White House podium and stated unequivocally that His Lowness definitely “has the power” to fire Mueller if he so chooses. Except not so much. Back in 1999, when the Special Counsel was created, to replace the recently lapsed Independent Prosecutor law, there was an actual regulation, not just an opinion, but a regulation, that restricted the firing of a Special Counsel to the Attorney General, “with cause.” And several legal experts stepped forward yesterday to point out that in past cases, when executive power clashed with a department’s regulations, Regulations win hands down every time in court.
So, there you have reality dose one, Trump style. Mueller is powerless to attempt to prosecute a petty criminal in a $6,000 suit who runs the White House like a capo from “The gang who couldn’t shoot straight,: just because some DOJ official 50 years ago said “Nah, I don’t think so.” But an actual, written, set in stone DOJ regulation covering the termination of a Special Counsel don’t mean diddly squat if Trump wants said Special Counsel out of his hair. A court battle would be immediate if Mueller indicted Trump, and you can expect an immediate court battle if Trump tries to fire Mueller autocratically. Interesting times ahead.
Now, let’s look at boo-boo number two, immigration. Last week, Trump hysterically ordered “the military” to the southern border, to help turn back an impending tsunami of illegal immigrants poised to surge across the border. Only no, the law says that US regular army troops cannot engage in law enforcement activities on US soil. So instead, he had to let state Governors assign National Guard troops to assist in “support” jobs, not actually stand at the border duties. Cuz, like the National Guardsmen need more fresh air and sunshine, and it’s not like they have jobs or families, or anything like that.
So, what national emergency brought on this drastic response? Umm. A “caravan” of nasty brown people, mostly from Honduras, trekking across Mexico with the intention of streaming across our borders for the privilege of flipping burgers and trimming shrubbery. Illegal Immigrants! Rapists! Drug runners! Except not really. And nobody less than the head of the union of his own customs and border patrol agents had to call him out on it publicly.
It all comes down to interpretations, and those pesky regulations again. If that caravan of Hondurans gets to the border, swims across the Rio Grande, and tries to melt into the terrain, border patrol can scoop them up, and send them back. But that doesn’t appear to be the case here. The “caravan” doesn’t appear to be trying to “sneak” anywhere. They’re on buses, in Mexico City over the weekend. And according to several US lawyers traveling with them, trying to assist, none of them brought any swimming trunks with them.
It seems that the Hondurans are not trying to sneak into the country and disappear, in fact, exactly the opposite. They are traveling to the United States to “seek asylum” from persecution in their native land. And if those caravan buses roll up to a US customs border checkpoint in Texas, or Arizona, and state, especially with legal representation, that they are seeking asylum in the United States, they will have to be processed as such. And Wikipedia has the critical step of seeking either type of asylum, affirmative or defensive, prominently displayed;
There are two primary ways in which a person may apply for asylum in the United States: the affirmative process and the defensive process. Both processes require the asylum-seeker to be physically present in the United States.
That’s pretty much the end of it right there. Game over. If those buses pull up to a border control post and seek asylum, the National Guard can go back home, return to work, and play with the kids in the back yard. They are going to be admitted, especially if they have US lawyers there with them to make sure things go right, while their applications for asylum are processed. Will all of them ultimately receive asylum and be allowed to stay? Highly unlikely, but they will at least get the chance. The funny thing is that these people are going to use Trump’s own words against him. “We want immigration, but we want them to do it the right way, come in through the front door.” Well, these people are going to drive right on up to the front door, and politely ask to be let in.
It has often been said that the Presidency is now a job that is too much for any single man to handle. But when you’re talking about a petulant four year old only child being asked to play in a public sandbox, it’s damn near impossible. Which is the sad lesson we’re learning every day.