In an ideal political world, a candidate for president of the United States would first be vetted by her or his party, then by a serious and unrelenting press, and finally by a grueling campaign that pits best ideas against best ideas.
Unfortunately, in the 2016 cycle, none of that actually happened for Donald Trump. A complete political novice, he had no real credentials other than riding to political notoriety on the venomous wave of a conspiracy theory about Barack Obama’s birthplace. He then waltzed his way to the GOP nomination based on the freshness of his appeal in a sea of candidates offering nothing more than warmed-up leftovers from the Reagan years. And the media, well, its coverage of Trump as a serious candidate who might actually end up running the country (into the ground, btw) was pathetic, by and large.
But fear not my friends—the vetting Trump never really got is about to commence at the hands of the House Democratic majority, writes David Corn at Mother Jones.
Trump is about to receive the political equivalent of a top-to-bottom medical examination. It will be uncomfortable, if not painful. He won’t be able to tweet his way out of this. His lieutenants could well be enmired, responding to or challenging information requests on multiple fronts, some of which may end up before the courts. (Some might have to lawyer up.) With a White House already fueled by chaos—how many wheels can come off this bus?—the big question is: How far will the Democrats go?
Corn recalls covering Bill Clinton’s White House in the ’90s when it was under siege following the so-called “Republican revolution” that put Republicans in charge of the House. Although some Clinton staffers were depressed by the influx of subpoenas—one GOP chair alone issued 1,000 subpoenas—Corn writes:
The Clinton White House was packed with competent lawyers and political professionals who were highly experienced in governing, politics, communications, and crisis management. By and large, they managed to tend to their day jobs and handle all the investigations hurled at them by the Newt Gingrich-led House Republicans. But it wasn’t easy.
Now just imagine Trump’s hollowed-out White House trying to field an onslaught related to his taxes, his family business, his ties to foreign governments, his hush-money payoffs to women, his horrific policies (such as family separation), his obstruction of the Russia probe, etc. A virtual tidal wave of investigations will flood the West Wing come 2019, and Trump likely has zero idea what a pressure cooker that place will become.