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February 9, 2017


Trump went to his usual daily excesses again today. He used his office to denounce the treatment of Nordstrom in not renewing his daughter’s business line and brand, a declaration which both Mother Jones and I think is tortious and subject to suit, perhaps under a little-used tort of interference with advantageous third party relations, since such pronouncements from on high quickly and drastically affect the stock values of publicly-traded firms like Nordstrom.  He also put down the three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court and said that anybody could figure that he had a winner, which brought a rebuke from his own and just recently nominated justice of the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, who called such statement “demoralizing and disheartening.” Those were not his worst deviations from presidential decorum, however, or at least matters of the governing he was elected to do rather than waste our and his time with childish pronouncements from the sandbox that smack of juvenile retaliation for perceived affronts to his dictatorial rule.

The worst thing he had to say today was that he knew things the American people didn’t know, that he had learned a lot in the last two weeks from his intelligence sources that we don’t know, and that the judiciary should keep its nose out of the president’s business in running the country. This is fear-mongering to justify a political stance and has little to do with national security, and this from a man who during the campaign bragged that he knew more than all the admirals and generals and who didn’t want to be bothered by repetitive intelligence reports day to day. In all events, he can and should quietly provide for our national security without all the publicity involved in inserting his narcissistic me-me-me into the equation as though this is all about him rather than about the nation’s security.

He doesn’t seem to understand that this country per its Constitution has set up three “separate but equal” branches, the executive, legislative and the judiciary, each with designated functions and operating as checks and balances on one another as envisioned by James Madison. Thus the legislature makes the laws, the president enforces them, and the judiciary interprets them and, as in the case of Trump’s immigration directive now in the hands of the judiciary where even if he has the delegated power to enforce laws, he must do so in accordance with the power granted and constitutional oversight. Laws themselves are frequently declared to be unconstitutional and unenforceable as unconstitutional delegations of power and for divers other reasons not pertinent here.

The foregoing thumbnail sketch is a synopsis of Political Science 101, a course Trump apparently did not take in his college days. Neither his word nor that of the Congress is the last word – all must pass constitutional muster as interpreted by a separate but equal branch of government – the judiciary – and mocking and insulting the members of that branch who are carrying out their constitutional duties goes well beyond a mere breach of presidential decorum; it is an insult to our democracy. What judges decide is open to criticism, of course, but not the judges, who are the final arbiters of what is or is not constitutional, and if, as we often boast, we are a nation of laws and not men, then personal vilification of judges is off-base, a threat to our democracy, and cannot be tolerated by anyone, including Trump.

Trump should wake up, understand that he was not elected God, and proceed to govern within the constraints of his constitutional authority as a president of all the people and not just his base, and if swallowing his narcissism with the aid of couch time and/or pharmaceutical assistance would help him in the governing he was elected to perform while ending his juvenile tirades, then good! The American people would finally have a president because as of now, we don’t have one when wounded egos and fear mongering transcend national security as though this were all a gotcha game. It isn’t.   GERALD      E



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