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June 10, 2017


The old adage among the sports-minded is the title of this piece and is plain as can be. When you have the football your opponents do not and cannot score and that’s the best defense there is. It also has an application for presidents with their bully pulpits. When presidents command the air waves and ink press those who oppose him or her are not commanding these outlets.

This use of the public media enhanced by tweeter storms has given our current narcissistic leader masquerading as president opportunities to play the chutzpah game beyond belief. He is good at blaming his critics for the very things he is doing or has done in following the adage of today’s title. For instance, yesterday he tweeted that Comey was a leaker. This from a “president” who recently sat around in a social setting with Russians and openly discussed “highly-classified” intelligence!

Granted, a president has the power to de-classify intelligence on the spot and on his or her own, but such a right is not unlimited. As I have written before, there is some point on the spectrum of such disclosures where a supposed de-classification morphs from one which does no harm to our interests to one that can only be described as seditious or treasonous, or both.

Whether the substance of Trump’s free-wheeling discussion of “highly-classified” intelligence with the Russians amounts to sedition or treason is not for me to say; it is for the House to investigate under its  constitutional power to bring impeachment proceedings or for the Department of Justice to investigate if a criminal action is suspected, both highly unlikely what with captives such as Ryan and Sessions in charge and especially with Sessions, who has pretended to recuse himself from all matters Russian even while he is himself still suspected of inappropriate if not seditious conduct in his meetings with the Russians, meetings to which he did not admit before the Senate approved his appointment by Trump as Attorney General. I think we can all agree that he is unlikely to call a grand jury together to consider an indictment against his boss, especially since he has said that he will recuse himself in all matters Russian.

Trump is good at framing issues, as we have seen when he as leaker in chief whines on his twitter account that Comey is a leaker. He used similar reverse framing when confronted with his sexual predation with his “Look what Bill Clinton did,” or whatever fits his framing designed to change the subject and divert attention from his sorry record both in business (Trump University, multiple bankruptcies etc.) and matters sexual (too numerous and disgusting to cite).

So how are the Republican school marms in the House and Senate dealing with this third grade bully in the sandbox they have foisted off on America, a bully who discusses “highly-classified intelligence” in such ho-hum fashion with the Russians, Russians intent on the destruction of Western democracy, including ours? Their latest defense (aka phony framing) involves a plea of ignorance, i.e., Trump is too ignorant to understand his limits as a president! That is a plea I wholly reject. They are the ones who gave us this demented chief of state and it is their obligation to rein him in and end his Bannon-inspired plan to “destroy the administrative state” by ignoring our tri-partite constitutional division of power in favor of all power to the executive branch – a plan we used to call dictatorship.

End our democracy because those who govern admit to ignorance? How can any rational citizen accept such framing? I don’t. Trump is a wild beast in a china shop who has escaped from the zoo and the zookeepers who should be leading him back to the corral have apparently stopped for coffee and conversation about tax cuts for the rich and shafting the poor and the sick while the beast continues to destroy the porcelain and glassware in the shop, a shop called America.

What to do? Corral the beast and fire the zookeepers. The best defense is a good offense, and the ball will be in our team’s hands next year, so if the Republicans won’t do their duty we will do it for them.     GERALD     E









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