How Do We Prevent the Next Grifter-In-Chief?

Thom plus logo Trump and McConnell are both pushing pardons. Trump wants pardons for his criminal cronies, enablers, and children. McConnell wants pardons for meat packing plants and corporate criminals.

Although past presidents have had family members working for them - Attorney General Bobby Kennedy is a famous example - none have ever had to pardon their family members for criminal activity in the White House. Until Trump.

Trump's family of grifters have been extracting money from our government and the American people since day one, starting with the inaugural fund scandal. Just since he lost the election. Trump has raised over $170 million: the grift continues!

Trump has sold out our country and our values. He's given top-secret information to foreign adversaries, embraced dictators and autocrats around the world, and enthusiastically damaged our relationships with allies. It's almost as if he's working for a foreign government.

Now we are experiencing 9/11 death rates every single day caused by a virus Trump refused to save America from. Why did he let a quarter million people die and several million become severely disabled from Covid? Incompetence, treason, or a new grift?

Our healthcare system is collapsing; except for the wealthy person's stock market, the economy is shredded; and every day average people across America are getting multiple fundraising appeals from Trump.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell wants America's worst corporations pardoned for forcing workers into situations that cause death and disability, both from Covid and other conditions. And he's holding Covid aid hostage until he gets his corporate pardons.

With very few exceptions, pretty much every elected Republican in the country is supporting both these men in their corrupt pardon demands. Which is crazy.

Since Reagan, Republican ideology has had at its core the fantasy that corporate behavior should never be regulated; when corporations do bad things, the marketplace will punish them so government regulations are unnecessary.

It's crazy, of course, but it's the excuse Mitch McConnell is using to say that big corporations in America like meat packing plants and warehouses should not be held responsible if they make decisions that cause their employees to get sick or die.

McConnell's demanding pardons for corporate criminality in the Covid relief is as obscene as Trump preemptively pardoning his children and criminal co-conspirators. Republicans screamed for years about Bill Clinton pardoning Mark Rich, but now? Crickets.

Trump and McConnell are revealing the true essence of what the Republican Party has become since radical right-wingers took it over with the so-called Reagan Revolution in 1981.

In the 1990s, Newt Gingrich doubled down on the new Republican grift with his Contract on America, where 6 of his 10 points were variations on tax cuts for rich people and his giant corporate funders. Gingrich is now in deep with Trump's new email fundraising grift.

Republicans' Reaganomics grift poisoned our air and water and froze workers' wages for 40 years, while making CEOs and GOP politicians like David Purdue mind-bogglingly rich, all rationalized by a rightwing echo chamber so most Americans didn't realized how poisonous it is.

Now the GOP's “Government can't do anything” grift is out in the open; it's killed over a quarter million Americans, and led to open, naked, unabashed criminality in the White House, where even second- and third-level functionaries proudly flaunt the Hatch Act and election law.

Trump wants his pardons for himself and his family and criminal buddies; McConnell wants his pardons for the corporations that give him money. Both will probably get away with it, but we need to make sure this level of corruption and criminality never happens again.

After Trump leaves office, we need to revisit the 1970s when Congress passed multiple laws regulating money in politics to protect American from criminals in the White House like Nixon and Agnew. This is so much worse: Congress must act!



Rob Lukacs's picture
Rob Lukacs 3 years 28 weeks ago

I think its to late. The task of overcoming the uber wealthy is out of reach now.

The best we can do is slow their progress.

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 3 years 28 weeks ago

I sadly agree.

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 3 years 28 weeks ago

IF we do have a next time:

The next President needs to have their powers limited - No more fast track; period!!

No more unilateral decisions. Unless we in the process of being bombed.

They need to put people in the cabinet that have proven records of helping people. Not some greedy bums off the street.

The supreme court needs to have a law that demands to be represented by a very close, approximate, balance of both parties.

The Pentagon and FBI should only be changed for good proven reasons, emphasis on PROVEN.. Enough of this "firing bologna" and replacing them with idiots.

I don't have an answer for a balanced way of passing bills, but Mitch certainly is not the solution.

This just scratches the surface.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 3 years 28 weeks ago

I think there is a misunderstanding about the “Big Lie.” It is generally thought that if a lie is repeated enough times, then people start believing it.

However, I think they believe the lie the first time they hear it, because it is what they want to hear in the first place. Repeating the “Big Lie” over and over merely makes the believers feel validated in their belief system and helps prop up their egos and gives them a venue for venting what they would otherwise feel uncomfortable about expressing.

When Trump slithered down the esculator and starting beating up on the Mexicans, he already had an instant following that now felt a new sense of liberation to express all the crap that they had long been compelled to keep, largely secret. Trump’s racist and fascist rants was music to their ears.

Thanks to Trump, Fox News, News Max, et al, there are now at least 70 million of the “Big Lie” addicts, connected by a common cause, the craving to be validated by the “Big Lie” and a seemingly endless parade of “Big Liars” willing to step forward to supply their addiction, now that they are no longer reined in by the Fairness Doctrine.

Bottom line: These “Big Lie” addicts have always been there and always will be there. It’s a defect of immature human nature that many cannot grow out of. You may not be able to change them but you do have to be aware of them.

djgilbert 3 years 28 weeks ago

In short, very, very difficult.

The decades of American exceptionalism have blinded a majority of the populace and some leaders, who are not the uncaring, cynical win-at-all-costs types.

For the country to survive, the concentration of power in DC must be broken with responsible federalism and strong checks on the authoritarian structures such as the presidency and the courts. Some progress may be possible with interstate compacts but, in reality, a 21st Century constitution is needed.

The disintegration of empires no longer occurs over decades or centuries as happened with the Austrian-Hungarian, Ottoman, or British Empires. The massive USSR empire fell apart basically from 1986, bookmarked by Chernobyl, to 1991. Are we looking at a similar timeframe with the beginning marked by COVID? It may well be reform or disintegrate.

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