Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
At The American Prospect, Alexander Salmon writes—Prosecuting Trump Is the Only Way to Heal the Nation. Letting him off the hook for multiple crimes would reinforce Trump’s own contempt for the rule of law:
Going out as it came in, the Trump campaign’s last days were ablaze with misconduct, corruption, and illegal activity with no regard for the law and no fear of consequence. According to the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, the final three weeks of the campaign produced a flurry of FEC filings with plainly illegal individual contributions far beyond the individual limit of $2,800. All told, the campaign took on $2.7 million in wrongful and excessive donations in the last 20 days. The Biden campaign’s FEC reports over the same period showed no similar pattern.
That misconduct is barely a blip in the course of the Trump experience, where a brazen disregard for the law and the expectation of total impunity has been perhaps the most coherent and consistent direction of the president’s four years at the helm. Trump himself and his various appointees engaged in crimes far more grievous than campaign-finance violations. The stuff we know about—the violations of the Emoluments Clause, the solicitation of foreign interference in elections, the tax cheating, the use of the military on civilian protesters, the sexual assault allegations and the attempted use of the Justice Department to fight them, the obvious and repeated obstruction of justice, and on and on—may be dwarfed by the crimes we haven’t yet been made aware of. Trump was impeached for a tiny percentage of this, and then he and his enablers in the attorney general’s office and the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security kept on unabated.
The need for a Trump Truth and Reconciliation Committee, for some exposition of the breadth of misconduct to allow for just the possibility of accountability, was a popular refrain in the lead-up to the November election. But since Election Day came to pass, the volume on those calls has dropped dramatically. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested in November that the time for accountability was close at hand, her comments were met with alarm. Politico, in what purported to be a non-editorial piece, broke the fourth wall to assert that the suggestion that Trump et al. be prosecuted for their prodigious lawbreaking was “[r]arely a healthy sign in any democracy,” while quoting an anonymous White House official on the topic of accountability: “It definitely should scare the American people more than it scares me. That type of rhetoric is terrifying.”
That’s the messaging, somehow, that’s coming from many liberals as well. After rattling off various types of truth and reconciliation commissions in a recent column for The Washington Post (postwar, post-genocide, post-slavery, post-Nazi), historian Jill Lepore resolves that “[n]one of the conditions of a truth and reconciliation commission apply to Trump’s four years in the White House,” and “what the nation needs, pretty urgently, is self-reflection,” before decreeing that “history, not partisans, prosecute Trump.” But if history has taught us anything, it’s that history makes for extremely weak prosecution. Self-reflection is an antidote for bad behavior only in lenient preschools. […]
THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING
Deep Frozen Arctic Microbes Are Waking Up, by Kimberley R. Miner, Arwyn Edwards, and Charles Miller. Thawing permafrost is releasing microorganisms, with consequences that are still largely unknown.
America Has Central Planners. We Just Call Them ‘Venture Capitalists.’ by Eric Levitz. Koch & Co. ignore how pervasive top-down economic planning is in the actually existing private sector — and how much their horror stories about a “big government” future resemble American capitalism’s present.
Will the murder of Iran’s star nuclear scientist embolden diplomacy? by Daniel Brumberg. President Trump would probably welcome any Iranian response that could justify a U.S. military attack during the last weeks of his slash and burn presidency. But Iran’s leaders are not careless or stupid.
“At this season of the year, darkness is a more insistent thing than cold. The days are short as any dream.” ~~E.B. White, Essays of E.B. White (1977)
At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—EPA Declares Open Season on Mountains:
As threatened, the Bush Environmental Positively-useless Administration has repealed key parts of the Stream Buffer Act. Previously, the EPA had been cooperating with companies to subvert the act, but judges in some districts were still slowing down approval of mountaintop removal operations. Now even that token obstacle has been removed.
Approval by EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget paved the way for Interior Department officials to finalize industry-backed changes in the 25-year-old stream “buffer zone” rule.
Environmental groups had fought the change, because they hoped that either court actions or moves by the incoming Obama administration might use the buffer zone as a tool to more strictly regulate mountaintop removal.
Despite the destruction of more than 400 mountains, and the routine violation of the existing rules, the Bush administration still hustled through this gift to the worst operators in the coal industry. In doing so, they fulfilled one of the dreams Bush has held since coming into office.
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From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.