Overt rather than clandestine

Adan Gopnik observes that Trump’s protection is that he does it all in plain sight. (Well not all, but a lot. He does so much in plain sight.)

Any one of a dozen things that Trump has done overtly would have resulted, if done clandestinely by another President, in near-universal cries for impeachment, if not for immediate resignation. Just for a start, his firing of the director of the F.B.I. and then confessing to both a journalist and the Russian foreign minister that he did it to end an investigation into his own campaign’s contacts with Russians follows the exact form of one of the impeachable offenses—obstruction of justice—that was applied against Richard Nixon. The “smoking gun” tape smoked because it showed that Nixon had tried to stop the F.B.I. from investigating the Watergate break-in on phony “national security” grounds.

Trump just does it right in front of us – in an interview for a network news program! His boast to the Russian foreign minister wasn’t meant to be right in front of us, but nobody’s perfect.

Pragmatism is not a way of negating principle but, rather, the realist’s way of pursuing principle. The arguments against impeachment today are primarily pragmatic, the arguments for it primarily principled, but the principled course could, before long, turn into the only practical course. Impeachment may be too good for Trump. It may yet prove just the thing for the country.

In other words it’s not really all that pragmatic to let flagrant criminality and corruption proceed unhindered.

4 Responses to “Overt rather than clandestine”