Oh No Not Again

Happy Indictment Day!

Only not.

Sure, “Teflon Don” got marched into court, had to get fingerprinted, and is facing full public disclosure of his hush money payments. It’s embarrassing. On the other hand, nothing he’s accused of has ever garnered more than a fine, not in any case I’ve ever seen. (NOTE: I’m not a lawyer.) The action itself — paying hush money — wasn’t illegal, or even immoral, and every campaign after Eisenhower has had a damage control unit.

Note that this isn’t just me saying it; the prosecution explicitly states that the payment of hush money is legal.

Now, I’m not going to get into the odds of Trump facing prison over this; that, at least to me, is entirely unimportant. There are three major criminal cases against him right now, and this one will soon be over. The other two, not so much.

The trouble is, this one looks a lot like a political hit job undertaken by people who personally hate The Donald and are out to get him. I’m not saying it is; honestly, I’d say what happened was probably actionable, at least as a misdemeanor; calling it felonious is a bit of a stretch, but that’s a normal trick undertaken by prosecutors looking to force a plea deal. It’s probably not a hit job. But it sure looks like one, at least to the general public.

In 2016, Donald Trump was one of the most hated political figures ever to stand for office, and he was standing right next to another: Hillary Clinton. He lost the Iowa Caucuses to Ted Cruz, who is about as charismatic as Limburger. Nevertheless, he won — in part because the G.O.P. refused to narrow the field before Super Tuesday, and rather more because CNN gave him a year and a half of free air time. His is the most well-known name in American politics.

And he’s getting free air time again.

In a way that makes him look sympathetic. Conspired against. Persecuted.

Let’s be frank here: I don’t care much for Uncle Joe as a president. He’s a straight-up guy; I’d let him hold my wallet, watch my luggage, or even borrow a book. But I won’t vote for him; choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. I don’t think he was competent when he was at his prime, and he’s past that point. If someone was holding a gun on me and forcing me to pick between Biden and Trump, I’d chance the gun.

But Donald Trump is slime.

As a president, he didn’t do anywhere near as badly as most of his detractors would have us think. A lot of his actions made sense and were in the public interest. This does not in any way make him better than pond scum. He’s the New York real estate mogul that makes New York real estate guys look bad. There are benighted creatures lurking in swamps that only feed on decay and rot and never see the honest light of day which are far less odious.

If only I could find it in me to believe he’s going to jail, I’d be less displeased — but he’s not. We all know he’s not.

The only thing this trial will bring him is more free press.

“Now with another one of these big bogus showdowns looming down on us, I can already pick up the stench of another bummer. I understand, along with a lot of other people, that the big thing this year is Beating Nixon. But that was also the big thing, as I recall, twelve years ago in 1960 – and as far as I can tell, we’ve gone from bad to worse to rotten since then, and the outlook is for more of the same.”
Hunter S. Thompson, “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72”

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Image Credit: Someone named Aphrio, who I’d love to be able to find and link to. A little help please?

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