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Mon Dec 5, 2016, 04:38 PM

How Republicans Justify Unlimited Trump Corruption

There are many countries in the world that are governed by men who use their office to enrich themselves and their families. Before now, or at least for the last 200 years (since Andrew Jackson secretly profited off his own land grabs) the United States of America has not been a country like this. The modern American tradition has required political leaders to renounce any financial interest that might bias their decision. Donald Trump has abruptly demolished this tradition. And the Republican Party is happy to oblige.

The U.S. government’s imperviousness to the kind of deep corruption that infects kleptocratic states had a key vulnerability: It rested on two completely voluntary norms. The first, a requirement that presidential candidates publish their tax returns so that their financial interests are public, was already discarded during the campaign. After some feeble, initial protest, reporters stopped bringing up the subject, and Republicans stopped suggesting that Trump comply. The second is a requirement that presidents divest their wealth and place it in a blind trust, so that they cannot knowingly make any decision that might redound to their personal benefit. Trump has discarded this norm as well. The only remaining obstacle to Trump leveraging his power for personal gain is a Congress controlled by his own party.

Republicans have mostly dealt with Trump’s conflicts by ignoring them altogether. Darren Samuelson moves the ball forward by asking many of them why they’re okay with a president leveraging his position for personal benefit. Some of them simply argue it is too soon to take any steps. “I take anything in the Constitution very seriously. I don’t want to leave any misinterpretation to you,” says House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “But I’m just saying, he hasn’t been sworn in yet.” Republican strategist Chris Wilson sneers, “If there was a situation that came up in which later there was a true conflict of interest, that created a dangerous national security situation, the problem is now nobody would believe them … They’re just jumping into it so quickly and on such a stupid issue that it’s almost embarrassing to watch.”

The notion that Trump’s conflicts of interest represent some hypothetical future case that may or may not arise is bizarre. For one thing, his unprecedented lack of transparency means the full extent of his financial interests will not be known to the public. If business leaders were giving Trump and his family stock or gifts in return for favorable policy, we would have no way to know. For another, a president-elect has power; since everybody knows Trump will become president soon, they have no reason to wait before ingratiating themselves with him. And even without public disclosure, reporters have already uncovered numerous conflicts of interest. Jeremy Venook has collected a dozen, a list that is already out of date.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/12/how-republicans-justify-unlimited-trump-corruption.html

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Reply How Republicans Justify Unlimited Trump Corruption (Original post)
bucolic_frolic Dec 2016 OP
Fast Walker 52 Dec 2016 #1
world wide wally Dec 2016 #4
Blue Shoes Dec 2016 #2
WhiteTara Dec 2016 #3
Bernardo de La Paz Dec 2016 #6
lonestarnot Dec 2016 #5

Response to bucolic_frolic (Original post)

Mon Dec 5, 2016, 04:42 PM

1. Republicans suck in almost every possible way, and it's so distressing they have been rewarded with

 

so much power again. OTOH, now they actually have to govern and we can see how truly bad they can be.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 5, 2016, 05:48 PM

4. I beg to differ...

What do you mean "almost"?

I think they run the table on sucking.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Original post)

Mon Dec 5, 2016, 04:44 PM

2. They're the party of corruption

Any major hoopla over Trump's future twitter wars will just give them more distractions to embezzle and privatize government resources. Get used to this stuff because its basically the headlines for the next four years.

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Response to Blue Shoes (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 5, 2016, 05:27 PM

3. He's already claiming 8 years

so that should make you want to vomit.

Welcome to DU! Hope it is a haven for you.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 5, 2016, 07:30 PM

6. He may not last two. May be impeached by own party. But only time will tell. . . . nt

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Response to Blue Shoes (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 5, 2016, 07:26 PM

5. Assuming privatizing government resources actually means stealing government resources.

 

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