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Senators who vote for Trump’s vindication are blessing such corruption in the future: columnist

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In an op-ed published at The Washington Post this Monday, Michael Gerson argues that despite Donald Trump’s election promises of rooting out corruption and fixing the ‘broken’ culture in Washington, he has instead called upon his party and followers to “normalize corruption and brokenness as essential features of our political order.”

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Using the example of the core foundation of Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial, which is that he “used public funds as leverage to gain private, political benefits from a foreign government an impeachable abuse of presidential power,” Gerson contends that Republicans’ only means of defense against the charges is a “babbling incoherence in trying to avoid it.”

“And because Trump denies any wrongdoing — pronouncing his own actions “perfect” — senators who vote for his vindication are effectively blessing such abuses in the future,” Gerson writes. “Their action would set an expectation of corruption at the highest levels of our government.”

According to Gerson, Trump’s approach to governing resembles a “crime syndicate.”

“Anyone Trump can hire or fire is assumed to be an operative, sworn to personal loyalty,” he writes. “Fixers and factotums are employed to impose the leader’s will and to weed out resistance. Discipline is assured through the fear of swift and cruel reprisal. Any action that ‘owns the Democrats’ or defeats the ‘deep state’ is justified because Trump’s opponents are disloyal to the United States and seek its ruin.”

“This is a world where ethical rules count for nothing,” he continues. “A world where character is for chumps. A world where institutional constraints are temporary obstacles and the pursuit of power takes priority over every norm or principle.”

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Read the full piece over at The Washington Post.


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Center-left Keir Starmer replaces Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader

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Britain's main opposition Labour Party named Keir Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions who opposed the country's exit from the European Union, as its leader on Saturday.

Starmer, who has tried to carry the socialist supporters of outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn while also keeping more centrist Labour members on board, beat Rebecca Long-Bailey, an ally of Corbyn, and Lisa Nandy in the contest.

He won with 56.2% of the vote by party members and supporters.

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Video app Zoom rockets to fame, with some hiccups, amid pandemic

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What does British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have in common with virtual happy hour celebrants and thousands of students around the world?

All use the Zoom videoconferencing application to get together while staying apart during the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

But amid its newfound fame, the Silicon Valley-based company has come under stepped-up scrutiny over how it handles privacy and security -- including allowing uninvited guests to barge in on sessions.

Created by engineer Eric Yuan in 2011 and listed on the Nasdaq a year ago, Zoom has seen its market value skyrocket to some $35 billion.

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Knife attack leaves two dead in French town of Romans-sur-Isère, mayor says

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Two people were killed and four others injured in a knife attack in the southeastern French town of Romans-sur-Isère on Saturday, the mayor said.

The attack took place in the morning outside a bakery where customers had queued, according to Mayor Marie-Hélène Thoraval, who said that the assailant had been arrested.

One of the wounded is in critical condition in hospital.

France is currently in its third week of self-isolation because of Covid-19.

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