Trump's chaos targets the rule of law as he dismantles our government from within

Trump's chaos targets the rule of law as he dismantles our government from within
By Michael Candelori - Imported from 500px (archived version) by the Archive Team. (detail page), CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75789348

As the drumbeat toward President Trump’s impeachment grows louder, Attorney General William Barr’s global press to validate his patron's "deep state" conspiracies is picking up velocity. Barr is racing to use the criminal justice muscle of the Department of Justice to derail Congress’ efforts to restore constitutional order by removing the mob boss in the White House.


By threatening criminal prosecution of the career law enforcement and intelligence professionals who alerted the world to Russia’s subversion of the 2016 election, Trump's civil service consigliere hopes to give the President what he’s lacked from day one: legitimacy.

This high stakes strategy works on three levels: It gives the deluded Republican base a horse to root for; it undercuts news media coverage of the congressional impeachment narrative; and it has former CIA Director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper looking over their shoulders, puzzled by the prospect of a grand jury subpoena.

As the evidence mounts against Trump in the Ukrainian quid-pro-quo caper, things are getting increasingly desperate for the White House mob’s inner circle. At least that's how it looks based on the behind-the-scenes glimpse provided by the transcripts of Rudy Giuliani’s butt-dial calls to NBC reporter Rich Schapiro.

Apparently, times are tough for the global fixer-for-hire whose own mob crew has been getting picked off by FBI agents and prosecutors from the Southern District of New York. At this point, that U.S. attorney's office appears to be its own center of gravity, resisting the subversion of the rule of law by Barr and the Department of Justice, whose top priority is protecting the despot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“The problem is we need some money,” America’s former mayor is heard to say in the recording. Several seconds later he’s heard to say, “We need a few hundred thousand.”

The only thing comparable to this surreal time that comes to mind is the late 1960s TV comedy “Get Smart,” which starred comedian Don Adams as secret agent Maxwell  Smart, who worked for CONTROL, a covert American intelligence agency committed to thwarting KAOS, “an international organization of evil” with a Eastern European accent — but domiciled for tax purposes in Delaware.

That spy send-up created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry was the perfect comedic antidote for a nation that just a few years earlier was so convulsed by the threat of thermonuclear war with the Soviet Union that we hid under our desks to “prepare” for incoming.

Decades later, 20 years into a new century we find ourselves caught in a real world “Get Smart” scenario where CONTROL, protectors of the post-World War II liberal democratic world order, are in an existential, winner-take-all battle against the TrumPutin forces of KAOS ruled by a cult of bully personalities.

For Trump, chaos always been a management style used to blow up the rules and create the vacuum he needs to impose his will as the new illiberal order.

Over the last three years, as Democrats huffed and puffed about his outrageous behavior, Trump and his right-wing ideologue enablers have been working 24/7 to dismantle the federal government’s civil service. These are the people who staff the scientific research agencies and industry regulators that act as a check on corporations. With several executive orders that a federal judge ruled unconstitutional, Trump has tried to destroy the unions that have represented these federal workers since 1962.

By leaving key positions vacant and others filled until further notice with “acting” stand-ins, he advances the force of chaos that gives his whim the force of law.

Consider the impact of the vacancies on the federal bench of judges presiding in New Mexico, where the docket has been so overwhelmed by the criminal crackdown on immigrants that a judge was forced to deny a motion for an emergency hearing brought by environmental groups against the Bureau of Land Management over drilling.

Native American and environmental groups are trying to stop the Trump administration push to open up more federal lands to fossil fuel drilling.

“Fossil fuel production on federal lands accounts for about a quarter of U.S. carbon emissions,” according to Climate Liability News. “The Trump administration has vowed to increase fossil fuel leasing on federal lands and waters, including attempting to open protected waters offshore of Alaska and the Atlantic coast for drilling.”

But as the Wall Street Journal reported, swamping the federal courts in New Mexico not only limited the access to the courts for environmentalists, but has led “to longer jail time for migrants.”

If you're Trump what’s not to like about that combination?

It’s hard to overstate how much of a payoff Putin and his network of kleptocrats got from their 2016 soft coup that put Trump in the White House, despite losing the popular vote by 2.9 million. Now, their forces of chaos can run the table while a former superpower eats its own tail.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.