News & Politics

Charles Blow: America Is Lurching Towards a Constitutional Crisis

And the ride is about to get a whole lot bumpier.

Photo Credit: Youtube Screencap / CNN

Politicians aren't exactly known for their humility, but hopefully, a sense of civic duty is married to their massive egos. Donald Trump, on the other hand, didn't run for president because he wanted to serve his country. As Charles Blow writes in his Monday column, "he didn't start his run for president believing that he could win, or even wanting to win. It was just another act in his carnival."

When the carnival of his campaign proved popular beyond Trump's wildest dreams, he sought the White House purely "to serve his ego." Now that ego has the nation lurching toward a constitutional crisis. 

Trump's win shocked the world, including Trump himself. He won the power he craved, but as Blow notes, "had no clue that his greatest victory could open him to his greatest jeopardy." See, it turns out that running a country is not like running a family-owned real estate business. There are checks and balances, and much to Trump's chagrin, the job requires quite a bit of reading. Those who expected the presidency to change Trump were gravely mistaken; instead of adapting himself to the situation, he's employing authoritarian tactics to retain his grasp on power, slowly eroding our democracy in the process. 

Blow writes that Trump is, "incensed by the threat and is shifting every lever of power to thwart it. His own survival, and that of his family and empire, is all that matters. For him, this is the ultimate game of Machismo Monopoly: The properties are at stake and there’s a 'Go To Jail' square in Robert Mueller’s corner."

He'll do everything in his power to discredit Mueller's investigation, however reckless. Take the infamous memo that had much of the mainstream media, if not the American people, in a tizzy last week:

The dud of a memo by the near-treasonous water boy Devin Nunes was mostly about FISA repeatedly granting the F.B.I. permission to monitor [Carter] Page’s contacts with Russians. Far from tarnishing the investigation into Russian contacts with the Trump campaign, the memo seemed to bolster the credibility of that investigation.

Even if the memo is a dud, and even if Trump’s attack on the FBI and Justice Department "may well have backfired," we still shouldn't rest easy. Trump gets reckless when he's cornered, and "the closer Mueller gets to the full truth, the more Trump’s panic will grow. He will feel more and more like a cornered animal, and it is very likely that he will resort to his final, unthinkable options. Firing Mueller is a definite possibility."

Some say that would create a constitutional crisis, but according to Blow, "we are already trapped in a slow-motion constitutional crisis, or constitutional train wreck." And we can't expect a Republican-led Congress to intervene. "Republican assistants in the legislature have so bought into Trumpism that they now know that they will share his fate," he adds.

Blow ends this column with an ominous warning: "Buckle up, folks: This ride will get much rougher before it finally comes to an end."

Read the full column.

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Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.