The Limb is Getting Thicker
I recently wrote that I might be going out on a limb by suggesting that ‘Something is Afoot’ with Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Pompeo, suggesting he was probably planning to back a different Republican in this year’s Presidential Election.
Now it turns out that the Senate Republicans who acquitted Trump in the impeachment trial, hoping he would mend his ways, have been shaken by the virulent series of punishments he meted out to every single person perceived to have been on the wrong side of that process, including a decorated Ukrainian-American Army officer who was marched out of the White House under guard. Trump has now gone further, demanding that his Attorney General, Bill Barre, who pushes the concept of an unchallengeable executive farther than anyone before him, fire Andrew McCabe the justice department officer who set in motion the Mueller investigation as part of his normal duties, and for this to take effect on the day before he would have been eligible for his retirement pension.
Most recently, Trump demanded that Barre reduce the sentence of one of his old friends and ‘fixers’, Roger Stone, provoking the attorneys who investigated the case to step down in unison. Barre brought in several attorneys from far outside the Washington jurisdiction to evaluate their actions, but the move that sent shock waves through the Beltway was his televised complaint that Trump’s incessant tweets prevented him from doing his job, effectively breaking with the President. The only thing of concern to most Americans was that he had allowed the Department of Justice — a national ikon — to betray its impartiality, resulting in calls for him to resign.
I believe that by breaking with the man who put him in office, the Attorney General was signaling to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor John Bolton that he is ready to join them in preventing Trump from being re-elected. While Republican senators could not afford to impeach the president without losing their seats, they are appalled at what his behavior has done to their party’s reputation, and this is likely to encourage their two highest level cabinet-members to act. (When both were serving at the White House, the former as Secretary of State, the latter as National Security Advisor, they vied for second place. But as they walked down the central aisle with the other cabinet members to hear Trump’s State of the Union speech, Bolton showing his usual disdain for charm, Pompeo could be seen shaking legislators’ hands with the benevolent ‘Big Man’ smile reserved for Presidents toward their assembled minions. With Bolton having been prevented from testifying at the impeachment trial, the publication of his tell-all book somehow ‘delayed’ until March, I believe one of them will replace Trump as the candidate in the upcoming election.
There is actually a volunteer for that job, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who could probably be counted on to do as he is told. And former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg could return to his old home in the Republican Party instead of running against Trump as a Democrat with Hillary Clinton by his side, as is rumored. But the biographies of Trump’s National Security Advisor and Secretary of State suggest that these two men have the grit to do something spectacular, to ‘save the nation from dictatorship’.
The difference between Trump, an entrepreneur backed by a wealthy father, and Pompeo, who graduated from the best schools in the country and played every situation to his advantage, couldn’t be starker. During Trump’s first presidential campaign, the media couldn’t get enough of his endless offenses to truth and morality. Playing to his high-school level armed base, it elevated Know-Nothingness to the White House. Currently, it ignores the fact that Trump’s phalange would take to the streets were he to be ‘cheated’ out of a second term, with the tacit consent of wealthy backers who know that the ‘White’, or Caucasian Race accounts for a mere 16% in the world.
Critically, as Bernie Sanders rises in the polls, the media wallows in intrigue, rather than educating voters about the stark differences between Wall Street and Social Democracy, one supposedly sophisticated talk show host bragging with a laugh that she knows nothing about socialism. And yet, if Sanders becomes the Democratic candidate, in order for the Republicans to stay in power, Trump will have to be replaced on the debate stage by someone capable of debating his socialist philosophy, such as Bolton or Pompeo. As for William Barre, with Pompeo in the White House and Bolton leading foreign policy (or the other way around), like his long-ago predecessor J. Edgar Hoover, he probably has files on every American politician, making him a precious accomplice.
While this trio might save the country from open dictatorship, neither America’s allies or its foes should applaud. Pompeo told this year’s Munich Security Conference that the West faces no serious challenge, but what he did not say was that he plans to attack Russia and China rather than cooperating with them to make the world a more peaceful, prosperous place.
Deena Stryker is a US-born international expert, author and journalist that lived in Eastern and Western Europe and has been writing about the big picture for 50 years. Over the years she penned a number of books, including Russia’s Americans. Her essays can also be found at Otherjones. Especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.