With the FBI’s raid on Cohen’s home, office and hotel room, the net is being narrowed, and Trump is, in all likelihood, trapped. And like any creature that operates from the limbic system, now is when he becomes most dangerous.
For example, there can be little doubt that he will fire Mueller. Republicans in Congress have steadfastly denied the need for legislation protecting the special prosecutor, but that’s just politics – it should be obvious by now that Trump is gonna do, what Trump wants to do, no matter how unethical, insane, dangerous, lunatic, immoral, unnecessary or bizarre it is. And his followers will follow.
So it doesn’t matter that Kelly was “horrified” when Trump lashed out at the Justice department leadership and the special counsel after the raid on Cohen. It doesn’t matter that the calculus of a rational mind would never fire Mueller, and it certainly doesn’t matter that it could cause a constitutional crisis, even as it tears the country apart. With Trump, Trump comes first, last, and all places in between.
That’s why as Mueller’s case gets stronger, things get even scarier. Trump loves to wag the dog. Distraction is his forte, and he’s good at it. Notice how outrageous tweets or radical decisions closely coincide with events that have the potential to hurt him politically. For example, think back to when Trump fired Comey. What else was going on at the time? Well the headlines were looking bad for Trump; the Republican’s assault on Obama care was making folks realize that it actually helped them, and attempts to repeal it were failing. Meanwhile, Trump’s first budget document was being panned by everyone and his popularity was plummeting. But Comey’s firing knocked the issues off the headlines.
This deception by distraction has been a constant theme in his presidency. For example, more recently we’ve had the “decision” to enter talks with North Korea, the “caravan” of illegal immigrants approaching our southern border, and the bombing of Syria among others. Syria, of course coincided with the release of details from Comey’s book. The more radical or insane the tweet, the more likely he needs the headlines changed. And of course, the elite establishment media picks up on the latest wag the dog moment with all the credulity of a slack-jawed yokel at a three care Monty festival.
So here’s the really scary thing. If he fires Mueller or if Cohen’s papers reveal his complicity in illegal actions (which is highly likely if they haven’t been destroyed) then he’s going to have to come up with one hell of a distraction. No simple fake war with Albania is going to cut it. Only a real war, or something equally desperate would do it, and Trump wouldn’t care about the consequences if it turned the page.
This is why Democrats need to start a relentless full court press in Congress to protect Mueller; it’s why people need to write, call, email, visit, and otherwise hound their Congressperson and their Senator until they do. It’s why folks need to tell the media and the press to start practicing journalism and cover events that are important in a historical sense, not merely what’s timely today.
Many in the media have noted that Ryan has a chance to lead this effort now that he’s announced his retirement. That’s probably wishful thinking, though. If there’s one constant in Ryan’s career, it is that he’s pulled off an incredible con by cloaking destructive Ayan Rand shrink and starve the government BS in the trappings of serious policy ideas. But his legacy now will be complicity with Trump, a gigantic and growing deficit, and a dysfunctional government. In short, he will be revealed as a hypocrite and a liar. Protecting Mueller is his last chance to leave a legacy that has anything on the positive side of the ledger.
But we the people, and Congressional Democrats shouldn’t hold our breath. We need a massive movement in place now, before Trump acts – something like the Occupy movement, which made it impossible to ignore wealth and income disparity.