The unforgettable Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) is reputed to have said, each time her doorbell rang, “What fresh hell can this be?” The doorbell is now the daily news.
As I’m sure you know by now, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos recently interviewed Trump, and asked him if he would still accept a foreign nation’s interference in our elections by offering surreptitious information harmful to an opponent — even though the president has spent the last two years under investigation for having done precisely that.
Replied Trump, in his characteristically oblivious manner: “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” (I heard on MSNBC that even Laura Ingraham conceded on her show last night that she was “baffled” by Trump’s remarks.)
Norway is rather unlikely to start hacking into Democratic email accounts. But if it did, and it then shared the purloined information with Trump, that would be just as conspiratorially collusive as what Russia did with our criminal president. And of course “Norway” was but a benign substitute for the abysmal country that Trump actually had in mind.
“It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” continued Trump. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong.”
Yet what could be wrong, in Trump’s mind, with ill-gained dirt on a Trump opponent?
“When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman,” proceeded Trump, “they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
I once worked in congressional campaign and I did oppo research, and not once did I hear trash-talk with a foreign accent about our opponent.
Stephanopoulos reminded Trump that the FBI director, Christopher Wray, testified to Congress last month that all foreign interference should be reported to the Bureau.
But Trump knows better. “The FBI director is wrong,” he said.
This president is now utterly, insanely off the rails. Within merely the last two days he has openly invited foreign interventions into our democratic process — which is already, as I noted earlier this morning, a feral circus; and he has proclaimed before the Supreme Court that he’s above the law and thus Congress has no constitutional right to investigate the executive branch.
That, after 10 obstructions of justice, 10,000 lies and countless abuses of power. If not overdue — I’m beginning to think — the allotted time for impeachment proceedings is at least narrowing. If the Democratic Party is to retain an adherence to the rule of law and proper constitutionalism and any respect from an increasingly outraged electorate, the option of indefinitely postponing the upright act of submitting formal charges against this wildly corrupt president is fading. Fast.