I’m a fan of President Trump. And I’m a fan of his tweeting. But even I can see that two of the president’s recent tweets make him look weak. It’s time for him to put up or shut up. When it comes to the FBI and the Russia narrative, Trump needs to stop whining and start winning.
In two tweets, Trump recently wrote:
Lawmakers of the House Judiciary Committee are angrily accusing the Department of Justice of missing the Thursday Deadline for turning over UNREDACTED Documents relating to FISA abuse, FBI, Comey, Lynch, McCabe, Clinton Emails and much more. Slow walking – what is going on? BAD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2018
What does the Department of Justice and FBI have to hide? Why aren’t they giving the strongly requested documents (unredacted) to the HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE? Stalling, but for what reason? Not looking good!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2018
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) April 7, 2018
In short, the FBI is refusing to comply with legitimate requests from Congress in line with the legislative branch’s oversight role.
The problem for Trump is that his tweets make it look like he lacks the courage or the know-how to assert the people’s authority over the administrative state. The FBI works for him. All he has to do is order to them to comply and then fire anyone who doesn’t. This is an opportunity for Trump—and he is missing it.
Before now, Trump has had to worry about the brain-dead narrative from many in Congress, including many on the right, who think that the FBI is an independent branch of government, meant to be insulated from the president. Nincompoops and statists, whether through ignorance or willfulness or through some combination of both things, have confused the idea of an independent judiciary—which means the courts of Article III of the Constitution—with the executive power vested in the executive branch of our government. At the expense of the idea that the people govern and the law rules, fools in Congress want to create an unaccountable fourth branch of government comprised of supposed apolitical experts who hold all three powers of government in their hands.
Trump has been improperly threatened by members of his own party in Congress if he dares to assert the peoples control, embodied by him, our elected representative, of the executive branch. This includes deep state and careerist bureaucrats of our FBI, who somehow think they should rule. Well, what will these congressional idiots say when the president fires members of the FBI for failing to comply with their legal requirement to submit to congressional oversight?
The president need only order the FBI to comply and then dismiss anyone who resists for a second. The more he fires, the better, since word is that most of the top floors at the FBI hate Trump (and, of course, us). The more he fires, the greater his argument is for a hardline republican (small “r” is deliberate) to lead the Bureau. He could call for disbanding the entire D.C. office if he has to fire enough of these deep staters. We’d all be better off for it.
And this is sorely needed right now to rally the base. Trump’s poll numbers may be up, but who actually trusts these polls after the 2016 election? If the pollsters are halfway as deep in the left’s pocket as some might think, then these high poll numbers are just as likely meant to give Trump false confidence as they are to reflect reality.
After signing the pathetic omnibus bill, Trump has been the doghouse with his base, and rightly so. He was sent to Washington as a fighter, dealmaker, and winner. But that bill showed that he is capable of getting rolled just like any politician. Some reports suggest Trump realizes his mistake and is feeling some buyer’s remorse for signing it. Taking the fight to the FBI in a serious way might be just the thing to reclaim Trump’s reputation. Simply tweeting at the deep state certainly isn’t enough.
Trump could deal a serious blow to the deep state. He needs to make a public case for the rule of law and for restoring government by consent of the people. And what is the branch closest to the people? Congress, of course. The president should do all he can to help restore the authority of Congress. As long as he is working to empower Congress, Congress would be powerless against him.
There is probably some tactical argument to be made about how Trump benefits from having an antagonist in the FBI leadership, or how the right choice is the indirect approach—to proceed slowly and carefully through the inspector general. Yeah, yeah. But a very public victory might also benefit Trump and all of us. We elected him to be different, didn’t we? Somehow whiney tweets don’t seem to be different enough.
Whatever he chooses to do, President Trump needs to stop whining and start winning. As he himself says, “you can’t con people, at least not for long. If you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” Now would be a good time.
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