Thursday, September 22, 2022

Cheering Or Fuming

      You can almost predict if a person will be cheering or fuming about Donald Trump's latest round of legal difficulties based on their party affiliation. 

      Me, I'm just watching and waiting.  I've made no secret of not liking the man and in my opinion, no one is above the law -- certainly not Presidents, serving or ex.  Nevertheless, being served a search warrant or hauled in to testify is not an indictment, an indictment is not a conviction, and until the trials (if any) end and a verdict is pronounced, people -- even Presidents, even people we personally dislike, even horrible, everyday, powerless individuals who never held office but who have almost certainly done terrible things -- are presumed innocent.

      If you won't extend the same lack of prejudice to a polarizing public figure that you will to a drunken bum who is on trial for allegedly running over a kid on a rental scooter, you're not much of a citizen.  You're certainly not obliged to like them, but anticipatory delight or proxy anger is pointless.  Things will play out however they will and until they do, strong emotion is wasted effort.


  1. I was taught that all were equal before the law and I cherish that about our country. What I don’t cherish is selective enforcement of laws. If Trump turns out to be guilty in regards to the documents he kept, then Obama should be held to the same scrutiny as should Bush, Clinton and so on. Logically, if government can selectively enforce laws it follows that I can selectively obey them.

  2. Obama? Bush? Clinton? They didn't walk out of White House with box after box of official Presidential records, or delay returning them and lie about it when the National Archives wanted them back.

    Mr. Obama first: "Obama administration records are exclusively held and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration, the federal agency confirmed on Friday. Millions of unclassified documents were transferred after Obama left office to a NARA facility in Chicago, but neither Obama’s personal foundation nor the facility set to house his presidential memorabilia have control over those papers." Source.

    George W. Bush and Clinton: here's a twofer, in which it appears that both men complied with the Presidential Records Act. Each one exercised some of the permitted discretion about which records remain sealed for how long, though in different ways. Neither seems to have taken any official records with them when they left. This is from Politico and interestingly enough, Mr. Bush comes off in a better light than Mr. Clinton, which I would not have expected from them.

    As for your logic that "if the government can selectively enforce laws, [you] can selectively obey them," trying that at a more than trivial level will produce results that will surprise you. The reality is that prosecutors and Attorneys General at every level enjoy remarkable discretion in choosing which cases they pursue or pass on -- and they pick the ones in which they have a good chance of prevailing. Having plenty of physical evidence helps considerably, even more so than eyewitnesses.


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