If you look up the word “twerp” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is defined as:
noun: a silly or annoying person
A second meaning should be: Stephan Miller. Actually, that would be an insult to all the other mere ordinary twerps of the world.
Yes, that Stephan Miller. Senior advisor to Donald Trump. Supreme czar of all things concerning immigration.
Miller is one of the most obnoxious members of the administration of Donald Trump, nearly in a class by himself. Even some of the Trumpsters are smart enough to understand the toxicity of Miller – not just his policy positions, but his personality.
Miller’s first and almost last public appearance as a representative of the administration came in February 2017, when he uttered those famous words, “the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”
Little did we know then how much nine words “the powers of the president … will not be questioned,” would come to explain how the Trump administration would govern.
We have seen that philosophy play out on a regular basis for the past 28 months. Donald Trump and company have made it clear that laws do not control them, much less propriety, honesty or civility. The Nixonian belief that “if the President does it, that means that it is not illegal” pervades every major action and every major member of the administration.
We have seen it play out in Trump’s cavalier firing of FBI Director James Comey, an act that from things publicly known was obstruction of justice.
We have seen it play out in Trump questioning whether a federal judge of Mexican heritage could fairly run a Trump-related trial as well as his continued assault on judges.
We have seen it play out in his contempt for the national security teams whose legally defined jobs are to protect America.
We have seen it play out in Trump’s dealings with foreign dictators, who he “loves,” while overlooking the travesties those scumbags commit. All the while, Trump continues to trash our allies.
We have seen it play out in his acceptance of and support for white nationalists and neo-Nazis.
We have seen it play out in Trump claiming “executive privilege” as an answer to all congressional inquiries.
We have seen it play out in the refusal of the Treasury Department to hand over Trump’s tax returns, despite the existence of a law with absolutely no qualifiers, which says that the Department “shall” release any tax return requested by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
We have seen it play out in Trump’s law suits to prevent his accounting firm and banks from releasing subpoenaed Trump financial records.
So yes, it seems that Stephan Miller was right. In the Trump administration the unbending rule is “the law be damned.” Trump’s powers “will not be questioned.”
Fortunately, Trump’s view of his powers increasingly IS being questioned: by some in Congress, by some courts, by over 900 former Federal prosecutors, and by the still-free (for the moment at least) press. It remains to be seen if the general public will become aware enough of, and troubled enough by, Trump’s flagrant abuse of presidential powers to support actually doing something about it.
Run, Chris, run
I know, you’re wondering which Chris I am referring to. The answer, of course, is both of them.
While some folks seem to think that the Collins for Congress 2020 campaign has just begun, the fact is that it began last December when he filed re-election papers with the Federal Election Commission. It seems, however, that having nothing to do in his day job, Chris Collins has decided to try to raise money for next year’s campaign. He hates to spend his own money.
For Republicans thinking about sending Collins money, I would suggest better uses of your money such as The Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Meals on Wheels; Make-a-Wish; or any of the dozens and dozens of other worthy and needy organizations that will put your money to good use.
There is now a second Chris in the 2020 race for Congress in the 27th District, State Senator Chris Jacobs. Jacobs was recently welcomed editorially into the campaign by the Buffalo News, which said “at least one grownup is in the race”.
Collins and others are now attacking Jacobs as a “never-Trumper” who did not support Trump’s election or re-election. Jacobs denies that, but the fact is that it would be hard to find any previous public evidence of his allegiance. Frankly I think Democratic candidates did not do enough in 2016 to try to draw out their Republican opponents’ attachment, such as it was or wasn’t, to Trump. That goes for Jacobs and most other Republicans in state elections in 2016 and 2018.
So Collins is in and Jacobs is in. There are only 392 days (as of May 28, 2019) until the June 2020 Republican primary. Assume that a credible campaign might need $1 million to compete in that district primary. That means raising more than $2,500 each and every one of those 392 days ($17,500 per week), starting tomorrow.
Of course Collins and Jacobs are in a position to totally self fund. Not so, it would seem, for the other potential candidates in the race except for Carl Paladino if he chooses to run.
So other candidates, if they are truly serious, need to begin their campaigns now. Talk is cheap. Campaigns are expensive. The reticence of the potential Collins’ challengers to enter the fray now is a sign of weakness.
We’ll soon see how serious Stefan Mychajliw, Michael Caputo, David Bellavia, Robert Ortt, Stephan Hawley or Carl Paladino are about running for the congressional seat. The next Federal Election Commission filings will be due in less than seven weeks.
Other that Jacobs, all of the other potential candidates will have a major obstacle in their way – Chris Collins. As long as he is out there, how do the other Trumpkin candidates raise money as the one and true protector of Donald Trump in the 27th District? What do they say about Collins? That will prove very interesting.
And as I have noted in previous posts, after 2022 the 27th Congressional District of New York will be no more. The options for Congressman X (there are no potential Congresswoman candidates in the running) will be limited after 2022. Maybe a term as the 27th district representative will lead to a gig as a Fox News talking head someday.