Why Trump Can Just Get Away With It
Yesterday, Attorney General and real-life stand-in for Kapp'n from Animal Crossing, William Barr dropped charges against Michael Flynn.
If you can't remember back far enough in the 10,000 years of this administration, Michael Flynn was the first guy to get indicted during the Russia investigations and even plead guilty to lying to the FBI. Understandably, you might be thinking, "This is outrageous! How can the Trump administration get away with this?" Or maybe you're so used to Trump blatantly abusing the powers of the presidency without repercussion as he did with Ukraine and Russia, that by now you're resigned to thinking "at least history will judge him." We wouldn't be so sure of that either.
In the interview above, Barr is asked, "When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written?" Barr responds, "Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who's writing the history." He then chuckles his goomba-shaped head, and it makes you want to scream with every ounce of your soul and stomp him into nothing because he's right. History is written by the winners, and history may very well give this administration a pass as it has done for so many fucked-up things before.
Let's think back to the Iran/Contra scandal circa 100,000 BC (Before COVID), and if you're having trouble remembering that one, here's a song.
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council secretly used the money gained from Iranian arms deals to fund the Contras, an anti-insurgency group in Nicaragua. The press found out, and North took the fall for Reagan as Reagan denied he knew anything about it, much like Trump denied knowing all about the various people within his circle having secret meetings with the Russians. Oliver North's charges ended up getting dismissed, and he was as recently as last year President of The NRA with no one really giving a shit. Reagan also ignored the AIDS epidemic well past the point of it being too late -- hey, sounds like another guy we know -- and again, he is now basically deified as the GOAT of the GOP.
Presidents from both political parties frequently get a pass, and that's partly why Trump's actions, despite being so blatant and heinous, will probably get a pass as well. While some countries have a history of holding their leaders' feet to the fire, like how English journalists boycotted a Boris Johnson briefing after he tried to exclude some reporters, America doesn't work like that. Our media's tacit reverence of the presidency, combined with the difficulty of selling Byzantine Beltway drama to the public -- who are just busy with their own overwhelming lives 99.9 percent of the time -- has made ethical IDGAFs the norm with this administration. (To paraphrase Steve Bannon, the overarching strategy is to just "flood the zone with shit.") Just compare the approval ratings of these Britsh prime minsters to the approval ratings of American presidents on the FiveThirtyEight tracker, and you'll realize how much harder they are on their leaders.
But who knows. Perhaps Trump has pushed the limits to such extremes that the American public might start to wake up and do something. Perhaps we'll vote him out and insist that we strengthen the checks and balances on the presidency. But, more than likely, Trump and his cronies will continue to get away with any crime imaginable, and history won't remember a thing.
Dan is on Twitter and will talk about life with you in lieu of getting a therapist and he also hosts The Bachelor Zone Podcast, where you can hear him give a sports-style breakdown of all things happening on The Bachelor.
Top Image: United States Dept. of Justice