The president and his teammates violate the rules of the gam
"The best defense is a good offense." That is true in football as well as in that even more brutal contact sport, politics. And be warned that this piece is riddled with shameless sports metaphors, because what we are discussing here is the championship game between Trump University and Deep State -- although the whole concept of a "deep state" is a contrivance by Donald Trump's team to feed the paranoia of the base, which is united in the belief that a coordinated "state" is plotting against him, and them. The fatal flaw in this concept is that this organization of secret rulers has no capability to be organized at all. In fact, the members of the so-called establishment are always running every which way.
Back to the best defense-good offense thing: The legitimacy of Donald Trump's entire presidency has been severely hampered by the accusation that the election was influenced by the Russian government, led by the sinister Vladimir Putin, the master of blocking in the back. So Trump and his teammates are trying to neutralize that attack by hurling their own slime at their perceived main opponent for reelection, Joe Biden. They're raising discredited accusations that it was Biden, as vice president, who was involved in a nefarious arrangement with the Ukrainian government to protect his son Hunter Biden, who was accused of shady business practices there even though the Bidens had been investigated and cleared. But Trump and particularly his lawyer Rudy Giuliani have been pressuring the new Ukrainian government to reopen the investigation, which would fake out the opposition.
In the smarmy game of politics, such diversionary tactics are routine plays. However, the field is also swarming with referees, and not impartial ones. Those who play for the Trump opposition in Congress are just looking for the chance to blow the whistle and penalize him for an egregious foul.
Actually, the whistleblower in this case is not a member of Congress, but someone who has leveled accusations that could bloody the president. The unidentified whistleblower was obviously someone connected to the intelligence game, which is usually played in the dark. He observed all the rules by going to the spies' inspector general, objecting to the tactics of someone (clearly the president) who may have crossed the foul line in his dealings with Ukraine's newly elected president. Specifically, if the news reports are accurate, President Trump in late July made it clear in a phone conversation with new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that a quarter-billion dollars in promised military aid would be released only if Zelenskiy's government reopened its investigation of the same charges against the Bidens, which would obviously distract the opposition.
However, Trump's own actions could themselves be construed as criminal. If the inspector general legally determines the whistleblower charges are an "urgent concern," the law states that Congress must be provided details. But this president has ignored the role Congress is supposed to play in this game's rules, otherwise known as the Constitution. As with just about all allegations of illegal behavior, the Trump administration is stonewalling, refusing to cooperate in any way with Congress, particularly the House, where the game plan is controlled by Democrats.
Instead, Trump and his Trumpettes have turned to their heckling tactic, which works extremely well for them. Even though they don't know who the whistleblower is, they are insulting him. On Fox News, he was called a "punk."
Speaking of punks, did you catch Corey Lewandowski's smackdown with the House Judiciary Committee the other day? Lewandowski, Trump's first campaign manager, scornfully dumped all over the Democrat-led committee. He did make news by bragging that he routinely lies to media.
His testimony won the full approval of Trump. The president and his teammates violate the rules of the game, so much so that if he had effective opposition, he'd face the ultimate penalty: ejection.
(c) 2019 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.