Trampling the Constitution …

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

These words are the presidential oath of office that every president takes upon being inaugurated into the office of president.  On 20 January 2017, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the above oath to Donald J. Trump.  In the past 24 hours, the same Donald Trump has threatened to break his oath not once, but twice.Constitution-1The first came on the wave of his rage over the Bob Woodward book, Fear, that is to be released next Tuesday.  Trump repeated his call for stricter libel laws … a threat he has made before.  What Trump is actually calling for, however, is a change in the very definition of the word ‘libel’.

Defamation is defined as the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation.  Defamation falls under two categories:  slander & libel.  The difference is simple: slander is verbal or by gestures, whereas libel is written or printed.

There are several things a person must prove to establish that libel has taken place. In the United States, a person must prove that 1) the statement was false, 2) caused harm, and 3) was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen. For a celebrity or public official, a person must prove the first three steps, and that the statement was made with the intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth.

Trump has been referring to the legitimate press as “the enemy of the people” while at the same time praising Fox News and even Breitbart, neither of whom are known for fact-based, honest reporting.  And now, he wants Congress to enact stricter libel laws, by which he simply means, by his definition, anything printed that is critical of him.  This is not how it works, and it would be a blatant disregard of the 1st Amendment if it were.  As long as what the press prints is factual, or to the best of their belief was factual, they are well within their rights.

Despite the fact that Congress has been bowing to the wishes of Trump since day #1, I cannot imagine that they would even consider such a bill, so I am not concerned that the press will ultimately be shuttered from reporting anything critical of Trump.  However, that he even threatens it is very concerning, for it is but one more indicator of his intent to rule rather than lead.  To bring the government into the realm of autocracy.  Such disregard for the Constitution goes against his oath.constitution-2The second and equally concerning threat was made as a response to protests against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday.

“I don’t know why they don’t take care of a situation like that. I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters. You don’t even know what side the protesters are on.”

Now, the statement in itself is disturbing enough, and taken in conjunction with his rants about Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest against police killing unarmed black men, it makes an even more chilling thought.  “I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protestors.”  Again, I direct attention to the 1st Amendment that protects freedom of speech, including peaceful protests.  And again, I remind you that he referred to white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia last year as “very fine people”.  He did not suggest shutting down their freedom of speech.

What is, perhaps, almost as bothersome as what he said is to whom he said it.  He made the statement during an Oval Office interview with the Daily Caller.  Now, in case you aren’t familiar with the Daily Caller, it is a conservative website co-founded by Tucker Carlson of Fox News fame.  Mr. Carlson has more controversies under his belt than can even be tallied.  To give you one small example of his idiocy, he is against seat belt laws.  Like its co-founder, the Daily Caller is laden with controversy and is definitely not a legitimate source of news.  A few examples:

  • In 2017, The Daily Caller published a story claiming that a “peer-reviewed study” by “two scientists and a veteran statistician” found that global warming had been fabricated by climate scientists. The alleged “study” was a PDF file on a WordPress blog, and was not peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.

  • In March 2013 The Daily Caller posted interviews with two women claiming that New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez had paid them for sex while he was a guest of a campaign donor. The allegation came five days before the 2012 New Jersey senate election. News organizations such as ABC News, which had also interviewed the women, the New York Times, and the New York Post declined to publish the allegations, viewing them as unsubstantiated and lacking credibility. Subsequently, one of the women who accused Menendez stated that she had been paid to falsely implicate the senator and had never met him. Menendez’s office described the allegations as “manufactured” by a right-wing blog as a politically motivated smear. A few weeks later, police in the Dominican Republic announced that three women had claimed they were paid $300–425 each to lie about having had sex with Menendez.

Carlson Tucker is not much different than Alex Jones, it would seem, and anybody who reads and believes the Daily Caller should come see me about a bridge I have for sale.  For Donald Trump to treat the Daily Caller as a legitimate news source, while denigrating the 141-year-old Washington Post, and the 167-year-old New York Times, is an indicator of his intelligence, or lack thereof.

So, we have a president who, as I have said from the very beginning, is not satisfied with the office of president, but seeks to undermine the foundation of the Constitution by chiseling away at the rights and privileges that document gives us in order to expand and extend his power.  Surely Congress will stop him, right?  Um … well …

**  Endnote:  While I am writing a post, I rarely check news other than to verify facts or look up something pertaining to the post I am writing at the time, lest I lose my focus.  Thus, I was not aware of the anonymous letter from a senior administration official that was published in the New York Times late yesterday afternoon until I had finished writing this post.  I will have more to say about that later, once the dust has settled just a bit, but Trump’s comment that “the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!” sends chills and signals another potential attempt to undermine the Constitution.  

56 thoughts on “Trampling the Constitution …

  1. The words and deeds of our president are truly damaging our republic at this point. I am a moderate in many respects and have some concerns about the track the Democratic party is on. That being said, the midterm elections are crucial. If Republicans win big or at least maintain control of Congress, Trump and the party will see this as a mandate and Trump will become more emboldened . Choose carefully America.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome! I used to be much more of a moderate than I am now. It seems the more the republicans push toward the right, the further I move to the left. That said, I share your concerns about the Democratic Party. I believe that rather than operating on a sound platform, they are mainly running on an “anti-Trump” platform. I understand it, but I’m not sure it is the best path. Right now, I think the main thing is convincing people how very important it is to vote in November. Far too many are being disenfranchised by gerrymandering, strict voter ID laws and other machinations, and then others are simply becoming jaded or apathetic. We truly do need to get the boot-lickers out of Congress.

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  2. Okay, there’s no more doubt about Trump. What we all suspected from the start has been proven by his actions as President. He is a megalomaniac of historic proportions. His detachment from reality is pathological and perhaps even psychotic. He is fanatically autocratic and represents an existential threat to the U.S. as a democratic nation based on the rule of law. He is patently unfit for the office he now holds.

    But, I have some questions for everyone. What does his election say about the state of America? How could an individual like Trump even come close to winning the presidency? In a reasonably healthy society, how likely is it that the people would support a madman for their leader? If that is unlikely, then what has happened to America?

    Liked by 2 people

    • He is a symptom of a wider malaise, a creation of the fears and passions of one segment of America fed on a steady diet of Talk Radio and Conspiracy Kooks, in amongst them were folk who genuinely believed he could be held accountable by the Republican Party.
      As a person he will be of no more significance historically than one of lesser emperors of Roman shoved aside by someone else.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Trump is a symptom of a wider malaise and he will fall eventually. But in the meantime, he is causing real harm. We shouldn’t underestimate him.

        We also shouldn’t underestimate the populist angst which has been exploited by the far-right. In Europe, it has led to Brexit, the rise of nationalist governments (e.g. Poland), and left-wing backlashes against E.U. centrism (e.g. Greece). In America, it has led to the election of Trump, declining voter turnout (particularly among younger, more liberal citizens), and the anti-establishment sentiment that has shaken both political parties.

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  3. Dear Jill and friends,

    A lot of our friends abroad have a hard time getting that you, me, Keith and many others have been well aware of for ages, everything that was divulged in the Bob Woodward book, ‘Fear.’ The 9/5/18 NYT Anonymous op-ed piece has again confirmed all that we have already known.

    We are faced with a US Congress where republicans rule because they have the majority of elected seats and thus, they carry the most power. These GOP members have refused to do their duty to protect us, the American peoples and others abroad from the whims of an abusive, sick, impulsive, racist US president. They don’t care about us.

    They are more worried about holding on to power.They are covering for this mentally unstable figure living in the White House. In short, their job, their party loyalty takes precedent over doing what’s right for this country. They ALL HAVE BEEN FULLY AWARE ABOUT HIS SHORT COMINGS FOR MANY MONTHS BUT THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO DO VIRTUALLY NOTHING.

    Meanwhile, we who have any decency are left to push back any way we can. Those of us who have made the contacts, can tell you these GOP members don’t give a damn.

    As beaten up as we feel, we are making sure that folks know how important it is for everyone who can vote, must vote in this upcoming 2018 November elections. This is the election of our lifetimes.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 4 people

    • Gronda, well said. What is so puzzling is five biographers and the ghost author of “The Art of the Deal” have all said Donald Trump has a problem with the truth. Financial reporters have noted for years that Trump does not perform due diligence on partners like he should and his business strength is his marketing and merchandising and not his management. This was all known in print, yet he got the focus on HRC’s short comings. Keith

      Liked by 4 people

    • Exactly! As I just told Keith in another comment, nothing that I’ve read by Omarosa, Michael Wolff, Bob Woodward or the anonymous person’s OpEd have come as any great surprise. We’ve known for a long time that he didn’t know what he was doing and operates from some other part besides his brain. And the members of Congress have to know it too … after all, they interact with him on a near-daily basis. So why has this been allowed to go on for nearly 20 months??? Because We the People do not matter one whit to any of them, not to Congress, not to Trump, and not to his staff. It is all about money, hence they protect the party and the prez. I surely hope we make a significant change in the structure of Congress in November, for I’m not sure this nation can take another two years of his autonomy.
      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you and Welcome!!! Yes, just when you think things cannot possibly go any lower, get any more disastrous, they do. I suspect tensions, tempers and jaw-dropping moments will continue to increase from now until the mid-terms in November, so fasten your seatbelt and hold onto your hat! Meanwhile, don’t forget to breathe and take some time away from it all. Feel free to drop by any time!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, between Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” and the NY Times op-ed piece from an informant, we did not learn much new about the lack of character or curiosity of the boss. We did learn that more than a few are discussing how to manage the man. The fact that both pieces jive with earlier leaks, books and pieces, is telling.

    The boss knows so very little (their words) about the job, its construct, the issues and the relationships, and does not care to change with studying, he of course will be at odds with the Constitution. I have cited the attorney Thomas Wells, who worked with Trump for years, saying that Trump lies everyday even about things of no consequence. But, in the same article, Wells said we should be offended that the man is vying for a job which he does not care to learn what it entails.

    The truth matters. Laws matter. Rights matter. But, not according to Trump. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • Quite true … nothing I’ve heard so far from Omarosa, Michael Wolff, Bob Woodward or the anonymous OpEd has surprised me — that in itself is a sad statement of how low we’ve sunk. But when we have a ‘man’ in the Oval Office whose staff must treat him as a child, managing and manipulating, just to keep the nation from going completely off the rails, then isn’t it time for the legislative branch to DO SOMETHING about it??? We … people like you, me, Gronda and Hugh … we saw this coming, we knew this was how it would be, although I think it is even worse than we ever imagined. But there is still some portion of the populace that thinks all is well. It isn’t.

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  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR THAT I WILL FAITHFULLY EXECUTE THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND WILL TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY, PRESERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.”

    He may have said these words … but he never meant to keep his oath of office. He never meant to act in the good of the nation! If anyone believed this, they were fooled!!

    Liked by 3 people

          • My dearest, I saw this comment last night but didn’t have the energy to leave a comment. I totally understand you because that’s the exact way I feel … it’s been like this since election night … now 18 months?
            I don’t see things getting better anytime soon. I’ve had this ‘fight or flight’ mechanism on since Nov. 2018 .. and right now I want to ‘flight’ … I want to go home!!
            Yet, it’s so much easier set than done, of course … some of my friends already have back up plans about leaving this place. One couple came from Cuba and they lived through the regimen there. They see things from a different perspective than ours … and that makes me think.
            Going back to PR isn’t really escaping the ‘machine’ here but it’s home.
            I’ve had this feeling since election night …. if I’m going to suffer, I’d rather suffer at home.
            There … I’ve finally put it in words.
            The zest for life has left me …. I do have spurts of it but there’s always that ‘something’ in the back of my mind.
            Sometimes I wish I lived in a bubble or in the fantasy land of those who , for whatever reason, are too busy with their lives to keep up!
            I’m totally spent, drained and exhausted!! Never in my life did I think it’d come to this ….
            I woke up to this today:
            http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-senate-kavanaugh-confirmation-20180906-story.html#nws=mcnewsletter

            Disheartening!! Later, dear one!! Hugs … ❤

            Liked by 1 person

            • Awww, my friend … I understand altogether too well, and I wish I had lovely words that could make you feel better, but sadly, I don’t. I cannot even convince myself that this will all work out well. Oh, eventually perhaps it will all turn around, but I think not in our lifetimes. But … I can only tell you that I am here to chat with, as you are for me, and that friendship and love make things just a little better, yes?

              More than once, my daughter and I have discussed relocating to Canada, assuming she could get a job offer there. But in the end, I always opt to stay and fight. I don’t have much voice, but I use what little I have and hope that somehow I am making a slight difference, making people think just a little bit more. I’m too old to want to just pick up and start over in a strange country. Sigh.

              Hang in, my friend. I love you! ❤

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              • Yes, dear one … that’s all anyone can do: hang in there!! I do deeply appreciate your ‘company’ here and our chats. Makes me feel connected to rational begins who understand this anguish that visits anyone with a bit of common sense. I can’t believe we are witnessing this unraveling, at super speed, of the so-called country, leader of the free world.
                I look at it as a battle between ‘good and evil’. We were taught good always wins, for the mere reason that it’s good. Seems to me ‘good’ is losing the battle. That’s what rattles me … along with the hateful streak that has come to the forefront in this, your country!!
                Yes, friendship and love do make things just a little better. I truly thank you and appreciate you beyond what words can express!! Hugs and plenty love … ❤ ❤

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  6. Trump just can’t take criticism so was bound to act against the Bob Woodward book. The deep dark mole who wrote the op-ed must have known he /she was screwing with Trump’s head and that Trump would want his/her head in return. I hope he doesn’t get it. For me though, this op-ed has come far to late, these criticisms should have been made clear long ago so people knew there was hope. It’s come a little to close to the mid-terms and is just a cry for Republican votes as they’re not all bad guys. Oh Yeah.who helped push through the great tax rebate of 2018 if it wasn’t them.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are quite right … the ‘man’ has an ego the size of Montana and has never, apparently, taken a look at himself to see that he is, like everybody else in the world, a flawed individual. I’m like you in that I have some suspicions about the person who wrote the OpEd … as you say, why wait until now, nearly 20 months in, and just 2 months before the mid-terms. I even wondered if perhaps it were a coalition of writers within the GOP, hoping to salvage what they can of their wrecked ship. And while it gives me a bit of pleasure to see Trump upset, for he is deserving, it also makes me a bit nervous, for frankly I do not trust him and the more riled he is, the more likely he is, I believe, to do something even stupider than he has before. Sigh.
      Cwtch

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  7. Two snarky thoughts that popped up in my head when reading this: Firstly, you could have named the post “Trumpling the Constitution”. And secondly, if the Trumpet was a reader, I would suggest he mixed things up when swearing the oath, actually saying “I solemnly swear I am up to no good”, thinking of the Marauders Map from Harry Potter… – But I am quite sure he never read Harry Potter … too many words… – Anyway, sorry for being silly, I now this is a serious subject. – Cheers from the Netherlands!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ha ha … I love “Trumpling the Constitution”! And we can always use a bit of silliness, so no need to ever apologize for that! You’re right, though … he would never be able to read Harry Potter … or any book, beyond perhaps Little Red Riding Hood. 😀
      Cheers back to you!!! Everyone settled back into the routine now?

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      • Yep, all good! Looking forward to the weekend!! (But I don’t even want to know what Trumpty Dumpty would make of Little Red Riding Hood! I mean … would he side with the wolf? Say it was unfair to dump him into the well with a tummy full of stones, just because he had eaten an old lady? She probably wasn’t a big tax payer after all, whereas the wolf showed signs of great entrepreneurship and really should be rewarded for his neat little trick…)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oooohhhh … you do that so well! I’m thinking you could write a book … remember “Fractured Fairy Tales”? You could do “Trumpled Fairy Tales”!!! I’m hoping that when you come to Hansel & Gretel, you will have Trump be the one they shove into the oven?

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          • He definitely would be perfect for the role of the witch! Just think of it: sitting in his ginger bread house, smirking, while the poor hungry kids are outside, trying to take a bite – and he throws them in jail for it … One has to labour for him, the other he keeps caged …. mmmmm, what does that remind me of???? Looks like fairy tales are not too far removed from the real world after all! …. Anyway: have a great weekend!

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