ChrisWeigant.com

Presidential Assment? Har!

[ Posted Thursday, February 7th, 2019 – 17:30 UTC ]

President Donald Trump is not a happy camper. This was plain to see in his morning tweetstorm, where he finally realizes that he did not, in fact, win the 2018 midterm election. There has been a transfer of power in the House of Representatives, and Trump is finally waking up to what this is going to mean for both him personally and for his administration. Most normal politicians would have cottoned onto this basic fact over three months ago, but Trump is anything but normal.

He expressed his shock and anger at the prospect of Democratic-led congressional investigations in typical Trumpian fashion -- in other words, tweeting in all caps: "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!"

In begging to differ with Trump's assessment, I accidentally coined a new word. Here is my dictionary definition of the new term, which I hope everyone will soon start using as many times as necessary:

ASSMENT --
(1) accusing others of harassment when you are guilty of harassing them.
(2) revealing voluntarily to the world that you are an ass.
[synonym for (2): BECLOWN]

Of course, by changing HARASSMENT to just ASSMENT, we'll have one syllable left over, so allow us to dispense with a few of these, in direct response to Trump's claims of "presidential harassment": HAR HAR HAR!!!

Hilarious laughter aside, though, let's take a look at how President Trump just assmented himself, shall we? It all began with three early-morning tweets:

So now Congressman Adam Schiff announces, after having found zero Russian Collusion, that he is going to be looking at every aspect of my life, both financial and personal, even though there is no reason to be doing so. Never happened before! Unlimited Presidential Harassment....

 

....The Dems and their committees are going "nuts." The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing. Even stealing people who work at White House! A continuation of Witch Hunt!

 

PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT! It should never be allowed to happen again!

It is to laugh, no? In fact, I think I will, once again: HAR HAR HAR!!!

Never happened before? Unlimited Presidential Harassment? The Republicans never did this to President Obama?

HAR HAR HAR!!!

This, from a man who gleefully delighted in leading his rapt followers in chants of "Lock her up!" during his presidential campaign? So what was that, merely presidential candidate harassment, or what?

The Washington Post did a quick dive into all the times Donald Trump has called for investigations into Democrats (including many into Barack Obama's administration), and they came up with 18 of them, although they admit this could only be a partial list. Their list begins where Donald Trump began in politics -- accusing President Obama of being born in another country, and not in Hawai'i.

Birtherism was ludicrous from the get-go, as evidenced by how the birthplace of Ted Cruz was instantly a non-issue with Republicans when he ran for president. Cruz, of course, was born in a foreign country (Canada) -- exactly what the king of the birthers Donald Trump accused Obama of. But Republicans all finally read the Constitution and discovered that "natural-born" meant a natural citizen of the United States at birth, and not "born on U.S. soil," as would have been necessary for all the birthers to have even had a leg to stand on, and they collectively decided that Cruz was indeed constitutionally qualified to run. But if Cruz could be president, then Obama could also be president no matter where he was actually born. Again, this more than anything else proves the ludicrousness of the whole birtherism crusade.

But that didn't stop Trump from making his name in politics by chasing the moonbeams of birtherism all the way (so he said) to Hawai'i. From his birther beginnings, Trump has called for further investigations into Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, random Democrats, and random perceived Democrats. Here's the Post's full list:

  1. Birtherism
  2. Benghazi
  3. The I.R.S. targeting conservative groups
  4. Fast and Furious
  5. Obama's national security leaks
  6. Democrats, for collusion with Russia and for obstruction of justice
  7. Former F.B.I. director James B. Comey
  8. Former acting F.B.I. director Andrew McCabe
  9. Peter Strzok and others at the F.B.I.
  10. The writer of the anonymous New York Times article
  11. The missing Democratic National Committee server
  12. Hillary Clinton (Uranium One)
  13. Imran Awan
  14. John Podesta
  15. Loretta Lynch meets Bill Clinton on the tarmac
  16. Hillary Clinton (in general)
  17. Solyndra
  18. Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Trump called for numbers 11-14 on that list in the same tweet. But the real prime example of how Trump just assmented himself might turn out to be number six. This would complete the irony which Trump began in a debate with Hillary Clinton when he responded to her accusation that he'd be nothing more than a puppet with: "I'm not a puppet, you're the puppet."

Of course, this wasn't the only article exposing just how badly Trump assmented himself today. Because the idea that "this never happened before" or that "Republicans never did this to President Obama" is just flat-out ludicrous:

The more remarkable assertion Trump made in his tweets Thursday, though, was that Republicans never opened full-scale investigations of President Barack Obama. To put it simply, this is not true.

It is true that Republicans never opened wide-ranging investigations of Obama's private business -- because Obama didn't have a private business. We know that because Obama released his tax returns showing his income stream (a lot of book royalties) for the years leading up to his presidency. Trump didn't.

What's more, red flags have been raised about Trump's private business during his time in politics -- its role in the hush-money payments made to two women before the 2016 election, the money it has received from foreign nationals or companies seeking favorable treatment from the government, a proposed development in Moscow -- that certainly justify having some questions answered.

Trump, like many other fervent conservative media consumers, would have liked to have seen a bunch of random personal investigations of things such as Obama's birthplace or his college records, ideas that grew like bacteria in the swamps of the far-right during Obama's time in office. Congress didn't investigate those things because they were not worth congressional inquiries.

What the Republican-led Congress did investigate during Obama's administration was nearly everything else. Congressional committees looked into a failed A.T.F. sting program (dubbed Operation Fast and Furious). They investigated how the I.R.S. purportedly focused on conservative groups to reject their applications for nonprofit status. They investigated the failed launch of the website meant to sell Affordable Care Act policies. They investigated a federal loan to a solar-panel company called Solyndra as a purported example of "crony capitalism" on behalf of Obama's friends. And, of course, they investigated the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, over and over.

In fact, the man who is now the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, even blatantly admitted the partisan nature of the Clinton investigations, in an interview: "Everybody though Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping." You can't get much more political than that, in other words.

But now the shoe is on the other foot, and that foot belongs to Nancy Pelosi. For two years Trump has been allowed to get away with everything under the sun because both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were nothing short of boot-licking toadies when it came to their constitutional duty of providing oversight of their Dear Leader. Their "investigations" were designed to exonerate Trump, facts be damned, and that's exactly how Trump thought things were always supposed to operate. To quote the final line of that Post article, though: "And then the midterm election happened."

President Trump is weakly setting the stage for a grand legal battle with Congress over submitting to their investigations, of course. He is laying the groundwork for a flood of executive privilege claims, and he is hopeful that when they get to the Supreme Court, Justice Fratboy will guarantee that he emerges victorious. But his "victory," even if it happens, will consist of successfully hiding things from the public. That's not a very tenable political position to be in, because people -- even his base -- will begin to wonder what exactly he's fighting so hard to hide.

President Trump issued a blatant and extortionate threat in his State Of The Union address that the economy would suffer if Democrats investigated him. This, as with much of what Trump does and says, was unprecedented. "Nice little economy ya got here... shame if something happened to it..." isn't exactly politics as usual, in other words.

Democrats ignored his not-so-veiled threats, and are forging ahead with their constitutionally-mandated oversight duties. The investigations have begun. And, unlike Robert Mueller's investigation, much of these investigations will take place right out in the open. There will be hearings, there will be testimony, there will be stonewalling, there will be subpoenas, and of course, there will be leaks galore from any closed-door hearings.

Trump and his minions are terrified at the prospect, because (as mentioned) Trump is finally having to deal with the fact that he lost the midterm elections. There's nothing Trump can do to stop this train barrelling down on him. He can scream "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!" all he wants, but the reality is nothing short of my new dictionary definition of presidential assment. To which there is only one possible sane reply: "HAR HAR HAR!!!"

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

17 Comments on “Presidential Assment? Har!”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Gremlin note:

    Just before this posted, there were some problems with the new server. This only interrupted service for 10 minutes or so, and seems to now be fixed.

    Just thought I'd update everyone, in case anyone got an error message or two...

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed!

  3. [3] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    CW-

    You didn't happen to visit Urban Dictionary before you coined this did you?

    Interestingly the definition is:
    A great statistical evaluation, primarily akin to the southern border, sometimes prevalent in the Eastern coast, a term used with the conjunction of being an asshole.

    The landing page at this moment is listing the words edgelord and disadulation, along with coonman. the first two mesh nicely with your primary definition. the last is just tossed on the list due to the association with current events.

  4. [4] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    dang it, I hate it when I over code.

    the shaded bounding box showed up in the preview.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    When Trump feigns "presidential harassment", doesn't he betray his inherent disdain for all forms of real harassment ...

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Never trust the preview. Heh.

  7. [7] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I don't think that Trump was ready for the onslaught of investigative inquiries that struck the White House recently. There are probably hundreds of requests for thousands of documents, and the investigations haven't even ramped up yet. I heard that Trump hired 35 new lawyers recently to the WH legal staff, and now it looks as though that might not be enough.

    But no, it's not unusual. It's a sad fact that we seemed to take (a sort of) a break during the Obama years (though didn't Issa promise more or less continuous investigations?). It's just that they didn't find anything. We just forget that there were 16 investigations of Benghazi, just because there was nothing there, ultimately.

    So investigate away. He's the idiot who thinks he can get away with it.

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: There will be hearings, there will be testimony, there will be stonewalling, there will be subpoenas, and of course...

    There will be...………. POPCORN!

  9. [9] 
    Kick wrote:

    * Four new sealed indictments last week
    * Another new sealed indictment on Wednesday this week
    * Cohen's testimony postponed yet again to February 28
    * Other things I cannot publish

    And it's Friday! :)

  10. [10] 
    Paula wrote:

    Blotus projects as always.

    And meanwhile - this Bezos/AMI thing is...something!

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    no kidding, paula! bezos published what he says were the messages sent to him verbatim.

    hey cw, i think that post is worth your attention:

    https://medium.com/@jeffreypbezos/no-thank-you-mr-pecker-146e3922310f

  12. [12] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Looks to me like AMI just got their Pecker shot off.

    Bezos is the richest man in the world because he doesn't suffer fools, and Pecker is a fool.

    Be nice, though, to see the NE brought down by this one...

  13. [13] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    This is pure schadenfreude on the part of all you Democratical illegitimati, but keep it up, the Asshole-in-chief richly deserves it.

    But you gotta revel in it bigtime for the time being, because everybody outside you guys already knows that when the Mueller report is finally released, it's gonna be the biggest political anticlimax that ever 'exploded' with a dull thud.

    Then it'll be my time to wallow in the schadenfreude as I remind you that I told you from day one that getting dirt on your political opponent is NOT illegal, even if it comes from those evil Russkies.

  14. [14] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    The AOC lightning round re: money in politics. Any questions?

    Now This News

  15. [15] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    13

    Then it'll be my time to wallow in the schadenfreude as I remind you that I told you from day one that getting dirt on your political opponent is NOT illegal, even if it comes from those evil Russkies.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong! You must really enjoy wallowing in the stupidity, Stucki, and spewing this BS of yours on a regular basis since "day one" is the demonstrable proof. Allow me to remind you yet again that no many how many times you post your oft repeated ignorance proclaiming otherwise, it is MOST DEFINITELY illegal:

    Section 110.20 Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals (52 U.S.C. 30121, 36 U.S.C. 510).

    [pertinent sections, emphasis added]

    (b) Contributions and donations by foreign nationals in connection with elections. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.

    (c) Contributions and donations by foreign nationals to political committees and organizations of political parties. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or donation to:

    (1) A political committee of a political party, including a national party committee, a national congressional campaign committee, or a State, district, or local party committee, including a non-Federal account of a State, district, or local party committee, or

    (2) An organization of a political party whether or not the organization is a political committee under 11 CFR 100.5.

    (d) Contributions and donations by foreign nationals for office buildings. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party for the purchase or construction of an office building. See 11 CFR 300.10 and 300.35.

    (e) Disbursements by foreign nationals for electioneering communications. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make any disbursement for an electioneering communication as defined in 11 CFR 100.29.

    (f) Expenditures, independent expenditures, or disbursements by foreign nationals in connection with elections. A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make any expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.

    (g) Solicitation, acceptance, or receipt of contributions and donations from foreign nationals. No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20

    After numerous members associated with the Trump campaign denied meeting with any Russians, the goal posts were moved quite a distance in multiple increments when Donald Trump, Jr. admitted publicly that he and several members of the Trump campaign did indeed meet with several Russians in an attempt to get dirt on his political opponent. Upon reviewing campaign finance law, it becomes obvious why they continually denied any meetings with foreign nationals. Upon getting caught and being forced by circumstances to admit the contacts, it becomes obvious why they insisted they received "nothing of value" from the Russians. It doesn't matter, though, as it's a violation of several other laws to conspire to break the law, and it's also a crime to lie to federal investigators and Congress in an attempt to cover up said violations of law.

    So to recap: It is a definitely a violation of statute to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value from a foreign national, and that includes... your term... "those evil Russkies." Let that sink in, Stucki, please... otherwise you're just repeatedly assmenting yourself.

    ASSMENT --
    (1) accusing others of harassment when you are guilty of harassing them.
    (2) revealing voluntarily to the world that you are an ass.
    [synonym for (2): BECLOWN]

  16. [16] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    As far as I'm aware, not even the most rabid anti-Trump Democratic (i.e.you) claims that the Russian lady lawyer
    made any "contribution or donation of money" in her Trump Tower visit, and likewise in the infamous DNC email revelations.

    Therefor evidently where you and I differ on this is whether the phrase "thing of value" covers 'advice' and/or 'information' type help.

    You're contending/betting that it does, and I'm contending/betting that it doesn't. If your argument doesn't fail at the 'common sense' level, it will certainly fail at the first amendment level.

    But hang in there, keep on dumbmenting yourself and don't give up hope until you at last hear that dull thud of the Mueller probe 'explosion'.

  17. [17] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    16

    As far as I'm aware, not even the most rabid anti-Trump Democratic (i.e.you) claims that the Russian lady lawyer made any "contribution or donation of money" in her Trump Tower visit, and likewise in the infamous DNC email revelations.

    What kind of pro-Trump goober (you) would make the ridiculous mistake that money would have had to have changed hands at the "Trump Tower visit" as opposed to any other time in order for the MAGAts to have committed crimes, and how far up your ass does your head have to be to NOT know that the "Russian lady" (your term) is already on record claiming that Junior asked her for proof of her claims and spoke about lifting sanctions with her. Do you not understand what solicitation means?

    http://fortune.com/2017/11/06/trump-jr-russia-lawyer-deal-clinton/

    Therefor evidently where you and I differ on this is whether the phrase "thing of value" covers 'advice' and/or 'information' type help.

    Evidently you're limiting the Trump campaign's involvement to the one meeting with "the Russkies" and not factoring in the other 100+ meetings/contacts that members of the Trump campaign had with Russians... probably because it's well established that you don't mind one whit appearing stupid.

    Then it'll be my time to wallow in the schadenfreude as I remind you that I told you from day one that getting dirt on your political opponent is NOT illegal, even if it comes from those evil Russkies.

    So to recap: I've shown you the law multiple times wherein it is illegal for a campaign to solicit, accept, or receive the help of foreign nationals, and apparently you aren't capable of grasping this fact and continue to spew your ridiculous nonsense that Americans have a First Amendment right to do so.

    You're contending/betting that it does, and I'm contending/betting that it doesn't. If your argument doesn't fail at the 'common sense' level, it will certainly fail at the first amendment level.

    It's fairly damn "common sense" and has been well-settled law for centuries that our First Amendment rights are limited. For instance it's illegal for an American citizen to yell "fire" in a crowded venue unless something is in flames. I've shown you the law where it is illegal to do what you keep insisting is legal, and no matter how many times you repeat it, you're still wrong... it's still illegal.

    Your feeling that a law is unconstitutional also doesn't make it legal, and if you believe the Supreme Court would actually make a ruling that would allow foreign governments to turn the First Amendment into a tool to kill American democracy, then you and I see things very differently indeed.

    But hang in there, keep on dumbmenting yourself and don't give up hope until you at last hear that dull thud of the Mueller probe 'explosion'.

    Wrong again. I couldn't care less what the "Mueller probe" does or does not contain, as I believe the indictments -- sealed as well as heretofore unsealed and in multiple jurisdictions -- that have already caused multiple of the Trump MAGAts to plead guilty to their crimes and either flip or go to prison for said illegal acts are working quite nicely. :)

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