In 1973, there were still some independent-minded lawmakers in the Grand Old Party. Today, not so much.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY LYNE LUCIEN/THE DAILY BEAST
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Something changed last weekend, did it not?
The firing of Andrew McCabe. The statement by Trump lawyer John Dowd to The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff that Robert Mueller should end his probe soon. Donald Trump’s tweetstorm just after that, his first tweets mentioning Mueller by name along with promises by aides that more attacks are on the way. The amped-up speculation that Trump will fire Jeff Sessions and replace him with someone who hasn’t recused himself so that someone can fire Mueller.
Somewhere in there also came an official reassurance by Trump lawyer Ty Cobb that the president has no plans to fire Mueller. Right. That’s about as reassuring as the NCAA promising that all that cheating is a thing of the past.
The temperature’s rising. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reports that this president feels he really knows how to do this job now, and from here on in we’re going to see Trump unchained. So the Trump we’ve been seeing has been chained? God help us.
Where are we headed? If Trump fires Sessions and brings in whomever, and that person does fire Mueller, we will be in the midst of a major constitutional crisis. The standard line is “the worst since Watergate.” But this one is looking like it could be far worse than Watergate. Why?
Because in 1973, we had a Republican Party with some independent-minded lawmakers in it. Here is The New York Times article covering the Saturday Night Massacre in October 1973. The third paragraph states: “Senior members of both parties in the House of Representatives were reported to be seriously discussing impeachment of the President because of his refusal to obey an order by the United States Court of Appeals that he turn over to the courts tape recordings of conversations about the Watergate case, and because of Mr. Nixon’s dismissal of Mr. [Archibald] Cox.”