A participant over on Army.ca says “You know that you live in a new age of politics when the president and the porn star is a non issue.“
Well, maybe not …
The Economist says that “There are three big reasons for Ms Clifford’s [Stephanie Clifford is stripper Stormy Daniel’s real name] effectiveness as a Trump-mocker. The first is that the star of “Big Busted Goddesses of Las Vegas” appears, through no plan of hers, to have put the president in serious jeopardy. That is not because of her alleged months-long affair with him, which took place long ago and reveals nothing new about Mr Trump. Rather, in the usual way of political sex scandals, it is because of the blundering way he, or his retainers, tried to cover it up. Two weeks before Mr Trump’s election his lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Ms Clifford $130,000 in return for an agreement not to speak of the alleged affair, which the president denies. When this was revealed, Mr Cohen claimed, almost incredibly, that he had taken the step on his own initiative, using his money. Ms Clifford then sued to be released from the non-disclosure agreement, claiming Mr Cohen had broken its terms by talking about it and the president had done so by failing to sign it. She has recorded an interview with CBS’s show “60 Minutes”, which is expected to air on March 25th … [and] … The effect [of this “storm in a DD cup” as The Economist calls it] is devastating, a rapier to the president’s bludgeon. Ms Clifford has not merely ridiculed and perhaps imperilled Mr Trump more effectively than anyone else. She has done so, most crushingly of all, while coming across as perfectly pleasant.“
The 60 Minutes interview did take place the other night, and the key point may be at 13’50” of the video when Anderson Cooper begins by saying “What makes the dispute between Stormy Daniels and the president more than a high-profile tabloid scandal is that her silence was purchased eleven days before the presidential election, which may run afoul of campaign finance laws.” Then Trevor Potter, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, someone who should know about these things, says that “The payment of the money just creates an enormous legal mess for, I think, Trump, for Cohen and anyone else who was involved in this in the campaign.” Anderson Cooper then asks, “Are you saying that can be seen as a contribution to benefit a campaign?” And Mr Potter says, “I am. it’s a $130,000 in-kind contribution by Cohen to the Trump campaign, which is about $126,500 above what he’s allowed to give. And if he does this on behalf of his client, the candidate, that is a coordinated, illegal, in-kind contribution by Cohen for the purpose of influencing the election, of benefiting the candidate by keeping this secret.“
Could this be what brings the Trump
fiasco presidency down? Is this the “high crime or misdemeanor” upon which impeachment charges might be justified?
I think, (maybe just hope) that there must be tens of millions of Americans who want Donald Trump gone … out of political office. I believe (probably hope, again) there must be hundreds of thousands of active Republicans who want their party, the Grand Old Party of US politics, to reform itself, to shake off the lunatic, know nothing, isolationist fringe and use the next two years to re-establish themselves as the party of middle class, middle-America … but that cannot happen as long as President Trump is in the White House. I hope there are hundreds, even thousands of American legislators and “back room boys (and girls)” working, right now, on schemes to bring Donald Trump down … I don’t care if he’s impeached or just resigns so long as, by 2019, Mike Pence is the (temporary) chief executive. I don’t have even half an idea about who the next US president should be … I just KNOW, with absolute certainty that, for the sake of the global economy and world peace it must not be Donald Trump. If the Republicans have half the brains that the gods gave to green peppers they will look beyond the Tea Party and seek a young, moderate, thoughtful republican, maybe someone with a legal or legitimate business background (one that didn’t involve serial bankruptcy), maybe not a career politician from a political family … it would be a bonus if she were black or hispanic. (The young lady in the photograph is Erika Harold a young, up and coming black Republican … a Harvard educated lawyer, with a real resumé.)
But, in my opinion ~ and it’s really none of my business, being a Canadian ~ our American friends and neighbours have let an old, old system that was designed to stifle popular democracy morph into one that, save for the electoral college bit, puts immense power in the hands of so-called activists who have the time, inclination and money to get deeply involved in partisan politics at many levels. I mean I still have immense trouble figuring out how these two …
… ended up being the (almost) only choices instead of, say, some of these, just as examples …
Jim Webb Christine Gregoire Marco Rubio Kelly Ayotte
I’m not suggesting that any or all of those people would be great US presidents but I suspect that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump bought their nominations as much as they campaigned for an earned them … although I will admit that President Trump did tap into a wave of anger and fear that has been growing in America since the 1980s when America was shocked to find that Japan was buying up many prized “brands” and to the 1970s when Americans learned that Asians could mine coal and make steel as well as Americans could.
But, I believe that America is still a liberal nation, at heart … that its values are still those of the “good neighbour” and of defending like-minded democracies, and of facing down aggression. Those are, I think, still the values of “the American street,” of “Main Street USA,” but its voice has been lost in a high volume shouting match between the hard left and hard right in American politics …
… which I am firmly convinced cannot be quieted (it, indeed no voice, even the most repugnant, should be totally silenced) until Donald Trump is removed from the scene.
The best way to remove President Trump is to persuade him that he cannot survive, politically, and that for the sake of his reputation (and because of legal threats) he is best to resign and trust that Mike Pence, following the precedent set by Gerald Ford, will pardon him. The second best way is to impeach him and then let the law take its course if cases can be proven in court. Stephanie Clifford ~ AKA Stormy Daniels ~ may be the key to either outcome. If so she will, eventually, be a true American heroine.