Reputational Mulligans

Steve Russell
Feb 6, 2020 · 9 min read
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Scene of the Crime from Pixabay

Grandpa taught me that reputation is everything.

Where I grew up, the land of cowboys and Indians, is also the land of second chances. Maybe third chances or more. Before instant communication, it was easy to pull up stakes in Nebraska and recreate yourself in Arizona. Wyatt Earp could be the law here and an outlaw there. A buffalo hunter could be celebrated for his marksmanship now and reviled for extinguishing the iconic beasts later.

Democracy is finished in England. It may be here.

and acts like fleeing to hide in the English countryside during German bombing attacks on London when British government ministers, the entire diplomatic corps, and even the royal family pointedly stayed put and shared the risk with the English population.

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Mr. Nixon from Pixabay

If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.

In response to the uproar over that novel legal theory, Dershowitz clarified it when he said:

[A] president seeking re-election cannot do anything he wants. He is not above the law. He cannot commit crimes.

I am uncertain about the new clarity, since my understanding is that solicitation of aid in an American election from a foreign country is a felony. I’ve been unable to generate an alternative reading of this part of Title 52 of the United States Code:

If the President’s belief that his reelection is in the national interest changes the character of actions he takes to that end, what about senators who believe their reelection is in the national interest?

The second question requires more verbiage, because I am asking for a response to this statement of the apparent implications:

To sustain that defense works a fundamental change in the relationship between the legislative and executive branches of government. There can no longer be “oversight” by Congressional committees because if the POTUS does it and the objective is to help his reelection then his act is, ipso facto, in the national interest. And even if there were theoretical oversight, the executive is no longer required to heed Congressional subpoenas like Mr. Nixon did and Mr. Clinton did when they produced incriminating material.

A “not guilty” vote in the Trump impeachment can be defended, no question. It just was defended on live TV.

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Sheet Head from Pixabay

Corporations are people, my friend.

Since he was not elected POTUS, his words and deeds remain tethered to his campaign. Scaring his pet dog by transporting it at high speed on the roof of his car was before his run for POTUS, but probably would not have become public knowledge without his campaign.

The National Discussion

The home of opinions on American politics and policy.

Steve Russell

Written by

Steve Russell is enrolled Cherokee, a 9th grade dropout, retired judge, associate professor emeritus of criminal justice, and (so far) a cancer survivor.

The National Discussion

The home of opinions on American politics and policy.

Steve Russell

Written by

Steve Russell is enrolled Cherokee, a 9th grade dropout, retired judge, associate professor emeritus of criminal justice, and (so far) a cancer survivor.

The National Discussion

The home of opinions on American politics and policy.

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