Right now there is no health care debate in the nation’s capital. No conversation about tax reform. No talk of infrastructure to put people back to work. The nation edges closer toward a state of complete paralysis as this Russia saga gets buffeted with daily revelations and other intrigue.
The appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation is a welcome development, even though it raises the stakes for President Donald Trump and his administration, especially given that his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is reportedly at the center of the probe.
If the president truly has nothing to hide or to worry about regarding the Russia inquiry, he should let it proceed without heaping his trademark invective on it. His Twitter tirades excoriating the investigation as nothing more than a “witch hunt” clearly undermine his own standing on the issue. The president’s ceaseless attacks of the probe don’t render him credible on the issue. Instead, it deepens the suspicions critics have about his campaign and Russia.
The Trump tirades plant fear and anxiety in people at home, and confusion and panic among the nation’s partners abroad.
Interestingly, GOP voices like U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins have since advised Trump to abandon his Twitter account.
“The president needs to back off here and let the investigation go forward,” Graham told Time magazine.
“I would advise the president not to tweet or comment about the investigation as we go forward,” Graham added.
However, on advising Trump to quit tweeting, Collins told Yahoo News, “I don’t think he would follow it. I think he’s very fond of Twitter.”
At times, maturity and patriotism require us to abandon things we like. Continuing to hang on to those things reveals a side of our character that needs complete transformation. Trump's obvious narcissism and never-say-sorry character need as much change as the Washington swamp he promised to drain during the campaign.
In a functioning democracy like ours — that stands on the bedrock principle that we are a nation of laws — whenever something goes wrong in the republic, it warrants a thorough examination of the issues in question by the long-standing institutions that serve as its watchdogs and safeguards.
That is why everyone should be interested in finding out what actions Russia took to undermine our democracy and by implication, our stability and security. It is in the national interest to conduct a search for the truth regarding the Russian actions.
Trump should be leading the campaign to let the facts direct this investigation and not unleashing a barrage of early morning tweets. The more he excoriates the investigation, the more he provides fodder for news coverage that can significantly cripple his administration’s ability to address more pressing issues.
What Washington and its undrained swamp should be busy doing right now is engaging in the beckoning debates of our time.
I agree with Trump that the nation is very divided, but the commander-in-chief is not helping matters with his explosive tweets suggesting that there is a grand conspiracy targeting him.
No. There is no grand conspiracy. There is the wheel of checks and balances that is turning.
The writer hosts “Redline with Bankole Thompson,” which is broadcast at noon weekdays on Super Station 910AM. This column appears Mondays and Thursdays.