Irish-American sycophants in step with ‘The Man Who Would Be King’
BY PETER F. STEVENS
The stench of corruption has spread across the United States from Washington where The Potomac Swamp has swelled into President Trump’s Lagoon, and as our immoral, and amoral, Prevaricator-in-Chief continues to shred the Constitution, the free press, the courts, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the entire intelligence community, and democracy itself, Irish-American pols and advisors cravenly carry the president’s rancid water.
“Nothing is politically right that is morally wrong.” Those words, quoted several times in this space over the past year, were uttered some 170 years ago by Daniel O’Connell, the Irish leader who devoted his life and career to the battle for Irish Catholic rights and on behalf of his homeland’s poor. In supine service to a man who believes the Department of Justice should be his own Praetorian Guard to prosecute and persecute anyone he deems an enemy or a personal threat, lame-duck Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, and, sadly, Brighton-born-and bred General John Kelly have wholeheartedly embraced a corrupted and perverted twisting of O’Connell’s words: “Everything is politically right from a president who is morally wrong.”
Take Trump’s desperate, fraudulent, and perhaps ultimately successful effort to derail the Mueller investigation of the president himself. Take Trump’s daily violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause to further enrich himself and his family. Take the tax returns he refuses at all costs to release while knowing that Mueller has them. The Trumpian list that dwarfs the corruption of the Harding and Grant Administrations reveals a president who believes that he is above the law and who is aided and abetted in this stance by the aforementioned Irish Americans.
It is sad and sobering to see General Kelly, a man whose stellar military career seemingly embodied devotion to the Constitution. As a Gold Star father whose son was killed in action in Afghanistan, Kelly has sacrificed more than most Americans can imagine in service of the nation. That is why his willingness to tarnish his legacy in service to a president who would be king has baffled so many of his former admirers in these parts.
Kelly has not only derided Mueller’s all-too-legitimate investigation by parroting the president’s “witch hunt” mantra, but he has also voiced a Trumpian bias against immigrants not so different from the general’s own immigrant ancestors from the “old sod” and Italy.
Recently, Kelly griped on NPR that “today’s” immigrants are of little benefit to America. Why? According to the general, they “don’t have skills”… “don’t speak English” … are poorly educated … and come from “rural” areas. As the Washington Post and various genealogists have noted, Kelly’s criticisms aptly describe his own immigrant ancestors from Ireland and Italy.
Paul Ryan, whose eyes turn misty when waxing nostalgically about his ancestors who fled Famine-wracked Ireland, has groveled to Trump by abrogating the House’s Constitutional duty to provide oversight of the executive branch, swearing his fealty to King Donald even though his ancestors trudged onto “coffin ships” to escape a queen’s realm (Victoria and Parliament). Ryan has given his blessing to the House Intelligence Committee – an oxymoron for certain – to work with the president to shut down the Mueller investigation.
Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director and interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, loves to wear little shamrock pocket squares attesting to his Irish heritage. His addition to that heritage? Corruption in service to the Trump Administration with his recent advice to large banks that if they want the administration to do their bidding, they need to donate more campaign money.
Roughly a year and a half into the presidency of Donald Trump, a dilemma that should not be a Red versus Blue is a watershed juncture in the nation’s history. If he shuts down the MuEller investigation, all patriotic Americans should take note that the president will have established that he is above the law and that Constitutional norms are null and void. Do benighted Democrats counting on a Blue Wave and dreaming of impeachment believe that Trump will not make a move on the special counsel long before November? Do delusional or cowed Republicans and other Trump supporters actually believe that the truth about what Trump and his inner circle did or didn’t do during the campaign and beyond will be buried?
Democrats can rant until they’re blue in the face – all puns intended – but the truth is that only Republicans willing to stand up to the president can stop his power grab over the Department of Justice. He is now the face of the GOP, like it or not. To the world, he is the face of our nation. From that face each and every day come words that embody the chilling credo of the Big Lie: “…when one lies, one should lie big.” Today’s lies are “witch hunt” and “Spygate.” Courtesy of that Scots-Irish paragon Mitch McConnell, a feeble Senate attempt to protect Mueller from Donald Trump will never come to the floor for a vote.\
As of this writing, a just-released CBS poll asserts that 53 percent of Americans believe that the Mueller investigation is “politically motivated.” If the figure is accurate, Trump and his minions are winning the political and public-relations battle. The demagogue in the White House grows more autocratic by the day. The adage says that democracy dies behind closed doors. If Trump’s acolytes – including his Irish-American Hall of Shame – plant him squarely above the law, what remains of American democracy will die in plain sight.