Thursday, March 4, 2021
March 4, 2021

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McFeatters: Trump not even pretending to govern anymore

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Prepare yourselves. Even as millions sicken and one American dies per minute, we once again are being distracted by Donald Trump’s shenanigans.

The culture of corruption, the pay-to-play nature of many federal decisions, the possibility of pardons for sale — the revelations will pour in for weeks to come.

Even as President-elect Joe Biden promises hope and more than half of an exhausted nation yearns for change, Trump is not even pretending to govern anymore.

He is nursing grudges. He will neither attend the Biden inauguration nor extend to his rival the traditional invitation of a visit to the White House. He has not said word one about the out-of-control COVID-19 pandemic since the election.

And he is raising millions of dollars from supporters ostensibly to fund his preposterous claim that his landslide loss in the Electoral College and popular vote was really a win. Much of that money, some $170 million, is probably going to pay for his ambition to run again for president in 2024.

Seventy-seven percent of Republicans reportedly believe there was widespread fraud in the election, even though the highly pro-Trump Department of Justice found no evidence the election was tainted and Trump’s cybersecurity chief, whom Trump just fired, said it was the most honest in our history.

We must not forget that Trump, his family and his businesses have benefited by $1.9 billion since he has been president. Did we mention that he seriously is mulling pardoning himself preemptively, which is constitutionally questionable, and his family members as well as many of his known associates? Why, if he and they are innocent of wrongdoing?

I hear you. Enough already. But to combat corruption, we have to understand it. If we don’t understand history, we will repeat it. As Biden and his people struggle to clean up government and help working people instead of the 1 percent (a huge change), we might even reelect Trump, the most corrupt president in U.S. history.

In coming weeks we will find that hundreds of decisions involving the environment and climate change, business regulation and consumer protection have been made to benefit big business and the wealthy.

This is on top of the $2 trillion in tax cuts Trump and his Republican toadies pushed through Congress. We’ve already forgotten how some of the people he put in top jobs, including Ryan Zinke, Tom Price and Scott Pruitt, abused their offices and were forced out of government.

Trump lied about the contagiousness of the virus, held superspreader events and then tapped a Fox News doctor who knows nothing about infectious diseases as his chief adviser on the pandemic, a man who doesn’t care how many people die and disparages mask-wearing and most steps to prevent virus spread.

Eight of Trump’s top campaign and White House aides have either been convicted of crimes or pleaded guilty.

He used hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to his now-defunct charity to fund his campaign.

Trump encouraged racism and cruelty toward the nation’s most disadvantaged. He separated children from their parents, which will forever stain our national honor. He caused great fear in millions of people who have lived in this country for years.

He has done his best to demolish democracy. And he has said nothing about crude, vulgar, frightening threats made by some of his own aides about election officials. He and his people consistently violated the Hatch Act by using government funds and assets for his failed reelection campaign.

As we move into the Biden era, it will be interesting to see if the Justice Department investigates Trump and his malfeasance, his dereliction in paying taxes, his corruption of the awesome power of his office.

Officials may well decide, as former President Ford did in pardoning Richard Nixon, that it is time to move on and end this American tragedy.

I am done with this vile man. I will never write an opinion column about Trump again. But we must not forget what corruption looked like in this still young century and how we let down the rest of the world. Trumpism is neither dead nor dormant. We are called to be vigilant.

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