Dear politicians and pundits: You’re expressing shock at Donald Trump saying that, if re-elected, he’ll weaponize the government against his enemies, real or perceived. You’re aghast — aghast! There’s been so much pearl-clutching that I can’t believe there aren’t broken necklaces everywhere.
Excuse me – but were you not paying attention during his term as president? He regularly sicced the government on folks to punish them. This isn’t new. Trump’s always been petty and vindictive.
- Trump fired FBI Director James Comey for having the nerve to not lie to Congress.
- Trump fired Andrew McCabe as FBI deputy director, just hours before he would have earned his pension, to punish him for opening investigations into Trump’s campaign. (McCabe sued over this obvious reprisal and won.)
- Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the man whose endorsement first made Trump look like a serious candidate, for not killing the investigation into Russian meddling in American elections.
- Trump first spread lies about Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for having blown the whistle on Trump’s attempted bribery of newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; the president then, in retaliation, fired Vindman from his White House National Security Council, and fired Vindman’s twin brother from his job as a lawyer, also at the NSC, on the very same day.
- Also on that same day, Trump fired Gordon Sondland as ambassador to the European Union because he also would not lie on Trump’s behalf at Trump’s first impeachment.
And for good measure, the IRS, during the Trump presidency, audited Comey’s and McCabe’s tax returns. What are the odds that was random? Here’s what John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner during the second Obama term, told The New York Times:
Lightning strikes, and that’s unusual, and that’s what it’s like being picked for one of these audits. The question is: Does lightning then strike again in the same area? Does it happen? Some people may see that in their lives, but most will not — so you don’t need to be an anti-Trumper to look at this and think it’s suspicious.
If you were going to clutch your pearls, you should have started in 2018. If you were so surprised at Trump’s announcing that he’d use any means at his disposal to punish those who have the nerve to stand up to him, then you must have been asleep on your fainting couch for the last five years.