Author Archives: Steven Harper

Trump’s lawyers and the rule of law: Part 2

Trump fires Comey. Where is Don McGahn?

On March 20, 2017, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the bureau was investigating connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. Seven weeks later, Trump signed a bizarre letter firing him. Who wrote it? More precisely, where is White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II? Continue reading

Trump’s lawyers and the rule of law: Part 1

The president is playing with fire and his lawyers are fanning the flames. In the end, the nation will suffer the burns.

Shakespeare’s famous line has drawn conflicting interpretations. To some, it’s a 16th century lawyer joke. But to others focused on the anarchist who spoke them, it’s a nod to the role of law in underpinning a civilized society. Upon admission to the bar, the lawyers surrounding Donald Trump swore fealty to the US Constitution. When they assumed their current duties on behalf of all Americans, they reaffirmed that oath. When Trump attacks the rule of law, his advisers with legal degrees have a special responsibility to speak up. Whatever they’re saying to Trump privately, their public defense of his indefensible assault on the judiciary is no joke, and they know it. Continue reading

100 days of deconstruction: Part 3

Across the federal government, Trump is determining the country’s fate. The first 100 days of deconstruction set the stage for 1,360 that will follow.

Trump promised to be a transformational leader. It wasn’t an idle threat. He has assembled an unprecedented governmental wrecking crew. This is the third installment on Trump’s unique combination of kleptocracy and kakistocracy that is reshaping America in ways that most of voters won’t like. Continue reading

100 days of deconstruction: Part 2

Through key Cabinet appointments, Trump is gutting federal agencies that have improved citizens’ daily lives in ways that most Americans will no longer take for granted.

Beware of the enemy within. With respect to the US government, the ultimate inside job is well underway. Through key Cabinet appointments, Trump is gutting federal agencies that have improved citizens’ daily lives in ways that most Americans will no longer take for granted. Continue reading

100 days of deconstruction: Part 1

At CPAC, Steve Bannon declared that key members of Trump’s Cabinet were “selected for a reason.” In the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, that reason has become clear.

At its best, government saves the environment from polluters, prevents companies from exploiting consumers, safeguards individuals against invidious discrimination and other forms of injustice, and lends a helping hand to those in need. None of those principles guides the Trump/Bannon government. Continue reading

Begin the Trump resistance plan before it’s too late

Successfully resisting Trump requires united action toward a common goal, thoughtful strategy and flexible tactics.

Ordinary citizens searching for the convenient satisfaction of immediate necessity are Donald Trump’s unwitting allies in an unseen war on democracy. It’s difficult to blame them. Most Americans are busy leading frenetic lives. In sound bites, they receive what passes for news; there’s no time to confirm its veracity. Politicians like Trump tell them what they want to hear; it pleases them. But quick solutions displace efforts to understand complicated challenges for which there are no easy answers. Continue reading

The dangerous normalization of Donald Trump

There's a way to keep our short attention spans and Trump's norm-shattering behavior from damaging the republic: ‘Expose and Oppose.’

Americans are living through the dangerous effort to normalize the abnormal candidate who won the presidency with a record popular vote deficit of nearly 3 million ballots. Donald Trump has about the same popular support as losing candidates Michael Dukakis (1988) and John Kerry (2004). But that won’t slow him down. Continue reading