Perspective: Trump can’t hide behind executive privilege anymore. But he’s still trying. https://t.co/Qt2ughfJPR— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 20, 2021
Trump's life has been about utilizing privileges to his benefit, whether it's bankruptcy laws that favor wealthy people or having the resources to fund multiple litigations or lean on witnesses nearly endlessly to delay or obstruct justice. He's basically what you might think of as a vexatious litigant--he uses and abuses legal procedures trying to exhaust justice. His suit regarding his (former) executive privilege is of a piece with his whole life strategy--delay accountability, never be transparent.
Do Trump's superfans understand that someone who goes to these lengths for reputational opacity is genuinely sketchy as all get out? Because my read on wanting executive privilege for his campaign shenanigans as if his one-term in office gave him perpetual license to bury his faults should be a big red flag that this man is hiding stuff!
So let's talk about the House 1/6 Committee's holdout, Steve Bannon. The committee voted to hold him in criminal contempt of Congress. If he was trying to avoid self-incrimination, one thing he could do is show up and plead the 5th. What he's claiming instead goes along with Trump's delaying tactic--claim a thing that is frivolous, wait for chaos. Bannon's 1/5 podcast suggests foreknowledge of all kinds of shit going down on 1/6. He has also, in the interval since, regularly hosted googly-eyed pillow magnate Mike Lindell on his podcast to chat about voter fraud and Trump's reinstatement. As near as I can tell, Bannon isn't just involved in events leading up to 1/6, but still wants to foment post 1/6 unrest.
It's kind of Bannon's pet project to destroy our country--he basically says as much. As one early Republican president noted, "A house divided against itself cannot stand" but the immediate fuckery of today is "Culture War!" Probably not a little bit inspired by Pat Buchanan's infamous RNC speech. But also just plain pettiness.
Bannon wants to have the committee go after him on the theory they will look heavy-handed. I want them to go after him because I want them to weight their gloves with lead. Fuck him up as he would fuck others up. I don't even mind saying so a little bit, because his bullshit threatens the American way of life. Maybe we don't need a civil war. But folks like him are angling for it, and that doesn't make America great, it makes it violent, further disrupts commerce, impoverishes us all. Only a scoundrel or a fool think we would be better for it.
Trump and his allies are a bit of both. They can not be allowed to toy with the system they would destroy given half a chance. I expect Bannon will see a criminal perjury charge, but it still is sucking up time. The trifling fuckshittery. The purposeful evasion. The arrow that points to knowing guilt.
I'll admit it: I need to finally see accountability to feel like this country is really back on track. It isn't enough that Democratic officeholders behave with ownership for their decisions, but GOP officeholders need to recognize what happened on their side.
I'm absolutely not holding my breath, though.