I happened to catch CNN today just as David Nunes was refusing to recuse himself from the Russia probe.
Three things occurred to me.
1. The business ethics “training” I’ve had at my day job isn’t all that great. But hot damn, it makes pretty clear what a conflict of interest is, and also makes it absolutely clear that a perceived conflict of interest can be as bad or worse than an actual one. One would hope that a Congressperson leading a committee looking into wrongdoing would have better training in business ethics than me.
2. In eight years, Obama had relatively few scandals – and the ones there were (such as the “Fast & Furious” and “IRS targeting” scandals) were not ethics ones involving the actual administration. 1 While Brietbart claims that there were 18 scandals, they’re including stimulus spending as a scandal as a “waste of taxpayer money”. At this point, I’m hard pressed to think of a member of Trump’s cabinet or inner circle that doesn’t have some kind of scandal – or sheer incompetence – attached to them. And if you’re going by Brietbart’s standard of “waste of taxpayer money” being a scandal, Trump’s weekly golfing trips to his own resort are each and every one a scandal.
3. How long are we going to wait before calling for impeachment? How much evidence do we really need of Trump’s collusion with Putin? How many times are we really going to sit there and be outright lied to when there’s literally video evidence of the lies?
Look, I know how it feels when the person you supported doesn’t live up to your expectations. As much as I approved of Obama as a president, there were a good number of times that he did things I highly disapproved of. (Drone strikes, anyone?) The temptation to circle the wagons is high.
Maybe it’s because I grew up at the end of the Cold War, but I’m really having a hard time with understanding how conservatives are okay with these ties to a foreign government – and especially when it’s Russia.
It’s only been a few months, and every time you turn around there’s another person associated with Trump who has connections (and has lied about them – Sen. Sessions, I’m looking at you) with Russia.
1If you’re going to say “Benghazi” at me, there was no evidence of Clinton being culpable or did anything wrong. Others did, but not people in the Cabinet.