Swamp Rabbit was trying to read the news to me but I was on the porch feeding the swamp cats and blasting Eric Dolphy’s Out To Lunch through my JBL speaker.
“I can’t hear you,” I shouted through the window. “Who is it that won’t testify?”
“That guy who looks like Fred Flintstone at Wilma’s funeral,” Swamp Rabbit said. “The attorney general.”
I went inside and read the story on my laptop screen:
[Attorney General William] Barr is expected to appear before the Senate and House Judiciary committees Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, to address questions about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. But according to senior aides for the panel’s chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Justice Department officials have objected to Democrats’ plans to permit extended questioning, including by the committee’s lawyers, and threatened that Barr may withdraw.
Bottom line, the AG did what Trump hired him to do: sugarcoat the Mueller report’s findings to protect Trump. Barr is reluctant to answer questions about this because he, like his boss, believes in an imperial presidency.
“They should quit wasting time and subpoena the guy,” I said. “He’s just another Trump lackey.”
“But he’s the AG,” Swamp Rabbit replied. “This is some serious shit, Odd Man. It could turn into Watergate all over again.”
I said yes, the current crisis is another test of whether a president can get away with ignoring the popular notion that the Constitution calls for three distinct and co-equal branches of government.
“But this is bigger than Watergate,” I added. “Trump is hiding a hundred times as many crimes as Nixon hid. Anybody else would be impeached by now. In jail, maybe.”
Swamp Rabbit, beside himself with angst, wondered aloud if the rule of law can survive a profoundly corrupt and ignorant president who dismisses the concept of congressional oversight. A would-be dictator, in other words.
“Trump says he’s gonna tell all his lackeys to ignore subpoenas,” he said. “What can them Congress critters do if that happens?”
“They can hold the lackeys in contempt and have them locked up,” I replied. “They can start with Flintstone.”
But then there’s the question of what happens if the courts get involved. I’m glad the rabbit didn’t ask me that.
Footnote: Check out this piece, which cites Garry Wills’s A Necessary Evil in arguing that the so-called Founders meant for Congress to have more power than the executive or judicial branches.
Another: David Cay Johnston, who’s been tracking the Trump monster’s ups and downs for decades, is convinced the courts won’t save him.