We’re being gravely naive if we think that Donald Trump and his pal and lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, are only spending their behind the scenes time talking to Ukrainian officials about Joe Biden in an effort to undermine the Democratic presidential frontrunner. It’s Ukraine and Biden today, but who knows who it will be tomorrow. They will go after whomever is leading the Democratic race in opposition to Trump’s re-election bid, despite the legality or illegality involved. It’s the way they think and operate. To them, there are no rules. While Democrats might think they’re prepared given Trump’s previous campaign tactics, no candidate running against Trump can run without looking over his or her shoulder.
Two years after Trump’s Inauguration, the Mueller Report confirmed that Russia absolutely interfered in the 2016 election. Trump asked for Russia’s help on national television, and he got it. What consequence did our President pay for his actions? None. But 34 Trump allies were indicted, including senior members of the Trump campaign. They paid the price, not him. Since Trump got away with it once before, he apparently thinks he can get away with it again. Maybe he’ll even throw Giuliani under the bus this time.
The pattern was set. I wrote about it two years ago and re-posted it six months later as things continued to spiral downward. Trump’s Style of Governing: How Much Can I Get Away With?
This time a whistleblower has stepped up to reportedly let us know that Trump has tried a theme and variation on his Russia election scenario with Ukrainian officials in anticipation of the 2020 election. Now exposed, Trump admits that he called the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, asking him to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. He brazenly did so the day after the special counsel Mueller Report finished testifying before Congress. In his mind, if there was no price to pay, why not?
To remind us all, asking a foreign power to get involved in U.S. elections is NOT opposition research.
The Trump re-election apparatus continues to focus on the Donald Trump who sees himself as a true star surrounded by the millions who follow him on social media, almost sixty-five million on Twitter alone. And a cable network he often refers to as his own. But the tentacles of reach are too often filled with toxins ready to poison.
Elizabeth Warren has dealt with Trump’s name calling when she ran in 2016, but now the heat is turned up much higher. Her crowd sizes are rivaling his and her poll numbers are rising. That’s a definite way to touch off negative Trump behavior. But how much? Is it enough to get him to reach out to another foreign power to challenge her ethos based on populist beliefs and messages? Who knows, and that’s the problem. He’s an unchecked loose cannon playing around with our democracy.
Trump never saw Bernie Sanders as a serious threat in 2016, and I don’t think that’s changed today. Whatever he’s already gotten on Bernie is only being updated because he hasn’t had to use it - yet. Sanders, Warren and Biden, at this early date, are the candidates who show the best chance of beating the man we elected President last time. A recent Fox News election poll has Trump losing to all three.
The next tier of candidates, Pete Butitigieg and Kamala Harris, haven’t been consistently polling high enough to make Trump worry much about them. But their histories, their families, their actions at any point in their lives are all fair game in Trump campaign land. No Democratic presidential candidate is off the hook.
Donald Trump has done his best to make politics the dirtiest game in town. He has never cared who he hurt in the process of winning, or how much he has jeopardized the safety and security of our country, or how little respect he shows the Constitution that was created to guide us. Trump is a dangerous and vicious politician who will do anything to win re-election. If we didn’t learn our lesson as a country in 2016, we’re in more trouble than most people can fathom.