Sohn: Be afraid for America, very afraid

Sohn: Be afraid for America, very afraid

April 17th, 2018 by Pam Sohn in Opinion Times

President Donald Trump prepares to speak in the Oval Office last week. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Photo by Evan Vucci

We worry for America.

Our president, on a daily basis, dissolves our respect for him, his office and our country — babbling middle-school bully insults by tweet, contradicting himself and his lieutenants, flouting Congress, confusing our allies and threatening the country's settled laws. To him it's all theater. He's on a stage. He's an actor — not a leader.

Fired FBI Director Jim Comey, in his interview Sunday, made the reality sting when he answered George Stephanopoulos' question: Is Trump "unfit" to be president.

"Yes," Comey answered immediately and with surety. "But not in the way — I often hear people talk about it. I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or [in] early stages of dementia. He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who's tracking conversations and knows what's going on. I don't think he's medically unfit to be president. I think he's morally unfit to be president." Comey went on:

"A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person's not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds. And that's not a policy statement. Again, I don't care what your views are on guns or immigration or taxes. There's something more important than that, that should unite all of us, and that is our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country. The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president."

Trump's response, some of it made even before the interview aired, was predictable.

On Twitter — a conveyance befitting of such juvenile bile — the president termed Comey a "slimeball," a "leaker," "weak" and a "liar."

Since when should we believe this president — a serial purveyor of falsehoods — when he makes such pronouncements.

But aside from Comey, there's also the example of Syria and sanctions against Russia.

Just last week, it looked as though our president may have had a moment of conscience and reckoning when he actually criticized Russia somewhat and warned the Kremlin it must not be helping the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons there.

On Sunday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, announced that sanctions on Russian companies behind the equipment related to Assad's alleged chemical weapons attack would be announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Not. Instead on Monday, President Trump "put the brakes" on that preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, according to the Washington Post. And why not? After all, the Kremlin had swiftly denounced the sanctions plan as "international economic raiding."

Mind you, this comes on the same day that U.S. and British governments jointly accused Russia of conducting a new and massive campaign to compromise millions of computer routers and firewalls around the world — from home offices to Internet providers — for espionage and possibly sabotage purposes.

The Washington Post noted: "The unusual public warning from the White House, U.S. agencies and Britain's National Cyber Security Center results from monitoring the threat dating back more than a year."

Through it all — and through the Russia probe into meddling in our election — we've watched as special counsel Robert Mueller has elicited five guilty pleas from indictments against 19 people and three companies. These include four former Trump advisers, 13 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, a California man who has admitted to identity theft in connection with the Russian indictments, and a London-based lawyer with connections to the Ukraine.

But all the while, Trump's Twitter and Fox News machine softens Americans to believe Trump — sometimes through the simple omission of real news. Real news like the fact that Trump's "fixer" attorney Micheal Cohen also has represented Fox News host Sean Hannity.

As that news broke Monday, one announcer read Hannity's name with no Fox title and said, "so moving on" to the rest of today's happenings. " Fox's Shepherd Smith did identify Hannity's Fox connection and said Hannity acknowledged, sort of, that Cohen had at least offered him legal advise along the way. "And that's the extent of that," Smith said, shifting to other news.

In case you were wondering, if Hannity and Fox were even remotely ethical, Hannity would not make commentary on Fox or any other broadcast outlet about Cohen without at least disclosing that relationship.

Every passing day that Republican leaders stay quiet and let Donald Trump remain in power increases our worry for America.

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