Everyone knows what a “dirty cop” is: someone who uses their badge and authority for evil-doing, rather than law enforcement. The very few officers who violate their oath and abuse their power are deservedly looked upon with particular disgust by both their colleagues and the citizenry. Given our profound dependence on their enforcement of the law, given the monumental trust we display in giving them a gun and fearsome power to order us around, what could be worse than a “dirty cop”.
Well, how about a “dirty White House”?
With escalating daily horror, we are witnessing an increasing likelihood that the Trump administration and lackeys in Congress are turning the name “White House” into a sourly ironic mockery of what’s going on inside. The only validity to “white” at this point is as in “whitewash”—cover-up.
Sadly, this can be no surprise to those who realized a year ago that Donald Trump had very, very, very good reasons not to release his tax returns. It didn’t matter that we never knew what those reasons are. If they were good enough for him to withhold his returns, that made them good enough for us to know he had much dirty business to hide, and would go to oftentimes-brilliant lengths to deflect pursuit of the truths he knew would doom his candidacy.
Of course it is imperative that an independent investigation akin to the 9/11 Commission now be appointed to pursue the whole truth, all the truth, and nothing but the truth concerning the presidential election of 2016. This Electoral Sabotage Commission must reveal the role that Vladimir Putin played in the apparent election of Donald Trump, and the role that Trump and his cohorts played in cooperating if not colluding with Putin. Yes, the recent display of nonpartisanship by the Senate intelligence committee leadership stands in welcome contrast to the pathetic debasement of Representative Devin Nunes personally and his House intelligence committee by extension. But even the Senate’s high-minded and seemingly determined push may well become compromised by partisan factors and crippling corruptions of which the public will never become aware.
We have no reason to believe that either Putin or Trump settled for half-measures to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. As I wrote on February 26 (https://eliotdaley.com/thinking-the-unthinkable-did-putin-hack-american-voting-machines/), America is now utterly dependent on the capacity of an impeccable team led by (e.g.,) a Robert Gates to determine the degree to which our democracy was defrauded in the recent election, to determine what protections must be employed in the future, and to recommend what redress is available to us if Donald Trump is in the Oval Office under false pretenses and must be removed along with his team and his tribe.
Note that such commissions are created by Congress and complement—not terminate or overrule—simultaneous investigations by the House, Senate, FBI or others. This opens the matter to crocodile tears and hand-wringing by those supposedly concerned that the money required (typically, about $10 million, or the price of three weekend trips to Mar-a-Lago) would be an intolerable burden for our federal budget of $3.8 trillion. And of course President Trump could veto the legislation to create it, but woe betide those who would vote to uphold such a veto. The dirty-cop taint of collusion and cover-up would follow them beyond their re-election defeat right into the grave.
We learned just a week ago that an aroused citizenry with an intense, single-minded focus could defend our country against a ridiculously ham-handed effort to destroy our health care program. This fusillade did not exhaust our energies but, rather, invigorated them as never before. Now we must focus that energy on an even more crucial demand: tell Congress to create a truly nonpartisan, independent commission. Many in Congress already recognize that their credibility and self-respect, let alone their honoring their vows to uphold the Constitution of the United States, really do require such a move at this point. They will welcome our vocal support for their inclination, because they understand that unless an independent commission peels away the cover-up charades and brings to light who did what to sabotage our democracy, Americans will doubt that the White House and our democratic processes can ever be made worthy of trust and respect again.