So much Reagan Republicans. The Republican Party is now the party of Richard Nixon.
August 15, 1971, marked the forty-seventh anniversary of John Dean’s infamous Confidential Memorandum to President Nixon. That memorandum revealed the Nixon “Enemies List” strategy that two years later became, the second Article of Impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon.
Forty-seven years and one day later, the Trump White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, took to the podium of the White House press corps briefing room to read the Trump Administration’s enemies list.
Instead of enlisting the collaboration of the President’s cabinet department heads, the Trump Administration as did Nixon, Trump has chosen to focus on the security clearances of current and former national security and law enforcement officials. Apparently, security clearances are Trump’s new shiny object. He is primarily focused on stripping the clearances of anyone associated with national security, the FBI and even tangentially related to the ongoing Russia investigation.
Former CIA Director John Brennan was first. Why, because he has been vocal and public in his unabashed in expressing his concerns about and criticism of Trump and his conduct as President and Commander-in-Chief. Now, anyone who has served the United States in roles that supported and protected the republic from enemies foreighn and domestis, in war and intelligence is on notice. Talk about telegraphing your punches: this is a direct and unsubtle message to anyone who may be thinking about cooperating with Special Counsel, Robert Mueller’s, Russia investigation.
Apparently, in the mind of Trump, if you speak truth to my power, I will do any and everything within my power to undermine your credibility to destroy you. Do not mess with the Russians. Stated another way, do not threaten my creditors, political fixers, and force of high-tech, dirty tricks. Is Trump settling Russian financial debt by granting access to the American electorate and manipulating the U.S. political and policy apparatus? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps there is another transaction in play.
Welcome to the new “imperial Presidency.” Greetings, to the new Republican Party–the party of Richard M. Nixon.