Susan B. Glasser, senior international affairs editor at Politico, in a recent podcast described President Donald Trump as the equivalent of a political X-ray machine. The premise of this argument is that proximity to Trump has the effect of revealing the character and integrity of everyone who comes in contact with the President with an unmistakable clarity. Further, the X-ray analogy applies to both individuals and institutions.
As is the case with all medical tests and examinations, the results can be positive for some and, for others, not so much.
Since its inception, America has relied on many institutions to preserve and protect democratic values and the rule of law. Confronted by the authoritarian and anti-democratic impulses of Trump, I believe most of those institutions will receive a positive evaluation when history applies the X-ray metaphor.
However, there is one institution that may not receive a favorable report and that is the U.S. Congress and in particular, the Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate. It is obvious that congressional Republicans have entered into a Faustian pact with the president. In exchange for the president’s signature on the recent tax bill and his appointment of conservative attorneys to the federal bench, these elected officials have chosen to ignore the fact that Trump is dangerously unqualified to serve as president.
The final examination for Congress will occur when and if it is confronted by a “Saturday Night Massacre – Part II,” and how it reacts to the constitutional crisis, which will surely follow.
Jack D. Darland