It’s hard to tell. Is President Trump a crazy man who truly believes that his inaugural crowd was the largest in history and that there were millions of fraudulent votes cast in the 2016 election? Or is he crazy like a fox? It’s possible that Trump is fulfilling his onerous campaign promises while simultaneously tossing out shiny objects to obfuscate and divert attention from the truth.
Continuing to assert that millions of votes were cast fraudulently is about as reckless as Trump can get. He taking a sledgehammer to the bedrock of our democracy. Reporters and members of Congress challenged the Trump administration to launch an investigation if he really believed what he says. So Trump obliged, setting the framework for a “go-to” diversion from other things.
Media red meat such as voter fraud and an argument over inaugural crowd sizes certainly draw attention away from things such as:
• Environment? We don’t need no stinking environment! Trump eviscerating environmental laws and practices. His pick for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, is a climate change denier and has sued the EPA in the past.
The administration has told the EPA to stop all contracts and grants. This could affect things such as state studies on the effects of climate change. Trump also gave the green light to the XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline. “We’ll build our own pipelines, our own pipes; like in old days,” trump said. Our own pipes?
• Commitment issues. Trump’s pick for HHS secretary, Tom Price, flat out refused to say consumers would be better off with the replacement (which doesn’t exist yet) for Obamacare. Trump has said his plan with mean, “Insurance for everyone.” But Price wouldn’t commit to this.
• Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a man of wealth and taste. Treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin, he of massive Wall Street wealth and fame, has had a bit of a tough go. First, he “forgot” to disclose $100 million in assets. C’mon, we’ve all been there. Remembering every $100 million is tough.
To add insult (of us by Trump) to injury, it turns out, Mnuchin is registered to vote in two states. Perfect. Just perfect.
• Not in my (country’s) backyard. Trump has halted all immigration and/or refugees from some predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East. He didn’t take the more palatable approach by banning young men if he thinks they haven’t been properly vetted. He banned the entire religion from these countries including children. And The Wall? He’s moved toward building it. Who is paying for it? We are.
• Black gets the green light. The Trump administration has lifted the ban on CIA black sites—the locations out of the country commonly used to detain and interrogate enemy combatants. So now the jury is out on whether torture will ensue.
• Awkward. FBI Director James Comey, who’s actions played a role in the 2016 election, is keeping his job. The Justice Department is investigating Comey curious decisions to go public with information about Hillary Clinton and staying silent about the possible Russian election hacking. If that’s not enough, it was Comey who briefed Trump about this not-confirmed Russian dossier on him that allegedly includes some rather salacious information.
• “You work for me now. So zip it.” The Trump administration has told multiple federal agencies not to communicate with the press or members of Congress. Of course, by necessity, many agencies have a public relations department that explains what they do. They have been silenced. Frightening.
If this election-fraud investigation goes forward, Trump will have a ready-made diversion for possibly months to come.