The continuously emerging details from the administration offer up tremendous lessons in the danger of having a thin-skinned Mussolini as president. It all sounds laughable, indeed – it is funny. But it isn’t as funny after January 6th. Because if Trump was willing to go through with January 6th – and increasingly more evidence now points at least in that direction – then what would stop him from ordering people thrown off buildings if he really thought he could do it without any retribution? None of this would matter, at all, if Trump didn’t still control the entirety of the Republican party, such that McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are now doing his bidding again.
If Trump or another Republican like Trump got into office and started throwing similar ideas out, could we count upon DOJ and the FEC to do their jobs? In this instance, doing their jobs means all but ignore Trump, the president. Will the DOJ ignore a complete tyrant?
The Daily Beast has the story, we know what he tweeted:
“It’s truly incredible that shows like Saturday Night Live, not funny/no talent, can spend all of their time knocking the same person (me), over & over, without so much of a mention of ‘the other side. Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows. Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this?”
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What wasn’t known was what he did behind the scenes:
According to two people familiar with the matter, Trump had asked advisers and lawyers in early 2019 about what the Federal Communications Commission, the courts systems, and—most confusingly to some Trump lieutenants—the Department of Justice could do to probe or mitigate SNL, Jimmy Kimmel, and other late-night comedy mischief-makers.
To those who heard it, Trump’s inquiries into what federal regulations could be used to bust the likes of Kimmel and SNL was more of a nuisance than a constitutional crisis. “It was more annoying than alarming, to be honest with you,” one of these sources recalled. However, the conversations further showed, in the pettiest of ways, how the 45th U.S. president was keen on turning the country’s top law enforcers into something more akin to his own personally retained law firm.
We have all heard that Trump wanted DOJ to become his own personal law firm, his personal Roy Cohn. But this was awfully petty stuff. Remember, he wanted DOJ to punish SNL for teasing him! We remind everyone, including ourselves, the norm is Joe Biden. Presidents don’t order DOJ around as to how and who to investigate for this very reason. It is so easily abusable.
“Can something else be done about it?” Trump replied, according to this source, to which they responded with some version of “I’ll look into it.” (This person says that to this day, they have not, in fact, “looked into it.”)
And so we come back around. If Trump or someone like Trump (DeSantis?) runs and wins in 2024, and with all the new voting regulations, it’s all too possible, can we count upon DOJ and the FEC to continue to “ignore” the president of the United States? Try to imagine what Trump would have done if he was an all-supreme ruler like a true dictator while realizing he has every intention of running again.