Friday, 23 October 2020

bully pulpit

Though there are many parallels to the Trump regime and the Nixon administration, possibly a more apt comparison bridged by the through-line of Roy Cohn might be Wisconsin circuit court judge and senator Joseph McCarthy for the sheer hysteria that they both incite through nihilism and demagoguery.

On this day in 2019, Trump’s legal team deflected the question in a hearing before the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the efforts to subpoena Trump’s tax returns by citing his infamous campaign quote, saying that high office shielded Trump from prosecution, were he to actually test the proposition. On 23 January 2016, during a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, Trump boasted about the loyalty of his supporters: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” There were echoes of a pronouncement made sixty-two years to the day before by public sentiment pollster George Gallup expressed a similar prediction about McCarthy’s die-hard base, saying that even if it were known that the senator had taken the lives of five innocent children, those who voted for him would still go along with him. Trump persecution complex does find witch-hunts everywhere. Thanks to a jury of his peers, his esteemed senatorial colleagues, that were willing to censure McCartney for his behaviour and character assassinations, the once charismatic figure is synonymous with villainy and obsession for power for its own sake and this prediction ahead of his 1954 re-election bid did not need to be borne out.