By Dan Calabrese
This has now descended into the theater of the absurd.
I understand some of Donald Trump’s frustration with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, especially but not limited to his recusal from the Russia investigation – which was unnecessary and idiotic. And I understand Trump is hamstrung by a political environment that won’t allow for the confirmation of any reasonable Sessions replacement.
It’s not a good place to be in, and it’s not all Trump’s fault.
But let’s just put something on the table here: Trump is Sessions’s boss, and when a boss is not satisfied with an employee’s work, there are ways to handle it. Then there’s what Trump is doing:
Trump wrote on Twitter the Justice Department’s decision to file charges will hurt safe Republican seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Election analysts believe there is a 50 percent chance the Democratic Party will take control of the House, in which all 435 seats are up for grabs in the Nov. 6 elections. Republicans currently hold a 236-193 advantage and there are six vacant seats.
“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department,” the Republican president wrote. “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff….”
For the record, the issue Trump is upset about is the Justice Department’s decision to bring these indictments so late in the election season, when there is neither time for the congressmen to respond effectively nor for their local party organizations to put someone else on the ballot. Generally accepted practice has always been that if you’re going to indict a congressman running for re-election, you do it earlier in the process so one or both has time to happen.
Trump’s complaint is not entirely without merit.
But his way of dealing with it is, and this has reached the point of utter absurdity. Trump is Sessions’s boss. If he doesn’t like the way Sessions is doing his job – and he clearly doesn’t – he can a) tell him to do it differently; b) fire him; or c) shut the **** up.
If Sessions is going to continue to do his job in a way Trump does not approve of, and all Trump is going to do about it is complain on Twitter, that shows Trump to be weak and ineffectual as president. As a constitutional matter, Trump – not Sessions – is responsible for how the Justice Department operates. Trump is certainly correct that there is much wrong in the Justice Department, and that the problems were left over from the Obama crew.
But Trump ran on the proposition that he would fix things that were wrong in the executive branch. To some degree he has. But he hasn’t fixed anything in the Justice Department because all he does is rant on Twitter while his underlings ignore him and do whatever they want. Yes, that reflects poorly on them. But it reflects more poorly on him.
If Trump isn’t going to fix this – either by giving Sessions new directives or by giving him his walking papers – then he should just shut up and stop tweeting about it. Because it’s ultimately his own failure that he keeps complaining about.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!