So I had a column prepared early this week, a pithy treatise on why a minority government could be the best thing for this province, and would reinforce in politicians the necessity of being civil and working together.
It was a nice column, full of interesting facts such as the longest majority in Canadian history was presided over by William Lyon Mackenzie King, who held it together for three years, seven months and 21 days.
You may have enjoyed it, but….. holy imploding democracy, Batman! Did you see what just happened in the United States of Trump?!!
Events are unfolding so quickly in the states that it forces one to rewrite columns.
Now you will remember that last week, the Pres abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, the man leading the investigation into the Trump campaign’s myriad of ties to Russia. Trump said it had nothing to do with Russia and sent his spokespeople out to reinforce that thought which they did. Until the next day, when Trump contradicted them all on live TV and said the “Russia thing” was on his mind when he made the decision.
Then on Monday of this week it was revealed that during his meeting with Russians officials in the Oval Office — which raised some eyebrows on its own — Trump had passed on classified information. The White House denied the report through more spokespeople. Then Trump went on Twitter and said he did give the info to the Russians and furthermore he had every right to do so.
Then it is discovered that Comey had written a memo recording a meeting between himself and the President last February, in which the President had kind of casually requested that Comey not pursue his investigation into ties that Michael Flynn (who was National Security Advisor for a brief time before Trump fired him) had with Russia. The White House denied the report.
Then on Wednesday evening, the U.S. Justice Department appointed a former FBI Director, Robert Mueller, as a special counsel to the Russian investigation. The White House immediately put it out there that the President’s response was “extremely measured”. Well that’s good, right? I mean you want your top guy to be firm and steadfast in the face of adversity. Until President Calm and Measured got hold of a smart phone and started tweeting about the “greatest witch hunt in American political history”. That Trump, everything he’s involved in has to be the biggest and the best.
He also tweeted out his fall back position on everything — “But Obama! Crooked Hilary!” The old Bring Up Benghazi defence. Trump’s supporters on social media cranked up the finger pointing, heaping insults on the “fake news” outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS…. you know, all the fake news guys.
It is nothing short of astounding. If someone had pitched this as the plot of a political satire on television, it would have been rejected as just too much. No one would believe it, the TV suits would say. Wouldn’t happen. There are checks and balances that would never allow it to happen. Bring me something a little more believable — maybe a show on a minority government struggling to find a middle ground. Hey, that’s a great idea! One of the three leaders would have to be a woman who believes in free enterprise and big business, the other guy a man with ties to big unions. And hey, the other guy should be from the Green Party. That would be hilarious! Make it so, the suits would say. We want it for this fall’s schedule. Leave that other script about the American public electing a reality TV star as president where it belongs. In the trash heap of history.
Carolyn Grant is the Editor of the Kimberley Bulletin