In name only

The abuse of power and disingenuity in firing the very person leading the investigation of Trump are so transparent that it is hard to grasp how Trump thinks this will serve him in the long run. How does this move not make it abundantly apparent that Trump has something very serious to hide in the Russia investigation? How is it that Trump can get away with such implausible deniability?

Perhaps because he is calling the bluff of those who claim to esteem America’s vaunted constitutional democracy. Trump’s cynical calculation seems to be that the flimsiness of his justification doesn’t matter. His supporters are so enthralled by his personality, Congressional Republicans so enthralled by the opportunity to gut health care and environmental protections while Trump creates distractions, and America’s electoral system so skewed in favor of plutocrats that he doesn’t need plausible deniability, just nominal deniability. “Nominal” describes much about American governance these days.

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