“I am not a crook!”

The first thing which came to mind when I’d heard the news of James Comey’s firing was Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.” The justifications for any parallels will come to light (or not) in the coming days. For a President to fire an FBI director when that agency is investigating him in connection with the Russian hacking controversy is…suspicious.

Even the Nixon Library was quick to point out that not even Richard Nixon fired an FBI director.

If you believe the theory that smoke normally connotes a not too terribly distant fire, it’s difficult not to wonder what this President is so furiously trying to hide. If there was nothing there, would he be so vociferously protesting media coverage of questions surrounding Russia on Twitter? The firing of the head of the agency investigating his administration’s involvement with Russia sends exactly the wrong message. At the very least it doesn’t pass the smell test. To put it mildly, this stinks.

There’s nothing about this sorry saga which bodes well for the President OR the country. The Nixonian parallels are as stunning as they are distressing and disconcerting- they represent a clear and present danger to our democracy. When a President does wrong and then attempts to derail an investigation into his actions, things are bad and rushing headlong towards worse.

The President’s actions create the impression he’s got something to hide and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to hide his culpability…even if it means going full Nixon and beyond.

The justification for Comey’s firing was his (mis)handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Here’s the problem with that, though: whatever (legitimate) issues accrue to Comey from the investigation, it’s old news. The investigation was in the months prior to the election…so why now? Or did Donald Trump and his minions determine they couldn’t control Comey (and the FBI investigation) and thus needed for him to disappear?

Did the President believe no one would ask some very obvious questions? Or is he just arrogant enough to believe himself bulletproof and accountable to no one? Does he really believe he can do what he wants without consequences or questions?

Whether or not anyone cares to acknowledge it, the truth is that America’s in trouble. Donald Trump and his minions pose a clear and present danger to our democratic system. If we don’t stop him, we may well be looking at the decline- perhaps even the end- of representative democracy. As alarmist as that may sound to some, I don’t believe it to be a baseless fear.

The President is a sociopath, a pathological liar, and a despot. If you haven’t yet recognized that, you haven’t been paying attention.

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