LEADING CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS have spent the last year relentlessly accusing Donald Trump of being controlled by or treasonously loyal to a hostile foreign power. Over the last several months, they have added to those disloyalty charges a new set of alleged crimes: abusing the powers of the Executive Branch – including the Justice Department and FBI – to vindictively punish political opponents while corruptly protecting the serious crimes of his allies, including his own family members and possibly himself.
The inescapable conclusion from all of this, they have relentlessly insisted, is that Trump is a lawless authoritarian of the type the U.S. has not seen in the Oval Office for decades, if ever: a leader who has no regard for Constitutional values or legal limits and thus poses a grave, unique and existential threat to the institutions of American democracy. Reflecting the severity of these fears, the anti-Trump opposition movement that has coalesced within Democratic Party politics has appropriated a slogan – expressed in the hashtag form of contemporary online activism – that was historically used by those who unite, at all costs, to defeat domestic tyranny: #Resistance.
One would hope, and expect, that those who genuinely view Trump as a menace of this magnitude and who view themselves as #Resistance fighters would do everything within their ability to impose as many limits and safeguards as possible on the powers he is able to wield. If “resistance” means anything, at a minimum it should entail a refusal to trust a dangerous authoritarian to wield vast power with little checks or oversight.
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