The lesser of two evils? The more successful con artist.

A bit of insight from the Politico “Playbook” newsletter:

DEMOCRATS WANT YOU TO BELIEVE that President DONALD TRUMP is crooked, and the White House is stonewalling their attempts to keep him accountable. But they’re trying to amplify that message amid the din of the the day-to-day back and forth between committee chairs, the leadership and the Justice Department.

THE BIG PROBLEM FOR DEMOCRATS: They say the administration’s stonewalling amounts to a “constitutional crisis.” But they have all-but ruled out impeachment – the process by which Congress deals with constitutional crises – because many atop the party believe it’s a political disaster in the making.

SO NOW, the Democrats’ message has turned into this: Trump is a threat to democracy and our government, BUT … we won’t impeach him because it’s a battle we would lose, it might not be worth it and he’s impeaching himself each time he talks.

COMPARE THAT TO TRUMP’S MESSAGE: No collusion or obstruction. It fits on a bumper sticker. Never mind that it’s a bit more complicated than that.[1]


It’s worth remembering, however, that this is a crisis for which Democrats bear considerable responsibility: They nominated Hillary Clinton in 2016, whom I remain convinced would have the country in a similar state of uproar, had she actually been elected, because she can’t keep her nose clean.

We might not have a “constitutional crisis” and the underlying scandals might not be as serious as those we have today, but really, that points to the other problem: We have a political system that forces voters to choose “the lesser of two evils.” So guess what? We have evil.

We have excused our own war crimes. We have excused bank fraudsters. We have excused all manner of crime in the name of blessed capitalism. We have excused dictators who happen to be on “our side” and their human rights violations. We have excused the destruction of our only planet as we continue on a slide into a climate crisis (if we’re not already there) that may well lead to our own extinction. Tell me more about that apple in Genesis, because we have evil.

We have a system that rewards not principle but rather its opposite. Which means that prizes, political, economic, and otherwise, will go to the more successful con artists. Which is how we have Donald Trump.

But hey, wave that flag. Sing the praises of our so-called “democracy.” We have evil.

  1. [1]Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman, and Daniel Lippman, “How would you explain the Democratic investigations to a Washington outsider?” Politico, May 15, 2019,

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