Sunday, March 12, 2017

The US Attorney firings are normal. Get over it. (Them).

I... don't like Donald Trump.  Perhaps you have noticed.  However, there is an unfortunate tendency for those who live within a partisan or ideological bubble to look for reasons to get outraged at whomever they don't like.  Case in point:  Donald Trump fired a bunch of US Attorneys.  Oh, no!  Cue the outrage!  He's going to staff the DoJ with cronies!

Yes.  Yes, he is.  That's what presidents do.  And since it is just what presidents do, you need to calm down and accept that this is basically just normal politics.

In December of 2006, we saw something rather different from normal politics.  In the middle of George W. Bush's second term, he selectively fired a set of US Attorneys for their failure to prosecute cases of voter fraud.  The Bush administration had told them to go after voter fraud-- a longtime Republican boogeyman-- but since voter fraud doesn't exist on a large scale, and even individual cases are incredibly rare and hard to find, the Attorneys couldn't do it.  So, Bush fired them.  That was more of a violation of norms.

This isn't.  Trump is behaving normally and within the bounds of what presidents are supposed and entitled to do.  Reports have come in that he did it in a disorganized and douche-y way because he's Donald Trump, but focus on substance, not style.  This is normal.

However, it is important to remember the December, 2006 incident.  Voter fraud.  Trump is big on this nonsense.  If he tells people to go after voter fraud, one of two things will happen.  Case 1)  bullshit prosecutions that fall apart, or Case 2) failure to prosecute, and we revisit 2006.  Which do we see?  It depends on who he hires.

But, that's the future.  The firings?  Normal.  Get out of your bubble.


  1. Yes, but.....

    It's certainly interesting that Trump was trying to call one of these attorneys just a couple days before. One who was investigating Fox News execs, and possibly was going to open an investigation into Trump/Russia.

    Firing them is par for the course. But this particular guy was asked to stay on, personally, by Trump. And then 46 of them get fired the day after this guy refuses to play ball with Trump?

    It's still a coinkydink. But we're getting a lot of those.

    1. Key phrase: Firing them is par for the course. Yes, it was important to get rid of ones like Bharara, and he should have been smarter about it, but this is still normal. Being controlled by Putin is the part that isn't.