Let’s just say that there is this thing called the Constitution, and let’s pretend that it is the supreme law of the land.
Now imagine that for years people have ignored this Constitution — which divides power up between a legislative branch, an executive branch embodied by the president, and a judiciary. Over the years, various branches have claimed powers for themselves that are not assigned to them by the Constitution, or have exercised powers in ways that are convenient, but not necessarily responsive to the Constitution. To make it even more interesting, let us assume that various presidents have acceded to the power grabs and allowed their own authority to be taken over by others.
Now, ponder what would happen if years, decades, perhaps centuries after the ratification of the Constitution, a statesman decided to go back to the original document — to the “supreme law of the land” — and acted in accordance with the dictates of that document rather than in the manner to which the times have become accustomed — what would happen to such a man or woman?
Enter President Donald J. Trump, the man of destiny — who like Samson before him is determined to tear down the temple of the false gods, whatever fate befall him. Day after day, week after week, month after month, Trump has demolished the shibboleths of the swamp and stood on the solid ground laid down for him by the Founding Fathers.
There are many examples of how Trump acts as president in the manner envisioned for him by the founders — much to the astonishment and horror of those who stand on squishy custom rather than the cold, hard rock of the Constitution, but this week let’s consider the pardon of Dinesh D’Souza.
This was the sixth pardon exercised by President Trump so far compared to the usual practice of presidents to save up their pardons for their last day or two in office. Let me ask you: If the pardon is intended to correct an injustice or to acknowledge redemption, what exactly is the point of waiting years for justice to be done?
Didn’t Jack Johnson, the black heavyweight boxer who was sentenced to jail for crossing state lines with his white girlfriend in 1913 — didn’t Jack Johnson wait long enough for justice? Did he really have to wait for the end of Trump’s presidency in 2021 or 2025 to have his name cleared? Trump didn’t think so, and he didn’t wait for the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney to tell him it was OK to do the right thing. That’s what the feckless fake news media wanted him to do. But Trump just did what he thought was right without getting “permission.” Just a guess, but maybe that’s why he’s president and the Pardon Attorney isn’t.
Oh dear, then the president drove Jake Tapper and his friends at CNN into a tizzy when he speculated on possibly commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich or pardoning style maven Martha Stewart for their “trumped up” (sorry, but it’s appropriate) charges. But CNN isn’t the president either!
As for D’Souza, he is a conservative author and activist, which makes it hard for some of our liberal friends to understand why he wasn’t still in jail, let alone why he deserved a pardon! I won’t go into the details of the case here, but suffice it to say that he donated too much money to a losing political campaign, and instead of being fined (as would usually be the case) he was made an example of by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was confident he could convince a liberal New York jury that D’Souza was really a scary ham sandwich.
Bottom line: Trump did what we elected him to do — act as president. Here’s what the Constitution says about the president: “… he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States.” Hmm, sorry Jim Acosta. Looks like Trump wins again.
Frank Miele is managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. He can be reached at [email protected].
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