Well, we've received the answer that so many of us have been looking for over the past several weeks. On May 12, President Trump (is it weird that I still get a little sick typing that?) tweeted that "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
Since then, we've all been on pins and needles, wondering when those "tapes" might be released. We assumed that tapes must exist, because who on Earth would say something like that if there weren't tapes? Who would bluff about such a thing, or lie about something that could be so easily discovered to be untrue?
That's right, folks. Only one man could do such a thing, and he is our President.
Mr. Trump revealed today, on Twitter, that he, in fact, did not make or possess any such recordings of his conversations with the ousted FBI director.
He lied. Reporters and the White House press office can call it bluffing or whatever they'd like, but the bottom line is that the President of the United States lied to the public when he threatened Comey via a social media platform (how's that anti cyber bullying campaign coming along, Melania? Oh, right...she hasn't even tried to create one, yet)
Right now, Americans are worried about what is going to happen to their health care. An American family is dealing with the death of their son, who was imprisoned in North Korea. Several Navy families are mourning the deaths of their loved ones who were killed in a collision with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan. Tropical Storm Cindy has made landfall and we don't even have a FEMA director, because Trump has filled less than 5% of the positions needed to ensure that our government agencies are functioning on the most basic level. We're not talking about how easily the mentally disturbed can get guns (thanks, Republicans!), when a shooting nearly took the life of Congressman Steve Scalise at the Congressional Baseball game last week.
Instead, Mr. Trump spends his days keeping up on his TiVo, tweeting nonsense about himself, and likes to ask his cabinet members to go around the room and say nice things about him.
He cares nothing about the American people. He is only drawn to issues when it gives him a political advantage or makes him look good. He's so obsessed with himself that he can't do anything other than tweet about the "witch hunt" of the Russia investigation. He spends one minute talking about how we need to get to the bottom of what took place when Russia hacked our 2016 election, then spends the next minute talking about how the whole thing is a hoax. He is the highest representation of what is wrong with America - the cartoon version incarnate of why we are no longer the Leaders of the Free World.
We are dealing with a man so insecure and so bad at his job that Paul Ryan has to make excuses for him by saying "He's new at this," as if Mr. Trump had no idea what job he was applying for when he decided to run for office. Isn't every president new to the job? Isn't this why the final two presidential candidates receive intelligence briefings, or why presidential transition teams are put in place - to ensure the peaceful and smooth transition of power from one administration to the next? When the public voiced concerns that Trump neither had the knowledge or temperament suitable to the role of Chief Executive, why didn't Paul Ryan speak up? I mean, Trump himself boasted of having more knowledge than our generals - that didn't raise any red flags to the Republican establishment?
I wasn't sure that Trump could top the offensiveness of essentially not apologizing for comments about how and where he likes to grab women, but I have to say that I am now more repulsed that this is our new normal - a "dotty old racist in decline" (thank you, Jon Lovett & Pod Save America) that can't be bothered to run the country because his handlers allow him too much screen time when he's not busy golfing. I'm repulsed & you should be, too, that the White House press office regularly lies or provides no answers to the public, and is now restricting audio and video recordings of press briefings. We are now on the slippery slope we've been warned of for years.
This is not okay, my friends. We cannot let our most cherished institution be bankrupted by a man who loves bankruptcy. We cannot sit idly by while Republicans in the House and Senate seek to undermine our oldest social safety nets so that they can please their big name donors.
We cannot let the worst bluffer in history sabotage our most basic rights.
Stand up. For the first time in your life, make that phone call to your representatives, whether they are Republican or Democrat. Pay attention to the news. Go to a town hall. Use your right to peaceably assemble and protest when you need your voice to be heard. Participation is the heart and soul of democracy.
Let's call his bluff.