BY VERN TURNER
Take, for example, the building wave of investigations by Congress and the Department of Justice that are about to break on the rocky shores of the ever-shrinking Trump Island of lies. There are investigations into almost every Trump campaign and staff member who had dalliances with the Russians and other nefarious characters. Flynn, Manafort, Page, Kushner, et al, the list seems to grow every day.
It’s almost like watching someone turn on the lights is a funky apartment and watching the roaches scurry for cover. Do the terms obstruction of justice, money laundering and emolument clause violations sound like a salad of honesty to you?
Before it’s over, I predict, the Trump Administration will set a new league record for lawyers being retained and indictments flowing over the transom of their rapidly sinking boat.
Sadly, though, this is not a new phenomenon. Below is the scorecard for the latest list of presidents, both Democrat and Republican.
When comparing criminal indictments of those serving in the executive branch of presidential administrations, it’s patently lopsided as to be obvious which party is more embedded with corruption, crimes and scandal.
Yet, the whine and memes from the right-wing media and Republican talking heads are all about how supposedly “corrupt” the Democrats are. So, why don’t we break the numbers down by president?
Barack Obama [D] – Eight years in office. Zero criminal indictments, zero convictions and zero prison sentences. So the next time somebody describes the Obama Administration as “scandal free” they aren’t speaking wishfully, they’re simply telling the truth.
George W. Bush [R] – Eight years in office. 16 criminal indictments. 16 convictions. Nine prison sentences.
Bill Clinton [D] – Eight years in office. Two criminal indictments. One conviction. One prison sentence. That’s right, nearly eight years of investigations, tens of millions of dollars spent and 30 years of claiming that the Clinton Administration was the most corrupt ever, yet there was exactly one person convicted of a crime.
George H.W. Bush [R] – Four years in office. One indictment. One conviction. One prison sentence. Oh, and don’t forget that he pardoned President Reagan and his fellow coconspirators from any crimes associated with the Iran-Contra scandal. The Reagan league record of indictments would have been even higher.
Ronald Reagan [R] – Eight years in office. 26 criminal indictments. 16 convictions. Eight prison sentences.
Jimmy Carter [D] – Four years in office. One indictment. Zero convictions and zero prison sentences.
Gerald Ford [R] – Two-plus years in office. One indictment and one conviction. One prison sentence. And who can forget his dramatic pardoning of Richard Nixon just after the words “so help me God” dripped from his lips. See, a sitting president can’t be indicted, but a private citizen can for crimes committed as president. Ford gave Nixon the ultimate ticket to ride in our country.
Richard Nixon [R] – Five-plus years in office. 76 criminal indictments. 55 convictions. 15 prison sentences.
Lyndon Johnson [D] – Five-plus years in office. Zero indictments. Zero convictions. Zero prison sentences.
So, let’s see where that leaves us. In the last 53 years, Democrats have been in the Oval Office for 25 of those years, while Republicans held it for 28. In their 25 years in office Democrats had three executive branch officials indicted with one conviction and one prison sentence. That’s one conviction in 2½ decades of Democrat leadership.
In the 28 years that Republicans have held office over the last 53 years, there have been 20 criminal indictments of executive branch officials, 89 criminal convictions and 34 prison sentences handed down. That’s more prison sentences than years in office since 1968 for Republicans.
If you want to count articles of impeachment as indictments [they aren’t really, but we can count them as an action], both sides get one more. However, Clinton wasn’t found guilty while Nixon resigned and was pardoned by Ford [and a pardon carries with it a legal admission of guilt on the part of the pardoned]. So those only serve to make Republicans look even worse.
Let’s just review the numbers again, shall we? 120 indictments for Republicans, 89 convictions, and 34 prison sentences. Those aren’t “feelings” or “alternate facts.” Those are simply the real numbers.
Republicans are, and have been for my entire lifetime, the most criminally corrupt party to hold the office of the presidency. Of course, we forget the abject corruption of the Harding Administration, so it’s been a pretty egregious lot, these administrations.
One might even go so far as to suggest that the only Republican administrations that were even a little bit honest were Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The former was killed by a racist bigot and the latter was so pilloried by his Republican peers that he had to form his own political party.
The Republican brand is currently being sullied and tarnished by its idiotic pursuit of a health care law that overrides the Affordable Care Act. Why, even many conservatives are starting to think straight about single-payer systems instead of this convoluted exercise in corruption now being presented by the Senate.
This is what happens when you babble mindlessly about repealing a law that doesn’t make your friends rich, and prevents them from purchasing even more influence in the government.
For seven years, the Republicans have been promising to “repeal and replace ObamaCare.” So, one has to ask, where is the result of all your “hard” work? Clearly, they have nothing that makes any sense to anyone but those getting rich off the sick and the injured. A 22% approval rating for the current bill suggests that it is actually written on a perforated roll.
I’m looking forward to outcomes of all the legal machinations related to the Trump time of corruption, cronyism and utter stupidity. The 62 million people who voted for the President of Lies must be feeling even a little ashamed by now. If not, they will soon enough.
– Vern Turner lives in Marble Falls, TX and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, Racing to the Brink: The End Game for Race and Capitalism, is available through Amazon.com.