The Legitimacy of Presidency

I find it reprehensible in the extreme that some members of Congress are boycotting the inauguration, claiming that Donald Trump’s election to the office is illegitimate. Especially at a time when national unity is needed and the inauguration presents an opportunity to go forward, this is egregiously bad partisan behavior and the reason why Donald Trump became president in the first place—for better or for worse. Washington is still broken yet many leaders continue to fiddle during the conflagration.

The surrounding rhetoric reminisces of the claim some made regarding Barak Obama’s Presidency being illegitimate dues to his birth status. So-called “birthers” were ridiculed for the straw grasping attempt to reverse the results of the election. But now the shoe is simply on the other foot. And as In either case the perpetrators should be derided and ridiculed and vilified. And those members of Congress that boycotted the election should be tossed out of office by their constituents—I predict they will be. I can’t imagine their constituency seriously cares about the so-called conscience of their congressman when they themselves struggle with insurance, bills and a convoluted tax code—and probably voted for Donald Trump. They want Congress to work together to get the country’s business done.

Now if hacking by a foreign adversary shaped the election by electronically altering vote tallies—I would be the first to agree that the election results are invalid. But, as far as any one knows—and this is the same extent that anyone knows Hillary Clinton’s email server was infected with malware—adversaries were not able to electronically alter vote tallies. Though there were embarrassing emails and unwanted revelations, the facts of the matter remain:

  • Voters voted the way they voted—no one pulled the lever or pushed the button for them. Whatever the motive for voting the way they voted, one can speculate forever and it’s irrelevant. There are any number of absurd reasons why people vote the way they do yet no one’s decision is qualified.
  • Embarrassing leaks that shaped the election? What else is new. Mitt Romney’s relatively benign audio leak cost him the election yet no one called the winner illegitimate. Donald Trump’s locker room banter might have cost him the election and if it did, would some in Congress boycott the inauguration of Hillary Clinton? Doubt it. This sort of thing has become the name of the game whether it came from Wiki-Leaks, Russia, China or Mother Jones.
  • What power does wiki leaks have that wasn’t given to them by conduct? If Donna Brazile gave Hillary Clinton town hall questions ahead of the event, imagine if Hillary Clinton declined to receive them. Imagine being beyond reproach. Imagine treating people with respect both on and off camera, on and off line. More than ever, politicians must comport themselves as if everyone can hear, read, and see all that they do, even if there is an assumption of confidentiality.

It’s time to get to work without politics as usual. Let the new administration get started. And let Congress get back to work.

 

 

 

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