Rather than earning respect by behaving in a presidential way and by governing for all the people as promised, Trump's chosen instead to bleed respect from the people by obvious intimidation.

"Our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned..."

As you probably know by now, the above words were spoken out loud on television this past weekend by President Trump's senior adviser, Stephen Miller. The Roy Cohn-lookalike actually said this in public. He announced that apparently Trump possesses unlimited power to do whatever the hell he wants under the banner of national security. Anything. This is might be the most horrendous thing to emerge from the Trump White House to date, and given the swarm of horrendous things being excreted from this regime every damn day, calling it the worst thing tends to understate how bad it was.

Miller, speaking for Trump, literally threatened the world. Make no mistake, the "will not be questioned" language was an order -- a command -- from the White House, not a prediction. He wasn't suggesting that we won't question Trump from now on, he basically said, You will not do this. You will not question your president. Trump told you, he told me, he told world leaders, he told the Judicial Branch of the U.S. government -- everyone -- that if we question his authority, we will suffer the consequences, whether by the hand of terrorists or, seemingly, by Trump own (tiny) hand.

If he hasn't already, Trump is going to find out that, yes, we will question him. We will question everything he does. We won't merely question him, though. The questions will be joined by facts, reality and, yes, unremitting resistance to his autocratic despotism. He can send his shifty-eyed sidekicks out to threaten us all he wants, it's only going to make the resistance louder and more determined to surround him.

He thinks he has the power to overrule the will of the people, who, by the way, he laughably insisted in his inaugural (written by Stephen Miller) would be granted all the power under his presidency -- another gigantic turd-shaped lie from the cartoon dictator. Not only does he believe the people are subservient, he thinks he has the power to overrule the judiciary, even though the Constitution he's never read cover-to-over, as well as Marbury v Madison, says the court has the right to strike down his shoddy orders. While his equally ignorant supporters might've been suckered into believing he does, he actually doesn't. No one does. In absence of a governing mandate or approval ratings higher than 45 percent, Trump's only recourse is to dress up in military regalia and stomp around waving a teeny-tiny riding crop like a second-grader doing Patton cosplay.

In that regard, there's another dimension to Miller's quote. It reveals the exceedingly vulnerable underbelly -- the mangled Vader-without-his-helmet scalp of the Trump regime. The president and, by proxy, Miller are desperate to make the president look tougher and less vulnerable than he really is. So, rather than earning respect by behaving in a presidential way and by governing for all the people as promised, he's chosen instead to bleed respect from the people by obvious intimidation. Don't like what I'm doing? Fuck you and shut your holes. Or else. Likewise, rather than earning respect among the leadership of allies and frenemies alike, Trump is threatening them like a drunken loudmouth at a dive bar who, WHOOPS!, found a nuclear warhead in the bathroom.

It's difficult to know for sure which is more dangerous: an impotent Trump who needs a Reichstag fire, or much worse, to invent power for himself; or a powerful Trump who mistakenly thinks he's allowed to do anything he wants. Oddly, Trump thinks he's the latter, but he's actually the former. He's a weak, soft, small man who's way out of his depth. His people know it, and anyone who hasn't been brainwashed by Fox News or Breitbart agitprop knows it, too. He's a child's impression of what the president does. He's taking the "leader of the free world" descriptor literally, as if it's decreed by the founders. 

Indeed, the founders built the federal government around the idea that each branch, including the presidency, defers to the other two branches. Miller whined on television about how the three branches of government are supposed to co-equal, yet, he lamented, the judiciary can trample the executive anyway. If Miller or Trump actually read books, they'd discover that, yes, the branches are co-equal, but that each branch has certain powers to check the others. The president can veto laws and muster the armed forces, but Congress can override vetoes, declare war, and literally remove the president from office. In the case of Trump's Muslim ban, the judiciary has the power to check both the president's orders and Congress's laws. This is how the system has worked for 241 years. It's not up to a spastic toddler with cartoon hair who lost the popular vote to reverse these basic rules of the game.

If Trump and Miller weren't such feckless dilettantes, they'd know this. And if they already do, they're deliberately lying to their own people, not to mention the rest of us.

Trump doesn't want us to question his power. So, let's ask even more questions. Let's hammer him with more questions than his already incompetent, overwhelmed White House can handle. The goal is simple: strip him of more and more power until he has no choice but to skulk back to Mar-a-lago. For good this time.

RELATED