Well, Susan Collins was right–sorta. Trump did learn a lesson from the Impeachment whitewash that she and the other Republican Senators handed him.
The lesson? Extortion works and I can keep doing it.
Earlier this week, Trump tweeted:
I’m seeing Governor Cuomo today at The White House. He must understand that National Security far exceeds politics. New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes. Build relationships, but don’t bring Fredo!
This, of course, is vintage Trump, displaying both his trademark ignorance of how government actually works and his mob-godfather behavior.
Letitia James, New York’s Attorney General responded to the obvious ignorance.
When you stop violating the rights and liberties of all New Yorkers, we will stand down. Until then, we have a duty and responsibility to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.
BTW, I file the lawsuits, not the Governor.
As commentators have noted, this new threat followed a more generalized version that Trump had included in his delusional, fact-free State of the Union speech. In that speech, he threatened reprisals against sanctuary cities and states (mischaracterizing, as usual, what sanctuary laws say and do–it really is amazing how impervious he has been to learning anything in the three years he’s held office).
It also followed a previous, petty retaliation against New York, described by a Daily Kos contributor:
When the Department of Homeland Security announced on Feb. 7 that residents of New York would no longer be allowed to participate in programs such as Global Entry that speed passengers through airport security, it seemed like an act of petty vengeance. But then … petty vengeance is Donald Trump’s middle name. He just spells it with a J. So the idea that Trump would make a move designed to irritate millions of New Yorkers because their state passed laws supporting immigrants seemed absolutely believable.
But as it turns out, Trump wasn’t acting out of pure retaliation. Not at all. On Thursday Trump fired off a tweet making it clear that the real purpose behind making New Yorkers go to the back of the line was extortion—to force the state into leaving his taxes, his company, and his friends alone.
After all, it worked so well in Ukraine.
For a more in-depth discussion of this latest, astonishingly brazen effort to obtain a personal quid pro quo–threatening to withhold money meant to protect the citizens of New York unless that state dropped its multiple investigations into his criminal activities–you really should visit (or revisit, if you have already seen it) this discussion on Morning Joe.
Once again, the word that comes to mind is chutzpah.
What I find so astonishing is not the criminal behavior itself–and make no mistake, it is criminal, although I’m sure that the blowback will be dismissed with Trump’s usual “it was a joke” disclaimer (this from a man who wouldn’t know humor if he encountered it)– but the chutzpah of tweeting it out for the whole world to see. All that was missing was “Nah nah nah–you can’t impeach me! I’m protected by the spineless, dishonest, unAmerican Republicans in Mitch McConnell’s Senate.”
Yes indeed, Senator Collins. He certainly learned a lesson…