POLITICS (National): Donald Trump presidency, limits on White House power?: Commentary (Jeff Greenfield), "The Laws of Gravity Catch Up to Trump" ....
* POLITICO Magazine (Jeff Greenfield): "The Laws of Gravity Catch Up to Trump" - "With Flynn's resignation, an administration set on blowing through every limt on White House power hits an early wall." - From POLITICO:
Breaking news: The laws of political gravity may still apply.
That may be the most significant revelation from the vertiginous descent of national security adviser Michael Flynn. After a year-and-a-half in which Donald Trump overturned just about every assumption about American politics—when a candidate lacking in every traditional attribute of past presidents won; when a string of blatant falsehoods, breathtaking conflicts of interest, a dozen once-disqualifying revelations proved irrelevant—it appears he must now reckon with the power of the same countervailing forces that constrained the first 44 presidents.
fter his half-baked travel ban suffered a clear defeat at the hands of the federal judiciary, his national security adviser has departed, courtesy of a bureaucracy that seemed determined to put the White House in a clearly untenable position. A month before taking office, Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador about U.S. sanctions policy — in an apparent illegal conversation that Vice-President Mike Pence told a national TV audience didn’t happen. This week, just 24 days into his official tenure as Trump’s national security chief, Flynn was forced to resign after a series of leaks methodically stripped away every assertion the administration was using to protect Flynn’s position, much as a chess player deprives an opponent of every move except resignation.
“Flynn didn’t talk about sanctions with the Russian ambassador.”
“Yes he did.”
“It was only in passing.”
“No, it was at the heart of the conversation.”
“The White House didn’t know.”
“Yes it did, and it was explicitly told there was a potential for blackmail.”
In one sense, this is a story unique unto the Trump administration. If there’s another example of an aide finagling a vice president into offering false statements on national television, I can’t recall any. But in a broader sense, it’s another reminder that presidents are not emperors, and don’t rule by decree ...................