The Same Old 'Conflicts' Blah Blah Blah

I was just corresponding with someone about how Trump has jumped out several laps ahead of everyone who is trying to keep Trump and his grasping kids from making billions off the Presidency. Here's what I said.

The key in my mind is that the vocabulary of 'conflicts of interests' and filings and all the rest is technical sounding and mandarin-like and has, I suspect, very very little political traction or effect at all. In my view, this is a framework meant to assist people who are trying to operate in an ethical manner, or at least want people to think they are. So it's just not appropriate for this. And again, in political terms I think it's a meaningless blur. What gives more weight to looking at it this way is that most of the relevant rules and ethical guidelines don't even apply to the President. So the whole framework is just barking up the wrong tree.

As long as the President is making deals or allowing others to make them on his behalf, he has an open channel to accept payoffs from everyone. Domestic ones are just corrupt. Foreign ones may violate the constitution. They're all the big money. Even for Trump.

The register is open for payoffs from everyone. Everyone. It seems like he wants to get the payoffs. If he doesn't the only way he can prevent it is stopping the deal making, which obviously means divesting himself of the companies. I think that is the only way for him to stop the payoffs. The President shouldn't be taking personal payoffs from people who want to buy a piece of the presidency. It's bad enough we let something like that happen with campaign contributions. But we've never allowed Presidents to pocket the money.

I think that's the way to go about this.

'Conflicts' is just bloodless Common Cause blah blah.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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