Trump Needs To Man Up And Stop Whining About Ethics Laws

I will confess to being favorably impressed with the team that Donald Trump is assembling to form his Administration. By and large they are men and women of wide experience and have proven capable of rising to the upper ranks of their professions. They are undoubtedly the most consistently conservative cabinet appointees of any president in my life time. Unfortunately, Trump’s leadership is setting the stage for the Administration to be stymied and discredited by the seething puddle of potential conflicts of interest that have attached themselves to a large number of his selectees because of their wealth. (Let me say that I do not object to wealthy folks being selected for cabinet positions. Rather the opposite. I pine for the days of noblesse oblige when the notion of “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return” was the watch phrase of the upper socio-economic classes. And if a cabinet secretary can be bought or bribed at least the sale price of an immensely wealthy person will limit the number of people who can make the offer.)


But, to reiterate, it is Trump’s crappy personal example that is going to cause lower ranking appointees to decide that if the boss can be conflicted out the wazoo, so can they. Take this, for instance:

Ummm, no. It is the right answer.

We all care about kids with cancer. Their care is not going to cease because a Trump vanity project stops fundraising. We also care about our government being sold out to various bidders, and not even the highest one. And we don’t give a rat’s ass about what Eric likes to do. How Trump could have lambasted Hillary Clinton, and rightfully so, over her criminal conflicts of interest with the Clinton Foundation. I don’t care what Eric wants to do, because his father is the president there are things he can’t do. As they say, a lock only keeps an honest man honest. The ethics laws prevent otherwise honorable men from either violating the law or giving the appearance of violating it. They won’t restrain the criminally inclined.

Thankfully, Eric Trump seems to understand what his father is incapable of comprehending:

Eric Trump said on Wednesday that he had decided to stop directly soliciting contributions for his charitable foundation, which supports causes like the fight against childhood cancer, because he now recognizes that his status as the president-elect’s son means that donors could try to use him to gain access to his father.

“As unfortunate as it is, I understand the quagmire,” Mr. Trump said in an interview Wednesday evening. “You do a good thing that backfires.”

His move followed public criticism of an online auction that the Eric Trump Foundation had sponsored offering a chance to have coffee with his sister Ivanka. The criticism intensified over the weekend after an invitation was drafted offering a hunting trip with Eric Trump or his brother Donald Jr. in exchange for donations of $500,000 or $1 million to a new charity that friends of Eric Trump had created this month with his apparent consent, according to legal documents.

Associates of Eric Trump said he had made the decision not to solicit contributions with deep regret. He has been raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee since he was 21, helping deliver, he said, more than $15 million to the institution, which offers free care to needy children. (Tax records filed by his foundation show a total of at least $6.5 million between 2008 and 2014, although additional contributions by affiliated groups might bring that total higher, and the records do not show money given since)


We were, up until 2009, a nation of laws not a nation of men. Obama changed that and now it is up to Trump to bring us back to the point where the FBI isn’t afraid to charge a politician with a crime if their name is Clinton. That cannot happen unless Trump leads by example. If he is bitching about ethics laws that were crafted to prevent corruption, he is setting the stage for an ethically compromised administration that will achieve nothing.



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