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Zirpoli: Rest in Peace, GOP

Imagine for a minute if former President Barack Obama or his attorney stated that he could shoot the FBI director and not be indicted for the crime while in office. “In no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted [while in office],” Rudy Giuliani, the president’s attorney, told the Huffington Post during an interview on June 3. I guess former FBI Director James Comey should be feeling lucky that he was just fired, not killed, by President Donald Trump.

What have we heard from the leaders of the Republican Party about this disturbing statement of absolute power by the president? Not much. Indeed, it seems that the GOP is OK with a leader who claims unlimited presidential powers, unable to be made to testify, unable to be indicted and able to pardon himself. If only President Richard Nixon had Giuliani for an attorney. After all, his crimes were minor compared to what Trump and his campaign officials are suspected of.

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Another argument from the Trump legal team is that Trump has the ability to shut down any investigation at any time. Too bad Hillary Clinton didn’t think of that during the many Benghazi investigations and, of course, the FBI investigations involving her private email server. I’m sure her friend, President Obama, would have been happy to “shut down” those investigations with the powers Trump now claims the president has. I’m also sure that Republicans at the time would have responded to Obama as quietly as they have with Trump.

We also learned from his attorneys that Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., lied about a meeting in June 2016 with Russian nationals who claimed to have dirt on Clinton. While Trump and his son both claimed that the president had nothing to do with the statement released after the meeting was disclosed, Trump’s attorney’s admitted in a letter to the Justice Department recently that the president had “dictated” the statement released under his son’s name. Oh, and the statement falsely stated that the meeting was about Russian adoptions. Right, like Trump cares about adoptions or kids, especially from other countries. In summary, the statement was false and the statement about the source of the statement was also false.

But there was no collusion or obstruction of justice. Right. Keep saying that.

Giuliani states that he doesn’t want Trump to testify because their “recollection keeps changing.” Well, when you lie all the time it is difficult to remember what you said. Perhaps Trump and Giuliani should try telling the truth. It is much easier to remember.

The former party of limited government is also the former party of free trade. For those who don’t believe the party of Ronald Reagan has been replaced with the party of Donald Trump, allow former President Reagan to set you straight. Here is what Reagan had to say about tariffs when he was president: “Over the past 200 years, not only has the argument against tariffs and trade barriers won nearly universal agreement among economists, but it has also proven itself in the real world, where we have seen free-trading nations prosper while protectionist countries fall behind. America’s most recent experiment with protectionism was a disaster for the working men and women of this country.”

Reagan added, “When Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley tariff in 1930, we were told that it would protect America from foreign competition and save jobs in this country — the same line we hear today. The actual result was the Great Depression. Ever since that time, the American people have stayed true to our heritage by rejecting the siren song of protectionism. In recent years, the trade deficit led some misguided politicians to call for protectionism, warning that otherwise we would lose jobs. But they were wrong again.”

History does repeat itself and Reagan must be rolling in his grave. Of course, you have to know your history in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Does anyone believe that Trump reads history?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported that Trump’s tariffs on products from Canada and Mexico and the resulting retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products to those two countries threaten 2.6 million American jobs. Trump has also started a trade war with our European allies. He justified the tariffs on national security grounds. Who knew that Canada and our European allies were a threat to our national security? Meanwhile, Trump wants to be friends with Russia and invite them back into the G-7. I wonder why?

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As former Republican House Speaker John Boehner stated during a recent GOP meeting in Michigan, “There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump Party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.”

Rest in peace, GOP.

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