Nominate Judge Merrick Garland as the new FBI Director. This is the brilliant idea of Utah Senator Mike Lee. His suggestion, if implemented, would solve a multitude of President Trump’s problems. More importantly, it would provide the country with a full, independent and conclusive judgment regarding the entire “Russia” matter once and for all. It eliminates the silly comparisons to Watergate. And it diffuses any notion of a “constitutional crisis.” But is President Trump up to the challenge?
Another Chance for President Trump to Exercise Good Judgment and Political Wisdom
We doubt it. To date, the irascible and unpredictable President Trump has been consistent in at least one respect. His judgment has been remarkably terrible at every critical juncture. From the travel suspension order (yes, suspension – it was not a ban) to the health care fiasco to the Comey firing, and more – his judgment has been terrible.
But there’s much more. He has shown little understanding or appreciation about how things get done in Washington. He has shown little ability to work behind the scenes. President Trump doesn’t make friends easily. He has further poisoned the already toxic atmosphere within Washington. He continues to inspire and insight his political opponents. Copious and continuing White House leaks show President Trump’s inability to even inspire loyalty within his own ranks and from those on whom he most relies. From the country’s perspective, it is all disheartening. If Republicans aren’t deeply anxious about where this will leave their party in 2018 and beyond – well, they should be.
And now President Trump is the beneficiary of a brilliant suggestion. He has an opening to not only mend some fences, but to begin the arduous process of establishing credibility. Any credibility, within Washington and with the American people. Without credibility, his presidency is doomed.
A Shrewd Political Move
Just as importantly the appointment of Merrick Garland as the new FBI Director would be impossible for Democrats to turn down. Politically, they would be outflanked. Even if Garland turns down the President. But if accepted, and if there was in fact no collusion between President Trump and the Russian government, a Garland report to that effect would definitely end the matter. And the President would have his vindication, likely in time for the mid-term elections. It would elevate his political stature. It would increase the likelihood that he could achieve large parts of his (or at least the Republicans’) policy agenda.
Nominate Judge Merrick Garland. Yes, if the President is innocent, a Garland nomination would be brilliant. Which is exactly why we doubt it will happen.