Citing two specific instances of unprecedented presidential (or un-presidential) behavior, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman warned Americans that Donald Trump’s potential power grabs in the event of any terrorist-related incident could mean that “America as we know it will soon be gone.” Krugman cited Trump’s attack on a private American company, Nordstrom, for dropping his daughter’s fashion line as a grotesque precedent that pits any critic (or perceived critic) of Trump policy as an enemy of the state. (Nordstrom denies dropping Trump was a political message, only a business reality.) That us versus them binary mechanism is essentially a power grab by the president that rides roughshod over checks and balances.
Second, Krugman cites Trump’s blatant denigration of the judiciary — especially the “so-called judge” James Robart — as a preemptive strike against anyone who infringes on his executive power. In the event of a future terrorist event, Trump is seeding the bed against opposition to his unilateral power to react as he chooses, Krugman indicates. Witness Trump’s chilling tweet about “bad people pouring in” and his ominous warning that “if something happens” blame the “court system,” not him. Implicit in that statement is an “I told you so” in the event of “something” happening — an “I told you so” meant to compel capitulation to presidential orders, not the American system of checks and balances. We had that after 9/11, Krugman warns, and it didn’t work out well.
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Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2017