If you’ve ever watched an episode of The West Wing, you’ve seen an example how Washington, D.C. should run. The White House was filled with flawed but principled people who knew they worked for the American people, not for the President.
One particular episode stands out, especially now. In Season two, episode 19, President Jed Bartlet, who was thoughtfully played by Martin Sheen, was embroiled in a scandal. It’s tame by today’s standards of actual treason, but in the show, Bartlet withheld information from the American public that he was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. A scandal erupted, as did an investigation.
In this clip, Bartlet’s lawyer advised the President to do everything that Donald Trump refuses to do. That includes: 1. listening to his lawyer, no matter what and 2. Have the Attorney General hire a “blood spitting, Bartlet hating Republican (Bartlet was a Democrat).
Bartlet might have gotten away with the omission if it wasn’t for the fact that it became a problem when his wife Abbey (played by Stockard Channing) filled out a family history form for their daughter’s application to Georgetown. Abbey left off the MS, which made it a lie of omission, instead of simply something that never came up.
Bartlet knew he was in trouble, and he appeared to feel worse for everyone he was taking though the wringer with him than for his fate — which he knew he had no one to blame for other than himself.
Instead of whining about conflicts of interests, Bartlet’s lawyer told him to welcome them, and Bartlet did just that.
Here it is:
Alas, though, that show was fiction. We do, however, have a very real scandal in the White House (several actually). Donald Trump not listening to his lawyer, and as far as an investigation, well, he’s doing everything in his power to stop one. There’s perhaps nothing that makes him appear more guilty than his attempts to hide his guilt.
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