What to do with this FPOTUS? Lock him up!
This past weekend Hawaii knew what to do when our democracy seemed in crisis.
People voted in free and fair elections. Candidates won and lost. There were no reported election deniers.
It was both affirmation and confirmation that our system works. But not for crybaby would be tyrants.
We are now entering an era when the greatest threat to our democracy is one FPOTUS.
That was the description on the affidavit attached to that historic search warrant on the property of The Former President of the United States, a/k/a FPOTUS.
But why stop at one F when there’s a foultitude of F words. (That’s French for “lots” or “oodles.”)
But there’s also: “Falsifying.” “Failed.” “Funky” even works metaphorically in a most foul way. All of them come to mind. Add your favorite adjectival “F” word.
It’s just never been seen in U.S. history — a figurehead of what is seen as the world’s greatest democracy becoming the target of a search warrant. And it’s all official and legit. One that’s signed off by a judge who believes there is probable cause that a crime has been committed by a former president of the United States.
Jimmy Carter is an FPOTUS, but you know we’re not talking about him. Carter builds houses, not federal criminal cases that make him a threat to our country.
No, this FPOTUS is the most recent one, who wants to be an RPOTUS. “R” for recidivist President of the United States.
But if charges are filed, he can forget about that. That’s because we aren’t talking about the kind of “high crimes and misdemeanors” political crime that Congress has used twice already in the impeachment process against him.
We’re talking about real crimes in the U.S. code that normal people get thrown in jail for. Like the oddly named Reality Winner, a former NSA contractor who got prison time for leaking a single classified document to the media.
That’s the seriousness of the possible charges here, the biggest one perhaps involving potential violations of the Espionage Act. FPOTUS The Spy? Like Harriet, of kids’ book fame? FPOTUS wishes.
If you are found with the most top secret of government documents, the kind that you need to open in a safe room, and they’re sitting in a basement at your Florida resort, that could be considered “mishandling” and get someone up to 10 years in prison.
Then there’s the possibility of obstruction of justice charges that could fetch up to 20 years.
And as the topper, there’s the possible charge of destruction or mutilation of federal records, which could potentially disqualify a person from ever holding public office.
Essentially, FPOTUS would have to understand that a realistic run again for president in 2024 has practically been made moot. Especially if he personally kept nuclear codes or info pertaining to such matters. For what? As souvenirs? To set up as celebratory fireworks should he prevail as the “Comeback FPOTUS”?
He’s slow playing his hand, with his first response the extreme tack of claiming political persecution. Victimhood!
Hey wait, isn’t that what people say Asian Americans and other BIPOC folks do? FPOTUS is not like us. He’s no victim. He understands victimizing. But being the victim? No empathy for that.
But he’s also taken to blaming another F word. . .the FBI! Of course, the FBI agents were just doing their job, and in a low-key way after discussions to obtain the documents began in 2021, then were brought up again in 2022, reports say. And a search warrant was required only after certain documents appear to have been omitted the first time documents were handed over.
Don’t blame the FBI. But that seems to be the preferred tack of the Republican Party, which can’t seem to quit its loving embrace of FPOTUS.
“The FBI raid of President Trump is a complete abuse and overreach of its authority,” said House member Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Overreach? The paperwork was signed by a judge.
Others like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) just tried to raise doubt even to suggest that documents may have been planted. Plant-based documents by meat eater FPOTUS? Doubt it.
Others like Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) called the FBI tyrants. Sen Rick Scott (R-Fla.) went even further. “The way the federal government has gone, it’s like what we thought about the Gestapo, people like that, that just go after people.”
No, Sen. Scott, our FBI isn’t like the official secret police of Nazi Germany.
This is the desperate Republican Party trying to defend their FPOTUS, who earlier last week in one of six legal situations he faces, pleaded the Fifth more than 400 times.
Instead of choosing America, the GOP has chosen FPOTUS, and that is not good for America. Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson of Kansas is one of the few telling GOP leaders to cool it on the hot rhetoric. But the dominant key is FPOTUS, and it’s getting dangerous.
Already one FBI office drew the attention of a Jan. 6 insurrectionist, who was gunned down in a standoff in Ohio last week. It may not be the last if insurrectionists who see anything FPOTUS says as a call to arms.
We may be coming up to Jan. 6 the Sequel. And all because the FPOTUS in question can’t show anything but a disgraceful love of self. Certainly, there’s no love of country.
So, while the hot rhetoric was flying around all weekend, Asian Americans in Hawaii knew the proper response to Friday’s devastating news. They voted.
The most Asian American state by percentage of population held its primary on Saturday. That is the affirmation of democracy. Voting is the only way out of the mess we’re in.
For the midterms and beyond. In the gubernatorial Democratic primary, it looks like Lt. Gov. Josh Green crushed Hawaii businesswoman Vicky Cayetano, the Chinese-Filipino former first lady of Hawaii (married to the Filipino former governor of Hawaii–the FFGOH?–Ben Cayetano).
Mrs. Cayetano was running for office for the first time and spent more than $3 million of her own money. It’s legally laundered money. Her business does sheets and towels for Hawaii’s hospitals and hotels. But it wasn’t enough to beat a sitting lieutenant governor who wants to be No. 1.
Green will go up against Republican former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona in the general election on Nov. 8.
Aiona handily beat a Republican field that included retired MMA star BJ Penn, who wasn’t close enough to ground and pound.
Of course, Republicans have been courting Asian Americans all around the country.
But for the GOP to win Asian American votes, it’s going to have to quit its embrace of FPOTUS, who continues to deny he’s even a “former,” by saying the election was stolen. And now he tries to gaslight his way out of the Mar-A-Lago raid?
Time to make him FPOTUS for life. He’s “F” for a reason. Keep it that way. And we Asian American Filipinos can play a role simply by exercising our right to vote. That’s the way it’s done in a threatened, but still thriving, democracy.
Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. He writes a column for the Inquirer.net’s North American Bureau.
NOTE: I will talk about this column and other matters on “Emil Amok’s Takeout,” my AAPI micro-talk show. Live @2p Pacific. Livestream on Facebook; my YouTube channel; and Twitter. Catch the recordings on www.amok.com.