Every week seems to bring another Trump scandal. There are so many now we’re going to have to start numbering them. Up until now the sheer volume of alleged misdeeds and malfeasance has actually worked in the president’s favor. There is so much out there that it’s hard to keep the whole picture straight in your mind and that has the weird effect of making things seem less serious than they actually are.
We know that the Trump base and the vast majority of Republican voters still support the president and think it’s all nothing but a witch hunt. They are mesmerized by the president and propagandized by Fox News and other right-wing media. But I would imagine that even people who don’t like Trump but don’t follow all this closely or in much detail wonder whether maybe the whole thing is just a collection of complaints that don’t really add up to anything.
That’s why it’s meaningful when the likes of Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen of Axios, journalists whom the political establishment sees as avatars of acceptable mainstream thinking, decide that it’s time to take stock of how many scandals are now being investigated and how wide the scope of the alleged criminality and corruption has become. It’s rather sobering. On Thursday they wrote out a partial list, entitling it, “The biggest political scandal in American history.”
VandeHei and Allen report that historians tell them there are only two previous scandals that even come close to what we are dealing with now: One is Watergate, and even Americans who weren’t alive at the time have heard plenty about that one. The other would be Teapot Dome, a bribery scandal under the manifestly corrupt Warren G. Harding administration in the 1920s.
Trump’s scandals include the Russia investigation, of course, which the Axios authors call one of the greatest counter-espionage cases of all time; the Stormy Daniels campaign finance scandal; the lies about the Trump Tower Moscow project (which is likely also part of the…