I love the conversations I get into when I'm waiting for something - in this case for a shot, at Kaiser's injection clinic Monday. (What shot? None of your business.) The clinic has a set of chairs to wait in, you only stand in line to register; I started talking to the nice woman in the next chair. After some brief political rumbles about The Former Guy (we agreed about him), she leaned over and whispered that to me.
I have to agree with her - with everything he's done, he should be in jail, or at least under indictment. But I do understand why he isn't.
First of all, America has never (thank God!) had a president who behaved like that. Who assumed that the rules, the laws, didn't apply to him. (The attempts to declare the 2020 election invalid.) Who assumed everything in his vicinity belonged to him. (The multiple boxes of paperwork that should never have been moved to Mar-A-Lago.) He breaks the conventions and the laws with such aplomb that your first response is, "What the hell?" It's taken a while for all of us to realize just how bad it is.
But he's used to getting away with stuff, and he always has lawyers in his service who are happy to delay and argue and put things off until everyone gives up. (Given how he tends not to pay people if they don't get the results he wants, I don't know why they work for him, but they do.) Also, if he ever goes to a trial, there may be people on the jury who approve of him. So any case against him has to be absolutely solid - iron clad and proven. Unarguable. I believe that's why Merrick Garland's Justice Department is taking its cautious time building the case - because they can't lose this case. I genuinely believe that if He Whom I Will Not Name is elected president again, we can kiss democracy and the rule of law goodbye. And I think Mr. Garland knows that.
The founders who wrote the U.S. Constitution built a government that assumed all educated men of good will (that's who they thought would be in government) understood the rules of behavior, the checks and balances, that were laid out in it. They never in their lives imagined a man like this - who is not educated, who has good will only for himself, who doesn't think he has to obey anything or anyone, and particularly who cannot bear to lose.
I wonder who would now be Attorney General if Merrick Garland had been appointed to the Supreme Court in 2016.