Why Congress Won’t Investigate Michael Flynn, Russia and Donald Trump Yet

What makes this scandal unique in American history is that, while it is an offense that is impeachable, and that makes both Watergate and the Clinton scandals that brought about his impeachment, but not his conviction, look like a day at the beach, it all occurred and was known before the election. Other presidents committed offenses that drew attention, scrutiny and even impeachment once they were in office. Trump did it all in the year preceding the election. This has brought him immunity of a sort, because if he is impeached, it will be very easy to bring down much of the Republican Party with him. This is the Faustian, and poorly thought out, that the Republicans made when they nominated and then rallied behind this more than slightly unhinged kleptocrat with authoritarian, and perhaps treasonous tendencies.

Revolution and Democracy in Egypt

History has shown both that revolutions are rare and not the inevitable outcome of large, even massive street demonstrations, and that when most authoritarian regimes are overthrown, they are not replaced by democracies. Moreover, while some democracies, notably those in countries of Eastern Europe like Poland or the Czech Republic as well as the Baltic states arise out of events that could be described as revolutions, most democracies take a very long time to evolve. The American democratic revolution, for example, lasted roughly two centuries beginning with the American Revolution in 1776 which brought independence, followed a few years later by the creation and approval of the U.S. Constitution, and ending when apartheid in the American south was brought to an end with the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts in 1964 and 1965. Some other democracies, Germany and Japan, for example, grew out of military defeat, occupation and enormous commitment of resources from other democratic countries.

Now is Not the Time for Delay

President Obama's recent remarks to a largely gay audience at a White House event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that he believes that after his term in office, gay people will be pleased with his work were a combination of strange, hopeful and, not least, puzzling. Obama's comments indicate he is clearly aware of the frustration many people feel because of his inaction on a number of important issues such as repealing the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy, failure to take on the ill-conceived Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to take a stronger position on marriage equality, or at the very least on expanding more benefits to the partners of gay federal employees.