When President Joe Biden issued a anti-corruption national security memo At least one thing was made very clear on Thursday: Biden is the opposite of former President Donald Trump.
This could be the worst version of a Blue Ribbon Commission; that is, a place where good ideas will die.
Biden correctly positioned corruption as a national security issue. Biden federal agencies and departments headed report back to him on the best ways to fight global corruption within 200 days. His Thursday memo describes the very real and specific problems of corruption: an erosion of public trust, an opportunity for authoritarian leaders to flourish and overthrow democracy, an increase in national security concerns and economic damage. , among others.
Trump did not drain the swamp; he poisoned it, then flooded it. He used his position of public trust for its own benefit – the typical definition of public corruption. Trump used the presidency to enhance your brand and your bank account. He constantly promoted and visited his properties on the public penny, more than 500 times during his tenure. He seemed to sell access, often to these private properties, in exchange for patronage. Reports say he raked $ 8.1 million taxpayers and donors during tours of Trump-owned properties. By an account, he engaged in over 3,500 conflicts of interest. As president, the man was a walking conflict of interest.
And then there was the time when Trump seemed to dangle the promise of official deeds in return for personal favor. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the first impeachment, at a time before Trump claimed, contrary to all the available evidence, that the 2020 elections were stolen and before the “big lie” became part of our common vernacular.
Despite Trump’s hollow rhetoric about draining the swamp, his tenure has proven to be fertile ground for swamp-like creatures.
Trump’s first impeachment was for the 2020 election, at least indirectly. Trump reportedly asked the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation against Biden, his then political rival, in return for military aid and / or a White House meeting. the House impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstructing Congress. the The Senate did not condemn.
And so, despite Trump’s hollow rhetoric about draining the swamp, his tenure has proven to be fertile ground for swamp-like creatures.
Given the large number of ministries and agencies covered by Biden’s anti-corruption memo and the levels of bureaucracy involved in each ministry or agency, this review is likely to be, for lack of a better term, bulky. This could be the worst version of a blue ribbon commission; that is, a place where good ideas will die. But there is something to be said to warn foreign and domestic actors that the current president recognizes the problems inherent in corruption and calls for solutions.
Will Biden finally succeed? We don’t know, and a lot of it depends on how we define success. But he tries, and if his decades of experience as an elected official is any indication, he’s unlikely to become another chief con man. Because America has been there, has done this.