“Revenge,” the Telenovela, Still Drawing Big Audiences

Cheriss May/NurPhoto via ZUMA

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One of the impressive things about Donald Trump is his creativity in taking revenge on people. I mean, who else would have gotten the idea of using the presidential pardon power this way? And yet, it’s right there in the Constitution. He could write “Donald Trump Jr. is pardoned for everything” on a White House napkin and that’s all it takes.

Likewise, the president does have the power to remove someone’s security clearance, but I don’t think that even Richard Nixon ever came up with the idea of using it to get back at any of his enemies. But Trump has. It might not be the biggest deal in the world, but it’s a telling little humiliation for someone who’s accustomed to knowing all the little behind-the-scenes secrets.

Or, on the world scene, has any president refused to sign a pro forma communique with allies just because one of them said something he found slightly vexing?

Then again, what goes around comes around. Has any presidential aide ever roamed the White House routinely recording conversations in hopes of being able to use them for some kind of petty revenge against the president? Not that I know of.

It’s quite the telenovela we have going on here. But how will it do during sweeps week this November?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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