Is this what Rod Rosenstein meant by landing the plane? Because he seems to have missed the runway entirely. Does the deputy attorney general really think that kissing Trump's gnarly orange toes while frantically mumbling MAGA incantations will protect him? Trump has attacked everyone who ever worked for him. That maniac tweeted photos of Rosenstein behind bars when the Mueller investigation was ongoing. Ol' Rod has a wildly active fantasy life if he believes that he's about to wander off into private practice, never to be bothered by Hannity and the Howler Monkeys again.

But seriously, look at this bullshit mash note he dropped on Trump yesterday:

Dear Mr. President:

The Department of Justice made rapid progress in achieving the Administration's law enforcement priorities -- reducing violent crime, curtailing opioid abuse, protecting consumers, improving immigration enforcement, and building confidence in the police -- while preserving national security and strengthening federal efforts in other areas.

The fuck is he talking about? The opioid crisis continues unabated, they're dismantling the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Trump has declared a national emergency on immigration, and only 57 percent of Americans have confidence in police. He's right that the murder rate is down, although rapes and assaults are up. But Making America Great Again is more of a figurative goal. It's like the president's weight -- it defies traditional measurements.

As I submit my resignation effective on May 11, I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve; for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations; and for the goals you set in your inaugural address: patriotism, unity, safety, education, and prosperity, because "a nation exists to serve its citizens."

Oh, Rod will miss those little jokes! Like the time Trump and Stephen Miller played a prank by drafting a letter pretending to fire James Comey because he wouldn't end the Russia investigation, and Rod redid the whole thing pretending it was because Comey was so mean to Hillary. Or the time Rod appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, and Trump shouted, "LOL, I'm so fucked!" Or all those times Trump called Rod "Mr. Peepers." Or that time Trump appointed Meatball Whitaker as Rod's boss, and Rod had to go out and say he was totally qualified without giggling or making the jerk off motion or anything.

And they're still laughing about this one!

Trump Twitter, screengrab via Vox

So patriotism, much unity.

By the by, we are old enough to remember when the GOP tried to burn down the Justice Department because Loretta Lynch had a conversation on the tarmac with Bill Clinton while his wife was under investigation for those Buttery Emails. Thank goodness we're in a non-partisan era where Rod Rosenstein can supervise an investigation and still share all those yuks with its target. Truly, America has returned to its former greatness.

At the Department of Justice, we stand watch over what Attorney General Robert Jackson called "the inner ramparts of our society -- the Constitution, its guarantees, our freedoms and the supremacy of law." As a result, the Department bears a special responsibility to avoid partisanship. Political considerations may influence policy choices, but neutral principles must drive decisions about individual cases.

The Department of Justice just reversed its stance on the Affordable Care Act and took a legally indefensible position that would invalidate insurance for tens of millions of Americans and yank away coverage for pre-existing conditions because Trump decided he wanted to run on healthcare again. DOJ is furiously researching ways to withhold Trump's tax returns from Congress, in defiance of the plain language of the statute. And the Justice Department is coordinating with the White House to obstruct Congress by defying all Democratic subpoenas. But please, Rod, GO OFF on those "neutral principles" free of political consideration.

We enforce the law without fear or favor because credible evidence is not partisan, and truth is not determined by opinion polls. We ignore fleeting distractions and focus our attention on the things that matter, because a republic that endures is not governed by the news cycle.

We keep the faith, we follow the rules, and we always put America first.[*]

*Offer not available in Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, or Jared Kushner. Some restrictions may apply.

FFS, Rod is the guy who offered to wear a wire because he knew damn well Trump was a demented old loon trying to obstruct justice, caved to Don McGahn and dummied up a cover story for Trump to fire Comey, panicked after a bad "news cycle" and appointed Robert Mueller, called Trump up and then begged not to be fired because "I give the investigation credibility" and "I can land the plane." He stood behind Bill Barr twice while he lied to the American public about Mueller's findings. And now he's blowing smoke up the ass of this orange fool as if this entire administration wasn't one extended assault on the rule of law.

And, not for nothing, but a guy named Rosenstein quoting the anti-Semitic "America first" slogan is just the extra squirt on the shit sandwich. We're all just kvelling!

Which is not to say that we don't owe Rod Rosenstein a debt of gratitude. He protected the Mueller investigation despite massive pressure from Trump and the wingnuts. That must have been truly awful for him and his family, and things at the Justice Department will undoubtedly get worse after he goes. His replacement Jeffrey Rosen has never prosecuted a single case, much less worked at the Justice Department. He's a political appointee who will likely carry out whatever crazy, obstructive shit Trump tells him to do.

So, yes, Rod Rosenstein can be a sniveling, weak little toady. And his departure can also be a tragedy because it leaves the administration of justice in the hands of men who will certainly never stick their necks out to protect the integrity of the Justice Department. Two things can both be true.

Things will get worse before they get better.

[WaPo / Rosenstein letter]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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