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Photos: top left: David Maril with the late Chuck Thompson, the voice of the Orioles and Colts, the summer he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993; top right: a perspective shot of Maril at Wrigley Field; featured photo: journalist Ken Decoste with the late, great Harry Caray and Maril.

Cavalcade of Columns

Bogus investigation into so-called statewide voter fraud showcases Trump’s narcissism and hypocrisy

Is the president admitting guilt when he says a failure to cooperate in an investigation indicates there is something to hide?

In some ways Nixon seems to be a role model for the president

By David Maril

While wondering who will be the first major Republicans in Congress to jump off Donald Trump's sinking ship, it’s interesting to note the following:

YOU ARE NOT OFF BASE interpreting President Donald Trump’s accusation that states not cooperating with the baseless investigation of voter fraud must have something to hide as an unintended admission of his own guilt. You can’t avoid thinking there must be plenty he doesn’t want the public to know about his business dealings and connections with foreign countries.

Using Trump’s own philosophy, if he has nothing to hide, why doesn’t he make the cloud hanging over his head disappear, and shorten this time-consuming investigation into Russian election meddling, by releasing his tax returns and focusing on cooperation and transparency?

Instead, the so-called President is arming himself with lawyers, dangling out threats that the special prosecutor had better stay clear of his family business finances, and exploring the scope of presidential pardons.

Meanwhile, the only reason for the national investigation of voter fraud is Trump’s refusal to accept the fact that Hillary Clinton, also a flawed presidential candidate, topped the president in the popular vote. The reality is too much for his ego to take.

YOU CAN BET THAT VICE PRESIDENT Mike Pence will be the first big so-called political ally of Trump to run for cover and distance himself from the blustering Commander and Chief if damning evidence surfaces against his boss.

It’s painfully obvious he is positioning himself to move into the White House if Trump does not finish his first term. But for now, he’s playing the role of a boot-licking, sanctimonious stooge.

When he stands near Trump while the president is speaking, he nods his head up and down like a bobblehead doll. Even if you don’t like Pence, it’s embarrassing to watch such shallow and sophomoric behavior from the Vice President of the country.

ONE THING ABOUT Trump is he treats his staff so poorly, he can turn even the most combative, disagreeable and inept people around him into sympathetic figures.

While departing Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not cover himself with glory in the position, he deserved better respect from the President for his loyalty. You can’t help but feel a little sympathy for the humiliations, especially on Saturday Night Live, he suffered.

The same can be said about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is extremely unqualified to serve in his cabinet position. But even though he gave up his Senate position to be one of the first to jump on Trump’s bandwagon, the president enjoys berating him.

The irony is his biggest criticism for the one thing that Sessions did that demonstrates ethics and statesmanship. Trump is furious Sessions recused himself from the investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election because he had met with Russian officials.

THE MOST LUDICROUS remark delivered by Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s new communications director at his first press conference, was that his goal is to free up the president to be himself.

This, of course, is the opposite of what is needed. The president is contradicting and incriminating himself, creating obstacles to getting things done, with his lack of discipline in communicating to the public.

Scaramucci, a camera ready pitchman, like Trump, whose background is in Wall Street dealing, is being praised for the job because he has such a great relationship with the president.

But Trump doesn’t need another “yes” man trying to curry favor. He is going to be another Washington outsider who doesn’t understand how the government works. He will just make the president’s problems worse.

When Scaramucci kept talking about making it more possible for Trump to be himself, you couldn’t help but think back to the Nixon era when some of his supporters were critical of media coverage and were saying things like “Let Nixon Be Nixon”.

Nixon, like Trump, felt under-appreciated and also kept his own council.Nixon’s infamous quote in a David Frost TV interview, “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal,” sounds like vintage Trump rhetoric.

It’s significant to note Nixon’s self-righteous viewpoint did not stop him from resigning, during his second term, because of the Watergate break-in scandal.

Even if it turns out there’s no evidence of wrongdoing with Trump, his family, cabinet and rich cronies, you have to question where their judgement is in putting themselves in situations that raise such doubts of ethics and credibility.

TRUMP HAS MANY CHARACTER flaws, related to egomania, that make him fall far short of behaving in a manner that is presidential.

And it has nothing to do with being a Republican or pretending to be conservative.

The disdain that his detractors have for him relates more to character and is less about political ideology.

One of his worst, and most annoying faults, is his classless lack of respect for people, the office of the presidency and many of the established aspects of this country that make it great.

It’s an embarrassment around the world to hear his continual cheap shots at his predecessors and constant criticism of the press, the FBI, CIA and anyone or any bureau or organization that does not lavish him with praise.

The big danger is he sends inconsistent and contradictory messages to world leaders. It’s important that countries around the world to realize that the United States is bigger than whoever, at the time, occupies the White House. And no matter who is president, there’s a certain continuity that can be counted on.

ONE CERTAINTY IS that no matter what happens with the Washington’s healthcare quagmire over whether to replace, repeal or improve Obamacare, there are few heroes among the leaders in either party.

All we are getting is rhetoric on both sides.

It’s true theRepublicans, who own a majority in both houses and occupy the White House, have shut the Democrats out of the process, trying, without success, to railroad what they want through.

But if the Democrats were in power, they would do the same thing.

Is it too much to hope for some bipartisan committee work to produce a plan that meets health care needs and is practical enough to run in a more efficient way?

David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.