It appears that, throughout the history of crime, practitioners of the craft have made one universal, overriding mistake: they’ve tried to conceal their transgressions.
Burglars break into homes when the owners are away.
Car thieves steal cars left unattended.
Bank robbers cover their faces with masks to escape identification.
It seldom worked—these people were invariably caught and made to pay for their misdeeds.
And then along came Trump—as big a criminal as any—who is wagering everything on avoiding that mistake. No skulking about for Mr. Trump—no crimes committed in the shroud of darkness. He is is right out there, hoping to prove to us that if he ain’t hidin’ it, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with it.
So far it’s kept him from impeachment proceedings for two years. Can he be blamed for not continuing?
For instance, before Trump, firing the head of the FBI to avoid the possibility of an uncomfortable investigation might have been something whose motivation would have been debated in the highest levels of governement . Not with Trump: he announced on national television that he fired James Comey to stop the Russian investigation.
Before Trump a president might have back-channeled sleazy information on a political opponent. Not Trump. He requested in public that the Russians provide him with some damning emails from Hillary Clinton. The Russians complied. (The emails weren't damning, but so what?)
Before Trump a president might have thought twice before declaring a national emergency to gratify a fit of pique. Not Trump. He admitted before a crowd of reporters in the Rose Garden that he didn’t have to declare an emergency, but he wanted to. Then, recognizing the exigency he had caused, he went to play golf.
Here in America hiding misdemeanors and covering up indiscretions apparently hark back to a quaint and silly past when stagecoach robbers hid behind boulders and shoplifters wore a coat four sizes too large. Trump represents the new wave, the new approach in the "great-again" America, where admitting you’re a criminal is not your deathbed confession—it's your first line of defense.
In the long run, this new strategy may obviate the need for jury trials, witness tampering, even investigative police work. In the short run, though, it embarrasses the country while rendering Trump supporters (and who thought this was possible?) even more ridiculous.