23 April 2019

The time is come to impeach Donald Trump.


The pattern of open defiance to Congressional inquiry is now unmistakeable, and is, all by itself, more than sufficient reason to impeach this president. Let me be clear: the Mueller Report is a sideshow. This president has committed obstruction, emoluments violations, election law violations, and, (apparently, per extensive news investigation); tax and real estate fraud. He has compromised himself to our nation's principal adversary, in plain sight. He had ordered his minions and other federal employees to break the law, and openly dangled pardons (a gross abuse of power) to induce them to comply with his orders. In plain sight. The Mueller investigation was limited to the Russian interference in the election and specific obstruction of justice related to that, and, despite the Trump administration's outright lies and slow walking the release of the report, it does not clear him; instead it makes clear that he did in fact obstruct justice and coordinate with his campaign's open cooperation with a foreign adversary to illegally interfere in our elections. Any other president having done any one of these things would've been impeached, and, depending on political winds, likely convicted and removed from office. You cannot escape from history, and it is time to bite the bullet and impeach Donald Trump.

As for the politics of impeachment, I believe the old guard pols in the Democratic caucus, including Speaker Pelosi, are misreading this situation. People disrespect Congress by and large because of its lack of decisive action. In Watergate, Congress acted. They held televised hearings. They put the facts before the American people, and, despite Nixon's having won re-election by a huge landslide, public opinion was changed by the facts. And face it, the facts now are vastly worse than they were for Nixon. Trump will fight, more than Nixon did. We will have to go to right wing judges, and possibly the right wing Supreme Court, and point out the obvious facts that there isn't a shred of legal justification for the open defiance by this president of the power of the Congress to inquire into his actions.

Might we lose? Of course! It's possible, more than possible, that our system is nowso deeply corrupted that even the Supreme Court will not uphold the rule of law. It's likely that no matter what we do, the Senate will not remove this president from office. But those are not reasons, nor excuses, for not fighting aggressively to conduct the inquiry, bring the articles, and move forward. Hold the hearings, every day, aggressive scheduling. Don't even bother with letters. Issue subpoenas, with minimum time frames, and file in court immediately after they are disobeyed. If the witnesses don't show up, have the hearings anyway, and put up whoever we can find to testify to what's been going on, and point out on television, day after day, that the president and his administration are in open defiance of the rightful powers of the Congress. If that is not enough to convince the majority of Americans to vote these people out of office, nothing will, and our republic will in fact be destroyed. But if we do nothing, that will only happen more assuredly and more rapidly.


14 April 2019

Another milestone on the road to authoritarianism

If our constitutional system were functioning even reasonably well, THIS, if confirmed to be true, would NECESSARILY result in the impeachment and conviction by near unanimous vote in the Senate. There could not be a clearer case of executive misconduct for which the impeachment power was included in the Constitution, short of overt military treason in time of war. If I need to spell it out for you: (if true), the president of the United States, sworn to uphold the constitution and "take care that the laws of the United States be faithfully executed," is 1) ordering employees of the government of the United States to violate the law AND ignore the orders of the duly constituted courts of the United States; and 2) promising to engage in the gross misuse of the pardon power to stymie any potential prosecution of those whom he has ordered to so do. This is just exactly the sort of thing that would be dictators do in the run up to all out seizure of power and decapitation of all other centers of political power in societies where democracy has completely failed.

And, any deluded folks who still cling to their emotional support for this dangerous maniac, I will say this: if you cannot see that, then you either have no understanding, literally none, of how constitutional democracy is supposed to work, or you, yourself, are part of the slide into dictatorship that our country has clearly commenced.

I am not by nature a pessimist. Trends can be reversed. No matter how bad it gets, an engaged citizenry can work to make it less bad, and can, eventually slow, stop, and even reverse such a slide. But the trend is definitely, unquestionably, there for all to see who can see.


Nature simply does not care what we believe.