Impeachment – A Tool Meant to Be Used

These have been trying times with Trump in the presidency and a Senate that is staging some kind of Republican rebellion. The GOP is deep in the middle of a one-sided battle without rules to unseat the entire Democratic Party and impose a Conservative, Evangelical, Corporatist agenda in American politics for as long as we all shall live.

Trump is certainly an unlikely person to lead such a campaign, Mr. Richie Rich Bone Spurs avoids things like duty, and he is crude, far too crude for normal conservative sensibilities (oops, sorry George Will). Trump’s tactics are a bit fascist and bear a too-close similarity to those used by the mafia figures encountered by Trump in his NYC career as a ruthless real estate developer sans talent. Several recent articles have also painted a detailed picture of the role the very corrupt Roy Cohn played in Trump’s upbringing.

But with a group like The Family (did you watch the series on Netflix, very compelling and more than a bit frightening) laying hands on Trump and with their strategy of buddying up with the powerful, no matter how corrupt, and referencing Jesus, almost any lout can be declared off limits as they are in the process of being purified.

As I have watched Trump’s election campaign and these three years of his presidency he seems to me to have given us reasons to impeach him many times over. I believe our approach to impeachment is to turn it into almost a sacrament. We expect our presidents to exhibit a high caliber of ethical and chauvinistic behavior. Our forefathers gave us a tool, one tool to evict a man of low character from the highest office in our nation or to at least censure him, and that tool is impeachment. What good is a tool if you can’t use it?

A number of people have warned us that our democracy/republic is in danger because lip service to Constitutional guidelines is not the same as actual adherence to the Constitutional rules of governance that guide our republic. Yes impeachment is a tool that should be used cautiously and with great respect and introspection, but it should be used, any time it is really needed, and I think it is needed right now, right this very minute.

There is an article by David Brooks in this morning’s New York Times in which Mr. Brooks lays out all the reasons this impeachment is a very bad move for Democrats. He says it is too close to an election (when aren’t we close to an election), he says it looks elitist, as if the Democrats don’t trust the people to make the correct decision (well it didn’t look like that until he put this spin on it, I think Democrats will show solidarity on this front now that the decision has been made to move forward). He makes a number of other complaints that are too late and too beside the point now that proof of calumny is at hand. Here’s a bit of what Brooks has to say:

“Remember, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. There is no obligation to prosecute. Congress is supposed to do what is in the best interest of the country. And this process could be very bad for America:

This will probably achieve nothing. To actually remove Trump from office, at least 20 Republican senators would have to vote to convict him. If you think that will happen because of this incident, you haven’t been paying attention to the Senate Republicans over the past two and a half years.

Usually when a leader takes a big risk, it’s because there’s a big upside. But Nancy Pelosi is taking a giant risk and there is little upside. At the end of this process Trump will probably be acquitted by the Senate. He will declare himself vindicated and victorious in his battle against The Swamp. An ugly backlash could ensue — in both parties.”

(The upside is that this decision is principled, it is politically correct, and it is brave especially given all the opposition Democrats face. No one, Democrats included, expects that the Republicans have any principles left or will take a stand against this very flawed individual who happens to be presenting a warped America to a stunned world.)

“People will conclude that Democrats are going ahead with impeachment in an election year because they don’t trust the democratic process to yield the right outcome. Democratic elites to voters: We don’t trust you. Too many of you are racists!”

 (Democrats are not making this move because they do not trust the American people; they are making this move to impeachment because perhaps this time the deniability Trump has learned to wield as a cloak has been pierced by the very safeguards we have built into our system, and a whistleblower and good record-keeping has exposed Trump’s lawless tactics in the open where they can be challenged by law or at least Congressional process.)

“An election can save the country. An inside-the-Beltway political brawl will not.”

(Impeachment should never be considered an ‘inside-the-Beltway brawl’ when it is the right tool used at the necessary moment. We the people may be diametrically opposed on the issue of impeachment but we have all considered it in these particular political times, either for or against. If we don’t call out Trump’s behavior now, if we keep excusing him while we wait for an election then he continues to appear blameless, or at least untouchable. I don’t think Mr. Brooks gives ‘we the people’ enough credit for the intelligence we actually possess out here in not-DC America.)

The decision to pursue impeachment has been made. This is not the time to second guess that decision. This is when we must all watch the proceedings closely to make sure that the process is allowed to unfold appropriately and reaches a reasoned conclusion based on the evidence that our leader is possibly in the wrong office, that he does not meet the high standards of our nation or match the imperatives of our history.

Photo Credit: From a Google Image Search – Vox

 

 

Trump “Punches” Women

Trump is a counterpuncher. He is proud of this and he warns us about his vengeful nature all of the time. Gender doesn’t matter. Trump counterpunches women also. Because Nancy Pelosi landed several punches to the Trump ego she has attracted the schoolyard ire of the Trump. What did she do to deserve being punched? Well she mentioned the “I” word, which, we surmise, must stand for impeachment. She said he (He) was engaged in a “cover up”. Then she said she would pray for the president implying that he has difficulties that require our prayerful attentions. And furthermore she told Donald’s family that they needed to organize an intervention, presumably to address the mental health of the president.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/05/23/pelosi_after_temper_tantrum_trump_needs_an_intervention.html

These were fairly audacious remarks perhaps designed to provoke someone with Trump’s narcissistic personality characteristics. And they worked. He may have had all his people claim that he was very calm (a ridiculous strategy that could only look creepy) but his state of mind seemed more like a volcano close to blowing its top off. When Trump is steamed at one person, he retaliates.

If that person is a woman he acts a lot like Phillip Stucky in Pretty Woman when Vivian forgets she’s a prostitute and lets Stucky know she finds him disgusting.

Trump punches figuratively, he endorses doctored videos that make Nancy Pelosi look drunk or perhaps mid-stroke and he says she is not the same, something is wrong (just like he did when he attacked Hillary by implying that she had a dire terminal disease that would affect her mental capacities). Demonizing women has become almost a full-time tactic for Republicans and Trump is the penultimate Republican (who would have thought).

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/24/us/politics/pelosi-doctored-video.html

https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/24/18637771/nancy-pelosi-congress-deepfake-video-facebook-twitter-youtube

Although Nancy Pelosi’s comments to the press were less than smoothly delivered the fake videos exaggerate those flaws to make them look ominous and to crush any power she might have to sway public opinion. Facebook has declined to remove these videos because of free speech concerns so we will see how gullible Americans actually are or how far they are immersed in the cult of Trump.

If Nancy Pelosi persists, as we know Democratic women do, will Trump be unable to hold on to the appearance of keeping his temper? Will steam start to come out of his ears? Too bad cartoon effects don’t actually occur in real life. Will his temper tantrum come with redder face (is that possible) and balled fists and rising to his tippy toes? Will the memes of internet trolling coming from Trump staff and cult members escalate to ever greater heights of hyperbolic dishonesty? Or does a tiny grandmother know exactly the ways to sideline an unruly child?

Photo credit: From a Google Image Search – New York Post

 

Mind Games

What I really hate about lies is what they assume about our minds. Republicans are playing mind games. They are trying to tell us they did the opposite of what they actually have done. They insist that we all have some kind of collective amnesia and we don’t recall how they voted or how they have treated many of their constituents. Trump insists that Democrats are responsible for things Republicans did or would like to do. We are the ones inciting violence, we are the ones paying immigrants to walk, 7,000 strong, to the border between Mexico and the US. Democrats are the ones who want to get rid of insurance that covers preexisting conditions and Medicare. Democrats are responsible for the deficit. Democrats are to blame for violent riots in California because of sanctuary cities. Wow, we are really terrible people. Except none of this is true. It is just people using Trumpian double speak to make us crazy.

Which anti-fact do we combat first? Which misdirection will hurt us the worst in the midterms? Will any of this psychobabble change any outcomes in the midterms? How many Americans believe this mumbo-jumbo? Why do I constantly feel like gnats are buzzing around my head? Isn’t it already too late to change anyone’s mind about their vote in the midterms, unless you have a bully pulpit as big as the one Trump has?

I know that there are records about this stuff, news stories, videos, interviews, panel discussions, but it has been made clear that records can be changed, edited, photoshopped, like those photos of Trump’s election crowds. This president uses mind games against his own citizens. Two more years of this sounds endless, six sounds impossible. When we look back on this 4 years or this 8 years, if we survive this Trump administration as the intact American Republic, I think that these years will seem like a big old black hole in space.

So I will reiterate one more time the reasons that we need to vote for Democrats besides the ones where we save our sanity and save Democracy at the same time. I found this meme on Facebook. It is not mine but it sums up policy differences between Democrats and Republicans in a very concise way. I tried to trace it back to where it originated because I suspect it was captured and pasted to Facebook, but I could not find the correct attribution.

Photo Credit: Odyssey from a Google Image Search