Not Impeaching Right Away – A Gamble with Enormous Consequences

Not Impeaching Right Away – A Gamble with Enormous Consequences

The call for impeachment gets louder each day. As the President orders staff and former staff members called to testify before House committees to blow off any such requests up to and including subpoenas, more and more Democrats urge either outright impeachment or the beginning of an impeachment inquiry.

Impeachment is a Congressional duty when America has a President who cannot seem to uphold our Constitution or respect the human rights which are the basis of our democracy. It gets old to repeat the specifics of Trump’s transgressions over and over but there are still Americans who just don’t see them. If you get your “news” from Fox you are told that the Mueller report totally exonerated Trump. If you get your news from almost any other source then you have either read the report yourself or you have heard summaries from people who have read it. The Mueller report does not exonerate Trump, especially of obstruction of justice.

The evidence also suggests that Russians, with probable connections to Putin, did help Trump get elected. Although Trump managed to keep his distance from the Russians there were hundreds of contacts between his campaign staff and Russians. Several of Trump’s campaign staffers have been indicted, convicted, and are serving jail sentences with more still under indictment. Since Trump has an authoritarian leadership style it is difficult to believe that he did not call the shots or at least have final approval over all that went down. Most of his cronies seem willing to take the bullet for him.

He also seems to have decided that the emoluments clause is not settled law, I guess, even though every other President has abided by this prohibition against accepting money or gifts from foreign governments which Trump continues to allow through his ownership of the nearby DC hotel where many foreign petitioners stay.

Timothy Egan sums Trump’s transgressions up this way, writing in The New York Times, and it is worth reading the whole article,

“After the inauguration debacle, Trump moved on to bigger targets — the judiciary, the military, the press, and the professional class of bureaucrats who have made the United States a model for competence and incorruptibility in the Civil Service.

With William Barr, Trump now has an attorney general who doesn’t care how much lasting damage he does to truth, justice and the American way. His mandate as the nation’s top prosecutor is to carry out Trump’s private vendettas.”

Although the evidence tells us that Trump richly deserves to be impeached I can see a possible advantage to starting an inquiry but waiting until after the election to impeach. However as Nancy Pelosi reminds us “impeachment does not necessarily mean removal”. So it is possible we could impeach and also win the election. But it’s a gamble. The order of operations could be very important here.

Trump is a terrible President, but he is also backed by an entire Party full of equally incomprehensible cronies who back his moves and seem sanguine about the damage to our constitutional government, perhaps because they are convinced that Trump is trashing the very same parts of the Constitution they want to trash.

If we could win the 2020 Presidential election and win enough seats in the Senate we could get rid of Trump, Pence, Mitch McConnell and the Freedom Caucus in one fell swoop. That would be a celebration. But if we impeached Trump and won the 2020 election, now that would be winning!

Photo Credit: From a Google Image Search – Truthout

This is Not Nation Building

This group attempting to strike terror in our hearts
– this group with all the names (ISIS, ISIL, and more) pretends that it wants
to build a nation in the ancient style of a Caliphate called the Islamic State.
If their intent were to actually build a nation to take its place among the
other nations of the world they would hardy expect to succeed by using the
intimidating tactics they employ. They would not expect to win good neighbors
with brutal executions and by appropriating the wealth of those neighbors. A
nation does not usually dictate who can live in the nations next door and set
out to destroy neighbors whose traditions vary from theirs unless they are bad
actors. If they were nation building they would not call themselves the
“Islamic” state when they want to annihilate others who consider themselves
Islamic because they are not “pure” enough. They have invented a test for
membership in their “Islamic” state that they know all Islamic people cannot
pass. This is not any part of nation building.
No – what these religious fanatics are after is
world domination. They are on fire to create a planet that contains only those
who can pass their religious tests. They don’t value freedom. They value
submission through fear. They are the Roman Emperors reincarnated. They are
Genghis Khan back from the grave –
Hitler – the Popes of the Crusades – the Inquisitors in Spain or any of a long
procession of powerful conquerors who murdered, tortured, maimed and raped and
pillaged over the face of the earth until someone figured out how to stop them
or they were destroyed from within.
Perhaps it was easier to deal with these power
hungry, self-righteous war mongers in the days of the Roman Empire when there
was no media to announce their progress and their possible next moves. I’m sure
many folks were taken unawares by their conquerors, but today we know they are
coming, although not knowing exactly when, where, or how is disturbing in its
own right.
Just don’t be fooled when these killers try to sound
like they are simply building a new nation to house a homogeneous religious
community. That would not create the fear and loathing we are feeling right
now. You don’t build a new nation by inspiring these feelings in fellow
inhabitants of this small planet.
I don’t want to go to war but let’s not let these
fighters get too far in their jihad. I believe the nations that actually do
exist on our globe will cooperate and act if this situation begins to look like
it has legs. (It’s looking sort of like that right now) I guess we will find
out how long those legs are.
Sadly they remind me of folks in our own country who
want to be sure that true patriots can parrot certain ideologies and can pass a
religious litmus test. Our power-seekers are not as cruel, one hopes, and not
out to punish people with a more liberal, less religious bent, but they surely
would like to force us to be submissive to their governance, which would make
the idea of freedom sort of meaningless. 
Freedom is difficult. Bad people find
refuge in freedom and threaten to place limits on the freedom of people who
strive to let morality guide their freedom. But I value our freedom above almost
all else and I think if it is truly challenged then we must fight to keep it.
By Nancy Brisson


There is something about the 4th of July which is so quintessentially American that it makes us happy and leads us to think of really wholesome things like parades, and picnics and the smiling faces of our children behind a now forbidden sparkler. We want hot dogs and mayo-loaded salads and watermelons and roasted marshmallows. We expect to be sun drenched and hot and maybe to be somewhere near water. We want to end the day with explosions.
We are still an independent nation after 236 years and we are plotting a course for a future where we will retain our independence, which may be in more jeopardy today than it has been in quite a while. Will globalization eventually make nations obsolete? Will we fall back from our prime spot among the roster of nations until we fall under the hegemony of some other nation? We don’t really believe these things will happen and we hope they never do. The planet needs a strong and free America. But the slight sense of shifting possibilities makes us savor our 236 years of independence even more and makes us certain that simple American pleasures are the best expression of a day that still brings joy to our hearts.  
If you would like to enjoy a bit of July 4th comedy, today’s conversation in the NYT’s between Gail Collins and David Brooks, one Democrat, one Republican will entertain you.