Tag Archives: Impeachment

How Quickly Can We Get Past Impeachment?

New Orleans       Weather was miserable in New York as we schlepped from lower Manhattan to Newark Airport.  We prepared for the worst, but arrived early with hours to spare only to be victimized by almost every airport television droning on with statements before the House Committee preparing impeachment charges.  It was endless.  Paint dries more quickly under close observation.  In an era where truth and facts are no longer concrete and indisputable, and social media and cable television partisanship allow every narrative to be contested, it is hard not to feel that we are all treading into quicksand now.

Polls are no help.

Republican spins on the polls are now saying two things.  On one hand, they are claiming that the numbers are moving towards supporting Trump as the hearings go on.  On the other hand, their polls are saying that the impeachment proceedings are way down the list on the voters’ minds and the economy is boosting the president.  On the other side, the Democrats and the analysts at the New York Times looking at other polls and larger samples find that impeachment is front and center on the voters’ minds.

Me? I just want it over already, so we can go on to the next round in this fight.

Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats seem in a hurry as well.  Wisely, they got the charges down to just two:  President Trump soliciting foreign assistance for personal and political gain outside of the national interest and obstruction of the investigation by Congress under its constitutional guarantees.  Pelosi says the vote by the House will likely be right after Christmas.  Then on to the Senate, where good things now go to die.

Earlier speculation was that the Senate under the chokehold of the Republicans would have a speedy trial.  Oh, I do hope so!  Why prolong the misery?  My worse fear is that they will drag it out as they try various pre-election strategies to see what the public might buy in Trump’s defense.  I worry that despite the deck being stacked sky high for Trump’s acquittal by Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell and his acolytes, they will bend over backwards trying to act like this is a fair trail with an uncertain outcome, letting us all bleed out slowly but surely.

The point has been made.  Few on either side have any doubts about what the President did.  This isn’t about justice, but about politics.  I wish the House had just censured the President and got on with it, and while you’re at it, I’d like ten acres in Wyoming by a trout stream for Christmas.

Who cares?  Since none of that is going to happen, please just get this whole impeachment thing over as quickly as possible. Please!!!

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Please enjoy The Secret Sisters’ Hand Over My Heart

Thanks to KABF.

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History of Impeachment is Reining in the King

New Orleans      Watching tennis volleys can get tedious if you are stuck on an elliptical machine at the gym and nothing else is on, and these are the top men and women’s professionals.  The same thing could be said already about the back-and-forth between the House, Senate, and the White House on the impeachment proceedings.  Enough already!  Thrust and parry.  But, whatever, like tennis, if that’s all that’s on, then you have to watch it.

Most interesting to me has been the Trump stonewalling tactic in all of its machinations.  He and his team seem to want to argue that he and his posse are exempt from any investigation of criminal activity and even any practice involving Congressional oversight functions, whether impeachment or not.  A case is now heading for the Supreme Court on whether or not prosecutors in New York can get is tax returns.  Other cases are on their way as well, all of which go right to the heart of whether or not the president is all powerful, essentially the King of America, or whether or not there continues to be effective checks-and-balances envisioned under the Constitution to the power of the president.

Jill LePore, Harvard historian, wrote a riveting, and her usual comprehensive, piece on the history of impeachment in a recent issue of the New Yorker.  It was something of a chilling read, because it was impossible in reading about the English derivation of the practice seeking to control the omnipotence of the king not to constantly find oneself seeing the similarities between the practices of the royalty there and the wannabe king now in the White House.

The history of impeachment in England was a contest between whether the royal ruler would be all-powerful and unaccountable to Parliament and the people or not.  First, the practice was only available in dealing with the royal ministers and their abuses.  Once established several hundred years ago it was revived in another dispute in the early 1700s, marking the final emasculation of the governing power of the royals and establishing the Parliament as the critical body in the country.  LePore makes the point that all of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention invariably were aware of the more recent English practice – and success – with impeachment and placed impeachment in every draft of the document as a central policy mandate for accountability.  She is also clear about the broadness of the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” and their spot-on relevance to the current impeachment debate and allegations.

Besides the peccadilloes, perfidy, and, frankly, high crimes and misdemeanors of the current occupant of the White House, there can’t be any doubt that the question of whether or not we have a royal presidency or continue to be able to claim effective checks and balances is at the heart of the back-and-worth in Washington now.

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