Archive for Impeachment

Incivility, gender, race and hate

I threw on my cloak of optimism, supposing that Hillary will become POTUS and that this will be a springboard for a nation more at ease with a woman at top.

I spent many years in Virginia and still identify with the best of us there. Thomas Jefferson in Notes on the State of Virginia (XVIII: Manners), “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just…”

As this motley, churlish election cycle completes in less than a week, let’s discourse on big themes, such as:

  • Following the no-colored-Presidents-for-me tone, how deeply are we experiencing, the no-dames-for-President tone?
  • Are 40% to 50% of us truly OK with a puerile, impulsive ignoramus as out leader?
  • Are the judgmental Europeans right about us as bigots and socially retrograde?
  • Can this election catapult us to a new America of tolerance and egalitarianism?

We’ve had 8 years plus the campaign of “Oh, no, it’s not that Obama is Black. It’s that he’s foreign; Muslim, a pinko. :Assuming POTUS Clinton the Greater, do we then get, “Oh, no, it’s not that Hillary’s a women. It’s that she’s a crook, a criminal, a pinko.”?

I can’t believe 6% or more of the electorate is undecided, or so they claim. Then I”m an incredulous sort. Playing cards so close to your vest makes them tattoos. Bad form.

Let’s kick around the final days of a much too long, far too nasty season.

icon for podpress  Incivility may end [17:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Whither the Tiny-Tent Party?

The next several election cycles will be fascinating. Hillary looks like a cinch to win on Nov. 8. Then what?

I see the GOP cracking open their infamous, unused autopsy from the last POTUS loss. Their only shot at regaining the White House and making the big-tent fantasy real will be there. On the Dem side, Congressional Republicans are already promising to obstruct Clinton at every turn and even try mightily to impeach her for imagined and disproven sins. So Democrats as a party and as pols will have to:

  • Copy the 2010/11 GOP strategy of controlling state legislatures and thus redistricting and thus House makeup
  • Rally the public who are sick to death of obstructionism to first goad their Reps into cooperation and second to defeat those up for election in the next two cycles

Dems have hard tasks, but at least theirs won’t require mental, emotional,cultural shifts as with the GOP.

Let’s play the game along with Republicans. They lost the POTUS yet again in 2012 and followed that with the promies and (dare we say) hope of the Growth & Opportunity Project (G.O.P.). That jocularly named autopsy detailed the failures, forecast the demographic trends, and mandated what they needed to do to fill up a big tent of women, African Americans, Latinos, and, well, Democrats.

The lameness of pary head Reince Priebus and ticket head Donald Trimp seem the antithesis of the autopsy findings. Assuming the obvious Hillary Clinton victory in two weeks, do Republicans:

  • Accept that they can only get the voted of poorly educated white men?
  • Cling to being “the party of Lincoln” even though the modern bastardization couldn’t be farther from his ideals?
  • Try to live with a splintered and split personality of far right extremists, bigots and other anachronisms?
  • Do another deep dive and this time really try to follow the analysis findings?

They really have become an asylum or other institution of dysfunctional quasi-adults.

For the Democrats, if they can’t geet control of at least the Senate (thus installing judges and preventing the Tea Party pledge of impeachment and other vengeance against Clinton, then what? Ideally, they could get control of most legislatures in the 32 states that let their local lawmakers do the Census Year redistricting. Republicans were brilliant and ruthless in gerrymandering. What is the Dem strategy?

icon for podpress  Tiny-Tent Party [24:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Just How Progressive? Podcast

Mike’s blog post of the week comes from one of his favorites, Kiss My Big Blue Butt. (The alleged Susan DuQuesnay Bankston from Tom DeLay’s old Texas district would have a conniption if she read that; she doesn’t like anyone to call her blog a blog.)

Her July 16th post on Shrub describes and links to a Bush White House manual on how to squeal or avoid protests. Hmm, First Amendment, anyone?

The manual includes how to form rally squads to cancel demonstrators’ messages. “The rally squad’s task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!).” It suggests getting these shills from “college/young republican organizations, local athletic teams, and fraternities/ sororities.”

The blog-like-object comments:

So, it comes as no surprise that the Bush administration wrote on book on silencing protests….

Bush is a fraidy cat, pure and simple. If you gotta have a 103 page book just to keep free speech silent, then you’re as yellow as mustard without the bite.

Ryan’s Blog of the Week is a follow-up to last week’s LeftAhead on the possibility of the Bush impeachment. While it isn’t necessarily a blog, per say, Bill Moyer had an excellent program on PBS about whether or not President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be impeached. Follow the link for transcripts, summaries and videos of the program.

Moyer had two special guests on – Bruce Fein, a conservative columnist, and John Nichols, a writer for The Nation. Fein, who wrote the Clinton impeachment document, made the point that what George Bush has done is far worse than Clinton and – if he supported Clinton’s impeachment, he’d be a partisan hag to not support Bush’s. Furthermore, Bush’s crimes have been far worse to America than anything Clinton ever did and have made a mockery of the system.

Nichols had two important points. The first being, of course, that if we don’t impeach Bush we’re setting up the dangerous precedent of a King George Presidency and a Congress and Judiciary Branch too weak to do anything about it. He notes that none of the major Presidential candidates are discussing how they’re going to roll back these new, illegal and expansive powers. Secondly, he makes the poignant point that impeachments aren’t a Constituional Crisis – they’re the cure. Finally, if PBS can talk Bush impeachment – it’s long since time for elected members of our country to do so. To do anything less is to laugh with the President in his mockery of the base of our society, the US Constitution.

icon for podpress  Just How Progressive? [59:06m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Podcast Ranges From Here to Impeachment

Ryan and Mike covered the poll Eileen Donoghue’s team took and released on the candidates’ standing in the 5th CD race. It was short on methodology (likely voters?) but showed modest bumps by the second, third and fourth candidates at the expense of leader Niki Tsongas.

We didn’t put too much stock in it and hope that issues make voters go for their best interests. Ryan will attend and report back on the pending environmental debate by the candidates.

We still see a budget impasse hindering Gov. Deval Patrick’s progressive goals. TBD.

We spent a lot of time kicking around the possibilities for impeachment of the President, Vice President and Attorney General for lying under oath, obstructing justice and contempt of Congress. Mike remembers the Nixon years and has his hopes. So far, Ryan doesn’t see the slim Democratic majority swaying enough Republicans to do the right thing.

scooter cartoonMike’s blog post of the week was about executive privilege and impeachment by Christy Hardin Smith on firedoglake. It’s a privilege… dissects the Cheney-now-Bush claims of executive privilege. Scooter Libby’s commutation may have been legal (assuming no Executive Branch conspiracy to obstruct justice), but with yesterday’s refusal to let aides testify before Congress and previous refusal to turn over email and other documents, there’s a huge crisis. All signs now point to both crimes and cover-up.

The post’s rallying cry includes:

It is time for members of Congress — on both sides of the aisle – to step up to the accountability plate. And the showdown this week with the White House over executive privilege is the first big step in a long-overdue bill of lading for their malfeasance and misadministration of justice.

Short-term, this week’s scheduled aide testimony is a direct challenge to Congress as a branch of government. As the post puts it:

What the case law boils down to is this: if the executive aide in question was part of a deliberative process inside the White House, but this process did not involve discussions directly with the President, the assertion of executive privilege is far, far weaker for that aide. Which means that a Congressional challenge to that privilege ought to be made, and strongly, because the Congress is on more solid ground in pressing said aide for testimony, especially where there is a question of possible executive malfeasance involved.

Among its conclusions is “It is their bluff of assertion of privilege that is the current bet on the table. Congress ought to call the bet — and raise with a threat of contempt if testimony is not immediately forthcoming and if documents are not immediately delivered.” Then, another post on the same blog notes, can come the impeachment inquiry and beyond.

icon for podpress  The Possible and the Ideal [52:39m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download