Archive for Impeachment

Inevitable GOP Grudge

About that cliché of elephants never forgetting, U.S. Republicans truly do not, ever. It happened with Nixon and we are still bearing the aftereffects. It’s about to happen again with Trump.

When Pres. Richard Nixon slithered out of the White House in disgrace, that was a not-to-be-forgotten humiliation, for the party more than for Tricky Dick.  That POTUS hopped about between amoral, immoral and criminal. He snuck away before the Senate could impeach him, and then his VP-becoming-President Gerald Ford pardoned him, so he never faced criminal trials and certainty of prison.

Years later, Nixon was re-imaged as a statesman. In fairness, as terrible as he was domestically and as much as he disdained democracy, our laws and the Constitution, he had foreign-policy credentials — much stronger than any Democratic President since FDR.

In those ways of escaping impeachment, get-out-of-jail-free cards, and rehabilitation, he fared much better than he deserved. Nonetheless, the GOP has never forgotten his disgraced exit.

I have no doubt that is why they so eagerly pursued Bill Clinton’s impeachment, constantly threatened Barack Obama with various legal actions, and did beyond their best to smear and bring bogus charges against Hillary Clinton. They don’t, can’t, won’t forget.

So here we are coming around the flee or take-it bend with Donald Trump. As has been the norm with post-WWII GOP Presidents, his appointees and staff are resigning or facing various charges. That won’t stop.

As it all closes in on this young presidency for an old man/boy, at some point he is likely to realize he’s cooked and facing either absconding or impeachment. I have predicted here that he is most likely to play his usual drama queen, quitting while saying the mean old media and Congress won’t let him do wonderful things and save the nation.

While it is possible he might stick it out and take impeachment, I don’t think that would give him the deniability he so often uses.

When he is forced from office one way or another, the GOP also will not forget. Already, they bait-and-switch with Dem miscreants. Of course Bill Clinton accepted fellatio in the White House, former Rep. Anthony Weiner is a pathetic sexter, and a handful of other Dems have run afoul of laws or social norms. They can’t or won’t consider the huge number of their party who are proven crooks, adulterers and worse. It’s key to pretend here.

The point is when Trump stomps away, that will be the real beginning of the newest GOP feud and grudge fest. They will live and act primarily to pay back Dems for anything that happened with their guys, regardless of how many Republicans joined in calling out and punishing Trump and his minions.

Personal responsibility is not a Republican hallmark.

Of course, for the nation, the big pity is that we have much to accomplish to fix problems and to advance us economically, socially and politically. When Republican office holders are as stupid, malicious and counterproductive as they were with Obama, much less gets done.

Still, let’s get on with it. Dump Trump, and accept that the GOP will play at revenge instead of cleaning their own house. As a group, they just don’t have a culture of advancing the nation.

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Trump Kicks Against Goads

Lackaday, Donny Jo. The huge lesson before you will not disappear by neglect or denial. Our incidental POTUS has again chosen to teeter on the most dangerous path — feigning innocence while humming, “Catch me if you can.”

He returned from a disastrous foreign trip, replete with numerous Administration scandals, to assert all are fake news. We can easily understand why someone so dull-witted would rely on the artifice that has worked for him several times. Unfortunately for him (think Dunning-Kruger effect) as so many other dummies and mommy’s boys, he is not aware of the limits of such bluster.

I believe the current set of problems is beyond even his B.S. powers. He is no Mandrake the Magician or Obi-Wan Kenobi. He cannot misdirect the world’s attention from these entanglements.

Take his central premise — detailed, multi-sourced reporting by the likes of the WaPo and NYT are made up because the first wave of articles does not list every source. Each of us uses the internet and knows the stupidity and duplicity of trolls who demand details and links to all sources so that can find nits to pick and then claim everything is a fake, fake news in this case.

His double dog dare to reputable media can only backfire repeatedly and continuously. Only one actor here is a serial, pathological liar. As the evidence mounts and more witnesses are emboldened, his bluster will sound fainter and fainter. As his minions, including his son-in-law, face accusations to charges to trials or pleas, his imagined control will vanish.

Until recently, I bought into the concept that a GOP-dominated Senate would never impeach Trump. Yet, he has overplayed his had so far and given leeway to way too many corrupt buddies, I do not see any clean way out for him.

Were he more noble or driven by grand aims, he might be seen as a tragic figure. This is simply low comedy. The man is too dumb to know how to pick a fight he has a shot at winning.

 

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Non-Comical Comey

The WaPo The Fix column implying that unemployed guy James Comey wants to take down Donald Trump (a.k.a. the incidental POTUS) intrigues. One can suppose he’d have delusions of grandeur. But…delusions?

While the rest of Congress and all D.C. squealed and scrambled like Greek wannabes during pledge week, Comey took down the Dem Prez nominee Hillary Clinton (a.k.a. the coulda, shoulda been). Now he could easily do the same with 45.

My soft-sciences profs (anthropology, psychology, sociology) all said ascribing motives was the toughest and least exact part of the biz. We can be left wondering whether Comey wields his bolts from a platform of ego or self-righteousness or his Boy-Scout persona.

It makes no difference. If he can — and it sure looks likely —he shall dump Trump. Here’s a mid-level functionary who has already inscribed his own monument in history. He’s not through.

 

 

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Drive Out Demons — Impeachment Aftermath

Impeachment against Donald Trump, incidental POTUS, are increasingly likely to begin. As I recently predicted, he would certainly resign before any Senate trial.

He has a lifetime of quitting and doing the mommy’s boy it’s-not-fair act. He’s 70 and not likely to mature. He also is both too ignorant to know history and too stupid to grasp the law.

Familiar Feud

As much as  I shall be pleased to see him forced out, I do not want to hear his whinging. More important, I dread the inevitable decades of Republican spite and attempts to even the score.

Following Richard Nixon’s slithering retreat from the top office, GOP lawmakers obsessed with getting a Dem POTUS out of office. The more rational and mature response would have been to accept that he was dishonorable, dishonest, and disdainful of democracy and the rule of law. The party could have accepted that they operated in a poisonous environment and cleaned house.

Alas, that would have meant admitting current Dem moral superiority. That was a low bar though. Democratic politicians had their own share of corruption…a difference of degree and not kind. Nixon was simply base, even for a pol.

Every Dem Prez that followed and ever Dem nominee for the office had the hounds of political hell nipping at them, trying to drag them down. When they finally impeached Bill Clinton for lying about receiving fellatio, that should have settled them down.

Another round

But noooooo. They didn’t remove him from office or drive him out, as with Nixon. In their heart of hearts, voters largely know that Republicans are less honest and honorable, even among this group.

It seemed plain to many that the slander and lies about Hillary Clinton was more of the same feud. Maybe if they could get her jailed for imagined crimes, they would calm. As with her hubby, one would think that her defeat in the last election would have quieted the dogs. Again, noooo.

Here we are with Trump, as corrupt as anyone not already charged, tried and jailed.

Trump has broken too many laws and has one of the most corrupt administrations ever in the history of the office. His reckless bluster and his I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I taunts will not outweigh his sins.

He will go and many of those around him are likely to face various charges as well. Arrogance does not wash clean.

When Trump goes, the big feud will continue and intensify. I cannot see a large number of Republicans suddenly taking responsibility. The hunt to drag under Dem Presidents and candidates for the office will surely be nastier than ever and continue to dominate our political discourse.

Inevitable but boring…

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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