Tag Archives: impeachment

Politics invading serious discussion

A Facebook meme popped up on my news feed that deserves a quick rebuke.

It wonders how much money that the government spent on impeaching Donald Trump could be spent fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Whoa! Let’s hold on here!

Yes, I will criticize the president’s reaction to the pandemic. I will question whether he has the smarts or the empathy or the understanding to lead us in this fight. I will not re-litigate the impeachment or drag that issue into this current matter.

I now want to implore those who seem to support Donald John Trump to avoid the temptation to dredge up that miserable chapter in our recent political history.

We are being swallowed up by this coronavirus issue. It’s enough to cause plenty of worry and anxiety all by itself.

How about keeping our eye on the enemy that stands directly in front of us … right now?

Has Trump been ‘chastened’ by impeachment? Not even!

Some of the congressional Republicans — House members and senators alike — who voted to acquit Donald John Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress talked about him learning the lessons of the impeachment and trial.

Hmm. Has the president learned anything? Is he feeling chastened by the acquittal in the Senate?

Umm. No. He isn’t. He has learned a single constructive thing.

Instead, he is feeling emboldened. Trump is proceeding as if the acquittal actually means something other than Republicans (more or less) standing behind him. Except for GOP U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah voting his conscience on the abuse of power impeachment allegation, the rest of the Republican caucus refused to budge.

Trump, though, sees it this way: an acquittal is an acquittal. It doesn’t matter how it came to pass.

He issued those 11 pardons and commutations. He fired Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because the DNI briefed members of Congress on reports that Russia is attacking our election system this year just as it did in 2016. The president is purging his administration of those who would seek to provide critical analyses, replacing them with yes men and women, with blind loyalists.

What’s more, the president is dismissing reports about Russia’s renewed attack on our election. He is disparaging, just as he has done so many times already, the hard work of our expert and patriotic intelligence analysts who speak with a single voice on one critical point: Russia is attacking us! 

Donald Trump is unleashed. He should frighten all of us.

Impeachment saga wore me out

The Donald John Trump Impeachment Saga is now history.

The current president of the United States will be forever remembered as the third president ever to be impeached by the House of Representatives. No amount of expunging the record will erase that fact.

Now, though, we can move on to the next saga, which involves the president’s effort to win re-election to a second term as POTUS. To be candid, I am grateful to be free of the impeachment story.

It wore me out! Seriously, man! It got on my nerves. The seriousness of it gave me plenty of worry about the strength of our system, of our Constitution, of our governing bodies … and of our national spirit.

Trump got acquitted. The vote to acquit on the obstruction of Congress fell along strictly partisan lines: Senate Republicans voted to acquit; Senate Democrats voted to convict.

The abuse of power article, though, is where history occurred, with GOP Sen. Mitt Romney voting to convict Trump, becoming the first senator in U.S. history to cast a vote to convict against a president of his own party.

That’s in the past. I am now ready to move on. I want to find a way to use this blog as a forum to defeat Donald Trump in his bid for re-election. I’ll just need to get plenty of sleep to guard against the campaign wearing me out all over again.

It was the manner of the firing that rankles us, Mr. POTUS

Hey, I absolutely understand that a president of the United States needs to trust those who are closest to him and that the POTUS has the authority to hire and fire staffers at will.

Thus, when Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president, fied Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council staff after Vindman offered negative impeachment testimony to congressional questioners, I get it.

However, the manner of the dismissal and the spectacle that Trump and his senior White House staff made of it is what gets under my skin.

Lt. Col. Vindman is a war hero. He is a decorated Army officer who has shed blood on the battlefield in defense of his adopted country. He is a Ukraine native who came to this country as a toddler when his parents fled the Soviet Union.

How did the president let him go? By ordering him escorted out of the White House in broad daylight. He was shown the door and told, in effect, to “hit the road.” What’s more, so was Vindman’s twin brother, who had not a single thing to do with the Ukraine matter that got Vindman on the wrong side of the president. Yevgeny Vindman’s only “sin” is to be related to twin bro Alex.

Why couldn’t Trump have shown just a touch of discretion, of class, of empathy for a war hero? He could have issued a private directive, told Vindman to vacate his White House office. Then he could have issued a simple statement declaring that he had relieved Vindman of his duties based on, oh, “differences in policy.” Sure, those who had paid any attention to what Vindman said during the House impeachment hearings would know what he means … but that would be for us to determine.

That isn’t how Donald Trump rolls. He wants to make spectacles of others around him, not to mention of himself.

Trump allies want impeachment wiped off the books?

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that Donald John Trump would be impeached “forever,” that he would take the House’s impeachment with him to his grave.

Not so fast, say some of the current president’s allies in Congress.

Some of Trump’s GOP allies are considering whether to introduce a resolution to have the impeachment expunged from the record. That’s it. They want the congressional record to no longer reflect what is now inscribed permanently into history.

I am baffled as to how that is supposed to work.

Trump stands impeached on grounds that he abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress. The House impeached him for those counts and then sent them to the Senate, which this week acquitted him after a slam-bam trial that was devoid of witnesses.

So, does that mean the impeachment shouldn’t stand? Of course not. It means only that the Senate, led by Trump’s Republican allies, decided they would not convict him of the charges that the Democrat-led House filed against him.

An acquittal by one body does not negate the action of another body. The Constitution says the House has “sole authority” to impeach a federal official; it says the Senate has sole authority to put that official on trial.

Besides, expunging the record does not mean that (a) those of us who are alive to witness the event will forget about it or (b) historians won’t acknowledge that the impeachment occurred in the first place.

Don’t you see? Speaker Pelosi was right. Donald Trump will be “forever” remembered as an impeached president.

Trump’s scorched-Earth policy taking hold

Gordon Sondland is a goner. So is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

What did these two men do to lose their high-powered jobs within the Donald John Trump administration? They told the truth to congressional committees seeking answers to a phone call that the current president made this past July to the president of Ukraine.

Sondland, a hotel magnate, was the U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Vindman, a native of Ukraine (which was part of the Soviet Union when he was born) served on the National Security Council staff as an expert on Ukraine; oh, and Vindman also is a decorated Army hero who was wounded in battle.

The men told the truth as they understood it. They told congressional questioners about Trump’s phone call in which he asked Ukraine for political help. Vindman said the request troubled him when he heard the president ask for it. Sondland said it was “understood” that Trump was asking for a favor.

Trump won his acquittal this week from the Senate. He went to the National Prayer Breakfast and trashed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney, the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president of his own party. It was Donald Trump at his vengeful worst.

Now he has canned two men. One of whom, Vindman, is a proven patriot; the other, Sondland, is a dedicated Trump supporter who gave lots of money to elect the president in 2016. I should mention as well that Trump canned Vindman’s brother, who also served on the NSC. Vindman’s brother, Yevgeny, another Army officer, did not testify. Trump fired him, I guess, because his brother Alexander might have said something to him about the Ukraine matter. So, if one Vindman gets fired, let’s make it a clean sweep and get of them both.

Trump is mad as hell at them. There likely will be more firings to come.

Hmm. Rather than invoking the call for harmony and unity in the wake of his acquittal of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Donald Trump appears to be setting a course that seeks to exact maximum vengeance.

Yes, he is entitled to act this way. It still packs a serious stench.

Why not show just a touch of class, Mr. POTUS?

The nation’s current president can claim victory in the wake of the U.S. Senate acquittal on two charges leveled against him by the House of Representatives.

Donald John Trump will get to keep his job at least through next Jan. 20, thanks to the Senate voting not guilty on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges.

But then again, Trump — ever the boorish buffoon — managed today to display that he lacks not a scintilla of understanding why nearly half of Congress decided to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors. Oh, no. Instead, he went straight on the attack.

Unlike President Clinton in 1999, who also was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial, this president chose to express zero regret over what he did to launch the impeachment inquiry.

He blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for leading the House impeachment effort. He took aim as well at Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah for casting the lone GOP Senate vote to convict Trump on abuse of power, which Romney termed an “egregious abuse of the public trust.”

Then, of course, we had the sideshow commentary from Don Trump Jr., who called for the GOP to “expel” Romney from the party. Oh, never mind that Romney has done far more for the Republican Party in his many years in public life than Don Jr. or his father ever have done, or ever will do. But, I digress.

Donald Trump has demonstrated the absolute lack of grace he always shows. In moments of victory — if you want to call it that — he relies on his boorish instincts that his allies refer to his “counterpunching” style.

He did not need to say any of what flew out of his mouth today. He could have expressed relief that the impeachment matter has been laid to rest and vowed to craft a legislative agenda for the year ahead. But … he didn’t do that.

It’s over, Mr. President. You won this skirmish.

Take a look at this. Amazing.

SOTU shows the nation’s stark and deep divide

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Well now … just how divided is the United States of America?

It’s pretty damn divided, based on the performance that took place in the House of Representatives chamber full of lawmakers, about half of whom want the nation’s current president removed from office.

There he was, Donald John Trump during his State of the Union speech, awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a highly controversial radio talker, Rush Limbaugh — who I have acknowledged is battling an advanced form of lung cancer. I stand by my good wishes in his fight against the disease. However, watching the first lady hang the medal around Limbaugh’s neck made me cringe.

He has spewed hate speech for as long as I can remember. He has done not a single thing to earn the nation’s highest civilian honor. There he was, though, soaking up the love from the side of the House chamber that endorses his fiery rhetoric.

And then there was Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the House impeachment movement against Trump, tearing up the text of Trump’s speech in a dramatic show of petulance at the end of POTUS’s remarks.

Mme. Speaker, you did not need to do that in such a dramatic display. Yes, we all get that she is angry at Trump, but these public demonstrations lend nothing to the effort we all should seek to heal this country’s deep — and I hope not mortal — political wounds.

Trump fed his political base a healthy dose of the red meat it craves. He blasted the criminals who enter the country illegally without ever mentioning all the undocumented immigrants who have contributed to our nation while living in fear of deportation. He stood strong for the Second Amendment. He blasted socialism as a failed ideology.

And, of course, he took the expected digs at the “previous administration,” continuing his ongoing campaign to denigrate the work of President Obama and his team, who rescued the nation from its economic free-fall when they took office in 2009.

Donald John Trump has shown us once again that he intends to keep seeking to divide us. I wasn’t proud of what I witnessed.

Sen. Ernst says Dems have ‘lowered impeachment bar’?

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst is an Iowa Republican who on Wednesday will vote to acquit Donald John Trump of the crimes for which the House of Representatives impeached him.

Her statements, though, about whether a President Biden would be impeached requires a rebuttal.

She said that House Democrats have “lowered the (impeachment) bar so far” that it would be too easy for future presidents to be impeached by future members of Congress.

I cannot believe she said that. On second thought, yes I can believe it, as she is a member of the GOP cabal that is putting political party over the Constitution.

The House did not lower the impeachment bar. House members impeached Trump because he solicited a foreign government for a political favor; he also threatened to withhold military aid that had been sent to that government which is in the middle of a civil war with rebels backed by Russia. Abuse of power … anyone?

The House also impeached Trump for conducting an unprecedented obstruction of Congress by refusing to turn over any documents to congressional investigators and by barring any White House aides from answering subpoenas to tell Congress what they know about transpired. I believe that is a clear-cut case of obstruction of Congress.

To my way of thinking, that ain’t setting the bar low. The House acted just as it should have acted.

The current president of the United States has gotten a pass from his political allies in the Senate — such as Sen. Ernst — who have refused to act on what they should know to be a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

Not sure POTUS has learned anything from this impeachment

Do you think Donald John Trump has learned how to handle international affairs in the wake of the impeachment trial that is about to conclude later this week?

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who is likely to vote to acquit the current president, thinks Trump has learned his lesson. He won’t seek foreign government interference in future elections, Ernst said.

Really, senator? Hmm. Well, call me a skeptic, but I have this nagging feeling that Trump won’t take a single lesson away from this impeachment saga.

He sought a political favor from the president of Ukraine in exchange for military aid. I cannot say this with any more clarity: Trump abused the power of his office.

The House of Representatives impeached him for it, and for obstructing Congress. Trump is going to be saved by Republican senators who will stand behind the president rather than defending our national security.

Trump’s expected acquittal will embolden him. Trump well might believe he is empowered further to do whatever he wants. I mean, he has said as much, declaring that Article II of the Constitution grants him unlimited power. It does nothing of the sort.

Will this president ever heed the advice of others who seek to counsel him, to guide him toward a more restrained view of his power? I want to be proven wrong. I just have my doubts that Donald Trump will be able to control his more bizarre impulses.