Tag Archives: impeachment

Praising a system that allows bloggers to rant

I want to say a word of high praise to the greatest political system ever created. Yes, it’s a mess at times, but as Winston Churchill noted, it is far better than any other system ever conceived.

The United States is in the midst of an impeachment battle. The House of Representatives is going to impeach Donald John Trump Sr. It will be sloppy and messy, perhaps bloody in a political sense.

Through it all, this system of government of ours allows folks like me to continue to rant over the performance of the president, who I believe should be impeached. The House will do as I wish, albeit my journey to this point took me some time to get here.

I watched a clip of a young Illinois state senator speaking to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Barack Obama saluted a system of government that allowed dissent “without a sudden knock on our door.” Amen to that. The young senator would be elected to the U.S. Senate and then, four years later, would become the nation’s 44th president of the United States.

Donald Trump calls the press the “enemy of the people.” He couldn’t possibly be any more wrong. The Constitution protects the press against government coercion and interference. Yet the president sees the press only through the eyes of someone who lusts for positive coverage of his words and deeds, no matter what! It does not work that way, Mr. President. If this man had any understanding of what the nation’s founders intended when they established the First Amendment to the Constitution, he might comprehend the press’s role in ensuring the freedoms we all enjoy.

Accordingly, that role extends to folks like me. I no longer work full time for a formal media organization. I’m out here in Flyover Country sharing my views with the world through this blog. High Plains Blogger is my therapy, my release and my vehicle to vent my frustration with government. I also offer praise now and then.

As I continue to write critically of Congress, the president and even the courts, I do so with the knowledge that I can speak my mind freely without concern for the knock on the door that will not come.

Trump wants to “make American great again”? Hah! Our system of government crafted by those wise men at the founding of this nation ensured our ongoing greatness. It will last for as long as there is a United States of America.

Pelosi: It’s time to impeach Donald Trump

Well, there you have it. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declared that the time has come to impeach the president of the United States.

She said this morning that she makes that assertion with sadness in her heart. Pelosi said Donald Trump has brought this moment onto himself.

Pelosi resisted the idea of impeaching the president for a good bit of time. Then came that infamous phone call and the request he made of a foreign government for personal political help. That did it.

The speaker has directed the Judiciary Committee to begin drafting articles of impeachment. So, the committee will proceed I presume with all deliberate speed.

I am going to take her at her word that she doesn’t “hate” Donald Trump. She fielded a reporter’s question today about whether she and here fellow Democrats hate the president and that their visceral feelings toward him are driving their push for impeachment. Pelosi fired back, telling the reporter to “don’t mess with me” by accusing her hating anyone. She said her Catholic upbringing taught her to “pray” for the president, which she said she does every day.

The impeachment process is now moving ahead. There will be no more delay. That suits me just fine.

The Intelligence and Judiciary committees have compiled enough evidence to lay out those articles of impeachment.

I am one patriotic American taxpayer who is ready to see this drama play out toward its conclusion.

Professor Karlan learns a tough lesson

“Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.”

So said first lady Melania Trump via Twitter in response to a university professor’s unfortunate invoking of Mrs. Trump’s son, Barron, during testimony today before the House Judiciary Committee.

Professor Karlan said that while it is all right for the president to name his son “Barron,” he couldn’t “make him a baron.”

That drew the expected criticism.

Frankly, she deserved to take the hit for the remark, for which she apologized.

Now, this likely won’t quell the critics. It should, but they’ll continue to yammer at her. We have learned in this political climate that apologies often never go far enough to absolve someone from the transgression they commit.

In this instance, Pamela Karlan’s mistake was clearly defined. Politicians’ children should be off limits … always! She crossed a line that was equally defined.

I am heartened to have listened to her apology as she made it. I am guessing Karlan might have known of the consequence of that mistake the moment she uttered it.

The heated debate in Washington is only going to get even hotter as this impeachment matter progresses toward a full vote in the House of Representatives. The president and his key aides have provided all by themselves the world with plenty of grist for which they can be criticized.

The president’s young son is way off limits.

Trump makes a hash of another NATO gathering

Well now, that didn’t go too well.

Donald Trump was one of several heads of state and government attending a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Then he decided he had enough of the treatment he was getting from his fellow world leaders gathered in London. So he left early, canceling an anticipated press conference.

Oh, my.

He started out by having a testy press availability with French President Emanuel Macron, who snapped back at Trump’s assertion that many Islamic State fighters come from France.

He called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced.”

Trump said France needs NATO more than the United States and chided the French for not paying more for their defense against potential enemies in Europe.

Other world leaders were heard on a “hot microphone” poking fun at the U.S. president … which I guess was too much for Trump to handle.

He left the meeting early and headed for home.

Goodness, gracious.

Is this how the president of the United States represents us on the world stage? Must we tolerate this kind of petulance? Must this nation be held up as an international laughingstock only because its president doesn’t know how to behave and act like the head of state of the world’s most indispensable nation?

He talks about impeachment constantly during his press sessions. He blasts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly while he’s overseas. Trump ridicules the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, hurling a variety of epithets at the man who is performing his constitutionally prescribed duties.

So, another foreign visit has gone badly.

Get to work, Mr. President, on whatever it is you do.

What if Barack Obama had done this?

I know you’ve heard political pundits ask this question: What would the Republican response be if Barack Obama had been accused of doing what Donald Trump has been accused of doing?

Well, we all know the answer to that one. Congressional Republicans would go ballistic. They would be apoplectic. They would file articles of impeachment while the echoes of the allegations were still ringing in their ears.

However, the question by itself ignores what I believe is a necessary corollary question, which I haven’t heard anyone pose: How would congressional Democrats respond if President Obama were accused of the transgressions that have been alleged against Trump?

I realize the second question results in a more problematic and unclear answer than the first one. Indeed, the whole rhetorical exercise speaks directly to a supreme hypothetical question. Politicians say they don’t like answering hypothetical questions, and I do not blame them for that reticence.

This is my take only on it, so here goes.

I believe GOP acquiescence to Trump’s misbehavior is a symptom of slavish fealty to one man, the president. It also reveals a lack of seriousness among GOP politicians to the oath they took to defend the Constitution against such abuses. This relative silence underscores the chokehold that Trump has placed on the Republican Party.

It also might reveal that Democrats did not hold Trump’s immediate Democratic presidential predecessor in the same almost-holy regard as their Republican colleagues feel toward Donald Trump.

Thus, I harbor a good bit of hope that had Barack Obama had pressured a foreign government to dig up dirt on, say, Mitt Romney or even Donald Trump that more than a token number of congressional Democrats would be as appalled as they are today at the actions of a Republican president.

The stone-cold devotion of today’s Republican congressional caucus to the president stands as a violation of the oath they all took to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

Get ready for the next clown show

Ladies and gentleman, step right this way. You’re going to witness another clown show brought to you by the congressional Republican caucus that is running interference for a crooked president of the United States.

The arena this time will be the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which in the morning will begin its hearing on whether to impeach Donald Trump on at least two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The House Intelligence Committee has produced 300 pages of incontrovertible evidence that Trump sought a personal political favor from a foreign government; he conditioned military aid to that foreign government on delivering that favor; his personal lawyer was involved in conversations with federal budget officials and those within that foreign government.

And yet …

Congressional Republicans continue to insist that Trump did nothing wrong. There’s nothing to see here, they say. They don’t stand up for the president’s moral character or his standing as commander in chief. They seek to deflect attention from the allegations by criticizing the motives of Trump’s foes and suggesting that Ukraine, and not Russia, attacked our electoral system in 2016.

The Judiciary Committee will open its hearing and Chairman Jerrold Nadler will have his hands full as GOP members seek to be recognized for “points of order.” The No. 1 GOP doofus well might turn out to be a Texan, I should add. Louis Gohmert of Tyler, a former appellate judge — if you can believe it — is likely to become the Main Man leading the opposition against what looks to me like impeachable offenses committed by the president.

What absolutely astounds me is how and why Republicans continue to dig in when the evidence blares out loudly that Donald Trump violated his oath of office. 

I am scratching my head bloody over that one.

Let the clown show commence. Chairman Nadler is going to earn his congressional salary. Of that I am certain.

Remember ‘Tan Suitgate’?

Wow! I actually am longing for the days when some folks got all riled up over the color of the suit the president might wear while talking in the White House press briefing room.

It was a bit more than five years ago when President Obama showed up wearing the tan suit. Remember that one? Why, you woulda thought the world had been swallowed into a black hole, that the president of the United States had gone batty, that hell had frozen over and that the Martians had landed … for real this time!

According to Yahoo.com: In addition to being generally panned by fashion experts, Obama’s light-hued look, worn to a White House briefing, scandalized cable news pundits. Lou Dobbs called it “shocking,” while Republican congressman Peter King said it represented POTUS’s “lack of seriousness” in the wake of recent ISIS attacks.

Hey, does anyone remember the plaid suit that President Ford wore on occasion? I think the president was stylin’ back in the 1970s. Imagine any president today appearing that getup.

Well, we’ve progressed — or perhaps regressed — to bigger scandals these days. The sharply dressed president of the moment, Donald J. Trump, is accused of impeachable offenses and is awaiting, along with many of the rest of us, the moment he becomes the third president impeached by the House of Representatives.

But what the heck. He wouldn’t be caught dead in a tan suit.

Impeachment seeks to overturn election? Damn right! So what?

The most tiresome mantra coming from Donald J. Trump’s defenders is the one that suggests that the pending impeachment of the president by the House of Representatives is a “ploy” to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

To which I say: Yeah? So … what?

Of course it would “overturn” those election results. That’s what impeachments are intended to do, despite contentions from those who speak nobly of “defending the Constitution.”

Donald Trump has committed what I believe are impeachable offenses. He sought foreign government assistance to further his personal political future. He sought to sic that foreign government onto an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, intending to damage the political fortunes of a potential 2020 presidential campaign rival. He has obstructed justice. Trump has abused his power.

Impeachment must be the recourse that the House must follow.

Is it the aim of the impeachers to sully Trump’s reputation, to seek his ouster? Sure it is. When the House impeaches Trump, the Senate will put the president on trial. The Senate likely won’t boot him out, given the high bar set in in the Constitution to convict a president of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Then the president must campaign for re-election with the impeachment cloud dangling over his noggin. I hope he loses because of it. He doesn’t deserve to be president and shouldn’t have been elected — in my view — to the office in the first place.

Yes, I want the 2016 election results overturned by the election. It is not one bit different from what the GOP sought to do in 1998 when House members impeached President Clinton, who two years had won re-election with a smashing victory. And, let us not forget that President Nixon faced impeachment in 1974 by a heavily Democratic House just after being re-elected in 1972 in a historic landslide.

So what if this impeachment intends to “overturn the election”? It’s the potential natural consequence of what is about to transpire in the House of Representatives.

In the infamous words of acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney: Get over it!

Trump gobbles incessantly while pardoning a pair of turkeys

Good grief! All he had to do was smile, say a few funny lines prepared for him by his speechwriters about a deed he was about to perform, shake a few hands and call it good.

But when Donald Trump stood in front of the White House — along with the first lady — with a couple of turkeys for which he issued the usual “presidential pardon,” he chose to make, um, a political speech.

He made some nonsensical mention of the pending impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives, he tossed out his favored epithet toward the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sought to brag about the unparalleled strength of the U.S. military.

He made a bird-brained spectacle of himself in a ceremony that could have produced good-natured laughs over a tradition that began during the administration of President Bush 41.

But … no-o-o-o. It didn’t play out that way, at least not to my ears as I watched it as it occurred this afternoon.

Let’s remember that this guy’s previous full-time gig prior to being elected president of the United States was as the host of a network “reality” TV show. Donald Trump is no stranger to staged events.

Weird, man.

Is this a case of ‘jury tampering’?

Hey, hold on for just a minute or maybe two!

The House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach the president of the United States in connection with allegations that he solicited a personal political favor from a foreign government. Once the House approves the impeachment articles, the matters goes to the Senate, which then will have a trial.

Why, then, is Donald Trump schmoozing with “jurors” who will have to weigh the evidence presented to them and decide whether to convict him of assorted high crimes and misdemeanors.

Trump launched a charm offensive by inviting some Republican senators to the White House. He talked with them — privately, of course. Some of those GOP lawmakers include at least a couple of them who might be inclined to want to convict the president. I refer to Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine. Hey, there might be a lame-duck GOP senator in the mix, too.

I know it’s not a fully legal proceeding that the Senate will launch. It’s a political one, steeped in partisanship. However, some legal principles are brought into play here. One of them surely must be this quaint idea that “defendants” shouldn’t “tamper” with the jury pool.

The Senate’s 100 members are going to serve as jurors in this upcoming trial. The Republican members need not hear sweet nothings whispered into their ears by the Republican president whose conduct in office has brought us to this sorry and sad chapter of our nation’s political life.