Tag Archives: House Democrats

House offers POTUS an ‘invitation’ he won’t accept

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer have offered Donald J. Trump an “invitation” that should be called by another name.

It is a political stunt that at one level seems like a reasonable offer, but in reality is something that will never occur.

Trump has complained incessantly that the House impeachment inquiry is unfair to him. The House is seeking to determine whether to file impeachment articles against the president in connection with his asking a foreign government for a personal political favor, an action that House Democrats deem to be an impeachable offense.

Trump keeps insisting it’s all a hoax, a witch hunt, a sham, a political hatchet job. So, what did Pelosi do? She invited him to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, to tell his side of the story, to put to rest any allegation that he jeopardized our national security by holding up weapons to an ally until it produced dirt on a potential political rival.

Schumer echoed Pelosi’s invitation.

Well, let’s get real. POTUS isn’t going to accept it. He will assert some rationale that he is somehow above and beyond being questioned in person by members of the House of Representatives.

Then again, Schumer did go a step further. He said that if Trump doesn’t like what’s being said, “he shouldn’t tweet” his disagreements. He should subject himself to questioning by House members. Moreover, Schumer said, he should allow those closest to him to testify before the House panel.

That, of course, assumes he has nothing to hide, according to Schumer.

I’m going to presume that he has plenty to hide, which is why Pelosi’s invitation is nothing more than a stunt.

Impeachment: Problematic, but necessary

I have traipsed all over the proverbial pea patch in trying to assess whether the U.S. House of Representatives should impeach Donald J. Trump.

At this moment, and it appears to be a permanent view, I stand in favor of impeachment as a necessary evil. Will a House impeachment result in Trump’s removal from the presidency of the United States? Probably not. The Senate’s Republican majority isn’t likely to follow the House Democrats’ lead in determining that Trump committed impeachable offenses that merit his ouster.

My former view was that impeachment would be an exercise in futility. So, my thought held, what is the point?

I have determined that the point is that Congress cannot let stand what it believes are acts that constitute egregious abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

It is all but proven that Trump sought personal political help from a foreign government. That’s a crime. The president of Ukraine and Trump spoke on the phone. The Ukrainian thanked Trump for supplying his country with military weaponry, but Trump then said he needed a “favor, though” in return for delivery of the weapons to be used against Russian aggressors.

Trump has sought foreign government help in digging up dirt on Joe Biden, a potential political foe in 2020. How in the world is that not an impeachable offense?

The president’s ouster as a result of impeachment remains unlikely at this moment. The Senate will hold a trial. Republicans occupy 53 of the body’s 100 seats. The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds vote to convict a president for him to be kicked out of office.

The way I see it, it is entirely possible for most senators to vote to convict Trump, just not enough of them to kick him out of the White House. I can think of possibly four Senate Republican votes to convict: Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Lamar Alexander and Johnny Isaakson; the latter two are not seeking re-election in 2020 and are immune from any retribution Trump might seek to level against them. Then again, a slim majority to convict Trump presumes all Senate Democrats vote to uphold the House impeachment.

Yes, this impeachment inquiry remains highly problematic. However, I believe now that it must proceed and it should result in articles of impeachment against the president.

Donald Trump has richly earned the inglorious title of “the nation’s third president to have been impeached.” Whether he can parlay that epithet into a winning re-election strategy remains to be seen.

If he does, then there will be something terribly wrong with our nation’s political system.

POTUS works overtime to hide ‘nothing’

Donald J. Trump keeps insisting he has done nothing wrong. He calls the Democratic effort to impeach him the “greatest witch hunt in our history.” The president calls it a hoax. He calls the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution a “phony” proviso.

All that said, why in the name of presumed innocence does he keep acting like someone who’s trying to hide things from congressional inquisitors?

The House is getting ready to impeach the president. They have a trove of issues on which to decide. They include obstruction of justice, abuse of power, violating his oath of office, possible bribery.

However, the president says he has done nothing wrong. That July 25 phone conversation with the Ukrainian president in which he sought a “favor, though” in exchange for weapons was “perfect,” as Trump has described it.

His newly installed press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said Trump “has nothing to hide.”

C’mon, gang! With nothing to hide, with there being no “there” there,” why does Trump keep acting like someone who’s trying to keep the goods out of Congress’s hands?

He did the same thing when special counsel Robert Mueller III was trying to ascertain “collusion” with Russians who interfered with our 2016 election. Trump is continuing the same tactic now as House Democrats proceed with their impeachment inquiry.

Hey, I am sitting in the peanut gallery. I get that I am nowhere near the center of the action. Still, from my perch out here in Trump Country, Donald Trump is acting far more like someone with plenty to hide than the victim of a “witch hunt.”

Let the fecal matter hit the fan

Well now. That went about the way observers had predicted it would go.

Almost all House Democrats voted today in favor of a congressional resolution to proceed with an impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump; all House Republicans voted against it. One former Republican who’s now an independent cast his vote in favor of the measure.

What happens now?

The House of Representatives will proceed with its inquiry into whether the president committed impeachable offenses by soliciting a foreign government for personal political help and/or whether he has sought to cover up that allegation. Let’s toss in an abuse of power allegation and an obstruction of justice charge as well.

Republicans who voted “no” have said they don’t want the inquiry. Democrats favor it looking more deeply into these disturbing allegations.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called today’s vote a sad day for the country. It is all of that … and much more.

It is going to produce public hearings. It will enable the president’s legal team to cross exam witnesses. It will drag into full public view all the things that have been said in private, behind closed doors as House members deposed witnesses.

It’s all been legal. It’s all being done according to the Constitution.

Today’s vote, moreover, should have stemmed phony GOP complaints about there being a star chamber aspect to this inquiry. It won’t stop Republicans from seeking to protect a president of their own party.

They will yap about politics driving the inquiry while invoking their own brand of politics to block it. Do you see the irony in that?

The public portion of this sober process does mean at a minimum that the fecal matter is about to hit the fan. The remaining question for me — and millions of other Americans — is whether any Republicans will be persuaded that Donald J. Trump has broken the law and should be removed from office.

I am not holding my breath.

‘Good government’ is about to take some time off

I consider myself to be a “good government progressive.”

Government should do the most good possible but it takes individuals on both sides of the political aisle to make it work as I believe our nation’s founders intended.

So … having laid that out, I fear we are about to enter an era of “no government” action aimed at helping Americans.

Impeachment now is clouding it all in Washington, D.C. Donald Trump is enraged at Democrats who want to impeach him for violating his oath of office. He says a phone conversation he had with the Ukrainian president was “perfect,” even though he asked his counterpart for foreign government assistance in getting re-elected and in digging up dirt on a potential 2020 opponent, Joe Biden.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has launched an “impeachment inquiry.” Trump is spending his days now firing off Twitter tirades and tantrums at his foes.

What does all this do for the cause of good government? It throws it into the crapper.

Democrats are enraged at Trump, too. The president, who doesn’t work well with Democrats under the best of circumstances, isn’t likely to work with them on anything now that House Democrats appear intent on seeking his ouster from office.

So, we’re going to pay our lawmakers a six-figure salary ostensibly to enact legislation, cast votes and send bills to the Oval Office for the president’s signature.

Except that none of that is likely to happen as House Democrats and Donald Trump play political chicken with each other.

Therefore, good government will vanish for the foreseeable future.

Get ready for an ugly and sad political spectacle

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has seen and heard enough.

Nancy Pelosi, who had dug in hard against impeaching Donald J. Trump, has changed course. She has announced a formal “impeachment inquiry” based on allegations that Trump has pressured the president of Ukraine to find dirt that would damage a potential political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

So … there you have it.

Pelosi has contended that if the allegations are true the president of the United States has enlisted the help of a foreign government to bring down the candidacy of someone who might run against him next year.

This where it gets ugly in the extreme, ladies and gentlemen.

Congressional Democrats are talking about their “sadness” as they proceed toward formal impeachment. Are they crying crocodile tears? I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The allegations against Trump now have been brought into the sharpest focus yet. Trump has acknowledged talking to the Ukrainian president about Biden and his son, Hunter, whose business dealings in Ukraine have become part of the story. He says he will release the transcript of a single phone call he had with the Ukrainians.

Is that enough? Hardly.

We need to hear from the whistleblower who revealed all this alleged behavior in the first place. This person reportedly witnessed a sequence of events that could blow Trump’s presidency straight out of the water. The word today is that the whistleblower will reveal himself or herself perhaps as early as this week.

That individual needs to tell the nation what he or she saw or heard from ringside.

Nearly three-fourths of the House Democratic caucus have endorsed the impeachment of Donald Trump. What we do not yet know is whether any Republicans will join them. Has the GOP House minority had enough as well?

No matter how all this ends up, with an impeachment or the House choking at the climactic moment, it will not end well no matter who is able to declare some semblance of victory.

We are moving — perhaps hurtling — toward an ugly chapter in a sad political story.

Has an impeachment ‘inquiry’ commenced?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler are at odds.

Pelosi doesn’t want to impeach Donald Trump; Nadler wants to proceed now with impeachment.

It looks as though Nadler is winning this argument. He appears to have commenced what has been called an “impeachment inquiry.” That means ostensibly that the Democratic caucus is going to examine whether to launch a full impeachment proceeding against Trump. They think they have the goods. Maybe they do.

But wait a second. If the House decides it has enough to impeach Trump over obstruction of justice in connection with the Russian hack of our 2016 election, then the bar gets really high.

A House impeachment is the easy part. Democrats need a simple majority to impeach. Then the Senate gets to put the president on trial. They need 67 (out of 100) votes to convict the president. The GOP occupies 53 Senate seats. They are as firmly in Trump’s corner as Democrats are as firmly intent on giving him the boot.

An impeachment “inquiry” looks to me like an exercise in futility for those who want to remove the president from office.

I personally don’t think it’s enough just to say Donald Trump has been impeached. I want him out of office, too. Impeachment, though, isn’t going to do the job.

Unless someone drops a serious bomb that persuades Republicans they are standing with a crook.

POTUS ‘disagrees’ with ‘Send her back!’ chant? Oh, please

Who in the name of gullible voters do you think you are kidding, Mr. President?

You say now that you “disagree” with the chant in North Carolina of those faithful followers of yours to “Send her back!” You say you weren’t “happy with the message they gave” to U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, the congresswoman from Minnesota who came to this country as a pre-teen from Somalia and this past year got elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Well, Mr. President, allow me this rejoinder: Shut your foul mouth!

I didn’t see you make any effort at that campaign rally in North Carolina to quiet the chant. I didn’t see you seek to restore any semblance of order and decorum in that crowd. I did not see you address that chant directly once the mob of supporters quieted down.

So now you expect the rest of us believe that you were displeased with the chant? That you were unhappy that your followers were merely picking up on those racist-sounding Twitter chants suggesting Omar and her three “Squad” members — all progressive first-year Democratic congresswomen — could return to their country of origin if they are so unhappy in this country?

Nor did you, I hasten to add, remind the chanters in the mob that the three other House members are native-born Americans. All of them, even the naturalized citizen from Somalia, are as American as you and I are.

Or that they’re all U.S. citizens and are duly elected members of the legislative branch of the federal government.

Knock off the lying, Mr. President.

I do not believe for an instant that you “disagreed” with the chant.

You, sir, are a pathological liar.

Impeachment moves closer to edge of the table

A Texas Democratic member of Congress, Al Green of Houston, filed a motion to impeach Donald J. Trump. The U.S. House of Representatives voted today on Rep. Green’s motion and, to no one’s surprise, turned it down.

What does it mean? To my way of thinking — and I am swaying in the growing gale-force winds on this matter — it looks to me that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s calculation that impeachment is a loser for Democrats.

Ninety-five Democrats voted for motion to impeach. It is far from the 218 votes needed for the House to impeach this president. Democrats occupy 230 House seats, so the bar remains quite high.

House Republicans remain solidly behind the president … for reasons that baffle me, given the evidence that Donald Trump has broken the law while serving as president. But that’s another story.

Pelosi can count votes. She knows the House Democratic caucus isn’t totally lined up with the impeachment faction within its ranks. She also knows that the Republican-controlled Senate isn’t going to convict the president of any “high crimes and misdemeanors” that the House would bring forth in an impeachment.

Green’s impeachment motion was based solely on the racist tweets that Trump launched against the four congresswomen with whom he is engaged in that ridiculous feud. That is a non-starter.

Now, there might be more grist to chew on after former special counsel Robert Mueller III talks next week to the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. However, I am not taking that to the bank, either, given the GOP caucus’s stubborn resistance to looking analytically at what Mueller dropped on our laps at the end of his 22-month probe into alleged collusion with Russians and obstruction of justice.

I am thinking at this moment that the best way — perhaps the only way — to rid the nation of Donald Trump is to remove him from office at the 2020 presidential election.

But … that could change.

Pelosi knows how Boehner felt?

She likely would dislike the comparison, but I’ll make it anyway: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is feeling some of the pain that was inflicted on one of her predecessors, former Speaker John Boehner.

Indeed, Pelosi handed the gavel over to Boehner when Republicans took control of the House in 2011; she was speaker during the previous congressional session, but the Democrat had to surrender her speakership to the GOP and to Boehner.

What happened to Boehner? He ran into the TEA Party buzz saw that made his speakership a form of holy hell. He eventually quit the House and disappeared from public life.

Now it’s Pelosi’s turn to deal with renegade elements within her political party. The culprits this time are the likes of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. They are the progressives in her Democratic caucus who don’t want to wait any longer before launching impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. They’ve seen enough and want action … now!

Pelosi ain’t budging. She doesn’t want to impeach the president, at least not yet. She wants more evidence. She wants some Republican buy-in, but so far she isn’t getting it.

Will this intraparty fight doom her speakership the way the GOP’s internal struggle sent Speaker Boehner heading for the door? Oh, I doubt it. However, it does go to show that divergent views do have this way of causing sleeplessness among political leaders, no matter which side of the aisle they do business.