Friday, January 31, 2020

The Republican Disgrace



"It doesn't matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn't matter how brilliant the Framers were. It doesn't matter how good or bad our advocacy in this trial is. It doesn't matter how well written the oath of impartiality is. If right doesn't matter, we're lost. If truth doesn't matter, we're lost" -Adam Schiff.

"When our democracy is threatened from within, we must save it ourselves... Transcending forces of decay, disinformation, and disunion will not be easy. This is the great national calling of our time: the North Star that must guide decisions about ending or enduring disastrous presidencies. There is no quick fix for the challenges we face. They are surmountable only if each of us resolves anew that America and democracy are well worth fighting for" -Laurence Tribe.

When people ask, what crime did Trump commit, they are ignorant of these facts about impeachment: “The very essence of impeachment is political rather than criminal… Politicians rather than judges hold the impeachment power… Instead, it serves only to remove political authority from ‘him who would make a bad use of it’” (Tribe, 13). “Impeachment doesn’t require proof of a crime… Impeachment and criminal punishment are distinct… (44) The argument that only criminal offenses are impeachable is deeply and profoundly wrong. It misunderstands the Constitution, U.S. history, and the nature of criminal law in important ways… The wrongness of this claim offends us as scholars and troubles us as citizens. A relentless focus on criminality distorts public dialogue about impeachment. It also sabotages productive discussion about improper (though noncriminal) uses of presidential power…” (45).

When a president abuses “the formal powers” of the office of the presidency to secure an election, it is our constitutional system that will not allow him to corrupt our democracy. In the case of Trump, who is a “serial abuser of power,” allowing him to “remain in office poses a clear danger of grave harm to the constitutional order” (23) and to our national security. “The corrupt exercise of power in exchange for a personal benefit defines impeachable bribery” (33); moreover, Trump’s myriad attempts to impede justice proves impeachable obstruction. “If Congress errs here, the American people must live forever with the consequences” (28).

We only have to ask the Republicans who defend Trump: would they have impeached Obama if he had done what Trump has done? 

Tribe, Laurence H. and Joshua Matz. To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment. New York: Basic Books, 2018. 

-Glen Brown

From "Why Donald Trump Is a Threat to Our Democracy and Unfit to be President of the United States of America." For the article, click here. 


4 comments:

  1. Pity the Nation by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
    (after Khalil Gibran)

    Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
    and whose shepherds mislead them.
    Pity the nation whose leaders are liars,
    whose sages are silenced,
    and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
    Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
    except to praise conquerors
    and acclaim the bully as hero
    and aims to rule the world
    with force and by torture.
    Pity the nation that knows
    no other language but its own
    and no other culture but its own.
    Pity the nation whose breath is money
    and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
    Pity the nation — oh, pity the people
    who allow their rights to erode
    and their freedoms to be washed away.
    My country, tears of thee,
    sweet land of liberty.

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  2. "...Where else than in the Senate could have been found a tribunal sufficiently dignified, or sufficiently independent? What other body would be likely to feel CONFIDENCE ENOUGH IN ITS OWN SITUATION, to preserve, unawed and uninfluenced, the necessary impartiality between an INDIVIDUAL accused, and the REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE, HIS ACCUSERS?..." -Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers : No. 65.

    Hamilton did not foresee that a corrupt Senate like ours could exist in the 21st century: "Sufficiently [dishonorable] or sufficiently [controlled by a malignant and dangerous narcissist]": a Senate that is assuredly corrupt, neglectful of their duty, and egregiously partisan.

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  3. I remain hopeful, despite the ongoing chaos. The only explanation is that there is a form of collective brainwashing going on among his followers, spurred on by the far far right media. There doesn't seem to be the same reaction to immoral and unethical actions that most of his non-followers see. As for Christian supporters, it's a mystery how they can say this is okay. He is not chosen by God. I, for one, am very spiritual and my belief in God and what he stands for, doesn't excuse this behavior in a Christian leader.

    It's not unlike any other nation whose people follow a "charismatic" leader, condone the leader's words and actions based on religious beliefs, and dismiss and forgive actions and words that are offensive to the majority of others. We saw how many Americans reacted to his rhetoric and character when he was first elected. I cried and wondered how he could have won. Now some of those same people have been turned around, to support him and his agenda. Very confusing and mind-boggling. I often think about what my parents would think of the White House administration today. Two very different realities, we are living in.

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  4. What have the oligarchic Republicans done to our democracy thus far? They have weakened our labor unions; they have passed right-to-work laws to keep workers powerless; they have shut down the federal government; they continue to deny climate change in both the executive and legislative branches of government. They are funded by ALEC who creates and funds bills to restrict minority voting, scapegoat teachers, attack retirees’ and public employees’ pensions, maintain the deprivation of university and college adjunct faculty, dismantle public ownership and services, privatize the exorbitantly-priced American healthcare system, and rewrite the tax code to benefit the wealthiest Americans.

    Are we going to allow the continuing Republican deregulation of our environmental protections; the continuing privatization of our public schools; the eradication of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; the transformation of the U.S. courts and the privatization of the justice system; and a reinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution to successfully oppress the majority of Americans?

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