Oh my, it’s been a good long while since I last posted anything. What happens when someone as corrupt as Trump remains ever-present on the horizon of consciousness. He really does seem to simply suck the air out of our world. And the Mueller report on our End Times finally came to a close, revealing the awfulness that is within the White House. He chose not to indict on obstruction, and left that chore to Congress. But is Congress a functional body? Could our Congress act even if Trump took out a gun and shot someone on Fifth Avenue? Actually, it seems unlikely.
So, what is all the talk about Impeachment? First, let us look at the reality facing the nation. How does this impeachment thing actually work? Well, impeachment is an investigatory process carried out by the House of Representatives. If a President (other officials, including judges can be impeached) is impeached, the matter then proceeds to the Senate which carries out a trial, which either acquits or convicts the person being impeached. Several presidents have been impeached—Andrew Johnson for serious issues involving the post-Civil War Reconstruction efforts, Richard Nixon for, among other things, obstruction of justice, and, of course, William Clinton, for obtaining a blow job while talking on the phone (surely multitasking’s first ever impeachment).
Impeachment is not reserved to presidents—a cabinet official, William Belknap was impeached in 1876 for bribery, and several judges have been impeached.
Representatives have been bringing various articles of impeachment against Trump from very early in his term of office. But it is the content of the Mueller report that now prompts great attention. The report documents instances in which Trump campaign staff, private lawyers, or even White House officials report behavior that seems to cross the line of acceptable behavior by a sitting President. Even if the investigation could not conclusively prove active collaboration by the President with a hostile foreign power, his campaign benefited from that foreign power’s efforts to elect him. And one might then ask, why did that hostile foreign power act so as to help elect Donald Trump?
But even beyond the Russian connection, so many of his underlings are now headed for prison because of illegalities committed in support of Trump that the president seems implicated almost by definition. At the least his actions are now worthy of further investigation, which seems to be what Mueller’s report suggests should happen.
In addition, there seems at least a plausible case for violation of the foreign emoluments clause. Trump has never placed all his holdings in a blind trust, so he continues to reap large sums from foreign governments for their representatives staying at his various hotels. His children continue to pursue business deals that will involve him in some way.
And then there is the issue of Trump actively appointing and involving his family in official government business, which, at the least, is frowned upon, especially when his family has no plausible experience in the fields to which they have been appointed. His appointments in general seem shady at best, since he continues to appoint people to positions of power and influence over agencies in which those people have competitive private interests, people who seem actively opposed to the basic missions of the agencies they would be heading.
All of this suggests strongly that Trump is a powerful threat to the very integrity of our government. The longer he is in office, the greater threat to our government he poses. And then, speaking of threats, there is the seeming unhinged outbursts from the president, in the form of his daily twitter tirades, his constant threats to foreign powers, up to even the potential threat of war that seems to characterize his daily public utterances to the point that many observers believe he demonstrates almost daily a psychological incapacity to govern. Is he sane? Is he capable mentally of carrying out the daily duties required of a president? Does he in fact have the mental capacity to understand what he is doing and what are the potential effects on our country and the world of his daily actions and his daily utterances? He is like a walking psychobabble.
So a reasonable case is already staring at us in the form of his daily performance for an impeachment inquiry. At the least, a failure to begin such an inquiry and to carry it out in a public manner, is to suggest that Trump is somehow above scrutiny, and even, above the law. A new standard is being set on a daily basis for presidential behavior that everyone involved may well regret in the future. Mitch McConnell may in fact be setting new standards for how a political party performs its responsibilities as an oversight agent. We have three distinct and independent agents in our system of government: an executive branch which is responsible for executing the laws of the nation, a legislative branch, with its own twin chapters, namely the Senate and the House of Representatives, which devises our laws, and the judicial branch which is responsible for overseeing the constitutional adherence and faithfulness of the other two branches. Each of these branches provides a check on the performance of the other two branches. If our legislative branch defers to the executive to the point that no oversight and no check on performance is occurring, then that branch is failing in its fundamental responsibilities. McConnell seems to have crossed that point in the Senate, perhaps even to the point that one might reasonably ask whether impeachment proceedings should be launched to investigate whether McConnell is breaching his fundamental responsibilities. But that is for another day perhaps.
I realize that, however strong is the case for impeachment, many people oppose such a move, fearful perhaps of the divisive nature of such a proceeding. This country seems now poised at the edge of a literal Civil War, which impeachment could open. It is by no means clear what Trump would do were he to be impeached. In fact, his behavior is so bizarre that it is unclear, at least to me, what Trump would do were he to be defeated at the polls in 2020. Most presidents simply set aside their anger in defeat and allow the new force to take charge. Even someone as obviously angry as Richard Nixon, stepped aside and allowed the nation to move beyond him. I can imagine a scenario in which a defeated Trump would declare the election fraudulent, and refuse to hand over power. He routinely advises his followers to engage in violence, and I have no doubt he would do so again. Hence the potential for a Civil War. Donald Trump is an existential threat to our nation. He needs to be disarmed. Congress, it is your turn at the helm here. Do your job. And America, lay down your arms. Let our established processes occur. We do not need armed intervention, which could lead to the end of our republic, a bloody end at that. Let us see what kind of nation we actually are.