Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Impeachment of Donald Trump


Have you ever heard of the "50 Year Scandal Cycle? It's one of those urban myths which say that about every 50 years or so, Washington undergoes some sort of major crisis or scandal. In the early 1870's, former Union General and U.S. President, Ulysses S. Grant, was duped into the national "gold conspiracy" by the robber barons Jay Gould and James Fisk, along with members of his administration which included the Credit Mobilier and Whiskey Ring scandals. It almost cost Grant the presidency.

In the early 1920's, President Warren G. Harding's administration was caught up in the Teapot Dome scandal. Fortunately for Harding, he died before being implicated. Then in the early 1970's we had President Richard Nixon and the Watergate break-in. The result was Nixon resigning in order to avoid being facing possible impeachment while other took the fall. The next big scandal, according to the myth should be around early 2020, and right on cue, we have the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Of course, as with most urban myths, they tend to fall apart under scrutiny. After all, if you go back 50 years before Grant we have President James Monroe. His administration was relatively uneventful except for the Panic of 1819 which was caused by poor banking practices and rampant land speculation. We also had the Missouri Compromise of 1820. This created a balance of sorts between the admission of free and slave-holding states which held until the late early 1860.

Coming forward, we had other major events such as the Great Depression in 1929, which, although brought about by the economic policies of President Coolidge, were largely blamed in on Herbert Hoover. We had World War I under Woodrow Wilson and World War II under Franklin D Roosevelt, not to mention Korean and Vietnam wars as well as other economic downturns and social changes.

So while you can make of it as you will, there's no doubt that we are facing another key juncture in our nation's history. As a country, America is more divided along more lines than at any other time since the Late Antebellum Period just preceding the advent of the Civil War. At the center is President Donald Trump who is seen by the conservative Right as the last major barrier to a "socialist" or "Communist" take over by the Left. Meanwhile the Left sees Trump and his supporters as akin to Fascists or Nazis with both sides accusing the other of as the death harbinger to our nation's democracy. The hypocrisy is stunning.

Never mind the fact that we're nowhere near the accepted definition of "socialism" let alone Communism, and neither are we even remotely close to being like Nazi Germany. However, the death knell of our democratic Republic has long ago sounded. We are, as everyone should know, an Oligarchy; a tightly woven neo-fascist corporate-government alliance replete with a corporate owned propaganda wing in the form of the media. It has produced an emerging surveillance/police state, created under the auspices of "national security" which provides adequate cover to all those seeking to curtail our natural and Constitutional rights, not to mention a perpetual "war on terrorism" to artificially stimulate the economy and to "bled off" a "surplus" population and all the while making obscene profits. It has redefined "freedom of speech" and personhood. It has co-opted both political parties which now serves its interests while leaving us with the illusion of choice. Suffice it to say that America in the Age of Trump is a badly broken country, but I digress.

So what are we to make of the impeachment of Trump? Is it, perhaps, payback by the Democrats for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton? After all, he was originally brought up on four charges under the label of "high crimes and misdemeanors". Two were charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power relating to his affairs with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky. Two of the charges were dropped, and Clinton was brought up one count each of obstruction of justice and perjury. While Clinton was charged in a bipartisan vote in the House, he was ultimately acquitted along a split vote in Senate.

In the case of Trump, the move to impeach was strictly along partisan lines, at least in the House where Democrats are in control (and there is a personal vendetta against Trump being played out by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)). Nevertheless, when (and if) it goes to the Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans and led by Mitch McConnell (R-KY), it will die an ignominious death amid partisan cries of "shame!". I wouldn't be surprised to see it remain in the House where it would be a matter of record, to be used by Democratic candidates as a club to bludgeon their Republican rivals with (especially a candidate Trump or anyone seeking to use his coattails).

But what is this really about? Trump is accused of two charges, obstruction of Congress and abuse of power stemming over his alleged attempts of using the promise of military aid and a White House meeting to get the President of the Ukraine, Volodymry Zelensky, to investigate a potential rival in the 2020 Presidential race, Joe Biden, along with his son Hunter, who has business dealings in the Ukraine.

These actually seem minor, especially when you look back at what transpired under the Obama Administration such as Benghazi, Fast and Furious, failure to reduce illegal immigration and DACA, failure to anticipate the 'Arab Spring' and the crisis in the Ukraine just to mention a few though I will add that him being "award" the Nobel Peace Prize for literally nothing was a joke and greatly devalued the importance of the once prestigious award.

The Democrats (ie: Nancy Pelosi) claim that Trump's actions were tantamount to "high crimes and misdemeanors". They allege that President Trump was using his position "personal gain" when dealing President Zelensky which constituted abuse of power, and then by refusing to respond to repeated House inquiries had obstructed Congress. A "whistle-blower" report was filed by an unnamed intelligence officer who claimed that "he" had access to the phone call between Trump and Zelensky claimed that Trump was essentially trying to bribe the Ukrainian President.

However, both President Trump and President Zelensky both deny that anything of the sort happened. Besides, the military aid along with additional economic aid, were released as promised. If that was an attempt to bribe, it sure was a shoddy job. As for obstructing Congress, Trump maintains that he acted well within his presidential prerogative. Perhaps Nancy was miffed because she wasn't included in the discussions.

Additional investigation by the House via lopsided partisan hearings have produced a litany of partisan witnesses who appear to be testifying as much on heresy evidence than anything. Meanwhile, other witnesses, who may in fact be just as partisan, haven't been called despite requests by the Republican House members.

So, in the final analysis, what do we have here? Personally, I think we have the nation's divide on full display for not just the country to see, but for the whole world to witness. Secondly, we have the vitreous hatred of Pelosi for Donald Trump and all he stands for as a populist conservative on full view. She has gone out of her way from the day of Trump's election to impede and discredit Trump at every turn. Is it little wonder that she has led efforts to find a way to impeach Trump from the get-go? Of course, she's far from being the only one. Other Democrats have as well, including Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Elijah Cummings (D-MD) Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA). However, it has been Pelosi who has by far been the most determined.

In the end, this circus, which has cost taxpayers millions, will have accomplished little except to deepen the divide among Americans, but perhaps that's only a small bonus for the ruling Oligarchy which pulls the strings behind the curtains. Trump wasn't suppose to win. We was an outsider; a "sideshow" attraction as some of his fellow Republican candidates said of him in 2016. He wasn't one of the pre-vetted and pre-approved choices we were given. Besides, regardless of who the GOP nominee was, Hillary Clinton was the "chosen" candidate. She was supposed to receive her well deserved coronation, after which she could reward those who had supported and covered for her, not to mention use her position to bury once and for all her numerous sins of state.

But that didn't happen. Instead, a populist conservative with a reputation of being someone who spoke his mind and wouldn't be "managed" was elected. It meant that the Status Quo---the Oligarchy---had to place its plans on hold. There was even the danger that much of what they'd accomplished could be derailed or undone. It also meant that some may even be publicly exposed, which would violate a cardinal rule that was never to be violated.

I think that, in the end, this impeachment process has had but a single objective. That objective is to destroy President Trump's chances of being reelected. In short, it's nothing more than a desperate attempt at character assassination. A President hindered with the charge of impeachment, even if ultimately acquitted, could be viewed as someone who can't be trusted with power of the American Presidency. That would leave the American People with no other choice but to vote for the candidate the ruling Oligarchy has selected for us. Whether we chose to accept their selection remains to be seen.



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