Trump Impeachment – 2019?

  • Posted: January 8, 2019
  • Category: Blog
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For better or for worse, the beginning of the New Year signals a time for reflection, a time to look around and think about where we’ve been – where we are– and where we think we might be headed. As a man of decidedly mature years, the “where I have been” is a loaded freight train greatly narrowing the track of possible futures. And so most of my time in reflection is spent leisurely strolling through the baggage cars rather than imaging where the train should go.

Perhaps it is the weight of that stroll through the baggage cars leaving me weary and cynical as well. At this time in my life, I know much more about myself than I want to know or even find interesting. As far as dreams of possible futures, I have found one place begins to look very much like all the others. As far as dreams of future endeavor, the rewards promised by the world for success soon pall while the punishments of failure exceed their promise. I have learned that the true reward for endeavor is the endeavor itself, but at this time in my life, I am tired and the work involved in endeavor is hard.

This year’s introspection brings a feeling I find difficult putting into words. Perhaps the closest I can come is alienation. I simply feel that I no longer belong here in the United States, my country has become a place apart from where I grew up and was proud to be a part of. I am beginning to understand Robert Heinlein’s changed outlook as he aged, puzzling to me at the time. I didn’t like his book, Stranger in a Strange Land, back in the day, but its truth becomes more apparent every day.

Perhaps it best if I now retreat into the role of Grandpa, accept my place in the comforting embrace of family and friends and shut myself off from the outside world. But the habits of a lifetime spent soaking in the tepid weak brew of news and entertainment can’t be escaped. And most troubling of all, even in the embrace of family and friends, that feeling of alienation seeps in through the cracks. Even we are not immune to the creeping fog.

Even if we are aware of what’s happening, the worldview of those who entertain and inform become our own, slowly but inexorably. Sometimes snippets of that memorable scifi film, “The Body Snatchers”, play in my head. I live in America, it looks like America but . . . . ? Perhaps it is my age or my lack of a quality education, but more and more I feel that the only literature with relevance for today, other than Scripture, is science fiction from the Golden Age.

Despite my slowly growing horror, I remain a prisoner of my need to stay abreast, to remain a captive consumer of the news feed. As I reach for the pacifier to calm an irritable grandchild, the metaphor of my own need does not escape me. The dice roll and black swans appear but certain trends appear almost certain in their prospect. And I do not relish that prospect. The coming year promises to break any and all dams holding back the large reservoirs of cynicism and foreboding, that ocean of jaundice coloring my view of the future.

2019 gives every indication that it will be the year of Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings. At the risk of exposing old fashioned misogyny so typical of an oppressor like myself, I would note that the old saw – “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” to be an unflattering stereotype but one neatly expressing a certain level of truth. However the furies of both Hell and women scorned pale before the thermonuclear fires of a mob given over to righteous passion.

America does have experience with impeachment hearings. It must be said that none of them have yet brought credit onto our country reflecting as they have the outrage of entitled elites rather than justice. Andrew Johnson came nearest to actual impeachment back in 1868. Mr. Johnson’s crime was daring to continue Abraham Lincoln’s policies toward the defeated South, a policy of rapprochement rather than revenge. This was too much for the Puritan Abolitionists of New England, eager to visit fire and brimstone on a defeated and sinful people with the beneficial side benefit of bargain real estate for themselves.

Of course Richard Nixon is remembered because Adorable America will never let his time in the docket be forgotten. The travails of Nixon conferred sainthood on the journalistic profession, inspiring generations of naïfs, their haloes blinding them to their own feet of clay. But many observers would allow that Mr. Nixon’s true crime was trying to find a somewhat honorable exit from LBJ’s war without worshipping at the altars of Camelot, that first incarnation of Adorable America.

Bill Clinton was next in line for the dunk tank. It is a given that Bill did lie under oath and he did “abuse” women. But Mr. Clinton, despite his Arkansas background, had the luck of the Irish in his choice of felony, his prosecutors and his political party. Old-fashioned morality prosecuting a smooth ladies man doesn’t make for a conviction in the court of modern American public opinion, unless of course the ladies man is a Republican.

Donald Trump will now get his time in the star chamber of congressional jurisprudence. The Democrats have put a cohort of youngsters in Congress, freshly graduated from their safe spaces at prestigious colleges and filled with righteous indignation at the injustice endemic in America. These would be Jacobins are pledged to end the Handmaid’s Tale that is Trump’s America.

On another note, perhaps the presence of these fire breathing progressives is a cautionary tale – be careful which scifi stories you make into movies. But then The Body Snatchers was originally made as a thinly veiled criticism of McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklist. Who knows what lessons future generations will draw from today’s agitprop of the darling Left?

In any case, Mr. Trump will be accused of crimes against humanity and forced to defend himself. The legal battles will be seemingly endless, devouring the time and attention of the nation. The impeachment drama will be a boost, to be sure a needed one, to the finances of television networks and publishers, both newspapers and books. One is tempted to wish for legislators to attend to the business of legislation rather than mob justice, but then a brief glance at the legislators in question mocks the thought.

The question is – Upon what charges will President Trump be impeached? The question is a valid one but truly of only academic interest. There are so many possibilities to choose from. In the parlance of NATO war gamers back in the day, the search for charges on which to impeach President Donald Trump is a “target rich environment”. There are opportunities in the Russian theft of 2016’s election, campaign finance irregularities, lewd behavior with women of ill repute, irresponsible Twitter posting, crimes against hair, etc. The list goes on.

A naive observer might wonder – Why this rush to impeachment? Even if the most lurid accusations are verifiably true with tape recordings that would stiffen the spine of the most timid prosecutor, they sound almost trivial. Virtually every President of the United States, with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter, could have been impeached upon similar or greater charges. Well, if you really don’t know the answer to that question, I refer you to Cicero, that eminent jurist from Rome, the model used to fashion our very own Republic. In the search for who, what and why, Cicero famously said “Cui bono” – Who benefits?

Well in the case of a Trump impeachment the answer to that question is obvious – everybody. At least everybody that counts. Again drawing on my reprobate heritage as a member of the Patriarchy – in this case the racist part of it, an old joke comes to mind.

It seems that the Lone Ranger and Tonto are down in a valley looking up at the ridgeline around them. They discover that they are surrounded by armed Indian warriors just beginning to charge down upon them. The Lone Ranger turns to Tonto and says, “What are we going to do?” Tonto replies, “What do you mean “we”, white man.”

“What do you mean “we”, Deplorable scum?” While Mr. Trump may not wear a mask and shoot silver bullets, he has a lot in common with the Lone Ranger. Trump is a bacillus in the body of official Washington with the white blood cells swarming. He is a passenger on the Impeachment Train.

Going back to that mythical naïve observer, she might wonder why? After all, President Trump is that rarity among politicians, in fact a rara avis – one of a kind – a politician that carries out his promises. Mr. Trump campaigned on reducing taxes, reducing the Regulatory State, repudiating NAFTA and climate accords, appointing conservative judges, building a wall on our southern border, using tariffs and threats to make other countries play fair with the United States. Mr. Trump said his actions would bring about millions of jobs for Americans.

Done and done. Perhaps actually doing what you said you were going to do is a dangerous precedent in political America. If the problem goes away, how do you raise money for your next election? I get that. Also, it’s a truism that nobody wins friends by showing up your co-workers. The knives flashing around the coffeepot in the break room might be metaphorical, but they are real nonetheless. Many people don’t agree with, in fact actively hate, Mr. Trump’s agenda. But Donald Trump only did what he said he was going to do. A lot of people agreed with him and voted for him. In fact he won the election.

Enough said about the fairness, or lack thereof, in Trump’s probable impeachment trial. But the jury, the officers of the court in that trial, have a great weight on their shoulders. Their deliberations and actions will have an effect, a powerful and long lasting effect, on the future of the American Republic.

If brought to trial, there is no doubt that President Trump can be found guilty – of something. The American legal code has become a briar patch from which no one emerges with skin intact. I am sure that Candidate Trump conspired or acted to sidestep Section 412, Paragraph 341(c), Clause R (c)(3) of the Federal Election Campaign Act re Amendment 2002. If not that particular part, there is another. There are a lot of sections, paragraphs, clauses and amendments, possibly contradicting each other.

As a great preponderance of America’s law makers are products of the Ivy League, I expect they would acknowledge one of their own, Grant Gilmore, a professor at Yale and one of the 20th Century’s great legal minds. He said:

“The worse the society, the more law there will be. In Hell there will be nothing but law, and due process will be meticulously observed.”

Mr. Gilmore’s sage observation might be the wise lawmaker’s food for thought, but then who believes in unicorns anymore? But after all that is said and done – If guilty – of whatever, should President Trump be impeached and removed from office?

Good question that. One can wander almost endlessly through the rights and wrongs, the pros and cons, the justice of impeachment. The hypocrisy of the Democrats is truly mind boggling, hanc in stuporem. But then the American voter has listened to them and voted for them. That says something about the American voter, perhaps of an unflattering nature perhaps not. And given the legal tenor of this question, it must be said that hypocrisy is not cited as a crime in the US legal code. The Bible is pretty adamant about the sinful nature of hypocrisy but then the legal code’s relationship with Scripture has become a fraught thing.

One of the great strengths of literature is its ability to get to the heart of things in which the professionals lose themselves. Of course the literature taught in a quality education obscures this great truth, excusing many of our lawmakers from getting the point. A great story allows us to see the forest while the lawyers and professional media obsess over counting trees. One way to think about the Trump Presidency and its probable denouement is to watch an old movie, Shane.

I confess to a growing fondness for old movies. Unlike today’s CGI wunderkind, some of the old movies had something meaningful to say, something easily accessible to the Deplorable mind, a mind not rendered numb by its education. The Shane of the movie is an outsider, a man with a violent and perhaps shady past. In the movie, it is implied that he was a guerilla raider in the Confederate cause, perhaps riding with Quantrill – about as disgraceful as a reputation can be in the settled frontier of 19th Century America.

Shane is built around a situation common to Western movies of a certain type. A growing Wyoming community is in trouble. The farmers and the townsmen are building a peaceful and prosperous community on the prairie but a powerful lawless rancher opposes them. In the parlance of Adorable America, this rancher is oppressing the peaceful families of the farms and towns.

Shane rides into town looking for a job. He finds a job and board with one of the farm families and the movie centers on this relationship. The wife understands Shane is working for her husband, who needs the help and is grateful for Shane’s presence, but she wants Shane to leave. Her son, a ten-year old boy, is fascinated by Shane as little boys would. His mother fights this connection, taking every opportunity to condemn Shane and his past.

The wife fears everything about Shane. Her husband is a good man, but passive in the face of his wife’s passionate rejection of guns and everything that comes along with them. Throughout the movie there are signs and clues that no one except the little boy is comfortable with Shane’s presence. Shane is different and his past sets him apart. Everyone, farmers and townspeople, is uneasy around him.

The rancher and his hired guns control the town, intimidating everyone. The farmers and the townsmen are men of peace, unable to deal with the problem though they far outnumber the troublemakers. They could end the problem if they had the courage and could summon the collective will. Shane is a Western movie and so eventually Shane goes into the town and faces down the bad guys. Shane is a fearsome gunfighter but in the process of clearing out the bad guys, Shane is wounded, perhaps mortally wounded.

The bad guys are gone and the people can go back to living their ordered lives, decent and productive lives. But what about Shane? The citizens are going to live happily ever after but what will Shane’s future look like? Shane solved their problems, did the things that needed done, did what the people should have done themselves but couldn’t bring themselves to do. He has been badly hurt in doing these things. But in solving their problems, Shane has confirmed everyone’s fears about who and what he is. And the fact is – they don’t need him anymore.

The movie ends with Shane riding off into the cold and dark prairie of Wyoming, slumping a bit in his saddle perhaps dying from his wound. His only friend, the little boy, runs after him, crying out for Shane to come back. But Shane keeps riding away. He knows he can’t go back. He did what the town needed but the people he helped will never accept him, never trust him. It’s better for him to go now, rather than later.

There has been a wide recognition of America’s needs over the past twenty years. Democrats and Republicans both agreed on the need to do something about these problems. The corporate income tax was a job killer. The tax rate was so high that it raised very little revenue, but killed lots of jobs. Instead large companies invested in foreign countries and kept their profits overseas. The tax rate needed to be reduced so that corporations would actually invest in America and bring all that money back into the United States. In the process, they would create lots of jobs, Deplorable American jobs.

America’s border with Mexico was a problem. Illegal immigration was a problem. It was not that anybody thought immigration should be stopped, but immigration was totally out of control. America’s framework for legal immigration and becoming a citizen was a hopeless mess, demeaning to all involved, a farce created by self-interested lawyers with no accountability.

The Obama Administration had been on steroids during its eight years, growing a metastatic regulatory state. Even the regulators themselves needed relief, drowning in the sea of new, far reaching and poorly thought out regulations.

America’s trade pacts and deals were admittedly generous to her partners. This had been a good thing in the past when America was so much larger and richer than her partners. America has always liked to think of herself as a generous people. But the relationships had evened out in the years since. Even worse, America’s partners had learned how to game the system. It was time to end some egregious unfairness. China in particular was playing very badly.

Republicans and Democrats knew the problems and even agreed on the solutions, at least in broad strokes. But year after year nothing was done. The problems continued to get worse. There was a lot of talk around election time, money raised, promises made.

But nothing got done. It seemed that Adorable America couldn’t deal with the ghosts of past racism, perceptions of being unfair to abandoned kittens and the like, the shibboleths of the radicals in their own camps, both Republican and Democrat. Adorable America likes to sing kum-ba-yah, their ideas of the national interest frozen like a prehistoric mosquito in the amber of John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

To be honest, most of the time the world of the Adorables is a pretty nice world to live in. But out in the real world, there are bad guys and bad situations. Leaders have to make hard choices that aren’t “nice”. Even the sainted Barack Obama became a connoisseur, perhaps even a gourmand, of the drone-enabled termination with extreme prejudice, though he didn’t talk about it. Ordering people killed didn’t fit his self-image and there were book deals to be made after his term was done.

Perhaps what happened to Shane in the movie was unfair. But could it work out any other way? That ten-year old boy will understand when he grows up. Clint Eastwood added a happy ending to the Shane story in his movie, The Outlaw Josey Wales, but in adding that happy ending lost the realism of the original movie.

Perhaps the Trump impeachment hearings are unfair as well. But could it work out any other way? Perhaps President Trump will watch the movie, have an epiphany and save America a lot of trouble. That’s what Shane did. Or even more unlikely, Adorable America will grow up.

5 Responses to “Trump Impeachment – 2019?”

  1. Jeff Esbenshade says:

    The house can bring the charges of impeachment but it takes 68 votes in the Senate

    to convict, I do not think that will happen. It will be a waste of time. I elect

    people to get things done and the last 2 years has a book of things getting

    done.Just today the Pres. of the World Bank is stepping down, 3 years early.

    Guess who’s turn it is to pick a new Pres.its Trumps!!

  2. Steve Wurst says:

    Josey Wales…ain’t a hard man to follow, leaves dead people wherever he goes! Good read Bill. But unlike Shane, Trump is not going to run off into the sunset never to be seen again. Or even be done in two years. My prediction is Trump will be re-elected and finish what he started. Like Reagan, Trump will go down as one of the great presidents of time.
    I understand the dims are pissed that Trump is undoing all of what Obama put in place. The next two years are go8ng to be a little tougher with this new “freshman” class, but things will get done. His only crime is he is not a Washington insider and does not do things like the rest of Washington. I contend this is a good thing. The Mueller investigation has gone on to long and nothing has come out and the longer this goes the less chance of anything substantial being found. Hell, we KNOW that Hillary colluded wth the Russians and nothing is being done to her. I am sure she mis-appropriated elections funds or T the very least used the Clinton Global Initiative for private gain; just ask any Haitian if they ever got an monies from the CGI.
    It has been said that politicians never “solve” any problems but only perpetuate or,create new ones. There is no money in solving the problems. Dopey me for thinking these bozos would actually fix some of the crap they created!

  3. Judy Hoxworth says:

    I always find myself more intrigued by your use of the English language than the content…not to say the content goes unnoticed! Being a female…my heart breaks for him and his family. I can’t imagine the inner strength it takes to live in this nightmare. I know that many of us are crying out to God on their behalf and our country… God hear our prayer

  4. David Kroon says:

    Bill, so well said, “my country has become a place apart from where I grew up”. I am glad to hear that from someone I grew up with for a few years. I do not recall Shane but remember the Big Valley.

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