So, the impeachment process is all done but for the final, predictable votes.
It has been a cringe-worthy process that almost certainly has deepened deep divisions in the country, and that has showcases a Republican Senate majority willing to follow party loyalty right out the window, throwing out a truckload of traditional American values. Do we believe in fairness, in truth, in fact?
It has been a process that put forth zany legal arguments seemingly spun of whole cloth to protect Donald Trump, even at the expense of radical reinterpretation of the Constitution’s division of governmental responsibilities and the simple understanding that doing bad is something to be excised and punished. Do we really accept that a president, particularly Trump, who has made self-aggrandizement a feature of his presidency, can do anything towards reelection because he thinks it is “in the public interest,” as outlined by presidential defender Alan Dershowitz?
It has been a process that often bordered more on personal rudeness and chest-bumping between the feuding lawyers than on any understandable search for what happened between Trump and the Ukraine. It became a trial turning its back on witnesses, even as we are hearing from leaks to journalists about the John Bolton’s new book or more tapes and emails from Rudy Giuliani’s henchmen acting on behalf of Trump, and on stopping obstruction of Congress.
Finally, after days of presentation, followed by two days of Senate questions, we reached the bottom line in the arguments of Team Trump’s lawyers:
–There are no limits on Trump’s powers, he does not need to meet requests, demands, even subpoenas from Congress. At the same time, there apparently is no reason to settle any of these refusals to acknowledge Congress in the courts, where Team Trump is arguing that the appropriate response to access complaints incongruously is impeachment.
–There is nothing impeachable about anything that a president does in pursuit of re-election, because seeking reelection might be “in the public interest” and including seeking “information” from foreign countries, because “information” has no valued.
–And, apparently, there is nothing wrong with running a rogue campaign to trade held military aid for dirt on Joe Biden, as a prime political opponent. Per Team Trump, there was no quid pro quo, unless there was, in which case, it was perfectly reasonable either because Trump cared so deeply about corruption in the Ukraine over years or because it was in the public interest rather than his own.
–The House managers relied on law, for the most part; by contrast, Team Trump’s arguments were largely political.
–Along the way, Democratic prosecutors made enough mistakes to leave themselves vulnerable to counter-arguments, however illogical.
Listening to the proceedings was often difficult. The twisted logic of the president’s team was outdone only by its disdain for anything I would associate with truth-finding. As I have said all along, I can understand a debate over whether these acts rise to the level of impeachment; but treating American voters like chumps who are blind and deaf to the outpouring of information about Trump wrong-doing is simply dismissive.
It is difficult to pick out the worst of what we have heard, and where it leaves us.
–We have been moving steadily since November, 2016, towards a presidency that undercuts democracy, hastened by Democratic advances in 2018 elections that have prompted Trump into making more and more policy through executive order, the refusal to cooperate with Congress over general government oversight as well as impeachment, and now, in big gulps of power-swallowing towards an autocratic, authoritarian government.
–The evidence that was collected, mostly from the mouths of Trump appointees in diplomatic and national security service, showed that we are willing to host a government replete with Cabinet members and departmental overseers who are willing to bend budget, justice, environment, education and energy safeguards upside-down to make Trump look good. Despite the 200 Senate questions, there are piles of head-scratchers out there that were never asked: Why was Giuliani ever dispatched to the Ukraine rather than the State Department, if this was in the public interest? What are we to make of the unasked questions about the roles of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Atty. Gen. William P. Barr, former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the White House lawyers who stuck the Ukraine phone tapes in a White House secure, classified safe?
–As soon as the Senate votes against impeachment, we can expect Trump to come out in full boast, having learned nothing of anything close to humility. Instead, we can predict a full volley of vindictive behaviors personally aimed at anyone with the audacity of questioning the new American monarch.
An insider says that white rural Christian America has a ‘dark, racist underbelly’
A common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: "Democrats fail to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”
Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete BS. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to draw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t East Coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is that rural Americans don't understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of the choices they’ve made and the horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.
Clinical psychologist explains how Ayn Rand helped turn the US into a selfish and greedy nation
The 'Atlas Shrugged' author made selfishness heroic and caring about others weakness.
Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society....To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.— Gore Vidal, 1961
Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation. In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would abolish slavery of African Americans. A century later, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) helped make the United States into one of the most uncaring nations in the industrialized world, a neo-Dickensian society where healthcare is only for those who can afford it, and where young people are coerced into huge student-loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
People who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ just don’t understand these 7 things
"Well, I'm conservative, but I'm not one of those racist, homophobic, dripping-with-hate Tea Party bigots! I'm pro-choice! I'm pro-same-sex-marriage! I'm not a racist! I just want lower taxes, and smaller government, and less government regulation of business. I'm fiscally conservative, and socially liberal."
How many liberals and progressives have heard this? It's ridiculously common. Hell, even David Koch of the Koch brothers has said, "I’m a conservative on economic matters and I’m a social liberal."