Thoughts on Events the Week of November 18

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 27, 2019

Impeachment Inquiry: I didn’t watch the testimony on television because it’s more efficient (and slightly less nauseating) to get a recap on the news at the end of the day. But Wednesday, I drove to Phoenix and back, so I listened to the testimony of Ambassador Gordon Sondland on the car radio. Here are my impressions.

First, there can no longer be any question that bribery, or extortion, or quid pro quo, whatever you want to call it, occurred, and that President Trump wanted it and directed it. Sondland testified to this and said everybody, including Pompeo, Mulvaney, Perry, and Bolton were “in the loop.” (Of all of these, Bolton seems to have been against it.)

A crime occurred. The only important question remaining is what Congress will do with this certainty.

Second, Representative Nunes is a moron. I tried to follow his interrogation of Sondland (it was really more of a rant) but found it impossible. I couldn’t follow his statements or understand his points, and in any case, they were mostly about something that happened back in 2016, which I couldn’t follow either, and which had nothing to do with the topic. But what I did understand was lies and fantasies. I know it, you know it, he knows it, everybody knows it, whether we choose to admit it or not.

Third, the difference between the Democratic counselor and the Republican counselor is the difference between cheese and chalk, as the British say. The former was clear and penetrating in his questioning and the later was lost in his own notes and incoherent, and occasionally brought out testimony detrimental to his client, which I think in legal circles is something to be avoided.

Finally, based on the testimony of the last two days, this impeachment thing, or some other inglorious end of the Trump presidency, is looking more likely.

But my saddest takeaway from the hearings is the loss of so many dedicated, intelligent public servants who have been pushed out of their careers for partisan political pettiness. What was it said about El Cid? Such a noble vassal. How unfortunate he has such an unworthy liege.

Other investigations: Washington has descended into pure farce, and malicious farce at that. Democrats are now investigating Nunes and Giuliani and may soon be investigating Pompeo. Republicans are investigating the Bidens and may soon be investigating any Democrat running for president. You are nobody in Washington unless you are investigating somebody, or being investigated, or now both. Our political parties seem to be eagerly engaged in mutually assured destruction, and they’re taking the rest of us down with them. This is not a good thing.

Partisanship has become so extreme, divisive and vicious that it can no longer be called “polarization.” It has become a civil war, with the Constitution in the crossfire. In Civil wars, the rule of law goes out the window, which seems to be happening here. It is most certainly being challenged.

Many commentators say our institutions are holding, but I’m not so sure. The Legislative branch is less than productive. (The Senate hasn’t been functioning properly for two decades.) The Executive branch is waging war on the other two branches and is winning on many fronts, and the Judicial branch has become another partisan political branch. Responsible public servants are being run off or are quitting or are just not joining, and it is hard to find much competence, let alone courage, among the elected or appointed political actors. Frankly, I find it discouraging.

DACA: I fear that the so called Dreamers – undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents at a young age and who have lived here most of their lives and consider themselves American citizens- will lose the protections given them by President Obama by executive order, which President Trump wants to rescind, and so will be at risk of being deported. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case this week, and it’s expected they will rule in Trump’s favor, odious as the result could be.

Actually, though sadly, I think the Supreme Court would be deciding correctly in ruling Trump may overturn the Obama order, because that’s what it is, only an executive order and not a law. (I certainly hope that the next Democratic president will overturn all of Trump’s overturns.) Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, but I play one on my blog.

When the Dreamers first came on our radar, there was bipartisan support for letting them stay here, but the bill, which Obama would have signed, faltered, due to rising xenophobia and the rabid desire by Moscow Mitch not to give Obama anything that could be interpreted as a legislative “win,” regardless of merit. What a horse part!

I don’t know what this may portend for the Dreamers. I guess it’s possible Congress might protect them somehow, but I wouldn’t count on it. On the other hand, the idea of throwing three quarters a million or more Dreamers out of the country unceremoniously may have so bad a look that even Republicans may not want to be party to it. I’m sure it would drive more suburban woman away from the Republican Party in the next election, not to mention the handful of Hispanics who might still be thinking of voting for Trump.

The Constitution and common judicial sense: The California State Supreme Court knocked down proposed legislation to require President Trump to release his tax returns before being allowed on the ballot in California. This suit was correctly decided. The Constitution prescribes the requirements for president, and no state has the authority to amendment them. Come on, guys. Stop acting like children and work on something meaningful and within your authority. You make governance look frivolous with this kind of stuff and governance looks stupid enough as it is.

Worst State(s): Kansas and South Carolina seem to be in an all-out contest to see which can insinuate the slimiest specimens into the D.C. swamp. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina was already in the swamp that Trump said he would clean up, but instead Trump added a myriad more odious reptiles into it, such as Mike Pompeo from Kansas.

Graham is the biggest hypocrite in politics, which is really saying something in an occupation where hypocrisy is the norm, and Pompeo is a pathologically political pig part. He makes Lady Macbeth look like a saint.

Graham seems destined to live out his life being a disgrace to the Senate since South Carolina voters keep sending him there. (Mick Mulvaney, Acting Chief of Staff and professional pig part, is from South Carolina too.) Pompeo, who used to be a Congressman from Kansas, is said to have plans to crawl out of the swamp to run for Senate there so he can return to the swamp and stink up the place some more. (Wouldn’t it be lovely if Kansas rejected him due to his betrayal of office at State?)

Both states are free to make their own choices for Senator, and both get what they richly deserve, which this week includes an equal share of the worst state cup for their respective states. You other worst states need to step it up if you want to retrain your status. I’m thinking of throwing one of you out and adding Tennessee.

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