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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 59,173

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Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law

http://www.centerforhumanrights.org/index.html


The above link is to the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law. While there are other good organizations engaging in important parts of the legal case against the Trump administration's abuse of parents and children, I find this to be the most important. The lead attorney, Peter Schey, has significant experience, success, and standing in the federal courts on these issues.

Peter has been interviewed a couple of times on MSNBC's “The Last Word,” with Lawrence O'Donnell in the past week. These interviews provided information on how to defeat Trump in court. I think that this is not only important, but urgent, as Trump is attempting to militarize the prisons for immigrants seeking asylum.

If you are looking for a way to participate in this struggle, please review the web site. If possible, make a donation. While I am currently poor, I am confident that even my small contribution is meaningful.

Thank you for your consideration.

H2O Man

The Good Fight!

“Sociopaths generally have a limited range of real emotions.”
H2O Man; 6/22/2018


I assume that everyone reading this would agree that Trump in no way feels bad about the suffering of the families that he and his administration are causing. However, I accept that everyone who reads DU is not a Democrat, or opposed to Trump.) Part of this is because everything he says is a lie, and no thinking person believes a word that comes out of his mouth. It is only the Pavlovian alt-right that agrees that it is “good” to incarcerate children; the more they express this, the more the public identifies their drooling as evidence of moral rabies.

What Trump finds upsetting is that rather than being viewed as “tough,” he is seen as a very little, weak, and cruel individual. That view is shared both domestically and internationally. And this is on top of his already recognized as a pathetic excuse for a human being.

It's not that Trump has the ability to feel anything for these children. Sociopaths are restricted to viewing others as either extensions of himself, or as inanimate “things” to be used to suit his purposes. It's said that they know the lyrics, but not the tune; thus, Trump says the words that he thinks (or has been told) sound right. But they fall flat. No one believes him, not even his supporters.

Let's consider the people who surround Trump. Kristjen Nielsen will follow “authority,” no matter what line she crosses. Her complaining in private does not relieve her of her moral-ethical obligations. John Kelly is a bitter, flint-hard person, who worships violence. Jeff Sessions is a hate-filled gnome who delights in torturing non-white people. And that brings us to Stephen Miller.

Let's remember that Miller sat with Trump to write the first letter to justify firing James Comey. This document focused upon Mr. Comey's continuation of the Russian probe. The White House attorney would recommend having the Justice Department produce two letters that used Mr. Comey's mistreatment of Hillary Clinton during the campaign, since identifying the true reason would clearly be obstruction. Mr. Mueller has a copy of Miller's letter, though, which proves beyond doubt the truth of why Trump needed to fire Comey.

So, Miller is definitely not intelligent. In fact, he is beyond the anti-social personality type so common in the administration. Like Trump, he is a sociopath. His emotional range is limited to anger, self-righteousness, and a giddy enjoyment of cruelty. Trump and Miller are able to work together, because each sees the other as an extension of himself. In fact, Miller often fantasizes that he is the president of the United States, his wettest of dreams.

There is literally zero chance that any Good can come from Trump or his administration. A system can only produce what its nature is. Dogs never give birth to kittens, nor do chickens lay vulture eggs. The Trump administration is saturated with evil, and is thus entirely incapable of doing anything but evil.

Yet, despite all the horror they unleash, we are witnessing the power of good people responding to the cruelty of incarcerating little children. The majority of citizens are strongly opposed to incarcerating innocent people, especially children. We see that even some republicans, aware of the consequences of the public response, publicly disagreeing with Trump. But this is primarily out of self-interest.

The most important factor – one that you and I can participate in – is the legal challenges to the Trump policy. Keep in mind that Trump has a very poor record when it comes to court cases. As citizens, we are not limited to the legislative branch in the fight against Trump: the judicial branch provides another avenue. And that is the only realistic path to reuniting these families, and outside of an incarcerated status.

Fight the Good Fight!
H2O Man

"Look ...."

“Look what you made me do!”

In three decades of employment in human services, in a variety of positions, I found the above quote to be a signature line of cowardly, violent offenders. It was common among those spouses, partners, and parents, who sought to convince their victims that they – the victims – were entirely responsible for the offender's violence and cruelty. I think of that every time I hear Trump say that the Democrats are responsible for his separating children from their parents.

I also had numerous violent offenders say, “Yeah, but what about …...,” in weak attempts to shift the focus of our conversations. My response was simple: “We are not here to talk about what anyone else did or didn't do. We are only here to talk about you, and what we know you did.” That's the same thing that I would say to my children when they were young, and we discussed some misbehavior on their part. It's sad to see adults today using, or falling for, this type attempted distraction.

There was one fellow who attempted to justify his vile actions by self-righteously quoting bible verses. I did not need much time to evaluate this guy before making my recommendation to the court. I did, however, tell him that I hoped that he would consider reading the gospels while he was incarcerated. I have the same hope for Jeff Sessions.

The Trump administration's policy is the very definition of domestic abuse. It is unacceptable. It can not be blamed on the victims, or other people's previous actions. And it cannot be justified by bible quotes.

Back to the Garden

Matthew 18:1-7 : At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”


At this point in my life, I generally try not to refer to, or quote, religious and/or esoteric texts to make political points. But when I see people from the Trump administration attempt to justify their evil behaviors by quoting the bible, I feel that I can – perhaps, must – make an exception. I'll try to keep this brief, which isn't my usual style, either. For I can discuss religion and spirituality for hours on end. But I try to do that only while talking to myself.

I found Session's pathetic attempt to use the exact quote that was used to “justify” slavery in this country offensive. It is a common practice, of course, for those of little understanding to try to apply “higher teachings” to “lower actions.” I'll end by noting that, while in the garden shortly before his “legal” trial and death, the prophet Jesus called this error “Satan.”

I could, of course, go on and on. In fact, I will ….but in a conversation with myself, as I do some chores out in my garden.

Peace,
H2O Man

America

When facing an unresolved issue or situation, many people in modern society imagine the worst case scenario. That's natural. Yet, it is more common for those issues to conclude in a manner distinct from that worst case scenario.

But not always. In a literal sense, Trump being “elected” president was the worst case scenario of this American generation. It was as if the orange pus of an abscess had oozed to the surface of our society, and infected the social order. Indeed, our nation – and the world community – is being held hostage to the disease known as Trump.

Thus, I understand and appreciate when people, including on the internet, express concern that Trump and his fellow zits on society will grant pardons, fire Mr. Rosenstein and or Mr. Mueller, or take any other action to disrupt his eventual impeachment. Indeed, with the mounting tensions that have come over the past week – involving Cohen, Manafort, the NYS Attorney General's filing, and the ongoing SDNY and Team Mueller federal investigations – it is difficult to imagine the orange pus limiting himself to merely tweeting lies.

More, the lawyers that had previously advised him to avoid pardons and interfering with the Justice Department (and who made clear they could no longer represent him, if he did) are gone. Instead, there are four delusional lawyers, with pus for brains.

A number of (relatively) sane republicans in the House and Senate have also told Trump that his interference would be unacceptable. But they are, obviously, a timid minority within their party. A rational person could believe their warnings are as impotent as Trump himself.

So it it fair to say that we are experiencing a time with great risks.

However, I believe that what we are experiencing is necessary. Issues of toxic hatred, be they sexism, racism, etc, have been at the surface of our society for a long time. That is not to say that progress hasn't been made over the decades. Rather, we have yet to fully disinfect the abscess. It's more like we were prescribed an antibiotic, but failed to take the full amount once we started to feel better. The infection may have been less visible – especially if we weren't looking at it in our daily lives – but it was there.

We are being tasked with a huge obligation to ourselves and our society …..and the global society. It can seem overwhelming. Trump is the very definition of the worst case scenario as president, and he calls forth the most irrational, hate-filled people in our country. But the actual worst case scenario would be if citizens, like you and I, believed the lie that we are powerless in the face of that orange pus.

In the next two weeks, we will definitely witness Trump reacting harshly to the increasing pressure he and his children are facing. That is certain. But do not allow yourself to become discouraged. For we are going to win this fight.

Peace,
H2O Man

A Fly in the Ointment

I'll start by saying I have great respect for good lawyers. Over the decades, I've had the opportunity to work with a number of outstanding lawyers on both criminal and civil cases, in state and federal courts. I have some cousins who practice law. And one of my daughters currently works in a law office.

I also like many “average” lawyers. They do a lot of important work. And it definitely takes intelligence and self-discipline to earn a law degree and be admitted to the bar. It's a tough job, and thus many individuals with a law degree end up not practicing law.

That brings us to Michael Cohen.

My brother has said that one in ten lawyers graduated in the bottom 10% of their class. In Cohen's case, we can agree that one in a hundred graduated in the bottom 1% of their class. Hence, while Cohen must have a degree of intelligence, and had some self-discipline, he ended up working for Trump, though not as Trump's lawyer.

Since the FBI raided Cohen's home, office, etc, and confiscated literally millions of documents and recordings, it is commonly recognized that Cohen is in dire legal trouble. It's safe to say that Cohen's troubles are likely to create serious legal problems for Donald Trump. So let's take a look at the nature of their relationship.

Trump, being a sociopath, only has relationships based upon how useful an individual can be to him. This includes his seeking to identify the individual's weak points, to exploit as needed. Cohen has more than a few weak points, but let's focus upon his adolescent need for a hero/ father-figure. Cohen, in this sense, demonstrates the same level of maturity that a 13-year old boy displays when thinking that wearing a Michael Jordan jersey will improve his game.

Trump exploited this tendency. He encouraged Cohen's adolescent identification with television and movie “tough guys,” in order to get Cohen to willingly inhabit the muck and mire of Trump's business interests. Cohen, as federal investigators have documented, even told friends that he was “connected” to the Russian mob. He fancied himself as the new Roy Cohn. He even believed that he was part of the family, Trump's adopted son.

Existing in this delusional state caused Cohen to believe that, like on a cheap movie, everything he did for Trump was “protected” in the context of attorney-client communications. Thus, his education in the legal field resulted in his keeping extensive records of his work for Trump, including with shady characters and illegal activities.

Cohen was confident his experience in the gutter would insure a major position within Trump's administration. He was so sure of this, that he actually said that Trump should not bring Jared and Ivanka into the White House. Not surprisingly, those two advised Trump to not bring Cohen to Washington, though he was unlikely to anyhow. Trump wanted to keep the janitor of the gutters out of public view, other than appearances on Sean Hannity's show.

When the shit hit the fan in April, Cohen thought his legal team's coordinating with Trump's on the documentation the FBI gathered, meant they were on the same team. The Trump team had already been covering much of Cohen's legal expenses. So Cohen was willing to lie to his own lawyers, in a pathetic attempt to protect Trump. He didn't grasp that there was a divide between who the two legal teams were representing.

In time, it began to dawn on Cohen that this was not reel life, and that in real life, he was in serious trouble. When Trump's legal team became fully aware of the documentation that the FBI had secured for the SDNY federal investigators, the “father-son” relationship fractured. Perhaps Cohen recalled the line from the movie “Braveheart,” when the mad Irishman tells William Wallace that “the Lord says he might get me out of this, but I think you're fucked.”

Part of the reason Cohen is separating from his legal team is because he can't pay them. But it's more than that. Good lawyers generally do not appreciate clients that lie to them. Or clients who beg them to keep Sean Hannity's identity secret in federal court, for that matter. Indeed, the only way for a good lawyer to represent Cohen at this point, is to try to secure the best deal possible for him. And even that will be difficult --- for what might Cohen's team use as a proffer to investigators and prosecutors, that they haven't already documented through the FBI raid and previous surveillance ?

Friday should prove interesting, both for Cohen and Paul Manafort.

Peace,
H2O Man

Showdown

“Remember, the best defense is a hellova offense, and catching your opponent coming into your strength always results in that man being hurt.”
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter; Thursday, September 27, 1973; 3:35 pm


There is a showdown coming in America. The “main event” features Robert Mueller versus Donald Trump, of course, in a battle that represents a much larger conflict raging within our country. As the tension builds, we see Trump engaging in an increasingly out of control attack on Mr. Mueller, which reminds me of the above line from one of Rubin's letters advising me on boxing strategy 45 years ago.

The majority of the crowd gathered for the fight favor Mr. Mueller. They see Trump as more than just an obnoxious blowhard: they recognize him as a toxic threat to our constitutional democracy. They see a cheap, dirty fighter – willing to break any rule – who is as controlled by the mob as in boxer was in history. Only this time, it's the Russian mafia calling the shots.

They have seen that many “officials” – with the republicans in the House and Senate serving in roles similar to a boxing commission and referee – are unwilling to enforce the rules. Instead, they reward him for his flagrant fouls. In this case, though, it has to do with the Rule of Law, and their failure to address Trump for his openly corrupt behaviors.

Thus, unless Trump's corner throws in the towel, saying their guy has had enough, and has lost this fight by TKO, the majority of Americans have to hope that the judges – in this instance, federal court judges – render a just decision in favor of Mr. Mueller.

There is also, of course, a minority of Trump fans watching the bout. They view Trump as a hero, and their champion. They would prefer that the fight be called off before it actually starts, and Trump be declared the winner. Being unfamiliar with the rules, they support any dirty tactic Trump resorts to, and every crime he commits. They threaten the commissioner and referee for even considering enforcing the Rule of Law, in terms of their next primary. Republicans court and fear these unstable “fans.”

Despite the fact that the outcome of the fight will likely go to the scorecards of the judges – most of whom were appointed by the republican commission – the Trump fans are not going to accept it, if their decision goes against Trump. In their minds, the federal courts will be viewed as part of the “deep state.” It's a plot, don't you know.

Trump's fans do not allow “facts” to interfere with their perceptions. And it is a fact that Trump has not been wildly successful in the court system, be it with his “university” or his Muslim travel ban. He will face far more significant and humiliating defeats when the judges announce their decisions in the Trump vs Team Mueller competition.

Now, I'm familiar with more than boxing. In the past decade, for example, I've witnessed a stark increase in “fans” acting out – sometimes violently – at a variety of school sports competitions. The two things that have led to the majority of violent outbreaks have been when one of their players gets called for a foul, or when a non-white athlete on the opposing team scores points. These have resulted in fights in the stands, and in parking lots. There have been men and women taken away in handcuffs. There was even what law enforcement has called a riot, in a small town where local police had to call for back-up from county and state police.

Not all republicans will be upset when Trump loses his attempts to avoid speaking with Team Mueller. It appears likely that he'll continue to avoid doing so, and will thus get an invitation from the grand jury. His legal team will try fighting that, and lose. It's possible Trump will still refuse. But, either way, he won't survive long. And, at that point, fewer republicans will support him.

Those who will still support him are largely of the same stock as those who start fights at high school sports or boxing matches. Their actions are rooted in emotions, as opposed to the intelligence required to engage in rational thought. In the deep recesses of their minds, they will view the Rule of Law as a threat to the Constitution and Old Glory. This is largely due to their never reading more than the Second Amendment, and mistaking a piece of cloth for the concepts it symbolizes. In Freudian terms, they are the American Id.

Expecting these sad people to behave beyond impulse would be like expecting your dog to meow, or your cat to bark, or Trump to be honest. It's not in their nature. Yet they remain a minority. There are more of us, than there are of them. Some are at the Ego level, and others represent the Super Ego. Thus, it's a matter of combining those two forces, and not just come November. We need to be more than silent spectators of this fight. And that requires the best efforts of every individual.

Peace,
H2O Man

The Rule of Law

“I was serving time in the universal mind
I was feeling fine.”
Jim Morrison


A month or so ago, I was talking with a good friend who I met on this forum. We were discussing the Mueller investigation, and she expressed concern that things were going too slowly, that there had been little progress reported in the media. I said that I believed things were going pretty darned well, and that there were some “big” reports that were coming up soon, which would be extremely damaging to Trump and his associates.

My friend, who by her nature does not totally subscribe to my belief that – to quote a Rubin Carter letter I received in 1974 – everything under the sun is as it should be, or it wouldn't be, asked how I could be sure? I noted that there is a lot of information known in Washington, DC (and NYC) that is true, but that investigative reporters must nail down before putting it in print. There s also a lot of rumors that are not accurate. One must consider the sources.

Does anyone doubt, for example, that “retired” ONI officer Malcolm Nance knows far, far more than he has stated on record? And to really appreciate that, you should read or re-read his book on the plot to hack the 2016 election. Or that David Corn and Michael Isikoff do not have access to information far beyond the amazing amount they included in their recent book? Why, just last night, my cousin called me to say that, based upon the little grin tugging on Maya Wiley's face when she appeared on MSNBC, that “that lady knows things she isn't sharing just yet.”

Back when talking to my friend, I said that Jeff Sessions had been willingly “flipped” by Team Mueller. My understanding was that Mr. Mueller had played a central role in this. My buddy asked if I was certain of this? Yes, I said. Consider how investigators approach any case with a group of suspects. They not only start at the bottom, but they identify weak links. Sessions is the very definition of a weak link in the Trump organization.

As then-Senator Al Franken's questions revealed, the Trump campaign had “dipped” Sessions in the Russian plot during the campaign. Watch those hearings again, and you will see that it dawns on Jeff that he is in an unanticipated tight spot. Thus, his recusal, followed by Trump's vicious attacks upon his person. Now, I view Sessions as a scum, but it is still obvious that he had no intention of “protecting” Trump by putting himself in further danger.

Earlier this week, my friend asked what I thought Mitch McConnell what do in terms of protecting Trump from impeachment? That's an interesting an important question. Let's place it in the context of the current view that republicans are far different than they were in the Nixon era. There is a myth that those in the House were long intent upon impeachment, and that three Senators, led by Goldwater, convinced Nixon he had to resign.

Those of us old enough to remember – along with those who have watched the House committee hearings, found upon Youtube – know that many of them were every bit as toxic and unethical as today's crop. It was only when enough information had been made public, that they surrendered to the Rule of Law. More, Nixon had already decided to resign; the Senators simply confirmed that he needed to do so soon.

Mitch McConnell is much closer to a “Nixon republican” than to a “Trump republican.” In fact, in the shallow recesses of his mind, he not only strongly resents Trump as an individual, but he views him as a threat to the republican party he has invested in, and profited from. “Cocaine” Mitch has seen enough evidence – including what is public, and what is private – to know that it is very likely he and his friends would have to publicly stand against the Rule of Law, should they seek to protect Trump.

There are other issues that may come into play. An example would be if Trump was successful in getting North Korea to agree to a deal that is not in their national interests. That would increase his support within the party. Yet it is unlikely that Trump will succeed. (Obviously, Mitch liked the tax-cuts that benefit the opulently wealthy, at the expense of the country.)

Thus, at this point, Mitch is considering options for if the Mueller report comes out by mid-September. He favors a middle-of-the-road approach, neither helping not hurting Trump before the elections. He will speak about that rule of law that no individual stands above. Like Trey Gowdy, he will only go so far in commenting on Trump's wild conspiracy theories.

Depending upon the outcome of the fall elections, and the public opinion that Rudy G babbles about, Mitch will be happy to stick it to Trump. He has hinted just that to a few of his closest associates.

Just for fun, I thought I'd reveal something else that is known, but not reported yet. It sounds insane, because it is. But we are dealing with extremely paranoid minds, that are under intense pressure. Trump's nonsense about the “Deep State” placing a spy in his campaign (and, though unsaid, his administration), is more than a Hannity-Bannon tactic to arouse his mentally-dead flock of followers. Trump himself is convinced that Sessions is the deep state spy. Hence, the next three weeks will be highly entertaining.

Peace,
H2O Man

Memorial Day

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
James Baldwin; No Name in the Street; 1972.


It's been a curious couple of weeks, in terms of the Mueller investigation and related issues. At the core of the overlapping issues is if people in the Trump campaign – either as individuals or in groups – conspired to coordinate efforts by Russia to elect Trump in 2016. US foreign intelligence had learned of possible interference in the election by the combination of the Russian intelligence and mafia ( the Russian “shallow state”), and considered the fact that Trump had openly sought “business” dealings with them in years prior. Hence, the FBI was appropriately tasked with investigating Trump's campaign.

A year ago, in an attempt admittedly seeking to end this investigation, Trump fired FBI director James Comey, in an act that resulted in Mr. Mueller's appointment to investigate any conspiracy before the election, as well as attempts at a cover-up during the transition and Trump's presidency. The growing pressure from Team Mueller's investigation, along with its sibling (the Southern District of NY's investigation of Michael Cohen), has resulted in some desperate behaviors on Trump & Fiends part. It is in this context that we should consider some recent events.

The most glaring example involved Trump's attempt to revive the corpse of his earlier lie that President Obama “wire-tapped” Donald's phones. The new version was the empty bluster about the FBI planting at least one spy in his campaign, which – like the lie about wire-taps – Trump deemed “bigger than Watergate.” In truth, of course, the FBI had made use of an old CIA confidential informant, who talked with three individuals connected to both the campaign and, to different degrees, Russia's attempt to assist Trump.

Yet the dangerous potential of ignorance and power (along with purposeful unethical behaviors) did do damage to our system of government, and the rule of law. This was accomplished when two White House employees, including a lawyer representing Trump on the Russian investigation, attended at least part of the two meetings between the DOJ/FBI and members of the legislative branch.

While it seems likely that Emmet Flood attended primarily to put on the record that the White House was not seeking specific information on “methods and sources,” this contradicts Trump's demands for both. Attorney Flood is aware that the president's aggressive plan, which non-lawyers including Sean Hannity and Steve Bannon masterminded, crossed the line of obstruction of justice. Flood's attemp to mitigate the damage actually created more.

There is rational concern about Rod Rosenstein's allowing the two meetings to take place. Many intelligent people believe that he should have drawn a line in the sand, and either resigned, or forced Trump to fire him. I appreciate these beliefs, and would have supported him if he had done so. However, I also understand and support the choice Mr. Rosenstein made. I'm confident that he knows the investigation is at a stage where it needs to stay on course and focused, and that Congress will come to see Trump's move as a gross abuse of power, requiring specific remedy.

I know that Nancy Pelosi recently stated that impeachment is not on the Democrats' agenda. I understand why many Democrats find this troubling. I also know that republicans will attempt to use impeachment divisively in this year's elections, no matter what she actually says. Yet, I believe that it was proper for her to say what she said. Many of our candidates will campaign on the rule of law, without specifically advocating for impeachment …..at least until Mr. Mueller's report reaches them. Others will have more flexibility in what position they take, which is a good thing.

Finally, we've seen Rudy Giuliani doing what one comedian refers to as his imitation of Colonel Klink from the old show, “Hogan's Heroes.” In a recent OP on this forum, “kentuck” correctly noted that some polls show the combination of Trump and Rudy's nonsense about “spygate” has caused some republicans to doubt the value of Mr. Mueller's investigation. This is, I believe, to be expected. For as the investigation gets closer and closer to Trump and his spawn, we should anticipate that his team will react more and more harshly. Indeed, they will seek to do more damage to our nation, in hopes of avoiding legal consequences.

And they will surely cause more damage. While that is cause for some concern, keep in mind it is because they are in a world of trouble, and out of desperation, will try to do anything to prevent the certain outcome. But they will fail. Believe it. And act upon it. Now is the time for citizens to do their part in the democratic process.

Peace,
H2O Man

Impeachment

“But in Nixon’s case, the list of actions that together were deemed to constitute impeachable obstruction reads like a forecast of what Trump would do decades later — making misleading statements to, or withholding material evidence from, federal investigators or other federal employees; trying to interfere with FBI or congressional investigations; trying to break through the FBI’s shield surrounding ongoing criminal investigations; dangling carrots in front of people who might otherwise pose trouble for one’s hold on power. “
Laurence Tribe; Washington Post; May 13, 2017

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-must-be-impeached-heres-why/2017/05/13/82ce2ea4-374d-11e7-b4ee-434b6d506b37_story.html?utm_term=.07ad847f90f9


In order to be more fully prepared for campaigning for candidates from the Democratic Party in the upcoming election season, I am trying to review various books on the issues involving impeachment. This includes Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz's new book, “To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment.”

The authors believe that there is a strong case for impeaching Donald Trump, although the book does not focus primarily upon that belief. Rather, because of the divided nature of the nation, discussions about the possibility of impeachment demand that the public be informed about the history and intent of the process.

There are, the authors note, dangers if the process is abused by elected representatives. The obvious example of a politically motivated abuse of the process was the republican impeachment of President Clinton. There are also unanswered questions regarding how things would play out if the Senate convicted a president. These are, of course, important to consider today for two reasons: first, we have a president who has no respect for either the rule of law or the US Constitution, and second, there is a significant, armed minority in this country that would mistake the impeachment of Trump for a coup by the “deep state.”

Yet, the authors recognize that there are times – and this appears to be one – where the failure to impeach and convict poses far greater dangers to our nation, than doing so. I agree with that. More, I believe that a significant and growing number of citizens believes that, too. It is clear that issues regarding impeachment will play a role in the 2018 elections.

Republicans will use impeachment as an issue to energize the alt-right. And there are certainly some congressional districts in which a Democratic Party candidate cannot take an aggressive position on the issue. Yet, all Democrats can advocate for the rule of law, and a willingness to objectively fulfill their duties if elected. Indeed, any candidate that attempts to side-step or avoid these issues will fail to energize a significant portion of voters.

It will be difficult to engage in rational discussions about impeachment, based upon facts, at a time when emotions rooted in ignorance, and inflamed by lies, saturate the thinking and behaviors of so many people. “But all noble things,” Spinoza reminds us, “are as difficult as they are rare.” It was Benjamin Franklin who advocated most forcefully that impeachment be included in the Constitution. And so we would do well to remember his saying that, “When passions drive, let reason hold the reins.”

Peace,
H2O Man
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