Circus Trumpus Maximus

“The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Article II § 4 of the Constitution 

With the opening salvos fired in the House Impeachment hearing, the sad process of impeaching a President begins. And it would do us all well to remember this is not something to celebrate regardless of one’s political position. The removal of a President through the impeachment process is the most terrible thing that can happen to this nation short of war.

We are a long way from seeing this happen. We should be more concerned at this point that the law is followed and politics left aside then what the ultimate result may be. For if we allow the taint of politics to infiltrate the process—the very foundation upon which these allegations are based—the results will not matter, except to tear this country apart.

The House can only craft an Article of Impeachment. It remains for the Senate to try the President—under the watchful eye and judicial guidance of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court—and determine if the matter rises to the level of removing the President from office.

Therein lies the hope of the nation, in the non-partisan hands of the Chief Justice. For if we cannot have faith in the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, we are lost as a nation.

The talking-head, twitter-feed, partisan rhetoric means nothing, has no value, and distracts from the most significant power granted under our constitution. All it does is drive the wedge between us deeper into the soul of the nation.

We would do well to listen to the words of a fictional, yet profoundly wise, character from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle;

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

Sherlock Holmes (A Scandal in Bohemia) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1891

There are witnesses yet to testify and evidence to be presented. Mr. Trump is entitled to a vigorous defense and the American people are entitled to an equally vigorous presentation of the evidence.

Yet it will come down to the integrity, sense of duty, and character of the members of the Senate.

And therein lies the concern.

The partisan divide has never been more acrimonious, at least in public. If such behavior wins elections then the American people have no one to blame but themselves for continuing to elect such candidates, including Donald Trump.

Perhaps the only way, sad as this will sound, to allow Senators to follow their conscience in voting based on the evidence and testimony in an Impeachment Trial is to mimic the process of other courts and make the vote a secret ballot. Thus, we could remove the pallor of political concerns and allow for a vote based on the evidence.

This would require a rule change. Yet Mitch McConnell has never been shy about changing rules to make his job easier, damn the effect on the country. This might be a way for him to recapture some sense of honor in his long decent into a nothing but a Trump sycophant. And he could do it without letting anyone know he and some of his fellow Republicans do have the best interests of the nation at heart.

Do I think it will happen? Probably not, but there is always hope.

But if the vote is 51-49 against impeachment, we will have all the evidence we need of the character of our Senators and the content of their souls on both sides of the aisle, and a glimpse at the dismal future of this nation.

The President is an Innocent Man

Several points of order. As of this date.

  1. President Trump has not been found guilty of any criminal act
  2. There is no evidence before a court of competent jurisdiction to indicate President Trump committed any criminal acts
  3. Until such time the above conditions change, President Trump is innocent.
  4. The same circumstances, and presumptions of innocence, apply to those who President Trump’s supporters take aim at with their chants of “Lock her up” (although not to some members of the chorus.)

With that said, one can form an opinion on the veracity of the first witness in these impeachment hearings with common-sense rationality.

We can look at the character, background, and integrity of both sides of this issue in forming our opinion as to the validity of the testimony. We can take the approach we expect from a juror who may sit in judgment on this case with a common sense look at the witnesses.

Like Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation is almost always correct. Is this a vast, deep state conspiracy of liars trying to remove the President or is it honorable and moral Americans trying to do what is right for the country?

Ambassador William Taylor President Donald Trump
West Point Graduate (top 1%) Bone spurs
Captain, US Army Airborne Ranger 5 draft deferments
Viet Nam Veteran Numerous business bankruptcies
Recipient of the Bronze Star and Air medal (for actions in Combat) Said he would release his taxes after the “audit” was completed, now fights the release of his taxes
Long and distinguished government career in positions all over the world under several different administrations Seven Eight campaign or administration officials convicted of criminal acts
   
   

Isn’t it strange how hearsay (without a fundamental understanding of the well-established exceptions to its use) is suddenly an anathema to the President’s supporters?

For the entire Circus Maximus that is the Trump juggernaut, hearsay, innuendo, and twisting truth to fit the agenda has been a virtue. We are supposed to accept everything he, or his supporters, allege absent any independent corroboration.

I, and most Americans, choose to set a higher standard. Ambassador Taylor is the first witness. When it is all said and done, then it will be time to judge. Yet, it is readily evident the foundation for a solid case is being poured upon which the scaffold for this Presidency may soon stand, if the evidence supports it.

Mr. Trump is an innocent man. His culpability in criminal acts has not been established…yet. How long that situation lasts remains to be seen.

The Poisoning of American Discourse

Perhaps we’ve something to learn from this poem by William Blake about the cost of anger.

While vigorous and enthusiastic discourse on differing ways to accomplish things in this country have always brought great benefit, the polarization of extremes does not bode well. We can, we must, always have disparate opinions and methods of accomplishing things yet we also need remember our common goal.

The President’s biggest failure, in my opinion, lies not in what he may be trying to accomplish, but in his methods and manner. Mocking, dismissing out of hand, or ignoring differing opinions from some very intelligent and accomplished Americans who have much to offer is his biggest failure, and the greatest risk to America.

Mr. Trump would be well served to step away from Twitter, put aside his skepticism of the value of others, and listen. His failure to do that is the single best argument against his re-election. The noise of impeachment will be silenced by the politics of the Senate majority who will ignore any evidence to ensure continuity of their power. Waste no more time trying to overturn an election (absent, of course, more evidence) and focus on the next election.

This country has succeeded because of our differences, not in spite of them. The anger engendered by President Trump and many of his most virulent supporters, as well as those who stand in obtuse opposition to him, are a cancer growing on the very heart of this country.

The result of that malignancy may be the destruction of the America we all love.

A Poison Tree

BY WILLIAM BLAKE

I was angry with my friend; 
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow. 

And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles

And it grew both day and night. 
Till it bore an apple bright. 
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine. 

And into my garden stole, 
When the night had veild the pole; 
In the morning glad I see; 
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

“People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists.” G.K. Chesterton (Eugenics and other Evils)