Tag Archives: impeachment

Tweet of the Week – April 17, 2020

Alexandra Chalupa, founder of the political consulting firm Chalupa & Associates, LLC, is referring to the appointment of Michael Caputo, a long-time Republican strategist, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the leadership of Alex Azar.  As a Ukrainian-American, Chalupa has a vested interest in anything involving Ukraine.  But she’s right to call out this type of nepotism in an administration that’s as incompetent as it is corrupt

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Morass

Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill conceded they didn’t get along personally.  O’Neill would go so far as to say Reagan was one of the laziest presidents he’d ever known.  It was ironic that two old Irish-Americans would have such disparate viewpoints, as they each reached the apex of their careers.  Yet, despite their differences in how government should function and what policies were best for the nation, they did try to work together.  Those differences fell into the background in March of 1981, when Reagan almost fell victim to a would-be assassin’s bullet.  O’Neill visited Reagan in the hospital and the two even read biblical passages together.

Flash forward nearly four decades and try to imagine such comingling in Washington now.  On Tuesday, Donald Trump gave his State of the Union address.  As required, he provided copies of his speech to Vice-President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Despite intense animosity between Trump and Pelosi, the latter extended her hand to the president – which he deliberately ignored.  After Trump concluded speaking, Pelosi ripped up her copy of the speech, explaining later that Trump had “shredded the truth,” so she saw fit to shred the speech.  Then, on Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted to acquit Trump of both articles of impeachment the House had brought up at the end of last year.  Over these past couple of days, Trump has gloated over his acquittal; proudly displaying various newspapers announcing the trial verdict and – in a live press conference – condemned the entire fiasco; ultimately calling it “bullshit”.  Yes, he really did utter that word on live television.  Then again, it’s Donald Trump.  Nothing he says or does should surprise anyone by now.

I have NEVER seen anything like this in my lifetime.  In my own 40-plus years of studying American politics, these past four have been surreal and almost otherworldly.  Donald Trump is the stress test of all stress tests.  And I thought George W. Bush was disoriented!  Trump is one block away from full-fledged derangement!  Bush’s actions in office embarrassed me more than once.  But Trump has stained the U.S. presidency with a new level of disgrace and shame.

It’s disillusioned me to the point where I’ve begun deleting all incoming emails of a political nature – even from Democratic and Green Party candidates.  I disliked Bush, but I absolutely loathe Trump.  I don’t like to say I hate someone I don’t know personally.  However, Trump has come as close to it for me as have only a few others – animal abusers, neo-Nazis, Caitlyn Jenner.  Just to name a few.

And none of that gives me pleasure.  It’s easy to hate and demonize.  It’s harder to dismiss bad behavior, especially from our political leaders.  I’ve been watching this circus and cringe at the thought of foreign opinions.  The United States is the self-claimed beacon of democracy and national dignity.  We’re supposed to be far above these kinds of third-world antics.  Now we’ve dropped into the abyss of antagonism and mockery.  People in Somalia must be laughing.

After Bush ascended to the presidency in 2001, some outspoken liberals announced they would actually flee the country.  Even with the current political diorama, I’m not ready to update my passport.  Well…not yet.  I just don’t know when this somnambulistic nightmare will end.  But the dénouement can’t arrive soon enough.

Thanks goodness all bad things – like blind dates and ptomaine poisoning – must come to an end!

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Worst Quote of the Week – January 25, 2020

“Lawyer lawsuits?  We’re talking about the impeachment of a president of the United States, duly elected, and the managers are complaining about lawyer lawsuits?  The Constitution allows lawyer lawsuits.  It’s disrespecting the Constitution of the United States to even say that in this chamber.  Lawyer lawsuits.”

– Jay Sekulow, personal attorney to Donald Trump, apparently misunderstanding the term FOIA (Freedom of Information Act)

Sekulow flew into a rage because he misheard a common legal phrase.  Representative Val Demings, one of the impeachment managers, had said, “The president’s lawyers may suggest that the House should have sought – that this House should have sought these materials in court, or awaited further lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act, a.k.a. FOIA lawsuits.”  She repeated term “FOIA lawsuits,” which must have struck Sekulow as unfamiliar.

As we often say here in Texas, ‘Bless his heart.’  Or in more common vernacular, ‘Dumb ass!’

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Worst Quote of the Week – January 17, 2020

“You’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you.”

– Senator Martha McSally, Arizona Republican, to CNN reporter Manu Raju who asked if the Senate should consider new evidence as part of its impeachment trial.

McSally later tweeted a cell phone video of the terse exchange, apparently recorded by one of her aides, and is now trying to raise money over the incident.

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Worst Quote of the Week – December 27, 2019

“We’ll be working through this process, hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), blatantly declaring that he will work with Trump’s defense during the latter’s upcoming impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.

McConnell’s position is tantamount to a jury foreperson working closely with a criminal defendant to ensure that person is found not guilty.

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Best Quote of the Week – December 27, 2019

“If it means that I am viewed as one who looks openly and critically at every issue in front of me, rather than acting as a rubber stamp for my party or my president, I’m totally good with that.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), expressing the possibility she will vote for the impeachment of faux-President Donald Trump.

Additionally, Murkowski noted that she was disturbed by the support of U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s claim that he is already cooperating with the White House for Trump’s pending trial.  She also believes the Democrat Party rushed the impeachment measures.  However, as a moderate Republican who apparently isn’t intimidated by Trump, she could become a key figure in the President’s Senate trial.

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Retro Quote – Richard M. Nixon

“I gave ’em a sword.  And they stuck it in, and they twisted it with relish.  And I guess if I had been in their position, I’d have done the same thing.”

Richard M. Nixon

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Worst Quote of the Week – December 20, 2019

“I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”

– Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), on his pending role in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate

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Trauma Nation

“Never let yourself be persuaded that any one great man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America.  When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

From a political standpoint, this has not been a good week for the United States.  On Wednesday, the 18th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump.  Trump now holds the dubious distinction of being only the third Chief Executive to be recommended for removal from office.  As much as I personally despise our Russian-elected president, I’d rather see him voted out of office next November than be forcibly removed.  It would be the single strongest message to Trump and his band of right-wing sycophants that their extremist ideology is of no use to the American populace.

But the impeachment process hints at a failure in our national leadership and puts the institution of voting into question.  As the oldest continually-functioning democracy in the world, the U.S. has always been a beacon of freedom; our constitution an enviable guide to how a nation should operate.  Our right to vote is a core element of our very national existence.  It’s the heart of our democratic soul.  The president of the United States is often deemed the leader of the Free World.  That other elected officials would seek to oust him from that pinnacle slashes at our democratic heart.

I’m old enough to remember Watergate.  Even people who considered themselves staunch conservatives had to concede that President Richard Nixon was as crooked and devious as his detractors made him out to be.  On the night Nixon announced his resignation, millions of Americans tuned into the live broadcast.  Afterwards there was no sense of real jubilation.  As the nation inched closer to its bicentennial, most people – including my parents – felt sad.  When Nixon left the White House, the transition of the office occurred at the tip of a pen, instead of the barrel of a gun.  After all, we didn’t live in a third-world society.  No tanks, no bombs and no bloodshed.  Still, Americans asked, how did we get to this point?

I definitely recall the Clinton impeachment fiasco.  My brain and body became flush with anger at the self-righteousness of the Republicans Party.  They had done everything to undermine Bill Clinton’s presidency – even before he won the Democratic Party’s formal nomination.  And they failed.  Their bloodthirsty overreach extended shamelessly to the president’s secretary and the mother of the woman who kept that infamous blue dress.  They paid the price for their arrogance in the November 1998 midterm elections.  They lost their super-majority in both houses of Congress.  Conversely, the Democrats gained seats; the first time the same party as the president attained positions in the House and the Senate in a midterm election since 1942.

And now, here we are – for the second time some twenty years – at the threshold of usurping the leader of the Free World.  How did we get to this point?  As I wrote in an essay two years ago, impeachment should not be taken lightly.  Neither politicians nor average citizens should become obsessed with it.  A sanguineous mindset traumatizes the national soul.

With the term “impeached” now added to the title of President, Donald Trump’s place in political history has been secured – unpleasantly and distastefully carved into the American psyche.  He cannot escape it.  Deny it, yes, as his narcissistic persona is already doing.  But – like the sky – it’s ubiquitous and unmalleable.

How painful for this nation.

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Best Quote of the Week – December 13, 2019

“What’s Giuliani doing?  Wandering around like a lost relative in the attic.”

Chris Matthews, “Hardball”, 12/09/19

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