Welp. The summer idyll has passed. The drifting dream is done. The UK is blowing up over Brexit, Canadians face a federal election featuring the usual slate of craptacular choices, and the U.S. Congress will soon be back in session, doing its well-polished stumble-fuck routine (thanks to David Simon for a whole new thesaurus of epithets). I’ve been trying to ignore it all. I’ve been quiet. Laying low. Trying not to be continuously upset. Yet cutting the news umbilical has proved impossible, and between updates on Twitter (amazing the quality of info. you can glean if you follow the right people) and hours of daily cable news, I guess I was bound to see something triggering, wasn’t I? Something to render me fit for the strait-jacket. Inevitable. It happened last night, as I watched an interview of Mary Gay Scanlon, Vice-Chair of House Judiciary, on the Chris Hayes show on MSNBC.
Chris put it to her, nowhere near as forcefully as I would have, that the Dems are letting Trump get away with bloody murder. He’s breaking the law, shredding the Constitution, and snapping his fingers under the collective nose of House Oversight, daring anybody to do anything about it, so, Chris asked, nicely, what are you prepared to do?
She hemmed and hawed, noting that they’d be trying to enforce subpoenas in court, and continuing to investigate, hoping to establish solid proof of the manifold legal, constitutional and ethical high crimes and misdemeanors committed daily by The Donald, so, you know, the Donkey was on the case!
See, at that point Chris should have given her a pie in the face and a high pressure shot from the seltzer bottle, but he let her off the hook, while I resisted the urge to rip my newly-replaced 55 inch Frame Fucking TV off the wall and toss it into the sea, instrument of torture that it is.
Investigate? Go to court? Sweet Jesus. I sat there, longing for Chris to give her the old Edna Mode pep talk:
What’s with all the weak-assed boo-hooing and hand-wringing? You’re Congress! The Article I branch! You sit on House Judiciary! My God, pull yourself together – sit your ass down with Jerry Nadler and draft up Articles of Impeachment, now now now!! Fight! Win!
There’s already ample cause. Ample. Look, let’s forget about the Mueller Report, Russian collusion, and the related 10-15 acts of criminal obstruction of justice. Put it aside. It’s not necessary. Think of all the other bounteous buckets of fragrant poo that can yet be laid at Orange Idi’s doorstep:
he’s an un-indicted co-conspirator in an election finance crime that sent his lawyer to jail;
he has instructed the IRS to refuse to disclose his tax returns even though such is clearly required by law, now that Congress has demanded them;
he has stonewalled Congress by instructing his minions to ignore lawful subpoenas and refuse to testify, asserting a blatantly unconstitutional absolute executive immunity, his lawyers claiming – God save us – that Congress has no legal right to inquire about anything to do with the executive branch;
he has attempted an unconstitutional end-run around the Congressional monopoly over spending power, reallocating funds designated by Congress for military projects towards the building of his idiotic wall (a dire threat to the Constitutional separation of powers);
in his zeal to get his dumbassed wall constructed, he has told officials to seize land as quickly as possible, ignoring environmental laws and any other possible legal impediments, and has “dangled” pardons, promising to absolve them if they are caught breaking the law;
he is in open and notorious breach of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, peddling influence via $200,000 memberships at Mar-a-Lago, while insisting that all and sundry, domestic and foreign, pay him tribute by spending money at his hotels and resorts, including the Secret Service, who have to pay for rooms and golf cart rentals while he spends literally a third of his Presidency running around his own golf courses;
his conflicts of interest routine is now so out of hand that not only does he ram through tax laws that clearly benefit his own businesses (McConnell aiding and abetting him all the way), but floats the idea in public that he should have his resort at Doral host the next G-7;
his cabinet is populated mainly by purportedly temporary “acting” personnel, thus evading the Constitutional requirement for Senate confirmation of his top officials;
he has declared the free press, the sacred wards of the First Amendment, to be “enemies of the people”;
his border guards continue to imprison hundreds of children in makeshift gulags, in open defiance of court orders forbidding it;
he lies, lies, lies, upwards of 14 times each and every day, about all matters, great and small;
his mental deterioration and instability have reached a frightening danger point, whether manifest in his syntactical foul-ups, short-tempered Twitter ranting, rambling, incoherent screaming at the press during his execrable “chopper talks”, or just plain ridiculous behaviour, such as his recent attempt to prove he was right all along about Hurricane Dorian threatening Alabama, via alteration of weather maps with his trusty Sharpie:
all of which amounts to a breach of his oath of office, not to mention several deep forays into 25th Amendment territory. Plus, tack on the hijinks with the Russians and subsequent obstructions of justice at the end, if you like.
And that ain’t the half of it!
As the esteemed Vice-Chair admitted to Chris, Donald ticks every box in the Federalist Papers’ high crimes and misdemeanours checklist – so what more do you need, Ms. Scanlon? What further evidence is required to force a trial in the Senate? Are you holding out for him to shoot a man in Reno, just to watch him die? Surely to God any prosecutor would be satisfied by now that there’s enough to indict – remember, you don’t have to prove this stuff to start the impeachment (supposing further proof is needed), that’s what the trial in the Senate is for. The Senate will never convict? So what? Why not force Mitch and his Merry Men into a display of craven, revolting boot-licking and ball-polishing, either by acquitting despite the overwhelming evidence, or – hey, don’t put this past McConnell – interpreting the Constitution to mean that the Senate’s sole authority to run an impeachment trial includes the option of refusing to hold the trial at all. Paint the bastards into a corner!
The Democrats always remind me of Abba Eban’s immortal quip about the Palestinians, that “they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”. The “blue wave” of 2018 was the product of the electorate’s desire to see Trump checked, yet the Dems sit around debating points of order while he carries on undaunted, doing all the dirty little things he does with apparent impunity. Under similar circumstances the GOP would have impeached a Democratic President five times already, yet with the Dems we never get action; all we get is the dither dance. They’re going to stumble right into 2020 looking just as hapless and indecisive as can be, and you know what? They could blow this thing. They’re sure going to try.
OMG UPDATE: Even as I posted this last night, two new and quite serious impeachable offences were being alleged in the media!
- It’s being reported that Air Force C-17s, continent-hopping on resupply missions in the usual way, have been diverted from US military facilities on the UK leg of their journey, and instructed to land at little Prestwick airport to refuel at somewhat greater expense, while bunking overnight at Trump’s nearby golf resort at Turnberry, Scotland. This supports both the resort and the financially troubled airport it relies upon. Atypically, this truly outrageous alleged self-dealing was not perpetrated in plain sight, and is yet to be proved, but if this is true it’s particularly disturbing, not only because now Trump will have roped the military into his get-rich schemes, but also because the Air Force went along with it and is now stonewalling the Congressional oversight committees attempting to look into it.
- Even worse, it’s alleged that Trump is using over $200 million in military aid, already allocated by Congress to support Ukraine, as leverage in an attempt to coerce the government there to interfere in the 2020 election campaign, presumably in connection with old and quite bogus stories concerning Joe Biden’s son, something Rudy Giuliani was also looking into at one point. This geopolitical buggery would kill two birds with one stone, further pandering to Putin, whose forces continue their assault on the Eastern Ukraine, while helping Trump cheat his way to another election triumph with foreign assistance.
As they say in finishing school, holy fucking shit.