Somehow it seems appropriate that the resolution on a formal impeachment inquiry passed on Halloween. Everyone involved will have to wait and see whether it is a trick or a treat.
If this were a poker game, you could say that the Democrats are all in. They have declared that this session of the House is all about one thing: impeaching President Trump. That means it will be the primary issue when they run for reelection next year. They have chosen to ignore issues such as jobs and healthcare.
I think this is a huge political mistake. It will energize the Left but will have far less appeal from moderates and independents. This isn’t like the Nixon and Clinton impeachments where widespread lawbreaking and a juicy sex scandal grabbed public interest. A phone call with the Ukrainian president and a rehash of Russian collusion are not all that exciting.
What remains to be seen is how Trump and the Republicans respond. They will continue to hammer Democrats. The big question is whether they will follow them and make impeachment the only issue. Assuming that the economy doesn’t falter, it should be their primary focus. Reaching out to ordinary Americans was very effective in 2016 and would likely work again.
We have never had an impeachment effort in an election year. The next twelve months will be very interesting.
One of the great things about our country is the freedoms guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights. Right now, we are seeing a major assault on our freedom of speech. There is a growing belief among the Left that anything they disagree with is hate speech and should be banned.
If there is one place in society that ought to be open to the exchange of ideas, it is our college campuses. Sadly, that is becoming less and less common. Some place liberal politics and political correctness above education. People have been assaulted because of their views.
Social media has often silenced conservatives. A church wanted to place an ad but was turned down because displaying a crucifix was considered to be violent imagery. There is some hope here. I was pleased that Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would not impose its judgment on whether political ads are accurate.
A presidential candidate is a strong supporter of limiting free speech. She has asked Twitter to close President Trump’s account. Apparently, she believes the First Amendment applies only to people that think like her.
A Massachusetts legislator has gone a step further. He introduced a bill that would provide for a fine or imprisonment for using the word bitch “to accost, annoy, degrade or demean”. He seems to view women as weak, helpless people who need his protection. Political correctness and identity politics are all about telling people they are powerless and need others to protect them. Our political leaders should try to empower people.
We all lose whenever someone is denied their First Amendment rights even if we strongly disagree with what they are saying.
The United States has allies across the globe. Sometimes they are enemies of each other. That can give us a chance to broker the peace. Or we can cut and run and let wars start. We have just seen President Trump choose the latter course.
Turkey is a member of NATO. They have been moving toward radical Islam. Obviously, we want to do what we can to prevent that.
The Syrian Kurds were very helpful in our fight against ISIS. We had a small force there to advise and support. They also served as a deterrent to prevent Turkey from launching an attack.
Rather than trying to diffuse the situation, Trump pulls the troops out. This, in effect, gave Turkey a blank check to kill, rape and torture anyone they wanted. That’s exactly what happened.
He proudly announced a permanent ceasefire. Calling anything in that region permanent is utterly ridiculous. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds are forced to flee their homes and places of businesses. Apparently, Trump doesn’t have a problem with ethnic cleansing.
In the short run, Turkey is the big winner and the Kurds are the loser. In the long run Russia, Iran and ISIS come out ahead. This has been a disaster for us. We lose any influence in that region. Our friends know they can’t depend on us and our enemies know we won’t do anything to stop them.
President Obama pulled out of Iraq and dithered in Syria. That led to the growth of ISIS. Now we are making the same mistake again.
Potomac Fever is a political “disease” in which a person has a greatly enhanced view of their importance once they get to Washington. I believe I have found another one. The main symptom is a frantic desire to stay in the limelight despite losing all political relevance. I think I will call it Palinitis. This is named for Sarah Palin, who had one of the worst cases on record.
I believe Hillary Clinton has an advanced case of Palinitis. She spent a quarter-century in the public eye. Her time is up but she doesn’t seem to realize it. For some time, she got attention by offering dozens of excuses for losing to Donald Trump. Her attacks on President Trump and Republicans in general have been drowned out.
She apparently decided she needs to be more outrageous. She claimed she would win the nomination if she ran. Now she had viciously attacked presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard by claiming she is a Russian asset. Gabbard has served her country both in the military and political office. She doesn’t deserve this malicious smear.
Clinton is overstaying her welcome. It’s time for her to get off the stage.
The gloves are coming off. Bernie Sanders just called Elizabeth Warren the C word. That’s right. He called her a capitalist. I guess that’s about the worst insult you can hurl at a far leftist.
Lots of people are calling themselves socialists. I’m not sure they know what that means. Sanders talks about Scandinavia but it’s just as capitalist as we are. The classic definition of socialism is a system in which the government controls the means of production.
It’s really a question of freedom. If someone wants to sell a product or service, they are free to come to the marketplace. Their potential customer is free to buy the product or not. Sometimes we may not agree with decisions others make. I would never spend the money to buy Air Jordans. I could care less whether there is an athlete’s name or a swoosh on my shoes.
Under socialism, there really isn’t a marketplace. People aren’t allowed to start a business. The buying decision is made by somebody in the government. If they decide everyone should wear army boots, people have to live with that choice.
We often talk about the freedoms that are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. We should treasure them. We should also treasure the right to buy any damn show we want.
Joe Biden is out of office so he obviously can’t be impeached. Since he is running for president, his behavior should be examined using the same standards I applied to Donald Trump.
First, I would like to say a word about his son Hunter. He isn’t running for office yet his name is being dragged through the mud. He is very accomplished, having had successful careers in law, finance and public relations. George W. Bush put him on the board of directors for Amtrak. Undoubtedly the Ukrainian company considered his political connections when naming him to their board. However, they kept him on when Trump became president. There is not a shred of evidence that he is guilty of any wrongdoing. After the way his family has been attacked, you wouldn’t expect Trump to go after a rival’s family. The man obviously has no class. He tried to tie Ted Cruz’s father to the Kennedy assassination.
Biden was the point man for all matters relating to Ukraine. I’m sure he knew about his son’s position. Not recusing himself was certainly an error in judgment.
Corruption was widespread in Ukraine. The United States and other countries were working to clean it up. They were putting pressure on Ukraine to fire their lead prosecutor. Biden threatened to pull some aid. There had been an investigation relating to the company his son was associated with. I seriously doubt Biden was even aware of it.
Both Trump and Biden exercised poor judgement. Of the lapses, I believe Trump’s was the more serious of the two. Based on what we know now, neither man did anything that approaches high crimes and misdemeanors.
Today I will take a look at whether President Trump should be impeached. This is based on what we know today. It is certainly possible that there is incriminating evidence that has not seen the light of day.
I am certainly not one of his fans. However, we need to ignore any personal or political biases. Anyone, regardless of party or personality, should be treated fairly.
The big question is what constitutes an impeachable offense. The Constitution uses the phrase high crimes and misdemeanors. Some set the bar really low. One of the committee heads investigating Trump said calling the Mueller investigation a witch hunt was obstruction of justice, presumably an impeachable offense. To me, someone has to commit a serious crime or grossly abuse the powers of their office.
There are three activities we need to focus on. The first is the effort to get negative information about Joe Biden. Every campaign does opposition research on their opponents. Having a president involved is unseemly. It is definitely inappropriate for him to talk to other heads of head about it. He deserves to be roundly criticized but I don’t believe it is an impeachable offense.
Next was his decision to slow down aid to Ukraine. This is a perfectly legal action unless there was a quid pro quo.
Finally, there is the phone call with President Zelenskyy. It was a very friendly call. Nothing is mentioned about the aid package. A high-level Ukrainian official said they didn’t know about it for a month. If Zelienskyy knew about it, I think he would have said something. Perhaps it was Trump’s intent to tie the aid for getting information on Biden. However, I see no evidence to prove it.
In short, I don’t see anything approaching an impeachable offense.
Past impeachments have been designed to be fair to both sides. The House chooses a committee to review the evidence. This is similar to a preliminary hearing. Both sides gather evidence and call witnesses. If they vote in favor of articles of impeachment, then the matter goes to the House as a whole.
The current approach is like a kangaroo court. Several committees are preceding without a House vote. Only Democrats can introduce evidence or call witnesses. In at least one case, Republicans were given less time to question witnesses.
The prize for most outrageous behavior goes to Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee. Staffers were working with the so-called whistleblower before the complaint was filed. He gave misleading statements about the contact. Even worse, he introduced a phony version of the phone call President Trump had with the Ukrainian president. He later called it a parody.
It shouldn’t matter if people hate Trump and think him guilty. They should still want him to be treated fairly.
Sadly, many Democrats are abandoning their belief in our democratic values. Camilla Harris called on Twitter to shut down Trump’s account. She seems to believe that our constitutional rights should only be given to people that think like her.