Impeachment is a political process — real test is in legal system
Before we bemoan former president Donald Trump’s second impeachment acquittal as proof that the rule of law in America has crumbled, we should recall the oft-cited fact that impeachment is a political process, not a judicial one. Politics has never been about equal protection under the law; rather, it has been about pleasing voters in order to gain and retain power. Republican senators voting to acquit were in some sense merely complying with the desires of many of their Trump-bedazzled constituents to protect their hero.
The real test of our country’s functionality lies in how the legal system handles now-private-citizen Trump; a court of law is where neither power nor popularity is supposed to exempt a criminal from due process and potential consequences. That facts and evidence have been powerless in the political arena to rein in Trump is regrettable but, in the end, unsurprising. However, if they are similarly discarded in the context of criminal proceedings, then indeed our country is in serious danger of joining the ranks of the world’s maligned autocracies, kleptocracies, and so-called banana republics.
Now that Trump is a so-called private citizen, bring on the charges
Let it be known that a decisive 43 members of the US Senate have declared that Donald Trump, no longer president of the United States, is now a private citizen. A private citizen who was responsible for the assault on our Capitol. A private citizen who is responsible for the deaths of at least five people, including a police officer, surrounding the assault on the Capitol. A private citizen who is responsible for untold financial liability on federal property.
It sounds as if this private citizen should have charges brought against him and be held to stand trial.
Scant comfort from message that ‘history will judge’
I do not want to hear the phrase “No one is above the law” again. Clearly, it is not true. “History will judge” gives scant comfort when lies and liars are given refuge by our institutions. A small band of historians with integrity are no match for the rich and ruthless who care only for their own power. Republicans have forsaken my country. I am disgusted.
We have met — and elected — the enemy, over and over again
In light of the multitude of poor, mistaken, and downright evil government actions perpetrated throughout history, it is dumbfounding that citizens keep asking for more.
One profile in courage
Watching US Representative Jamie Raskin before the Senate as he argued his commendable, albeit unsuccessful, case, with its many poignant references to his children, I was reminded of Atticus Finch’s words to his son Jem in “To Kill a Mockingbird”: “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”
Let’s look at that impeachment vote again
In her Feb. 17 letter (”Speaker Pelosi is 0 for 2″), Joann Lee Frank claims that the Senate voted “57-43 to acquit former president Donald Trump.” I say that’s an interesting rewriting of history. The Senate voted 57-43 to convict him. It’s just that 57 votes numbered 10 too few to achieve the majority’s preference.