Archive for November, 2019

Bearing The Cross

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , , on November 20, 2019 by playthell

Lying Linsay: Low Life Lackey In Chief

GOP Trash Constitution and Court Disgrace for Dirty Donald

Senator Lindsay Graham is looking increasingly haggard these days, as if he is bearing some great burden and has taken to the bottle.  As a leading Republican in the Senate, perhaps the blues that bedevil his spirit is conjured up from their futile attempt to defend the indefensible: The character and conduct of Devious Donald Trump. A fool’s errand for sure.

Alas, the misguided Republicans have rejected all commitment to truth and honor, as they enter into a classic Faustian Bargain. And as all who are familiar with the legend of Dr. Faust knows, if you make a deal with the Devil he will eventually claim your soul. Alas, even an unchurched heathen like me can see: The soul of the GOP – Grand Obstructionist Party – has gone to the Devil!  Perhaps that’s why Lying Lindsay looks like a man who has lost his soul.

Indeed, anyone who watched the witnesses that testified before the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings, and is neither mentally impaired nor morally deformed, cannot fail to see the vast difference in character, intelligence, honor and commitment to service between these career public servants and Donald J. Trump – a pampered pootbutt potty mouth grifter for whom all of life is a con.

Born to wealth, Dirty Donnie Dimwit has never had to struggle for anything in life. And having lived his life as head of a small family owned real estate company masquerading as big business, where he has never had to account to anyone, Teenie Weenie Treacherous Trump has spent his entire adult life cultivating the instincts and habits of a dictator.

To the astonishment and horror of millions of observers at home and abroad, that’s exactly how “The Donald” has conducted himself in the Oval Office. And never has his character deficiencies been more prominently displayed than when compared to the dedicated career public servants, who answered the summons to testify before Congress, that are exposing his high crimes and misdemeanors

But for those who have been paying attention, who have read the tell all books informed by insiders, this came as no surprise. For we have been well warned that Devious Donnie is a compulsive liar, avaricious churl, incompetent blowhard, paranoid pathological narcissist, belligerent bully, mobbed up real estate huckster, wannabe autocrat, racist, sexist, serial sexual predator, and possibly a traitor…Putin’s Puppet as Hillary Clinton called him.

Unfortunately for Donnie Dimwit, his foolish attempt to attack the motives and belittle the character of the witnesses comes across to the thoughtful observer as akin to a knight without armor, riding a lame horse, wielding a dull sword and broken shield, attacking a well armed Calvary mounted on stalwart stallions! It is a horrendous mismatch.

Since Trump is apparently clueless as to what honorable service in the national interests actually looks like –  with no record of public service or philanthropy, his paramount goal is life has always been self enrichment -he was stupid enough to attack Masha Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine and more dangerous stations, during her testimony before Congress!

Since the Ambassador was abruptly removed from her post and inexplicably slimed by Dirty Donnie – despite three decades of distinguished service as a foreign affairs expert and diplomat – in what we now know was a disgraceful abuse of presidential power for corrupt purposes, the Moscow Mole has presented the Congress with yet another charge to add to his Bill of Impeachment: Witness intimidation!

The evidence that emerged from Witness testimony last week make a strong case that Ambassador Yovanovitch, whose career in the Foreign Service spanned thirty years –  was abruptly recalled from her post because she was in the way of a criminal scheme masterminded by Rudy Guiliani – which National Security Advisor John Bolton called “Rudy’s drug deal.” 

A political reprobate and Neo-Con chicken hawk, whose finest hour was as a member of the now defunct Project For A New American Century, the architects that provided the blueprint for the invasion of Iraq, John Bolton has a well earned reputation as a loose cannon  with a fatal attraction to foreign intrigues.  Yet Rudy’s reckless activities scared him, prompting him to warn that “Rudy is a hand grenade that is going to blow everything up!  Would to God that he could have shown such insight in the Iraq fiasco.

Working in a stealth fashion outside the normal State Department channels, and promoting a policy often at odds with official US policy, Reckless Rudy’s objective was to coerce the new president of the Ukraine into announcing that they were opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, while also looking into the bogus Republican claim that it was really the former Ukrainian government, not the Russians, that interfered in the US presidential election of 2016 to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Although, as Ambassador Yavanovitch reminded Trump’s Republican co-conspirators on the Committee that the US intelligence community has unanimously concluded it was the Russians that interfered in out presidential election to help put Trump in the Oval Office!

Central to Trump’s demand that the Ukrainian government announce opening an investigation of the Biden’s, was the threat that over 400 million dollars of desperately needed military aid appropriated by Congress would be withheld, and a promised White House meeting with the US President would be canceled, if the new Ukrainian president did not bow to Devious Donald’s demands.

The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, as able and honorable an elected official as our nation has to offer, call’s this demand “bribery!” Adopting this plain English word instead of the confusing Latin phrase “Quid Pro Quo” is no picayune matter, because “bribery” is explicitly mentioned in the Constitution as an impeachable offense in Article II Section 4.

However this should not obscure the fact – as the Trump shills in the GOP are trying their best to do – that the grounds for impeachment are much broader than those which are explicitly stated. Gerald Ford, the strait laced mid-westerner who was elevated to the presidency from vice-president following the resignation of Richard Nixon, declared the grounds for impeachment are “whatever the Congress says they are at the time.” Yet it must be remembered that he said this as a president in his party was on the verge of being impeached.

There is more that a little truth in Ford’s observation however, because the Constitution leaves it to Congress to define “high crimes and misdemeanors.” We can get a good idea what the architects of the Constitution were thinking, and thus a better understanding of their intent, by consulting the Federalist Papers. A series of 85 polemical essays on the meaning and importance of the newly drafted Constitution – written as letters to newspapers in 1787 and 1788 by the eminent statesmen and political theorists John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, published under the pseudonym “Publius” – they were later published in a book titled The Federalist.

Hence we now refer to them as “The Federalist Papers,” and they remain our most reliable guide to the thinking of the Founders of the American Republic on the structure and function of government based on our constitutional principles. Confronted with the abject failure of the Articles of Confederation – the first attempt by leaders of the white English speaking colonies at building political unity on a continent that was also occupied by French, Spanish and Native American societies – they were seeking to form “a more perfect union,” as the preamble to the Constitution declares.

The white colonists were also aware of the fact that they were incorporating the seeds of their own destruction by maintaining the evil system of racial slavery; which contradicted the principles they professed, posed the ever present threat of bloody slave revolts, and caused Thomas Jefferson to fear for the fate of the new nation “when I reflect upon the fact that God is just.”

The major problem of the settler colonists was how to establish a stronger central government without creating a despised monarchy, as some of the colonist had begun to suggest. At one point things had grown so chaotic under the dysfunctional Confederation, some people had actually begun to call for the importation of a European monarch to bring order to their fledgling country, a place so shaky disgruntled farmers had taken up arms against the government because they disagreed with tax policy.

Known to history as “Shayes Rebellion,” a group of armed farmers in Western Massachusettes led by Daniel Shayes, a former captain in the Continental Army that had fought in the recent War of Independence against Great Britain, marched on the seat of government in Boston, the capitol of the Bay colony and a cradle of the colonial rebellion against King George III.

Hence all of these matters were pressing on the minds of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787, just a few months after the suppression of Shayes rebellion. That’s why it is the acme of absurdities to suggest, as the moronic gun nuts on the Republican Right are prone to do, that the Second Amendment was drafted in order to arm American citizens against the excesses of a “tyrannical federal government.” Such arguments represent the essence of ahistorical “Bullshit” – as Princeton Philosopher Harry G. Franks defines the concept – masquarading as serious political argument.

However, the arguments presently being proffered by Dirty Donnie’s GOP flaks in Congress – like Lying Lapdog Lindsay, Scurrilous Stevie Scalise,  Jive Ass Jim Jordan et al – regarding the Constitution’s prescriptions for the impeachment of a president who abuses his power, equally trashes historical fact and injures truth! While verbose vulgarians like Jive Ass Jim and that odious California sod buster Duplicitous Devin Nunez, like their “Great Leader,” that clueless clown Doophus Donnie Dimwit, can be dismissed as pugnacious ignoramuses, Lying Lap Dog Lindsay is a learned lawyer, so he knows better than the putrid prattle pouring outta his pie hole.

Lindsay, the senior Republican Senator from the backward boonies of South Carolina, is stinking up the well of the Senate promoting pernicious pootbutt poppy cock. He knows the grounds for impeachment encoded in the Constitution is much broader than criminal charges that can meet the test of evidence in a court proceeding.  But, alas, like the rest of the invertebrate lickspittles in the Grand Obstructionist Party, Lying Lindsay has adopted a permanent lips to posterior posture and his head is buried so deep in Trump’s Rump he can credibly claim to the untutored mob that he can see or hear no evil.

Yet I am so certain that Lying Lindsay knows better than the propaganda he is presently preaching I would yield to temptation and bet my balls, risking castration without hesitation. A very dangerous wager with a white Southern male of his generation, a deeply perverted group with a long history cutting off black men’s balls for fun.  My claim that the grounds for impeachment are much broader than narrow legal issues is clearly stated in Federalist Paper 65, authored by Alexander Hamilton.

In Hamilton’s view there need be no violation of statutory laws; he argues that impeachment is a just remedy for the “misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Hamilton goes on to argue that the impeachment remedy is essentially “political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.” 

Ironically, despite his shameless hypocrisy today, when he was a prosecutor in President Bill Clinton’s Impeachment Trial twenty years ago, Lying Lindsay’s argument echoed Hamilton’s:

“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role,” the politician said. “Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

Today however, when his ace boon coon Dirty Donnie is the subject of an impeachment inquiry, Lapdog Lindsay is crooning a very different tune.  He says he opposes the impeachment because the Mueller report “didn’t establish the he had obstructed Justice.” However that is a willful misreading of Mr. Mueller’s position and Lying Lindsay knows it.  The fact is that the Mueller Report cites ten instances that could be construed as “Obstruction of Justice,” but he explained ad nauseum that since the Department of Justice had ruled an indictment could not be returned for a sitting President, he could not decide the matter and left it for the Congress to resolve.

However Bill Barr – a rotund pie faced fellow who bears an uncanny resemblance to the comic character Fred Flintstone – the highly partisan Attorney General with an expansive view of executive power appointed by Devious Donald, jumped the gun and pronounced that the report had concluded  “there was no obstruction of Justice.”  But the fact that Mr. Mueller made it clear that although they could not indict the President it “Did not absolve him” of guilt.

And when one takes into account that a thousand former federal prosecutors, democrats and Republicans, who had served in all regions of the country urban and rural, concluded that they would have indicted anyone for obstruction based on the evidence against Trump, it is clear that a case for impeachment could have been brought except for the Department of Justice rule.

Now the case for impeachment is being brought on different grounds.  And while I believe the Congress should should return a Bill of Impeachment that is much more broadly based – because as a former history professor I believe all of Dirty Donald’s impeachable offenses should be officially noted –  the unimpeachable testimony given to the House Intelligence Committee under oath, bearing witness to Donald’s Dirty Deeds before a watching world, supplies an embarrassment of riches from which to fashion articles of impeachment.

I am supported in this opinion by Professor Allen Lichtman, a political seer who predicted Trump’s election when all other prognosticators assured us it couldn’t happen.  Author of “The Case for Impeachment,” Professor Lichtman argues that the evidence for Don tha Con’s demise by impeachment is abundant, and Congress does not need to hold further hearings to make their case.  But now Lapdog Lindsay has declared in a hissy fit that he does not wish to see, or hear, the evidence being gathered by the House Committees conducting the impeachment hearings.

Notwithstanding the phony theatrics of Lying Lindsay, Jive Ass Jim, Duplicitous Devin, and their GOP co-conspirators who are bearing the cross for Dirty Donald, hysterically declaring his innocence, I believe he is guilty as sin! We will examine the evidence in the next installment of the Impeachment Chronicles.

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The Struggle to Save American Democracy

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , , on November 13, 2019 by playthell

 Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and Amb. William Taylor

What is at Stake?

What is at stake in the Impeachment hearings against Donald J. Trump? Nothing short of whether a functional constitutional democracy in America will survive. Some of the most thoughtful Americans have recognized that our democracy is fragile and might not be permanent.

Indeed, at the time of the Constitutional Convention during the hot “Dog Days” of August 1787, when the US Constitution was drafted and ratified in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin who did not participate in the Convention but was a distinguished resident of the City, said to the delegates “Well gentleman, you have got yourself a republic…if you can keep it.”

This proved to be a prescient observation, because 75 years later our constitutional Democracy collapsed as the country fell apart in Civil War, due to the leaders of the slave holding states of the South placing their personal interests above the fate of the nation. It was the bloodiest and destructive war in the history of the world at the time, because it was the first modern war where industrial technology was employed on an unprecedented scale

Although many of President Lincoln’s most trusted advisers urge him to seek a settlement with the south as the murderous war trudged on, Lincoln turned a deaf ear to their pleas because, although he was not an abolitionist at the beginning of the war despite the lies and hysteria of the slave holders, he had become during the bloody trials and tribulations of the war that it’s severity was Gods punishment of America for “the sin of slavery.” Hence he was determined to see it through to the til the total destruction of the manifestly evil institution of human slavery noting: The Judgments of the Lord are always right and just!

Standing amid the destruction and stench of death on the battlefield at Gettysburg, in the aftermath of a battle in which over 20,000 men had been slaughtered at the hands of their countrymen in a society where political disputes were intended to be settled by debate in Congress, conducted by elected representatives, a beleaguered President Abraham Lincoln said the great Civil War was being fought to determine “whether government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall perish from the earth.”

That is the question which is being asked with the hearings that began today. Whether government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall long endure in theses United states of America. Alas, the answer lies in whether the Republicans in Congress shall place the dictates of the Constitution, which the basis of our Democracy, over the interest of their party in which is invested their personal political interests.

Yet after listening to the Opening statement of former Republican Committee Chairman, Devin Nunes, an exercise in pure obfuscation conducted by a shameless charlatan, I fear for the fate of our nation. I am reminded of Thomas Jefferson, sitting on the veranda of his well appointed mansion at Montecello in Virginia, watching his black slaves laboring in the fields and wrote:”I shudder for the fate of my country when I reflect upon the fact that God is just.”

While I am not a God fearing man, the Republicans in Congress scare me big time! For in their actions I can see the erosion of democratic safeguards that will pave the way for the rise of an Autocratic government in the US.  Anybody who thinks this is a “hysterical response” to contemporary political developments, that it “can’t happen here” because our Constitution would prevent it, should look at how Adolph Hitler, an obscure “Austrian Corporal,” became a Dictator in Weimar Germany, one of history’s most enlightened constitutional democracies, by democratic means!

One of the constant refrains one hears from civic leaders, oppositional politicians, news paper editorials and assorted intellectuals was: “Our constitution will save us from the establishment of a dictatorship.”  Yet, despite their abiding faith, history shows their constitution did not save them.  That is the question I address in the essay “A Made in America Autocrat,” ( https://commentariesonthetimes.me/?s=A+Made+in+America+Autocrat”  It is a lesson that, properly understood, could save our Democracy.

From the Republican comments in response to the opening statements of Ambassador William Taylor and Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, the initial fact witnesses in establishing Impeachment charges against Donald Trump, who are long standing public servants of impeccable character and credentials,  all indications are that the Republican members of the Intelligence Committee have no interest in uncovering the truth.

Sadly, they appear to have rejected the oath they swore to “protect the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and instead are on a mission to obfuscate the facts and obstruct the proceedings.  If this proves true alas, then the viability of our Democracy is in dire straits and it’s preservation is problematic.  And that, finally, is what’s at stake.

 

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 13, 2019
NOTE: This is an installment in an ongoing series on the Impeachment of Donald Trump