Truthful Erudition vs. Sophistry and Lies

The Three Principal Players: Pelosi, Dirty Don and Moscow Mitch

Notes on The Impeachment Trial Of Dirty Donald

“The Constitution is not a suicide pact,” so sayeth Adam Shiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; as he presented his powerful, eloquent, opening argument in the Impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump aka “Dirty Donald Treasonous Trump,” for abusing the power of his office. The Chairman’s declaration was in response to the bogus arguments of Republicans that claimed the Constitution allowed to President to resist the oversight of the executive branch by the US Congress.

It is an argument learned in the law and constitutional history, and tis a pity that too few Americans are actually LISTENING to it. After a brilliant illuminating analysis of the context in which the Articles of Impeachment Chairman were crafted, Chairman Shiff systematically laid out the major charges that prompted the charges in the Articles, the events that necessitated the impeachment of Dirty Donald. It was a lesson on the theory and practice of proper governance in a Constitutional Democracy that could make up for your poor education in Civics.

I am listening to the Republican response as I write, and just like the opening statement from Senate majority leader “Midnight Moscow Mitch,” it is a shameless exercise in sophistry, which is a genteel term for BULLSHIT! In the Republican advocates for the President, we see the weaknesses of this process; for they are telling blatant lies, with no pretense at objective truth.

Rather they are committed to constructing a counter-narrative that serves their client. There several dangers in this amoral approach to such a serious matter. First of all, most Americans are at work now, and will learn what happened later through news reportage. And given our bifurcated mass media alas, the Republicans will get their summation of these proceedings from FOX, a right-wing propaganda outfit which is a burlesques on serious journalism.

Without the voluntary constraints exercised by serious journalists laboring under the ethical rules necessary to objective reportage, FOX presents vulgar propaganda screeds. Repeating the damned lies of the Republican advocates verbatim, they aim to inflame the untutored impassioned mob that comprises the “Republican Base.”

These wounded souls whom Trump has promised to make whole, are armed, dangerous and dumb enough to believe the hysterical charge that Democrats are conducting a coup against an innocent President, in order to overturn their choice, because Dems are elitist who think they are too dumb to pick a president. Ironically, the most effective propaganda is that which contains strong elements of truth. And the truth is that the are too dumb to pick a president and they suspect that we know it. This suspicion fuels their rage.

Hence the danger of wide-spread internecine violence is ever present. Yet beyond this there is a greater danger to the survival of Constitutional democracy in America. This danger arises from the fact that to the general public much of these complex legal arguments sound like incomprehensible Mumbo Jumbo! A tower of babble!

In their frustration and confusion they turn away from the democratic process and drop out. Standing on the sidelines, convinced that the process and everybody associated with it is corrupt, they shout:A CURSE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!!! And thus Benjamin Franklin’s statement to the delegates that had just crafted the US Constitution at the Philadelphia convention of 1787, takes on a fresh relevance:”Well gentlemen. you have got yourself a Republic, IF YOU CAN KEEP IT!”

This question aquires a special urgency just now, when eleven motions by Democrat house managers to introduce evidence in the form of witnesses and documents in presenting their case against the president was defeated by the Republicans in a series of party line votes, 47-53, to table the motion. It was an act showing indifference to truth and contempt for the Constitution.

Anyone who listened to the arguments presented by Chairman Shiff and the members of the Democratic Management team, cannot but be impressed with their eloquence, erudition and fidelity to fact. Nor can they fail to notice the bombastic sophistry and lies that the Republicans offered in response.

It is all too obvious that they are once again working from a calculus that takes into account the ignorance of the Republican electorate, who are political cultist bewitched by the “Great Leader” Dirty Don tha Con! The spell that devious Donald has cast over them terrifies the Republicans in Congress, who are ever aware that a vicious tweet from Trump can end their political careers.

It is the just desserts for those who made a Faustian Bargain: In exchange for passing their reactionary political program they were willing to sell their souls to the Devil. Viewing the Impeachment process, it is becoming increasingly clear that the price of the bargain may well be the demise of our constitutional democracy.

Alas, from the look of things, the Republicans in Congress are engaged in a wholesale effort to cover-up the crimes of Dirty Donnie. Their leader in the Senate, “Moscow Mitch” McConnell, has publicly announced that he has no intention of being “impartial” in judging the evidence against the President, but is taking his marching orders from him. Should the Republicans succeed in this cover up, and Dirty Donnie gets re-elected, millions of Americans will be outraged.

And in the very unlikely event that he should be removed from the presidency by the Senate, millions of Americans many of them armed and dangerous, will feel that their choice for president has been overthrown in a coup conducted by Democrats! As absurd as it sounds, that’s how the untutored mob in the Trump cult will perceive it, and perception is for them reality.

Added to this chaotic situation, the system of checks of balances arising from the separation of power into three co-equal branches of government will be rendered dysfunctional. Like Humpty-Dumpty our political system will have taken a great fall. The Republic will be broken, and who knows if we can put it back together again given the precedent that will be set. Yes we have a Republic for the moment…the question is can we keep it!

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
1/23/20

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