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Just One Question
The truth
Will out
They sometimes

And justice
Will prevail

Love will
Find a

Yes that’s
All great
But if
I may

Could I
Please ask
What’s the
Smells Good
We’re coming up on summer now. See the garden bursting with life and color? Hear the birds signaling a season of fun and adventure? Smell the impeachment in the air?

It’s only a matter of when now, even though no one — not even Nancy Pelosi herself — knows exactly when when will be. Nancy has managed to hold the line so far, but my take is that she’s just waiting to make sure she’s got her ducks in a row before she pulls the trigger. We’ve still got a few more obstructions working their way through the courts and one or two other shoes that need to drop before we can present a full, orderly case for tarring and feathering Trump.

She also has to get the ducks in her caucus primed and ready. Some of them are still pointing to the impeachment of Bill Clinton as a cautionary tale about those who dare to challenge a president in this way. They remind us that Clinton’s job approval ratings hit the 70s after he was impeached and that the Republicans lost seats in Congress in the next election. Also, several leaders of the effort (including the poisonous Newt) were driven from public life in disgrace. The same fate, the doubters say, could well befall the Democrats.

That argument does get your attention, but while impeachment is extraordinary and more than a little scary, using it now would be a markedly different proposition than it was then. Just look for a moment at the precipitating event for each prosecution. In Trump’s case, it was massive tampering by the Evil Empire with our Presidential election. For Clinton, it was a blow job in the Oval Office.

Let that sink in for a moment. Which of those seminal wrongdoings posed a greater threat to our country? I think that most people, once they hear the facts laid out about Trump’s obstruction (plus whatever ugliness is turned up once we start sifting through his finances) will agree with you. Part of the reason Clinton’s impeachment boomeranged on the Republicans was that most people saw it for what it was: an abuse of Constitutional powers for raw partisan purposes. They did not use it as a shield to protect the country from criminality, but rather as a sword to destroy their political foes.

It is obvious that Nancy and her cohort intend to use impeachment as a shield. They are still worried, however, that others might accuse them of wielding it as a sword. I get that, but it’s possible to be too concerned about what other people think. If they do their job right, they will be able to hold their heads high — and keep their seats in Congress — whether he’s convicted in the Senate or not.

A big part of doing their job right, of course, is doing it before we get too deeply into the Presidential season. I was about to suggest that now would be a good time, but I notice that the Judiciary Committee in the House (where impeachment would officially begin) has scheduled hearings for next week about the Mueller Report. That will begin the other big part of doing their job right — explaining, patiently and through the testimony of witnesses — the findings of the investigation. That will bring the American people on board with what has has happened. You can enter that labyrinth anyplace you like, since the destination is the same no matter which they choose. But they do have to enter.

They may not be launching impeachment per se, then, but I say close enough. Soon, we will all be in the labyrinth searching for truth and justice. Now can you smell it?
Something's Wrong on the Right
I blame the Republicans. Doesn’t everybody? Even other Republicans hold them responsible for our current pickle. And by “other Republicans” I mean Rs who are still operating within a belief system that values national security, law and order, old-fashioned morality, honor, duty, and the supremacy of the Constitution. I am sad to say that their kind is declining in numbers. I’m honestly going to miss those guys when the Grand Old Party as we know it finally gags its last.

We’re not there yet, though. Those other Rs are still out there, and we’re starting to hear more from them now, even though the pushback is pretty weak. That is partly because they are powerless now that they have been replaced by Trump Republicans in Congress. With one or two exceptions, all the rest who remain in office have made the transition from anti-Trump to pro-Trump — for the most part, it seems, completely without fanfare.

It is those Republicans who are screwing over the Republic. But even as we blame them, we are puzzled by their failure of conscience. Surely they will stop and realize, I keep imagining, that all the principles they hold dear as patriots, all the reasons they got into politics in the first place, all the faith they have in our system of government, are under threat from the current president. Not only under threat, but under attack and being shredded even as we all watch. I wait for resistance to form in their ranks, but so far, no one has dared.

Where is their decency, their shame? It doesn’t make sense. Their behavior has been so inexplicable, in fact, that I decided recently to step back and take another look at my assumptions in this matter. Perhaps I have been misjudging the participants in some fundamental way, and that has thrown off my calculations. And perhaps I have been a sucker.

I can report that my second look turned up something right away. Now that I see this new possibility, however, I am hesitant to suggest it. It brings with it ramifications that are even more troubling than the original ones. But the stakes are too high to just turn away, so here it is:

What if the Republicans who aren’t simply spineless and venal? What if they are willing partners in undermining our free society? What if, in other words, they are not just enablers but collaborators? Co-conspirators, that is, in a treasonous corruption of our democracy?

You’ll have to admit the idea is chilling. And maybe a bit nutty. This is just the kind of thinking we usually ascribe to right-wing conspiracy theorists. How could these duly-elected public servants really be okay with ushering in Emperor Trump? It seems so far-fetched, and yet you can’t deny the Republicans’ track record of strong anti-democracy activism.

Want evidence? They regularly purge voter rolls, often using the laughable excuse of voter fraud. They shut down polling places, usually in areas where the Democrats are strong, often without good reason. They limit the hours and days available for voting. They jealously guard (much more so than the Democrats) their gerrymandered districts, enshrining minority rule and defying the will of the people. And even now, in the face of a direct attack on our electoral process by the Russians, they refuse to bring up a single bill in the Senate to protect our system. The effect of all this, as we have seen, is to undermine the very essence of democracy — the sanctity of the ballot box.

So there’s all that. Would a full corruption of our institutions just to take power once and for all really be such a stretch? It’s even possible, I suppose, that there hasn’t been a real Republican in office for decades, and that all these Constitution-thumping fascists have just been waiting for the right moment to realize their mad dreams of power.

I hesitated to suggest all of this because I really don’t want this new analysis of mine to be correct. I was comfortable with my old, rosy assessment of human nature. Under these new assumptions, I not only have to worry about the country finding its way back to normal, I also have to worry about getting me back there too. But if I don’t, at least I’ll know whose fault it is.

I blame the Republicans.
Under Lying
Trump apologists are now running with the argument that there can be no obstruction of justice if we can’t find the underlying crime of conspiracy with the Russians. Setting aside for the moment that there is no law to support such a notion, let me suggest this very real possibility:

What if the reason Mueller didn’t find sufficient evidence of conspiracy was that Trump’s well-documented efforts to kill or stymie the investigation (pages 194 through 347 of the report) ended up working?

If so, we are left with the hall-of-mirrors conclusion that obstruction, if it is ultimately successful, is not a crime. Similarly, if you hide your victim’s body carefully enough, then it’s perfectly legal to hide it — and to get away with murder.
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon