Saturday, June 01, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 # 22

One never quite can anticipate what the national headlines will be on a daily basis.

Some people, including those in the White House, were taken aback this week when Donald Trump announced that he will be slapping steep tariffs on Mexico this upcoming month. He and his aide Stephen Miller were said to be very annoyed by images of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border and he is insisting that Mexico do more to fix this problem. The impact this could have on the American economy and the prices consumers here will pay could be pretty bad though and there could be a political price to pay for that. Trump apologists though somehow conflate the facts of this entire matter and come away with, "Mexico is paying for the wall after all."

There was also a dustup over the shameful story of someone associated with the White House wanting to hide the USS John S. McCain from Trump's sensitive eyes during his recent trip to Japan for fear that it would set the snowflake President off. Trump has denied any knowledge of this but declared that whomever did this was "well-meaning" and then of course launched more attacks at the deceased Senator and war hero.

The biggest news of the week occurred though when with little notice it was announced that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller would offer a statement before cameras at the Justice Department. While Mueller did not take questions and expressed a desire to let the lengthy report and this statement speak for itself, even as others want him to testify before Congress, what he said was quite significant.

Mueller announced that his role was officially over but on his way out wanted to express the seriousness that America faced with Russian interference in the 2016 election. He said that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone associated with Trump with a "greater conspiracy" but on the matter of obstruction of justice, he went out of his way to say that he could not exonerate Trump and if he could have, he would. Mueller pressed heavily on his understanding of a Justice Department law that prohibits bringing criminal federal charges against a sitting President, and for that reason, he felt it inappropriate to make a formal conclusion on obstruction. Reading between the lines though, Mueller clearly seemed to be saying that Trump would have been indicted had he not been the President and he seemed to almost be imploring Congress to be the ones to remedy the situation, as the Congress demands, which of course involves impeachment. In this statement, Mueller went even further than what was contained in the report and of course was vastly at odds with the sunny summary offered by Attorney General William Barr before the report was released.

In reading the transcript of Mueller's remarks, I seemed to understand what he was saying and appreciate the fact that he is an institutionalist who wanted to do things "by the book." He was not required to go in front of tv cameras though and thus delivered a political blow to Trump. Still, both sides were a bit miffed with Mueller. The Trump fans were mad for fairly obvious reasons why many on the left are angry he could not bring himself to directly say Trump committed a crime. The current President himself again declared "case closed", though he no longer claimed to be "totally exonerated" and of course attacked Mueller publicly using goofy conspiracy theories and debunked claims such as Mueller had wanted Trump to make him FBI Director again.

Speaking personally, Mueller's statement sort of changed things for me. While I concede that the likelihood of Trump being removed from office by the Senate via an impeachment conviction is virtually nill, I no longer care. I think Mueller knows what he is talking about and that Trump deserves, at the minimum, to go down in history as one of our few impeached Presidents. I felt the same way many years ago now about Bill Clinton and still do, even though he was never going to be convicted either.

Before this week, I was of the mindset that while Trump almost certainly deserved to be impeached, moving forward with out a mandate of such by the American people in what would be an ultimately futile effort would be a waste of time. I believed and perhaps still do, that impeachment is what Trump really wants and would rally his base to his political benefit. However, now, I think it is what the concepts of justice and the rule of law demand. Let the chips fall where they may.

Democrat grassroots activists agree with me and really want to see their party impeach Trump. The pressure is mounting on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move forward, but thus far, she is using her considerable organizational influence within Congress to hold the line. Will the dam eventually burst though? I find it hard to see how it will not, especially with the pack of Democrats running for President increasingly joining the pro-impeachment chorus.

Thus, I now think it is likely that there will be impeachment proceedings this year. They will end, probably in a predictable sense, and there will still be many months for an eventual Democrat nominee to make the case for his or herself and against Trump. People tend to already be on their tribal corners over the Russia matter. Undecided voters will decide based on the issues they personally care about.

Of course, while I do not want to see Trump reelected, I also am the first to concede I am far from a Democrat and do not have any loyalty to their political concerns. I understand them, but my top consideration is the country itself. Democrats should not be afraid to stand on principle, but many are scared to do so. This does not speak highly of them and indicates that the party has moved so far to the left ideologically in recent years that they recognize their weaknesses and are fearful of doing anything that might accelerate a loss to Trump.

What I would say to Democrats and all Americans is yes, there is a political danger in taking on such an effort. I would think that it could prove not to be a fatal danger electorally but yes , that danger exists. With that in mind, I choose to quote Alexander Hamilton, who said, "the nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one."
The nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one.
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The nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one.
Read more at:
The nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one.
Read more at:


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