Considering their horror of enduring a presidential ‘king,’ the Founders’ exile ploy – House impeachment-Senate trial – qualifies as historic megaflop. Too complicated, too long, too politicized, in short, too many notes – no wonder not even the sorriest president has been canned. This systemic obstacle course matches the undemocratic, ’demagogue-fueling’ Electoral College snafu – that elected VP Cheney and bottom-feeder Trump – despite massive popular vote rejection. Not having a timely, workable way to dump defectives makes one doubt the entire democratic process. Not just Trump but Dubya, Nixon, Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan – whose follies incited the Civil War.
The pitfalls of dumping Trump, vying for the worst ever (and potentially among the most damaging), testifies to this democratic dilemma, reinforcing fantasy “checks and balances” when Trump defies Congressional legitimacy and thus mandated oversight. Blockage, if not preposterous delays in access, sabotages oversight, thus accountability, thus justice, even the core viability of our electoral system. Bristling with schemes, the worst criminal president will naturally obstruct justice with mayhem and legal red tape. Thus, perfidy entangles the judicial system as accomplice in institutionalized obstruction – whatever the subsequent decisions. So much for the Founders’ genius.
Then, months later, further betrayed by endless Republican interference, formal hearings occur, then justified articles of impeachment, but leading to nought when GOP Senate blockages deny a trial. On its best day, the system short-circuits itself – and that sustains President Demagogue, despite racist,- anti-democratic, inhumane policies, utterly failed populist promises, and character so ignorantly defective he flaunts disrespect for law, custom, Congress, and the Constitution. Unspeakable.
Constitutional convention, anyone?
Time for a Constitutional Convention, but that’s no more likely than Trump resigning out of boredom, sense of honor, or respect for the steadfast majority that scorns his presidency. While we’re at it, let’s banish the Electoral College and add two senators to the largest ten states, in the higher spirit of one-person, one-vote. Now, any unlettered provincial from Wyoming or Mississippi matters far more than 25 or 50 Californians. Third, limit high court appointments to six years, renewal once with approval by senators, themselves limited to two terms. And finally, let’s obliterate Citizens United, correct grievous 2nd amendment misreadings (hunting guns only), establish abortions rights and forthwith resurrect the failed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), guaranteeing equal legal rights regardless of sex (or gender).
Okay, let fantasies abide. Impeachment won’t happen unless one party, not the president’s, controls Congress, along with a Supreme Court not wholly corrupted by “president-can-do-no wrong” judges, plus reams of incontrovertible evidence. Just securing background evidence is daunting – and what evil-doer won’t be out office before obstacles end? Finally, will 2/3s of the Senate agree on anything, even the time of day? Such fabled party domination and unanimity may never happen again (except by tyrants).
Even something as simple as grossly violating the Emoluments clause – with evidence galore right now – is open to dead end deflection. Why not immediately force Trump holdings in a blind trust, without pliant, questionably intelligent children in charge? Why such outrageous special treatment? Why not penalize any lawless president by confiscating profits derived from being president, per the Constitution? Even that child’s play escapes today’s corrupt non-enforcement of totally correctable violations.
Rigged election fixations
All in all, insurmountable obstacles to removal entomb our most discredited election, another knife in the heart of democracy. Who cares if Russia tilted the scale, who cares where the mudslinging originates – or that 40% of us abandon the independent savvy that tests any politician’s credibility, especially after endless lying, from the trivial to the monumental. So, we have dishonest, dare I say “rigged” elections, commandeered by billionaire payola, outdated Electoral College, deficiencies of only two parties and chaos from non-stop campaigning, plus calculated rightwing voter disenfranchisement. And we wonder how the least qualified, most deceptive, creepiest con artist strolls into the White House like a bull(-shitter) in a China shop.
So, how to begin repairing a badly-broken removal system? 1) Talk it up; 2) communicate with your favorite candidates, ever looking for headlines; and 3) tell your House and Senate representatives you’ll never vote for them unless they secure a workable method by which we dump ignominious officials. Right now, keep demanding every national candidate disclose income tax returns, starting with you know who. That’s as simple as it is doable and legal.
Okay, let’s admit it: voters, aided and abetted by the regressive, shamelessly undemocratic Electoral College, can make mistakes. They can be suckered and played as saps; they can be misinformed and horribly lied to; they can be promised the Moon and receive not even a moon rock. Sure, anomalies happen when popular voting is 50-50, but why not push a simple amendment that specifies if “the winner” loses the popular vote by one million votes+, we redo the election one month later?
Such horrendous, majority-denying outcomes undermine the only absolute in our system: majority rule. Sure, we are a representative Republic, but even that concept demands new, potent thresholds to keep the system relatively honest. Or the slippery slope slithers along.
Investigations, not impeachment yet
P.S. Though forcing me to agree with Speaker Pelosi, I still don’t recommend impeachment yet. Not because it’s a bad idea, but I prefer never-ending investigations and hearings, at least for a year. Trump (and the GOP slavishness) should be wholly eviscerated by then – and perfectly timed just before the next general election.
While my principled sense of justice says Trump deserves articles of impeachment, my political side says for the good of the country everyone must hear the whole truth and nothing but the truth. However else do we achieve today’s most critical need: measured skepticism about what all politicians say, along with constant demands for proof, logic and hard evidence.
Had more voters cultivated democratic skepticism – shielded from the crude Trumpian brass rings of identity politics – we’d have a different president and less degraded politics. And no doubt a different kettle of problem fish. So who thinks electing a Joe Biden advances or begins to repair our corrupt political systems, apparently with no impeachment way out?