Clown Wars: Episode One Ends with a Cliffhanger

It could hardly be better scripted.

The clown wars explode into delirious climax, with all the crowd on their feet, clowns bopping each other with rubber hammers and all the confetti cannon going off at once. In the chaos, the Blue clowns have begun smacking other Blue clowns with giant rubber gloves marked “too progressive!”, and the Red clowns are doing the same to Red clowns, their gloves with the same markings. The clowns are pounding each other back toward the middle of the ring, then cornering themselves into a tight group on the right.

Suddenly, a spotlight illuminates a single woman dangling from the high trapeze. It’s Elizabeth Warren, rising out of the clown crowd to become a star. She shouts a single word, in her clear and intelligent voice, “Impeachment!”

All the clowns on both sides start throwing things at her.

And at the peak of all this excitement, in the midst of the pitched battle, an announcer’s voice (sounding a little like Rod Serling) intones gravely, “And so, Episode One comes to an end. Tune in next week for Clown Wars: Episode Two.”

Then, the arena lights go out, and the crowd is left in complete darkness, babbling about the show they have just seen and what’s coming next.

In the background, an ominous burning sound grows louder, very much like the sound of a cathedral burning down.

It’s the end of “Clown Wars: Episode One” With the cliff-hanger thrown perfectly in on Friday afternoon. I can’t wait for the show to begin again.

Now Congress is on recess, where they take off their clown costumes, smoke cigars together with the ringmasters, and laugh at all us marks out there in the audience.

No, I don’t really believe that. I’m sure these recesses aren’t just vacation time for highly paid government employees. But I am sure the backroom discussions and encrypted email exchanges will be going on furiously, especially after Elizabeth Warren bravely dropped her bombshell announcement in favor of impeachment. Pelosi will be digging in her high heels on some plush carpet somewhere, stubbornly repeating the word “divisive, divisive” while Steny Hoyer pours himself another cocktail.

Who are the brave Democrats who will stand with Warren and the few members of Congress like Rashida Tlaib, Al Green, and now AOC?

As an Oregonian, I want to ask where is Peter DeFazio, where are the other Oregon representatives? Their absence is significant, and very disappointing.

But from the side, it looks like a good opportunity for anyone who rejects the idea of a criminal presidency to lobby their elected representatives for a little justice. Remember, the only remedy for a criminal president in our constitutional system is impeachment by the the House of Representatives followed by a trial in the Senate. The Mueller report provides ample evidence for that painful but necessary process to begin.

The View from the Side began because I believe impeachment, in this instance, is a necessary if difficult step to save our country.

“But, there aren’t the votes in the Senate to pass an impeachment.”

I heard David Cay Johnston say this on a Democracy Now debate with Glen Greenwald. (worth looking at)

This is the conservative Democratic party line. And it’s wrong on two counts. (I want to apologize in advance here for trying to make a logical, rather than sarcastic, case about this issue. I know it’s less fun, but worth the mental exercise.)

The first false assumption is that impeachment has to succeed to be “worth it”. That if the end result is not a conviction and removal of Trump from office, then there’s no reason for the trial. This is exactly like a prosecutor saying— as a former DA in Lane County was well known for saying about rape and sexual assault cases— “I won’t take the criminal to court because I might lose.” It’s wrong, morally, to ignore a crime just because you might not be able to win in court.

And the second assumption built into the “not enough votes” excuse is also weak. I don’t know what the results of an impeachment trial in the Senate would be. No one can know that. Anyone who says “There aren’t the votes…” is speculating, guessing, maybe hoping to be relieved of their responsibility to the Constitution.

But worse than speculating, they are saying that every Republican in the Senate is willing to ignore criminal evidence presented in a trial and vote at the end against that evidence. Again, I have no way of knowing if that is true or false. From the side, I would hope that at least some reasonable members of the Senate who happen to be Republicans would look at evidence presented in an impeachment trial and then make a judgement based on that evidence. I have that much faith in humanity. Even in Republican Senators.

Finally, I’ve come to think that the resistance to impeachment is actually based on what isn’t being said. That even losing an impeachment trial would present much of the evidence to an American public. And then we could have a real basis to make up our own minds.

And that’s the one thing that neither political party can allow.

Here come a bunch of links to keep you busy. I’m still keeping busy reading what’s not there in the Mueller report. I hope to have a little for you on that front tomorrow.

Elizabeth Warren urges impeachment

As does Maxine Waters

Good discussion on impeachment from Slate

Talking about it as a political strategy cedes the highest of grounds. Congress needs to impeach him to uphold their oaths of office. The politics should be secondary, and the fact that they’re not is why Democrats fail.
Elie Mystal

Bloomberg tells us: on Monday Pelosi is scheduled to hold a private conference call with Democratic House members, in which the topic of impeachment could be raised.

I sure hope Pelosi gets an earful. She just visited Ireland and was apparently toxic enough to inspire this scathing opinion piece in the Guardian, pointing out Pelosi’s comfort in criticizing young women of color while giving Trump a pass.

The Red clowns go after other Red clowns.

Mueller Report CNN analysis

From the side, my reading so far is that the Mueller report describes numerous criminal activities by the Trump campaign and by Trump himself. But it leaves to Congress the problem of how to address those crimes. There is only one way for that to happen, as Mueller himself points out.


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