It’s Not a Party Anymore

“We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a Constitutional crisis. We are now in it,” Nadler said

Jerry Nadler said it himself, quoting View from the Side, though I’m sure he didn’t know it.

From the side, it’s clear that the constitutional crisis facing America is the direct result of the two party system. I won’t argue that it was the inevitable result, but it was always one of the logical possibilities. Our constitution was not framed around a two-party system. The constitution assumed an open body of representatives who, as reasonable informed people would debate and vote on the issues of the day, following the direction of their conscience, the constitution as they understood it, and to some degree their constituents’ wishes, by state or district. Not by party loyalty.

The U.S. Constitution is not designed to handle the unified voting blocks created by the two-party system, where our supposed Representatives hold a greater loyalty to their party than to their country. Words like “the will of the majority party” are not in our constitution. The constitution does not even mention political parties. It just wasn’t built to handle them.

The constitution was designed with a system of checks and balances, in which Congress is a separate and equal power to the Executive and Judicial branches, each providing oversight of the others. Those checks and balances simply do not work when there are two voting blocks in Congress who vote only with their block, their party, and not with their own consciences. The two-party system creates a dictatorship of the majority, especially if enough members have sacrificed their conscience to their party affiliation.

The two party system has effectively broken our constitution, or has been used by some unscrupulous people to break it. But the system would still work if enough members in both chambers would give up party affiliation for a moment, and actually vote according to law and conscience.

But, for now, I don’t see a lot of chance for that to happen.

But accidents can happen, where the Red and Blue clowns want the same thing, for opposite reasons. The moebius strip that is the great paper chase took another twist as both Adam Shiff (Blue Clown) and Devin Nunes (Red) now want to look under the redactions of the Mueller report. Schiff, of course, wants to see what conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia is hidden there. Nunes is looking for links back to the “spying” (I actually think it’s a pretty good word.) on Trump’s campaign. Barr and the Republicans are just beginning their counter-attack, by investigating the investigators. Of course, neither admits his own obvious motive.

And in a similar action, the Republican-majority Senate Intelligence Committee (oxymoron alert!) are calling in little Donny Jr. for a few polite questions.

I like Alternet’s take on this, if not their website design. The final recourse of anti-impeachers is always, “It won’t pass the Senate”. Probably not, but why not try? A little chink is forming in the big Red dam.

The thing is, these hearings will almost certainly be held in secret, and we in the “we don’t want them to panic” public will find out little real information.

But for once I’m boggled, here on the View. I can’t imagine what Donny will do. Is he going to be contemptuous to Nunes and the Republicans, too?

So, if Trump has created a Constitutional Crisis, why not impeach? Nadler, when asked this question after yesterday’s contempt hearing, just said, “Impeachment might not be the best solution.” Of course, it’s actually the only solution, but I’ve said that before.

Most of the resistance to impeachment is based on Nancy Pelosi’s flawed reasoning. I’ve grown a little weary of repeating what I’ve written to the Democratic Leadership when I left the party, and to Representative Peter DeFazio who sits for my home district in Congress. I’m more than a little disappointed in their inaction.

I’m disappointed in Slate, too, for this one. In fact, this is such a poor article it’s worth a “WTF, are you fookin’ kidding me?” shout out from the side. This article by William Saletan obfuscates obfuscation and sucks up to the conservative Democrats in a way that I don’t usually see from Slate. No excuses for this bullshit from a good source like Slate.

For example:

Many progressives think the best way to attract and mobilize voters is to push big ideas like “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal. Pelosi disagrees. Big ideas often alarm the other side’s voters more than they inspire yours.

All Saletan is saying here is, “Pelosi is a conservative, and fears rocking the boat.” He forgets to add that she’s actually just plain wrong about this. People do rally around big ideas. And even more so, people rally around courage, honesty, and strength. We know Pelosi’s a conservative, and I guess Saletan thinks that’s just fine.

Here’s another sample sentence of this nonsense, not even citing Pelosi this time, but slavishly spouting her fearful ideas like they were some kind of gospel.

Pelosi understands that Trump is just a foil.

Wow! So apparently William Saletan has no real interest in whether the President helped a foreign power manipulate our electoral system. Not that important really, is it? If the President of the United States worked to undermine the only real source of what we call Democracy, our votes. Just a foil? Just a foil who can start wars, enrich himself at our expense, spy on every one of us at his whim, and undermine the very constitution on which our government is based. That kind of “just a foil”?

No, Trump is not “just a foil”. Trump is not “not worth it.” (Pelosi’s original version) Trump is a criminal and a danger to our country, our constitution and to the whole world. As a citizen and a voter I’m so insulted by this manipulative crap I can’t even think of a stupid metaphor. (my specialty) She obviously believes the American people are stupid, that we need to be pandered to and sort of tricked into doing the right thing. I do not! The American people have just been so misinformed, so manipulated, and so lied to that it’s hard sometimes, for us to make sense through the smokescreens of spin and PR and propaganda spun up by the Clowns of the Two-party circus and their accompanying carnival barkers we call “the media”. Saletan and Slate are contributing to that confusion with these belittling phrases.

Perhaps Pelosi might recognize the contempt in her attitude toward the American people, while she is busy condemning the contempt that Barr and Trump are showing toward her and the rest of her Blue clowns.

The attitude of Pelosi, and of Saletan is elitist, manipulative and actually wrong. It will lose in 2020 if the progressives inside the Democrats don’t change their party’s direction. The American people are not a set of switches to be manipulated by PR. I, for one, want action and the truth from my representatives in government. And I’m sorry, but our government is not a 3-D chess game. It’s not a game at all. And, I actually don’t believe Nancy Pelosi knows how to play chess. Does she?

Splinter News takes a different view on Pelosi.

This quote from NBC points at the heart of the issue. Impeachment gives the investigations a “clear legislative purpose.” Nothing else does.

The House can also impeach, or at least prepare to impeach, either Trump himself or his Senate-confirmed appointees. Some people favor this tactic because it’s a way to establish a clear legislative purpose — one a court would respect — to justify a demand for documents and testimony.

Move to Strike the Last Word

I watched a good part of the contempt hearing in the House Judiciary meeting yesterday. Some good speeches from Rep. Jackson-Lee, and from Raskin, too. But all these speeches are just sound and fury without impeachment to back them up.

What I see is the dysfunction of the two-party system, a breakdown in the goal of our constitution. Robust debate should involve more than two shades of opinion. This is all “me” “you” finger-pointing, blame game. Last time the Reds did this. But you damn Blues did this.

The end result is a party-line vote. This is appalling, actually, that constitutionalist Republicans can support this violation of the separation of powers which is such a central part of the structure of our government. Certainly we can hope for some Republicans to open their eyes to the actual evidence of criminal acts, and pull away from this unconstitutional party line.

But everyone agrees, this contempt biz is just a public sparring match. Theater. Circus! There’s no real punishment possible, just a chance to test the public response and for each side to feel the other out a bit. Even though the Congressional jail is actually pretty cool. Wouldn’t Barr look good in there? Sounds good, too. Barr behind Bars! If he does happen to wander in to the Capitol, the sergeant at arms might just slap him into handcuffs.

The only real showdown will come with impeachment. And strict party-over-country loyalties may show that even that last constitutional recourse has been taken away. And that we have not kept our republic.

From the side, it looks like the American two-party system is destroying America.

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