Good Ship Pelosi— Sinking
The wonder of a circus is that there is so much to see, so much to hear and smell and taste. The circus saturates the senses, overwhelms defenses, breaks down fences between what is real and what is not. The impossible mingles with the amazing. A woman dangles high above the crowd by a single toe. A man thrusts his head into the mouth of a lion. Clowns ride in on a bicycle-powered fire truck, spraying water that has a strange odor onto the crowd. Someone is breathing fire, someone else swallowing swords, juggling plates and chainsaws and even each other. Balloons burst, elephants bellow, smoke cannons erupt, children cry out in fear and hilarity. The costumes are skin tight, sexual. The strong man flexes his biceps. Far up out of reach of the onlookers, the girl on the flying trapeze spreads her legs to the open air, certain death a hundred feet below her. Children gasp, their parents cover the kids’ eyes. Oh, the circus is magical, dreamlike; the circus is thrilling, frightening, more alive than the lives we live. Oh, the circus is entrancing; the circus is mesmerizing, hypnotic, better, even, than TV. Better, even, than virtual reality.
In real life, circuses, with all their wild wonder— like the rest of wild world— are going extinct. Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey have folded up their canvas big top, and killed all their animals to avoid abusing them. The circus of the past only exists now in history and archetypal memory and YouTube.
But never fear, P.R. Burn-em’s Two-Party Circus is here for your amusement. And to keep you fully involved in the entertainment, the Two-Party circus adds another element to the traditional big top show. It turns the circus into a kind of sporting event, a huge football game of competing clowns and performers. But it’s more like one of the TV shows popular now, where the contestants vault through a series of comical but frightening obstacles. There are competing officials and competing announcers, too. No one can tell for sure who is winning, with scoreboards in a variety of metrics going up and down.
Vendors of all kinds wander through the crowd, selling, it seems, anything and everything that can be sold. They hint that other, even more exotic wonders can be found in the alleys and booths and pitched tents just outside the big top.
The Red fans all sit on the Red side of the bleachers under the big circus tent, wearing shirts and hats of their clown team’s color. Their view of the three rings in front of them is reversed from that of the Blue fans who sit on the Blue side in their blue shirts and hats. There are even competing Ringmasters in their carefully contrasting top hats, introducing different acts at the same time to their respective audiences. Because of this set-up, the Red fans see a very different show than the Blues. Afterward, fights erupt about what actually happened in the circus.
The onlookers who are watching the action from the side have nowhere to sit, and mill around in throngs at either end of the tent, dressed in any color shirts they feel like wearing. This is the biggest group of people in the tent, but they aren’t allowed in the bleachers, so they are crowded together below. Many of them wind up pushed under the bleachers and cannot get out. Trapped under the laughing and shouting crowds, they exist only on the crumbs of popcorn and peanuts that are spilled from the bleachers above. And they can’t even see the show.
Welcome to P.R. Burn-em’s Two-Party Circus. Might as well call it what old P.R. calls it in private. It’s P.R.’s World, after all!
But this circus isn’t just a show. It has real winners, real losers. Real prizes for a few, and real punishments for some.
I’m looking in from the side. And this column just records what I see.
Good morning. It’s another beautiful day in the canals of New Orleans. The Venice of the South! Welcome to the world of climate change.
Here’s a sad story about corporate influence on Oregon universities to block environmental protection. This is participation in Ecocide, and should be treated as a crime, not just an indiscretion. At this stage in history, choosing money over our living world is beyond selfish. It is, literally, suicidal. As well as ecocidal.
But the war on the world also includes the endless war on humanity. Here’s a little war news from a UK view.
But what’s a little war to Nancy Pelosi? She’s so pragmatic (what happened to the 3-d chess thing?) that she wants to turn the Blue clowns a slightly Redder shade of pale. Move to the middle, she says. It makes sense to me. The less people can tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans, the more likely they are to vote for Democrats. At least by accident. I call bullshit on that one. Pelosi’s so-called “pragmatism” is actually the politics of appeasement, the politics of fear. I’ve said it before, if the Democrats are to have any hope of restoring the heart of their party, Nancy Pelosi’s leader-ship has to end! I certainly will never get on the Democrat ship again with folks like her at the helm. The Democrats under Pelosi are lost at sea. And the ship is sinking.
The aide said she acts like a “rudder” on the big policy issues of the time. “And I think that is true for health care, I think that is true for some of the stupidity on the left around abolish ICE during the campaign, it’s true for infrastructure, it’s true for impeachment.”
I guess I’m part of the “stupidity on the left” though I might suggest that is a pretty stupid thing for Pelosi’s aide to say in print. And here’s the thing about rudders. If they never change position, the ship goes in circles.
She’s throwing muscle behind the party’s moderates, recognizing the electoral reality that centrists are key to maintaining the majority.
Notice the completely uncritical second half of that sentence. “Electoral reality” my ass. I would say “lost in the conservative fantasy that centrists are key to maintaining the majority.” That strategy failed in 2000 and it failed in 2016. The strategy the Democrats have never yet tried is to follow their progressive wing toward the future. Pelosi could be leading her party forward, instead of holding on to lost dreams of the past. Forward, right now, means impeachment.
Without impeachment, all the investigations of Donald Trump are nothing but confetti cannons. A tale full of sound and fury, told by clowns. I’m not alone in my views on the necessity of impeachment. Robert Reich makes the case from the point of view of separation of powers. One of only several reasons why impeachment is necessary. Now.
Donald Trump surely appears to be usurping the powers of the other branches. Under these circumstances, the constitution mandates that the House undertake an impeachment inquiry and present evidence to the Senate. This may not be the practical political thing to do. But it is the right thing to do.
Even conservative lawyers say so.
And William Weld, with a climate agenda, is waiting in the wings for Trump to fall.
On the far Blue side of things, Truthout is in on impeachment. At least, Shahid Buttar is, though it’s good to note that he is running against Pelosi. I hope he wins.
NPR conservatively says that Dems are inching toward impeachment. The metaphor makes them sound a little like worms, doesn’t it?
I’ll end today with this exchange with my friend Gary on the process of impeachment from yesterday’s comments thread.
From Gary Rondeau—Ken, Every now and then it is good to hear another view on how to proceed with impeachment. I’ve found this gal credible. She is on twitter, but I offer her blog here so you can remain twitter free!
And my reply: Dude, I’ve been reading every counter-argument I can find! I really would like to be convinced that the Democrats aren’t digging themselves and all of us into a mass grave. The point I’ve been making since day one is that the only investigation that can have any effect is the investigation that takes place after the impeachment charge is filed with the subcommittee. I appreciate the source and all, but come on. This is just more Nancy Pelosi the mind-reading 3-d chess player bull that’s been flying around for months now. I don’t buy a bit of it. This is from The National Center for Constitutional Studies
“A complaint requesting an impeachment investigation of that official is lodged with the House of Representatives. That request may either be general in its scope or it may delineate specific offenses; it may be requested in a petition filed by individual citizens or on the request of a single Representative, a group of Representatives, or the President. “The request is referred to the House Judiciary Committee which forwards it to the Subcommittee on the Constitution. The Subcommittee then investigates the complaints and, if there is merit to the charges, Articles of Impeachment describing the specific offense(s) are prepared. Those Articles are forwarded to the full Judiciary Committee for a vote. If approved, the Articles are sent to the full House for a vote. “A simple majority of the House either approves or disapproves the Articles. If disapproved, the issue is terminated. Approval, however, is, in effect, the equivalent of a grand jury indictment against that official. The approved Articles of Impeachment are then delivered to the Senate. With this action, the House’s role in an impeachment is finished.”
The key sentence is that the subcommittee investigates the impeachment complaint. The point of my whole Moebius strip-Escher silliness is that it is utterly silly and endless to request documents and try to investigate except as part of an impeachment investigation.
Kanefield leaves out the investigation part of impeachment, for her own and Nancy Pelosi’s convenience. Those investigations were what brought Nixon down. i.e. “An impeachment process against Richard Nixon was formally initiated on February 6, 1974, when the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution, H.Res. 803, giving its Judiciary Committee authority to investigate whether sufficient grounds existed to impeach Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United …” from Wikipedia (the final authority!)
I think… Thanks for the link. Do you agree with her that more investigation is needed, before the impeachment investigation begins? If so, then what happens after more investigation?