Friday, November 15, 2019

Impeachment: A boring train wreck well worth watching

Rep. Adam Schiff begins the impeachment hearings.

     I loathe meetings, conferences, seminars, conclaves — assemblies of all kinds. I avoid trials, whether civil or criminal, religious services, whether of my own faith or others, and political rallies of all stripes. Anything that traps me so I must sit, be silent and listen to people talk for an indeterminate time.
     Thus I was surprised, mildly, to find myself Wednesday at 9 a.m. CST parked in front of CNN to watch the beginning of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearings on whether Donald Trump should be impeached. The “This is history!” imperative must have overridden my natural disinclination to watch parliamentary proceedings. The president is being impeached. It’s like the moon catching fire; who doesn’t step outside and look up?
     Two minutes later it hadn’t started, and I was growing impatient.
     “It’s 9:02,” I tweeted. (Because really, if a thought goes unexpressed nowadays, does it even exist?) “You’re late. [C’mon] Dems, get with the program.”
     Be careful what you wish for.
     Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., gaveled the hearing to order and spoke for 36 seconds.
     “It is the intention of the committee to proceed without disruptions,” he said, then was interrupted by Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, asking about the “rules of engagement,” as if this were some kind of battle, which of course it is.
     But an odd sort of battle, a battle where the outcome is unimportant. Anyone who understands that the president put his own interests ahead of the nation’s already knew it Tuesday. And anyone who refuses to see that derailing American foreign policy to grease your chances in the next election is an impeachable offense will never grasp that fact, not after a thousand hours of damning testimony. Not after a century.
     The question, Schiff said, is “what kind of conduct or misconduct the American people can come to expect from their commander in chief?”
     Ooh, ooh, me, me! I know!

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  1. You hit the nail on the head with this column. Another favorite of the right is to claim "deep state" conspiracies.

  2. I listened on the radio. I hope that house members can clearly frame the issue at hand. The president has engaged in a gross abuse of power that included extortion of a foreign government to benefit his campaign for reelection.

    Hopefully the house will vote to present these charges to the Senate for deliberation.

    I have no hope that the Senate will convict the president, but at least Congress will have attempted to exert their constitutional power to check executive power of the office of president.

    Trump has shown that a modern presidents power is nearly limitless and that Congress is not able to control a presidents actions.

    This IMO is damaging our republic. It demonstrates we and the world are at the mercy of a megalomaniac .

    It depresses me that our elected Representatives put party ahead of country.

  3. I just watched The former ambassador's testimony. An attractive woman who was led, through questioning by the Democratic counsel, through a tale of being bullied by the President and his minions. Trump's simultaneous insults via tweet were highlighted during the testimony. Don't know how she will hold up against the Republican members' attacks, but so far I can't imagine why any woman, of either party, would ever vote for Trump again.


  4. If I owned the Sun-Times I would devote tomorrow's front page to a full screen picture of Madam Yovanavitch titled "The Woman."


    1. I like her nickname. "Masha, you go girl," on the front page would be even better.



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