Point of View Columns

Impeachment Week in America – Again

February 9, 2021

27,097,885-465,083 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

The second impeachment trial of 45 began today. The first day is when the House impeachment managers and the attorneys for 45 making their initial presentations. The House managers’ presentation was professional and excellent. It was not intended to try to change the minds of Republicans who have taken a blood oath to worship at the altar of 45, till death do they part.

Team 45’s presentation immediately cleared up the question of how was it possible that in their initial brief they misspelled “United States” (seriously?). To call the two attorneys incompetent would be a compliment. They were so bad that it is reported that 45 was screaming at the television as the lawyerly version of Laurel and Hardy stumbled and bumbled and rambled and brayed until they totally exhausted all possibility of facts or competence.

Luckily for 45 the threat of his vengeance has intimidated virtually all fifty of the Republican men and women in the Senate that it is likely that no more than a few of them will dare to find out if the emperor really has no clothes and that his bark is far worse than his bite. But they just won’t take that chance.

Tomorrow the trial begins in earnest. And while the outcome may not be in question it is still important that the crimes of 45 are put on the record for all time. The notion that this impeachment trial postpones reconciliation and healing is a naked and mythical right wing lie. The right wing of the right wing is only interested in supremacy – not healing – and we can be sure that even during this trial and in all the days afterwards the Republican-led legislatures in over thirty states are in the process of advocating further voter suppression measures so that white minority rule in America can become a reality.

Right out of the pages of the playbook of apartheid-era South Africa.

Land of the Free and Home of the Brave indeed.

February 10, 2021

27,193,586-468,217 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Even though 45 is in a time out in his Mar a Lago playpen, he is still a continuing part of the national story. Amazingly, but not surprisingly, he is the first president to be impeached twice – and within one year. The blood runs cold at the thought that of what havoc he could have visited upon this planet if he was re-elected. After all, look at all the havoc and turmoil that he has left in his wake like a giant leaking oil tanker.

Meanwhile, the House impeachment managers were surgically magnificent in laying out the case against 45. Not surprisingly, his own words were used to nail his impeachment coffin shut. The man just can never shut up and so there were videotapes and audio tapes galore where he convicted himself with his own loose lips.

Not satisfied with just skewering 45, the impeachment managers barbequed him to well done by provided multiple videos of the actual insurrection attack on the Capitol. Even a month removed, the heat and fury and pure savagery of the 45-inspired mob was a sight to behold and fearsome even in retrospect.

There can simply be no doubt that Mitt Romney and Chuck Schumer, caught on video running like Olympic springers, believed that their lives were literally in danger. The insurrection mobsters spoke on video about putting a bullet into Nancy Pelosi’s head. And these mobsters actually brought a gallows – complete with a homemade noose (who actually knows how to make a noose in the 20th century anyway?) – as they shouted “Hang Mike Pence”. There is no doubt that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Maxine Waters would have been torn to pieces.

Clearly the members of the House and Senate barely escaped with their lives. And yet, the Republican bootlickers will still vote to exonerate 45. They are more afraid of the Wrath of 45 than the cloak of shame that they will have to wear all of their lives and in history.

And proving that when the going gets bizarre, the bizarre turn pro (with apologies to Hunter Thompson), QAnon sites are announcing that March 4th is the new date when 45 will return to Washington, DC to take control of the government. All true believers are being told to be ready for yet another Storm.

And we should believe that they believe.

February 11, 2021

27,288,100-471,764 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

As the impeachment trial of 45 continues, it is important to remember that Americans are dying every day even as this orchestrated debacle of a spectacle continues. The Biden-Harris administration has brought a belief in science, a belief in transparency and a belief in honesty to the pandemic battle. This is such a difference from the administration of 45 that we have to believe that these changes alone give all of us a better chance to come out of this alive even though there is so much human wreckage across the land.

The House impeachment managers continue to be excellent. Virgin Islands Delegate Stacey Plaskett has been especially impressive. A former prosecutor from the Bronx, she was relentless and artfully articulate in presenting the facts, all the facts and nothing but the facts. And though she could take no joy in hammering more nails into the impeachment coffin of 45, she completed her task with the professionalism that the moment demanded.

In the various commentaries across the air waves three items stood out:

  1. There is serious talk about a true schism in the Republican party. It seems that hundreds/thousands of pre-45 Republicans are discussing the idea of establishing a third party – a Conservative party – to counter the 45 pandemic that has afflicted so much of the traditional Republican party. It will be interesting to see if these “original” Republicans have the staying power to actually pull this off – there is no doubt that they could raise the money.
  2. One of the more interesting aspects of the 45-inspired insurrection were the real time quotes from people who were in the middle of the melee. They were there. One Black Capitol Hill police officer said that he could not recall being called “nigger” so many times in the course of just one day. That tells us a lot about the DNA of the 45 mobsters. It is important to remember that these mobsters were about as patriotic and the Ku Klux Klan or Jefferson Davis or 45.
  3. One commentator quoted Voltaire as saying that once you can get the people to believe absurdity, they can be persuaded to commit atrocities. Words to remember during these times of turmoil.

February 12, 2021

27,507,111-477,239 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

It would be a real insult to the memory of comedy teams like Laurel and Hardy, Amos and Andy and the Smothers Brothers to call the 45’s defense team a comedy team. The word “pathetic” comes to mind, however.

What is clear is lawyers Bruce Castor and David Schoen are the best that 45 could get. And while the prestige of representing a former President of the United States would be a great way to attract new clients, the stink and the stench of being in the proximity of 45 is not a great way to retain existing clients much less attract new ones. And so, the Castor-Schoen Show will be on daytime cable news for most of this day.

Although they have been allotted 16 hours, 8 today and 8 tomorrow, the Lawyers Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight have stated that they only need 3 hours today and none tomorrow. And that may be the best way to minimize further embarrassment and professional shame.

And the reality is that since the Republicans have already shed even a pretense of being willing to withhold judgement until all arguments have been presented, all that Castor and Schoen can do is lose votes for acquittal. The Republicans in the Senate are so afraid of the Wrath of 45 that it appears that no more than 6 out of 50 will vote to convict.

Meanwhile Nikki Haley – former governor of South Carolina and former appointee of 45 to the post of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – seems to have “discovered” that 45 is not good for the country and that “it was wrong to follow him”. One has to wonder at what moment did this revelation occur?

Because just three weeks ago Ambassador Haley was railing against the impeachment of 45, stating that Congress should “leave him alone”. But now, the presumed 2024 presidential candidate must sense that 45’s blood is in the water.

Opportunism is part of the training program for any political candidate. But since Nikki Haley has seen and hear and worked for 45 over the past five years, one has to wonder at what point did she finally, finally, decide that “it was wrong to follow him”. Nikki Haley should start getting prepared for that question within minutes of her announcing her presidential candidacy.

Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – September 2, 2011

Congressman Andre Carson raised eyebrows by raising the curtain on the Tea Party and pointing out the clear and present racist tinge to this Astroturf movement. After all, if it walks like a duck……. While millions of Americans recover from the fear and pain and frustration of an earthquake and a hurricane, Saint Michele Bachman proclaims these calamities an act of God and then says she was just joking. And all the while Magical Mitt Romney busily oversees the $12 million expansion of his West Coast home while making sure to let the rest of us know that we will have to endure financial pain and sacrifice.

If It Walks Like a Duck………

I must applaud Representative Andre Carson for having the audacity to finally say publicly what many black Americans have felt for a long time – there is an undeniable racist odor about the Tea Party. Speaking about the G.O.Tea Party Representative Carson said, “some of them would love to see us as second-class citizens” and “some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree.”

Predictably, the Teapublicans and their fake grass roots, Koch-sponsored “movement” yelped like scalded cats. Yet I wonder if you could find even a respectable minority of Tea Party zealots who believe that it is offensive to fly the Confederate flag at public events. Ask the current G.O.Tea Party presidential herd of candidates if they believe that there was anything oddly offensive about the two year questioning of the citizenship of President Obama.

What about the gross caricatures of the president that resembled the images from posters advertising minstrel shows? And what about the Tea Party battle cry of “Taking America Back……..”….from whom?”

And speaking of taking America back, there is a strain of nostalgia in the Tea Party rhetoric that romanticizes a simpler, better time in America. The problem is that in that simpler, better time, America’s so-called Greatest Generation did indeed hang black Americans from trees, relegated black Americans to the back of the bus, the back of the movie theater and to the back of the country. In that simpler, better time the pain and tragedy of American racism was a daily part of life for millions of black men, women and children.

There is certainly a bizarro political philosophy that is a part of the Tea Party strategy – a kind of states’ rights, libertarian, but leave my benefits alone – approach to government. But there is also a slimy, sleazy racist aspect which empowers the unprecedented insults and disrespect directed at this president. And it is this mindless hate for Barack Obama that propelled this country perilously close to a credit default that would have wrecked the global economy.

To Representative Carson goes the Point of View Honest Man of the Week Award. The Point of View Honest Woman of the Week Award goes to Congresswoman Maxine Waters who said, “The Tea Party can just go to hell!”

Just Joking?

Michele Bachmann has told anyone who listens, or doesn’t listen, that she makes all major decisions in her life based upon what God tells her to do. That is how she chose law school and her husband and it was God who told her to run for president.

So it was with some interest that we heard her exclaim that the recent earthquake and hurricane that affected the lives of approximately sixty million Americans was an “act of God”, retribution for the budget and debt policies of the federal government. I was immediately reminded of Pat Robertson’s proclamation that Hurricane Katrina and the devastation visited upon New Orleans and the Gulf states was God’s punishment for national abortion policies.

Clearly God chooses zealots as His messengers, and Michele Bachmann is no exception. Except…..there is a certain callous heartlessness in proclaiming that the death of 43 men, women and children and the destruction of over $12 billion of homes and businesses is God’s work – where is her expression of Christian charity in the face of God’s disaster?

And then St. Michele said that she was just “joking”. So we are led to the conclusion that, in the G.O.Tea Party bizarro world, the death of innocents and the devastation of communities is suitable material for humor. What a funny gal!

Mitt the Builder

While hurricanes blow, earthquakes tremble and forest fires burn Magical Mitt Romney has been busily expanding his West Coast home to the tune of $12 million. As a mega multimillionaire, Mr. Romney certainly has the resources to build a dozen such homes all over America.

Perhaps this is part of his personal stimulus strategy – getting millionaires and billionaires, whose fortunes are safeguarded by the no-tax G.O.Tea Party, to build summer homes, condominium towers, super cottages and McMansions all over the country.

Presumably this will offset the pain of the fiscal austerity that Mitt Romney preaches, pain that will never get past the gates of his mansions and those of his fellow millionaires and billionaires.

Happy Labor Day and have a great weekend!