The Constitutional Bonfire
History is written in the blood of people who at one time thought it doesn’t affect their daily lives, until finally — it does. And then, it’s too late.
I’ve watched most of this week’s “impeachment trial” in the United States Senate. The likely outcome will be as follows:
(1) ….gets away with obstruction of justice by blocking all attempts to produce documents and witnesses, and
(2) ….gets acquited.
An unprecedented abdication of responsibility will have occurred for the first time in the 200-plus year history of the United States. The legislative branch might as well CEASE TO EXIST. Since executive power now goes unchecked, and since the very last firewall of congressional and senate oversight has been trampled to death, de facto, our federal government will be transformed into an authoritarian regime guided exclusively by the wants and whims and witticisms of the premier figure atop a capricious cult of personality.
Hereafter, we will see the federal government operating almost entirely by executive order. One man’s executive order(s) will be the law of the land. Trumpian political sycophants at every federal agency will dictate policy — from cutting Medicaid and Social Security (now underway) to slashing regulations that protect clean air and water (which happened last week). Far right-wing judicial appointments will eagerly rubber-stamp any disputes in the president’s favor.
Check and balances will be GONE. OVER. FINISHED. Parts of the Constitution might as well be trimmed away with a switchblade.
Want to subpoena a witness to testify in front of Congress? Go ahead. Try that. The executive branch will simply ignore it. They just did that and got away with it. Want to obtain documents and official records to check on a government program or investigate wrongdoing? Go ahead and make the request. Ditto. The executive branch will ignore it, just as they have done by not turning over a single document, blocking witnesses from testifying, and even threatening and intimidating subordinates. It’s government by the decree of organized crime.
Since Trump will have gotten away with IGNORING all legitimate and legal requests made by law, the law no longer matters. The law is toothless. He can now cheat in elections, solicit foreign interference, and commit ANY impeachable offense in the future because it won’t matter. Congress will have played its hand, lost, and no amount of hearings or subpenas is going to put a check on executive power. We had our chance. And we blew it.
I used to believe that even with the horrors of Trump, the scare tactics and comparisons between the current regime and its players with authoritarianism-sliding-towards-fascism was a bit hyperbolic. Now, I’m not so sure.
Think about this while you try to stomach a “verdict” that was never in doubt, an “acquittal” with about as much credibility as a jury rigged by John Gotti.
Trump’s not on trial here. America is on trial. Representative democracy is on trial. The truth is on trial. All three LOST.
I never expected it to see my own country, with all its flaws, teetering on the brink of governing as a banana republic, succumbing to public division and indifference. These kinds of things happened in faraway places with names we couldn’t pronounce strongarmed by evil men in funny looking military uniforms.
The warning signs of history are abundant, should we care to heed them. History has become the present.
Footnote: I’m also attaching a clip from Bill Maher’s monologue last week. For those of you thinking the Nov. election is another firewall, don’t be so certain. Watch.