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Tuesday, 10 March 2020 19:07

The Other Side Of Impeachment

Written by  Bob Serody

 

I could almost hear the great sigh of relief from Republican senators when the final Senate impeachment verdict saved Trump’s presidency. They could now expect the support they needed back home to ensure reelection in 2020. They could show to their constituents their loyalty to Trump in his hour of need. Many of them were smug when they turned to their Democratic counterparts and told them to ‘get over it’. According to Mitch McConnell, it was time to move on.

Now if Trump could just boast about the economy and stop griping over Twitter, he could win reelection, according to many of his supporters. Instead, what happened after the trial was predictable. After his acquittal of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ in the Senate, Trump viewed the verdict as a green light to go after those whom he viewed as his enemies. The following day at the National Prayer Breakfast, he took shots at Senator Mitt Romney, the only Republican Senator with the guts to vote against him. The State of the Union address was just a stump speech full of lies and capped off with the Presidential Medal of Freedom being presented to Rush Limbaugh by Ivanka Trump. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi could be seen ripping up a copy of Trump’s speech in disgust.

Trump believed he could now continue to destroy the reputations of those who complained about his ‘perfect call’ to the President of Ukraine. Trump fired Lt. Col. Alex Vindman from his position as an aide on the NSC and had him escorted from the White house with the recommendation that the military take disciplinary action against him. CBS reported that GOP senators had received a strong message concerning the impeachment trial that those who crossed the White House would find their heads “on a pike”. There was no question that Donald Trump had an “Enemies List”, and it could definitely include members of his own party.

It didn’t stop there. After the prosecutors in the Justice Department recommended a sentence of seven to nine years for the criminal activities of Roger Stone, Attorney General Barr interfered with the Justice Department by recommending a reduced sentence for Stone. Four federal prosecutors stepped away from the case in protest, but a tweet from the president made it appear that Barr was Trump’s fixer. Evidently embarrassed by the tweet, Barr, in an interview by ABC, accused the president of making it impossible for him to do his job. Senator McConnell came to Barr’s defense on Fox News. It was obvious that GOP senators were beginning to squirm as a result of Trump’s obvious interference with the various federal agencies in an attempt to destroy his perceived enemies.

Another career State Department diplomat who experienced Trump’s wrath, former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, was honored at Georgetown University, where she received a lengthy standing ovation and the Trainor Award for excellence in diplomacy from the school's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

In her remarks -- which she prefaced by warning students that she intended to be "blunt" -- Yovanovitch delivered an assessment of the declining health of American diplomacy. "Right now, the State Department is in trouble. Senior leaders lack policy vision, moral clarity, and leadership." Even worse, the same words also apply to the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Trump’s impulsive behavior, motivated by the need for revenge after being impeached and then acquitted by the Senate, is not going to help the GOP. It is more obvious than ever that this angry president is out of control, and hopefully, his actions will only tend to harm his supporters rather than help them during the elections in 2020. Now that we are on the other side of impeachment, Trump still has complete loyalty from his appointed ‘yes’ men, even as he strikes out at his perceived enemies with a hateful vengeance.

As the race for the Democratic candidacy winds down, it now appears that the choice of a Democratic candidate will be either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. Who is going to provide the most effective reforms that will combat corporate lobbyists in order to return our country to the workingman and the middle class? Who will be the most effective candidate in taxing corporations and billionaires to redistribute the wealth so that everybody has a share in our country’s economy, not just those who don’t pay one nickel in taxes? Who will have the best chance of defeating the most dangerous president in modern times?

The health care issue has been elevated because of the Coronavirus, which has reached global pandemic proportions. Trump has tried to belittle the severity of this virus because of its negative effect on the stock market. Biden is promoting a public option while Sanders calls for a single payer health plan. The single payer plan causes some concern among various voters because it eliminates choice and removes the insurance industry from a voice in health care. However, a universal healthcare plan guarantees everyone with the same care regardless of age when it is administered and controlled by the federal government. It will also improve efficiency and reduce the cost of health care by eliminating the need for insurance companies.  Again we are faced with the choice of establishing major reforms in guaranteeing health care for all or implementing a less effective incremental approach.

We must ask ourselves if it is time to reform the Democratic Party and return it to the age of Franklyn Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman by replacing its centrist economic policies that favor corporations with the policies that favor the workingman and the middle class.  The time is running out to convince Americans that if Trump is reelected, he will not only reduce our healthcare and social security benefits, he will also turn our government into an autocracy. Regardless of whom the Democrats choose, Trump’s defeat is necessary if we are to preserve our democracy and restore our planet’s health.

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 Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.

*ED. NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local, regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact SCPA.

Last modified on Friday, 20 March 2020 13:18
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