Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Response to And They Laughed

(See: Just Above Sunset: And They Laughed)

As for that U.N. "laughing fit" at Trump, his surprise at hearing it reminds us that President Trump is — except when giving his State of the Union address — virtually never faced with a crowd that would even consider laughing at him, because he spends his life walking around inside a little climate-controlled bubble of his own making!

It’s mostly only inside the United Nations General Assembly hall, in which neither he nor his friends are allowed to determine who is allowed into the room, where we find anyone free to giggle or guffaw at the naked emperor to their heart’s content.

And this highlights a big problem we have with our political system, being that a president the likes of Donald Trump is able to manipulate it in such a way that he’s never subject to cross-examination from his opponents, and so is never held accountable to anyone but his somewhat, shall we say, "off-the-beaten-path" minority base. I think Congress needs something like the Wednesday noon “Prime Minister’s Questions" in the British House of Commons, where the president would be required to answer questions from real-world elected officials who disagree either with him or his knuckle-headed policies.

But an even more dangerous shortcoming of our system is that our president — even one who might, such as Donald Trump did, get elected by accident — is granted extraordinary unilateral powers to change the official opinions of the whole country, even if most citizens of the country disagree with him. If, for some reason, the United States decides it wants to change course and go it alone, leaving the rest of the world to fend for itself, it should only happen with the specific consent of the governed.

And if we citizens never get the power to make that happen, we at least need some constitutional way to stop him in his tracks, short of having to wait for elections every four years or initiating impeachment proceedings, especially if a minority opposition stands in our way, as is the case right now. I’m thinking of something along the lines of recalling him, and simultaneously putting someone else in there, sort of like how Californians back in 2003 were able to replace Governor Gray Davis with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In other words, forget about "Making America Great Again", what we need is to find a way to make America work again.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Response to The Return of the Fabians

(See: Just Above Sunset: The Return of the Fabians)

As for this Ford-Kavanaugh discussion, what we all need to decide is, which side is just playing “politics”, and which side has “truth” on its side?

In fact, there are indeed two separate and distinct parts of this fight; there’s “politics” and there's “truth”. And, the truth be known, it must first be admitted that both sides are playing politics:
(a) The Republicans — who don’t really mind everyone hearing what Dr. Ford has to say, but just as long as it remains a question of "he-said, she-said", and doesn’t seriously jeopardize the confirmation of their Supreme Court candidate, Bret Kavanaugh — obviously would like to get their guy onto the court before the midterms, since there is just that chance they will lose their Senate majority during the elections, and along with it, their ability to confirm Kavanaugh;
(b) Likewise, the Democrats — who also don’t really mind everyone hearing what Dr. Ford has to say, just as long as everyone also hears the results of an independent investigation into her allegations, keeping the hearing from becoming a question of “he-said, she-said”, in which the accused would, by default, be presumed innocent — would, in addition, not mind terribly if the whole process got delayed, hopefully long enough to keep the Republicans from getting their guy on the court, since there’s just that chance they can do to the Republicans what the Republicans did to them with Merrick Garland, which, they think, would be both political and poetic justice.
But as for the “truth” part?

There really is a good reason to believe that Judge Kavanaugh was guilty of attempted rape when he was in high school, and apparently got away with it, so does either side really want to see someone like that get a lifetime appointment to the highest court, making decisions about, among other things, women’s sex lives? With just a little investigation by the FBI, we should get a pretty good idea if Dr. Ford’s claims are true, no matter the delay.

So while both sides have strong political reasons to take the stands they do, the Democrats have the advantage of also having truth on their side, despite the politics.

So our big dilemma now is, which will win out — raw politics, or raw truth — in this, the Era of Trump? We shall see.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Response to Nuts

(See: Just Above Sunset: Nuts)

What the hell is Carl Bernstein thinking?

"Congressional hearings"? Really? Maybe he also thinks we should make Devin Nunes the Chairman?

One problem is, everybody seems to think we’re headed for a “constitutional crisis”, rather than our already being in one! A constitutional crisis could be defined as a very serious problem of governing for which our Constitution offers no remedy, which is where we are right now!

They keep suggesting our "constitutional remedy" is impeachment, but if so, why aren’t we trying that? For very practical reasons:
(1) the Republicans running congress really don’t want to get rid of a president who, to their surprise, is pretty much delivering on the Republican agenda, and especially don't want to do it over some wishy-washy claims that he’s “unfit”; and...
(2) because to many of us Democrats, myself included, there are few scarier two words in the English language than “President Pence”.
Same for that 25th Amendment thing, which has the added disadvantage of never having ever been tried, so we have no real clue on how to go about it.

The solution? Not a lot of options right now.

In the meantime, all we can do is leave the “Anonymous” crowd alone and let them try to protect the country in whatever way they can to keep the president from blowing up the world until a better plan comes along, simply because the rest of us can't think of how to do that, and stop talking about how “unconstitutional” that is, since, if the constitution doesn’t like it, the constitution should offer up its own solutions — and real solutions, not just theoretical ones like impeachment or the 25th Amendment.

The gridlock we’re in is exactly why the founders didn’t want us messing around with political parties in the first place. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find any good way to avoid "factions", as they called them, they just took a chance that, when problems like this would pop up, future Americans would muster the intelligence and mutual good will to solve them. In other words, they trusted us.

Silly founders!