Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Response to The Formalities

First, a little Q&A:

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Monday that Democrats, in pursuing impeachment against Trump, were being “sore winners” and said there were not enough Republicans who would vote to convict him.

“Why are we doing this?” he added.

A:    For the same reason we customarily arrest lawbreakers in this country, and then try and also punish them for breaking the laws that they broke.

Because we’re a nation of laws. Because we believe in obeying the laws we spend so much time and effort to pass. Because if we don’t, then our laws mean nothing, and nobody has to obey any laws, rendering laws quaint and optional, or at least optional for corrupt people who are powerful enough to get away with disregarding them.

Okay, you ask, but is "impeaching" a president really the same as punishing someone for "lawbreaking"?

You're right, it's not exactly the same, but we do impeach for committing "high crimes and misdemeanors", so let's just say, as the old saying goes, it's "close enough for government work."

And if going big and launching an attack on your own country is not enough to remove you from office, we probably need to devise some other way of dissuading presidents from doing that sort of thing.

And the good news, we already have!

Since he'll already be out of town when the Senate convicts him, we can just vote to prohibit his holding any federal position in the future, which is the part that really matters anyway. If we can't even achieve that, then what's the point of calling ourselves "self-governing"?

In short, if presidents can just break the law, knowing that if they fail, they can always just argue that we should let bygones be bygones, future presidents will be incentivized to do the same, without consequences.

And THAT'S why we're doing this  and thanks for asking, Ron!

One could also ask of those who will vote against conviction, “Why are we NOT doing this?”

And the answer, for them, could easily be, “Because we, as Republicans, can get away with NOT doing this?”

Because, let’s face it, whether an illegal act is impeachable or not is a matter of opinion. Yes, it’s pretty indisputable that Trump did do what he is accused of doing, but whether there’s anything wrong with a president doing that is a matter of personal opinion, and if I decide there’s nothing wrong with doing it, nobody can deny me my opinion.

And just as I might decide to see nothing impeachable about a president extorting an international ally to do him political favors, even putting that country at risk of being overrun by a mutual enemy, nobody can tell me that I need to believe that that same chief executive sending a lynch mob — made up of personal followers of his — to intimidate the legislative branch into illegally counting votes to keep him in office, then who’s to tell me I can’t?

After all, voting my opinion about somebody's unlawful behavior doesn’t break any law in itself! In fact, the last I heard, jury nullification is legal in this country!

Or to look at the big picture, which is more important to preserve here, the continued existence of the Constitution and the country it defines, or the continued existence of the Republican party? Those senators who choose to acquit the president in this case will be choosing the latter. After all, why even have a democracy if it continually allows the wrong people to get into power?

Did Biden and the Democrats win by use of fraudulent voting practices?

But in fact, that misses the point. Whether they did or they didn’t, we can’t continue to allow our country to be handed over to the socialists and antifa and police-defunders and black-lives-matter crowd! Which is another way of asking, What’s the point of having a democracy if the opposition party sometimes gets its way?

After all, as I’ve heard it said somewhere by people who sound like they know what they’re talking about, the United States of America was not created by the founders to be a democracy; we were supposed to be a Republic!

(Whatever the hell that means.)

But the point here is, my country, imperfect as it is, is expendable, while my party is not.

To put that another way, we can always scrap the country and start a new one, but this time, we can make sure it’s founded on the right principles, which...

** ensure it be a Christian nation (or maybe it needs to be a “Judaic” Christian one, since otherwise that “Second Coming of Christ” thing won’t work?), 
** managed by the people of the race of the original founders, 
** with certain select citizens imbued with the God-given right to bear whatever arms they themselves feel comfortable with, 
** (but with nobody keeping an actual list of who bears what arms,) 
** and with other obviously inalienable basic principles to be named at a later date as we become aware of them, 
** and all elections that come out the wrong way to be immediately overruled as fraudulent, with neither fuss nor bother, 
** and all winners of rigged elections to be replaced by those of the people’s real choice.

Although I suppose there’s a chance Trump’s Republican defenders in the Senate — who also defend the "January 6th Thugs", it might be presumed — haven’t carried their reasoning out that far.

In fact, I’d be curious to hear what the current state of their thinking is, if any.


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Response to Just Ruin Things

 (See: Just Above Sunset : Just Ruin Things)

On voters moving away, and then later, back again to Georgia:

“Really? How many people do that?” Trump said. “You mean they moved out and then they said, ‘The hell with it. I’ll move back.’ That does not sound… very normal. You mean they moved out, and, what, they missed it so much that they moved back in?”

“Really” Indeed!! Has this guy never actually listened to the words? The concept of moving back is literally right there in the intro of Georgia's world famous State Song!

Melodies bring memories
That linger in my heart 
Make me think of Georgia
Why did we ever part?
Some sweet day when blossoms fall 
And all the world's a song
I'll go back to Georgia
'Cause that's where I belong.

Georgia, Georgia, the whole day through 
Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind. 
Georgia, Georgia, a song of you
Comes as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines

Other arms reach out to me 
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see 
The road leads back to you.

Georgia, Georgia, no peace I find 
Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.
Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.

When I was born, my family was living in Los Angeles. Before I was even one year old, we moved to New York. Before I was five, we moved back to Los Angeles, and then when I was twelve, we moved back to the New York area again.

Why? Who knows! For one thing, I think my folks kept missing their friends back home. And I’ve met other families that did something similar, for that same reason.

Although I hear there are Georgia legal types looking into prosecuting Trump for things he said on the call, I have to disagree with many in the media who see that phone call as Trump obviously encouraging Georgia’s secretary of state to break the law, and to arbitrarily “find” 11,780 votes, I suppose by cancelling out some suspected “illegal” Biden votes.

But in fact, if you listen to the whole interview, you hear Trump being just good enough at being bad to never specifically ask Raffensperger to do anything other than find what Trump might actually have believed were legitimately illegal votes for Biden, and then just Sharpy them out of existence. What Georgia was supposed to do after that, of course, is unclear, since the votes have by this time been counted three times, then legally certified, and then sent down the assembly line to the electoral college.

If there’s a procedure to undo all of that, no White House person on the call ever says what it is, although Mark Meadows does suggest at the end that Raffensperger had agreed to simply rescind the old certification, in what Trump called a “recalculation”, but Raffensperger pushed back on that: “That’s not I said.”

Still, would trying to do that be "illegal”? I’m not sure, but I would think there’s not even a way of trying it.

What Trump never seems to acknowledge is, if Raffensperger were  as corrupt as Trump is — and also any good at it — then one might assume that Trump would have consequently won Georgia, in which case this silly phone call would probably not even have taken place. But since he apparently wasn’t either that corrupt or that good at it, this whole one-hour call was destined to be nothing but a time-wasting chatfest.

I wish I had been Brad Raffensperger on that call; I would have enjoyed giving Trump the kind of one-on-one counsel that he never gets from the yummies he surrounds himself with, and maybe even asked Trump directly if he thought arbitrarily zeroing out the votes of the 7,060,140 more Americans who voted for Biden than for him is really what the world’s most respected, continuously-operating democracy really deserves.

Then again, I might still have agreed to meet with them and see what evidence they think they have, but just to explain to them why what they have is nothing but rumors and not in any way evidence.

And it all comes down to what constitutes truth when it comes to who won Georgia. Maybe God knows the Truth, but since He’s not making phone calls to tell states which votes, and for which candidate, He wants counted, we'll need to jury-rig our own systems of deciding truth, and so at some point, after we exhaust checking into all the nutty internet claims that end up going nowhere, all presidential election nights eventually have to come to an end, and hopefully comfortably before twelve noon of January 20th.

And while I’m sure the president is a firm believer in that old presumption 
 that everyone respects a competitor who never gives up and who fights on, even after the janitor has finished sweeping up  I'd argue that that bullshit is grossly overrated. To make that point even pointier, I would imagine that, at some point, even the humble chicken stops running all over the barnyard once it finally comes to realize that its head has been cut off. I just have to wonder if Trump may not be as quick-witted as a headless chicken.

But I say, thank the gods (assuming there are any) that, at this point in our history, there are just too many of us “Deep Staters” in America to allow someone to get away with stealthily taking away the right of Americans to rule themselves, instead of just handing over the car keys to some strong-willed, though otherwise feeble-minded tyrant-wannabe with the gift of gab who happens to stumble by.