The Way Forward

It’s Time to Plan Ahead for a Presidency Without Trumpf

Now that the Mueller Report is out, and our Presidente has apparently dodged yet another bullet—for now. I discuss here, in brief, my attempt at a pragmatic look at the way forward.

Impeachment and Conviction

Any concerted effort to impeach Trumpf at this point will lead to wasted effort. Two U.S. presidents so far have been impeached: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. According to the Constitution, the House of Representatives is charged with impeaching a president for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But to remove a president, it is the Senate that decides whether the president is guilty. Moreover, a two-thirds majority of the Senate must vote for conviction. Article I Section 3 of the Constitution says: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

When (and if) the vote is for conviction, the president is out of a job and may possibly be sentenced to a jail term.

There is no doubt that Trumpf could be impeached by the Democratic House, but there are nowhere near enough votes in the Senate to convict. The result: The business of this country is held for ransom while a political battle royal ensues. Probable outcome: Trumpf emerges triumphant from this “witch hunt.”

The Election of 2020

The best way of getting rid of Trumpf is to vote him out of office in 2020. He knows that, and that is why he has been trying hard to stroke the egos of ignorant voters in small states, most of whom remain solidly in his camp.

For the Democrats to win, two things must happen:

  • Instead of the usual circular firing squad, the Dems must come together behind an attractive candidate, of which there are currently several possibilities. In the months to come, we shall see who survives.
  • Democrats must engage with the enemy. That involves interviews on Fox News, visiting Red States, and in general going beyond the bubble. That’s why Hillary lost in 2016.

The Electoral College

The United States is no longer a sparsely populated agrarian nation. Of course it is manifestly unfair. The Huffington Post expresses the situation well:

But the biggest vice of the Electoral College is its blatant unfairness to voters in the bigger states. As a resident of the largest state, California, I look at the residents of the smallest state, Wyoming, with particular envy during election season. Each vote cast in Wyoming is worth 3.6 as much as the same vote cast in California. How can that be, you might ask? It’s easy to see, when you do the math. Although Wyoming had a population in the last census of only 563,767, it gets 3 votes in the Electoral College based on its two Senators and one Congressman. California has 55 electoral votes. That sounds like a lot more, but it isn’t when you consider the size of the state. The population of California in the last census was 37,254,503, and that means that the electoral votes per capita in California are a lot less. To put it another way, the three electors in Wyoming represent an average of 187,923 residents each. The 55 electors in California represent an average of 677,355 each, and that’s a disparity of 3.6 to 1.

How do we change that? It is not likely that we can do anything about it. Here is Article V of the Constitution in its entirety:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

I do not think that, as presently constituted, the House of Representatives and Senate could produce a two-thirds majority to say that water flows downhill, let alone amend the Constitution. And as for a three-fourths majority of the State Legislatures—Fuggedaboutit!

 

Portrait of the American Voter

Villagers with Torches from Frankenstein

It suddenly came to me this evening that, whatever happens with Trumpf, America is in for a rough time of it. Martine and I were at the Siam Chan, a local Thai eatery, and we overheard two elderly couples praising our Presidente’s performance over the first two years of his term. My reaction surprised even me: I toyed with the idea of getting up and giving them a tracheotomy with the fork that had plunged into my stuffed chicken wings. (No doubt, they got their money in the real estate business.)

Sad to say, the American voter is like the villagers in the Frankenstein movies. It doesn’t take much to get them all outraged and go after the monster with flaming torches. Except, instead of the monster, the victim of their wrath is anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I wanted to fricassee these two couples, shove them into their car, and set it alight. Not exactly a rational response, but that was the way I felt.

Now, the other side is exactly the same. I sincerely doubt there is much of a chance of compromise with a MAGA-hat wearer. Just as there was no love lost between many flyover Americans and that nigra Obama.

In this environment, political arguments can escalate to lethal plus in microseconds. This country is going to be riven between two opposing armed camps until we all learn that we inhabit the same land and have to find some way of coexisting peacefully. Is that possible? In time, yes; but in the near term, we’re all in for it.

So when you meet up with that crazy uncle of yours at some family dinner, it’s probably best to change the subject if anything like politics or religion is discussed. I mean, they burned heretics, didn’t they?

 

 

Can the Democrats Come Together?

The New Zealand All Black Rugby Team Performing a Haka

My first introduction to the Maori haka dance was watching a YouTube video of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. According to Wikipedia:

It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment. Although commonly associated with the traditional battle preparations of male warriors, haka have been performed by both men and women, and several varieties of the dance fulfil social functions within Māori culture. Haka are performed to welcome distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions or funerals.

The other day, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with the ogre Trumpf to discuss a wall separating Mexico from the United States. It was an interesting moment, fraught with symbolism of a changing order. As a result of last month’s midterm elections, the Democrats were (at least in the House of Representatives) no longer in the minority. If anything, the elections proved that Trumpf’s support was beginning to erode. Even though he gained in the Senate, the gains were in two Republican butt boy states: Indiana and North Dakota. It was interesting to see Schumer rub this fact into Trumpf’s face.

Our president repeatedly threatened to shut down the government if he didn’t get his wall. Then he lied egregiously, as is his wont, that much of the fence was already built. (Not even remotely true.)

I saw the meeting as a haka by the Democratic leadership that the game to follow was going to be different. Trumpf and the Republicans have proven that they are incapable of governing: All they can do is strip Americans of their rights and privileges and satisfy their corporate paymasters.

Then, as the meeting ended, Nancy Pelosi crowned her haka by putting on a fashionable coat and a pair of cool shades, as if acknowledging that, this time, she won; and the Democrats were not merely a circular firing squad. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

OK, Reality TV “Star” Trump Gets Trumped by Nancy Pelosi

Identity Politics vs Power Politics

How We Liberals Fritter Away Our Access to Political Power

I am no longer a Democrat because I saw that the party’s emphasis on identity politics was leading it into a quagmire from which it might never return. No longer am I emboldened by gigantic protest marches—irrespective of the issues involved—nor do I care that somebody gets beaten up on Twitter or other social media. Have Liberals all become whiny little bitches who would rather be right than holding the reins of political power?

Evidently.

Hillary Clinton, Tom Perez, even Nancy Pelosi—all have been guilty of surrendering political power while pursuing some vague identity politics rewards points, which have a monetary value of $Zilch.

We are all victims of one sort or another. Instead of trading bubble-gum cards, let’s all get together, make deals with one another, and get rid of the clowns who have turned our country into a Tea Party Trash Bin. If you must insist on whining about your victimhood, lock yourself in your closet and do it in the dark, alone.

 

Enroute to Infamy

Mr. Fish Cartoon of a Narcissistic Trump Taking a Selfie

I couldn’t resist sharing this cartoon with you of our narcissistic Presidentissimo. As his enemies close in on him, he becomes ever more objectionable. Does he think his base will protect him? I don’t think his base is growing at all.

 

It Could Have Been Worse

The Results Aren’t All In Yet, But It Looks As If All Is Not Lost

Elections are mixed events. Never have I been entirely happy with the results. And sometimes, when I seemed happier than other times, I was hurt by what I felt was betrayal for the people I supported. The situation is worse in California, largely because of the stupid propositions that are usually supported by out-of-state corporate interests and give us the chance to hoist ourselves on our own petards. We are still suffering from the notorious Proposition 13 of 1978, which was a boon to homeowners but a bane for renters.

The good news is that Trump will have a more difficult time converting the U.S. into a Thousand Year Reich. The bad news? Where are all these angry white males coming from? and why do they want to destroy this country? I have already declared myself to be an Independent; and I have even resigned from the white race (considering myself to be Finno-Ugric, from the Asian side of the Ural Mountains); but I have no intention of resigning from the masculine gender.

Probably the worst night of my life was election day in 2016. I was in Quito, Ecuador watching the results come in on CNN at the Viejo Cuba Hotel. When I saw that Trump was winning, I almost considered not returning to the U.S. In the end, I gritted my teeth for the circus that was sure to come, and in fact did come. That so many Americans are still committed to this circus is a mystery to me. I guess I just don’t understand (let alone tolerate) these voters.

 

Don’t Forget to Vote!

Fill Those Booths Tomorrow! No Excuses!

If you fail to vote tomorrow, I hope it’s because you are a Trump supporter. For anyone else—and that includes the majority of Americans—the man and his minions are a stench in the nostrils. If you fail to vote because you were (a) hung over, (b) busy playing computer games, (c) studying for an exam, or (d) turned off by politics … then you have no cause … ever again … for complaint. You have failed in your primary duty as a citizen. Your very right to vote is in question, as witness the Republican anti-democratic voter suppression in Kansas and Georgia.

I know you have heard a lot about this election, and you’ve probably been turned off by everything you’ve heard. So what! I’m the guy who ends calls from political volunteers with a few choice swear words and hangs up. I do not care to discuss my political choices with what might turn out to be corporate shills hired by the Koch brothers or other disruptive forces.

This “Prickly City” Cartoon by Scott Stantis Appeared in Today’s L.A. Times

Although I suspect he might be a Republican, I feel that cartoonist Scott Stantis is a Republican of the non-#$&!!@# variety. I have seen his thought evolve over the years to the extent that I cannot pass a day without reading his cartoons. Even if the characters in the above cartoon are right, and I suspect they are, there is too much of a danger of electing the Wrong nincompoops, like those Tea Party jerks who have caused so much damage to the country that I still love for all its wrong turns.

Vote. Be in charge. Stay in charge. And make the effort to stay in charge!