Monday, February 15, 2021

Impeachment In a Can

For one brief shining moment on Saturday, the Trump show trial actually threatened to turn into the real deal, with testimony from real human witnesses to enhance the speeches. The disturbing film footage of the Capitol riot, complemented by Trump's own spittle-inflected incitement voiceover, should have been a prima facie case for unanimous conviction. But that would have meant that the acquitting GOP senators' own lust for power and fear of Trump took second place to meting out justice.

Then, just as suddenly as the Democratic impeachment managers moved to extend Impeachment 2.0 into a case that even the most hardened Republican would be forced to squirm through, they folded. It seems that the Senators of both sides of the Duopoly have so much love in their hearts that they simply could not bear to miss Valentine's Day at home. Also, with such a prolonged exercise in justice that human witnesses and other supplementary evidence would entail, Joe Biden would be thwarted from his sublime reaching across the aisle and making friendly deals with some of the same 47 GOP senators who had just voted to acquit Donald Trump, giving their tacit stamp of approval to an attempted coup.

Now, to be fair, an extension of the trial would also have opened the door for Republicans to call their own witnesses. Nancy Pelosi, for example, would have been raked over the coals, forced to answer why she didn't request beefed up police protection for her members on that fateful day, despite plenty of warnings of mob violence. It also would have opened up the dreaded Hunter Biden can of worms.

Therefore, the public is being asked to empathize with the Democrats' political dilemma and to actually believe that justice will eventually prevail once the Dems get around to congressional investigations into the insurrection - after of course, they pass Covid relief, accomplish immigration reform, address the climate catastrophe and "do" health care.

In other words, politicians on both sides of the aisle will give each other cover as they try keep their respective rancid cans of worms glued firmly shut until they finally rust and crumble into the memory hole of nothingness.

 And meanwhile, the media will do its own part of making the story about all the "breakout stars" of Impeachment Theater, and how the show trial was, at its very essence, their audition for higher office.

"Though impeachment is an inherently political process," as Politico dishes in a piece about the latest manufactured group of rising stars to entertain and seduce and distract the viewing public,"elected officials typically don't like to admit that working as a manager can come with electoral benefits. They were required to walk a careful line when making the case that Trump incited a mob at the U.S. Capitol. Still, strategists from both sides of the aisle acknowledged their roles likely furthered their careers."

Not that the legacy stars didn't also have their moment in the sun. Nancy Pelosi theatrically "crashed" the post-acquittal press conference of Democratic impeachment managers to deliver yet another bravura performance of a "scathing" indictment of Republican cowards, while demurring that "it had not been my intention to come for this press availability."

Since the show must always go on, the national corporate media are either already camped out at Mar-a-Lago or en route in order to cover the widely anticipated opening act of Donald Trump's Revenge Tour  Refusing to cover him is not an option for the press, because their clicks and ratings have dropped so precipitously since he left office. Film of an empty podium at his gilded Florida palace is bound to attract more eyeballs than the latest White House press briefing, Since Biden Spin Doctor Jen Psaki has asked that reporters submit their questions in advance, the better for her to answer them truthily and transparently, there is no longer even that element of unscripted surprise and comedic improv so essential for the maintenance of good ratings.

While the corporate media performers are attempting to stave off the boredom and tedium of not having Trump fill their empty spaces, they're promoting daughter in law Lara Trump's quest for a North Carolina senate seat and drumming up publicity for daughter Ivanka's own moves to oust Marco Rubio in the Florida senatorial primary. Because no matter how tainted, political dynasties must never be allowed to die. 

In other news, a study by the esteemed British journal Lancet reveals that fully 40 percent of all Covid deaths in the US could have been prevented. These deaths are not only attributable to the incompetence and corruption of the Trump administration, they are the direct result of the free-market neoliberalism of the last 40 years, not to mention the colonial and imperialistic roots of American society itself.

One of the Lancet group's prescriptions, sensibly enough, is the implementation of single payer health care in the United States. But it can't even get a theatrical floor vote in the Democratic-controlled House. And Biden has infamously vowed to veto such a measure, commonly known as Medicare For All, should it ever reach his desk.

There are too many rusted cans in the landfill known as American democracy to count. And don't even get me started on the worms.


Erik Roth said...

Trump’s lie that the election was stolen has cost $519 million (and counting) ...
as taxpayers fund enhanced security, legal fees, property repairs and more. —
Feb. 6, 2021 ~ by Toluse Olorunnipa & Michelle Ye Hee Lee

THE CON: The American Dream Dies Where Power Lies —
February 12, 2021 ~ by Katia Maguire

The Senate Has Failed America —
A refusal to convict a guilty insurrectionist, and a failure to call witnesses against him, is a tragic abandonment of accountability.
February 13, 2021 ~ by John Nichols

Let’s Be Honest About What Trump Wanted on January 6 —
A handful of Republican members of Congress stared into Medusa’s face and refused to blink.
The rest looked away.
February 13, 2021 ~ by Ryan Grim

voice-in-wilderness said...

I'm very glad there were no witnesses called. It would have added no substance to our knowledge of what Trump and the white supremacy terrorists did, while allowing the GOP to turn it into a freak show with Trump as the victim. I'm now interested in how the prosecutions of the 180+ active participants play out.

Our one glimmer of hope was back in January when it seemed as if, for a day or two, McConnell might use the trial to convict Trump and rid the party of him, leaving Trump to rant and rave in Florida. But that moment quickly passed, if it existed at all.

As I've written here before, it is hard to see hope for the political future of our country. I now see immigration as the single biggest danger Biden faces. We know that is the hottest issue that Trump used. We know that Trump could have won, that he lost by tiny margins (before the electoral college vote), that the Democratic margins in the House and Senate are extremely thin -- anything Biden does that is humane or progressive with immigration could easily tip the Congress in 2022, bringing Biden's plans to an abrupt halt.

Jay–Ottawa said...

“Then … they folded.” (distilled from Karen's para 2)

That about sums it up for the Democratic Party since Truman. As already noted, Boss Pelosi folded grandly twice on the impeachment capers. Meanwhile, Boss Schumer has a long reputation of folding nice for Wall Street.

President Biden –– brief aside: the word “President” followed immediately by the word “Biden” is as odd and unseemly as the phrase “President Trump” –– anyway, President Biden is a champion gymnast in the art of folding. He’s folding on the minimum wage of $15 by stretching it out over four years. He’s folding on his $2000 cheques promise. And he’s aggressively folded the M4A hope into a wad for the dustbin of American history. So much for the domestic scene.

It’s quite the opposite in foreign affairs, where the hyper-aggressive Empire, now under the able direction of the war party, expects foreign nations to fold and fold again after repeated US sanctions, scramble-worthy flybys and cruise-bys and maneuvers right up to the edge of Russian, Iranian and Chinese borders.

If you’ve been tuning in regularly to big media, you should by now be sufficiently convinced that war against the above is an inevitable moral necessity. Since our defense budget exceeds that of all US enemies combined, we are guaranteed quick victories. Hint: dust off those cans of Chef Boyardee down in your backyard bunker.

A banquet of disasters is being readied for the plates of each and everyone of us. How privileged we are to suck it up through interesting times. Add to the appetizer of a pandemic yet more austerity followed by a meaty main course of WWIII on a bed of global weather chaos. Bon app├ętit!

Joseph Crocona said...

Aloha Nancy's people has anyone noticed the democrats dress code is looking much more upscale then it use to. There is only one party in the US. Maybe more folk including our so called elected officials should read “ Common Sense “, Of course I wouldn’t want to interrupt anyone’s Valentines Day celebration. Just a thought, have a virus free day.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

The Donald is going after Mitch McConnell - Good.
While hope springs eternal, I agree with Karen - too much dirty linen on both sides to be aired if the faux impeachment trial was allowed to come to a real fight. Better to pretend. I'm sure it was the reason why Obama and the Democrats didn't go after Bush and especially Cheney.