By Susie Day
Dear Hot-to-Impeach Congressional Democrats,
I thought of you when I read “Why the Ukraine Scheme Matters,” the November 25 editorial in the New York Times. As usual, Times syntax and grammar are superb and the editors’ argumentation skills fully justify the current high tuition rates at name universities. So, congrats, Impeacho-crats! The Times delivered your message: What Trump did in the Ukraine – in his own self-interest – matters.
But I am a tired, marginal, aging, rad-lib lesbo activist moonbat, and I don’t care. What’s scary is, the New York Times can sense this. I bet you can, too.
Americans, the Times writes, now know for sure that Donald Trump “orchestrated a scheme”: he coerced or quid-pro-quo’d or bribed Ukraine’s leader – against U.S. administration policy – to dig up dirt on his political opponent, so that Ukraine could actually get the military aid that Congress had already promised. Crucially, Trump did this, “all for himself, rather than in pursuit of the American national interest.”
Here is where the Times worries that I am not taking your impeachment process seriously. I presumably don’t value our Constitution or the rule of law from which it came. I’m distracted or glaze over at details from impeachment hearings that “don’t map neatly into some Americans’ idea of wrongdoing.”
My “idea of wrongdoing”? They got that right.
See, I’ve been protesting and advocating for human and ecological justice – making an ass out of my broken heart –for years. Basically, all I want is universal dignity, equality, and a living planet: the essence of which you could find embroidered on a throw pillow at a PTA crafts sale.
But, although I’d love to see Trump OUT – heaved into deep space, there to be devoured by other killer viruses – I really can’t follow your impeachment proceedings. I guess I’m what NPR commentators like to call a “civic illiterate.” I’m too exhausted and heartbroken to know just which of Trump’s acts of bribery, treason, high crimes, or misdemeanors “matters.”
Like, I don’t understand why you Democrats are so shocked that, vis-à-vis Ukraine, Trump placed his own interests over those of his country, and acted like a king, rather than an elected official. Hell, I’d be shocked if he hadn’t. In fact, most of us here in Mass-America, along with all three branches of our touted democracy, have put up with Trump acting like King Tweet for years.
So, why have you waited, Impeacho-crats? Why didn’t you take Trump to Subpoena-City when he was pulling out of nuclear arms treaties or climate accords or mutilating the Supreme Court or gutting voting rights or eroding queer policy protections or implementing his anti-travel/Muslim ban or equating, as “very fine people,” Neo-Nazis with anti-racists? Could this possibly be because, technically, all those things are legal?
I’ve actually done some of research, here, to wit: the Western rule of law grew out of the Magna Carta and the subsequent need of England’s revolutionaries to argue against the divine right of kings. Over the centuries, countless enlightened and beautifully crafted words have been written about civil liberties and the rule of law, a minor example being Declaration-of-Independence signer Samuel Adams saying: “There shall be one rule of Justice for the rich and the poor.” I also visited a U.S. Government website on Courts – which Trump doesn’t seem to have wrecked yet – and saw that there are four rule-of-law principles, one being that laws should be “consistent with international human rights.”
So here’s what I don’t get, Impeacho-crats. How was Trump not acting like a king when he ordered ICE to tear children away from their parents, to throw innocent people – fleeing violence and poverty caused largely by the U.S. – into detention camps, and hold them indefinitely in lethally wretched conditions? How are these camps not “high crimes,” and why are they not mentioned as examples of “wrongdoing” in your hearings, which we’re now supposed to take seriously?
But maybe that’s just me being civically stupid. I know there’s some rule-of-law explanation. Like, legally, the president is allowed to build that border wall and destroy nonwhite immigrant lives because you figure that someday a Democratic president would want to do the same thing?
I know your congressional investigations aren’t only about the Ukraine, Impeacho-crats. There are also several House committees exploring other issues, such as Trump’s obstructing the Mueller investigation; his business profits while in office; tax returns; campaign finance/hush money; yadda yadda. But, to me, these focus more on power, finance, and bad boardroom behavior than on liberty and justice for all.
I also recognize that your legal strategy is basically de rigueur. Forty-five years ago, the House chose to hit Richard Nixon with impeachment articles concerning the Watergate break in, and not Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia or his collusion with the FBI to bring down SDS and the Black Panther Party. I guess I’ll have to trust that you are now well within correct legal parameters.
After all, are we not all backed up by that wise rule of law, which, for all its enlightenment, permitted a reality like slavery to stand for centuries as an essential component of a good and just society? So, what you are doing probably makes sense. The 21st-century takeaway from this is that, legally, genocide is not an impeachable offense.
Good luck with this, Impeacho-crats. I had wanted something more. I’m too tired to remember what it was. But I hope you can see why I’m just not that into you.
© Susie Day, 2019
Trump and military aid to Ukraine:
Cleveland.com, “Teaching Impeachment in an age of poor civic literacy”:
On the Media, ” A 2011 Newsweek survey found that 70 percent of Americans didn’t even know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. And only 26% of those surveyed in 2017 by the University of Pennsylvania could name all three branches of government….”
Nuclear arms treaties, e.g.: “Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned:
“Trump Serves Notice to Quit Paris Climate Agreement:
Supreme Court, “Gorsuch comes through for Trump and big business”:
Voting Rights, “Trump administration has Voting Rights Act on life support”:
Queer rights, “Under Trump, LGBTQ Progress Is Being Reversed in Plain Sight”:
Travel/Muslim ban, “Statistics show that Trump’s “travel ban” was always a Muslim ban”:
“Very fine people,” How Trump Changed After Charlottesville”:
Rule of law:
Rule of law, human rights:
Immigrants and camps, “Trump Is Legalizing Concentration Camps for Immigrant Families”:
“Detained. How the US built the world’s largest immigrant detention system”:
House investigative committees:
Nixon, impeachment, Cambodia bombing:
Nixon, Black Panther Party (“”Found the tape, baby — smoking gun evidence that the Nixon administration, starting with Nixon himself, this dude was giving directives to get rid of these Black Panthers,” said Seale….”: