President Donald Trump of the Republican Party [the GOP – Grand Old Party]
In the last few weeks, two posts here looked at the way forty-fifth President Donald Trump is performing as president of America – they were “President of the United States Donald Trump – both a villain and would-be American Dictator?” and “President Donald Trump WILL likely face future ‘Impeachment’ – but will he last that long though?”
That latter post included the significant fact that American proven political expert, Professor Allan Lichtman, concludes that without doubt, impeachment is on the cards as the “inevitable” end for the Trump presidency. [Lichtman HAS been correctly forecasting elections for countless years and has correctly predicted the result of the last NINE American Presidential elections, including that of Trump himself, moreover].
Lichtman has written a book ‘THE CASE FOR IMPEACHMENT’ and this post now can confirm that it is well worth a read, if you are up for it?
It is not the objective nor purpose of this particular post to neither paraphrase, precis, nor provide a synopsis of Lichtman’s interesting book, but it is to further outline the issues raised, to explain the dangers now facing Trump, and to provide here personal comment on them.
Now, Lichtman is a renowned historian, a distinguished Washington university Professor indeed [Alma mater Harvard University], but don’t be put off by that, will you? No, his book is anything but the stuffy stuff that you might previously have read in history books, as it is informative, vibrant and utterly readable stuff even for us more ordinary people. [Can be obtained from Wordery by post if you want].
In deciding Trump’s end fate, it is no good simply looking at public opinion polls, nor major events on the streets, nor ranting public rallies’ speeches & their substantial attendances, nor social media strange tweets, comments & outbursts, nor for that matter what the TV or other media news or pundits have to say, because his short-term (?) impeachment fate will solely depend on his actual performance as a ‘lawful’ President, and not necessarily on him being an unworthy or not well performing one, don’t you think?
Now the basic problem here, is that Trump doesn’t give a jot about knowing why ‘previous presidents’ have fallen foul of Congress, and that crass ignorance will lead him into hanging-on to a much similar road, leading to disgrace and office oblivion, surely?
You see, it is Trump’s past behaviour, persistently reinforced indeed by causing ongoing governance crises by his current actions this year, that have including the issuing of illegal (?) presidential orders, all just in his first hundred days as America’s newest ‘astonishingly empowered’ leader, and that type of behaviour casts aspersions on his character and suitability to carry on as US President for his full term, doesn’t it?
Remember, Americans have had the deep harsh experience of living under the yoke of a colonial tyranny governed by the British crown [King George III], so when it ultimately gained its independence (by force – declared in 1776), it certainly wasn’t going to ever go back to any kind of dictatorship rule, was it? As outlined in the previous first post, Trump so far not only acts like, but expects to get away with being, a dictator – and according to all accounts he has certainly done so throughout his ultra-successful business life.
Many of us will be puzzled by how past dictators and tyrants achieved that unassailable position of absolute authority, not restricted by a constitution or by laws, within their nations – you know, people like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo, Tito, Perron, Marcos, Mugabe, and Morsi, eh? Now these are not ones who seized control by military action or revolution like say Castro, Franco, Mao, or Pinochet, but they are people who rose to the top by gaining widespread ‘popular’ support, primarily by enlisting the unquestioning trust of the ignorant masses, through establishing extensive cohorts of dedicated followers, combined with the manipulative use of ultra-nationalistic propaganda, expressed through writings, persuasive speeches and mammoth rallies, provocative radio broadcasts, supportive newspapers, control of political or workers’ organisations, or just far-reaching word of mouth, and thrived on the ingrained fears, prejudices and bigotry therein, with messages and doctrines that appealed to the lowest possible common denominator, stupid thick-headed idiots at the bottom of their society – so it has been with Trump, hasn’t it? Then followed the outlawing of opposing political parties, controlling the press, putting in place oppressive secret police, and suppressed strikes and public meetings and demonstrations [Americans just watch this space, eh?].
Well, Trump’s rude awakening will be, that while the levers of absolute power might ‘appear’ to be under his total control, the Constitution writers as well as invoking the separation of powers, tellingly put in place a suicide pill, a long stop, precisely to terminate any unwary despotic scoundrel of a president, who is intent by his own actions to circumvent the nation’s safety & traditions or the power of Congress, which is a constitutional edict specifically intended to hold him in check – that politically lethal pill is of course called “impeachment” (and a guilty verdict on that, means he is immediate out of power and out on his ear – without appeal, eh?).
[If first the House of Representatives decides there IS a case to answer and so lays charges, then a full-blown legal trial follows in the Senate (which then acts as judge & jury, and decides on a simple majority)].
Trump should be warned that actual ‘law breaking’ (which he seems have a panache for anyway?) alone isn’t the only thing that gets someone impeached, as it has a much broader brush covering all breach of trust wrongdoings, as past events have certainly shown.
Most of us this side of the pond, didn’t know [but Lichtman does] that the impeachment sanction doesn’t start with the President and his abuse of power, but simply goes all the way up the chain to him, as it applies ‘equally’ to all the other civil officers (including the lowest) of the United States.
The other powerful and seemingly ‘untouchable’ government officials, are of course the Federal Court Judges at the head of the US judiciary, so they are prime potential candidates for impeachment if they abuse their powers (indeed fifteen of them have been impeached, whence eight were convicted by the Senate, only four were acquitted, but a further three knowingly (?) resigned before their actual trial).
Many [too many?] Presidential appointments do not require Senate approval, so Trump went ahead and recklessly appointed (?) many politically inexperienced & unqualified officials, even including family members to be his closest White House executives and advisors (all on high salaries and benefits from public money of course) – you see, as President he acquires the authority to unilaterally appoint over 350 people to high-level positions within the federal government.
Make no mistake though about it, will you? Those that Trump puts into commanding positions of power [both Senate approved and otherwise] are garnered with his dangerous policies that can destroy the work of major departments and agencies and so trash existing law, and can thereby thwart also the will of Congress. That applies not least to Trump’s determination to destroy the environment by dumbing-down the accepted “irrefutable” science [Trump’s own description which he now claims is a hoax by others, no less?] on climate change, withdraw America from concerted international action to stabilise global warming (predominately caused by us humans), and instead promote further extensive use of fossil fuels, garnished with expanded federal facilities allocate to boot – such changes will be irreversible and WILL inevitably terminate our planet, and mankind along with it of course.
Now, whether or not the international community will let Trump and his Congress Republican fellow travellers (the majority of who are also ‘climate change deniers’), get away with it Scot free without the charge of crimes against humanity, is another matter, eh? [The unsettling thing is that under a decade ago Trump was one of the prominent supporters of effective measures on climate control – but that was when he thought it best in HIS own business interests and certainly BEFORE he sought high political office, and hence badly needed the votes of his society’s ignorant uncaring morons and those of the business world making fast bucks out of oil, gas, coal, and the like, wasn’t it?].
[In 1996, the Code, defined ‘Crimes against Humanity’ as various inhumane acts, like “murder, extermination, torture, enslavement, persecution on political, racial, religious or ethnic grounds, institutionalized discrimination, arbitrary deportation or forcible transfer of population. This was of course well preceded by the trial at Nuremberg in 1945/46 for humanity crimes committed in WWII].
At home, Trump has publicly implied a few weeks ago that he has the ultimate authority to pardon even HIMSELF of any ‘crime’, and indeed theoretically he can [while HE is actually still in OFFICE], BUT he most certainly has zero say when it comes to his own impeachment, doesn’t he?
[Oh yes, we might well see him pardoning any of his family or team members, who might have committed or are then convicted of treason, say in their shady dealings with the Russians during the election campaign (though THAT would undoubtedly provoke the impeachment process?), when the word on the security wires is that Russia illegally set-out to influence the presidential election beforehand, but don’t get misled into thinking that Trump’s involvement with the Russians is just limited or restricted to that more recent escapade alone, because HE has been involved in dubious business dealings terms with them for some decade or more – what’s more, he’s been fingered a number of times, but not done though (will he be much more vulnerable to that now though as President, do you think?)].
As President, Trump certainly cannot be done in the courts for wrongdoing in official matters, as he is immune from prosecution ‘while serving’, but that doesn’t apply at all in his ‘private’ affairs where his uncontrollable panache for lying WILL get him impeached, wouldn’t you say? [He should ask Bill Clinton about it, shouldn’t he?].
[The follow-on president to the previous disgraced guy, President ‘Tricky Dicky’ Nixon, was one President ‘Gerald Ford’ (a fellow Republican), first appointedVP after the ‘elected’ VP had to resign in disgrace, who immediately inexcusably (?) fully pardoned Nixonfor his Watergate and ALL his numerous other already ‘identified’ crimes against his Country no less, apparently to draw a line under Nixon’s illegal presidential actions (which included ‘unprosecuted’ crimes against humanity)? Crass, eh?].
In his book, Lichtman goes to some lengths to expose in detail, Trump’s litany of lies, misdemeanours, brushes with the law (& massive financial hits taken in fines & compensation), and his precocity for frequent long-running embroilment with the courts & authorities – it definitely makes compelling reading to those of us this side of the water, who had rarely heard of Trump until last year, eh?
As one would expect, he diligently and explicitly records Trump’s despicable lifelong habits, that shows a record of unmitigated private gain and enriching himself at the expense of others, lying and secrecy, law disregard, conflicts of interests, sexual abuse and predatory mistreatment of women, shown with a pervasive denigrating attitude to them, cover-ups on all manner of things, lack of transparency or disclosure or honesty, always blaming others for his failures, as well as his current distain for the constitutional constraints placed upon him in his esteemed job as president, eh?
As most of us know by just listening to him spouting-off, Trump has got a screw loose and is a monster, a blatant lying, ‘rabble-rouser’ who tells it big! Lichtman’s book is literally littered with countless examples of Trump’s lies, big lies, BIG lies and even BIGGER lies – you will be scunnered (Scottish for feeling utter disgust), and without doubt be amazed at his bare-faced cheek.
You see, if he believes something is true, thinks it is, or even says it is, then it is ‘de facto’ ‘bloody true’ in his eyes. Probably Trump doesn’t read or even speak German (he may speak only English himself, though his grandparents were German born), so personally he won’t have read and digested Adolf Hitler’s, Mein Kampf, book but that is exactly where the misinformation technique of the “big lie” (große Lüge) originated and was later promulgated during WW2 by his main propagandist Joseph Goebbels, came from, wasn’t it? In reality, the concept was quite simple – use a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” Well, that has most definitely been Trump’s technique since the year dot, it seems?
Trump, in cahoots with his team, makes-up his own facts and figures and when challenged has no compunction in denying the truth, by unbelievably claiming his are “alternative” ones [i.e. the ones he wants everyone else to accept in place of the real ones that don’t suit his plans]. Anything said ‘against’ Trump is either a hoax or fake news or a unprecedented witch hunt, while proven falsehoods perpetrated in his favour are explained as being just alternative reality.
This shameless and already shameful president, who has shown all the indications of being a closet racist by his past misdemeanours in illegally blocking blacks from his apartments, and not least by his recent equivocal statements and failure for days on end, to specifically and adequately condemn violent ‘tooled-up’ ultra-white extremists (including the Ku Klux Klan) on an opposed neo-Nazi rally, with it is claimed, the end result (if indeed not the aim?) of demonstrably encouraging them to say HE is on their wavelength, so they will continue to support him? [Trump’s prevarication, will have been much to the delight of his extreme-right, relentless white nationalist, but the man who played a major role in his election and his chief strategist (now-gone at last), Steve Bannon? [when it is also said that the White House is now filled with white supremacists].
One major issue is that some of Trump’s recent actions are spooking the markets, and God knows what will happen, if as seems possible, he is seen as responsible for crashing the financial markets, not only in America, but elsewhere?
Furthermore, Trump seems intent on using his unique power to make his very own US law, as demonstrated by his signing of 90 executive actions [consisting of 32 Executive orders/28 Presidential memoranda/30 Presidential proclamations in his first 100 days (the legality of some of them certainly questioned and questionable?).
[Executive orders are assigned numbers and typically direct members of the executive branch to follow a new policy or directive, while Presidential memoranda delegates tasks that Congress has assigned the president, to members of the executive branch (can be, but don’t have to be published or numbered), when Presidential proclamations are mostly ceremonial observances of federal holidays or awareness months, but some can carried enormous weight].
However, all of these executive actions can have a devastating impact on America and the World, despite the fact that they may not seem so, to unsuspecting outsiders.
Now, please don’t be complacent into thinking, or persuading yourself, that Trump’s USA is just the Americans’ problem, and that the rest of us in other counties can sleep easy at night, will you? No, because what the American President does, can and does impact us all – exactly for example as Hitler’s Germany permanently altered the World eighty-years ago?
Following the lead given by some from the past, to ingratiate themselves with the masses and gain power, Trump constantly denigrates both the media [while at the same time, perversely using it for free, to promote his own image, or disseminate misspeak, or double speak aka 1984 George Orwell], together with rubbishing Washington politicians (despite the indisputable fact that he now must rely on Congress to pass or reject laws).
Trump knows that the free independent press and media have a major influence on the voting public, so throwing them off balance, seems to him quite a sensible strategy, particularly if he can force them off his back, but when it comes to targeting fellow national politicians, he is skating on thin ice because while appreciating that the voters can beach him after 4 years, it is those, and ONLY those, in Congress who can actually ditch him (through impeachment) and throw him out of office, in the meantime.
Without any question, there will come a time (not far off perhaps, and maybe by mid-term elections in a year’s time?), when members of the Senate and House of Representatives weigh-up the costs of Trump loyalty and realise that being increasingly sidelined, and moreover being associated with and embarrassed by, a despised recalcitrant divisive president, will critically damage their reputations and get themselves fired by the voters from their current lucrative & rewarding political careers, wouldn’t you say?
The Russians are laughing their socks off about their marvellous success in undermining the democratic processes of the West by manipulating the Presidential election in the flagship/figurehead and heart of a democratic and free-thinking system – that of America itself. All the indications are however, that those who treasonably cooperated and colluded with this foreign power in their achieving that goal will be identified and brought to justice, surely? Oh yes, without doubt, President Donald Trump IS worried about that. Will, he do a Nixon on it though and resign BEFORE the shit hits the fan, eh?
[18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason: Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States]
Now, if Trump goes because it turns out that the Election WAS rigged, where does that leave the succession? The constitutional position is that if the President goes then the elected Vice President then takes over, but how can Mike Pence take over when he, as just the running-mate of a culpable president, was equally illegitimately elected?
No, Pence should resign in disgrace before Trump himself jumps ship, and his replacement is chosen by Congress – it seems like, that fairly should be offered to Hillary Clinton, don’t you think? Then, when Trump finally goes the crown will automatically pass to her – so no need for another election
[It isn’t possible to fully explain the case made by Lichtman for Trump’s ‘impending’ impeachment even in this longish blog, because his diligently reasoned argument stretches to nigh-on 300 pages- so read it yourself if you can?].