December 8th, 2019
I can remember my Uncle Joe (Christen), a mechanical engineer who became the Superintendent of the Pullman Railroad Company, teaching me how to integrate the timing of my hand moving the gear shift rod and my foot depressing the clutch pedal to ‘shift gears’ smoothly when I was learning to drive the family car in late 1948. Those lessons were ‘money in the bank’ when, many years later, I was driving an old truck or a farm tractor, which required manual shifting, as part of a job requirement, but were somewhat wasted in 1949 when my Dad bought his first Chrysler with Fluid Drive.
It will be interesting to see if the Democrats will handle the shift of the Issue of Possible Impeachment from the Congressional Impeachment Inquiry Committee to the House Judiciary Committee as smoothly as I learned to shift gears in the family sedan almost 70 years ago. Unfortunately, my Uncle Joe isn’t around to teach them how to do it but they do have a room (or two) full of lawyers and constitutional consultants to guide them through the process. This is also a time for a change of drivers as well as the official impeachment ‘vehicle’. Adam Schiff parks his Inquiry Committee’s 1974 Hudson and turns the Impeachment steering wheel and gas pedal over to the Judiciary Committee’s 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, Double Cab, Pickup driven by Jerrold Nadler— who is not known for having a ‘light foot’ in dealing with corruption in government. Like the fact that autos and trucks are designed for quite different purposes, the Inquiry Committee and the Judiciary Committee have completely different roles or responsibilities in the impeachment process. The former gathers facts and evidence then presents those facts and evidence to the latter which has the responsibility of determining whether the facts and evidence are, as defined in the Constitution, ‘Impeachable Offenses’. (Wow! That was a long sentence!) I suspect that it is almost impossible to completely ‘de-politicalize’ this process but our Founding Fathers and the courts decisions since our Constitution was written and ammended have done their best to provide political ‘balance’ to the congressional and judicial machinery involved. It has always been relatively easy to initiate an Impeachment Inquiry process but extremely difficult to complete it to an actual ‘Impeachment verdict’ and even more difficult to a ‘Remove from the office as President’ verdict—just because of the ‘politics’ involved in the process.. Just FYI, Andrew Johnson—a President most likened to Donald Trump—who hated Abraham Lincoln and Negros, defied the Reconstruction, and was considered a crass, vulgar, and totally immoral person—was impeached in 1868, but was not expelled from the Presidency. His party members, who voted against his removal from office at that time, where much like the Republican Party members today who are allied with Trump. While the outcome of the Judiciary Committee hearing is too early to call, I expect it will develop an ‘Articles of Impeachment’ document and it will pass the vote to be handed on to the Senate for trial. I have a hard time understanding the mindset of any politician (or citizen) who supports Donald Trump’s behavior as President. The fact that his personal and business behavior as a private citizen was ‘prologue’ to his behavior as president is not significant to the issue of impeachment. It’s not smart to cheat Deutsche Bank into making foolish loans but that’s not an ‘impeachable’ offense and it certainly makes Deutsche Bank look like a bank run by financial dummies. It’s also not smart to hide your tax returns after promising during an election campaign to reveal them to provide proof of your financial ‘integrity’ but that’s not an impeachable offense either—as best I know. We, the people, will have to leave it to the House Judiciary Committee to determine which, if any, of Trump’s actions are to be deemed ‘Impeachable Offenses’. I suggest watching and listening closely to Republicans testifying on the President’s behalf. I suspect they will shoot themselves and their President in both feet in the process. Let’s all hope the Truth will ‘win out’!
Trump’s administration is, sort of, like the ‘Boy Scouts of America’ What is a young boy to do when your Boy Scout’s Troup Commander comes into your tent during the night and starts playing with your privates during a thunderstorm in the Rockies? Do you scream or throw rocks? It’s a ‘no win’ situation. That guy is a lot, -a whole lot, bigger than you. And besides, he is our troop Leader! According to the Scouts code ‘If you are a good Boy Scout you obey your commander’. I guess it is the same in being loyal to your President—as long as he is the ‘Chief’ of your political party. My President—right or wrong—my President!
The corruption of the Trump administration is a whole lot bigger than any political or moral corruption I’ve seen in a ‘presidential administration’ in my lifetime. Only the corruption in the Roman Catholic Church offends me more! That ‘Organization’ deserves the trophy for the greatest social and moral corruption in the history of world religion–since the birth of Jesus Christ—just over 2,000 years ago. I expect the Roman Catholic Church will get the same condemnation as the Trump administration deserves—although the Catholic Church’s crimes are much more serious and have done infinitely more damage—they are both equally immoral and not worthy of any forgiveness or sympathy. Unfortunately, there is no system of ‘inpeachment’ to deal with the perversion within the Roman Catholic Curia. We will just have to wait and see if the lambs will be willing to follow bad shepherds. And there are lambs just like Trump’s supporters; My Church—right or wrong—my Church!
Hubris said, “Watching and listening to all of these committee hearings was about as exciting as watching paint dry!” Hubris has good ‘horse sense’ and I seldom find the need to argue with him. But this time, I told him, is different. I believe we have a civic obligation to watch and listen to our government’s ‘control machinery’ grinding its’ way through the process of carrying out its’ constitutional responsibility. Let’s hope that Nancy Pelosi provides the ‘grease’ to keep the machinery running smoothly and expect ‘The Donald’ and his crooked friends to do their best to jam up the gears. It’s now late Friday afternoon so I’m going to have a shot of Uncle Jack’s finest and saddle Hubris up. Then, with a hearty shout of Hi Ho Hubris, Aawaay!, we are going to be off on the ditch bank for our evening horseback adventure.
Copyright, October 13, 2019, Louis J. Christen