Dec. 1, 2019
I have fond memories of Sister Lucy ringing the hand bell signaling ‘Recess Time’ at the Saints John and James Catholic grade school in Ferguson, Missouri for the 8 years I was very fortunate to have spent there. I was one of those lucky kids who loved to read and loved school and the Sisters of St. Joseph (order of nuns) were great teachers— but I loved ‘recess’ even more! My class in grade school, over the 8 years I was there, numbered between 8 to 12 boys—enough some years for a baseball team—and 16 to 18 girls. I thought that was a perfect ratio! Recess was the time for the boys to play brief-but-continuing the next several recesses softball games in the Fall and Spring and soccer games in the Winter. The girls played on the see-saws or jumped rope in the little playground space directly behind the school building and the boys got to use the big field downhill and to the east of the playground. What I really remember doing during recess time was running. I ran from outside the school door to the field, ran throughout the games and ran back to the school building when the hand bell sounded again signaling recess was over. We had mid-morning recess but no mid-afternoon recess. Funny, I can’t remember what we did if it was raining or snowing. Maybe we didn’t have recess?
So, now our Congress is taking a recess from their sworn agreement to rule responsibly in accordance with our Constitution and to consider impeaching any federal office holder who they consider possibly guilty of committing “high crimes” while in office as defined by that same Constitution. Given the record of our Republican Congress during the now almost three years of the Trump administration, perhaps the House of Representatives should be considering impeaching certain Republican members of Congress along with the President? If I were in Nancy Pelosi’s position, I would be recommending impeachment hearings on the conduct of Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, Devin Nunes, and Jim Jordan for failure to do their job or acting in Contempt of Congress along with our President, Donald Trump—and I’d throw in William Barr, my favorite ‘chimp for Trump’, just to make it an even half-dozen. Even though Barr is not a member of Congress, he is making a tragic-comedy out of his job as Attorney General of the United States. And, if I was Nancy Pelosi, I’d be ringing the bell signaling the recess was over before any congress-person even got their hat, snow boots or umbrella out of the congressional closet and headed home to start their re-election campaigns and eat turkey! I’d make it a national law that congress-persons don’t get to campaign or eat turkey until they pass laws to improve the social welfare of the 90 percent of our citizens who are being left behind while the ten percent, the elites, gorge themselves on the riches the laws their friends passed, or those they have rescinded, have provided. When we have an economic storm brewing and so many of our citizens are being left out in the cold, maybe our Congress doesn’t deserve to have a recess?
There is an interesting but very sad parallel in the destruction of the Orders of Catholic nuns due to the sexual perversity of the Roman Catholic Curia and the failure of that corrupt male dominated organization which spread throughout the Church’s entire world structure, and what has happened to cause today’s tragic level of income disparity in our social structure due to the avarice and greed of our male dominated Republican Congress. They are classic examples of the Failure of Leadership in both Church and State. I got kicked out of the ‘Boy Scouts of America’, that now proven morally and financially bankrupt organization, when I was not even old enough to qualify for membership, because I went on ‘unauthorized’ camping trips with my cousin Joe. I quit the Christian Brothers Novitiate in Glenco, Missouri when I realized that most of my fellow novitiates were gay—and I didn’t really ‘fit in’ to be a member of that select group—which seemed to me to be supported by the novitiate leaders . I gave up my affiliation with the Republican party when Nixon (I’m not a crook) was threatened with impeachment, and I resigned from the Democrat party when Bill Clinton’s impeachment became a sex joke (I never had sex with that person) and I really ‘quit’ partisan politics completely when George W. Bush made a tragic-joke out of his turn-over of his ‘presidential responsibility’ to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and lied about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ to start a war. And now we have another ‘Donald’ whose name is Trump, a truly evil person, using the Presidency for his and his friend’s financial benefit. I now feel quite justified in believing that I have earned a doctoral degree in the matter of ‘Failure of Leadership’—just by having lived through those times—and paying attention to ‘what happened’. By the way, did any of you readers notice that all of the ‘failed leaders’ in the list above were, or are, males? Maybe males should be ‘on recess’ from any position in Leadership for, at least, the next several decades. They sure screwed up the last four—or more!
Realizing that what I had written indicated (as the song goes) I was “in a bad mood, and want to be rude, you had better go and talk to your horse!” So, out to the corral I went and called my horse, Hubris, to come over to the fence rail on which I had perched myself. I had brought several raw carrots which, I knew, Hubris considers special treats. While he was chomping on the first carrot, I asked him what he thought of the impeachment hearing now ‘in recess’ so our Pols could begin their campaigns and eat turkey. Hubris is a horse of few words but he said, quite distinctly, “Wrong reason-.” and paused, thinking I might be willing to advance the second carrot. I withheld the carrot and said, “What do you mean by ‘Wrong reason’?” He looked down his roman nose straight at me and said one word, “Russia.” I gave him the second carrot. Russia’s interference in the 2016 election should be the real reason for a very serious and prolonged congressional impeachment inquiry. Trump’s endorsement of everything Putin does, his denial of Russia’s meddling in our elections and his trying to give Putin everything (or every country) he wants, including the Ukraine, should be the reason for his impeachment. If Will(iam) Shakespeare had lived long enough to write a play about the history of the United States, he would invent a character just like Donald Trump whose Presidency would define the possible end of that ‘could have been’ democracy. Those folks who think that Trump is just an impolite rebuke of the Obama Presidency don’t seem to see the damage to our society, our economy, our military, our country and our allies that he has done and will continue to do—as long as he is allowed continue to practice his form of a ‘money grubbing presidency’.
I had used the nature of an iceberg as a metaphor for the target of the current impeachment inquiry now in recess in a previous blog. I am going to use it again here as I believe Trump’s gangster tactics in the Ukraine are just the tip of the cause-for-impeachment iceberg. Trump even tried to claim that the Ukraine was the real source of meddling in the 2016 election, not Russia. Did anybody notice that Vladimir Putin was the first national figure to react to that assertion? I think the news photo accompanying his approval of Trump’s allegation showed him laughing. Putin is going to be able to laugh at the USA as long as Donald Trump is in office. Trump’s relationship with Putin should be the target of the impeachment investigation. Treason is a much more serious charge than bribery or Trump’s withholding of our financial support to the Ukraine in their on-going war with Russia until their government agreed to investigate the son of one of his potential opponents in the coming 2020 presidential election. Russia is the iceberg, the Ukraine incident is just the tip of that iceberg.
Hubris thought my use of the term ‘treason’ was a bit too strong. “Treason”, Hubris said, “Is usually committed by very intelligent people who have an intellectual or ideological commitment to a foreign power. Only very stupid people who are driven solely by love of money (greed) sell out their homeland”. I paused a minute, and with the third carrot behind my back, said, “Hubris, you just described Donald Trump—perfectly!” Then, I gave the carrot to Hubris while I saddled up and with a hearty shout of Hi, Ho, Hubris, Aawaay! we were off on our evening ride along the Rio Grande. Hubris and I were going to get along fine—at least for this evening.
Copyright, December 1, 2019, Louis J. Christen