Duty

I now think Donald Trump will be impeached by the House and convicted in the Senate. He is leaving Congress with no choice. While he could declare himself the most successful president ever and resign, waning public support will soon drain that option of glamour, making it less likely.

The final straw to justify conviction in the Senate will likely be a legal technicality, an article of impeachment the House can prove as a statutory violation. Republicans in Congress will realize Mr. Trump is sinking their political ship, individually and collectively. While his fierce base can do them harm, it is too narrow to win their re-elections. Forced to make a public choice, they will have to acknowledge his wrongdoing and vote to convict.

Impeachment will be both necessary and correct. Necessary, because the evidence of criminal and Constitutional wrongdoing will be clear and convincing; but correct for reasons more aligned with the historical intention of the impeachment remedy as imported to our Constitution from England: to remove a destructive or divisive public official without criminal prosecution or assassination.

Whether we view Donald Trump as a populist hero or a narcissistic grifter, there is no denying he is undermining the Nation’s long standing values and norms, deliberately dividing the population, and corrupting the professional independence and capabilities of our government. He has said Article II of the Constitution gives him the right to do whatever he wants, and is acting accordingly. Even if he is, as he says, the smartest, wisest, most capable person on Earth, the Nation’s Constitutional order is built on principles and processes for balancing power and self-governance that must reject a president who denies and defies them.

If his amorality and personal corruption are not reasons to remove him from office, his insistence on superiority over laws and fundamental Constitutional requirements will leave the Senate, when faced with the duty of applying those requirements, with no acceptable choice but to remove him.

Why President Trump will have to be impeached

As Donald Trump was rising in the Republican primaries, I wrote the first essay in this blog warning that admiration of him as a strong, iconoclastic champion who would face down political correctness and speak truth to power would misunderstand a terrible and dangerous flaw—his narcissism. He would not, perhaps could not, stop doubling down on himself, on his self image as bigger and stronger than the country’s established political and Constitutional order. I now believe this compulsion will drive him to destroy the nation or be martyred. Continue reading “Why President Trump will have to be impeached”

What Kind of Genius is Donald Trump?

Donald Trump says his strongest qualification for being president is his genius. He cites as evidence his business prowess, great wealth, and amazing success at fixing problems no one else has been able to fix. Since his own statements are his primary source of proof, and many believe whatever he says, a more objective look is needed. Continue reading “What Kind of Genius is Donald Trump?”

Is President Trump Racist?

I have been perplexed by the claims of people who say they know Donald Trump well that he is not at all racist. Some of those have come from people who are not among his obviously obliged apologists. How could this be true?

To understand Donald Trump it’s important not to forget the narcissism that shapes his persona and drives so much of what he says and does.

Continue reading “Is President Trump Racist?”

America

Our grandchildren probably won’t remember,
The very young ones never knew
When we loved all our neighbors, or
At least believed we should;
When we were the tide that lifted all boats,
And pulled on the oars together;
When we agreed to disagree;
When capitalism was an economic system,
Not a form of government, or religion;
When democracy was a goal–
An inspiration, an aspiration, an answer.

As the world shrank, so did the tribe.
The communists and socialists were never allowed.
A proudly Christian nation
Sent away the tired and the poor and the huddled masses
And trimmed away the colored and the foreign born,
Those with funny names and accents.
Now it’s the liberal uncles and Democrats,
Scientists and civil servants,
The sick and jobless,
And anyone who questions The Leader,
Who must be excluded.

How quickly the promise of America is yielding,
The ideal fading into naive illusion
With every shrug and each forgiving grin,
Every “Yeah, but…” and “What about….”
In the din of self-protective silence
The aspiration dies, the goal is lost, the answer rejected.
The hard work of caring for all of ourselves
Has been given up to grievance,
The social security of mutual commitment
Replaced by trust in power.

The capitalists and oligarchs are winning,
Have maybe won already.
They’ve always wanted it all.
They divided us and we fell.
As we fail to govern ourselves
We will be ruled…
By Owners and their obsequious servants,
Enabled by our apathy and fear
And a soporific belief in our entitlement.

Remind the children that freedom is hard—
Hard to win, hard to keep, intimidating even,
And hope they reach and pull the long arc back
Toward love and justice.

 

Robert Rack
4/4/19

Of the people, by the people, for the people

As Congress takes small steps to re-claim its critical role as an independent branch of government, there is another important check on the Trump Administration’s inclination to autocratic rule that needs protection: civil servants. From my perspective of nearly thirty years working in the federal judiciary, a branch of government built on commitments to accuracy, consistency, and stability, the need for politically neutral fact providers has never looked more urgent. Continue reading “Of the people, by the people, for the people”