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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Presidential Impeachment

Johnson, Nixon, Clinton, and …

by Sam Huntington

Article Two of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government. It consists of four sections, the last one addresses the subject of impeachment.  There may not be a better example of checks and balances than this article.  In Section 4: Impeachment, the Constitution reads, “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Any official impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate is immediately removed from office.  The Senate may also bar this individual from holding any future federal office.  No other punishments may be inflicted pursuant to impeachment proceedings.

The words “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” come to us from English common law; in US law, they refer to criminal actions, as well as any serious misuse or abuse of office, ranging from tax evasion to obstruction of justice.  

The ultimate authority for determining whether an offense constitutes grounds for impeachment rests with the US Congress.  The House of Representatives serves the same function as a grand jury, rendering an indictment, while the Senate, with the Chief Justice of the United States, serves as judge and jury.  

One note of possible interest, in the drafting of Section 4, the word “maladministration” was specifically rejected by the founding fathers because the word is too vague and susceptible to political abuse —which brings us to an examination of presidents who were, or might have been, or could be, impeached.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson became president upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  He became Vice President because Mr. Lincoln, following Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, began to think about reunifying the nation after the end of the war.  Johnson, a Democrat (albeit a fierce critic of secession), agreed with Mr. Lincoln about the importance of national reunification.  He also shared one personality trait with Lincoln: he was obstinate.  In contrast to Lincoln, Johnson was an uneducated man.  Thus, as a Democrat, stubborn to the point of obnoxiousness, and favoring leniency toward states and persons in rebellion, Mr. Johnson became an enemy of Radical Republicans in Congress.  

In the first few months of his administration, Johnson issued proclamations of amnesty for many Confederates, both government officials and military officers.  He also supervised the reestablishment of new governments in the rebellious states.  When Johnson vetoed legislation extending the Freedmen’s Bureau[1], Congress was unable to override the veto.  The subsequent relationship between the chief executive and the Congress was a downward spiral.  Johnson charged that Radical Republicans were treasonous, and members of Congress thought of Johnson as an idiot.

Blocked at every turn, in 1866 President Johnson decided to take his case directly to the people and so organized a swing through the nation speaking directly to voters. Essentially, this was a mid-19th Century equivalent of Donald Trump’s twitter campaign, only directed at radical elements of the Republican Party.  The campaign tour didn’t go very well, however.  Johnson adopted a combative demeanor toward citizens who didn’t agree with what he had to say.  It was not the sort of conduct Americans back then expected of their chief executive.

In an attempt to limit Johnson’s power, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act in 1867.  The bill prohibited the president from removing members of his cabinet whose tenure in office required the “advice and consent” of the U. S. Senate.  Theoretically, the act intended to protect low-level patronage appointees, but in practice it was a congressional end run against the prerogatives of a sitting president, particularly as it applied to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, whom President Johnson could not abide.

Three days after Johnson dismissed Stanton, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to impeach the Johnson, charging him with “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  A week later, the House adopted eleven articles of impeachment, which included such allegations as dismissing Stanton without the permission of the Senate, appointing an ad interim Secretary of War without the advice and consent of the Senate, and conspiring with others to circumvent the will of the Congress.  They even charged Johnson with illegally seizing public property, to wit: The War Department.

The impeachment proceedings were, in a word, disgraceful and did nothing to advance the cause of American Republicanism.  It was also a dangerous assault upon our system of checks and balances.

The Senate convened to try the case against Johnson with Chief Justice Salmon Chase presiding —but the Senate was in no mood to listen to the rulings of the Chief Justice. They routinely reversed the Judge’s rulings or ignored them altogether.  Eventually, the Judge refrained from making any rulings at all.  Elected officials further dishonored themselves by attempting to bribe members of the senate: Ambassadorships, high ranking cabinet posts, and cash payments were offered to those who agreed to switch their votes from not guilty to guilty.  The mood of the country was so anti-Johnson that not one Republican senator who voted for acquittal ever again served in an elective office.

Mr. Johnson was acquitted of all charges by one vote.

Johnson had the support of the Supreme Court, which held that a president is entitled to fire cabinet officials (and other appointees) without the approval of Congress. Congress repealed the Tenure of Office Act in 1887.  There is a recent parallel to these events 19thCentury events: President Trump recently appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General after the forced resignation of Jeff Sessions.  Democrats in the House of Representatives and Senate have accused the president of an abuse of power.  These are men and women whose job requires familiarity of the United States Constitution. These, of all people, should know their country’s history.

Richard M. Nixon

Mr. Nixon’s problems were several.  To begin with, he was not a personable man.  He reacted to perceived enemies with anger and vindictiveness.  He despised the press corps, believing that they never treated him fairly or respectfully —which was true.

Nixon was barely elected to the presidency in 1968, defeating Hubert Humphrey in one of the nation’s closest presidential contests.  In 1972, Nixon was reelected by a landslide election against George McGovern —winning every state in the Union except Massachusetts.  But there was a problem: the Watergate burglary.  The men arrested for this offense were tied to the Committee to Re-elect President Nixon.  The White House denied any involvement, but the evidence revealed an effort to cover-up the investigation of the Watergate break-in, as well as other White House sanctioned illegal activities.

In 1970, The New York Timesrevealed a secret bombing campaign in Cambodia, which the North Vietnamese routinely used to transport troops and supplies into South Vietnam.  Outraged by leaks of classified material, Nixon ordered the implementation of wiretaps of news reporters and government employees in an effort to discover the source of the leaks.  Then, in 1971 The New York Timespublished the so-called Pentagon Papers which revealed the secret history of the Vietnam War. Nixon aides conspired to assemble a group of operatives whose sole purpose was gathering evidence against Nixon’s political enemies toward preventing further news leaks.  Called “the Plumbers,” the group broke into the office of Daniel Ellsberg, a psychiatrist who had leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press.

In 1972, as part of Nixon’s reelection effort, aides organized a campaign of political spying and dirty tricks[2]against Democrats, and this led to the break-in at the Watergate office complex.  Involved was the Attorney General of the United States, John Mitchell.  

In 1973, the Senate convened a select committee on Presidential Campaign Activities.  The coverup began to unravel; a special prosecutor was appointed, and it wasn’t long before all of the president’s men began to tell their story in exchange for lighter sentences.  In July 1974, the House Judiciary Committee began to approve articles of impeachment.  He was charged with high crimes and misdemeanors, including: obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of congress.

On 9 August 1974, to avoid congressional impeachment, President Nixon resigned the presidency.

William Jefferson Clinton

In November 1995, President Bill Clinton initiated an extra-marital sexual relationship with the 21-year old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.  The relationship continued for 18 months, during which time Clinton and Lewinsky engaged in a dozen sexual encounters inside the White House. After Lewinsky was transferred to the Pentagon, she confided certain details of the affair to a co-worker by the name of Linda Tripp.

In 1997, Tripp, secretly record conversations with Lewinsky, in which Miss Lewinsky gave detailed accounts of the sexual affair.  Then, in December of that year, lawyers for Paula Jones, who was suing President Clinton for sexual harassment, subpoenaed Monica Lewinsky.

In early 1998, ostensibly at the behest of President Clinton, Lewinsky signed an affidavit in which she denied ever having a sexual relationship with the president.  Tripp, upon learning of the affidavit, contacted the office Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr to talk about Lewinsky and the tapes she made of their conversations.  Tripp agreed to wear a wire for the FBI, and Lewinsky again provided details about the affair.

FBI agents placed Miss Lewinsky into custody and she was interviewed by federal attorneys.  She was offered immunity if she agreed to cooperate in the government’s prosecution of President Clinton.  The news media broke this story several days later.  Clinton publicly denied all allegations.  Before the end of the summer, federal authorities had devised a full immunity agreement with Lewinsky and her parents. Lewinsky’s testified in front of a grand jury on 6 August.

President Clinton appeared in front of the same grand jury on 17 August and offered testified. Contrary to his previous testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, Clinton acknowledged that he had in fact engaged in a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky[3].  Mr. Starr delivered his completed investigation to the House of Representatives on 11 September, which included eleven grounds for impeachment and these encompassed perjuries, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, and abuse of power.

Bill Clinton was the first president since Andrew Johnson to be tried by the United States Senate. Five weeks later, the Senate voted on two articles of impeachment.  The prosecution required a two-thirds majority to convict Clinton but failed to achieve even a bare majority.  Clinton was acquitted.  On the charge of perjury, 45 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted “not guilty.”  On the charge of obstruction of justice, the Senate was split.

Two months later, in April 1999, after being acquitted by the Senate, President Clinton was cited by Federal District Judge Susan Webber Wright for contempt of court owing to his willful failure to obey her repeated orders to testify truthfully in the Paula Jones case.  Clinton was fined $90,000, lost his license to practice law for five years, and, while pending disbarment from the U. S. Supreme Court, he resigned from the Supreme Court Bar.  Ultimately, Clinton agreed to pay Jones $850,000 in an out of court settlement.

Conclusion

Andrew Johnson’s problems were political.  He did not enjoy many political friendships; he was an unpolished individual, uneducated, and taken to drink.  He escaped conviction by a single vote.

Richard Nixon also did not enjoy many political friendships, but Nixon’s problems were primarily due to his low character.  I have no doubt that had Mr. Nixon not resigned, he would have been impeached, convicted, and removed from office.

President Clinton also has character abnormalities.  He was (and is) arrogant, careless, dishonest, and unprincipled.  Despite these flaws, Bill Clinton was hugely popular, both personally and politically.  Was he in fact guilty of the charges filed against him by a Republican House of Representatives?  I do not think there can be much doubt about that.  But the good-old-boy political network in the United States Senate apparently felt that dallying with a White House intern should not destroy an effective presidency.  Most Americans agreed and Republicans lost the House of Representatives in the next congressional election cycle.

Donald J. Trump

Today, we have another president who could face impeachment, this time by a Democratically controlled House of Representatives.  It is almost impossible to avoid the continual stream of opposition politicians who appear on nightly news feeds mouthing the same accusations: Donald J. Trump, they say, is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.  No charges have been filed, of course, but the claims seem to come from the same template as before: obstruction of justice, violation of foreign emoluments clauses of the US Constitution, conspiracy, illegal appointment of an acting official, providing aid and comfort to white supremists, abuse of power, threatening nuclear war, undermining freedom of the press, and unlawfully imprisoning children.  There could be other charges, as well.  It all depends upon whose internet site you stumble across.

Is Mr. Trump guilty of any of these charges?  So far, a special prosecutor has been working to answer this question for about 18 months. Robert Mueller is seeking to determine whether Donald J. Trump coordinated or colluded with Russian operatives to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, whether there are any links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and any matter that has or may arise directly from the investigation, including obstruction of justice by Trump, any of his aides, family members, business partners, or anyone Trump may have known in grade school.

Whether Mr. Trump is ultimately impeached will depend on these three things: (1) the results of Robert Mueller’s investigation, (2) the impetus of a Democratic House, and (3) the will of the American people.  Personally, I hope the House does develop articles of impeachment.  It may not result in a conviction, but it will guarantee that the House of Representatives passes back into the hands of the Republican Party in 2020.


[1]Two months after the end of the war, Congress established the Freedman’s Bureau.  It was conceived as a temporary measure intending to address a large refugee population and the fact that there was, at this time, no mechanism to manage a massive welfare program, unemployment, and land reform programs.  President Johnson was opposed to extending the Bureau (beyond its original one-year charter) because he believed such legislation interfered with states’ rights, gave preference to one group of citizens over another, and because it would impose a huge financial obligation on the federal government.
[2]Nixon’s dirty tricks were the genesis of the sobriquet, “Tricky Dicky.”  In no instance, however, is Hillary Rodham Clinton able to take a back seat to the infamous Plumbers.  The manufactured dossier on Donald Trump, ordered and paid for by Hillary Clinton, could be the most malicious dirty trick ever played in American political history. 
[3]President Clinton is the first sitting president to give testimony to a grand jury.

61 comments:

  1. My prediction: The House will impeach the President before the 2020 election.

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    1. SF,
      The Dems' 2020 Election strategy?

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    2. My prediction. The peasants will swarm the Bastille the day they ever convict a sitting President through impeachment on a Trumped-up Mueller-generated charge.

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    3. There will be no peasant swarms--that's silly talk. We are all too comfortable.

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    4. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington were pretty comfortable, too.

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    5. Hesiod, "Works and Days"

      (ll. 238-247) But for those who practise violence and cruel deeds far-seeing Zeus, the son of Cronos, ordains a punishment. Often even a whole city suffers for a bad man who sins and devises presumptuous deeds, and the son of Cronos lays great trouble upon the people, famine and plague together, so that the men perish away, and their women do not bear children, and their houses become few, through the contriving of Olympian Zeus. And again, at another time, the son of Cronos either destroys their wide army, or their walls, or else makes an end of their ships on the sea.

      (ll. 248-264) You princes, mark well this punishment you also; for the deathless gods are near among men and mark all those who oppress their fellows with crooked judgements, and reck not the anger of the gods. For upon the bounteous earth Zeus has thrice ten thousand spirits, watchers of mortal men, and these keep watch on judgements and deeds of wrong as they roam, clothed in mist, all over the earth. And there is virgin Justice, the daughter of Zeus, who is honoured and reverenced among the gods who dwell on Olympus, and whenever anyone hurts her with lying slander, she sits beside her father, Zeus the son of Cronos, and tells him of men's wicked heart, until the people pay for the mad folly of their princes who, evilly minded, pervert judgement and give sentence crookedly. Keep watch against this, you princes, and make straight your judgements, you who devour bribes; put crooked judgements altogether from your thoughts.

      (ll. 265-266) He does mischief to himself who does mischief to another, and evil planned harms the plotter most.

      (ll. 267-273) The eye of Zeus, seeing all and understanding all, beholds these things too, if so he will, and fails not to mark what sort of justice is this that the city keeps within it. Now, therefore, may neither I myself be righteous among men, nor my son -- for then it is a bad thing to be righteous -- if indeed the unrighteous shall have the greater right. But I think that all-wise Zeus will not yet bring that to pass.

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    6. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington didn't have government benefits, smart phones, cheap internet and an endless stream of mind-numbing entertainment.

      Consider: Even the "poor oppressed" won't riot the way the leftwing manipulators want them to, forcing them to rely on paid agitators and astroturf agitation organizations.

      Not only will the revolution not be televised, there will be no revolution. Who would lead it anyway? Fat multi-millionaire Sean Hannity? LOL

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    7. ...as the current form of big corporate capitalism is nearing it's point of exhaustion and imminent collapse.

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    8. Authoritarian capitalism is the future. Nancy Pelosi no longer see's a benefit in protecting the people and building a wall. And the something that "must give" is "democracy".

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    9. "China" best represents "the new capitalism".

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    10. "Impeachment" is something "only" for democracies. China doesn't impeach its' leaders.

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    11. The Left no longer wants to "kill the normies". They ARE the "new normies".

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    12. ps -the above link is NOT my endorsement of "white" nationalism, only recognition that even "white" nationalists aren't entirely wrong. The hippies of '68 have won the culture (result - "cultural" capitalism). The previous "normies" are now the new counter-culture.

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    13. See the future... of cultural capitalism... social credit scores to enforce #MeToo, et al, "norms".

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    14. Agreed on Social Credit Scores. I've read a lot about it, and the technology is already in use here, we just don't know it yet, and to what extent.

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    15. Our social-credit system is still "unofficial" (under terms of "prosecutorial discretion" at FBI/DOJ and IRS).

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    16. When the sky turns a bright canary yellow
      I forget ev'ry cloud I've ever seen,
      So they called me a cockeyed optimist
      Immature and incurably green.

      I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
      That we're done and we might as well be dead,
      But I'm only a cockeyed optimist
      And I can't get it into my head.

      I hear the human race
      Is fallin' on it's face
      And hasn't very far to go,
      But ev'ry whippoorwill
      Is callin' thriugh his bill,
      And tellin' me it just ain't so.

      I could say life is just a bowl of Jello
      And appear more intelligent and smart,
      But I'm stuck like a dope
      With a thing called hope,
      And I can't get it out of my heart!
      Not this heart.


      ~ Oscar Hammerstein, II - from South Pacific (1949)

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    17. To JOE Far Above:

      Hesiod sounds almost BIBLICAL, doesn't he? That's because the eternal truths and basic princkples revealed in the Holy Bible have ALWAYS been true since before go created the cosmos.

      I ove this partocular quote, however.

      "Now, therefore, may neither I, myself ,be righteous among men, nor my son –– for then it is a bad thing to be righteous –– if indeed the unrighteous shall have the greater right."

      I may be wrong, but I take that to mean that when you are dealing with scoundrels, and dirty, unprincipled sons-of-bitches, all bets are off, and you must do WHATEVER IT TAKES to DEFEAT these enemies, even if it goes against your most cherished ideals and principles.

      I would agree with that. Any and all attempts to make war "nice," "decent," "decorous," a"proprtinal," and "fair"OFFEND me, because they are contrary to good commn sense, and therefore, absurd and self-defeating.. I have always found the idea that WAR must be conducted according to Rules of Engagement designed to make war less brutal and barbaric to be asinine.

      Like most so-called "liberal" initiative the idea of fighting a considerate, kind well-behaved war may sound like a worthy, humane, civilized idea, but it is almost certain to GUARANTEE not only DEFEAT, but HUMILIATION and much irretrievable loss.

      Why the HELL do you think we're STILL fighting in the Middle East after nearly TWENTY YEARS of hideously expensive, FRUITLESS conflict?

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    18. Alas! As always the followers of Baal, Moloch and Mammon have nothing to say to a simple statement of extreme probability.

      It has been ever thus,and that is why we are where we are today –– not much better off than we were five-thousand years ago..

      "When will they ever learn?"

      Apparently NEVER.

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  2. Its VERY clear that the President, and Republican party is for the safety and security of the American people and our country. The Democratic party, Progressive party is in favor of illegal alien, illegal alien criminals, over the safety of the American people!! We know who wants to protect the American citizens! No more deaths by illegal aliens and illegal alien criminals!

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  3. Between the Mueller reports and all the Trump business shenanigans, campaign funding violations, and corruptions that the House of Ryan refused to lift the rug to, Trump will ultimately swing by his own rope. When you have a 2 bit shyster who has been a con man his entire life con his way to the top and then confronted with actual accountability, it's inevitable.

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    1. Yeah, that's what I thought about the Hillary"investigation." She's still doing just fine.

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    2. You again have to look back at that "House of Ryan". Those Hillary investigations were front and center all the way up to the election. Then, crickets.
      And I think we'll find the Trump scandals to be quite less invented than the Clinton's.

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    3. Trump's wife wasn't President for eight years.

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    4. The terms con-man, shyster, shenanigans, corruption all apply to any politician you point at, in both parties, as far back as when Moby Dick was a minnow. Trump may swing but even as we remain trapped in our own political (emotional) biases, we are still living in a country where citizens are presumed innocent of crimes until proven guilty. Unless we no longer believe in such notions, that is, the Bill of Rights, then we are obliged to assume Trump’s innocence of any criminality until an appropriate court of jurisdiction determines otherwise. The last time I checked, it is not a violation of law to be involved in scandals ... and in terms of modern morality, no shame as well.

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    5. Much of Trump's categorizing is a product of his own making and even his own admission. It's the way he's lived his entire life. There's a considerable difference in him and other politicians pertaining to integrity and honesty- ideologies aside.
      And while I'm a firm believer in due process, Trump's very words and deeds brings into question if he is. Of course he's innocent until proven guilty. He just seems to be providing himself with an excessive amount of rope.

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    6. Sam shared... "... we are still living in a country where citizens are presumed innocent of crimes until proven guilty. Unless we no longer believe in such notions, that is, the Bill of Rights, then we are obliged to assume Trump’s innocence of any criminality until an appropriate court of jurisdiction determines otherwise."

      The presumption of innocence until proven guilty is indeed part of what makes America.

      As to Sam's statement, currently, the more conservative voices are applying this to Trump. I wonder how many of those same voices would defend the innocence of Hillary Clinton or OJ Simpson? Neither of these two have been proven guilty of the most heinous crimes charged by many over the years.

      Perhaps those are the political (emotional) biases of which Sam speaks.

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    7. Excellent observation, Dave. My conclusion is that we may not rely on the pronouncements of members of congress because their motivations are not judicial (even though they make the law), but entirely partisan. This would still be okay if those entrusted to execute the laws were non-partisan, but as we have seen, they are not. It would have been better for the country, to use your example, if Comey had charged Clinton. In court, her innocence or guilt would have permanently settled the matter. The law must not only be equally applied, but it must be seen to be equally applied. Failing that ... anger and distrust. Failing that ... we remain divided, left to our basic senses, which are too often nonsensical.

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    8. Dave,

      Hillary's gross mishandling of classified information was never seriously investigated as a violation of the law.

      She got by with destroying evidence and her co-conspirators got to sit in on the chats she had with the FBI; Obama's JustUs Ministry incredibly allowed them all status as her lawyers. It was all wired from the beginning, the fix was in. That is not justice.

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    9. Trumps "sin" is that he is an old-style capitalist and not a New Democrat (creeping socialist) "cultural-capitalist". Her greed is all for "the right reasons" (ie -Clinton Foundation) and so she get's a "pass" on her dodgy activity.

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    10. OJ was aquitted. Hillary wasn't charged and doesn't appear to be (what were her crimes again?). The charges coming to Trump are yet to be seen but Mueller and the new Lower Chamber appears to no longer allow political bias to do him any favors.

      It would seem hard for both Chambers to impeach Trump without overwhelming evidence. Will they if there is?

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    11. The (R) Never-Trumpers of the Uniparty will have no trouble impeaching Trump. That isn't their problem. It's convincing the American people that the crimes, even if real, aren't a purely political prosecution. And there's no way now that THAT could ever happen. The partisans of the UniParty have already been exposed. The Secrecy fraud that Mueller, the FBI, DOJ, and leaky-Press have heretofore always hid behind has been exposed.

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    12. The Trump Impeachment Hearings will be the "proof in the pudding" that the American people have lost ALL say in the conduct of their Government. And from that point forward, they will free of any social contracts previously agreed to.

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    13. Hears the rub. If you can ruin Trump, you can ruin anybody. And you can't invest in a future in a place where people can ruin you because they don't like your politics.

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    14. @ Joe: "...proof in the pudding" that the American people have lost ALL say in the conduct of their Government. And from that point forward, they will free of any social contracts previously agreed to."

      Yes. I agree. This has already happened in much of the world: Italy, Greece, all of Latin America. This phenomena manifests itself in many different way, but on common theme is banding together to cheat and defraud government and authority in retail ways.

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    15. One thing wrong, Joe.

      It would be WONDERFUL if we could "RUIN" every flthy-mnded bastard who embraces MARXISM and GLOBALISM in ANY of their many and varied forms.

      The Handwriting is On the Wall

      If "WE" don't "ruin" THEM, it is an absolute certainty that "THEY" will "ruin" US.

      SilverFiddle is right in saying we are all too comfortable to stage a revolution –– right NOW ––, but once enough of us are impoversished to the point where we are eating our pets, and scrounging around garbage cans fighting each other –– to the DEATH –– to get a scrap or two of rotting food in a dumpster, while pimping our wives and small children to syphillitic strangers in exchange for –– perhaps? –– enough food to survive yet another day –– or even just a few more torturedhours –– on the rain-soaked, cold and windy streets –– or in the snow drifts under a bridge ...

      When we get to THAT point, the SAVAGE INSTINCT to try to SURVIVE will take hold, and then the "palaces" will be stormed, the elites will be dragged from their comfortable bastions, the tumbrels with agsin thunder through the streets, and the GUILLOTINE willo once again rule the land, while rivers of blood flood the streets.

      When life becomes SO intolerable that death begins to look attractive, it is THEN that most will become brave enough to march into a hailstorm of machine gun bullets to get to those responsible for their misery –– and while thousands WILL lay dead ripped to bleeding pulp on the pavement, enough WILL get through to TEAR their OPPRESSORS LIMB from LIMB and toss their remains to be BARBECUED to feed the starving masses.


      Dear President Trump is working his HEART out to TRY to PREVENT that.

      IF he fails, ... well. God help us all.

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    16. By the way didn't we see the Left's ravening eagerness to take a wrecking ball to Innocent Until Proven Guilty during the Kavanugh travesty?

      THOSE people have NO respect for ANYTHING. They just want to make it up as they go along ALWAYS to suit THEIR nefarious purposes.

      The Left is essentially LAWLESS.

      BUT! Now Hear This:

      The GOP's Crippling Show of Virtue

      The DemonRats have balls of brass.
      Conservatives’ are made of glass.
      The former sound in far lands hinter;
      Tha latter shatter, then they splinter.
      Giving the Old Nick his due
      Never works out well for you.


      ~ Catona Hottinroof

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  4. Thank you, Sam for the fascinating-if-somewhat-overly-detailed history lesson.

    Like the Scottish Philsopher David Hume I have seen for many years that "Reason" really is "the Slave of Passion."

    We like to think ourselves rationnal creatures capable of assessing events "objectively" and thus making "fair " and "impartial" judgments based purely on factual evidence.

    All I can say to that is "HAH!"

    Feverish partisan EMOTION lay at the root of the three impeachment proceedings on which you reported so thoroughly. Andrew Johnson was "hated," therefore he was systematically reviled. Like President Trump he fought back against the unfair attacks, which only strengthened the ire and resolve of his opponents.

    President Nixon was a very smart, very fine man from a humble background who worked his way up through the ranks the hard way. Nixon EARNED everything he ever got by hard work.

    He was hated by the ENEMEDIA of his day, however, not because he was dishonest, surly or lacking in "charisma," but precisely because he was a zealous, dedicated, highly successful anti-Communist. He was disliked by the more patrician, Eastern Establishment, most of them quasi-arstocratic heirs to Old Money. Nixon was not part of ther world, not trained in the style of their social rituals and political gamesmanship, and was, therefore, regarded with snobbish disdain.

    As surely we have learned by now the "press," as it was then called, AND these eastern elite, Harvard-educated Upper Classes had profound Communist, Statist, Collectivist, anti-Capitalist, anti-Christian, fundamentally anti-AMERICAN sympathies, which they were wily enough to mask for many years. And then the open warfare that began with the vietnam War Protest ovement and Watergate broke out. At that the "press," bared its fangs and suddenly became the ENEMEDIA. we so abhor today.

    Unfortunately, the Law is subject to "judicial interpretation." That means it may too easily be used as a partisan tool that can be twisted by devilishly clever sophists into sounding as though it means the exact opposite of its original legislators' intent.

    Highly intelligent-but-fractious, perverse, bitterly angry individuals whose background and acculturated sense of ethics, morals and values differ tremendously from those of our Founders and and pre-twentieth-century rank and file citizens insidiously wormed their way into positions of influence, and have increasingly wrought havoc in our society ever since.

    Certainly the original Anglo-Saxon-Celtic settlers were subject to personal prejudices, irrational behavior, and fits of violent emotion like all human beings, but least they came from a common, basiclly Christian culture, and therefore, spoke the same language.

    We lost that comonality a long time ago, hav becme divided into warring sp\inter factions who distrust and despise each other, and so we are, therefore, experiencing right now a disturbing phenomenon eerily reminiscent of the events chronicled in the story of the Tower of Babel.

    How it's gong to end is anybody's guess, but the future looks pretty grim right now

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    1. I agree with you, Franco. People are stuck on the things they think they know, even when what they know is not only wrong, but completely wrong. God forbid that we should ever allow facts to get in the way of our emotions. There are a few politicians who seem to be universally despised, but I’m not sure that’s our fault. I disagree with you about Nixon. He wasn’t a bad man, but in many instances he behaved badly. Nixon had serious character flaws that did not serve him well during his presidency. If we are able to criticize Obama for using the power of his office against his enemies, and I think there is plenty of evidence to support such a claim, then we must apply that same standard to the likes of Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, who used the FBI in the same ways. I used to think that we were “better than that,” but over many years I’ve come to this conclusion: No, we’re not.

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    2. The list of presidents who haven't used the power of the office against their enemies is pretty damn short.

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    3. As well, the list of Presidents to whom we've ceded non-executive powers to...grows steadily...yet nobody carps and grouses about OUR complicity.

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    4. Our government is a lawless cyclops, and the Infotainment Media Complex is its progressive propaganda arm.

      We are no longer a nation of laws. Innocence and guilt are decided in the Infotainment Media Complex court of public opinion.


      A popular or especially well-connected politician can get by with anything. The unpopular politician or one who fails to "go along to get along" gets the hammer.

      Bernie was lucky. All the Establishment did to him was steal the nomination from him, with the news media aiding and abetting the theft.

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    5. For once I have to agree with Ducky. I'm no great student if history, bu i seem to remember the sainted Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, all bullied the nation to get their way by issuing distinctly unconstitutional orders that had no legal sanction.

      I'm sure there others as well.

      And of course the way the Founding Fathers treated each other when competing for political office was every bit as rowdy, unprincipled, mean-spirited and frankly scandalous as anything we have to put up with today.

      It's not for naught that politics is often fun as a Blood Sport.

      Roberts Rules of Order and decorous Tea Party Etiquette have rarely applied when serious conflicts have arisen.

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    6. A popular or especially well-connected politician can get by with anything.

      That’s been proven in spades. Both parties’ supporters excuse the legion of blantant lies by their idolized “leaders”.

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    7. that's been true since before Noah built the Ark.

      It's called "Being Human."

      We are flawed, fallen creatures.

      Blame Eve if you like. I don't, but that doesn't make our fallen condition any less factual.

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    8. Human beings seldom escape their human condition. We can comment on it, and we can argue about it, but other than working to change ourselves, there is very little we can do about it. “If men were but angels ...” or so it was written. Over at Bunkerville, there is an interesting piece about dishonesty in government. There is certainly nothing new about human dishonesty, and all that we have to keep us on the narrow path are the consequences for being caught out. The disheartening change I see in government relates to the fact that consequences today depend heavily upon one’s political affiliation. Some get a pass, others do not. Lacking equal accountability, then as AOW has said, we are witness to the crumbling of the very foundations of our American Republic. And while most of us remain clueless, all of us remain powerless to do anything about it. It’s time for a Sam Adams.

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    9. Quite right about Sam Adams, but while some charlatan or another will come around, attracting the gaze of the masses...I fear we have passed the point in modern politics where true change can occur, sans a social Ragnarök.

      Generally astute Citizens will acknowledge the failings of the 'human condition', yet continue to debase and disrespect themselves in pursuit of political expediency and emotional gratification.

      Lost upon most [especially the sycophantic fanboi's], is that it makes no sense to expend intellectual bandwidth trying to hold your opposition accountable...if you don't do even near the same with your own camp.

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  5. DJ Trump is Impeached and removed and Pence becomes President
    Pence pardons DJ Trump and makes him Vice President
    Pence Resigns as President making DJ Trump President
    DJ Trump appoints Pence as Vice President.

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    1. Atta boy, Kid!

      YOU TELL 'EM!

      I love it.

      Never say, "DIE!"

      };^D>

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. Had to repost
    Please vote in our online poll... should we spend $5 billion on a border wall?

    https://commoncts.blogspot.com/2019/01/online-straw-poll-do-you-support-5.html?m=1

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  7. excellent blog, AOW, please keep it up

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  8. The Left's propaganda war.

    Welcome to 1984's Ministry of Truth:

    ...TV station airs altered Trump video.

    Excerpt:

    A staffer at local Fox affiliate Q13 has been fired after the station aired what appears to be a doctored video of President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night speech from the Oval Office.

    The video was changed to make it look as if Trump was sticking his tongue out languidly between sentences. In addition, the colors in the video look more saturated, leading the president’s skin and hair to appear orange....


    Mire at the above link.

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  9. Late to the party but... "Our government is a lawless cyclops, and the Infotainment Media Complex is its progressive propaganda arm."

    Silverfiddle, you're in the X Ring.

    That said, who would've thought that the center of Eurocommie soft leftism and the NWO project would, ahem, rise up? But they kind of have, tear gas on the Champs Elysee's no small thing.

    And just how loyal are the gendarmarie to the Macronistes? Let's put it another way, how many French policemen eat $30 sandwiches at Davos and cavort on private beaches in the Med. Maybe that's why the hated Macron was AWOL the other week, revolution's in the air.

    That aside, the French had enough because of yet one more tax, like our Founders.

    When the people can't live in the serf-like Walmart luxury they're accustomed to expect trouble. Are we there yet? No, not quite, but perhaps not so very far off.

    Just a rambling thought.

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