Within the first few minutes of his opening statement, John Dean showed us he was ready and able to wipe out the Republican Kiddie Caucus. He knew their objective was to run out the clock and use childish tactics to bash him as if he was a piñata.
Dean took the air out of their tactic by acknowledging he wasn’t there as a fact witness – only to present a historical perspective. It went downhill for the Republicans before they even started.
Anyone who watched the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller report on Monday saw the contrast between those who govern and those who remind us why five-year-olds should never be left unsupervised – not even for a few minutes.
With their childish conduct, the Republicans admitted they don’t have a solid adult criticism of the Mueller report. Who knows, maybe if they had bothered to read it, they may have had something useful to contribute.
Instead, we were treated to them childishly taunting John Dean. One example was Matt Gaetz’s childish attempt to paint Dean as someone who says all presidents are like Nixon.
We saw efforts to smear him with lies, as we saw with Louis Gohmert’s attempt to say that Dean ordered the Watergate break-in. As Think Progress observed, when all else failed, Jimmy Jordan lied when he said Dean served time.
“An agitated Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) attempted to paint Dean as extremely biased against Trump, choosing to highlight the president’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Dean was far more successful at eliciting laughs from the chamber when he noted his answers would be out of order. Jordan proceeded to claim Dean had gone to prison, which he had not.”
We even saw the Republican children try to provoke members from the Democratic Party by referring to their party as the “Democrat Party.” Oooh. Shade. Burn.
I honestly preferred a functioning two-party political system. I remember when the members of both parties came prepared to discuss the important issues with intelligence and maturity, or at least with something that is worthy of the dignity that comes with representing the American people in Congress.
We don’t have that anymore. One of the parties continues to function – even though there may be differences of opinion on substance. There are some members of the Democratic Party who want impeachment proceedings to begin immediately. Others join with Speaker Pelosi in the belief that since most Americans oppose impeachment, it may be premature. Both sides have solid reasons for their positions and have the ability to discuss them.
If you disagree with dear leader in the Republican Party, you are taking your political life in your hands. Donald Trump still isn’t over the day John McCain voted to save healthcare for millions of Americans. Trump’s promise of “something wonderful” wasn’t enough for McCain who was battling brain cancer at the time.
McCain died nearly a year ago, as a war hero, and one of the few Republicans with the integrity to say no to Donald Trump, McCain’s then best friend in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, has since shown his true colors as he gushes over how fun it is to play golf with Donald Trump – even though he may say bad things about the late Senator McCain.
Republicans used to be worthy of being called the Grand Old Party, but not today. Now it’s a party of petulant ignoramuses for whom all values are secondary to the cult of personality.
And we live in two different worlds – with completely contradictory information. If you follow “conservative news,” you have been misinformed about the Mueller Report’s contents – unless you read it yourself.
If you have read it, you know that it amounts to a road map for Congress to proceed with the one constitutional remedy it has when faced with a president who may have committed impeachable offenses. Impeachable offenses that are intermingled with criminal offenses.
The evidence and witnesses may be helpful to both, and if you’re someone who looks at the long game – like Nancy Pelosi, then you know that your investigation also requires preserving evidence that will hopefully be used at criminal proceedings in the future.
You know there are two different standards of proof and different methods of proof between an impeachment proceeding and a criminal proceeding. You know that a criminal indictment is far easier to obtain than an impeachment, and both are comparatively easier than the trial phases.
You know that criminals, if given the opportunity, will destroy all incriminating evidence – thus eliminating the prospect of criminal indictment. Pelosi and the Democrats have the more difficult job in this battle of realities with the Republicans because unlike at any time in American history, this criminal president has a complicit Republican Party and a propaganda machine that’s like Russia Today.
Republicans can just do their imitations of frat boys, as Matt Gaetz and good old Jimmy Jordan showed us on Monday. They’ll continue to waste time because their game plan is running out the clock. Similarly, Republicans in the Senate are ever so busy corrupting the courts with as many incompetent Trump loyalists as possible.
Under Speaker Pelosi, House Democrats passed dozens of bills that deal with bread and butter issues and address the breakdown of norms and ethics that we’ve witnessed in real time.
One may dismiss the value of giving the nation a civics class as Trump continues to burn down every norm that gets in his way. But, when you have a population that doesn’t know Bob Mueller never did exonerate Trump or believes that impeachment will automatically remove Trump from office, we need a primer on the available remedy, how it works and how Trump’s obstructionism actually does impede that process. On one hand, going for impeachment provides leverage, on the other, has anyone been being paying attention to whom we’re dealing with?
The man is crazy and has, on more than one occasion, proven willing to burn down the house. Given Trump’s disposition, there is wisdom in preserving evidence for a subsequent criminal proceeding that will remove him from society, possibly, for the rest of his life. In the meantime, the House Judiciary Committee is educating the American public, as well it should.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.