A Good Start: Impeachment Next Steps

Every fact witness had amazing moments.

By Tom Crofton
The Commoner Call (11/25/19)

The testimony of professional foreign service officers in the Trump Impeachment Investigation has been stunning. Setting aside for a moment the truth that they are operating in an unnecessarily destructive, cold-war clash of economic empires, they are proof that our country has very skilled and dedicated people overseas representing the policies of our country.

The fact that political hacks are guiding them, and working next to them, is the sad reality of our times, when incompetence, self-service, and intentional sabotage are now prerequisites for political positions in Trump’s government.

The efforts of liberals in the House of Representatives to seek the truth with their questioning has also been worthy of commendation. While most had a few shining moments over the last week, Rep. Patrick Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) were almost always outstanding. Maloney was able to coax Europen Union ambassador Gordon Sondlond through a friendly, logical, series of admissions; like walking a recalcitrant toddler to the sink to wash his face, and then stood there through the last vestiges of resistance to make him admit that he understood the point of the exercise. With the final whining complaint from Gordon, Maloney dropped the full load of shame on him for his petulant behavior. Outstanding!

Chairman Rep. Steven Schiff (D-CA) was able to keep cooly stone faced through the worst insulting blather from the other side, and was exceptional in his control of the proceedings and tremendous in most of his closing remarks.

Distilling the chaos

Additionally, the parts of the media that were willing to avoid the trap of trying to balance the truth with erroneous ‘alternative facts’ were at the top of their game. These folks all have a strain of America’s Exceptionalist Empire in their assumptions, but many were at least able to distill the chaos of the story and proceedings into simple moral truths. For that, we should at least be grateful that a resistance to Rupert Murdoch’s ‘state news’ Fox echo chamber is still alive and breathing.

Every fact witness had amazing moments, even the ones who were otherwise proud of their association with past icons of our empire’s moral mis-deeds; such as former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brezinski, and former national security adviser Susan Rice. Several were of the immigrant stock that is so debased in our current putrid xenophobic climate. Indeed, perhaps the most powerful testimony came from the English coal miner’s daughter, Dr. Fiona Hill, whose opening statement obliterated the Republican talking points in a flash, and whose introspection allowed her to first understand, and then present, the devastatingly simple fact that a billionaire donor cum ambassador was being sent out — parallel to and oblivious of institutional foreign policy — on a personal, domestic, political, errand by the one who would be king. So powerful a presence, so smart, speaking so well, Dr. Hill should be the next Secretary of State.

The statement of Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), that he could not find enough wrong doing to justify impeachment is really no surprise. After all Hurd wasn’t troubled enough by the behavior of the CIA he worked for to take a stand there either. He was considered to be one of the few Republican votes to impeach, and his statement is an indication that conviction in the Senate will not occur in the present climate.

So where to now?

Contrary to reports that the House will move quickly, I suggest the opposite. The door to the corruption of this government has been opened and a deep, wide , probing investigation is called for. As a progressive, I fear any mealy-mouthed behavior on the part of the Dems can at best elect a corporate moderate, whether it be a Pete, Amy, or Joe; none of whom are going to even try to get to the core problems churned up from our ecosystem-destroying and humanitarian-crisis-creating economic system. In this case, the cure doesn’t exist for the ailments we suffer. Dystopia is coming at us like a speeding locomotive.

At worst our weakness will get us Trump, or a superficially better, but in reality just as evil replacement such as VP Mike Pence or John Kasich. This possibility will increase as the right — and corporate interests — realizes the need to switch horses mid-stream to win. As enough bad news is revealed this winter, Trump’s core will shrink enough to worry “conservatives”.

I think the Dems should spend the time to connect the Mueller report with the Ukrainian scandal and include the grimy Guliani/Manafort/Stone nexus. We should keep digging and not hurry for the convenience of the primaries. This unique election season is going to end up with several rounds of ballots at the convention. Let’s thoroughly uncover the massive corruption of our system before we nominate the people to repair the damage. We need to pick the ones who have the brains, stomach, and intention to do the job. And then we need to steer a course away from the exploitation of the planet and the third world, and unleash our recently profiled professional diplomats to build peaceful relations based on the core values we pretend we have.