Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Impeach Him Now






Appearing in person in New Hampshire on Tuesday's Morning Joe, Donald Trump was asked (as had been John Ellis Bush) to give a one word description of each GOP presidential candidate. As to Hillary Clinton, Trump hesitated- considerably- before responding "evil," then clarifying that "in some ways, evil."

Clearly taken aback, Mika Brzezinski emitted an audible "oh," She then asked why he would call the individual most likely to be the next President of the United States "evil."

Just kidding there- that would have provoked an actual conversation approximating an actual interview, which has been all too rare this campaign season.

But that's really not so bad, because Trump was not emphasizing Clinton's alleged evil and had he not been asked to limit his answer to one word, probably would have gone elsewhere.

The same cannot be said for Marco Rubio (about whom Trump said "confused.")  So let's dispel this notion that Marco Rubio doesn't know what he's doing.

If that sounds familiar or vaguely ironic, it's because it's a variant of Rubio's stump speech, delivered over and over when prompted, and battered, by Chris Christie. First, it was "And let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing." Then it was "Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing," followed by "Those are the facts. Here's the bottom line. This notion that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true. He knows exactly what he's doing. "  Finally, he stated "We are not facing a president that doesn't know what he's doing. He knows what he is doing. That's why he's done the things he's done."

If the New Jersey governor had been allowed to contunue, the Florida Senator probably would have said it again. Evidently, that's what he does:

... on Monday, Mr. Rubio, the Florida Republican, who has been under relentless criticism for uttering his talking points over and over in Saturday's presidential debate, had another repetitious lapse.

Speaking to a crowd in Nashua, he was lamenting the decline in American family values.

Then he lamented the decline in American values again.

This is what he said verbatim, as his wife and four children looked on:

"We are taking our message to families that are struggling to raise their children in the 21st century because, as you saw, Jeanette and I are raising our four children in the 21st century, and we know how hard it's become to instill our values in our kids instead of the values that they try to ram down our throats in the movies, in music, in popular culture."

“In the 21st century, it’s becoming harder than ever to instill in your children the values they teach in our homes and in our church instead of the values that they try to ram down our throats in the movies, in music, in popular culture.”

Nonetheless, we already knew that Marco Rubio is a cardboard cutout, that there is no "there" there. A more serious problem than repeating the same thing repeating the same thing was highlighted by Charles Pierce, who contended that Rubio at the New Hampshire debate "was accusing the president of monumental and deliberate acts of subersion in office. This is a stunning charge, especially from a one-term pipsqueak whose memory banks jam whenever he steps an inch beyond his actual depth."

It's worse yet, however,et than Rubio's Saturday night accusations that the President "knows what he's done"  and is "undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world," In South Carolina in early January, Rubio (video below) cited "religious liberties" and (specifically) the Second Amendment and remarked "our constituion is being systematically violated and ignored" by the President.

At one recent debate

Marco Rubio chastised Hillary Clinton's call to put Barack Obama on the Supreme Court, framing the presidential election as a fight to defeat Clinton.  

"Hillary Clinton this week said that Barack Obama would make a great Supreme Court justice," the GOP White House hopeful said Thursday at the Fox News primary debate. 

"The guy who systematically and habitually violates the Constitution on the Supreme Court? I don’t think so."

This is a serious charge, one going well beyond arguing that the Affordable Care Act violates the Constitution or that authorizing the DEA or the NSA to spy on American citizens is unconstitutional (fat chance Rubio ever suggests that).  It goes beyond even claiming that the President himself in a specific instance knowingly violated the Constitution.

In its report following the Watergate Crisis, in 1974 the Senate Judiciary Committee summarized

It is useful to note three major presidential duties of broad scope that are explicity recited in the Constitution: "to take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States" and to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States" to the best of his ability. The first is directly imposed by the Constitution; the second and third are included in the constitutionally prescribed oath that the President is required to take before he enters upon the execution of his office and are, therefore, also expressly imposed by the Constitution.

There is some disagreement about what constitutes grounds for impeachment, as we learned in the WJ Clinton/M Lewinsky affair.  There is, however, little or no doubt that habitual, knowing violation of the United States Constituion is grounds for impeachment (and even for removal from office).  Marco Rubio has done everything but use the "I" word. It's time that he do so, or he ought to keep his repetitive mouth shut.  And it's time that Mika Brzezinski or some figure in the news media ask him why he doesn't present Articles of Impeachment, a question which might, at least for the moment, give us a welcome reprieve from the usual shock over Donald Trump's foul mouth.













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