Impeach Trump Now For Disrespecting the Military

There are myriad reasons Trump is “unfit to be the president of the United States,” and according to the man who broke the Watergate break-in case, Carl Bernstein, it is a sense shared among many in the military. It’s obvious to any sane human being that Trump disrespects the military based on several infamous comments by the dirty coward who paid some doctor for five deferments during the Vietnam War. But what Trump did to the widow of a fallen U.S. soldier, and the disrespect he showed to the slain soldier and his family, is the ultimate proof that Trump is unfit to call himself an American citizen; no-one in their right mind can bring themselves to call him president.

It is stunning that Trump equates “taking a knee” in support of soldiers and Veterans with disrespect for the military; especially after he has shown nothing but gross disrespect for members of the military. But this is Trump and he did something that almost seemed impossible; shock and embarrass decent Americans by attacking the expecting widow of a fallen American soldier. The vapid cretin is incapable of embarrassing himself or he would have ended his pathetic existence out of shame decades ago.

By now most people are aware that after waiting nearly two weeks, Trump succumbed to the criticism and pressure that he hadn’t acknowledged publicly, or contacted the families of, the four American soldiers who lost their lives in Niger. When he did mention it a couple of days ago he made it about his superior in every way – President Barack Obama.

After being beat down for lying that President Obama did not contact families of the fallen, Trump used former NFL standout and Green Beret Pat Tillman as a meme to attack NFL athletes exercising their constitutional rights that Tillman fought for. Mr. Tillman’s widow had some harsh words for Trump politicizing her husband’s sacrifice in what he said was “an illegal war.”

When Trump finally found some free time away from the links to call Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, he said that her husband “knew what he signed up for.” And according to Sergeant Johnson’s mother and a congresswoman who “both listened to the call,” Trump could only refer to the fallen soldier as “your guy.” The soldier’s widow was naturally devastated that Trump didn’t even know her husband’s name.

Even after the furor the disrespectful call elicited, Trump couldn’t find the decency to use Sgt. Johnson’s widow’s name; just that he had spoken “with the woman, with the wife.” What a piece of work.

When the news broke about the insensitive phone call, Trump did what he always does and lied, then attacked the congresswoman, Frederica Wilson (D-FL) because she confirmed Trump’s cruelty toward the family of the slain soldier. When asked about the phone call, Trump lied saying:

Didn’t say what that congresswoman said, didn’t say it all. I’d like her to make the statement again.”

It was a typically bullying tactic, but that is typical Trump.

Representative Wilson, however, wasn’t intimidated by Trump’s taunt and immediately responded; ”I still stand by my account of the call.” The Florida congresswoman also took note of Johnson’s name and reprimanded Trump for referring to her as “the woman” and “the wife.”

Now this screed isn’t necessarily about Trump’s indecency or his filthy lies; it is about his blatant disrespect for the military that began during the presidential campaign and continues unabated.

Trump once compared Americans being conscripted and sent to fight and die in Southeast Asia to what he claimed was his very own “personal Vietnam:” trying to avoid Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) “while he was on the dating scene.”

He also assailed Senator John McCain (R-AZ) for being a prisoner of war for five-plus years saying: “I like people who weren’t captured.”

Less than a week ago during a “solemn military ceremony honoring the flag” and the fallen who perished defending it, instead of following protocol and ceremony by standing in honor as a bugler signaled “Retreat,” Trump was joking and laughing about whose television ratings the song was being played for. That blatant disrespect for the flag and the fallen by the alleged “commander in chief” was on a military base.

Trump spent a fair amount of time on the campaign trail denigrating the military’s leaders by insisting that he knew more than “the generals” in the field leading the fight against ISIS because he’s Donald Trump. He said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.” He also dishonored the military’s leadership claiming the generals “don’t know much because they’re not winning.” It should have been humiliating to the man who didn’t know what the nuclear triad was to confidently claim to know more than the military’s leaders, but this is Trump; he has no shame.

This latest episode is not the first time Trump disrespected the family of a slain service member. Trump spent no small amount of time repeatedly attacking Keizer and Ghazala Khan, the Gold Star family whose son died serving his country because they spoke out against Trump’s unwarranted attacks on Muslims.

For dog’s sake, Trump even pulled his Chief of Staff’s slain son into the fray after knowing full well General Kelly has made it clear that his son’s sacrifice, and likely his grief, is off limits;  something about showing a modicum of respect for the family and the fallen soldier’s military service.

No person in America should conflate Trump’s big-mouth bully diplomacy with an intent to wage war as supporting the military. Trump only supports Donald Trump. He has no regard for the people making up the military and based on his habit of demeaning and disrespecting them at every turn, it’s time to “throw that son-of-a-bitch” out of the White House.

Image: ABC News

Lurching Toward the First Constitutional Crisis Since the Civil War

 

A couple of days ago, Bill Moyers shared an email from “an old friend” of his and although it is likely too close to reality for comfort, it does accurately portray part of Trump’s motivation in pardoning the self-styled fascist Joe Arpaio. The quoted email was an introduction to an article suggesting that Trump was creating aconstitutional crisis;a term many Americans have heard far too many times since Trump’s sparsely attended inauguration. For perspective, one normally only hears the term “constitutional crisis”  in a university-level history class studying the Civil War.

The email Mr. Moyers shared was from “one of the country’s top trial lawyers.” It said, in part:

“I have underestimated Trump. He knows what is coming, including a variety of criminal charges and other impeachable offenses. He is not just arousing his base to anger, but to arms, some of them. There is no other way to explain the transgender ban, the Arpaio pardon, his Charlottesville remarks…”

Now everything one of the nation’s “top trial lawyers” wrote is true, and this author fundamentally said the same things in a couple of overly-wordy columns here and here. As Trump’s popularity, or lack thereof,  continues declining, he is going to get increasingly proactive and incite his white evangelical fascists to his defense; they are all he has left.

But there is another danger in Arpaio’s pardon and it does represent a constitutional crisis without a remedy because Republicans are too terrified of crossing Trump to put him out of the White House and out of the nation’s misery.

As the author of a book on France under fascism, Charles Kaiser asserted, what Americans are experiencing today is “exactly what incipient fascism looks like.” Most Americans comprehend that Trump’s unrelenting assault on the press, inflaming Nazis and heartening racists, and now pardoning an acknowledged serial civil rights abuser and brazen racist are indeed “acts of a man who is blatantly defying his sacred pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States.” But those Americans likely don’t comprehend that Trump’s defiance of the Constitution portends the naked fascism lurking on the horizon.

Arpaio’s pardon is wrong on myriad levels; only racists, evangelicals, most Republicans, and Trump believe otherwise.  But it was deliberately “wrong” to send a very clear message that Trump has no regard for, and no intent to ever adhere to, the rule of law or the U.S. Constitution. It was bad enough when it was Arpaio violating the rule of law and the Constitution with impunity, but when it is the monster in the White House it is a constitutional crisis that Republicans show no willingness to thwart.

Look, Trump didn’t even wait for Arpaio to be sentenced, or go through the normal Justice Department channels necessary to petition for a presidential pardon; Trump just said Arpaio was treated “very unfairly” and was only punished for “doing his job.” It is tantamount to saying that refusing to adhere to a constitutional federal court order is legal if it comports with Trump law.

Of course the pardon is a signal to every racist law enforcement officer, and armed white supremacist vigilante, that rounding up innocents and abusing them is legal, and just their job. But more than that it is a message to America that Donald J. Trump is now the law of the land; it is fascism and the act of a tyrannical dictator that Republicans will not regulate. As Charles Kaiser rightly asserted, Trump pardoning Arpaio “is the latest and gravest step he has taken in his continuing efforts to undermine the rule of law.”

Mr. Kaiser is not the first legal expert to explain that although Trump reveled in inciting his racist supporters, “it is not the main reason for this heinous act.”  Kaiser and several other legal authorities expect that Trump is signaling to all of his current and former underlings and family members that they too are under no obligation to adhere to the law, or the Constitution, or a summons from Special Counsel Robert Mueller III. If they are held in contempt by Mr. Mueller or a congressional committee investigating Trump’s ties to Russia for not cooperating, they can ignore any risk or threat of jail time becauseTrump will pardon them.

America has been in a constitutional crisis since the day Trump was inaugurated and it is down to one simple fact; he was always intent on using the authority of the Oval Office solely to benefit himself. Whether it is profiting by keeping his “vast business empire” or keeping his friends out of jail, Trump has abused the federal government office he has no right holding.

By giving Arpaio a pardon, Trump showed Americans, Congress and the Judiciary that he will use his authority to keep a political ally, former underling, mafia friend, or family member out of jail no matter the severity of their crimes. What Trump accomplished in pardoning an evil monster was “obliterating any lines that remain between the chief executive [Branch] and an independent system of justice.

Trump is now the system of justice according to his executive authority and Republicans are complicit for accepting this atrocity as life in Trump’s America. Trump will certainly pursue neutering the legislative branch when the opportunity presents itself to consolidate all federal government power in his tiny little hands; it is what fascist dictators do as a matter of course.

In pardoning Arpaio, Trump incited his racist supporters to his defense, legalized civil rights abuses and detainees’ murders, and created a “class of citizens who are above the law;” including all of his administration’s cronies and particularly himself. It is what any semi-intelligent human being would call a fascist dictatorship. Americans will call it the first honest-to-dog “constitutional crisis” since the Civil War.

 

Trump Supporters Threaten Democrat With Lynching After Call for Impeachment

 

After the not-so-stunning revelations this past week about the Trump, his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and his remarks that he only fired Mr. Comey to sabotage the investigation into collusion with a hostile foreign power, it is nearly impossible for any sane human being to reject the claims of presidential obstruction of justice.

Of course it is clear by now that Republicans are going to great lengths to protect the establishment standard bearer even in the face of mounting evidence coming from Trump’s big mouth that the only reason he fired Comey was to staunch the investigation into the most corrupt and treasonous administration in the nation’s history. Based on Trump’s own admissions, his purpose in terminating Comey’s job was to obstruct justice; an obvious impeachable offense that Republicans can hardly ignore much longer.  It is possible, however, that Republicans are as terrified of Trump’s rabid supporters’ reaction to their possible involvement in impeachment proceedings as they are free and fair elections. It easy to see why Republicans fear Trump’s most ardent supporters and it is not solely because they fear electoral consequences.

Throughout the presidential campaign it was typical for Trump to incite his followers to violence against his campaign’s detractors, and there are documented cases of violence at the hands of Trump’s base. The threat of violence from Trump’s supporters if he wasn’t treated like a messiah wasn’t lost on a devout Republican from New Hampshire.

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire GOP and prior to the election he said that because of Trump’s non-stop incitement and warning that the system and the media is out to get him, he feared Trump zealots would get violent if Trump lost the election. Cullen said:

“There’s no telling what his supporters would be willing to do at the slightest encouragement from their candidate.”

One of Trump’s surrogates, Roger Stone, knew Trump had invested time and energy priming his supporters for violence against his detractors and he knew exactly what “they would be willing to do” for their fascist hero. Stone didn’t temper his warning by “intimating” how Trump’s supporters will react to the idea of Trump not being in the White House; he said if that is the case his supporters will get extremely violent, “there will be a “bloodbath.”

Now that there are murmurs that Trump’s apparently clear obstruction of the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the election justifies the House drawing up articles of impeachment, Trump’s supporters are preparing to act. This is particularly the case after one Texas Congressman had the courage to utter the “I” word on the House floor in a speech this week.

On Wednesday, Houston Democrat Representative Al Green was the “first member of Congress to call for Trump’s impeachment from the House floor.” Mr. Green has many valid reason to want Trump thrown out of the White House, but the Texas congressman said it was the firing of FBI Director James Comey that prompted him to make the call.

Of course Green didn’t expect any Trump supporters to hail his call for impeachment as a heroic display of patriotic duty, which is exactly what it was.  But he likely didn’t expect them to threaten him and every other African American with lynching.

Prior to addressing an audience of about 80 constituents at a town hall meeting in a church yesterday, Representative Green  instructed his aides to play a couple of audio recordings of Trump supporters’ reaction to his House floor address using the “I” word. In the first recording he played, a man’s voice says:

Hey, Al Green, I’ve got an impeachment for ya—it’s gonna be yours. Actually we’re gonna give you a short trial before we hang your n*gger ass.”

Representative Green then played another voicemail for the stunned constituents in which a different voice warned,

Try it [impeachment], and we’ll rinse out you fucking n*ggers, you’ll be hanging from a tree. You ain’t (sic) going to impeach nobody you fucking n*gger.”

Green wasn’t playing the racist threats to garner sympathy from the audience, he was alerting his constituents that no matter the level of threats to his life, he was not going to be intimidated into failing to fulfill his sworn oath to defend the Constitution from “all enemies foreign and domestic.” And yes, Donald Trump is a domestic enemy; if for no other reason than he colluded with a foreign enemy to attack the nation’s democracy. Mr. Green told the audience:

“Friends, I want to assure you that no amount of threats or intimidation will stop what I have started, I promise you—we are going to continue with this. We are gonna move forward, we will not turn around.

Al Green is likely accustomed to racial slurs. He is, after all, a seven-term congressman from Texas and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Apparently what finally drove him to call for Trump’s impeachment was Trump’s very public “warning to former FBI director James Comey” not to leak details of their conversations. He told his constituents that he believes Trump’s actions amounted to an admission of obstruction of justice, and the warning to Comey constituted witness intimidation. He said that because “nothing less than the rule of law is at stake, it is imperative that the House move to indict Trump.

Mr. Green has a lesson for impatient Americans demanding to know why Trump hasn’t been dragged out of the Oval Office in handcuffs yet. He told his constituents that “the process might plod along from here.” He also said he has not introduced an official impeachment resolution yet and was planning more town halls on the subject to gauge the mood of the voters.

He told Mother Jones’ journalist Tim Murphy that, “I haven’t asked leadership for a response,” insisting that impeachment needed to come “from the bottom up, not the top down.” He did express some hope though because “no one in in the leadership had told him to pipe down” even though he thought that there were “surely members who were thinking it.”

After the revelations this week, it is curious why more Democrats and some Republicans aren’t openly calling for Trump’s impeachment; especially when the preponderance of the damning evidence came directly from Trump’s big mouth. One hopes that members of Congress are not refusing to speak out and resisting calling for Trump’s indictment and removal because they are terrified of Trump’s violence-prone supporters; if that is the case Trump will never face justice because Trump’s zealots are bullies and Republicans are cowards.

The sad fact is that may be precisely why Trump has spent no small amount of time and energy priming his acolytes for violence by playing the victim of a “witch hunt” card – he knows they are panting to come to his aid and willing to burn down the nation, with Republicans in it, to keep him in the White House.