Bob Seay

Why Not Wait?

Bob Seay

First published at BobSeay.com

Should Congress impeach the President? Why not just wait for the 2020 elections and let the voters decide?

These are legitimate questions. Voters, having expressed their preferences at the ballot box, are rightfully suspicious of efforts to overturn those results. Colorado Republicans were reminded of this when they tried and failed to recall Governor Polis and several members of the Colorado legislature.

Many Democrats were disappointed when Speaker Pelosi refused to hold impeachment hearings immediately after regaining control of the House in 2018. Despite this political pressure, Pelosi refused to consider impeachment for presidential actions within the scope of the Constitution. Nancy Pelosi respects the election process and knows how Americans feel about overturning an election. Although she disagrees with President Trump, the Speaker of the House respects the constitutional authority of the President.

President Trump is not facing impeachment because Democrats disagree with his policies. President Trump is facing impeachment because he broke the law.

The President broke the law when he threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless the Ukrainian President promised to smear Joe Biden. This was the quid pro quo, which literally means “this for that”, to which witnesses testified before Congress. The “quid” was American military aid which Ukraine needed to defend itself from an increasingly aggressive Russia. The “quo” was that the Ukrainian government would help President Trump in the 2020 election. It was as if President Trump told the Ukrainians, “Nice country. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”

The evidence is clear. The only question is whether President Trump’s actions rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors” required for conviction.

So why not just wait for the 2020 elections?

Congress must impeach to protect the integrity of the Constitution, which members of Congress have sworn to support and defend. The authors of the Constitution were concerned about corrupt foreign influence and made specific provisions to guard against it. Government officials, including the President, are forbidden from accepting “any present… from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” President Trump has referred to this as “the phony emoluments clause”, but it is as much a part of the Constitution as the Electoral College that put him into office. Dirt on Joe Biden, if such dirt were available, would be a gift from the Ukraine, paid for by the American people.

Congress must impeach to protect the integrity of the presidency. Future Presidents need to know that Congress will not tolerate a President who exploits their office for personal gain.

Congress must impeach to protect the integrity of our elections. Americans need to know that our elections will not be influenced by foreign governments who wish us harm. Americans need to know that American elections are decided by American voters and not by outsiders working against us.

If the President is not impeached, future Presidents will know they can extort foreign governments for personal benefit. Future Presidents will know they can use the United States Treasury as a campaign slush fund. They will know they are above the law.

This is why this President must be impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate. Americans need to know their Constitution works.

Mob Rule at The Denver Post

The Denver Post’s civility policy for its online forums is anything but civil. It is an online version of mob rule, where opinions are weighed not for accuracy or merit but by how well they conform to the demands of the Right Wing Thought Police.

On December 13, the Denver Post ran a story about the surprising Democratic victory over Republican pedophile Roy Moore in Alabama. The Post story quoted Cory Gardner’s statement, “I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority.”

I replied to this story in the Comments section following the article. This is what I wrote:

Gardner believes that Alabama is “really” a Republican state and that the majority of Alabamans are Republicans; therefore, the new Senator should behave like a Republican. By that logic, Trump should behave like a Democrat, since he lost the election by 3 million votes. 3 Million votes would seem to say that America is actually a Democratic nation. The Senate should also “do the right thing” and pass Democratic policies. There were 39 million people who voted for Republican members of Congress, compared to 45 million who voted for Democrats. If Gardner is so concerned about “doing the right thing”, then he should support legislation that the majority of America wants, like gun control, healthcare, climate protection, Net neutrality, and other issues where Republicans are out of step with America. Gardner and the Republicans have never cared about “doing the right thing.” They don’t even care about representing voters. They only care about their donors and their own careers.

The Denver Post uses a system that asks readers whether a post is “Civil.” There doesn’t seem to be any computer algorithm involved in this judgement. It is a simple vote of Post readers who happen to be online at the time.

My comment “was rated below the civility threshold for publication” and was deleted. Apparently, the people who were online at the time were Republicans.

I am not angry that my comment was deleted. I have been deleted or blocked from forums before. My own Congressman, Ken Buck, blocked me from his Facebook page and deleted my comments shortly after he came into office. My comments magically reappeared after an article I had written about his censorship appeared on HuffingtonPost.

I am concerned because we have reached the point where any disagreement, any challenge, can now be dismissed as “Uncivil” regardless of how polite the wording. I agree that civil discourse is important. But “civility” has been redefined as “people who agree with me.” Anyone who dares to disagree is ridiculed and dismissed. Trump’s attacks on the media have metastasized like an authoritarian cancer.

Facts are not always polite. Truth doesn’t care about your politics or your feelings. The fact is that America is now ruled by a political party that is out of step with what the majority of Americans think about most major issues. Republicans are in power – and our freedoms are at risk –  because of gerrymandering and voter suppression, not because the majority of Americans agree with Alt-Right ideology. Right wing propaganda, foreign and domestic, fueled the Trump campaign. The Denver Post is adding to this problem when it blocks comments that use facts to make a strong argument.

I am obviously free to post comments on left-learning, Progressive forums. But nothing will change if Progressives and Conservatives are only allowed to speak in their respective safe places. If we want discourse, we must be willing to listen to those who disagree.