I should warn readers that my spellings tend to be phonetic, since, being blind, I can hear words or names but not see them.
A fellow named Professor Alan Lichtman, of the American University in Washington, has correctly predicted the result of numerous previous electoral campaigns, based, it seems, on the views of the electorate regarding White House incumbents and their parties. He predicted Trump’s win a year ago using such criteria. But he has also predicted Trump’s impeachment, this based, he says, more on “gut-feeling” than on any hard evidence. Yet he also points to the panorama of potentially egregious charges already levelled in the courts against the President-Elect. These include the fraudulent use of a charitable organization, several alleged business scams, and the extravagant embarrassment of the so-called Trump University rip-off. There are also a number of sexual-assault accusations, any one of which could effloresce into a reason for impeachment. It was, he says, the Paula Jones case that exacerbated Bill Clinton’s impeachment process. No one cares what kind of mire befalls Trump, of course, but, as Lichtman reminds us, impeachment would mean Mike Pence as President. And nothing would please hardcore Republicans more than having this Bible-bashing nonentity in the Oval Office. Gone would be LGBT rights. Gone would be women’s rights to control their own bodies. And gone would be the worldwide alliances upon which US foreign policy has relied for its imperial adventures. Given the potential causes, we must wonder what it is that justifies impeachment. I believe it was the accidental President Ford who, when trying to impeach a Supreme Court judge, was asked this question. He said that impeachment was whatever the Congress decided it was. There is in fact no clear legal definition. Given the Republican domination that will be, come late January, this ought to be worrying for the President-Elect. He should have picked Bernie Sanders as VP, not someone the Republican vultures would far prefer. Ever since the Friendly Red Giant, Ronald Reagan, they have adored the lovable marionette, the Prez so affable and decent he will persuade everyone that Up is Down, or Night Day. They have to know that Trump will not be so malleable -–if indeed he is malleable at all. Watch for a movement to impeach spearheaded by his own party. And then look out for real trouble, as the corporate lackeys try to make American investor-profits great again… and far from the IRS claws.
Paul William Roberts
Coming up: by popular request, some Leonard Cohen anecdotes.