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CSotD: I slalomly swear

I’m generally inclined to snicker derisively when a whole bunch of cartoonists go tearing off on the same topic, but this is different, mostly because (A) it matters a whole lot and (B) it’s not the usual dribs and drabs over a couple of weeks but a sudden rush of all-but-simultaneous commentary.

And, BTW, it matters a whole lot not just in terms of the impeachment itself but as an indicator of where we stand as a society. I suppose there’d have been no need, back in 1956, for a book called “Profiles in Courage” if the stuff were handed out to everyone.

Still, it’s hard to believe we ever raised our hands and swore an oath with so little intention of keeping it and such a firm knowledge that our “word of honor” was meaningless.

 

So here’s a giant juxtaposition:

Dave Granlund starts us off by establishing the topic: The US Constitution requires that the Senators take a specific, separate oath before sitting in judgment in a presidential impeachment trial, and notes that it is the Chief Justice who will be overseeing the trial.

That latter point matters, because, though previous impeachments suggest the Chief Justice will take a limited role in the calling of balls and strikes, the Founders were at least wise enough not to leave things in the hands of the Majority Leader.

 

Bruce Plante might be criticized for a “on the one hand, but then again on the other” cartoon, but in this case, he’s right that objectivity is unlikely on either side of the aisle.

Still, there is a difference between demanding impeachment and demanding acquittal, just as there is a difference between demanding that all available evidence be presented and intending to conclude the matter without debate, much less disclosure.

There have been too many cartoons of Nancy Pelosi mounted on a snail or otherwise unnecessarily delaying presentation of the articles of impeachment, because, as Dana Milbank points out, her decision to take her time has allowed a lot of evidence to bubble to the top, as well as giving time for John Bolton to announce his willingness to testify, which makes it harder for the GOP to simply dismiss the charges without a fair hearing.

Which is not to suggest that the Deplorables are going to abandon the cult or that a sudden surge of conscience will strike enough Senators to produce the two-thirds majority required for conviction.

Still, those voters who were awake in eighth grade social studies know that, despite Dear Leader’s insistence that the whole thing is unconstitutional and his Deplorables’ posts on social media to the same extent, it’s not.

You would have to be an incurable ignoramus or a shameless liar to claim otherwise.

“Liar” is a harsh charge, because it includes an element of intent. Holding up Merrick Garland’s nomination involved intent, as did bragging about a plan to obstruct the system for political gain.

But among the things that have emerged while Pelosi held back the charges is a stunning confirmation of previous observations about the President’s lack of willingness to learn his job and his prideful arrogance in that refusal. The story of his trip to the Pentagon is not simply dismaying but frightening.

Though, of course, there are many voters out there as resistant to listening, and reading, and learning as their Dear Leader, which is perhaps the most frightening part of it all.

 

 

The Commonwealth of Virginia prepares for a possible armed assault by people the President is actively encouraging to oppose majority rule.

Comparing how we respond to various “imminent threats” is a topic for another day, except to note that, similarly, the significance and impact of the impeachment trial will be lost on a substantial number of voters.

 

Meanwhile, back at the Senate, Matt Wuerker points out that, Chief Justice Roberts notwithstanding, the person acting as regulator for this trial will be the Majority Leader, and there’s no reason to believe he will behave in any manner other than the one he has already suggested: In full support of the President.

 

Joel Pett echoes Wuerker’s opinion of the GOP’s strict adherence to loyalty with a little pun-fun …

 

And Clay Jones simply changes the response to their oath in order to reflect the reality.

 

While Darrin Bell, who tends to save his gallows humor for “Candorville,” finds little to joke about in this editorial cartoon.

An artistic observation: His dark, more detailed style here makes the elephant’s crossed fingers significantly less frivolous and significantly more menacing than the same gesture appears in Bruce Plante’s cartoon, above.

 

Once again, the whole world is watching, and Rod Emmerson weighs in from New Zealand with the reminder that, however much the US has declined in the eyes of other nations as either a defense ally or an economic partner, it is also diminishing its former role as a beacon of freedom and honest government.

 

I find it darkly amusing that Ken Starr, noted for his four-year-long investigation of Bill Clinton which resulted in impeaching him only for having lied under oath, has joined the defense team of a president who is counting on his Republican allies to disregard their own solemn vows.

Ann Telnaes hopefully poses the possibility of divine retribution but, while I’d love to see things take such a direct turn, I suspect the chief payback will be karmic, and I find it hard to estimate how much an additional dose of bad karma will change any of the people to whom it is administered.

Though if these faux-Christians believed in the vengeful, all-seeing, interventionist God they extol for their audiences, they’d shy away from that oath as if they were being asked to grasp a red-hot poker.

Ah, well.

Fact is, I don’t know if there ever was an honest time or if it’s just one more historical myth.

As noted above, there’s a reason we have a book called “Profiles in Courage.”

And a reason why it only profiles eight people.

 

Community Comments

#1 Theophylact
January/18/2020
@ 8:23 am

One of the eight “profiles in courage” is of a senator whose vote against the impeachment of Andrew Johnson was the result of a bribe.

#2 Sean Martin
January/18/2020
@ 8:50 am

And about the only thing Starr found was Bill lying about a little hanky-panky in the Oval Office, courtesy a little blue dress, which is now in the Smithsonian.

And we’ll overlook the fact that when the GOP was gunning after Bill Clinton, the person leading the charge was sleeping (to be delicate about it) with his mistress while his second wife was in hospital dying from cancer.

Ah well, desperate times call for desperate measures.

#3 Becky
January/18/2020
@ 5:18 pm

My TX Senators are going to know about this blog, or at least the staffers who read their emails will. I am sending several different messages starting with quotes from this post. That’s what I do to keep my anger down, email my Senators at least once a day. Thank you for your impeccable wording!

#4 Mary McNeil
January/18/2020
@ 6:16 pm

Becky – what do you think Mollie Ivans would be writing ?

#5 Becky
January/19/2020
@ 12:08 pm

Mary, God only knows! But I’d love to read it.

#6 Brad Walker
January/19/2020
@ 12:14 pm

Don’t forget Mike Royko.

#7 Hank Gillette
January/19/2020
@ 1:04 pm

Actually, it was Jackie Battley, Newt’s first wife, and while she had been treated for cancer, she was not dying, but was in the hospital for the removal of a benign tumor. She did not die until 2013. Other than that, the anecdote is 100% correct.

#8 Hank Gillette
January/19/2020
@ 1:07 pm

I wonder if I am reading too much into the Bell cartoon to notice that the Republican senator is signing the oath with his sinistral hand.

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