The Sham Trial Begins

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Reflections from the car

So here we are my friends. Finally, the President of the United States is being held to account. The impeachment trial is in progress and it’s heartening to see the Republican Party stepping up to the plate to make sure he answers for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. My sarcasm vein is ready to burst!

Seriously, though,  I wanted to quickly share some thoughts from yesterday’s sham trial in the United States Senate. And I’m going to do it from a different perspective. Yesterday, my better half and I departed on a vacation to Southern California. The trip is a long one from the Pacific Northwest, and we’re driving.

Instead of watching it on TV, we listened to the proceedings on the radio, in the car for over six hours. To some, that might be considered torture. To me, though, it offered the chance to hear the participants, instead seeing the facial reactions and overall setup of the ‘courtroom.’

I imagined how it must have been for some who only listened to the Nixon and Kennedy debates in 1960. Many who did thought Nixon won those debates. Those who watched, thought Kennedy won, mostly because of his calm demeanor versus Nixon’s perspiring and perpetual five o’clock shadow.

So yesterday, it was only words. I heard the presentations from both sides. I always try and keep an open mind. Of course I’m biased. I do not like this President. I think he’s unfit for the office and I’ve heard the evidence from the current proceedings a million times over. He’s guilty, as far as I’m concerned.

But as I listened to the other side, hoping to hear at least a modicum of a defense of the President, I heard no such thing. I heard a lot of whining and complaining about the previous inquiry by Democrats in the Intelligence Committee. I also heard the usual ‘whataboutism’ leveled toward the previous President. But a defense of this President?  I’m still waiting.

What struck me most about yesterday, though, was the contrast between the competing parties. It was so apparent and obvious to me that the House Managers, led by Adam Schiff, came to the table with substance and evidence. They came prepared, referencing testimony throughout the day from their inquiry with video/audio clips, as well as texts.

Most of the time, the President’s team only used a few minutes of their allotted time. It was clear that they wanted this thing over with. The Democrats used their time well; the President’s team, not so much.

Yes, the Managers complained about the process, and rightly so. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t want a fair trial. He wants a trial that quickly and promptly acquits the President to allow him a triumphant State of the Union in early February. After all, he’s already stated that he’s working hand in hand with the President on how this trial is going to go.

Think about that for a minute. The man who’s being accused of wrongdoing gets to have a say in how he’s going to be tried. If the Trump era has taught us anything, it’s that our Constitution is full of holes. It’s in need of some real reform.

The Founders feared a man like the current President, but the impeachment process they envisioned is nowhere to be found. This thing is rigged, and I certainly hope the American people see it for what it is. The Democrats want transparency with witnesses and documents. The Republican Party wants a kangaroo court. On that, they’ve succeeded.

But beyond the Democrats being well prepared and ready for a real trial, there’s one other thing that was very apparent as I listened on my car radio. Adam Schiff, without a doubt, is head and shoulders above anybody the President can put forward for his defense.

My wife and I would both say out loud how we couldn’t wait until it was Schiff’s turn. While we agreed that the whole Democratic team did a wonderful job in their presentations, Schiff clearly stood out. He was eloquent and measured most of the time, yet we could hear the passion. Occasionally he’d emphasize a point by raising his voice a few octaves–always at the right time–always for maximum effect.

Let’s face it. If this were a real trial in a real court, Schiff is the guy you’d want in charge, whether as a prosecutor, which is his background, or as a defense lawyer. It’s probably why the President can’t stand him. He knows Schiff is good. Deep down, he wishes the guy could defend him.

It’s too bad, isn’t it? We have an excellent team of House Managers, with one of the best lawyers in the country leading them. But it’s not going to matter one bit. Every amendment offered by the Democrats yesterday was defeated, whether it was to allow documents, witnesses, or rule changes.

Even without additional witnesses or documents, though, there’s plenty of evidence to convict and remove this President. But that’s only if we were living in a world where one of the two political parties in our democracy wasn’t complicit in making sure he survives.

The sham continues today, with Democrats presenting their case. I hate to say it but they’re only wasting their time, and putting stress on their vocal chords. I’ll be back in the car later today, traveling another five hours or so. Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ll be listening again.

Yes, my blood pressure will rise and my wife and I will be shaking our heads the whole time. I’ve got to hand it to her. She was never a political person until she met me 20 years ago. Now, she’s as engaged as ever. She even mentioned heading to Washington D.C. for a march over this sham of a trial.

I can only hope that the rest of America feels the same. If we aren’t ‘woke’ yet, when will we ever be?

 

44 comments

  1. I knew we thought alike, but with this post I see just how much, for we’ve used much of the same verbiage in our posts this afternoon, such as ‘Sham’, and ‘Kangaroo court’. I shall re-blog yours either this evening or in the morning. I would tell you to take your mind off of it and just enjoy your vacation, but … I know you cannot, and neither could I, so I shan’t waste my breath. Still, have fun and eat some shrimp scampi for me! 😉 Great post, by the way!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Jill! Yes, we do think alike. I could not resist. What’s most disturbing is the fact he’s going to get away with this. And, we know he’ll probably do something even worse in the coming months. History will not be kind to this GOP. SHAME!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep. Agreed, Neil. I didn’t pay much attention to Clinton’s either because I thought it was a sham too. Goes to show how ridiculous impeachment really is. For all sorts of reasons

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Although I watched today, I hadn’t seen yesterday’s defense of the President, though I heard it was as sparse as one would expect: there’s no defense.
    Schiff’s been magnificent throughout; at the moment, he’s tweaking the Senators: “Would you like me to read you that cable right now? I’d like to, but I don’t have it. But we can get it…”
    I have a feeling they’ll at least come close to getting documents and witnesses. And that may be good enough to give the Democrats compelling evidence for the public that this process was rigged.
    If you heard Schiff’s opening remarks today, it may have had a familiar ring: it was the precise Hamilton quotation that you used in one of your posts, which I thought so perfect that I then used in mine (with due credit to you).
    Enjoy the lovely vistas, at least. Glad your wife is ready to march!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Annie. Yes, when he’s acquitted, which is almost a certainty, they will be able to show what a complete farce this whole thing is. Schiff just seems to strike the right tone all the time. So proud of him and all the House Managers. Thanks for the well wishes Kim. It’s sunny and 71 today. 😀😀

      Like

    2. You bring up a good point. I’m still perplexed why Mr Schiff did not gather all the documents and witnesses during the House investigation, and why they dropped the most significant charges like quid pro quo, treason, bribery, conspiracy and dozen other high crimes and misdemeanors. As i recall Mr Schiff was absent most of the time during the House proceedings. Odd.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In his opening argument today, Adam Schiff made me feel proud to be an American once again, something I’ve not felt in a very long time. He restored my hope that we’re not so alone in how we feel. I hope enough people were as moved as I was and that together we’ll all make the difference our country needs this November 3rd.

    It’ll be a tall order. There are far too many citizens in denial about everything Trump has done and is still doing. Worse yet, there are WAY too many citizens who know exactly what Trump is doing and who relish it. (This is the biggest problem we face because it’s what gives Don his Teflon.) My fear is that we’ll simply be outnumbered this November, especially if the Electoral College works against us. This next election is make-or-break for the US definitely, but also for the world and its warming climate. Our world is heading to the brink and Donald Effing Trump is the very worst of climate change deniers.

    Silly stuff here, but as I listened to the impeachment on NPR today, I found myself wishing that Adam Schiff could be our Democratic nominee. Not since Barack Obama have I been so inspired by someone’s genuine patriotism and integrity. He was amazing. I wanted to tell him so and shake his hand. Maybe, if we prevail and kick Trump to the curb this November, there’ll be a President Schiff in our future, or maybe a President Pelosi, a tough old girl I’ve come to admire greatly these past months.

    We just have to look inward and reevaluate who we are and what we want our country to be.

    Great writing as usual Jeff, maybe your best yet! Way to spit it out and tell it like it is!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Great to hear from you Greg! When I get back from vacation next week, let’s chat.
      To your points though, I too am proud every time I see or hear Schiff. It’s why the idiot can’t stand him. He’s everything that Trump isn’t: smart, patriotic, lawful. IF this were a real court Greg, we know what the outcome would be: GUILTY. But, it is what it is my friend.
      As for a possible President Schiff? You’re speaking my language sir! I wrote a post posing the same question. His stature is certainly rising as we speak. If the American people do not see what we see Greg, I’d be shocked. I too, wish that he were the nominee. Could you imagine a Schiff vs Trump election? OMG. Talk about a made for TV event!
      Thanks for the compliment partner. Keep the faith. We MUST beat this man in November. It’s going to come down to about a half dozen states. We damn well know it’s not fair. Our system sucks! But, for now, it’s what we have. Buckle up Greg! November will be here before we know it.

      Like

      1. Sounds good Jeff, let’s do that. Panera Bread again? (I wish!) I guess a phone call will have to do. Thanks for all your efforts Jeff, I sure appreciate what you do!! Will talk next week!!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I was so in synch with your comment that I wanted to visit your blog. I had forgotten that when I started following Jeff, with whom I am nearly always in agreement, he had described his founding partner’s need to step away for a while.
      I hope your difficulties are soon resolved— and your clear, reasonable voice will once again reappear “On the Fence” regularly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well thanks so much (Annie is it?) I truly appreciate your comment!!

        Yep it’s been a tough couple of years and although many things are better now, new challenges have emerged which still rob me of both time and focus. I’m working on trying to contribute, but most of the time there is little or no progress. I must be patient and do what I have to do and get it in the past. In the meantime at least, you and I know just what to do on Election day!!

        I’m so glad Jeff knows how to get it all said on this blog despite going it alone. I am so grateful!!

        You take care Annie, and thanks for making my day with your very thoughtful comment!

        Greg / OhioRealist

        Liked by 3 people

      1. oops! My bad, I think I misinterpreted what you were trying to say Sklawlor. Mary is right, anything on OAN should be looked at with disdain and suspicion. The House did their work. There’s plenty of evidence to convict his butt, even without witnesses. But, having them would certainly bolster the case. The President has blocked ALL of them, and documents too. The GOP Senate wants this thing over with. They are merely rubber stamping this President’s cheating in this election. Unacceptable!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I can see where Scott has a point, Mr Schiff was noticeably absent for most of the House proceedings, why wasn’t he making his case then?
      Here’s an ABC EyeWitness News Report, which is not a far right wing conspiracy organization:
      Doug Collins blasts CA congressman for no-show, claims he ‘can’t back up his own report’
      https://abc13.com/5741821/
      Seems like Schiff couldn’t gather hard evidence and relied solely on opinion and hearsay. That’s why the Republican Senate members can behave the way they do. Schiff’s arguments can be countered very easily. Who to believe?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. He asks some interesting questions in this article.

    What do you say or is it okay for the democrats to be hypocrites in this case because it’s their political opponent?

    Chuck Schumer didn’t want to have them call witnesses during Clinton’s impeachment so why is this different?

    https://www.rove.com/article/wsj-1-23-20?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Post&utm_campaign=WSJ+Column&fbclid=IwAR1O-8EudtLigV8nQG6DmUfPhKA3R6nr_T6Eo0SeLgghcQoRRMK_Kw89bVI

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What’s different is that there was NOT a blanket denial of witnesses and docs with Clinton. This POTUSs actions are unprecedented. And, he’s trying to cheat in this election and more evidence keeps coming out. You don’t think what he did warrants being removed? Did u think Clinton did? He lied about a BJ. Is that impeachable?
      My friend, you should demand all relevant witnesses and docs. This is serious stuff. Why and what are they hiding? Trump just said yesterday that he has all the materials and the Dems do not. Really? This is acceptable behavior from a POTUS? You can’t really believe that.

      Like

  5. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I gave you my take on the impeachment trial, the dog-and-pony show yesterday, but I thought it would be interesting to read Jeff’s perspective as well. He and I think a lot alike, and even use some of the same verbiage, but since he is actually listening to the trial (what a way to spend your vacation, eh?) he has a bit better view of the participants. Thanks Jeff … good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jill! I know you can’t wait to hear Trump’s team and their ‘defense’ of the most indefensible President in history! I’m sure it’s all going to be truthful, with facts and measured responses to the Dems case. I know I can’t wait!!! UGHHHH

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My pleasure, Jeff! I’m always interested in comparing yours and mine viewpoints, for while we agree on most everything, we often come at it from a different angle, giving us both something to think about. I will be lucky if I haven’t broken something by the time I listen to their ignominious “defense” of the indefensible. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I turned it on briefly this morning. And the first thing I see is a video of Schiff’s ‘parody’ of Trump during the impeachment hearing. As expected, Schiff and the House Managers will be put on trial…not Trump. Here’s what I did Jill: CLICK!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Good for you! Every now and then, my friend, we just have to turn it off, tune it out. It’ll still be there tomorrow. Yes, Schiff is already being vilified, but … what’s new? We expected that. CLICK. We owe it to ourselves to do that at least once a week …

        Liked by 1 person

  6. There is not yet a trial, but there could be one if at least four republicans (note I did not say repuglycans because we need some on our side) open their eyes and minds to what is really going on–the death of democracy as we know it. Twitler (a name I stole off someone else on WP, but cannot remember who) would never be acquited in a real court of law, though there could be a mistrial for a hung jury.
    A real trial would require presentation of evidence and cross/examination of witnesses. Twitler would fold like an accordion, screeching all the way. How nice it would be to see him break down on television, having a temper tantrum in front of the world.
    Barring finding four repuglycans with conscience and common sense, you can throw your constitution into a shithole country, Maybe they can use it better than tht USA did.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed, Rawgod. The Democrats obviously took this thing serious. They presented a thoughtful and well-reasoned case against the King. Lots of evidence. Like you said, enough to convict if a regular trial.
      Alas, though, it’s not a regular trial. Thus, we’ll get a bunch of lies, whining, and blaming of Obama and Hunter Biden for their defense of this so-called president. I’ll listen here and there to their defense, until I feel the need to bang my head up against the wall!
      And, I heard a report that the King threatened the GOP Senators, if they fail to acquit him. Hmmm….You’re right, we may as well throw our damn Constitution in the trash, because this party is already burning it, one article at at time. Oh, Canada…please help us!! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish we could, but even our supposedly fearless leader is trembling in fear before your king. Trump has found something on him. Don’t expect any official help. And they won’t let me over the border, so I cannot “help.” I’m hoping Iran can slip a small guided missile into a certain bedroom in the white house, while a certain orange turd is there. Payback for Sulaimani.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. so shif smugly contends from the floor that “The President’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won,” basically saying that the next election is irrelevant. By doing this, he’s stipulating that democracy doesn’t matter, that people might as well not vote because the system is rigged, meanwhile, if trump wins again, he’ll say that it’s the fault of the people who didn’t go out to vote. This is as bad as journalists who used to call election results before the polls closed. he can’t do this kind of shit and not expect low turnout or apathy because it’s his seeds of despair which have been planted in the minds of some during such a contentious speech that do the very thing he’ll blame trump’s next victory on.

    Read the article below, he makes some good points.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/24/opinions/adam-schiff-is-the-one-helping-putin-destabilize-us-democracy-schiff/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3HpvO-UZWVHSYlmjB9bJuM63tdjNhd6Cyhd4NDWBDZm7XE4Sgl7oFEqBA

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So now we’re gonna blame Adam Schiff for democracy’s demise? Sorry my friend, I’m just not going there with you. Trump cheated in 2016 and he will do it again. This is on Trump and the Republican Party. Period.

      Like

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