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Trump’s Opponents Have Him Beat . . . When It Comes to Incompetence

If Trump were to finally shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, Nancy Pelosi and Jerrold Nadler and company would not declare it acceptable, absolutely not. But what they would do would be to open a months-long investigation into the history of the victim, what Trump had said earlier in the day, who had manufactured the gun, and — above all — what foreign government they could blame it on.

In fact, I’d be willing to wager that if Trump were to vomit on Nancy Pelosi’s head, she would open a very serious and lengthy series of investigations into whether he’d had any foreign food to eat.

Do you doubt it? Let’s examine the evidence.

Trump moved into the White House in blatant and unprecedented and quintessentially impeachable violation of both of the emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Yes, there are two but one has nothing to do with foreigners, so you may not have heard those of us screaming about it for the past three years.

Before and after he took office (during both of which time periods, yes, impeachable offenses can be and obviously were committed) Trump incited violence, and interfered with voting rights, and bought the silence of witnesses to his past deeds. He quickly pursued policies that discriminated on the basis of religion. He inherited and continued and escalated several illegal wars, including some he’d promised to end. He took the drone murder program to new heights. He publicly threatened nuclear war on two countries — endangering the life of all humanity. He intentionally exacerbated climate collapse. He blatantly abused the pardon power. He aggressively obstructed justice. He declared phony emergencies explicitly in order to violate the law.

Trump was just warming up, and feeling out his nominal “opposition.” He politicized prosecutions. He colluded with a foreign government against the interests of the United States; but it was Israel, so nobody cared. He chose not to prepare for or assist the victims of major hurricanes. He began yanking children away from their families and locking them up in cages. He openly told the Border Patrol to violate the law, exactly as he’d told his campaign supporters. He lied and lied and lied publicly and shamelessly, knowing that we knew that he knew that we knew. He threatened journalists. He tried to overthrow the government of Venezuela. He refused to comply with subpoenas. He illegally and recklessly pursued the sharing of nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia. He illegally ripped up a key arms control treaty with Russia and watched Congress roll over, whimper for a moment, and then bounce back up to continue fantasizing about Trump being Russia’s slave.

Trump sold weapons to Ukraine, blocked Russian energy deals, forced NATO members to buy more weapons, continued the militarization of the border of Russia, sanctioned and expelled Russian officials, rejected numerous Russian overtures on space weapons, cyber wars, etc., bombed Russian troops in Syria, and generally escalated the new cold war. And rather than seeking to protect the planet, what did the “opposition” in the United States Congress do? They pretended that Trump was serving Russian interests because he’d been urinated on.

Fascists have been calling liberals’ bluffs for a century. They hold the world records in bluff calling. Hitler asked the nations of the world to take the Jews. He’d put them all on luxury cruise ships if anyone would take them, he claimed. Virtually nobody would, and for explicitly anti-Semitic reasons. So Hitler decided he’d kill them, and no liberal governments would really care.

Trump has been calling Nancy Pelosi’s pathetic face-shaking-tell bluff for years now. A couple of weeks ago the news was that finally a pseudo-whistleblower(s) had found something the Democrats in Congress could care about other than Russia. It was Ukraine, and a refusal to sell more weapons, and — of course — this they generally blamed on Russia. So, it was still Russiagate, except that it was actually true. Win win.

What did Trump do? He decided to publicly appeal to China for dirt on Joe Biden while Democrats were pretending to “investigate” Trump’s appeal to Ukraine for the same. He also threatened to kill the Ukraine “whistleblower.” He doubled down, and Pelosi folded like a cheap Constitution. So, Trump announced that he simply would not comply with an impeachment investigation, which is of course an impeachable offense in itself.

When Trump did publicly with China what he’d done privately with Ukraine, Congress Members could have announced the need for no further “research” and voted to impeach Trump forthwith. Instead, they re-focused on their Ukraine “investigations.”

Now, you might argue that Trump is no more the sharpest tool in the shed than is Jerrold Nadler, given that Trump already knew what Joe Biden had done in Ukraine and had no more need to ask Zelensky about it than the Democrats have to ask if Trump owns the Trump Hotels. But Trump was after sugary icing. The Democrats are after their own principle diet, namely time. They eat up time until they starve. They may bring down Biden in the process, too, which would help them ironically, unless they substitute someone even worse. They may push us over the edge to nuclear Armageddon as well. But they will at least have eaten up some time.

Next Trump pulled troops out of Syria, and warmongers joined up with partisans to oppose any troop withdrawals ever from anywhere, just as they’d done on Korea. But not one voice said Trump should have sent in unarmed nonviolent protectors and actual humanitarian aid. Nobody questioned the unmatched wisdom of selling weapons to Turkey with which to attack all variety of U.S.-armed fighters in Syria. Nobody proposed any diplomacy or disarmament. Withdrawing troops is always bad, and selling weapons is always good.

But, there’s a catch. Withdrawing troops is legal, and generally popular. Perhaps Trump was corrupted by Turkish money. But creating the standard that one must prove a corrupting influence is actually a way to block an impeachment on emoluments. In reality, no such proof is required for an impeachment on violation of emoluments clauses. And failing to continue a criminal and murderous enterprise is not an abuse of power at all, even if purchased by Turkey.

So, in the end, Syria is a perfect angle for the destruction of the impeachment process begun in the era of Bill Clinton. It’s an ideal means by which Speaker Pelosi, in her unmatched genius, can shoot herself properly in the foot.

If Pelosi’s foot were on Fifth Avenue, she’d hand Donald Trump a gun and ask him to shoot it. The media would be shocked into announcing an urgent need to study the possible necessity of considering background checks.

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David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.orgSwanson‘s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize by the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation. Longer bio and photos and videos here. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook, and sign up for:

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