Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP
By Oscar H. Blayton
History will flay the skin off Nancy Pelosi’s legacy.
This prediction may seem harsh, but the current Speaker of the House, as the leader of the House Democrats, is creating a problem that we will not be able to easily correct.
The United States has a chaotic, criminal installed in the Oval Office who is leading the country to ruin, both domestically and internationally. And with blindingly bright warning lights flashing and deafening warning sirens blaring, Nancy Pelosi politely taps her gavel in order to conduct business as usual.
It is difficult to believe that Nancy Pelosi believes that the nation can wait until November 2020 to act against a president who believes in neither the rule of law nor the Constitution of The United States. The next fifteen months can witness the perversion of most of the federal agencies just as it has already seen the perversion of the Departments of Justice, Treasury and Interior. The Speaker insists that her strategical moves on Trump are based on political savvy, but to more and more Americans her strategy appears to be based upon personal interest and political cowardice.
More than 100 Democratic members of the U.S House of Representatives favor impeaching Trump and that number is certain to increase. It can no longer be argued by Pelosi and her “Moderate” supporters in Congress that the calls for impeachment are coming from a few disgruntled “Progressives” who lack seasoned skills in negotiating the thicket of politics in our nation’s Capital.
The Constitution of this nation requires Congress to provide “oversight” of the President and the Executive Branch. But the Democratic leadership in the House has chosen to “overlook” the buckling of our democracy.
There is a written record of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation that clearly sets out that Trump has committed crimes by lying to the special counsel and obstructing justice.
There has been evidence presented in open court during the criminal proceedings against Trump’s legal counsel and former “fixer,” Michael Cohen, who pled guilty and is now in prison for having committed crimes at Trump’s directions.
Trump flouts his violations of the Emoluments Clause at his many real estate properties where he enriches himself by inducing foreign nationals and governments pay his organization as a means of gaining access to his administration and to him personally.
Anyone with a radio or television has heard or seen Trump making it clear that he welcomes Russia’s interference in our elections. This person who sits in the Oval Office has disparaged the American intelligence community and invited a hostile foreign power to corrupt our electoral system so that he can remain in power.
Through judicial appointments, he has managed to line the federal courts with breathtakingly partisan judges and justices, and we should assume that they will do all that they can to protect his legal flanks and prevent him from answering for these crimes.
Apart from his illegal activities, Trump is morally unfit to lead this country. Many women have come forward with charges of sexual abuse and even rape against Trump. And it boggles the mind that someone who gleefully bragged about grabbing women in the most inappropriate sexual way is able to tamp down accusations of rape and sexual conduct by dozens of women. Even with the rise of the “Me Too” movement, the revelations of these offenses have had little impact upon Trump’s former misogynistic behavior to account.
Trump’s racist and xenophobic outbursts also give evidence that he is morally unfit to sit in the White House. His thousands of vile and moronic tweets attacking people based upon their race, religion or place of birth have led America down a tortured path of the worst form of nationalism.
And with all of this in plain sight, Nancy Pelosi counsels us to do nothing for fear of angering Trump’s supporters and lessening the chances for Democratic victories in 2020.
How much more will America be corrupted by then? Will it be possible to have a free and fair election in 2020? Robert Mueller has raised the alarm of Russians undermining our democracy. He testified before the House Intelligence Committee on July 24th that “even as we sit here” the Russians are working to subvert our 2020 elections. And if their interference led to Trump’s election in 2016, it stands to reason that he will benefit from their interference in 2020.
Americans should take a lesson from history when assessing Pelosi’s behavior. In September of 1938 Neville Chamberlin, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, counseled a course of Appeasement with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Seeking peace in their time, Chamberlin allowed Germany to absorb a large part of western Czechoslovakia in return for Hitler’s promise not to start a war. We all know how that turned out. Within six months, Hitler had invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia and in just over a year, he invaded Poland, casting the world into the abyss of a global war. Chamberlin’s naïveté helped pave the way to World War II.
Nancy Pelosi’s hesitation to impeach Trump may be due to her calculation that Democrats can woo conservative voters by not impeaching him. Or it may arise from a naïve refusal to accept that millions of Americans are willing to vote for a racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and corrupt villain. She would be wrong in either case.
It could not be clearer. America is a house on fire because of Donald Trump and it serves no one to calmly suggest that we wait until everyone agrees to extinguish the flames.
Oscar H. Blayton is a former Marine Corps combat pilot and human rights activist who practices law in Virginia.