Two Very Different Men in Congress …

As I reported last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Lindsey Graham and other republicans in the Senate, clearly stated that he has no intention of conducting a fair and impartial impeachment trial, but that he plans to “coordinate with the White House” every step of the way.  Well, that raised my hackles, for it is an intentional dereliction of his sworn duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution, but apparently it didn’t set too well with some others, as well.

First, Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, the only republican to have voted “Nay” to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said …

“When I heard that I was disturbed. To me it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense, and so I heard what leader McConnell had said, I happened to think that that has further confused the process. For me to prejudge and say there’s nothing there or on the other hand, he should be impeached yesterday, that’s wrong, in my view, that’s wrong.”

While I applaud Senator Murkowski’s courage, I wish she had gone a step or two further.  But, another voice of dissention has been heard, this one from an editorial piece in one of Mitch’s home state’s largest newspapers, The Louisville Courier-Journal.

The framers wanted to make sure the Senate would never take such a trial lightly — this oath requirement is over and above the oath each senator has already taken to support the Constitution. The Constitution does not set out the text of the trial oath, but the Senate rules do. Senators will ‘solemnly swear… that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God’ 

 The presidential oath and the senatorial oath to be taken before an impeachment trial are kin. The president must act faithfully and without corruption. In those (presumably) rare situations in which the president has failed to be faithful, the Senate is required to be faithful in its adjudication of the case against him.

But we have already seen indications that McConnell has no intention of doing impartial justice. He has said that he does not consider himself an “impartial juror.” He is coordinating strategy with the White House. He has already called the case against the president “thin” and “incoherent.”

Every senator has a constitutional obligation of impartiality. But McConnell’s role as Senate leader makes his obligation even more important and crucial to the constitutional framework. This is not a time for political cynicism or constitutional faithlessness. McConnell’s loyalty to Trump should not overwhelm his loyalty to the Constitution. If he fails in this, he is not only violating his Article I oath but his Article VI oath.

The GOP line that the whole process is based on hearsay — not even accurate as an evidentiary matter  — could be easily ameliorated by hearing from more people who have direct knowledge of Trump’s mendacity, abuse of power and attempts at cover-ups.

 Short of declaring war, the Senate is about to conduct its gravest and most serious constitutional obligation — to exercise the “sole power to try” impeachments. All senators should take their obligation of faithful impartiality seriously, especially McConnell. History is watching, and it will be a harsh judge.

The editorial was written by Kent Greenfield, a sixth-generation Kentuckian, and professor of law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at Boston College … a man who knows of what he speaks.

I am encouraged that there is some backlash against McConnell’s stance, though it is far too little.  At the very least, the full Senate should be appalled enough by McConnell’s remarks, the violation of his oath, that they would vote unanimously to remove him as Senate Majority Leader … perhaps put Senator Murkowski in that position.  Otherwise, in the opinion of this writer, they will have lost all credibility for they will have failed We the People.


In other news, it was with deep sadness that I read yesterday that Representative John Lewis has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease with a 5-year survival rate of only about 1%.  Mr. Lewis is one of the most respected members of Congress, well-known for his Civil Rights activism back in the days of segregated lunch counters and Freedom Rides.  He was beaten and arrested, but still he fought for the rights of African-Americans.  And he says he will fight this, too …

John-Lewis-Barack-Obama-medal

President Barack Obama awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to John Lewis in 2011

“This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed.

While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance.

So I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community. We still have many bridges to cross.

To my constituents: being your representative in Congress is the honor of a lifetime. I will return to Washington in coming days to continue our work and begin my treatment plan, which will occur over the next several weeks. I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon.

Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this journey.”

If anybody can beat this, my money would be on John Lewis.  I hope … I really hope that his fighting spirit can bring him through this … he is a good man and this nation needs him now as much as at any other time.

19 thoughts on “Two Very Different Men in Congress …

  1. I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and very interesting blog. I’ll come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon. Best wishes.

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  2. I really fear that in these crazy times the impeachment will actually work for Trump. It feels so like the opposition to Brexit. It was dragged out too long with too many opportunities missed. Finally when it happens too many people are tired and bored of the issue. The wider case is then lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems that it may well be working for him, as he has his base convinced that it us those mean democrats just trying to overturn the 2016 election just because they don’t like him. His approval rating went up last week to the highest it’s been since his first month in office, but it is dropping again now. And you’re right … people have short attention spans and will get bored with it all. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I watch the impeachment stuff and American politics less and less. The corruption is so profound and the truth so hidden, that I find it sickening. For me, truth in politics is totally dead. I find myself more and more in anarchistic thinking mode. Why should I comply with this disgusting morality of our leaders. Why should anybody.
    I hope John Lewis can beat his cancer, but stage IV is really bad to fight against. 😞

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you 100% … we have the most corrupt ‘president’ this nation has ever seen, and I think that what we know is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m pulling for John Lewis, for he is one of the very best we have, and he’s beat the odds before, but … frankly I think this may be his last fight. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A few years back Finding Your Roots on PBS, did an excellent genealogy on John Lewis. He is a very amazing man. Such character and depth. This is an hour show, but you may like it if you have a liking for genealogy.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Untreatable pancreatic cancer having taken my wife away i hope that John Lewis will be one of the lucky ones and can be cured of this cruel disease,
    Trump’s trial canoy go ahead until those Republicans who have said they will not treat this seriously have been removed from the trial altogether,
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I thought of you as soon as I heard about John Lewis, for I remembered that was what took Ju. The odds are not good, but the man has beat the odds before, and he is a fighter, so … fingers crossed. I think it is funny that the republicans are all up in arms because Pelosi hasn’t sent the impeachment articles over yet … they are getting nervous, I think, that this will carry forward until near election time and have an effect on their ‘elect-ability’. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s good to see the newspaper in Moscow Mitch’s backyard take him to task Jill. Pelosi, of course, was right to delay sending the articles over. By doing that, the narrative has switched more towards McConnell and his vow to stand by the president. All that’s needed are 4 Republican Senators willing to stand up for what’s right, and demand that we hear from witnesses. 4. You would think out of 53, we could get 4, right Jill? But in this day and age, I guess it’s asking too much from this party. They cease to amaze me in their complicity with Trump. The party will pay for this. I really believe that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I found it encouraging and hopefully Kentuckians are waking up and won’t send him back next year! Wow … in just a few hours we’ll have to stop referring to the elections as happening “next year”, but rather “later this year”. Where did 2019 go??? Yes, you would think that 4 of them could find their consciences lying around somewhere, wouldn’t you? Sigh. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it? Either the party will pay, or We the People will … at the moment, I’m not sure which, but I hope you are right.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jill, the GOP led Senate does not want a trial as the corrupt act is worse than thought as it traces its roots well before the “perfect call” and the Dept. of Defense pushed back with concerns moreso than advertised. We have a president who has a narrative to push and he will do so, no matter who is harmed. As we have said from the outset, we have a national security risk in the White House and it speaks volumes about the allegiance of Messers. McConnell and Graham.

    As for John Lewis, he is a national hero. I hope he survives to fight another day for what is right,

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re quite right … the GOP cannot afford a fair and honest trial, but We the People need to wake up and realize that this uber-partisanship is not in our best interests. I don’t think that will happen, though … the great divide in this nation will only lead us deeper into the quagmire, I fear.

      I share your hopes for John Lewis … I think perhaps he is the member of Congress I most respect … the nation needs him. He and Ruth Ginsburg … we just don’t want to lose either of those two, but their health is precarious, to say the least.

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  8. I may be simple-minded and read too many Regencies where traitors actually get hanged (the titled ones with ropes made of silk), but to say you are collaborating with a traitor to undermine the fair trial of a traitor is treason, yeah? I don’t see too many other interpretations of it. It’s like cops who work with crooks to make sure they get away. Huh. It doesn’t seem to contribute to the good of it all.

    Liked by 2 people

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