“You know, ‘It’s in the rules,’ is not an argument that works on Donald Trump. You’re playing Monopoly with a hyena. When it bites you and shits on the board, saying ‘It’s not your turn’ really doesn’t work.”
— Bill Maher, 5/3/2019
America is not just a country. America is an idea. Americans are part of an earnest if imperfect experiment with self-evident truths that has shaped the global order for generations.
There are things that make the American idea. America has an unrivaled, unique place in the histories of mankind and nation-states as the only one not founded and ruled by kings, queens, sultans, dictators, pharaohs, emperors, chiefs, chieftains, princes, caesars, overlords, or maharajas enforcing the law by family birthright from above on their subjects by the whip and sword. For many millennia before America arrived in the late 1700s, the best anybody could hope for was to live beneath a “benevolent” dictator who cared about the subjects whose necks were under his boot. Most of the world followed America’s suit by overthrowing the yokes of colonialism, fascism, communism, imperialism, slavery, and royalty since then thanks to American leadership.
None of this progress should be taken for granted. The idea of America is this day under ferocious attack from within. There is a Confederate hyena eating a cheeseburger in bed right now in the White House against the idea of America. This makes the hyena un-American. It would drag us by the claws back into the good old days of tyrannical monarchy. The hyena is working on it with its family and other minions today even as you read this. For this simple reason, it must be stopped. The only way to stop this hyena is to impeach it in Congress, where Democrats won a historic House gain in 2018, a blue wave repudiation of the hyena by the American people.
Hand-wringing arguments abound for why Congress shouldn’t fulfill its constitutional duty to the American idea and impeach, foremost among them that the proceedings would certainly fail at the hands of a complicit Republican-controlled Senate, leading to the inevitable landslide victory for the hyena laughing all the way into 2020. This hypothesis is based on three assumptions I consider premature: (1) 20 Senate Republicans won’t defect no matter what evidence is presented; (2) The hyena’s weak poll numbers will jump significantly enough to win after surviving an impeachment; and (3) The American people aren’t to be trusted. While we have no crystal ball, these flawed assumptions hold a cynical view of the ability of Americans to assess evidence once it has been presented to them. But we haven’t even seen large reams of relevant evidence yet, due to the significant obstruction. We still don’t know everything that happened. We still haven’t heard Mueller speak. These charges, if brought, might make for a slam-dunk case.
Bring the impeachment battle into the only arena which matters, the United States Congress. Republicans appear to be itching for this fight by obstructing the Russia and obstruction investigations, then mischaracterizing the obstructed and heavily redacted Mueller Report, and now trying to shut down all relevant cooperation. These are naked attempts to illegally hide and whitewash the truth.
There is only one remedy left.
Predictions on winning or losing should not be the only calculation in any given fight, least of all when democracy and the Constitution are at stake. The overarching need to impeach now is not just a political problem, but a moral one. Worse than the high crimes and misdemeanors already committed and which continue on an ongoing basis, are the nature of them that can only be described as un-American. We will cease to be recognizable as Americans if we allow the head of our government to be a Confederate owned by foreigners without our nation’s interests at heart, but only his own.
We should have heeded the warning signs during the 2012 election cycle, when the hyena began testing the political waters with a false narrative about President Obama’s birthplace. This sickening rant unworthy of the KKK wasn’t just racist and xenophobic. The birther movement birthed the current Confederate’s political career. It was based on a lie, just one of 10,000 documented lies we have heard uttered in public as if insulting our intelligence doesn’t matter.
But it’s not just the constant conning of Americans at stake. The policies are downright sinful. Banning people from countries because of religion is un-American and contradicts the separation of church and state. Border walls, prying crying babes from their mothers’ arms, falsely accusing the previous president of spying, calling the press the enemy of the people, bullying private citizens on Twitter, encouraging violence against political opponents and rally protesters, firing FBI Directors, Attorneys General, Generals, and White House lawyers for not taking a personal loyalty oath, calling Neo-Nazis fine people, insulting war heroes like McCain and Mueller and Gold Star families while giving succor to rogue dictators, this is all every bit un-American as pissing on the flag.
Most un-American and damning of all is gleefully watching the Russians interfere in the 2016 US election and doing nothing about it, ever, because you welcomed that interference publicly, and it helped you win a razor-thin victory. Denying that proven interference since, because the cheating makes you look bad. But it gets worse. Forbidding your government from doing anything about it? Ignoring US military and intelligence agencies’ dire warnings? Instead to tout Putin’s lines for him as his ventriloquist’s dummy?
There is nothing more sacred to democracy than free and fair elections. Without them, there is no democracy, and no America. When Mueller and Congress have attempted to honestly investigate that attack on our democracy, the hyena has obstructed and denied at every turn. What are they hiding? What is being covered up? Why are they so afraid of us learning? Why haven’t we seen the tax returns, financial records, or heard from Don McGahn? Why did the hyena’s kith and kin such as Donald, Jr., Kushner, Papadopoulos, Sessions, Manafort, Cohen, Flynn, Stone, and Gates all lie about their extensive Russia contacts?
We know why.
No president has ever been as perfect a candidate for impeachment. Impeachment inquiries and testimony would uncover at least some of that which is hidden. It’s well within the rights of Congress as a co-equal branch of government to shine the light. Thankfully the current Congress is going about it the right way by calling in witnesses and records as the first step. Much has come out just since January that was being hidden by the previous epically corrupt Congress. Just one single day of testimony by Michael Cohen exposed a multitude of new crimes, new lies, and obstruction worthy of further investigation that the American people didn’t even know about. Expose enough of these in public, and the necessary next step can be taken, and subsequently the American people will give 20 Senate Republicans the cover they need to finally do the right thing.
Americans will come to know we are still today under attack by foreign powers being assisted by a Confederate hyena of a ventriloquist’s dummy, and if we do nothing 2020 will be targeted by the same or additional forces with even more at stake than last time. Impeachment is the only way we will ever arrive at the truth. This behavior must be punished. It is the only way that the American idea will endure this dark period where democracy hangs by a thread.
Mahanth S. Joishy