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Boardman writes: "The political will to impeach this deceitful, destructive President and his administration does not exist despite millions of people, even some in Congress and the media, knowing impeachment is abundantly justified."

Donald Trump. (photo: Getty)
Donald Trump. (photo: Getty)


Trump's In-Your-Face Impeachable Offense

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

21 July 17

 

“For seven years I’ve been hearing about health care, and I’ve been hearing about repeal and replace and Obamacare is a total disaster, some states had over a two hundred per cent increase, two hundred per cent increase in their premiums, and their deductibles are through the roof, it’s an absolute disaster. And I think you’ll also agree that I’ve been saying for a long time, let Obamacare fail and then everybody’s going to have to come together and fix it…. Let Obamacare fail, it’ll be a lot easier. And I think we’re probably in that position, where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it, I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans, they’re not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and the Democrats are going to come to us and we’re going to say, “How do we fix it? How do we fix it? Or, how do we come up with a new plan?” … It would be nice to have Democrat support, but really they’re obstructionists, they have no ideas, they have no thought process, all they want to do is obstruct government, and obstruct – period…. ”
– President Trump, luncheon comments, July 18, 2017

esponding to a reporter’s question, the President’s four-minute lunch ramble [excerpted above] is remarkable in many ways, starting with its fundamental incoherence: expecting Democrat obstructionists with no thought process “to come to us” to fix it. The record is clear: when Republicans were in the minority they refused to work on Obamacare, and since the Republicans have been in the majority they’ve refused to ask Democrats to work on Obamacare. Republicans are not invested in health care, especially for poor people, Republicans are invested in tax cuts for the rich (to which Democrats are not necessarily opposed).

The President’s ramble is remarkable for its mischaracterization of reality when he says “Obamacare is a total disaster.” Yes it has problems, as he points out, without also pointing out that these are problems Democrats embraced rather than enact a single payer health care plan. But for all its problems, Obamacare is far from a total disaster in the real world. The majority of Americans still perceive it as a relative success, and the people who benefit directly from it mostly see it as a godsend.

The President’s ramble is remarkable for the oblique way he blames the present mess on Republicans, without naming them. “For seven years” he’s been hearing about health care, he says, without adding: and for seven years these ideological idiots haven’t been able to craft a single useful alternative. He also doesn’t say: believe it or not, some of them actually want to help poor people stay healthy and think it’s OK for really rich people to help pay for the common good. “I’m not going to own it,” he says frankly. (The same day his White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed the same lie about Democrats being responsible for fixing the law even though they have no power to do so.) The reality, however unfair it may be, is always that responsibility lies with those in power. For Trump, health care is all his now, whatever happens.

The President’s ramble is remarkable for his expressed plan to abandon a duly-enacted law: “we’re probably in that position, where we’ll just let Obamacare fail.” This future course is apparently based on the false and contradictory assessment that Obamacare has already failed (“total disaster”). The President of the United States is blithely embracing a plan that will cause incalculable harm to millions of American citizens, and he seems either uncomprehending or uncaring about the consequential suffering his choice would cause to the country he imagines he’s making great again.

But now comes the most remarkable aspect of the President’s ramble, his naked embrace of a course of action that clearly comprises multiple violations of the Constitution, multiple impeachable offenses.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
– Oath of office of the President of the United States,
US Constitution, Article II, Section 1

President Trump swore this oath on January 20, 2017, before what he seems to believe was the largest inaugural crowd ever. In case it’s not clear enough what it meant to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States,” the Constitution offers some guidelines, including “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” (Article II, Section 3). The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a duly-enacted statute that has survived challenge before the Supreme Court. Obamacare is indisputably a law that the President has a constitutional duty to faithfully execute.

The way the Obamacare law is written gives the President considerable authority over the way the law operates, well or badly. Among the techniques of sabotage publicly discussed, the President could cut subsidies that lower the cost of insurance (House Republicans already have a lawsuit to force him to do that.). He could refuse to carry out the law’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty enforced by the IRS. He could undermine enrollment in Obamacare by refusing to promote the open enrollment period in November. He can continue to lie about and exaggerate the flaws of Obamacare until he makes its failure a self-fulfilling prophecy. He could try any or all of these tactics, which would likely have a cascading effect, undermining insurance markets and consumer confidence and turning health care into chaos for millions of people.

Well, guess what? The Trump administration has been attacking the government since day one or thereabouts. Even though the attack is continuous and taking place in plain sight — starting with the appointment of agency heads who hate their agencies, almost all duly approved by collaborators in the Senate — little attention has been paid. Congress members with publicly funded staffs have paid little attention to the daily erosion of the public good across the government. Major media companies with ample staff and budget prefer sitting in video-free White House press-stonewalling sessions to digging into what is actually happening at agencies no longer fulfilling their lawful mandates. One exception to this inattention (no doubt there are some others) is a long piece by Sam Stein on July 17, detailing some of the ways the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Secretary Tom Price is undermining America’s health and human services, Obamacare in particular, immorally and probably illegally. Near the end of his piece we lean that Democratic senators Patty Murray and Ron Wyden flagged this issue in February but have had no response yet from HHS. What’s up with that!?

One last remarkable aspect of the President’s ramble is that news coverage of it has stressed more concern for protecting insurance markets than acting lawfully in constitutional good faith. (A quick Google search found only one current exception, tarpley.net, plus myself in Reader Supported News four months ago on the same issue. Constitutionally, Trump has been impeachable since the moment he took office, but only a political process can impeach a President.)

The political will to impeach this deceitful, destructive President and his administration does not exist despite millions of people, even some in Congress and the media, knowing impeachment is abundantly justified. And it’s not just Obamacare, or Trumpian self-enrichment in violation of the emoluments clause, or even the Russian hooha (whatever it really is). Every day, with little attention, this administration violates the constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law to protect the environment, to defend the right to vote, to protect civil rights and civil liberties, to support public education, among its other travesties of governing, foreign and domestic.

Faced with the obscenity of Republican “health care,” Republican senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said, “I did not come to Washington to hurt people.” That makes her an enemy of her party, for now at least. But it’s not as though there’s a host of Democrats expressing human decency with such simple, direct eloquence. Not hurting people, defending the Constitution, why is that too much to ask?



William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+52 # Buddha 2017-07-21 09:34
And just think, none of this would even be an issue today politically if the Democrats hadn't been bought off by the HMO's and went with HeritageFoundat ionCare, a corporatist Rube Goldbergian monstrosity that nobody understands and liars can demagogue against. And here we are, having to fight to preserve Obamacare when instead we should have Medicare-for-Al l.
 
 
-50 # jtatu 2017-07-21 09:58
If this is a sound reason for impeachment, why was Obama not impeached? He certainly refused to enforce duly-enacted statutes.
 
 
+4 # WBoardman 2017-07-21 12:41
jtatu raises an interesting question.

Clearly, fair is fair, constitutionall y.

But is jtatu's assertion factually correct?
He offers no evidentiary support.
What laws did Obama refuse to faithfully execute?

And if there are any such clear-cut examples,
the question then becomes:
why did the Republican majority in the House give him a pass?
 
 
+19 # sbessho 2017-07-21 20:22
Oh, yeah, because Obama and Trump are practically indistinguishab le in every way.
 
 
+1 # SHK 2017-07-22 06:02
Gave you an up vote because that's a good one! Hee Hee!!!
 
 
+10 # economagic 2017-07-21 20:32
It IS a sound reason. Don't you remember? Shrubya tore up that quaint old document called the Constitution, so we need not abide by it anymore. He had to do that. The cognitive dissonance between what we were saying and what we were doing had become too great.
 
 
+10 # librarian1984 2017-07-22 06:39
H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.S.Y.

Something we all have experience with. The GOP also went after O for things they condone in DT.

It's part of the human condition, and one reason we need regulation.
 
 
+38 # economagic 2017-07-21 10:59
Democrats are unwilling to impeach T-Rump because they fear worse with extreme ideologue Pence. Republicans are unwilling to impeach T-Rump because his antics distract the public from the naked truth of what they are already doing, essentially what Pence would advocate much more coherently.
 
 
+7 # Femihumanist 2017-07-21 14:29
Quoting economagic:
Democrats are unwilling to impeach T-Rump because they fear worse with extreme ideologue Pence.


I think the Demons aren't trying to impeach the Fabricator-in-C hief because they can't figure out what they would do if they were successful. How do they stop taking corporate money to destroy the world and continue their own evil ways.

They could take care of the Pence shit because he doesn't have the charisma(?) of FIC Trumpass.
 
 
+1 # economagic 2017-07-21 20:34
Good point!
 
 
+12 # lfeuille 2017-07-22 00:04
Their not trying because they know they can't do it while the Republicans control Congress.
 
 
+5 # SusanT136 2017-07-24 06:14
Quoting lfeuille:
Their not trying because they know they can't do it while the Republicans control Congress.


Thank you for stating the obvious. Impeachment proceedings must be started by the House of Representatives . So pressure your Republican reps, and support progressives who want to run in 2018 and unseat a--holes like Ryan.
 
 
+5 # sbessho 2017-07-21 20:29
I don't think it's about Pence. Democrats know that without Trump in office, their biggest fundraising appeal disappears. They, and the GOP, are primarily concerned with the political timing of impeachment. Too soon (from the Dem POV), and the GOP could recover in time to retain control of Congress; too late (from the GOP POV), and the association of Trump with the Republican party will be too strong to overcome. They all know that the country would be better off without him, but they want to get the most advantage from the timing of his exit.
 
 
+4 # Lolanne 2017-07-22 11:32
Quoting sbessho:
I don't think it's about Pence. Democrats know that without Trump in office, their biggest fundraising appeal disappears. They, and the GOP, are primarily concerned with the political timing of impeachment. Too soon (from the Dem POV), and the GOP could recover in time to retain control of Congress; too late (from the GOP POV), and the association of Trump with the Republican party will be too strong to overcome. They all know that the country would be better off without him, but they want to get the most advantage from the timing of his exit.

Sorry for the red thumb -- an accident (wish there were a way to correct an inadvertent keystroke). I tend to agree with your assessment of the Dems' apparent inaction and silence. At least, I hope that's the reason for their silence, and not that they're just sitting on their hands doing nothing at all -- even thinking. OTOH, who knows whether they are saying anything or trying to do anything or not? The press follows the "big" stories, and Lord knows there are plenty of those right now, what with breaking news every day lately. I suspect no matter what might be happening among the Dems, it would not be reported at the moment.
 
 
+17 # hkatzman 2017-07-21 13:34
We know all this!
We've known this since January!
Our representatives in government have neglected us.

The real question is "What do we, the people, do now?"
 
 
+11 # futhark 2017-07-21 15:16
Mr. Trump's incoherent rambles, like the one quoted at the head of this story, his habit of chronic lying, and his delusional assertions (drug smugglers are flinging 60 lb. bags of drugs across the border from Mexico, etc.) are grounds for direct removal from office for mental incapacity under the provisions of the 25th Amendment. However, neither that nor impeachment is likely to happen as long as he maintains his cabinet of toadies and as long as the narrow-minded, self interested Republicans maintain a Congressional majority.

On the bright side, as long as he keeps acting as a cranky lunatic and his cadre keeps their allegiance to his despicable, negative leadership, the public cannot long ignore the necessity of having him removed from office. Democratic Congressional candidates must convince the public that their programs will relieve the nation of the many ills that the Trump Republicans seem determined to impose upon it.
 
 
+6 # elkingo 2017-07-21 22:00
The poor deserve no health care because God does not like them. He even created them to not like them. And so with Calvinist Amerika.
 
 
+2 # chapdrum 2017-07-24 18:17
"In your face" is an unofficial slogan of Don's party. You think that health insurance (let alone health care) is a right, not a privilege?

In. Your. Face.
 

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