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writing for godot

Thoughts on the Trump impeachment

Written by Paul O'Hanlon   
Thursday, 14 January 2021 12:10

Thoughts on the Trump impeachment

A week is a long time in politics. That phrase is usually attributed to former British prime minister Harold Wilson (1916-1995) winner of four of the five general elections he contested. One week is the time left in the term of 45th president of the United States Donald J Trump.

The US Congress debated whether Trump should be impeached, a second arraignment never having occurred before.

Speaker after speaker from both sides of the House of Representatives condemned the president. With a simple majority required for impeachment the house voted 232 to 197 against him. The next stage is for the matter to go to the senate where if the vote goes against him, he could be barred from high office for life. This is the first time that any American President has been impeached twice.

What will the Donald do in his last week in office? The man is predictably unpredictable so we will have to wait and see. I remember prolific author and political pundit Gore Vidal prophesying a coup by the pentagon. I’m not altogether sure what he meant by that remark and I asked Noam Chomsky then of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) what he thought. He replied that, “With regards a coup by the pentagon, I can’t think of anything less likely to happen.” Perhaps Vidal simply meant that the military industrial complex would become very strong in relation to the military. I would loved to have heard what Vidal (1935-2012) thought of the current impasse.

Gore Vidal’s thoughts on the ruling class: James Madison (the fourth American president), who is very much the creator of our Constitution, said: "Never forget that the iron law of oligarchy always obtains; few people will always run everything, no matter what the institution or what the country." The Constitution was carefully arranged for white men of property. Since then, the franchise has been extended to the young, the black, the female; but because the sense of our oligarchy is everywhere, people don't know about it, they have no place to find out.

Well Trump now has six days to go as the senate hearing will not occur until after Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday January 20th.

Trump has been banned from all the social media and in his most recent televised statement he sounded defensive and could it be said almost fearful and apologetic. He has still not conceded the US election of November 3rd 2020 which is now over 10 weeks ago.

What next? Vidal was fond of saying “In the United States there is one political party, the property party, which has two right wings, the Republican and Democratic parties.” He did not have a very high opinion of elections saying they were bought and paid for. I can recall on one occasion he seemed to contradict his previous cynicism when asked did it matter who won the election. He retorted indignantly, “What do you mean does it matter, of course it matters.”

It certainly matters who will be in charge of the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal. Biden might be seen as a slightly safer pair of hands.

The joint chiefs of staff of the US military have issued a short statement saying, `In an extraordinary letter Tuesday to the U.S. military, the nation’s top commanders condemned last week’s acts of “sedition and insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol, while acknowledging Joe Biden’s election victory.

The message did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, made it clear that the military intends to stand by the constitutional transfer of power to the next administration. ` [as reported on the CNBC news (Consumer News and Business Channel) channel]

Then of course, there is the Posse Comitatus Act which basically means that American military forces may not be used against the American civilian population.

I’d agree with Chomsky that a military coup against the elected government of the day is most unlikely.

Inauguration day on Wednesday January 20th will certainly be a very significant date. Let’s just hope that it passes peacefully without the terrible scenes of the assault on the Capitol building on Wednesday January 6th.

As a final thought Trump could redeem himself a little if he agreed to pardon whistle blowers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. your social media marketing partner
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