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April 28, 2019


Professor Kennedy in her blog today points out that Trump’s dictatorial order not to comply to those subpoenaed by House committees is unconstitutional on its face and if allowed amounts to the end of the doctrine of of the Separation of Powers Clause,,  congressional oversight and the beginning of dictatorship. She is right. I responded, slightly edited, as follows.

If we don’t have checks and balances and oversight capabilities that can be enforced, then we have no Constitution; we have a dictatorship, and it is time to quit pretending otherwise because we are fearful of being seen as invading the prerogatives of the executive branch. It is time to put up or shut up for our Constitution and the Separation of Powers clause therein contained or meekly submit as “Good Germans” to the avarice of a lunatic and the loss of our democracy.

What to do? Jail those who do not show up as subpoenaed. Initiate impeachment proceedings. Refuse to fund Trump’s initiatives designed to “deconstruct our administrative state.” Call out Senate Republicans as “Good Germans” who are standing mute in apparent agreement with Herr Trump’s dictatorial designs. In short, call this wannabe dictator’s bluff, and if this be constitutional war to save our democracy, so be it. If this is D-Day in protecting our democracy in this war of words, then let the war begin, since nothing is more important than continuation and expansion of our democracy. Nothing; not money, not power, not ego, not who wins and loses elections. Nothing.

I have been in favor of Pelosi’s view that we stall impeachment proceedings while securing more post-Mueller evidence to support such proceedings, but in consideration of Trump’s openly unconstitutional grab of power in telling subpoenaed witnesses not to appear in plain contravention of the Constitution, I hereby recant and think we should not shrink from our duty to immediately file such articles, jail those who do not show in response to subpoenas, etc. We can (and have) passed several bills in the House which McConnell will not allow to come to a vote in the Senate, so the argument that we cannot maintain impeachment proceedings and take care of ordinary legislative business can be seen as a cover for inaction, which history will not and should not forgive.

I understand Pelosi’s political calculus, but with these new developments I think that we do not have the luxury of delay since the lunatic is coming full bore for destruction of our democracy, which must be defended at all costs. If Trump is successful in his dictatorial designs and becomes the dictator, then it won’t matter what the evidence shows or could have shown. As for the McConnell-led Senate vote after the House impeaches, let those Republican senators decide whether to be “Good Germans” who surrendered to Hitler or defenders of our hard won and blood soaked democracy at Bunker Hill and Gettysburg. It’s time to quit talking about how we are going to resist – and resist in real time. Now. Oversee this wannabe dictator’s conduct per the Constitution. To the ramparts!      GERALD        E

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