I’ve had various gastrointestinal problems over the years: I come from a family of “gut” people, and there’s lots of scientific evidence about our gut-brain connection. But it took me about a week to realize that a lot of my annoying symptoms had dissipated.
I no longer had to make daily shakes with the fattening avocado I dislike to keep my weight stable, and I was eating things I’d abandoned in misery—like hummus. (OK, not thrilling, but when peanut butter on apples is the only lunch that sits right, a little diversity is most welcome.)
When I saw my gastro Monday morning, I told him how much better I was feeling. And the light bulb had gone off. My GI system almost instantaneously expressed its enormous gratitude and relief when Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the Oval Office. “You’re not the only one of my patients who’ve said that,” the good doctor informed me.
This prelude is to tell you how much I want to forget about Donald Trump. I embrace his absence with my head, heart, and gut. Good riddance and all that! But I strongly suspect that we must keep that weather eye open.
The reason is that I think anyone delusional enough to enjoy watching the Capitol insurrection he incited without lifting a finger to stop it is not done “punishing” us for making him a loser.
My hope is that he’ll be preoccupied fighting all the charges against him and trying to raise cash for the huge personal debts that he’ll have to repay before long. But my concern is that he still thinks he’s the President. And that could cause us some problems.
Down in Mar-a-Lago, in addition to playing golf, he’s established the “Office of the Former President.” According to Nicholas Carteron writing in Medium, this is how Trump describes “the newly-minted ‘office’ and its responsibilities”:
“The office will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump administration through advocacy, organizing and public activism.”
Carteron believes those words have been carefully chosen “to imbue this sham office with dignity and powers it does not have. It gives the impression to the ignorant that Mr Trump will continue representing the country, that he still has leeway to affect the legislative agenda.”
To Carteron, this is the continuation of January 6. Notice that in the above description, Trump drops the “former” and simply refers to himself as “President Trump.” Doing so, writes Carteron,
“reinforces the idea that he is still President. It is another way for him not to concede and to further his Big Lie that the Democrats stole the election from him.”
“Saying he will ‘carry on’ is a symbolic way to reassure all the racists and bigots of the land that white supremacy will endure with him.”
I just read that some of the QAnon characters who didn’t lose faith on January 20th now believe that Trump will be sworn in as President on March 4, 2021.
Why March 4? Because that was when Presidential inaugurations had been held until 1933, when the date was changed to January 20.
Are you following this? This plan to “elect” Trump on March 4 originated with a domestic terrorist group called the Sovereign Citizens, who, Newsweek reports, believe that a law was passed in 1871 that turned the US into a corporation.
Thus, Ulysses S. Grant was the last legitimately elected President. So in their buzzy minds, since Grant was the 18th President, on March 4, Trump will become the 19th real President.
According to this bizarre thinking, 1933 is important because that’s the year that FDR ended the gold standard. And what’s been happening with all the Presidents between Grant and Trump? A group of “shadowy investors” has been running the US.
(I’m not sure how the Sovereign Citizens count Trump’s being first the 45th President and then the 19th, but I’m sure they’ll find a perfectly implausible explanation—or perhaps just ignore that inconsistency.)
Newsweek also reports, citing Forbes, that:
“Interest around the date re-emerged after it was revealed that prices to rent a room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on March 4 have been hiked to $1,331, more than double the $596 price for a guest room for most of that month and nearly triple the lowest cost.”
Evidently, someone—more likely several or more someones—in the Trump orbit is in on this deal. And in true trumpian style, the former Grifter in Chief, now merely a freelance grifter, is planning to gouge the armed insurrectionists as they once again descend on our nation’s capital.
These rates are mere bargains compared to what the Trump International charged on January 5th and 6th. Obviously prepared for their guests, the Trump hotel’s lowest available room rates were $7,500 for the 5th, and $8,000 for the 6th.
How’s that for populism? Kinda raises some questions about the identities of those who felt that particular hotel was the place to be on those particular dates—and who had the wherewithal to pay—or be paid for–occupying those rooms during the Insurrection.
None of this is funny, of course. Carteron’s article is titled “‘Former President’ is the First Step Towards Secession and Civil War.”
I certainly don’t think it’s beyond Donald Trump to want to see greater turmoil and more bloodshed. But I am confident that this time around, with our new Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, and our new Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, there will be far greater preparation for March 4—if, indeed, it doesn’t simply fizzle—than there was for January 6.
That brings me to the impeachment. I watched Tuesday afternoon as the Democratic managers expertly decimated the defense argument that it was unconstitutional to convict Trump because he’s no longer in office.
They cited several of the many conservative Constitutional scholars who have emphatically stated that the Senate has the right, even obligation, to convict Trump. They also gave a brief textual course on the founders’ views and where impeachment fits in–and the dangers of ignoring this important guardrail against officials who would abuse it.
“Donald Trump doesn’t know much about the [Constitution’s] framers,” said Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager. “But the framers knew about him. He was their worst nightmare.” Congressman Raskin has taught Constitutional law for years.
And the managers’ presentation deftly blended the horrible videos of those events with Trump’s tweets, including his expressions of love to those who had already maimed Capitol police and his dispatching the mob with the indelible words: “Remember this day always!”
Rep. Raskin (of Maryland) closed this initial session with a painful personal story that everyone should Google. Weeping, he demonstrated how personal the events of that day were to him–and how personal Democracy is to us all.
How incredibly brave and patriotic he was to share that wrenching personal story in his efforts to try to ensure Democracy prevails.
Commentators observed that certain Senators—Rubio, Cruz, and others—had busied themselves with papers so they didn’t have to watch the video. These cowardly, self-serving Republicans will probably hide behind process arguments that have been ripped away to vote to acquit Trump. They’ll be showing their unclothed selves—and it’s not a pretty sight.
Assuming none of the compelling case that the managers are so systematically making can break through the Republicans’ callous partisan ambition, they’ll be setting an appalling precedent that has been said to essentially tear the impeachment clause out of the Constitution.
If Trump is acquitted, there will be no accountability for a dangerous President.
A majority of Americans believe Trump should be impeached and convicted. Those Senators who do not join the Democrats in voting to convict him should never hold the honorable title of Senator again.
It’s up to us, the people, to ensure that they don’t. And we must work to increase the Democratic majorities to bolster the Biden-Harris administration in both the House and Senate for 2022. If–as all indications suggest–today’s Republican party continues down this path toward further radicalization and white supremacy, it will have forfeited its right to govern.
I fervently hope that March 4 passes without incident. And I look forward to the imminent confirmation of Merrick Garland as our next Attorney General—after the disgraceful Lindsey Graham’s holding up the vote on his nomination.
There are many criminal and civil charges that can and should be applied to Donald Trump—on both the state and national levels. I understand that the standards for conviction for fomenting the insurrection would be higher in the court system than they are in Congress. But Trump must be held accountable.
Based on Trump’s setting up his new “office,” my quick non-lawyerly Google search turned up this possible charge to add to the mix:
- Criminal Division Recommendation—18 USC 912. Section 912 defines two separate and distinct offenses. The offenses are impersonation coupled with acting as such and impersonation coupled with demanding or obtaining something of value in such pretended character, False personification of an officer or employee of the United States is an element of both offenses.
Penalty may involve up to three years in prison. One can only hope that those years are added to many others.
Donald Trump: You never wanted to be President. You never acted like a President. You never did a President’s work. And on January 6 (if not before), you willfully traded the title of President for that of seditionist.
You’ve ended your Presidency by doing something worse than any other President in history. Whether or not the spineless Republican Senators convict you, you will still be the only President in history to have been impeached twice. And I’m confident that history will show how much better off our nation would have been if you’d been convicted the first time.
So call off your mobs and stop impersonating the President! We have a President who’s doing very well, thank you, with approval ratings far higher after 2-1/2 weeks than you ever received in your wretched four years.
For the sake of my stomach, the anxiety of millions, and—most importantly—our democracy, I look forward to justice making you pay for the dreadful acts you’ve committed against decency, humanity, and our nation. No more!