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Tue Dec 17, 2019, 11:16 AM

Speaking of the Unspeakable

“The world is full of great criminals with enormous power, and they are in a death struggle with each other. It is a huge gang battle, using well-meaning lawyers and policemen and clergymen as their front, controlling papers, means of communication, and enrolling everybody in their armies.”
Thomas Merton; November 17, 1962



Yesterday morning, I started an essay on the two situations that resulted in failed efforts by House republicans to impeach President Truman. This marked the actual dawn of the modern impeachment era, often mistakenly assigned to Nixon's presidency. However, as I was writing, I had numerous phone calls, e-mails, and texts on a couple other related topics, which resulted in my setting the original theme aside for the time being.

Most of the people I spoke with were experiencing a combination of excitement and anxiety about tomorrow's scheduled vote to impeach Trump. How would the republicans attempt to disrupt the vote? I suspect we have already witnessed their mode of disruption. Will “at risk for re-election” Democrats vote to impeach? In our district, the communications I've had in the last 24 hours confirm our Representative is solid.

Still others express concerns about the pretrial statements from various republican leaders in the Senate. As “jurors,” it is obviously wrong for them to say they will vote against conviction before the trial. Clearly, no prospective juror would be seated in either a criminal or civil trial if they made similar statements. It would seem that U.S. Senators should be held to a similar standard. Is it really too much to ask of them?

I've noted before that some republicans, including Lindsey Graham, have been suggesting that the Senate compromise and agree to censure Trump. This should come as no surprise, as Graham has a long history of totally compromising his values. So much so that one could rightly ask if, at long last, he has any values? I think not. Thus, I'd suggest that the republican stance of “don't confuse me with facts, as my mind is made up” is the type of pretrial negotiating that defense lawyers do. Surely, Graham views himself as Trump's deense lawyer, attempting to cut a deal.

At this point, there appear to be at least four – possibly as many as seven – republican Senators who would like to hear from those closest to Trump during the Ukraine scandal. There are four administration officials that the Democrats are intent upon having testify. While all are important, there is general agreement that John Bolton is the most important. Keep in mind Bolton's attorney has said that there is much more that Bolton knows that hasn't been uncovered.

People were also discussing the two Articles of Impeachment. Should there have been more? My response remains the same as the day the Articles were made public: while I might have wanted more, I have 100% confidence in the Democratic leadership and their legal team. I am fully satisfied that they reached the correct decision.

Tomorrow will be a historic day. I look forward to talking with family and friends – I just had a call from a relative as I was writing this – as well as communicating with others on the internet. Perhaps most of all, I look forward to participating with people on this forum!

What to do between now and then, and in the time before the Senate trial? I know that I'll be reading and re-reading books on impeachment. Also, I'll be reading the works of a variety of men and women who spoke about living through intense eras of history. Indeed, I was happy yesterday to engage in a conversation that one of my nephews began yesterday, that included myself and two others, regarding Thomas Merton.

Enjoy the next 48 hours.
H2O Man

31 replies, 3678 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Speaking of the Unspeakable (Original post)
H2O Man Dec 2019 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2019 #1
H2O Man Dec 2019 #4
coeur_de_lion Dec 2019 #2
H2O Man Dec 2019 #5
coeur_de_lion Dec 2019 #10
H2O Man Dec 2019 #17
AJT Dec 2019 #3
H2O Man Dec 2019 #6
kentuck Dec 2019 #7
H2O Man Dec 2019 #11
kentuck Dec 2019 #14
H2O Man Dec 2019 #15
kentuck Dec 2019 #20
H2O Man Dec 2019 #21
coti Dec 2019 #8
H2O Man Dec 2019 #12
malaise Dec 2019 #9
H2O Man Dec 2019 #13
spanone Dec 2019 #16
H2O Man Dec 2019 #18
spanone Dec 2019 #19
crickets Dec 2019 #22
H2O Man Dec 2019 #23
Hermit-The-Prog Dec 2019 #24
H2O Man Dec 2019 #25
backtoblue Dec 2019 #26
H2O Man Dec 2019 #27
Me. Dec 2019 #28
H2O Man Dec 2019 #29
malthaussen Dec 2019 #30
Hekate Dec 2019 #31

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 11:28 AM

1. Thanks for your wisdom and clear words, my dear H20 Man.

You light the way in this murky, dangerous time.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 11:46 AM

4. Thank you!

I think that our generation has had the experience that helps put current conditions in a proper context. While we haven't seen the likes of Trump as president, we have seen 1968, George Wallace running for president, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and more.

It is a dangerous time, for sure. Among the 20-30 % of citizens who are members of the Trump cult, there is a smaller percentage -- perhaps 5% -- who pose the threat of violence if Trump is convicted. And the process of impeachment is obviously divisive among the more stable population.

But we will get through this. More importantly, the process has brought forth some very positive dynamics. The grass roots favors impeachment. A small majority favors conviction. And the Democrats in the House have performed in the strongest manner that we;ve seen since 1974.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 11:34 AM

2. Merton was a great mind

We sure could use his wisdom in the Senate.

I plan on attending an impeachment rally tonight if my husband is still up for it when I get home. It was a hard sell.

I hope the House refuses to transmit articles of impeachment as long as the Senate refuses to conduct a fair trial.

What do you hope for?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 11:52 AM

5. I was hoping

that there would be one of the rallies in my region, but I'm unable to find one that I can attend. I'd kind of like to speak at one about some of the issues that we've been discussing on this forum.

My understanding -- which might not be correct -- is that the Articles will be sent to the Senate by the end of December. I'm good with that.

I was telling my nephew yesterday that one of my very closest friends has a family connection with Merton. He and I ended up discussing Merton etc all day, and into the night. As long as there are young people learning about Merton, I'm confident we will be okay. And in time, good.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 12:18 PM

10. I hope we will prevail

I was honestly hoping for an impeachment conviction.

I haven’t given up hope- maybe 10% of me still hopes anyway.

I want Bolton to testify that selfish bastard.

Merton was right in 1962 and even more right today.

What do you suppose he would say about tRump?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 01:57 PM

17. Bolton is an

odd fellow, someone I've never had a positive opinion of. He is no doubt intelligent, which has always made him particularly dangerous. However, there are two things to keep in mind: he loves drama and despises Trump.

His attorney sent the House mixed signals. He has lots of important information. He needs a subpoena that never came. He wanted a federal court to rule on if he should testify. Such drama!

Will Bolton decide to testify if the Senate allows it? Or will he opt to be a footnote in the most important event in recent political history? I'd prefer he attend the Big Dance. But he still dreams of being president, and that may influence his decision. Hard to see the republican party nominating him, and surely the Democrats never would! Ha!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 11:37 AM

3. The Seven Story Mountain is one of my favorite books to reread.

Maybe I'll read it again to help my blood pressure.

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Response to AJT (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 11:53 AM

6. Great book!

I think it is the first one my nephew is getting.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 11:58 AM

7. Recommended

From what I have seen from the Repubs this morning, they seem intent on blocking all witnesses and covering up the investigation. This Senate trial is going to be very interesting. It's a whitewash in progress.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 01:38 PM

11. Thanks!

I've been watching some of the coverage of the rules committee today. Except for Mr. Collins, I thought most everyone was rational. Not that I agreed with everything said. But what I found most interesting was the exent that Collins is willing to humiliate himself. I don't know how anyone could do that. It requires a total lack of self-respect.

I think there is a 50-50 chance that the Senate trial will be informative, rather than a republican attempt to abort it. We have talked about what role Chief Justice Roberts will play, and that remains key. And at this point, I think that the possibility that four or more republicans will try to get Bolton to testify is the other side to that coin.

Without Bolton, Trump skates. But with Bolton, things would be different.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 01:44 PM

14. I think Bolton's "hand grenade" comment was in reference to what Rudy said this morning...

...about getting rid of Yovanovitch and doing their shadow investigations. Rudy hopes to dilute the message by bringing it out now, rather than waiting on Bolton to break it, in my opinion.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 01:50 PM

15. Right.

There is quite a bit more, as well. Bolton had numerous conversations with Trump about why it was wrong to withhold aid from Ukraine. Also, he encouraged Pompeo and others to join him in getting Trump to release the money. There was at least an attempt upon Bolton's part to get Pompeo and the head of defense to meet together with Trump, to make him understand he was on very thin ice (I am not sure if a group meeting took place, though).

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 02:01 PM

20. Yesterday, someone on the Judiciary commented that they had plans for more witnesses....

...and that the investigation would continue.

My thought was that they may have heard from Bolton? He may be ready to testify. That would be one reason why Giuliani was so open with his information about getting rid of Yovanovitch and continuing the investigations on the Bidens? It seemed like very crucial information, in my estimation.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 02:11 PM

21. Rudy's actions appear

beyond his usual out-of-control nonsense. I'm thinking that he may know that the SDNY has a case against him. And, of course, that is connected with what you are thinking .....Bolton, for all of his repulsive faults, had to consider Rudy's role as way, way beyond acceptable. We've heard that from his assistant. And I'm fully confident that the Democrats, in both the House and Senate, have had ongoing communications with his lawyer, and very possibly with him.

Do you think Rudy will dare appear on Chris Cuomo's show this week? Oh, do I hope so!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 12:00 PM

8. I'm GLAD the Republicans are coming out and admitting they have no interest in objectivity.

We knew that was the case anyway. They may as well admit it so we can call them out more clearly on it.

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Response to coti (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 01:40 PM

12. Definitely!

I agree 100% -- it provides us with both ammunition and energy for the 2020 elections. It seems especially short-sighted on Senate republicans' part.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 12:05 PM

9. Watching with much interest

ITTMF RFN!

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Response to malaise (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 01:42 PM

13. For sure!

A great day to listen to great music in between news reports. I've been playing some Santana. So Good!


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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 01:54 PM

16. K&R...👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

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Response to spanone (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 01:57 PM

18. Thanks, spanone!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 02:00 PM

19. ☮️

👍🏼

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 04:36 PM

22. Good food for thought, H2O Man. K&R

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Response to crickets (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 04:40 PM

23. Thank you!

It's hard for me to fully respond -- I've just read Trump's letter to Speaker Pelosi, and my sides and face hurt from laughing. It is hilarious! I'll bet he is very pleasant to be around this evening.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 04:55 PM

24. the two Articles are broad and deep

I was disappointed to hear there would be only two Articles of Impeachment. It turned out that all of the crimes by Trump over which I was outraged were encompassed by those two Articles.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 05:01 PM

25. They are impressive.

That's a really important point you raise here .....I remember from the Nixon era that each Article can contain a number of offenses. And the two current ones certainly do. Thanks for pointing this out.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 05:05 PM

26. K&R

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Response to backtoblue (Reply #26)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 05:07 PM

27. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 05:37 PM

28. KR

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Response to Me. (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 17, 2019, 06:01 PM

29. Thanks, Me!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 11:46 AM

30. I think we pretty much know how the politicians will react...

... if some Repubs are having momentary lapses of discipline, they will be whipped back into shape posthaste. The only question, for me, is how the voting public are going to react. If only half the people in the country think the man should be impeached after all he has done, then we have a problem no matter how you slice it. There are times I would like to slap the collective face of America.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 05:43 PM

31. KnR

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