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Pelosi’s Cowardice in Face of Dire Trump Threat Not a Virtue

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s criticism of Tom Steyer’s Time to Impeach Trump ad (see video below) is not, as suggested by the Los Angeles Times, a virtue. To the contrary, it is an act of political cowardice that calls to mind the admonition of Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.

This is not a time for scheming political calculations by the same corporate-compromised Democratic Party establishment that, over the past eight years, cost Democrats the Presidency, both Houses of Congress and over 1,000 state legislative seats.

The dissembling sociopath in the White House, according to 27 of this nation’s top psychiatrists and mental health professionals, represents a clear and present danger not only to democracy and the rule of law but also to the very survival of humanity. And, even if we ignored “Russiagate“, there are multiple alternative grounds for impeachment, including, but not limited to, abuse of power, “withholding appropriated funding ‘for the purpose of destroying authorized programs'” (e.g., withholding appropriated subsidies as part of an effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act), violations of the Emoluments clause and use of his office as vehicle for self-enrichment, and an egregious breach of the presidential duty to protect the lives of American citizens in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Like her opposition to single-payer, Pelosi’s timidity in the face of the dangers posed by the lawless Trump presidency underscores the reasons why Veterans for Bernie formally endorsed the candidacy of her progressive California Democratic primary opponent, Stephen R. Jaffe.

The L.A. Times article reveals that Pelosi and other establishment Democrats have expressed a concern that impeachment, like Medicare-for-All, would become a litmus test for Democratic Party candidates. Yet, the decision as to what does or does not become a litmus test is not one that is left to the leadership. Impeachment will likely become a litmus test because of the gravity of the threat posed by Trump presidency and because 72% of Democrats want to see Donald Trump impeached and removed from office.

The only thing now standing in the way of impeachment is majority control of both Houses of Congress by Trump’s Republican enablers.  The impeachment of both Donald Trump and the utterly dishonest and equally culpable Mike Pence should appropriately serve as a central issue during the 2018 midterms. Indeed, it is a course of action best calculated to restore sanity and the rule of law.

Video of Steyer impeachment ad follows…

* * *
Ernest A. Canning is a retired attorney, author, Vietnam Veteran (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968) and a Senior Advisor to Veterans For Bernie. He has been a member of the California state bar since 1977. In addition to a juris doctor, he has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science. Follow him on twitter: @cann4ing


  1. dkiernan says:

    You dont specify what “Nancy Pelosi’s criticism of Tom Steyer’s Time to Impeach Trump ad” was, so the reader has no idea what you’re talking about.

    • ernie says:

      What I did was to provide a link to the L.A. Times article, which states: “Pelosi expressed her displeasure behind closed doors, reportedly telling party leaders that Steyer’s campaign could distract from tangible Democratic efforts to stifle Trump’s Washington agenda.”

      Steyer is opening campaigning to end the Trump threat. Pelosi is undermining that effort in a cowardly fashion by criticizing that effort “behind closed doors” — criticism that the Times relied upon to denigrate the Steyer ad as an act of hyper-partisanship.

      Previously, when Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) drafted Articles of Impeachment, Pelosi criticized it as premature. She nonsensically said that Trump would “self impeach.”

  2. Daft Jamie says:

    Ernie< i see you have rewritten your last paragraph! At your first go at it; you derided Pelosi for expressing the view that Trump would “self impeach.” Thinking about it Pelosi was right on the money. Trump’s interview in March were he admits that he got rid of Comey because of the Russian investigation….is obstruction of justice. Trumps open support for the Alt Right racist in Charlottesville…shows he is an ugly little man. Most recently, Trump saying he believed Vlad’s word over the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies in regards to Russian interference with our election… points to Trump’s collusion with an enemy.
    Glad to see you rewrote it because otherwise you would be competing with my title of being “Daft.”

    • ernie says:

      With all due respect, Daft Jamie, even if Trump’s concession that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation amounts to a confession that he obstructed justice, that would merely confirm that it demonstrates one of the grounds for impeachment. The only thing Trump could do to “self-impeach” would be to “resign” as Nixon did after the House Judiciary Committee approved Articles of Impeachment but “before” he was impeached after the matter was brought to the floor of House for a vote. Trump hasn’t resigned, and, absent a looming vote that which would force him to emulate Nixon and resign, there’s no indication that he will.

      It’s a complete cop-out and an evasion of her constitutional duty to hold the President accountable for Pelosi to suggest that Trump will “self-impeach.”

      One of the cornerstones of a democratic society is a commitment to the rule of law. There can be no better way for the Democratic Party to demonstrate such a commitment, than by wholeheartedly supporting the impeachment of Donald J. Trump. By doing so, the party would truly be displaying the courage of its convictions.

  3. Daft Jamie says:

    Ernie, we can dispense with the formalities; with a nom de plume of Daft Jamie “due respect” is totally unnecessary.
    I think we can all agreed that the Orange Haired Clown has to go and his corruption is to be totally exposed. But there is an old American military maximum; “keep your powder dry and don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes. Through the work of many people “ the Resistance” and especially the work of the Mueller investigation; Trumps pants are figuratively slipping down his legs exposing “ the whites of his very bountiful lard ass.”
    Neither Bernice nor Auntie Nan has put forward articles of impeach…but they are coming.


    • ernie says:

      You are the one you chose to post on this site under the nom de guerre, Daft Jamie. Not I. And you are mistaken when you say articles of impeachment “are coming.” Six Democratic members of Congress have already defied Pelosi and the House Democratic Leadership by filing Articles of Impeachment. You can read about that in my recently published article: Pelosi’s Misguided Anti-Impeachment Calculus.

      I will be republishing that article at this site very soon.

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