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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…

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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