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While I absolutely believe that in the end, whenever that may be, the truth will win out due to ardent procedural adherence, it is very difficult to be sanguine at this point given the dogged obstructionism being employed by the President and enabled by what remains of the Republican Party. At this point in the Trump corruption saga we have entered the dog days, that interstices between the release of a convoluted and inconclusive Special Counsel’s report and testimony from fact witnesses as to exactly what it means.

obstructionism

This prolonged period of public frustration over what appears to be a battle between an obstinate Chief Executive and a Democratic Party that seemingly cannot get out of its own way with regard to a coherent and convincing message is dangerous. All of this is playing out in favor of Trump, the master manipulator of delay, deceit, and deception. Democrats, on the other hand, simply can do little more than offer a public display of angst over how to proceed with regard to impeachment.

This leaves a divided, depleted, weary and wary populace solidly entrenched in the cocoon of whatever echo chambers they adhere to and increasingly convinced that our democratic system is incapable of sorting through the political gamesmanship to reach a conclusion that inures to their benefit. That conclusion would render a verdict that is based on the truth and produce a victory for the principles of democratic governance.

Absent even the appearance of progress, Americans, who under any measure should not be expected to read the Mueller Report, a legalistic and prosecutorial tome that would test the most serious searcher for explanation, will simply withdraw interest in a corruption scandal that has been ongoing in public view without any repercussions or consequences.

I am profoundly disappointed in Mueller’s apparent nonchalance with regard to self-imposed constraints that absolutely defy credulity from a prosecutorial perspective, and even more surprised in his reluctance if not refusal to shed light on the importance of the thinking that went into the report. As a decorated warrior on the actual battlefield and a proven professional on the bureaucratic battlefield I would expect an overwhelming desire on his part to draw attention to the potential for if not actual criminality contained in his study of this administration.

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The fact that in all likelihood it will require a subpoena to drag him kicking and screaming before Congress to discuss matters that reflect upon the most serious challenge to our democracy possibly since the Civil War is difficult to square with a man whose reputation and experiences as a true patriot would suggest that he would rise to the occasion to clarify what are clearly questionable if not indictable actions.

All the potentially adverse political calculations of moving forward only serve to highlight the Party’s impotence. Unless we stand for something the public will only conclude that we are weak and stand for nothing.

The President is not only emboldened by a system that protects him to the point where he is essentially above the law but it only stands to reason that unless he is held accountable for the criminal activities he so blatantly pursues he will not only continue but accelerate such activities moving forward. Yet Democrats publicly squabble over whether or not impeachment proceedings should commence. So where do we go from here?

I have been more than willing to accept the political wisdom of Speaker Pelosi in proceeding slowly and cautiously on the question of impeachment, particularly in light of the building momentum within the caucus to be more aggressive on the issue, however I am now convinced that all the potentially adverse political calculations of moving forward only serve to highlight the Party’s impotence. Unless we stand for something the public will only conclude that we are weak and stand for nothing.

While I believe that the most important goal must be removal of the Criminal-in-Chief, Donald Trump, if we continue to second- or third-guess the consequences of impeachment we run the risk of accomplishing neither removal or impeachment. If the Republican Party, who was the real hero of Watergate, refuses to confront the President they might be penalized by loss of the Senate in 2020. But quite simply we cannot allow the President to jeopardize further confidence in our governmental institutions without standing up to his unethical, illegal, and self-destructive actions from the standpoint of national security and electoral integrity.

Congress must cancel their August vacation this year and fill up the Congressional agenda with a steady diet of investigative hearings that rival those that captured the imagination and ire of the electorate during the Watergate hearings in 1973. Congress must project a forceful show of indignation that clearly outlines what is there in plain sight. The people may not be inclined to read a 448 page document, but through public hearings their common sensibilities will be awakened and public opinion is most likely the only generator of legislative intestinal fortitude that will move the spineless weenies that populate the House minority to actually acknowledge what they already know. That will at least shift and put some pressure on the Senate, where the odds for maintaining Republican control are already skewed by an inordinate number of Republicans up for re-election.

This is the calculus that should govern how to address the impeachment question. Otherwise, the man who bragged that he could shoot someone in broad daylight and still garner the support of his cult-like supporters, and who just last night publicly admitted that he should be allowed to break the law with regard to foreign interference in our federal elections, will act with unvarnished disregard for the rule of law. That will be the end of democracy as we know it. Impeach Now!

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Lance Simmens