icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Doris writes a weekly column for LaGaceta, the nation's only trilingual newspaper, which has pages in English, Spanish, and Italian.  Begun in 1922 for Tampa's immigrant community, it continues to thrive more than a century later.  Her column is titled "In Context," as it aims to put contemporary issues in the context of the past.

Impeachment: Exactly What I'd Hoped For

You may or may not recall that I've been quiet on the subject that dominated the news since the holidays.  You may or may not recall that back last autumn, I said that I didn't want impeachment to come too soon.  In fact, the last I wrote about it was in December, when I hoped Nancy Pelosi would hold on longer and add to the list of impeachable offenses.


In retrospect, though, I was wrong and she was right:  It was wise to limit to the bill to just one charge, followed up by obstructing justice on that charge.  Many people (including vacuous TV reporters!) can't handle multiple ideas, and more than one article of impeachment would have been too much for too many.  As it was, any reasonable person could ascertain that president withheld congressionally appropriated military aid from Ukraine for his own political purposes.  That point is unarguable; historians will portray it that way; and Trump forever will be the guy who should have been removed. 




Because I so feared a President Pence.  By the November election, he would have time to make himself appear to be a unifier, a moderate capable of healing the national divide.  Pence would become Gerald Ford, who never even was elected as vice president, yet became an incumbent and almost won the 1976 election.  Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for crimes that made Nixon's impeachment probable, but the nation was so ready to forgive and forget that their Republican Party went virtually unpunished. 


Public memory is short, and Vice President Pence could have been acceptable by November – but unlike Nixon, Trump has no sense of shame and never will resign.  Indeed, he is consolidating his victory by publicly punishing anyone he perceives as less than sycophantic.  In doing so, he actually is helping make the Democratic case.  The House retains the power to subpoena more testimony on more topics.  I want to hear from such crazies such as Rudy Guliani and Lev Parnas, as well as respectably conservative men who quit the administration, especially John Bolton and Rex Tillerson.  And that's to say nothing of rats who left the sinking ship.  Let's start with Roger Stone and Paul Manafort; they might do some truth-telling in exchange for a cozier prison place. 




The Democratic House managers made me proud.  Every speech was well reasoned and eloquent, and the team's diversity -- with three women and three men of several ethnicities – truly represented America.  Trump's defenders, in contrast, were all white and mostly male.  It's also important to note that all of the Democratic team have been elected and reelected to various offices, while -- with the exception of Florida's Pam Bondi, who spoke very little -- none of the president's team ever was elected to anything.


It shows, I think, Trump's basic scorn for elections and democracy, as well as his instinct for showmanship.  Instead of choosing respectable Republican attorneys for this most serious moment -- especially attorneys who also have been trusted by voters with elective service -- he went with wannbes and has-beens.  Because of this gamesmanship, known media harlots Ken Starr and Allen Dershowitz got another shot at infamy.




Historians have the last word, and history will feature Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who also is a former governor of Massachusetts.  Alone among his fellow Republicans, he had the courage to vote guilty and to explain his reasoning in a thoughtful speech.  This independence is unlikely to hurt him, as the Romney family has very deep roots in Utah.  Indeed, it's possible (cross your fingers) that it could propel him to leadership with the few remaining Republicans of the old school, the Eisenhower Republicans of the 1950s.


As I've said before, I've been waiting a long time for a split in that party.  Ever since 1980, when a divorced Hollywood actor (Ronald Reagan) defeated a Georgia Sunday School teacher (Jimmy Carter) with votes from both evangelical Christians and Vegas mobsters, I've been waiting.  I've been expecting a struggle between the Wall Street, country-club types and the Pentecostal types, to say nothing of the biker, racist thugs.  And I'm still waiting for fundamentalist leaders to say that the Current Occupant is not a good model for children.




But Romney could change that by running in the Republican primary.  William Weld, another former governor of Massachusetts, already is in it, although the media doesn't seem to know that.  Like the Romneys, the Welds are a historic family.  They were leaders in the movement to abolish slavery, and Theodore Weld married Angelina Grimke, who with her sister Sarah, were the only white Southerners ever to speak out against slavery.


Although you wouldn't know it now, abolitionism was the root of the Republican Party back then, and Governor Weld could remind moderate voters of that history.  Similarly, the Mormon faith that the Romney family professes was once more liberal than most assume.  Mormons never owned slaves, and the Utah Territory was the second to grant women the vote, following only the Wyoming Territory.  Utah also elected the first woman to a state senate.  She was Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, the fourth wife of a Mormon elder, but no anti-feminist.  With a medical degree from a prestigious university, she once opposed her husband in a race for delegate to a Democratic convention – and won.  The House Cannon Building in Washington is named for that family.


One more bit of underreported news and a question, and then enough on politics.  For the first time ever, Iowans who sojourn in Florida for the winter participated in caucuses.  With no fancy software to mess things up, the clear winner was Amy, to whom I've been sending $5 a month for eons.  And the question:  Will we ever know what Senator Rand Paul asked in his notes to Chief Justice Roberts that the Supreme found so offensive he refused acknowledgment? 




This is a shorter column than usual, but I'm tired.  My apologies to author David G. Edmonds, whose fascinating novel I promise to review next week.  It is based in Ybor City in the 1930s and is a real page turner.


I suppose I'm tired because today (Monday the 10th) was a big one.  It marked two months since Hubby's surgery for a broken neck, and they removed his breathing tube for a few seconds.  I heard his voice for the first time in many weeks, and he very much sounded like himself.  He issued a resounding "NO!" when asked if he wanted his throat suctioned, and then went on to say, "I want to survive!" and to me, "I love you."  I'm still wiping away the tears.



Make a comment to the author