The Best Way Forward

Reading time – 3:59; Viewing time – 6:28  .  .  .

Ronald Reagan is remembered for declaring the 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican.” He first said that during the campaign for governor of California in 1965. It was and remains a pretty good directive.

The Democrats’ job now is to name the person most likely to win the November 2020 election and that won’t be accomplished with more circular firing squads like we’re witnessing in the debates.

Democrats have to stay focused on beating Trump, not on beating up one another. They diminish their case to the American people with nit-picky carping about whose program is a smidgen better, not only because of the discord it sows, but also because that in-the-weeds talk makes everyone’s eyes glaze over.

And Democrats, wise up about extreme plans. The word “radical” seems to evoke sensations of power for many on the left, but radical ain’t gonna sell in the general election. Even the Wall Street Journal has warned how self-defeating extreme lefty stuff is. So has Bret Stevens at the New York Times. Stop giving the election to Trump.

So, candidates, state your case (not the negatives about other candidates) and prepare to beat the snot out of Trump. Thou shalt not speak ill of any Democrat.

That’s a campaign best way forward. Now it’s time to examine the key question of our time and the best way forward with it.

Long ago I had had enough. A bellyful. It wasn’t just the outrages and the spewing of hate and the non-stop assault on reality and truth. It wasn’t just the flicking off of our allies and the cozying up to tyrants and murderers, or the denial of science and intelligence itself. It was the blatantly illegal stuff that came into plain sight. That’s when the line was permanently crossed.

I was right there: impeach the criminal bastard. Then I thought about it some more and the issue wasn’t quite that clear or simple.

If Trump were successfully removed from office, Pence would become president and he’d pardon Trump and his family of all their federal crimes. Definitely not good.

If Pence were to become president we would have a smarmy, self-righteous bible thumper telling lies in the Oval Office every afternoon following attempts at gay conversions in the Reflecting Pool in the mornings. Definitely not good.

If Trump were impeached in the House but protected by the spineless Republican Senate that has completely lost its true conservative way, that would give him a flag to wave to help him get re-elected. Very definitely not good.

All of that and more are why the issue hasn’t been that clear. Here’s what is that clear now.

Trump has committed multiple felonies, has stonewalled the rule of law and has flagrantly assaulted the pillars of our democracy (scroll down to The Real Reason For Impeachment). This hasn’t been mere misdemeanor stuff; these are high crimes.

The House should start impeachment hearings – an investigation to determine if they should start formal impeachment proceedings. They should do that because it’s the right thing to do to protect our democracy and the rule of law, and because I don’t think our democracy can withstand another four years of Trump’s lawlessness and assaults on what we hold dear.

It will take months to go through all the material they can subpoena. If Trump and his team stonewall subpoenas, the courts will slap them down every time. Besides, if they stonewall, it will stretch out the process even longer so we can keep the wrongdoing of Trump and his crime family in public view all the way to election day. Think: Benghazi.

The Republican Congress held seven sequential hearings into the tragic events in Benghazi, each one repeating all the same information. They found absolutely no Hillary Clinton guilt or wrongdoing. But the Republicans kept her in the center of the bulls eye with shame-on-you fingers pointed at her and snarls of disgust super-glued to their faces for so long that the public forgot about her exoneration and just assumed she was guilty of something.

That’s what Ken Starr did to Bill Clinton. He investigated all things Clinton for over four years. All he accomplished legally was to catch him lying to avoid being found out an adulterer. But he did keep his shaming finger publicly pointed at Clinton all that time.

That’s what the Democrats in the House should do – non-stop investigation into all things Trump.

Let Trump and the Republicans hypocritically howl at the unfairness, the abuse of the system and all the rest of the (did I mention “hypocritical?”) whining they can conjure over an impeachment inquiry.

An impeachment inquiry is both the politically useful thing to do as well as the morally, Constitutionally right thing to do. You just can’t beat that combination.

So, I’ve evolved over this issue. From impeach to don’t impeach, now at the sensible middle ground of impeachment inquiry as the best way forward. File those contempt of Congress charges, Jerry Nadler, and let the subpoenas fly!

From the New York Times:

Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló of Puerto Rico announced his resignation on Wednesday, conceding that he could no longer credibly remain in power after an extraordinary popular uprising and looming impeachment proceedings had derailed his administration.

That is what a million people in the streets can do. It’s a critical step in creating the change you want to see. Maybe you belong in the streets demanding an impeachment investigation.

Late Addition

The third mass shooting of the week took place in El Paso, TX on Saturday. The young gunman with an AK-47 assault rifle killed and injured dozens of shoppers in a mall.

94% of Americans want there to be required background checks for the sale of all firearms and a large percentage of us want a ban on assault weapons and extended magazines. Meanwhile, our politicians steadfastly refuse to take any action whatsoever. The good news is that our politicians have an inexhaustible supply of thoughts and prayers to spew ineffectively.

Once again the murderer in a U.S. mass shooting is a white supremacist. We ignore those guys at our peril and instead focus on Muslim extremists.

“Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.” – Eric Hoffer. Thanks to M.G. for the quote.

Clearly, the best way forward is to start to deal with the real problem – angry white guys – and stop blaming others. That shouldn’t take enlightened leadership, but in the U.S. today, it will. Find and elect those people.

Final thought:
As on 9/11, thousands of people were running out of the Cielo Vista Mall fleeing the threat of imminent death. Our first responders – police, fire, EMTs and the rest – ran into those buildings to save lives. They did what every cell in their bodies told them not to do and they did it for you and me.

Go thank a first responder.


Ed. Note: I don’t want money or your signature on a petition. I want you to spread the word so that we make a critical difference. So,


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5 Responses to The Best Way Forward
  1. Jack Altschuler Reply

    My pal Paul Winsor lost the arm wrestling match with my Comments section blocker, so he asked me to post his comments for him. Here they are. JA


    Wow, what a disaster the effect of the second amendment is. Your outrage flies off the page, rightfully so!

    At a local meetup, I recently ran into a Poli-Sci concept called the Overton Window. It is a new concept to me. The window ‘is the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse’. (Wikipedia).

    The tolerable window is viewed as Acceptable, Sensible, Popular or Policy, in that order. The intolerable window is viewed as Unthinkable or Radical.

    The window moves as attitudes change in society, and can change rapidly. A recent example of a public change from intolerable to tolerable (policy) is gay marriage. To effect this change, the gay rights activists, STARTED by promoting unthinkable ideas. Then over time the ideas moved from unthinkable to policy. The public discourse of unthinkable ideas made previously radical ideas seem sensible.

    I watched a youtube video of Bernie Sanders on the Joe Rogan Experience last week. He concedes that there seem to be no quick fix solutions to the problem. He does not have an extreme view or solution. This is one public issue where he does not promote perceived radical ideas. Maybe he should.

    I wonder if to promote the change you want, the key is to START with the unthinkable. Move the public discourse from ‘improved background checks’ (acceptable) to ‘Repeal the 2nd amendment’ (unthinkable). Based on history, this approach has a better chance of working than incrementalism.


  2. Anastasia Gonzalez Reply

    Yes,yes,yes!!!!! Jack your words are exactly how I feel but I just cannot put them together as well as you!

    I refer to the first part of your article. Focus!!! Democrats must focus on beating Trump not one another.

    During a debate I want to hear each candidate’s thoughts, plans, strategies. I want to hear what they are thinking and what their beliefs are. I don’t want to hear what the other guy is doing wrong! That weakens their focus. That turns the debate into a fingers pointing session.

    On Another note: I have a friend who is a Lieutenant in the Chicago Fire Department. We have thanked him many times over the years!. Thanks for this very important reminder!

  3. Jim Altschuler Reply

    The latter 1/2 of your blog is right on, but I have to take umbrage with the earlier message.

    The “hate speech” has always been vile. It incites the weak and the angry to other hateful words and often acts of violence. That would have been enough to suggest impeachment.

    The American people expect truth and honesty from their leadership as well as actions in the best interest of those people. Lies, deceit, and other perversions of facts are not acceptable leadership qualities; quite the contrary. When others point out errors and/or lies, he swats them away as being fake news, like so many flies. That would have been enough to suggest impeachment.

    The destruction of relationships with nations with whom the United States has treaties, agreements, long-term allied objectives and mutual support is at least destabilizing as well as morally wrong and damaging to the future of our nation and the world. That would have been enough to suggest impeachment.

    Developing supposed relationships with nations who seek to topple the United States boggles the mind. What accomplishment could be hoped for? What positive outcome? That would have been enough to suggest impeachment.

    It has become overwhelmingly clear that there is a global warming problem, that the problem is damaging lives and crops and homes and that a major cause of the problem is mankind! To deny all of the evidence coming from scientists all over the world is either insane or just stupid. The problem is here. It is real. And left to its own devices, and if mankind continues its folly, it will get decidedly worse. That would have been enough to suggest impeachment.

    Ignoring the advice of members of the intelligence community is what is allowing some of our enemies access to damage our country’s electoral process, as well as access to those who would terrorize our people and our property. That would have been enough to suggest impeachment.

    Suborning perjury, directing lying to the FBI, directing lying to Congress, flaunting subpoenas, and undermining the judicial process. That would have been enough to suggest impeachment.

    But, NO, the Congress has waited too long. Their inaction over the last few years has wasted away the time that would be necessary to go through the impeachment process. And we are assured that, even if the House were to bring impeachment charges, the weak-kneed Senate Republicans would never find against the President.

    The lack of leadership that allows continued inactivity in banning the manufacture, sale and even possession of automatic and semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines is a travesty! Just yesterday 29 were killed and nearly 50 gravely wounded in the mass shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH. ENOUGH! If these representatives and senators haven’t got the guts, the nerve, the sensibility to see and do what is right, then impeach or fire the whole damned lot of them and get representation of the people who will repeal the 2nd Amendment and replace it with an amendment that protects the people, not serves the killers.

    Looking at the state of things, what has transpired, the lack of veracity, I fear for the future of not only the United States but for the world.

  4. John Calia Reply

    Well, I’m an angry white guy. How are you going to deal with me?

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      You aren’t the angry white guy who’s shooting up the shopping mall, John. I’m an angry white guy, too, but I pose no threat to anyone, unless they come unglued from the printed word.

      Check the Eric Hoffer quote near the end today’s post. THOSE are the angry white guys we need to deal with before they deal with us.