US Politics: Impeachment will provide a test of Trump’s true support- By Mohamed Hamaludin

By MOHAMED HAMALUDIN

Now that the U.S. House of Representatives has begun impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, it is worth repeating that this is a man who has boasted that he could shoot someone and get away with it, who bragged about sexually assaulting women, who is accused of sleeping with an adult film star and a Playboy model and paying them to keep quiet and who encouraged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. All of this was known but still he was elected president.     

Trump, as president, has not shot or sexually assaulted anyone but critics accuse him of using the presidency to benefit his cronies and himself. He surrounds himself in the White House with the kind of creatures he pledged to drain out of the swamp. He has offended most of America’s allies, while embracing murderous dictators. He has given comfort to rabid racists. He has rattled the domestic and the world economy with a trade war with China.

As president, Trump has every right to implement his policies, even those highly controversial such as banning immigration from five Muslim countries and redirecting hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funds from the military to build his promised border wall. He is governing almost exclusively by fiat, mainly through Twitter. But he has also made 12,109 false or misleading statements as of Aug. 5, his 928th day in office, according to a Washington Post database. They average about 13 per day.

It is no stretch, therefore, to say that Trump is an unorthodox president who has been conducting the nation’s affairs without deference to the norms of governing and respect for the institutions intended to be checks on presidential behavior, especially in his first two years in office when Republicans also controlled Congress.

He has a solid grip on perhaps 40 percent of the country, who continue to see him as the antidote to political gridlock and policies skewed against rural America. His political power is buttressed by the fealty of several Fox News personalities that allows him to threaten any Republican incumbent who dares to challenge him. It is further reinforced by Evangelical leaders such as the Rev. William Franklin Graham, who heads the organization founded by his late father the Rev. Billy Graham.

But perhaps Trump’s most powerful supporter is Senate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell Jr., who, among other things, enabled the confirmation of two conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court and more than 150 federal judges to provide further cover for the president.

Democrats were clearly hoping at least to be able to hold him in check by winning the Senate and the House in the 2018 elections. They succeeded only in taking over the House and quickly learned that nothing had changed. They accuse McConnell of holding up 250 House-approved bills, frustrating their efforts, as they see it, to inject sanity in national affairs and pursue a progressive agenda. By taking no action on the bills, including measures to curb gun violence, McConnell gives the impression that Democrats are doing nothing with their House majority.

Lurking in the background was the Robert Mueller investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 campaign and whether the president tried to obstruct the probe. But Mueller found no collusion and stopped short of formally accusing Trump of obstruction.

Enter a new enabler, William Pelham “Bill” Barr, whom the Republicans confirmed as Attorney General on Feb. 14. His first major act of loyalty to Trump was to distort the findings of the Mueller report in advance of releasing it to the public. Barr is also helping the president to frustrate efforts by the House to obtain documents related to several Congressional investigations.

Coming into the presidency as a deeply flawed person, Trump has ensured that he appoints people who would pander to his worst tendencies. He is given shelter by equally immoral politicians and religious leaders and furiously promoted by sycophantic media.

This is the background against which a whistleblower complained that Trump tried to pressure the president of Ukraine to produce evidence of corruption by his chief 2020 rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, then tried to cover it up. The Democrats obviously believe this is the issue which will bring Trump down and they have launched an impeachment inquiry. It is an indication of Trump’s faith in his political invincibility that he released the damaging transcript of the phone call and the whistleblower’s complaint. Whether that confidence will survive the investigation into whether he did try to persuade a foreign government to interfere in an American election remains to be seen – but is entirely possible.

The Democrats know the risks if they lose: possible loss of their House majority, failure to dislodge McConnell and even giving Trump a second term. But they obviously have no choice other than exercising their constitutional responsibility to hold the president accountable. Trump may survive and emerge politically stronger but it will be up to the American people to make their congressional representatives know whether they want him to remain in office, now that they know what sort of president he is.

Mohamed Hamaludin is a Guyana-born journalist who  worked for several years at The Chronicle in the 1970s and on publications in the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands before emigrating to the United States in 1984 where he worked at The Miami Times, the Miami Herald and the South Florida Times.  Though now retired, he writes a commentary every week or two for The South Florida Times (sfltimes.com) in which the above column first appeared. He may be reached at hamal1942@gmail.com.

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Comments

  • IAN A NASCIMENTO  On October 4, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Mr. Hamaludin, what is wrong with you? Why do you not run for office in the American Democratic (SOCIALIST) party because you appear to have the same screwed up opinionated thinking that they posses. You are rambling on with screwed up hatred opinions, and no facts, on one of the best men America has had for President in many years.
    Give it up, your SOCIALIST hatred has no value. Did you write articles like this when the Socialist, Muslim Obama was in office? I don’t think so! Obama hated, and still does, this Country and no one wrote articles like this about him. Obama did his best trying to put America to its knees and Trump has done a marvelous job on bringing us back from the devastation.

  • wally n  On October 4, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Ian so glad you answered all this crap these %&&&& were spouting. Everyone of us learned in school, investigate both sides, or at least wait until the investigations are completed. I was always Liberal, brought up my children to be Liberals, after reading about the nastiness done by the Liberals/Democrats, robbing the countries, selling Intellectual Property…..I turned one eighty.
    My prediction this site will soon start banning pro Conservative comments.

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 5, 2019 at 5:04 am

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 5, 2019 at 5:38 am

  • Emanuel  On October 5, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Nacimento wrote: “Give it up, your (SOCIALISL) hatred has no value. Did you write articles like this when the Socialist, Muslin Obama was in office?”

    Oh the irony.

    Look who is whining about socialist hatred. Pot calling out the kettle. Lordy, Lordy

    PS: Trump is the worst president in US history. He is like a rabid dog on the lose. The “stable genius” will be expelled from office just like that other crook Nixon.

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 5, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Emanuel: This is why I chose to post intelligent and educated people discussing what is going on in the USA, rather than comment myself …..

    – Some of the people in question – in the videos – are Rhodes Scholars and Oxford Graduates ….

    I would much rather spend a few minutes listening to any one of them than engage the shallowness of Ian or Wally.

    Cyril, the creator and administrator of this site believes everyone is entitled to their opinion. Therefore, Wally you may relax!!

    • Emanuel  On October 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks for those two videos, Clyde. All Americans should look at them.

      They are powerful. Thanks Clyde.

  • wally n  On October 5, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    At least you have me in good company, Rhodes Scholars?, umm you know I should have guessed that before, the smell of a clinton’s opinion. Relax? . always am, planning to be a lil more relaxed…..in C R

    • Emanuel  On October 5, 2019 at 10:56 pm

      “At least you have me in good company…”

      Yes, indeed, but you are the butler in that good company. Lol.

  • wally n  On October 6, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Don’t forget butlers control the spit quotient. Time will tell but in the mean time……

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