With the multitude of holiday celebrations and hopes for a new year and the new decade, we have also been forced to realize that evil is still festering. The horror of anti-Semitism is on the increase in the United States and around the world. Here it resulted in a series of attacks against Jews this Hanukkah season. Our politicians universally condemn these manifestations of hatred, of course, but at best they do little to combat them and at worst they contribute to an atmosphere where reasoned behavior and opinions have no place. And now it’s time to go from bad to worse.
2020 is a leap year, so named because we are leaping into the sewage of a presidential campaign. This year, it gets even more deranged, with a mob of candidates in the Democratic Party primaries pretending that they actually enjoy traipsing around the frozen tundras of Iowa and New Hampshire. They’re seeking the momentum that has escaped them in their endless debates.
As for the Republican mob, it is controlled by Don Trump. You now have an entire party dedicated to kissing his ring -- or kissing, what’s the word the Don used -- “whatever”?


Even with the primaries, the main event as the year starts out will be the impeachment trial in the Senate, which could theoretically result in President Trump’s removal from office. It could, but it won’t, because the entire process is controlled by the Republican majority in the Senate. Did I mention their kissing preferences? Mitch McConnell, the crafty majority leader, has made no bones about his willingness to give up any pretense of impartiality as a senator and any pretense of self-respect by turning things over to the defendant Trump’s lawyers. “We all know how this is going to end,” he said on Fox News (where else?).
At the moment, he is fending off Democrats who claim to want witnesses to testify during the “trial” about the president’s alleged offenses, as opposed to the GOP preference to get this embarrassment over with in a hurry. These are witnesses who refused to testify during the House investigation because their leader, the president, ordered them not to.
But the flaw in the Democrats’ strategy is that they would have to agree to make available their own witnesses, like Joe Biden. Trump is accused of abusing his office by recruiting the government of Ukraine to assist in an effort to discredit Biden, who is a candidate for president.
Uncle Joe is not covering himself in glory here. During a weekend of tripping over his own words again, he first insisted that he would not comply with a Senate subpoena. Then he tried to clarify as horrified aides realized the optics were terrible, considering Trump’s articles of impeachment included obstruction of Congress because he had rejected subpoenas. So, after a couple of days, No-Malarkey Biden had reversed course and told a town hall that of course he would comply with “any subpoena that was sent to me.” I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that it’s good to clear up that one.
Congress, with its governing responsibilities, will assume its accustomed role as a backdrop while the political season sucks up all the attention. Because sucking up all the attention is what Donald Trump does, but also because most of the members in the House of Representatives and most of the senators are desperately trying to save their jobs.
All of this will be sorted out on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. If it goes smoothly, if the country is able to fend off voting sabotage by the Russians or other malefactors and voter suppression efforts by the Republicans, we will have chosen our leadership till the next time around. Either way, we’ll be left with little hope of tamping down the hateful passions that threaten to consume our society.

© 2020 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 4, 2020 12:04 PM.

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