Thursday June 4, 2020
Dec-08-2008 17:26TweetFollow @OregonNews
Op Ed: IMPEACHMENT:
By Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News.com
Beach Impeach Process photo by John Montgomery
(EUGENE, Ore.) - Two words capsulize our Constitutional crisis, now recognized as the root-and-many/limbs of our current economic collapse. One is APATHY, an American characteristic far too often encountered in recent decades.
Blame that on our “pursuit of happiness” --but such distortion of real meaning reflects its own values. The other word is IMPEACHMENT. That one is too often avoided now --in deadly-sharp contrast to another word too frequently heard in recent irresponsible campaign-crowd rantings.
Without realistic action for impeachment, triggered by citizen demand, we dishonor this nation and our long, continuing “experiment in democracy”.
Our Founders risked their collective necks to bring into being what we now have enjoyed for 232 years. That’s long enough for the slowest of learners -- but malign influences have been at work all those years. Action to put that Constitutional requirement “off the table” is now seen as “clearly politically cowardly”.
Surfaced in citizen reaction to “transformative Presidential election and Obama’s huge mandate”, many believe more delay is conscientiously insupportable and even Constitutionally “unsustainable”.
What other Congress has ever had --right “on the table” and 35-counts/deep-- an unavoidable, deeply documented set of impeachable charges. by responsible, elected representatives, demanding action?
What hampering action can avoid consequences of devouring deterioration, demonstrably mounted by a small cabal, against this nation and its Constitution? Many believe we must ask the simple question: “Impeachment NOW, or LATER, or NEVER?” If NOT NOW, when? WHY ANY delay?
WHAT does it TAKE to trigger obviously-required Constitutional action? WILL perpetrators walk away, welcomed into warm sunshine, cushy book-deals, and sinecure-provided? While Congress continues to collect from “corporate campaign contributions?” Constant companionship constitutes corporate complicity in current corruptions.
WHAT about international action? WHAT Court has any jurisdiction ? WHEN, WHO must lead the action? OR do we all simply sit this one out in silence, self abnegation, desperate insecurity and deep frustrations? Lack of action defies and denies solid-citizen understandings of the American Way and its values.
Those values --founded in world-famed philosophy and all religions-- clearly are important components of the Constitution and its essential Bill of Rights. Together, they wrote on history’s hungry pages our declaration that “no person is above the law”.
Not even an “Imperial President” openly defying and denying the wit, wisdom and will of the American people. Does more than 1,000 “signing statements” --each disemboweling a just-penned Presidential “only-partial acceptance” of Congressionally-crafted new law-- constitute an impeachable offense ? Many Americans will now agree it surely does so.
Their judgment is sharpened by recent economic crisis events: Deep ranks of Americans are threatened in ways never before encountered, even in the worst of Great Depression-days.
“All are equal under our law”, we famously contend. “Equal opportunity for all” then follows, we insist, as the sun does the darkest night. But reality resounds around us, with a different image. The darkest night is here --again !!-- for far too many Americans. Are we true to our inheritance from the Founders, or is it --yet again --”too soon”
President-elect Obama’s massive mandate surely shows we feel ourselves ready to prove these unassailable points: Finally! What was cannily substituted, too-broadly displayed, has multiplied into massive manipulations ever since early-neocon days. That entire enervating approach is built around that falsity: “greed is good”.
“I”m making sure to get mine” further strengthens the dogma. Then comes that very great denial of our American values and century-long experience: “The government IS the problem!”.
This selfish fantasy-summary has lasting appeal for far too many; it has served as conscience-salve for ostensible “conservatives” deserting honest principles. They seek (perhaps-unconscious) solace from painful collapse of distortions aimed at American values. Economic fantasies/fallacies have long blinded us to inevitable consequences.
Damages to social, cultural, even religious societal composition are now “unsustainable” -- a word heard so often in recent decades it is anathema to many.
They surely should have understood its threatening implications --and now know they will feel the pain. Slogan-described false values from the Reagan era were present --and broadly recognized-- long before then. That’s because they summarize and reflect --in both actions and denials --what has plagued us and our Constitutional efforts for most of our national days.
The other word is IMPEACHMENT, carefully and competently defined and detailed in our national experience..
Treatment of impeachment reflects an overblown American characteristic: To ignore and deny and overlook the prescience and pattern of high-probability provided us in specific ways, with requisite tools, by our Founding Fathers.
We first deny, then defy, and eventually defeat the great inheritance they left us. They intended the Constitution to serve, protect, and preserve freedom -- for ALL Americans in every group, every town and city and state; in every class, in all conditions -- under the law of this free nation.
WE DO SO TODAY AT OUR VERY GREAT PERIL.
This peril is so overwhelmingly overshadowing our continued existence as a world-leading democratic “experiment” that the situation forces immediate, close consideration --even in our Christian Holiday period.
“Experimental” is still the word for this nation, in its youth historically compared to many predecessors. The picture prevailing from all of those nations is not a pretty one, full of solace and some satisfactions. Rather it is a morose, malign reflection of multiple manipulations by the same classic perpetrators we now find deeply responsible for continuing selfish predations historically recorded in all those previous times.
History teaches that if we had found strength, attention, time to practice what we well knew, we might have accomplished much more, as laid in line for us by our Founders.
When crisis has inevitably struck, we have found ourselves replacing fragments of our nation into some semblance of original entity.
We have allowed ourselves to be thrust into pointed impure political “solutions”. We have allowed confrontational competitions far beyond logic and reason. Those have caused contemptuous reactions, even leading to death.
They now demand “transformative changes” in our democratic processes. WHEN will we ever LEARN ? WHAT must we do NOW?
What we have encountered should surely teach us all. Perhaps we can NOW exert patience, add continued responsible surveillance, employ full accountable-citizen attention -- and begin-again what our Founders created for us.
Henry Clay Ruark is the one of, if not the most experienced, working reporter in the state of Oregon, and possibly the entire Northwest. Hank has been at it since the 1930's, working as a newspaper staff writer, reporter and photographer for organizations on the east coast like the Bangor Maine Daily News.
Today he writes Op-Ed's for Salem-News.com with words that deliver his message with much consideration for the youngest, underprivileged and otherwise unrepresented people.