What a drama! The president of the United States has been impeached by the House of Representatives and awaits trial in the U.S. Senate. This has happened only three times in U.S. history.

This previous impeachment – that of

President Bill Clinton – was initiated by Republicans – for the “crime” of having adulterous sex in the White House and lying about it. Ancillary accompanying charges were perjury and obstruction of justice. This affair came to an ignominious end as Americans came to realize that, yes, the president’s behavior was stupid and self-indulgent but that sex between consenting adults did not merit quite so much attention. Indeed, the effort against Clinton was quickly followed by revelations that several of those pointing a finger were themselves in similar situations.

Clinton was exonerated.

How times have changed! Now we have a president who has crassly bragged about his repeated adultery and nonetheless gets elected. And now Republicans, in a display of industrial-strength hypocrisy, are claiming impeachment is way too serious a way of dealing with the current president’s actions.

Unfortunately for these blathering, U-turn senate Republicans, the charges this time are grave and unassailable. What this president has done was to turn his back on an ally engaged in a life-and-death struggle and deny him already agreed upon military aid unless said ally agreed to initiate a sham investigation into the background of a political rival. When these facts came to light, President Donald John Trump was then more or less forced to release the promised anti-tank missiles for Ukraine.

The plot for the Clinton affair (a mot juste) could have been written by a Danielle Steele with perhaps a touch of zany noir supplied perhaps by a Thomas Pynchon. DJT’s transgressions, by contrast, are right out of a Tom Clancy thriller. (Although even Clancy would probably not have had his fictional president calling those objecting to his action “human scum”).

At this time, Senate action on impeachment has been held up as Ms. Pelosi has not yet forwarded the articles of impeachment. The next act in the drama is, of course, not known to us at this time, but in the past delays of this sort have seen leaks of additional information which have filtered down to the general public, engendering more interest. When the articles are finally forwarded (this summer?), they will dominate the news cycle for a while. Feral “Trump-can-do-no-wrong” zombies, having been numbed by DJTs constant attacks on not only his adversaries but also on the press and judiciary, will be unmoved.

Indeed, if, as the walls close in, DJT were to call upon them to take up arms in his defense, some unfortunate incidences of armed violence would likely result. Given that recent actions have inflamed passions in Iran, 2020 could turn out to be the most violent year of the millennium to date with this coming October being the most violent month.

In spite of comments from DJT implying that his chief political rival had been corrupt, Vice President Joe Biden’s tenure was comparatively serene -- no one even thought of impeaching him or his “no drama” boss. But DJT in contradistinction, has been impeached and so Act 1 of what will no doubt be a fateful and active political year has occurred.

As 2020 progresses. it might be wise to consider the possibility of leaving home infrequently; an alternative strategy would be wardrobe enhancement emphasizing Kevlar.

John D. Palmer is a Huntington resident.

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