I can’t stop thinking about something I read in August. An author named Peter W. Singer wrote, “Hypocrisy is the point. To show your power.” It shook me. My dad taught me I should break my own neck to keep my word. This was the opposite.
Think about it, though. Suckers stand in line outside the night club. Powerful people walk right up to the bouncer and he lets them in. Losers make reservations for the restaurant. Powerful people walk right up to the maître d’ and get a table. Late in life, I’ve finally learned that some people see hypocrisy as a goal, not a flaw. If you’re powerful, you’re not bound by norms, standards, and practices. Rules are not for you. You’re not even bound to your word. You’re completely free. Laws are for the little people.
I actually read the Mueller Report. Volume One describes Russian interference in the 2016 election, which continues in the 2020 election according to our intelligence community. It’s not shocking that a hostile foreign adversary is screwing with us. Volume Two surprised me, though. It lists ten possible cases of obstruction of justice by the President. If I did just one on the list, I’d probably be in prison. But our Constitution provides only one path to deal with Presidential crimes: impeachment.
I wrote Congressman Pete Stauber (R-MN) and told him I thought the President should be impeached for the incidents in Volume Two of the Mueller Report. On May 15, 2019, he wrote to me, “There is no evidence that President Trump has committed any crime while in office and we cannot impeach someone solely based on a difference of opinion.” My opinion is that Special Counsel Mueller gathered clear evidence that these ten cases were a matter of law. Anybody other than the President would’ve landed in court.
Later, the President asked Ukraine for a favor. Solicitation of a bribe is explicitly named as an impeachable offense in the Constitution. Seeking help from a foreign nation is also a violation of federal election law. I wrote my congressman again. I asked him what he was going to do about it. On October 18, 2019, he wrote me, “I am not serving in Congress to engage in political games.” I think violating the Constitution is much more than a game. The President violates the Constitution’s emoluments clause every single day because he hasn’t divested himself from his businesses. I don’t think that’s a game. When the President held back the money that Congress allocated for Ukraine, he violated the Impoundment Control Act. The President broke the law and usurped the Constitutional powers of the legislative branch. You’d think that would piss off my representative in that branch.
The Ukraine issue turned into a House vote on impeachment. I called my congressman’s office and said I was a constituent who thought the President should be impeached. Congressman Stauber voted no on both articles: Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. I’ve written to my congressman several times, mostly about veterans issues and federal public land policy. But contacting my congressman was useless when it came to holding the executive branch accountable.
My congressman repeatedly says that the country has a lot of other pressing issues. I agree. I would prefer to talk about any of them, especially the virus. But, in my opinion, when our form of government is repeatedly attacked from within, that should be the top priority for him as my representative. For all of us. Individual policies pale in comparison.
The word “hypocrisy” comes from the Greek word for “acting a theatrical part.” My congressman talks a lot about law and order. His slogan in this race is: Fighting for Our Way of Life. I took the same oath that he and the President took. But when my congressman had the opportunity to actually fight for our way of life, he voted no. His inaction placed the current occupant of the White House above the law. When it comes to holding the President accountable for violating the Constitution, my congressman is acting. He’s playing a theatrical part where he seems concerned about law and order.
After Congressman Stauber voted against impeachment, he released a statement, “We have a Presidential election next year and the American people deserve to decide the outcome.” For the first time in American history, an impeached President is running in a general election. My letters didn’t work. So, I held my congressman and my President accountable the only way I know how: I’ve already voted. I’m one of the losers and suckers that still believes the rule of law applies to everybody.
I agree with my congressman: We deserve to decide the outcome.