Joan Banks: Taxpayers subsidize drug ads

Geoff Caldwell's nitpicking column (Globe, Jan. 19) about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's speech is ludicrous.

Much more is at stake in this impeachment than whether her speechwriter or the speaker herself can write a speech worthy of Caldwell's approval. His words incite me to comment on his remarks.

"Half the country," he says, "thinks nothing of House Democrats and their impeachment charade tearing at the fabric of that republic."

Caldwell surely knows that impeachment doesn't tear at the fabric of the republic; it is one of the protections the Founding Fathers were wise enough to include in our Constitution, foreseeing that someone might come along and proceed to fashion himself (though they didn't go so far as to think of a herself) as a monarch or despot.

We now have a narcissistic president who would indeed like to go it alone. He thinks he knows better than his advisers and fires them if they don't agree with him. Republican senators are afraid of him and have largely abandoned their constitutional role of putting the brakes on his power. They know that if any one of them stands up against him, he will go after them on social media, bullying them, and some of them might just lose their cushy seats come November.

Caldwell suggests that "us," as used in the speaker's speech, refers only to Democrats, and he then claims that Democrats simply refuse to accept election results.

It's true that we (Democrats) harbor some regret that Republicans seem to have forgotten that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a 2.87 million-vote margin. She was more popular than Donald Trump. But we have accepted the results of the electoral vote because it is stipulated by our Constitution.

Unfortunately, that election has given us a president with a deplorable history and impeached behaviors. Among other things, his business practices included stiffing creditors and taking bankruptcies. He's now under investigation for hush-money payments prior to the 2016 election. His lawyers argued that a president and his family were above the law, but that idea was thrown out. The court ruled that even the president is not above the law.

As president, he promised to surround himself with the "best" people, but his best includes 14 of his aides, donors and advisers who have been indicted or imprisoned. The White House has had a revolving door because the president apparently doesn't take advice kindly.

He has lied more than 15,000 times since taking office. He has alienated our allies (the ones who fought beside us in Europe during World War II). He has pulled us out of nuclear alliances. We stand alone. He admires despots such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, who make a mockery of him. He has yet to fill 79 federal judgeships, which in itself seems a dereliction of duty. The list can go on and on.

As for the Will Rogers levity at the end of Caldwell's column — "I'm not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." — there is this to be said: Republican senators have shown that they are, almost to a person, lockstep automatons doing the president's bidding. For the sake of the country and history, they would do well to break ranks and think for themselves or else they tear the fabric of our Constitution by turning a blind eye to this president's malfeasance.

Joan Banks lives in Joplin.

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