Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Marie Yovanovitch: These are turbulent times. But we will persist and prevail.

It was an honor for me to represent the United States abroad because, like many immigrants, I have a keen understanding of what our country represents. In a leap of optimism and faith, my parents made their way from the wreckage of post-World War II Europe to America, knowing in their hearts that this country would give me a better life. They rested their hope, not in the possibility of prosperity, but in a strong democracy: a country with resilient institutions, a government that sought to advance the interests of its people, and a society in which freedom was cherished and dissent protected. These are treasures that must be carefully guarded by all who call themselves Americans.

When civil servants in the current administration saw senior officials taking actions they considered deeply wrong in regard to the nation of Ukraine, they refused to take part. When Congress asked us to testify about those activities, my colleagues and I did not hesitate, even in the face of administration efforts to silence us. [..]

These are turbulent times, perhaps the most challenging that I have witnessed. But I still intend to find ways to engage on foreign policy issues and to encourage those who want to take part in the important work of the Foreign Service. Like my parents before me, I remain optimistic about our future. The events of the past year, while deeply disturbing, show that even though our institutions and our fellow citizens are being challenged in ways that few of us ever expected, we will endure, we will persist and we will prevail.

Charles M. Blow: They Acquitted Trump. Make Them Pay!

There’s a way to make Senate Republicans regret their sins.

It is done. Donald Trump, impeached by the House of Representatives, has been acquitted by the Senate. [..]

Now that Republicans have refused to do their duty out of extreme tribalism and devotion to Trump, Democrats need to make lists and take names. There is no time for crestfallen recriminations.

Republicans who have chosen party and despot over country and law must be made to pay at the ballot box in November. If a majority of the Senate cannot be expected or made to do the right thing, the Senate majority must be changed. It must be defeated.

This has long since stopped being solely about Trump. This is about the whole of the Republican Party. Indeed, there is no longer a Republican Party. There is now only the Party of Trump. He is them; they are him.

Michelle Cottle: Thank You, Iowa

You’ve definitively shown us why you shouldn’t be first on the political calendar, and so much more.

As Iowa Democrats struggle to tally votes and claw their way out of the rubble of Monday’s caucus crackup, there continues to be angst and outrage about the damage the Hawkeye State has inflicted on the democratic process — and the Democratic process. Terms like “catastrophe,” “debacle,” “fiascoanddisaster” are being tossed about like salad greens.

That’s one way to look at the situation. Another way is that Iowa has done the Democratic Party — the nation, even — a tremendous service. Yes, the reporting of votes was a perfect storm of incompetence. And the muddled outcome failed to give any of the candidates the electoral tailwind about which they’d been fantasizing. But, delayed and deflated though they were, the results provided more clarity than anyone is giving them credit for — in some regards more than if the voting had gone off as planned. Among the valuable takeaways: [..]

5. There is a strong argument to be made that no single state deserves to hold the rest of the electorate hostage the way Iowa has for decades. Why should the parochial concerns of Iowans be forever more important than those of Arizonans or North Carolinians or Michiganders? Multiple alternative ways to set the calendar have been floated, and it’s past time to give them serious consideration. They could hardly be worse than the current system. If this year’s meltdown doesn’t spur Democrats to take long overdue action, they deserve all their future nightmares.

So, thank you, Iowa. This may be the most you have taught the electorate in a long while. Now take your bows, and step aside.

Donna F. Edwards: Pelosi’s page-ripping was a fitting end to impeachment

The concept of “channeling” has always been a little foreign to me, but the end of the 2020 State of the Union address brought it home. Capturing the mood in a single gesture, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi channeled millions of Americans as she ripped the pages of President Trump’s speech. In her description afterward, it was a “manifesto of mistruths.” [..]

The entire State of the Union show — the chanting, the demonstrably false claims, the campaign-style speech — deserved a showstopper ending. With impeachment hanging in the air, that page-ripping gesture was a fitting ending, the correct response to a president who has destroyed all norms of behavior, decorum, civility and democracy. So stop the hand-wringing and pearl-clutching over Nancy Pelosi shredding Trump’s “manifesto of mistruths” as he has shredded the Constitution. Maybe it wasn’t an end, but a prequel to the shameful end of the trial and an acquittal for a president who will be forever impeached for abusing his power and obstructing Congress.

Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Sylvia Garcia and Jason Crow : House managers: Trump won’t be vindicated. The Senate won’t be, either.

Over the past two weeks, we have argued the impeachment case against President Trump, presenting overwhelming evidence that he solicited foreign interference to cheat in the next election and jeopardized our national security by withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in security assistance to pressure Ukraine to do his political bidding. When the president got caught and his scheme was exposed, he tried to cover it up and obstruct Congress’s investigation in an unprecedented fashion. As the trial progressed, a growing number of Republican senators acknowledged that the House had proved the president’s serious misconduct. [..]

By denying the American people a fair trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also deprived the president of something that he desperately sought — exoneration. There can be no exoneration without a legitimate trial. Out of fear of what they would learn, the Senate refused to hold one. The president will not be vindicated, and neither will the Senate, certainly not by history.

The Constitution is a wondrous document, but it is not self-effectuating; it requires vigilance, and a pledge by every new generation of voters and public servants to safeguard and fulfill its lofty promise. And it requires a kind of courage that Robert F. Kennedy once said is more rare than that on the battlefield — moral courage. Without it, no constitution can save us, but with it, no hardship can overcome us. We remain committed to doing everything in our power to preserve this marvelous experiment in self-governance.

America is worth it.