A modern colloquialism goes: “Read the fucking manual,” or RTFM for short. Robert Mueller has given the nation the Bad-Finger, and told us to RTFM!.

The book is closed on the collusion/coordination probe involving Russian election interference.

But he wrote a manual on how to impeach the President on the obstruction of that probe. Here is a summary, and here is a quick synopsis of the case for impeachment for obstruction laid out by senior Republican judges.

The Mueller investigation was over a national security matter that might have been taken from the plot of a Robert Ludlum novel (if he dared something so improbable): a man with no access to American banking capital, who has stinky business dealings with the only nation that is an existential threat to us, hires a caricature of a Russian asset to run his campaign, and becomes President. Only the most jaded of partisan prisms can view this as a “nothing burger.” There can be no calling out a “partisan coup” here, because the main indictments of the President’s conduct come from his own staff. Nobody created the conditions that necessitated the probe other than the President himself.

Which is not to say politically-motivated distortions did not occur; they were virtually assured, given the stakes. Wrong-doing in the course of the investigation should continue to be disciplined, as we know it has been; Andrew McCabe was fired the day before he was to draw his pension. Russia actually did this under the Obama administration. All of this should be investigated, and charges of violations of the rule of law needs to transcend our partisanship, the same way as the law needs application to the President.

The motivation for the obstruction is important. Obstructing justice because you don’t want to get busted for a BJ is simply not the same as interfering with the investigation of an attack by a state that has had the power to annihilate Western civilization for the last half century (interfered with by its principal defender, no less). The gravity of the matter makes illegal, politically-motivated wiretapping look trivial. The fact that President Trump was unconcerned with the facts of our main adversary’s (highly successful) interference in our increasingly dysfunctional electoral politics is reason enough for any patriot to deem him unfit for office. It borders on high treason. A great many Americans, this scribbler among them, believes that our divisions are an even greater threat to our National Security. Trump exacerbates both.

To believe in the deep state coup theory is the same as falling for the unproven coordination narrative. Carl Sagan’s maxim that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” holds as much for proving deep-state collusion as it does Russian collusion, if not much more so (not trusting them, vs not trusting us). Sagan never said that gathering evidence was objectionable.

It boggles my mind that the Republicans, who set the Middle East ablaze over threats less than what is posed by falling furniture, look on the blocking of a matter of this magnitude with such aloofness. Micheal Flynn was not just a possible asset of Russia, he was hired by Turkey to represent their interests. American special forces commandos working with the Kurdish Peshmerga are put at grave risk by a man retired from their same uniform. We and Turkey are locked in state of Cold War, over those same wars the Republicans set off. Criminal or not, that the Republicans are not demanding justice against Flynn indicts their commitments to their own wars. Everything is eclipsed by their political calculations. The Flynn case is an example of the aforementioned threat to national security posed by our partisan divisions.

The electorate’s calculations should factor this in our evaluation of their fitness for greater public service responsibility (allow me: they are not fit, Team Red, nor Team Blue). Our evaluations of the political status quo have been poor enough, for long enough, for us to demand outsiders, like everyone else in the politically developed world (which has vomited up how many comedians, seamlessly transiting into politics like OJ Simpson into acting?). The joke is on us, that the demand was answered by Donald Trump. It’s a supreme irony that the outsider to the status quo will so worsen this deep, zero-sum partisan myopia. Team Blue will simply turn around and do the same, citing Trump’s precedence, with the same apologies to political expediency, when their turn inevitably comes.

Know when else we got into deep trouble over an RTFM mistake? It was that time we decided to invade Iraq. Our lawmakers voted to invade a sovereign nation, against the vote of the U.N., without RTFM (ing) what the case for the war was.

Contrast that with the fact that our law makers take politically unconnected people’s freedoms and fortunes for failures of due diligence willy-fuckin-nilly. A common theme in these pages has been to point out how a remedy for such over-lawyering is to ensure the laws are applied as vigorously to the law-makers as they are to my poor constituents in the Projects.

The last point, in the case for impeachment, is that we cannot expect outsized executive power to exist along scant accountability, and expect to remain a free Republic for long.

Let them all have accountability. Normalize impeachment.

Eugene Darden Nicholas

About Eugene Darden Nicholas

Eugene Darden (Ed) Nicholas is from Flushing Queens, where he grew up sheltered from the hard world, learning the true things after graduating college and becoming a paramedic in Harlem. School continues to inform and entertain in all its true, Shakespearean glory. It's a lot of fun, really. In that career, dozens of people walk the earth now who would not be otherwise. (The number depends on how literally or figuratively you choose to add). He added a beloved wife to his little family, which is healthy. He is also well blessed in friends and colleagues.


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