3 Stories You Should Read 6/4/2019: Pelosi, Kirsten Gillibrand, Venezuela
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In the category of: Lack of leadership
The whole point of an impeachment process is to conduct a fair evaluation of the facts and constitutional standard. Initiating an impeachment process also provides a forum for the public to learn about the relevant facts and the constitutional burdens.
Impeachment hearings might also develop new evidence. The speaker’s notion of requiring certainty of conviction before even considering charges is wrongheaded and improper.
Finally, there’s the “he’s just not worth it” standard: Speaker Pelosi said, “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”
While Speaker Pelosi is right that impeachment is divisive, the process of considering whether a president engaged in conduct that constitutes treason, bribery or other high crime or misdemeanor is a core constitutional power and responsibility of the House.
In the category of: Integrity even when it’s not convenient
The New York senator expressed no regrets for making clear “we value women.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) stood by her past calls for then-Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations after fellow 2020 presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said Monday that he wouldn’t have applied the same pressure.
“Eight credible allegations of sexual harassment, two since he was elected Senator, and one from a congressional staffer,” Gillibrand said in a statement shared on Twitter by a campaign staffer. “That is not too high a standard, regardless of how the Republican party handles this behavior, and worse.”
“Yes, it was Senator Franken’s decision alone to leave the Senate — a path he ultimately chose — but for many senators, including myself and others in this primary field, that was not too high of a bar to raise our voices and make clear we value women,” her statement continued.
In the category of: How to topple a government
There are a few rules for how to topple a government. Make sure that you have the military on your side, or at least enough of it to dissuade unsympathetic soldiers from intervening. Spread money around, to inspire loyalty. Determine which part of the populace will join your uprising, which part will resist, and which part will stand aside and watch. Neutralize the resistance quickly; take over the media so that you can disseminate orders. Once the ruler is displaced, kill him or hustle him out of the country as fast as you can.
When Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s uprising, announced the “final phase of Operation Freedom,” on April 30th, he seemed to have done none of those things. He arrived before dawn outside the La Carlota airbase, in Caracas, and recorded a video declaring that the time had come to force out the country’s increasingly tyrannical ruler, Nicolás Maduro. Guaidó, thirty-five years old, had recently been named the speaker of the National Assembly, and he looked a bit surprised to find himself where he was. With a few dozen military sympathizers at his side, he said, “There have been years of sacrifice. There have been years of persecution. There have been years of fear, even. Today, that fear is overcome.”
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