Askia MuhammadColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: State of the Union? ‘We’re Lost’

At this time every year, people in this country look forward to the president delivering the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. It wasn’t always so, however. The name was attached in 1934 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1947, his successor Harry Truman began the custom of live remarks, rather than the written report.

Donald J. Trump is the first president to drop a SOTU address while still under the cloud of impeachment. The Senate “acquitted” him of the two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — so he will not be removed from office by that method.

First, there is no unity in the Union. Better than half the population knows this guy to be a serial liar, a cheat, a whoremonger, a philanderer, a business failure and otherwise unworthy person to be a dogcatcher, let alone president of the United States. A majority of the House of Representatives and a plurality in the Senate know him to be unfit for office, but that’s not enough to remove him. The country just remains divided.

But before the impeachment schism, The Donald insulted and disrespected the Pentagon chiefs and generals, the intelligence community, the diplomatic community, even members of his own Cabinet, and otherwise sympathetic members of Congress. He did not like anybody in the government “deep state” and the folks who did not cower before him and tremble in his wake, turned against his mistake-prone leadership. That’s no way to run a government.

But the economy is humming along (on a $1 trillion deficit) and folks happy with the performance of their 401(k) retirement plans are tickled, even though many abhor his other policies, his style, his mannerisms, his ugly mug.

The state of the union as a political entity is on shaky ground, however, thanks to the Republican “ride-or-die” love affair with this really immoral, disgusting human being who is president. Of all the right-wing ideologues who could be in This Dude’s place, there must be some who didn’t pay porn stars hush money, who weren’t required to pay back $25 million to students defrauded from a fake university, who didn’t bankrupt a handful of casinos. He is a poster child for the type of person you don’t want in office.

But it’s not just The Donald who’s a bad example, a majority of the U.S. Senate — the so-called “world’s greatest deliberative body” — concluded after a thorough presentation of some of his gross misdeeds that the witnesses and documents that would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this guy is a crook, the Senate agreed to acquit him, without even insisting on investigating all the facts. That’s because the more the charges against him are studied, the more incriminating evidence will be found.

The reason that Trump withheld documents, and blocked folks in his administration from testifying because he knows if they tell the truth, they will only make him look guiltier than folks already know him to be. “[Trump’s] an unhinged, lawless person who lies every single day,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), according to The Hill. “So I expect he’ll use the State of the Union to lie about everything he’s doing.”

And that’s exactly what he did: thumping his chest about the economy which is running on a borrowed dime, and lying, and exaggerating all the facts about everything going on in the world, so all will appear to favor Trump, Trump, Trump, with a gaggle of sycophantic senators lapping it all up. It’s really disgusting.

“I’ve never seen a more insufferable & pathetic group of Senators than those in the GOP,” said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) via Twitter. “They’ve chosen to strap themselves to a corrupt con man they KNOW is guilty. They’re all cowards. None of them belong in the Senate. They should go home and grow a backbone!”

So, the State of the Union is not only led by a despotic ruler, whose power now approaches being unchecked, but the country is woefully divided, with a crook at the reins of power. The failed impeachment was a chance to save the union, and it failed.

The lead House impeachment manager, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), stated the nation’s dilemma in simple terms: “If right doesn’t matter — if right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn’t matter how brilliant the Framers were,” Schiff said in his impeachment closing argument. “Doesn’t matter how good or bad our advocacy in this trial is. Doesn’t matter how well written the oath of impartiality is. If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost. If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost.”

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Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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