Immigrants and Trump's First 100 Days as President

Although many minority communities have been in the crosshairs, I will venture to say that no other community has been more affected by Trump's first one hundred days than immigrant communities throughout this nation.  Illegal Immigration was Trump's signature issue while he was campaigning for the White House.  He often talked about illegal immigration in vitriolic tones.  Okay, he used vitriol for most of his speeches.

White working-class voters blamed illegal immigration for their woes.  Candidate Trump managed to successfully tapped into these voters' dissatisfaction with this issue.  These voters believed that candidate Trump was going to stop or at least restrict illegal immigration.  Political pundits argued that this was the very reason as to why Trump was able to win the Industrial Midwest, a geographical area that had been controlled by Democrats for decades.

It is not hyperbole or exaggeration, but immigrant communities have been destabilized by Trump's first one-hundred days.  All the anxieties and fears undocumented folks were bracing for came to fruition when this man was inaugurated back in January.  ICE agents have been aggressively showing up in immigrant communities yanking out undocumented immigrants of their homes where they live where their families.  Undocumented parents have been arrested by ICE while dropping off their kids at schools or while dealing with a legal matter at courthouses and others had been detained for being nearby places where undocumented immigrants with criminal records were being sought.  The anxieties and fears are palpable in many immigrant communities.  Major newspapers have reported that approximately 22,000 undocumented immigrants have been deported so far this year. Under the Obama administration, this number was around 5,400 last year.

One might argue that we have an incoherent President with incoherent policy proposals, Indeed, President Trump told reporters that he first was going to start deporting "criminal aliens."  He calculated that there were around two or three million "bad hombres" in the country who had committed violent and grave crimes.  The following week, the man who runs Homeland Security for him, Secretary Kelly told the host of "Face the Nation" that any alien who has had some encounter with any law enforcement agency, regardless of the degree of the offense, was subject to deportation.  Then, Attorney General, Jeff Session also told reporters that the mere fact of an individual having come here illegally was a misdemeanor.  Therefore, whether or not an immigrant has committed crimes here in the US, said "alien" was subject to deportation.  There is no cohesiveness of the message being sent by this administration to immigrant communities. Hence, there is agony, fear, and anxiety among undocumented families.

In light of the aggressive immigration enforcement approach currently used by this administration, many immigrant families have begun to prepare for that potential day in which they might not come home.  It truly is sad seeing many immigrant families seeking legal assistance from community organizations where they can draw up plans and sign legal papers that will allow close relatives or friends to have custody of their children.  These undocumented parents are being pro-active, in the event that doesn't make it back home because they have been detained by ICE.   No parent should be living in the shadows and under this agony in this country.  Most of these immigrants have been here for years and they have contributed to the well-being of their communities.  Children shouldn't be separated from their parents, we shouldn't separate families who wish to be together.   These actions are inconsistent with the values that represent this country.  This ruthless enforcement is inhumane and mocks these very same values.

We should fix this immigration problem with a policy that is fair and inclusive.
Regardless of how you feel about the issue of immigration, it is important to acknowledge that eleven million undocumented immigrants can't just be rolled into buses and be deported.  If you feel that this can be done and that Trump will do it, you must be living in an "alternative reality."   Immigration in this country has been debated for too long in Washington.  It started back in 2000.  Then, the events of September 11 of 2001 happened and everything changed.  In the aftermath of 9/11, we learned that some of the 19 hijackers had violated federal immigration laws while they were in the United States.

Literally and figuratively every election whether presidential or congressional, the issue of immigration has taken front and center.  Both political parties mostly focused on the enforcement aspect of this matter.  Obama as a candidate promised a proposal for immigration reform in his first year in office.  He never fulfilled that promise and instead of getting comprehensive immigration reform we got comprehensive immigration enforcement. Obama's administration set records for deporting hard-working immigrants with no criminal records.  He was even dubbed "the deporter in chief."

To those conservatives who are influencing the President on this issue, I understand your concerns in not wanting to reward immigrants who came here illegally. Okay, make us earn that citizenship, make us pay fines and taxes and make us learn English.  But give us some sort of legalization.  So, our undocumented immigrants can come out of the shadows and become full-fledged members of their communities.  Study after study shows that legalizing these law-abiding immigrants makes sense economically as they will contribute more to the output of this nation.  We just want an opportunity.

Two positive things that I would like to highlight in these one hundred days about this administration: First, it is great to see that this president has not reversed President Obama's executive order that protected the "Dreamers" from being deported.    These "Dreamers" as they are being called were brought to this country when they were children by their parents. President Trump has told reporters that as long as these young people don't engage in any illegal activity they shouldn't be concerned about being deported.  Although it has been reported that one or two of these dreamers have been detained and one has been deported for allegations of having committed crimes.  Second, the level of activism that I have witnessed in these first one hundred days has given me hope.  I have seen people from all walks of life marching literally every other weekend since this president got inaugurated in January.  The forces of activism have been ignited and the challenge here is to continue organizing and agitating for true radical progressive change.

Finally, leaders in immigrant communities need to bring a vibrant passion whenever advocating for undocumented immigrants in this debate about immigration reform.  They have to be as intense, organized, and adamant about immigration reform as the anti-immigrant forces on the other side. Taking it to the streets and marching is great but there must also be some sort of legislative endeavors being pursued in Washington.

Thank you for reading.

Chamba Sanchez
4/27/2017

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Works used.

Bannon, Brad. "Trump's first 100 days anything but presidential."  The Hill 24 April 2017. Web. 25 April 2017

Camarota, Steven. "The Case Against Immigration:  Why the United States should look out for itself." Foreign Affairs 31 March 2017. Web. 24n April 2017.

Horsey, David. "Trump should claim victory on the border and abandon his foolish wall." Los Angeles Times 12 April 2017. Web. 24 April 2017.

Krikorian, Mark. "On Immigration, Fighting the Last War." National Review. 1 Oct. 2015.

McManus, Doyle. "Trump's populist revolution is already over — for now." Los Angeles Times 16, April 2017. Web. 25 April 2017.
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Photos credits:  Photos downloaded from websites with password-protected that my employer pays.

 


25 Years Ago, LA Went Up in Flames. Can It Happen Again?

In balance, 1992 was a great year.  We, voters, in the state of California sent two women to the US Senate, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Bill Clinton became our president by defeating George H. Bush; Spain held the awesome Summer Olympics in Barcelona; and unfortunately here in LA, riots broke out after the acquittal of four white police officers accused of beating black driver Rodney King after a high-speed pursuit.

I have been reading articles and watched a couple of documentaries about the LA riots that took place 25 years ago.  Then I realized that this week, our City's Mayor was going to give his annual State of the City Address. I thought it would be only fair to expect our Mayor Garcetti to give us an assessment of what happened that important day of April of 1992 when all this city's institutions collapsed.  And what we are doing collectively or not doing from stopping another civil unrest here in Los Angeles. Stunningly, there was nothing in his speech about that sad day in Los Angeles.  How could that be, the man is a student of history?  It might have been because Los Angeles is still mired in the current crises Angelenos were facing then.  Yes, abject poverty in many communities, a very profound crisis of lack of affordable housing, homelessness, still corrosive tensions between the LAPD and communities of color,  underperforming schools and no living wage jobs for people to adequately provide for their families.

I appreciated the optimism that our Mayor always displays.  Optimism is always used by our civic leaders to lift our spirits and to communicate a message of hope. Although I have to say optimism can't be disconnected from the facts on the ground.

The riots that took place in Los Angeles on April 29, 1992, had a tremendous impact on me. I was young and was trying to find direction in my life.  I was an immigrant, I had come to LA back in the 1980s when I was sixteen years old. The riots forced me to engage in some soul-searching, I felt helpless and hopeless.  I didn't know much, I could understand the struggles facing the different communities in this great city. I couldn't connect the dots of what had happened in this city that day. I quickly realized that I couldn’t just be a bystander anymore.  I immediately endeavored to educate myself in the struggles of this community.  I was majoring in business in college for my undergraduate degree. But I began reading books in public policy, history, power, philosophy, religion, and political economy. I wanted to learn as much as possible so I could understand things better.

Witnessing all the irrational violence and destruction was hard.  It truly was difficult for me to fathom that people would actually destroy their own communities out of anger.  It saddened me seeing many communities going up in flames, people looting businesses, and some people beating up other people for no reason. It was utter anarchy that day in Los Angeles.

The riots devastated Los Angeles. After the three day ordeal, 55 people had been killed and nearly 2,000 had been injured, more than 12,000 people were arrested and civic leaders claimed that there was approximate $1 billion loss in the destruction of properties. Then California Governor, Pete Wilson sent the National Guard and President George H. W. Bush sent military troops and riots-trained federal officers to restore order in our city. It truly was a war zone.

Furthermore, I had a difficult time comprehending how such destruction of one’s community could be condoned by many out of sympathy.  Then, I read Dr. King’s writing and speeches. Dr. King was a big advocate for militant, powerful, massive, non-violence direct action.  He thought that it was the only way that radical change could be brought into an unjust and racist society. Nonetheless, as he delved into his moral reasoning, he conceded that he couldn’t condemn the riots that had been taking place in many cities during his struggles for social and economic justice. Dr. King saw the destruction of communities as the result of the “intolerable conditions that existed in society. He viewed the riots as the language of the unheard.  Dr. King appears to have made an exception here and argued that said destruction was not only necessary but morally justified. I found this not only intriguing but very fascinating.

The violence on that sunny day in April of 1992, led me to conclude that we, indeed, are one people of many communities with different backgrounds.  And regardless of our differences, everyone must be treated with dignity and respect no matter one's social and economic status.  Moreover, for communities to be peaceful, we have to understand that everyone living in our communities has a voice. And that we must do whatever we can to make sure that all voices are heard.  These voices can't be expunged from the narratives of power.  Because these silent voices will somehow find their way to be heard. Dr. King was right, "the riots can be the language of the unheard" when they are being oppressed. The riots of 1992 in Los Angeles were the voices of those who have been ignored and oppressed for too long.

After the riots were over in Los Angeles in 1992 and order was restored, the voices of reason emerged and they forced this city to engage in a vigorous conversation.  They looked into what led to such violence and how leaders in this city could become more responsive in creating a more fair community. Many promises were made and depend on whom you ask, you will get a different view of whether or not Los Angeles has created the conditions for a more fair and just community.

When experts examine the Watts and the LA riots of  1965 and 1992 respectively, they identified common themes that led to these two cities to go up in flames.  Today's challenges are no different from the ones in those years of desperation.  Yes, we currently have a challenge in the distribution of wealth of this community. There is no secret that Los Angeles is home to both abject poverty and unprecedented excess.   We have a "new Gilded Age of obscene wealth perpetuated by the new economic order of a "gig" economy where very few individuals are becoming billionaires and everyone else make starvation wages and a crisis of affordable housing that civic leaders are unable to solve.  There is also a profound lack of civic engagement. People in communities of color are not civic-minded and don't care about who governs them. They do not vote. It seems like the steam is pressing against the engine cap again.  LA's leaders take note.

Thank you for reading.

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Works Used.

Castaneda, Ruben. "25  Years After the Riots: The Washington Post's Ruben Castaneda Recalls a Near-Suicide Mission." LA. Weekly. 18 April 2017. Print.

Florida, Richard. "L.A. and New York are expensive, but they're not about to become creative deserts." Los Angeles Times 14 April 2017. Web. 20 April 2017. 

Halloway, Kali. "9 MLK Quotes the Mainstream Media Won't Cite." Alternate.org. 16 Dec 2015. Web. 21 April 2017.

"The Lost Tapes-The LA Riots." Smithsonianchannel.com. Web. 20 April 2017.

Photos credits:  Photos were downloaded from websites with password-protected from one of the colleges where I teach pays.


Save the Republic-Defend the Truth !

In light of how our political leaders are currently dealing with the truth in our political dialogues, I looked up its definition.   Webster's dictionary defines "truth" as "Fidelity, Constancy," "sincerity in action, character, and utterance."  Many Americans see how the "truth" as they understand it, is being under attack by the current Trump's administration.  This is neither hysteria nor hyperbole. Often we see the President and his subordinates talking to media organizations and making serious claims with no supporting evidence.  This administration is radically changing this country's civic landscape.  Our public space has become a public entertainment space where everything is infantilized.  There is an utter disregard for evidence, truth, and civility.

Anybody with some basic understanding of the structure of civil societies knows that for these societies to function they must be premised on the very simple conviction that a thing called "truth" actually exists and that it can be substantiated. We have certain disciplines that have managed to develop some rigorous process that allows the truth to rise. Whether it is in medicine, law, politics, business, or even journalism, these disciplines have established certain checks within their systems that search for the truth. I am not sure about "politics" anymore.

I recently read a piece in the editorial pages that said how the Oxford Dictionaries website, an organization that monitors new words being used or invented in this world. They choose one every year. They chose “post-truth” as its 2016 word of the year. Sadly, they looked as to how candidate Trump manipulated the truth and got away with it. The man, while campaigning,  literally said many things that were not factually correct and still managed to become President of this country. His presidential campaign was filled with lies and he reacted angrily whenever he was being called out. Well known fact-checkers in major newspapers constantly evaluated candidate Trump’s claims in his speeches and they repeatedly pointed out that just a little over 50% of his allegations were truthful. His supporters didn't care.

Here is how "post-truth" was defined by Oxford Dictionary: “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” If this is not the end of the Republic, it certainly is the beginning of the end the intellectual class in this country argues.

The Greeks gave us democracy, but it wasn't a very inclusive one. They left out a whole bunch of people whom they thought were a threat to freedom if they were given citizenship rights.  Yes, the “illegal aliens,” the productive class-those who did physical work to make a living and the property-less.  They were not part of the political community. These excluded people, the Greeks argued, lacked the ability to competently participate in the community affairs. They couldn't deliberate and were not able to tell the difference between fact and opinion and they could easily be persuaded by leaders who could appeal to their emotions.  Citizenship’s rights were only given to those who have the ability to deliberate the affairs of the state with the objective of finding the truth in the process. Yes, freedom heavily relies on good citizenship, and those who were privileged to be part of the political community must have had the faculties to question leaders, argue the complexities of proposed policies, able to research claims made by other citizens, etc. The truth was out there, and it could only be found through the conversation those lucky enough to be called citizens held with each other in the political community. A commitment to the truth was vital to advance the collective interest in the “polis.”

There have been times in which President Trump has looked into cameras and with a straight face made claims that were totally disconnected from the facts on the grounds.  This led people to question whether their president is able to tell when he lies. Now, it is fair to say that this country has always had political leaders who lied to advance their self-interest. There is that story, “Washington couldn’t tell a lie, Nixon, couldn’t tell the truth, and Bill Clinton couldn’t tell the difference.” Nevertheless, any fair-minded pundit out there would attest that Trump’s lies have reached a deeper level, a level of near insanity.  He appears to be genetically unable to distinguish between his own reality and collective reality. Trump angrily claimed that his crowds at the inauguration were a lot bigger than they were being reported. Then, he provided no evidence when he made the horrific accusation that former President Obama had bugged him.

Everyone thought that once the election was over, the man would stop and that he would finally pivot. Nope. He immediately doubled down and made silly claims that he had won the electoral college in a landslide and that millions had voted illegally.  Trump's advisors followed suit, Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway in one of the Sunday’s political shows presented silly and false claims as “alternative facts.” The journalist conducting the interview almost fell off his chair after hearing such stupidity coming from a senior advisor to the leader of the free world.
The current state of the Republic is not sustainable.  Indeed, this thing will not work if the truth is not taking seriously. Since governments were established, truth in politics has always been vital for any political arrangement that values freedom. The truth is autonomous and doesn’t care whether those in a position of power validate it or if the masses like it. Fortunately, it needs no validation and it doesn’t care about popularity. But the truth has to be searched and honored by people and they must commit themselves to find it. It might take some time, but eventually, the truth prevails.

If we think about it, one might argue, the truth is a public good, just like a freeway or a park.  A public good that benefits everyone.  If we realize this, then we should all become activists for truth in politics and do whatever we can to mobilize people for a "pro-truth movement."  As a pundit so eloquently stated it while being interviewed on one of the political talk shows. "Without truth, we don’t have trust. Without trust, we don’t have the rule of law. Without the rule of law, we don’t have democracy.”  Yes, let's fight for the truth, this country deserves no less.

Thank you for reading
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Works used.

Malone, Matt. "Alternative Facts and the Coming Constitutional Crisis." America, vol. 216, no. 3, 06 Feb. 2017.

Rodgers, Daniel. T. "When Truth Becomes a Commodity." Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 63, no. 20, 20 Jan. 2017.

Tsipursky, Gleb. "Towards a Post-Lies Future: Fighting "Alternative Facts" and "Post-Truth" Politics." Humanist, vol. 77, no. 2, Mar/Apr2017.

"Truth." Def. 1a. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Ninth ed. 1988. Print.

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Photos credits:  Photos were taken from a website with password protected that one of the colleges where I teach pays.
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These women were warned, they were given an explanation and no, they didn't persist, at least not this time

People who run elections in the county government will make the final results available soon. "Provisional and late-arriving mail-in ballots are still to be counted." Not sure if there is still hope but it is being reported that there are at least 13,000 ballots in this race that are uncounted.  The second-place candidate Robert Lee Ahn leads third-place candidate, Maria Cabildo by almost 3,000 votes.  There might still be hope for this woman who finished third place.  That will surely be a nightmare for the establishment's candidate if he has to battle it out with this woman who has a real progressive record of accomplishments.

It is somewhat difficult to fathom what really happened Tuesday in the 34th Congressional District's race. I am deeply disappointed because I really was looking forward to seeing a woman winning this thing.  Indeed.  I was stunned seeing many very competent women running and not one making it to the runoff.  So much for this district being progressive, really voters in this district voted for a no vision establishment's candidate and a former Republican Korean American candidate?   This is the district that rejected the establishment presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.  I just hope that these women stay put and run for other offices. After election night, I have heard  candidates uttering the usual platitudes when one loses an election. “this thing is not over," “this just started,” I am not going anywhere” etc.,  Maria Cabildo, Sara Garcia, Wendy Carrillo and Vanessa Aramayo should  continue on this fight for an opportunity to lead. Yes, I would like to see them running for school boards, city council seats, the Assembly or State Senate and yes Gomez or whoever wins in June should be challenged next year.

Many have sliced and diced the results since Wednesday morning. Some have been making the silly argument that it was a fierce fight between the Berniecrats and Clinton's people. Nonsense, none of that took place.  It was just a very low turnout and that usually greatly benefits candidates who are being backed by establishment institutions and candidates who are able to organize their ethnic group.

Yes, the Korea American candidate who was on nobody's radar until the night of the election ran a successful absentee voter program for his campaign and he made it to the runoff.  Indeed, Robert Lee Ahn must have devoted the adequate resources needed for an absentee voter program. According to the LA Times, “Korean Americans, in particular, were outperforming in early returns: They makeup just 6% of voters in the district but had cast 35% of ballots as of Monday.” And on this very same evening, “17,458 voters” in the district, had their ballots mailed in. This is huge, while some of the candidates were making cute videos this guy was busy making sure the new people whom he had registered to vote had sent their ballots the week before the election. Future candidates take note.

When we talk about the establishment's candidate, we usually solely focus on the individual who has been tapped to run. And yes, he is the one who has been going along, getting along and who might have been waiting for his turn patiently. Jimmy Gomez was clearly not the establishment's first choice. As some of you might remember, he stepped in after John Perez decided he couldn't do it this time around. It is consequential to understand what the establishment entails. Yes, it is not just the candidate, there are also establishment voters and establishment institutions that engage in this game that makes sure that said candidate who has been tapped is actually elected. To disrupt such a corrosive system that just serves those connected to the status quo requires resources, strategic thinking, innovation, and thoughtful candidates.

We always have the should’ve, the could’ve, and the would’ve after elections. Yes, maybe women running in this race could have made the effort of having met outside the debates and see if they could have been more strategic. For starters, they might have coalesced behind one woman and to go to war against the establishment candidate, as one of my friends on Facebook alluded to the night of the election.  No candidate made a real effort to go after the influence of the establishment voters either.  Yes, no candidate was agitating, educating and organizing new voters. Establishment voters’ influence can be diluted by registering new voters. Obama allocated substantial resources in registering new voters back in 2007 when he was battling out with Hillary Clinton. Hadn’t he done that, he would have been defeated easily?

The profound lack of inclusiveness and fairness in the democratic party should be a source of concerned for all of us who would like to see new voices and new opportunities being afforded to those who can. We need to have a robust conversation in the democratic party and demand profound structural changes. If that is not possible then maybe it is time for us to come up with a new party where our own people have a real chance to be heard. The lip services that these so-called leaders keep giving us should no longer be acceptable. Yes, Rome is burning and these leaders in the democratic party keep doing the same “finger democracy” that has been done for too long.

There must be some sort of moratorium in this democratic party here in LA.  No man should be allowed to run for public office until we achieve a critical mass of women serving in public offices.   Those of you who argue that we shouldn't be focusing on gender should know that we have very talented women out there, who are eager to serve.  If you think women and talent don't go together, you are either asleep, disconnected from reality or you simply don't like women.

Finally, Robert Lee Ahn faces some serious challenges that will require some extraordinary uphill climbs.  I don't see a former Republican forming the needed coalitions to beat Gomez.  His message and base is so limited and has no chance to expand.  He will certainly be crushed in June.

Thank you for reading.

Chamba Sanchez
4/6/2017 ___________________________________________________________________________

Sources used

Mai-Due, Christine.  "Ahn and Gomez appear headed to a runoff in L.A.'s congressional race." Los Angeles Times 5 April 5, 2017. Web. Accessed April 5, 2017.

Mai-Due, Christine and Javier Panzar. "Korean Americans have his back, but Robert Lee Ahn will need more to become L.A.'s next congressman."  Los Angeles Times 6 April 2017.  Web. Accessed. April 6, 2017.

Mai-Due, Christine.  "As polls opened, thousands of 34th Congressional District voters had already cast ballots." Los Angeles Times 4 April 2017.  Web.accessed April 6, 2017.

 


High Crimes and Misdemeanors

It has not even been a hundred days yet since President Trump was inaugurated and chaos appears to be the new order in Washington.  As Democrats see all the chaos that Trump constantly engages day in and day out,  they scream at top of their lungs "impeachment."

Americans are not only stressed but they are also pessimistic about their futures. Surely, Democrats and progressives who despise this man are constantly anxious about Trump's executive orders, his tweets and his daily encounters with the media.  People are still puzzled as to how “a billionaire demagogue” managed to win the presidency even as he broke forty years of tradition with others before him in making his tax returns public. Tax returns give backgrounds of presidents’ wealth and they can be used to see if there is a conflict of interest when presidents make decisions on behalf of the public interest. Furthermore, Democrats are really in a hole, as all three branches of governments are controlled by the Republicans, some of them don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Indeed, they feel not only helpless but also hopeless as they see Trump assaulting the truth, our institutions and the rule of law.

Democrats in Washington literally have been expunged from the conversations on policy decisions.  Policy conversations currently taking place are within the party's different factions that emerged in the last decade. Although I have to say that, at times, it seems like there might some sort of dissent among these factions as they stunningly failed to repeal Obamacare-a signature promise of both Trump and many members of the GOP in Congress to voters.

Going back to impeachment, are there any merits for impeaching the current president, or a better question do we want to put the country to another crisis like the one this country went through back in the 1990s when President Clinton was impeached? Yes, if Trump engages in criminal activity then the sky is the limit and Americans should make the needed sacrifices to preserve the republic. Nonetheless, to pursue an impeachment for purely political reasons will further divide this country.  It might also be the last nail of the coffin of this little democracy that we still have left.

Nevertheless, progressives and others who utterly dislike this president are arguing that it is only a matter of time for this president to be impeached. Legal scholars, pundits, ethics officials, and this president’s critics see many things that Trump does that might fall under those magic four words in the Constitution: “High crimes and misdemeanors.”  Most of his critics believe that once his financial resources and documentation begin to unravel more people will join the chorus of those calling for impeachment.

President Trump’s problems, at the very least, started with financial conflicts with his responsibility as president and his family business. Then, we have that “Emoluments clause” in the Constitution that nobody even knew these were English words. This deals with “foreign financial corruption.” And there are even calls for “treason.” Yes, Democrats are appalled about this President's cozy relationship with the Russians and allegations that Trump's top lieutenants have knowledge of Russia’s efforts to manipulate the outcome of last year’s presidential election.

On Russia’s ties and the Trump’s people, FBI director, James Comey dropped a bombshell when he told Congress recently that the FBI has been investigating Trump’s and his campaign operation since July 2016. That was a consequential revelation that prompted Democratic leaders to ask to suspend the confirmation hearings for the current nominee for the Supreme Court until that investigation is finalized.  And within days, Michael Flynn was asking for immunity if he testifies before federal and congressional investigators in their probe of the Russian meddling in the presidential elections last year.  This is the same guy who told reporters last year that those who asked for immunity must be guilty of something.

But how can impeachment take place? The process itself is laid out in is the Constitution, the House of Representatives are vested with the power for impeachment.  "Art. I, Sec. 2, Cl. 5: The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment. Here the House of Representatives acts as a prosecutor. And, according to Art. I, Sec. 3, Cl. 6 & 7: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present." In a nutshell, members of the House prosecute the case against Presidents and The US Senate acts as a jury in a trial. This takes place in the US Senate and Senators hear and examine evidence being presented by House of Representatives members. The Supreme Court chief justice presides the trial.

The Framers were deeply concerned about the abuse of power and they distributed the power among the different branches and make each branch autonomous and gave each one real power to check one another.  All these fall under the ideals of "Separation of Power" and "Checks and Balances" among the different branches.  Currently, the "Checks and Balances" appears to be somewhat more difficult to be realized as both houses of congress are being c0ntroled by the President's party.

For an investigation to take place, The Republican-run Congress must be willing to do it. Since they control both houses in congress. There might be a couple of reasons why Republicans in Congress might not take action into investigating Trump's questionable decisions.  The first one is pure preservation, Republicans are keenly aware that Trump has a very well-organized and strong base that supports him and defends him for whatever this man does. Republicans in Congress know that they will hear from these people if they call for an investigation. Second, Republicans relish having Trump in the White House.  They have been busy in rolling back many of the regulations that Obama was able to put in place. They are breaking up many federal rules that will help Wall Street, the energy industry, and weakening rules dealing with background checks for those people who buy guns.

It is also important to point out that the rules for filibustering legislation were changed by Democrats in 2013. Most legislation just requires simple majorities, only Supreme Court appointments can be filibustered.  However, since the US Senate is being controlled by Republicans, they can use what is known as the "nuclear option" and they can change those rules too. We will see this week if they decide to take the option as they will decide the fate of the nominee for the Supreme Court this coming Friday.  Yes, democrats are really screwed.  And there is not a clear plan of action as to how they can claw their way back to relevance.

But, do Democrats really want to impeach Trump?  Democrats know that if they are successful in impeaching Trump they will get Vice-President, Mike Pence.   Then, they struggle with that option, Democrats and all those who dislike Trump see the Vice-President as the real evil.

Thank you for reading.

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Sources cited

Colleen Shalby, Colleen. “Timeline: What we know about the events leading to Michael Flynn's resignation.” Los Angeles Times 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 1 April 2017.

Feldman, Noah. “Trump's Wiretap Tweets Raise Risk of Impeachment.” Bloomberg View 6 March 2017. Web. 20 March 2017.

He, Alan. “GOP Rep. Darrell Issa backtracks on call for Trump special prosecutor.” CBSNEWS.com 27 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 March 2017.

Hennessey, Susan., Helen Kelin Muerillo. “The Law of Leaks.” Lawfare 15 Feb. 2017. Web. 1 April 2017.

Mascaro, Lisa. “With Trump in the limelight, Congress has been quietly working to undo Obama-era regulations.” Los Angeles Times 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 28 March 2017.

Willis, Jay. “How to Impeach a U.S. President (Say, Donald Trump), Explained.” GQ.Com 20 Jan. 2017. Web. 30 March 2017.