Congressman Schiff Speaks To American Idealism At Impeachment Trial Thursday Night–Simply Extraordinary

There are those moments in American governing where if you just stop and listen, closeout everything else that is happening around you, and simply listen to the words being spoken you will hear the echoes of the Founding Fathers.  I know that all sounds rather dramatic and something akin to what Billy Wilder would frame on a movie set.

But late Thursday night that mood, tone, feel and imagery was what played out over our television sets at Congressman Adam Schiff spoke not just from notes at the lectern in front of the United States Senate as the Impeachment Trial for Donald Trump continued, but more importantly spoke from that place in the American conscience that we all have to hope is still alive. 

For roughly ten minutes I was struck how the power of words, the essence of the Founders, the basic integrity of the nation, and the decency of our national character were combined as Schiff gave a powerful summation for the day’s testimony.

Closing our eyes and just listening to the words and phrases such as “Right matters. And truth matters. Otherwise, we are lost.” allows for the images of Washington and Hamilton and Jefferson with their grand hopes and designs for the nation to again stand before us.   They were not sure what they had drafted in the Constitution, and worked for all their lives to lift up, would result in a new republic or a crumpled experiment that failed.  But they pressed forward all the same based on faith and hope.

The Founders knew well the failed state of man, and placed within our living Constitution the checks and balances, brakes and devices, to make sure that corrupt men and passions running wild would not wreak havoc on the nation.  The final ten minutes of Schiff’s presentation was nothing short of extraordinary as he allowed the dreams and yes, fears, of the Founders to have a voice for a nation that needs to hear them again.  He made the most compelling case yet as to why leaving Trump in office endangers us all. We all know we can’t count on Trump. To do what’s right not for him but for us all.

It was a gut punch that made me sit straighter and I noticed my breathing was more intense as what was being said, with the Founders and their history in obvious context,  was so perfectly stated for a nation that needed to hear it.

It was an emotional ending that I have no doubt will reverberate around the nation over the days to come.  This night will be recalled by historians as one of those moments when an orator made Washington buzz, and the nation stopped to listen and reflect.

Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin, and the cast of others are surely wondering if we have lost our way, our conscience.  I pray we have not.

 

 

Assad Said Something Nasty About Me!! Get A Lawyer!

It seems the litigiousness of society is revealed again. Prior to thinking that she had any rational reason to seek the presidency Tulsi Gabbard might have considered if she had the thick skin required to do the job.  If one can not take a jab from another politician without running to a lawyer means one does not have the ability to deal with the world of Kim and Assad.

Gabbard is nothing more than a joke.

Tulsi Gabbard filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton on Wednesday for defamation alleging that the former secretary of state suggested the congresswoman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate was a “favorite of the Russians.”

The lawsuit is in response to Clinton’s October 2019, interview with David Plouffe on “Campaign HQ”, a podcast run by the 2008 Obama campaign manager, in which Clinton without naming names — and just ahead of that month’s Democratic presidential candidate debate — said that a female 2020 candidate was a “favorite of the Russians” and was being “groomed’ by Republicans for a third-party run.

 

Recalling The Reasons We Loved Jim Lehrer

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Jim Lehrer, the retired PBS anchorman who for 36 years gave public television viewers a substantive alternative to network evening news programs with in-depth reporting, interviews, and analysis of world and national affairs has died.  He was 85.  And as I have stated before on this blog, he is a national treasure.

When I was a teenager dinner would be over in our Hancock home, the evening news and the local news would have come to an end.   It would be 6:30 P.M.  Time to change the channel (by walking to the set and manually turning the dial) to Wisconsin Public Television for the half-hour MacNeil/Lehrer Report.  The program devoted itself to one news story each night.  It might be the reason for a major jet crash or diving into the religious turmoil in the Middle East.  The show was informative and so well done with insight and professionalism.  And I learned so much.  It piqued my interest to want to know even more.

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Over the years this blog has mentioned Lehrer on many occasions.  Instead of writing new comments about the man I will let what was posted over time be my way of honoring this reporter which meant so much to so many in our country.

From September 2008.

It is also important to note that the moderator last night, Jim Lehrer, was superb!  He is a national treasure, and PBS can be proud again of sending one of their best to handle the first presidential debate

From October 2012.

There are many respected journalists who could moderate the presidential debates, but few possess the heft and gravitas of Jim Lehrer.  As such, it is appropriate that Lehrer be the moderator of the first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.  It can be easily argued that the first debate is always the most important one.

For decades Lehrer has proven to be media savvy, intellectually curious, and objective about the issues and politicians he interacts with.  There are few faces in broadcast journalism that carry as much credibility as Lehrer does.

From October 2012

I have been watching Jim Lehrer on PBS from the time I was in high school, when the program that is now the NewsHour was only 30-minutes, and was co-anchored with Robert MacNeil.  I can say with all honesty I absolutely love Jim Lehrer, and have the utmost respect for his journalistic capabilities and insight.

I understand many wish some of those things I find so remarkable about Lehrer would have been more on display during the debate.

I would argue for the most part they were.

Many pundits had felt Leherer would demand specifics, and make the debate as informative as possible.  But if one looks at the topics covered, and the amount of facts and figures thrown out from each candidate it is hard to argue that the debate was not substantive.

Many feel the best debate is where the moderator is more a potted plant on the stage, and not a main player.  I am sure Lehrer was intending to be more demanding in getting more topics covered, and more specifics presented for the viewers.

But with the abrasive way Romney ran over the rules and the moderator it is hard to fault Lehrer to the extent many are doing this morning.

Placing blame this morning on Jim Lehrer is not fair.  He is not the person who was supposed to take the fight to Mitt Romney.

In other words, Lehrer was always a professional newsman and reporter.  He summed up his views about his profession in a way that makes us all know there was a solid hand on the steering wheel when he was in the anchor chair.

I have an old-fashioned view that news is not a commodity,” Mr. Lehrer told The American Journalism Review in 2001. “News is information that’s required in a democratic society, and Thomas Jefferson said a democracy is dependent on an informed citizenry. That sounds corny, but I don’t care whether it sounds corny or not. It’s the truth.

Godspeed to one of our nation’s best reporters.