Blog 131 – The Impeachment Trial’s Undigestible Rules
How to evaluate the rules that the Republican Senate will impose on the impeachment trial of President Trump will look when operational is not yet clear. How might we evaluate them from what we know of them right now?
One way might be to do it by an analogy.
Suppose one tried to evaluate what might happen if the President decided, out of his insecurity in the outcome, to support the establishment of a new restaurant in New York, using the same rules that his party has pushed through the Congress for the Impeachment trial, and named his son Donald Trump Jr. to manage it. How might it be run, with the Impeachment rules as we know them thus far?
Imagine a visit in the early weeks of its opening. We go to see how it might run, having been told that the rules insisted on as fair and efficient for the Impeachment trial will be applied in a different setting
We would of course drive there, and be able to see it already from a distance, with its glowing neon sign boasting DONALD TRUMP’S HIDEOUT: THE GREATEST NEW RESTAURANT IN THE USA SINCE THE SECOND AMENDMENT.
As entered and a waiter showed us our seats, a waiter brings us a streaming dish of hard-to-identify provenance. Asked what it is, we are told, ”our specialty for the day, selected for your pleasure by Donald Trump himself.”
We ask, “may we see what else is on the menu?” Certainly,” we are told. “But our rules provide that we serve you the dinner of the day first, and show you the menu after you’ve eaten our specialty of the day, so we can see if you like it”.”
“0h, all right , we said, “but what if we don’t like it? May we see the menu then”?
“Certainly , our pleasure,” he replied, and gave us a very large and attractive printed menu.
We considered, selected, and motioned the waiter back to give him our order.
When we told him what we wanted, he said, “I’m very sorry, but we don’t have that dish today.”
“Well, it’s on the menu,” we said.
“ No,” they said, “that was yesterday’s menu. What you want isn’t on today’s menu. And we only keep menus one day, so you can get a fresh one every day. That ’s the rule.”
“So couldn’t you change the rules, to help folk like us who like to see what we might get before we order? You can change your own rules, you know.”
“We’d be happy to. . Just tell us what you’d like changed, and for when.”
“Why, for right a way, or course. We want to see the menu now, so we can order from it.”
“Sorry, we can’t change rules that quickly. We have to see how the existing rules work first, and that takes time. Have you any evidence that the rules need to be changed?”
“Evidence? Why, yes,, not just everyday observation and personal experience, but also a mountain of documents, tape recordings, and witnesses that can testify to their own preferences and to thee question of whether offerings are digestible or not. ” etc. Just let us know what witnesses you want called, what they would testify to, and when you want the witnesses called. We’ll let you know what’s appropriate, after due deliberation.”
(Sticking with the analogy to the Impeachment rules, of course.)
“It will take some time, however, they say. We don’t want to change rules hurriedly. And having all those witnesses testify, would just delay your dinners even longer, and we don’t want them to get cold. Better wait for the witnesses till after diner and some debate. . The rules provide for that . We hope you all will enjoy your dinners. We’ll be in touch with you later. Thank you for your interest.”
“Oh. Well, perhaps we should go elsewhere then, rather than waiting,“ we said.
“All right “, they said.” “But before you go, here’s the bill for what you already ate. Preparing these meals is expensive, you know. And printing new menus every day isn’t cheap either. And it takes time to explore a rule change.””
“Oh, we said to each other, as we left, “ “the lesson seems to be: we need a new rule on how to change the rules. We better get at it quickly, if we want to have something other than what Donald Trump has picked out for us. That seems indigestible to us, so far..
Or maybe the restaurant needs a new owner?