Tuesday, April 23, 2019

And now, the rare political post.

So there's been a lot of argument lately: should the Democrats impeach trump? I mean, obviously he should be impeached, but we live in Hell, so being obviously true doesn't necessarily mean that much.

One seemingly unanswerable thing you might say is: if we don't impeach him, why the hell do we even have impeachment? We've obviously decided that, at least for a republican, no level of corruption and malevolence is too great, so why not get rid of the pretense? Well, we're also obviously not going to take impeachment off the books, because admitting this to ourselves would make us uncomfortable, and besides, republicans would still want to be able to use it for some future Democratic President's equivalent of EMAILZ. So it remains. But the problem is: if it remains and Democrats don't even try to use it, aren't they tacitly suggesting that trump's crimes don't rise to that level? I mean, they're obviously just avoiding it for political reasons, however wise you think those reasons may be, but isn't that sorta kinda what it looks like? It is a vexed question.

You can make pretty plausible cases either way: that impeachment would be good for us, or that it would be good for them. But I think what we really have to admit that we've never had a case that's analogous to this in any useful way, and we just don't know. Comparisons to either Nixon or Clinton are just filled with holes. Here's what I'll say: if you're not going to impeach, then you'd better make damn sure you're keeping the issue alive through the next election cycle, by continual investigations and subpoenas and basically never shutting up about it. Keep them on the defensive. If you let this die as an issue, what the hell good are you? Republicans were able to create this stink of corruption around HRC based on literally nothing, and you can't do it with this cartoonishly corrupt crime boss? Granted, the worthlessness of our media makes it more of an uphill slog, but goddamnit, this is important. This may in fact be the most important thing.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

William Godwin, Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1791)

It had been a long time since I'd read an eighteenth-century novel, so I thought it was time. This one was hugely popular in its time, though clearly that hasn't particularly endured.