Today, we see the benefits of the three branches of the federal government. Congressional dithering and presidential corruption has been balanced by our third branch of government: the federal judiciary headed by the Supreme Court.
Article III of the Constitution provides for few powers, but these have expanded over the years with successive rulings by courts. The structure of the judiciary is decidedly undemocratic but remarkably stable. Even at its worst, courts appealed to logic and facts.
Today, courts remain intolerant of specious reasoning and alternative facts. The lower courts, state and federal, have opined as to the absence of evidence in support of requests for astonishing relief — overturning the vote of the people. The higher courts have dismissed sophomoric arguments.
For this reasonableness in the face of direct threats to the democratic process, we remain thankful.
The Constitution vests Congress with legislative powers. Sadly, our current Congress has reduced itself to an arena for argument generating endless posturing with little substantive action, except under the pressure of time.
The Nixon debacle nearly ended in impeachment. In retribution, Newt Gingrich hypocritically led the impeachment of President Bill Clinton while engaging in his own peccadillos. Previously, Gingrich had succeeded by polarizing the Congress, undermining the democratic norms of the United States. He did this by developing a “combative” approach in the Republican Party, relying on hateful language and the hyper-partisanship that has become commonplace.
Subsequently, congressional leadership has been unable to speak coherently. This combativeness has devolved into inability to lead during the current pandemic and economic collapse. The subsequent fear of retribution on social media has led to the enabling of the president’s attempt to overturn an election described as the most secure in history.
The Constitution invests the president with extensive executive powers. President George Washington set standards for presidential leadership and civility. President Warren Harding presided over the worst graft in the 20th century. His Secretary of Interior, Albert Fall, was imprisoned for bribery in the Teapot Dome oil lease scandal.
Harding had multiple affairs, which his wife worked hard to cover up. Our present leader has followed Harding’s example leading to new levels of corruption — including an administration with eight convictions or confessions, more than 200 indictments, and at least 10,000 lies.
President James Buchanan’s dithering let the country fall into Civil War after a violently disputed election. Similarly, our president has failed to lead during the pandemic, which began while he faked negotiations of a trade deal with China. His denial of the seriousness of the pandemic culminated in an economic collapse of monumental proportions.
His most recent activities have been devoted to an attempt to overturn a free and fair election. This has received with applause from his friends Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-Un and Muhammed bin Salman.
As the courts have assured the stability of the republic, the man who presided over endless corrupt and illegal acts has continued his seditious assault on the country. His devastating leadership assures his status of Grifter in chief.