Is Trump impeachment inquiry yet another boogie-woogie rumble of the dream deferred?

Oct 4th, 2019 | By | Category: In Brief
A 20-year-old Nancy Pelosi with JFK, way back in 1961!

My mind goes back and forth on the impeachment inquiry now launched at last by the Democratic majority in the US House of Representatives (through House Speaker Nancy Pelosi).

Two recent opinion pieces within a few days of each other, by the Toronto Globe and Mail’s current man in Washington, DC, Lawrence Martin, almost summarize my volatile feelings.

The first on October 1 was called “The Democrats’ impeachment play could backfire.” It was quickly followed on October 3 with “By calling on China, Trump hands Democrats an impeachment gift.”

I continue to worry myself about the prospect Lawrence Martin raised on October 1

I am duly impressed by the recent polls that show some fresh public support for both the new impeachment inquiry and the ultimate impeachment of President Trump.

Trump supporters at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, August 10, 2016.

I agree as well that Speaker Pelosi finally had no choice but to begin a formal impeachment inquiry, once Trump’s crypto-gangster phone call with the new Ukrainian president became public knowledge.

(Or as Bill Clinton’s labor secretary Robert Reich has tweeted : “1. Is asking a foreign power to dig up dirt on a major political rival an impeachable offense? Yes. 2. Did Trump do it? Yes. There’s a transcript of his phone call. 3. The end. Don’t let Trump and his enablers fog this up.”)

But the relative depth of support President Trump still enjoys (40% approval in the latest Gallup poll on the subject) still seems a great obstacle to real progress. There probably is something close to a civil war going on in the USA today. And it remains unclear just when the majority good guys are finally going to win.

“Mr. Biden has the support of many older black voters in South Carolina who cherish his ties to the Obama administration,” Erin Schaff/The New York Times, May 7, 2019.

Even so I am also impressed by various people I know here in Canada who believe Trump’s crypto-gangster phone call with the Ukrainian president finally has crossed some crucial line.

And then there’s the slightly more recent incident, nicely summarized by Lawrence Martin on October 3 : “To sum up, as an impeachment proceeding began on whether the President urged a foreign leader to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden,” President Trump “stood on the White House lawn and urged another foreign leader to investigate the Biden[s].”

It nonetheless still seems to me that there is still a lot for the progressive mind in North America and around the global village to worry about. I conclude for the time being with allusions to two more recent notes from eminent analysts.

The first is from every North American liberal’s favourite reasonable conservative, David Brooks –– in the October 3 edition of the New York Times : “Why Trump Voters Stick With Him … An imagined conversation with Flyover Man.”

At the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Sunday, August 25, 2019.

This strikes me as yet another commentary on current progressive insensitivity to the current huge gap between “urban” and “rural” in America and elsewhere — where both words have somewhat new meanings, in the new non-age of the old family farm. The piece has flaws, no doubt, but it does raise some kind of important issue for the 2020s that lie ahead.

My second allusion is to an October 4 tweet from Jeet Heer — the Canadian online pundit who divides his time between Toronto and Regina, Saskatchewan : “One of the really big problems of the Trump administration is that there are so many scandals that it’s actually hard for the human mind to process them all or for the political system to respond accordingly.”

Langston Hughes, “The People’s Poet’ (1902–1967).

Perhaps because Mr Heer is a fellow Canadian and in some way shares some particular kind of intellectual or political philosophy, this makes a lot of sense to me.

Meanwhile, my mind continues to drift back and forth on the impeachment inquiry now launched at last by the Democratic majority in the US House of Representatives.

While I nonetheless very much wish Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and all their friends and colleagues inside (and outside) the US House the very best of luck.

For the great Langston Hughes poem from which the allusion in the title of this piece comes see, eg, “Dream Boogie” and/or “Dream Boogie.”

And I can’t resist quoting the first three stanzas : “Good morning, daddy!/Ain’t you heard/The boogie-woogie rumble/Of a dream deferred? … “Listen closely:/You’ll hear their feet/Beating out and beating out a — … You think/It’s a happy beat?”

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