76 F
Seattle
Friday, July 1, 2022

Pass Me The Subpoena Colada! And an Essay Book.

The public hearings of the impeachment inquiry have begun. The Republicans made quite a bit of the fact that both of the civil servants who testified, Bill Taylor and George Kent, were only reporting “hearsay” regarding the President’s alleged attempt at extortion.

This might carry some weight had the President not ordered all those witnesses who could provide first-hand testimony to defy Congressional subpoenas. (By the way, I heard that a bar in D.C. has whipped up a new drink for the occasion, “The Subpoena Colada.” We may need more than one of those to get through this!)

As a counterpoint to all the attempts to dodge, deny and obfuscate in D. C., there’s an interesting story in the Sports Section of the Seattle Times.

Seahawk fans will remember the name of Malik McDowell who was the team’s highest draft choice in 2017. Before he could ever put on a Seahawk’s uniform McDowell was seriously injured in an ATV accident. So it’s a sad story for this guy who had anticipated the wealth and fame of an NFL career.

But it gets worse . . . then better. McDowell has now been found guilty of receiving stolen goods, driving while intoxicated and assault on a police officer. He was sentenced to 11 months in jail. But here’s the interesting part. While incarcerated McDowell has been given a writing assignment by the judge. He is to write four essays on the following topics: “Finding Meaning in Life Other Than Committing Crimes,” “Principles of the Declaration of Independence and How Your Behavior Undermines Them,” “Importance of Respecting the Rule of Law,” and “Importance of Respecting Property Rights.”

Two thoughts about the assignment tendered to McDowell.

First, how many U.S. citizens today could write intelligibly on these topics? Civics education has pretty much gone by the boards in favor of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and other enthusiasms.  I regard understanding of how government works, or is supposed to work, as part of the inheritance of each citizen in a democracy. Not to have been taught about such matters diminishes the proper inheritance of each citizen (not to mention also jeopardizing democracy).

Second, one would like to see President Trump and his minions address such topics themselves. One might start with, “The Importance of Respecting the Rule of Law.” Trump’s rather expansive notion of executive privilege and immunity adds up to this — he holds himself above the law.

After addressing the rule of law, he might move on to “Principles of the Declaration of Independence and How Your Behavior Undermines Them.” His attempts to induce foreign governments to influence our elections, on his behalf, strikes a blow against something elemental to the Declaration, “the consent of the governed.”

It is impossible to know how all this — the impeachment inquiry and possible trial — will turn out. But I’m pretty sure that our casual unfamiliarity with our own form of government and of the core principles the judge has required Malik McDowell to address — all this ignorance and indifference are a big part of what has made Trump even possible.

Anthony B. Robinson
Anthony B. Robinsonhttps://www.anthonybrobinson.com/
Tony is a writer, teacher, speaker and ordained minister (United Church of Christ). He served as Senior Minister of Seattle’s Plymouth Congregational Church for fourteen years. His newest book is Useful Wisdom: Letters to Young (and not so young) Ministers. He divides his time between Seattle and a cabin in Wallowa County of northeastern Oregon. If you’d like to know more or receive his regular blogs in your email, go to his site listed above to sign-up.

Post Alley welcomes comments to our articles. Our guidelines: no personal attacks, stay on topic, add something of value to the discussion. Our editors will edit comments for clarity and to conform with our guidelines. We encourage writers to use their full names.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST

Time to Lower the Heat in the Post-Roe Commentary

3
If the SCOTUS decision is the beginning, not the end, of the debate, we will need a lot more thoughtful commentary. Here are some examples.

Bolting for the Bigs: USC, UCLA Abandon PAC-12 for Big Ten (UW Next?)

10
It’s official now that the industry has fallen off the edge of the flat Earth propped so long by the mythology of amateurism.

Inside City Hall’s Serious Budget Shortfall

7
The multimillion-dollar gap -- viewed in the perspective of an annual budget in the $7 billion range -- is perhaps not horrific. But it still is bound to impact what the city can achieve towards meeting its on-going needs and ambitious social goals.

Battling Cancer, B.C. Premier Horgan to Step Down

1
Horgan, leader of the New Democratic Party, was a temperamental opposition leader but has proven an avuncular head of government. 

Pot Industry Versus its Workers

2
A new political action committee, People for Legal Cannabis, is gearing up to fight any effort by outsiders such as the UFCW to empower their workers. 

TRENDING

Bolting for the Bigs: USC, UCLA Abandon PAC-12 for Big Ten (UW Next?)

10
It’s official now that the industry has fallen off the edge of the flat Earth propped so long by the mythology of amateurism.

Time to Lower the Heat in the Post-Roe Commentary

3
If the SCOTUS decision is the beginning, not the end, of the debate, we will need a lot more thoughtful commentary. Here are some examples.

Inside City Hall’s Serious Budget Shortfall

7
The multimillion-dollar gap -- viewed in the perspective of an annual budget in the $7 billion range -- is perhaps not horrific. But it still is bound to impact what the city can achieve towards meeting its on-going needs and ambitious social goals.

The Complicated Legacy of Julia Child

3
The show may be a fictionalized version of Child’s groundbreaking TV success, but it portrays struggles by women for recognition and equality that ring true to that era.

The Fallacy (and Laziness) of Both-Sides-ism

2
The Republicans and the Democrats are not the same. Underlying too much of contemporary reporting is a “false equivalency,” which posits that by representing “both sides” balance and objectivity are attained.