For the past few days we have been treated to the testimony of Michael Cohen before a congressional committee. The former personal lawyer to Donald Trump seems to have second thoughts about his ten years of service to the President. This, of course, comes after his conviction in the Southern District of New York of lying to Congress and two months before he is supposed to begin a three year sentence in Federal Prison. He has been called a “rat” by number 45 and his father-in-law has been called out as being in bed with the mafia. He said he and his family have been threatened and have received vile comments from the over 60,000,000 people who follow 45 on social media. He says he has had enough and wants to no longer serve as the President’s chief fixer. His desire is to come clean and in doing so out the President as a conman, cheat, racist, and liar.
Whether he is all three may depend upon your perspective but his defenders did not do him any favors by their belligerent defense on the panel. Not only did a coatless Jim Jordan, the senior Republican on the committee, seek to impugn a witness already convicted of lying to Congress, Mark Meadows brought out a witness to “demonstrate” that Trump was not a racist. He brought out a Black woman who stood behind him, a former wedding planner who now serves in Housing and Urban Development and oversees public housing in New York and New Jersey, as an exhibit to demonstrate that Trump could not be racist. He was promptly called out by Cohen who asked were there any Black executives in the Trump organization and by Congresswoman who indicated the very act was one that brought to the fore racism.
I am not sure that Congress should waste its time on impeachment. Maybe the 2020 election is soon enough for America to determine what kind of country it wants to be. While I don’t know the results, I am clear of how I will vote. There are too many problems to solve in this country. Healthcare, Education, the Environment, Fair Pay, Homelessness, Infrastructure and others deserve more attention (and funding) than they get. Yet we are preoccupied by the lies and misdirection that passes for governing. Does not the recent exoneration of police for shooting unarmed Black Men deserve some attention? Does not the death of people who have no healthcare cause us some concern? Must our bridges collapse before we do anything about them?
We are like Nero. While we are preoccupied with smaller matters, things that should cause us grave concern go unattended. This is not to say that a lying, conman, cheating, racist cannot ruin our country. Leadership matters. And if we are led by people who show poor judgement, we are doomed to go in the wrong direction. We need clear thinking people to lead us, not fools who think we will fall for anything. Just as we are not deceived by a prop, no matter if it’s a live one or a chart, we need to focus on good policy that will lead us forward as a country forwforward as country.