A Vote Against Trump is Not a Vote for Betrayal, but a Vote for Freedom.

It will be up to 20 brave Republican senators to help redirect the course of the nation.

This next week, the full House will vote on approving the articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of congress – which will then move to the Senate where the president will be tried.

Sixty seven yes votes are needed to convict the president. Being that there are only 47 democratic senators, a full 20 Republicans are needed to switch sides to convict the president.

Can it happen? Odds are that it will not.

But there is always the possibility of a surprise.


History will not be kind to those who have sided with Trump in spite of the overwhelming evidence of improprieties during his tenure. Not just the articles of impeachment. And the perception of how history will view us matters to decent men and women who have made a long term commitment to the health of the nation.

Only 20 Republican senators are needed to turn out a president who shows no signs of standing up to despots the world over, be them Putin in Russia, Erdogan in Turkey, El-Sisi in Egypt or the Saudi prince.

Only 20 Republican senators are needed to turn out a president who could not stand up against the Saudi royal family after they butchered the distinguished journalist Jamal Khashoggi in their embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

Only 20 Republican senators are needed to turn out a president who, after 3 years in office, has not mustered the mettle to tell Putin that interference in American elections is not allowed.

So here’s an opportunity for 20 courageous Republican senators to take a stand.

Dear senator, will you be putting your career in jeopardy if you do so?

It depends on how you view yourself. If you think of yourself as someone who understands the crisis of values that the president has thrown the country into, and realizes that Trump lacks the capacity to lead the nation in these convulsed times, then you will stand up to him and join those who vote to convict.

If you lack this awareness, then you will bow to the great showman and buy into the great deception that he orchestrates daily.

Do not forget, however, that history will not be kind to you when you side with Trump.

But then, history may not be important to you. Short term gains may be what matters to you most. If so, please consult your conscience and ask, was this nation built by shortsighted men?

When Trump goes on trial in the Senate, you will have the option of choosing how do you want history to judge you.

A vote to acquit is a vote to join Trump in his poor choices and impulsivity and self promotion.

A vote to acquit is a vote to imperil the freedoms that have made us a special place in the world.

Daily courage is needed to preserve it, for freedom does not come cheap.

Will 20 brave, visionary, responsible leaders please stand up to defend our freedoms, or will you choose to pass and have the nation wait for others to muster the courage?

Oscar Valdes

How Trump Helped Biden

Sometime ago I wrote that both Biden and Sanders ought to bow out of the race given their age. I was half wrong.

Biden has shown strength and has begun to appeal to more of the undecided. Part of his gains he owes to gaffes his adversaries are making. Warren shares too many of Sanders’ campaign positions and it has started to hurt. Sanders is overly identified with the Medicare for All concept and has boxed himself in.

But Biden owes much also to Trump himself.

Trump has an abundance of flaws and no reluctance to reveal them, but he also has had sharp political instincts. If not massaged properly, though, they may backfire.

Back in July, when Trump looked at the field of democratic candidates and considered their possibilities, he thought Biden was the one he needed to undermine the most. And so he chose to go after the former vice president with all the craft he could muster. But Trump overplayed his hand and poor judgment got him in trouble.

Trump may survive the impeachment, but there is no doubt that the attempt to pressure Ukraine’s president Zelensky into investigating Joe Biden’s son’s work with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, was a political move intent on defanging Biden as a candidate and rival. That fact is unassailable. So it doesn’t matter if Trump is not found guilty of attempting to bribe president Zelensky with the promise of $ 396 million in military assistance to defend against Russia in exchange for his agreeing to investigate Joe Biden’s son. It doesn’t matter because the damage has already been done.

The impeachment process, playing in congress to great fanfare, amounts to a huge plus for Biden and the democrats.  

Additionally, the damage inflicted by the impeachment process is not limited to Trump himself, but affects the entire legislative representation of the Republican party, which in their shameless surrender to Trump, have chosen to not see the real elephant in the room, the decent people they were appointed to represent.

I was originally opposed to the impeachment of the president on grounds that it would be a loss of valuable time to get the message out to the public that a president bent on dividing the nation should not be reelected. But the democratic legislators have done a great job of moving things along and the matter has now been handed over to the Judiciary committee to draft the charges against the president.

The whole impeachment inquiry process has not been the ‘plus’ Trump boasted it would be for him. Quite the opposite, it has been a resounding minus.

So go, Joe, go! Your stances are appealing to the center. And if Warren and Sanders’s supporters acknowledge that defeating Trump is what is most essential to this election, then it will happen.

So go, Joe, go!

By the way, you keep talking about the pushups you do, so just how many do you do?

Will Impeachment Eclipse the Drive to November 2020?

The impeachment inquiry is taking up a whole lot of time and energy, whereas the outcome is very uncertain.

Trump cannot keep from making mistake after mistake, but for democrats to use up so many resources, to the point of diminishing the drive to persuade enough voters to beat him at the ballot box, is a monumental mistake.

At present, the center stage is Trump’s and he loves it, and that is not lost on the electorate who is not inclined to read the fine print in the multitude of documents to be reviewed. Soon they will be bored with the proceedings.

‘It will turn out to be a positive for me,’ Trump said defiantly in response to the announcement of the inquiry. I suspect he will be right.

Subpoenas will be issued and the many actors will take their seat in front of the panel of interrogators, but the questions and answers will be difficult to follow. I assure you there will be much frustration as the respondents give vague answers like, ‘I don’t recall’ and ‘To the best of my recollection this is all I know…’ etc.

Let us not forget that in Trump’s universe, there are two kinds of lawyers and only two: those who take notes and those who don’t. He picks those who don’t. Enter Rudy Giuliani.

Will the distinguished former New York mayor have a clear memory of what happened in his many meetings in the Ukraine? Of course not. And the interrogators will be pulling out their hair. Will Ukraine be cooperative? It depends. Do they think Trump will win reelection? Judging by the enthusiasm of Mr Zelensky, their president, Trump is faring well in that land.

There is an abundance of facts to make the case that Trump should not be reelected. But the hard work needed to persuade people to vote for a democratic candidate remains to be done.

There is a thirst in the American electorate for a person to lead us whose task is simply that, to lead. Lead us to connect with each other, to decrease inequality and increase opportunity.

There is a great desire in the American electorate for someone without personal problems, someone who can focus on the task of leadership and is not hungry for personal attention.

But it will take time to clarify the winning message that will make voters eager to cast their ballot come November 2020. There are no short cuts to get there.

Trump can and should be beat at the ballot box.

Impeachment should not eclipse the light that can take us there.