Letters to an American

This historian is taking the time we all wish we had to listen to the Impeachment. And she’s making notes on it that are designed to be used by historians of the future. She was interviewed on WGBH Boston and sounds pretty dang smart



I understand that Dershowitz is acting as a lawyer for a defendant and must present a favorable slant on the occurrence of events.

But mounting a defense which falls just short of complete lunacy cannot possibly be acceptable to Roberts. I hope he has the power to halt such gross distortion of law and what constitutes justifiable motive or alibi.

Judge Roberts, please restore some sanity to this most solemn occasion. To the world, the US has just become the equivalent of Bedlam.

Justice Robert’s role is that of a referee. He can’t jump into the fray to stop one side from mauling the other.

Roberts only has the power to give a (hopefully) nonpartisan opinion. His opinion has no bearing on the actual outcome. Essentially his opinion on the case is going to go into the historical record simply saying how he would have judged the case and the arguments. In the end it only matters in the history books, which Republicans are apparently not really concerned about and haven’t been for at least a few years now. I think they’re working on the assumption that since they quietly control what goes into the history books school children learn from (where my children learned no hint of the US dropping nuclear bombs or Japanese internment camps) that they’ll be able to control what actually makes it into the history which is actually taught in the future well enough to keep themselves from looking to bad to the general public.

Our democracy now depends on John Roberts impartiality - now there’s an indication of how far this nation has fallen.


However, Roberts has also demonstrated a hostility to individual rights, women’s reproductive rights, and he has taken positions that would undermine free speech. His experience as a judge is limited, but what little record he has on the bench raises serious questions about his judicial philosophy and whether his ideology would weigh more heavily on his decisions thus making him less likely to be impartial. Although it has been said that he rules based on the application of existing laws and specific facts of the cases before him, rather than making new laws or creating new policies based on personal opinion. It has also been stated that he is willing to support others who exhibit similar values.

Many of the civil rights groups have raised strong concerns, and the American Disabilities Association has flat out opposed him (NOTE: This is unusual. They generally do not come out strongly in opposition of judicial candidates – I’ve attached their press release below). …

In Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton (2003), Roberts and only one other judge dissented when the court denied en banc review of a panel decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act, as it applied to a real estate development project. Roberts’s dissent strongly suggested that he thought it would be unconstitutional to apply the Endangered Species Act in the case. His dissent also advances a crabbed view of Congressional power that could threaten to undermine a wide swath of federal protections, ranging from criminal laws to workplace safeguards. The Supreme Court recently rejected Roberts’ view of Congress’ legislative authority. Given recent reports that have come out from the EPA on environmental justice, this latter issue raises strong concerns for the Hispanic community that has been disproportionately and adversely impacted by issues such as power plants in their neighborhoods, toxic dumping sites, etc.

Judge Roberts Interprets Separation Between Church and State Loosely
Roberts co-authored an amicus brief filed by the United States in Lee v. Weisman (1992). In this amicus brief he urged the Court to scrap the long-standing test the Court has used to decide whether laws and practices violate the Establishment Clause. His argument was not only rejected by the Court but criticized by the majority for its erroneous First Amendment analysis, which brings into question his judicial philosophy. …

Extremist Ideology:
Roberts declared that the current Supreme Court is not conservative enough specifically in response to the October 1999 term during which the conservative majority judicial activism included the striking down of the Violence Against Women Act and throwing out an age discrimination suit on federalism grounds.

Mr. Roberts is a member of two right-wing legal groups that promote a pro-corporate, anti-regulatory agenda: the Federalist Society and the National Legal Center For The Public Interest, serving on the latter group’s Legal Advisory Council. …

and on and on this informative Closer Look at this Chief Justice goes.

yeah, that’s a trip down memory row.

But here we are, having squandered these past critical decades on self-enrichment and complete disregard for the disasters our wanton avarice was creating for your younger generations to endure and then expire. Yes global warming is that real and that consequential - we know this. Well at least those with the intellectual integrity to honestly look at the known geophysical facts.

I don’t expect much from Roberts. He is a member of the “conservative” bloc in the Supreme Court. Being the Chief Justice, he is concerned with maintaining the façade that the High Court is not biased. But it is.

I noticed that he did one good thing, though, during this Impeachment trial. When Rand Paul tried to trick him by submitting a question for him to read aloud. Roberts noticed that the name of the Whistleblower was in the text of the question. Roberts refused to read it. The Trumpublicans really want to put pressure on anyone who would dare to blow a whistle on corruption. This would have been, at least, the third time that the Trumpublicans put the whistleblower’s name out in the public. Maybe one of Don John’s followers will do some real harm to the whistleblower. This is just another loose end that our newly established DOTUS needs to tie up > Make sure that there are no more whistleblowers. Dictators don’t like whistleblowers.

Tim: I don’t expect much from Roberts.
This is depressing. The US is all rotten. I need a drink.

Sree, you are so cute when you pretend to care. By all means, drink. You are still relatively young. Your liver can probably handle it. Just try not to post when you get sloppy drunk. Too much of your unfiltered self will come out.


This topic is about Heather Cox Richardson’s take on the impeachment. Her analysis of Trump’s trial is exactly the same as Tim’s and Mriana’s. Heather is supposed to be a historian.

Heather Cox. Don’t know her. There are no pictures of us together. I haven’t read her. Never met her. But if she agrees with me, she must have somethin’ goin’ on.

Oh. She’s on a link in the thread initial post. That is merely a coincidence. (Sorry, Lausten, I didn’t listen to the link. I just took your word that she knew what she was talking about.)

Come to think of it, I have a BA minor in history. Hey maybe I have some history genes!

Heather Cox came to your conclusion after extensive research. You didn’t. Trump doesn’t read either; like you, he hit all the right notes without listening to his learned advisors.

Here are the 1st few paragraphs of Heather’s link from above:

“In the short term, Trump and his supporters appear to have won. The initial position of his defenders in his impeachment trial was that he had neither abused the power of his office by withholding military aid to Ukraine in exchange for help smearing his rival Joe Biden, nor obstructed Congress by covering the scandal up. But the House impeachment managers’ masterful presentation, along with the leaking of material from former National Security advisor John Bolton’s forthcoming book saying that Trump himself had tried to rope Bolton into the scheme killed that argument. So Republicans pivoted. Yes, they admitted, Trump did what he was accused of. But pressuring a foreign government to smear the president’s political opponent, they say, does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.
The Senate will not vote on acquittal until Wednesday, but the vote on witnesses was widely seen as a proxy for that later vote. So it appears that Republican senators will support Trump. As House impeachment manager Adam Schiff warned them, if they acquit Trump, they will be part of the cover up, and they will be tied to Every. Single. Thing. That. Drops. From. Here. On. Out. And there will be plenty.
Last night, around midnight, just after Senate Republicans blocked testimony from witnesses and the admission of new documents, the Trump administration admitted in a court filing that it was withholding 24 emails from between June and September 2019 that describe “communications by either the President, the Vice President, or the President’s immediate advisors regarding Presidential decision-making about the scope, duration, and purpose of the hold on military assistance to Ukraine.”
There are nine months to go before the 2020 presidential election.
Congressional Republicans have chosen to double down on their association with Trump to help them win in 2020, throwing overboard any hope of appealing to moderates. They know it is a devil’s bargain. Next week, they will try to explain their votes in the record, and the Senate has decided not to vote on acquittal until Wednesday, making sure that Trump cannot use either the Super Bowl or his State of the Union Address in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night to crow. But, as never-Trump pundit Rick Wilson warned the Republicans, they are now complicit…”

So that much I agree with. I only needed to be paying attention to what has been going on, to get to the same conclusion. No rigorously designed research needed. She goes on to say of the Republicans: “…Now they have gone too far, out in the open, and it looks to me as if Americans are finally seeing the radicals currently in charge of the Republican Party for what they are, and are determined to take America back.

I am not so confident in this latter assertion, though I hope she’s right. I think that most of us have underestimated the T rump’s power of turning his marks into raving, obsequious, deceitful, corruption-loving T rump cultists.