It's over. Not just the fake impeachment trial but for the country too. The soft coup has been coming since 2000 when Ralph Nader got only 1% of the vote. So now we have arrived at a deranged, unaccountable, stupendously lying chief executive, a neutered Congress, controlled by Moscow Mitch, and a right wing stuffed judiciary; politically — just like Russia! The main difference in the mirror image is that Trump is owned by Putin. The transfer from rural rube weighted, right-wing semi "democracy" to a kleptocratic, plutocratic, fascistic autocracy has been completed thanks to the Republican senators who will live in infamy.

However, it must be admitted that Pelosi Dems set out to fail in removing Trump from office. First the speaker tried to stall out the impeachment proceedings but was overtaken by Trump's extortion plot exposure. Then it was believed that we were too stupid to handle three articles so the obvious violation of the Constitution's emolument clause was dropped. Then instead of nailing Trump on attempted extortion it was called "abuse of power," allowing the unscrupulous defenders claim that no crime was even charged and to muddy up the abuse definition. But the biggest fault was concentrating on Ukraine instead of Trump's complete stonewalling of the House's investigation — which results in no check on the president's wrongdoing since some unchallenged rule says that he can't be criminally indicted while in office.

Yet this paper's editorial page would have you believe that nothing happened until Senator Wyden belatedly condemned the outcome and an attempted neutralizing Buchanan piece was juxtaposed. The front page headlines featured local pictures and pieces as if a major rip in the country's moral, cohesive fabric was "not much to see here folks."

But what happens in Washington does affect quality of life here? Not only the green new deal supporting restoration of our infrastructure but more insidiously affecting how we think of ourselves. It will be harder to take pride in America, to feel good about ourselves and what we are leaving to future generations. Sliding into depression will be easier, fictionalizing reality will be harder as the consequences of our increasingly callous and greedy behaviors intrude on our self images. Normalizing lying will add to the confusion, polarity and stress. A paper unwilling to tell truth to power and endorse better standards adds to the decline. We have lost more than we know.

John Zimmerman

Coos Bay

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