Cheryl Cook: Ice skating on a frozen swamp |

Cheryl Cook: Ice skating on a frozen swamp

It’s the “Nightmare before Christmas.” The sharp rhetoric of the political season cuts like blades on the frozen ice of a Washington swamp.

“Thanks to me, you can say Merry Christmas again.”

The crowd roars.

“Somebody said they really didn’t want them at the inn because they were foreigners traveling from afar. From the Middle East somewhere, right?”

Some people in the crowd behind him seem a bit uncomfortable, but most are young men who hit each other on the shoulder and double over in laughter.

“You folks don’t want me to be presidential. You don’t want long complicated answers. Anyone can do that … You want someone to tell it like it is.”

He reaches down into his bag of tricks and tears up the 300-page house Intelligence Committee Impeachment investigation report and sends the words of testimony flying like snow flurries in the wind.

“It’s a disgrace. This hoax. Adam Schiff is a disturbed individual. Something happened in his childhood. He lies.”

The star-filled sky opens and a host of glowing angels suddenly appear carrying the original Constitution of the United States. A few appear to be wearing powdered wigs under their rusty halos.

They hold the Constitution of the United States of America on high and herald:

“The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The singing half wakes me from the nightmare.

“This is a sham!”

Rep. Doug Collins is shouting from the television screen.

“This is a factless impeachment. It all started when this president won an election in 2016.”

He and his angry elves angrily stamp their feet and the ice in my nightmare begins to crack.

The crowd slowly separates to both sides of the rink. Couples disengage. Families members leave to huddle on one side or another.

Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman begins his opening statement despite a constant chorus of interruptions from the angry elves. President Trump’s behavior clearly constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors under the Constitution.

President Trump abused his office by soliciting the president of Ukraine to serve his personal, individual, electoral interests.

Stanford Professor Pamela Karlan speaks: “What the president ought to have said is not, ‘Russia if you’re listening …’ He ought to have said, ‘Russia, butt out of our elections!’’”

She reminds the audience that George Washington warned against the danger of foreign interference. He called foreign interference “the banal foe of government that would try to foment disagreement and thought.” And that this president solicited foreign interference. The angel with the powdered wig rings a bell … twice.

And the erudite response? One of the angry elves calls for the appearance of the whistleblower.

Make no mistake, the spirit of patriots past are speaking to us right now in history. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and even Hamilton rapping about King George on Broadway.

They speak through Americans like Ambassador William Taylor, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindeman, Fiona Hill, Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman, and Stanford Law Professor Pamela Kaplan.

Trump may use the power of the taxpayer purse to award a $500 million contract to a supporter in North Dakota to build a portion of the wall that can be sliced apart with a garage tool.

Trump may deny one million Americans food assistance (SNAP) while providing another round of taxpayer billions in farm subsidies, 91% ($7.7 billion) of which flow straight to counties Trump carried in the election.*

Or he may contract with campaign donors who run camps for kidnapped immigrant children charging taxpayers the $775 per day per child.

He may use his cronies to open investigations into the origin of the Russia/Trump investigation, a conspiracy that was recently found to be unsubstantiated by the investigating prosecutor handpicked by Attorney General Barr. It was another ruse from his lumpy, trumpy bag of tricks.

But when a President uses taxpayer money to extort political interference from a foreign country to corrupt the electoral process in order to benefit himself, then either impeach the man, by George, or hold a coronation.

Because it’s getting late. The night is cold. The foundation beneath our feet is fracturing. And the court jester believes he is king.

Cheryl Cook lives in Penn Valley.

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