Right, Wrong, and the Character of a Nation

It would appear that we face a political crisis which many liken to the days of Watergate.  While there are similarities, what we face today is unlike anything we have faced before, and we are lying to ourselves if we do not admit that and dooming ourselves if we do not face it.

During the Nixon administration everyone knew that breaking into the Watergate Hotel was wrong.  Everyone knew  that Nixon’s cover-up of that break-in was wrong.  Both Republicans and Democrats looked at the evidence and knew it was wrong.  It wasn’t just illegal; it was wrong.  Nixon placed the well-being of his presidency and his party above that of the country and the law and the congress and the country said “that’s not right.”  Members of his own party went to Nixon and told him his presidency could not survive what he had done.  He may have been “Tricky Dick,” but he wasn’t a “Stupid Dick.”   He resigned. Continue reading

Seeing the Trees for the Forest

So, Trump is pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement.  Except he can’t.  Not until just after the 2020 election.

He could have done it sooner by withdrawing from the underlying UN treaty that gives the Paris Agreement it’s legal teeth, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but he decided not to go that route, probably because, unlike the Paris Agreement, getting out of the UN treaty would almost certainly require Senate approval since they ratified the treaty in the first place, and that’s probably not going to work out well for him.   So Trump didn’t go there. Continue reading