A refreshing Trump lawyer
Although Donald Trump’s second impeachment defense attorney Bruce Castor has been harshly criticized by nearly everyone, I actually like him. True, you don’t get much of a defense attorney at the Dollar General store, but I found him to be refreshingly boring and honest. His corny jokes are as iconic as NBC News’ Steve Kornacki’s khakis. Concerning his performance at the impeachment trial, Castor was dealt a Herculean task in trying to defend Trump and he didn’t have much time to prepare. Also, he needed to be careful not to disrespect law enforcement officers who got hurt in defending the Capitol and the millions of Americans outraged by the insurrection. I especially like that Castor is the antithesis of some of the other attorneys hired by Trump, such as Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell, each who continuously infuriates me with their outrageous lies. I personally want to thank Castor for restoring some humility and integrity in politics, and perhaps some quirky, homespun humor, too. And hey, if you don’t ever get another gig as a defense attorney, there’s always a future for you as a comedian in vaudeville.
Henry Weese, Palm Harbor
History will remember
No matter what the verdict on the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump, the history books studied by our descendants will reflect the actions that occurred leading up to the mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and the actions taken by our legislators concerning the impeachment. The evidence is clear that “the big lie” stoked the fires of insurrection until it erupted in the violence that occurred on that fateful day and former president Trump, after losing all legal recourse, could have changed history and saved lives by conceding that the election was indeed fair and legally lost. By not conceding and continuing to push false allegations, he and all the lawmakers who clung to him, coerced the mob into the actions taken that day. History will reflect the lack of honor and integrity of all involved who fought to keep President Joe Biden from his inauguration.
David Blauch, Lutz
Someone will be convicted
There will be a conviction at the end of the trial. That conviction will be either of Donald Trump or of the Republican Party. The case is so strong that neither will escape retribution in public opinion.
Bob Coffey, Belleair
Impeachment’s mild penalty
One important element of impeachment is being ignored. Impeachment in a process designed to limit the penalty for a political crime. The only penalty that can be assigned is removal from office and a banishment from public life. It is like an athlete who wins a race but loses because he has been disqualified. A disqualification is a mild punishment, yet necessary to preserve the integrity of the sport.
The limited penalty for conviction following impeachment must be placed in the historical context of the country’s founder. What was happening in France as punishment for political crimes? The constitutional limits were established when politicians lost their heads, were hanged in chains, boiled in oil, drawn and quartered, and had their heads mounted on pikes outside the city walls. Merely to be expelled from holding public office is an extremely mild consequence given the times.
The founders did not want a nation where political crimes cost one’s life, liberty or property. They desired an honest political system where all players complied with the rules. Persons who did not observe the rules or encouraged others to break the rules could not remain as participants in the political process.
President Donald Trump lied about the election. That is a violation of the rules. He tried to stop the constitutional process of certifying the election. Another violation of the rules. He urged his supporters to stop Congress from certifying the election. Another violation of the rules.
President Trump should be thankful we have a Constitution that limits the penalty to banishment from public office. And the US Senate that serves as the referee should convict him in order to preserve the integrity of our system.
Charles Chamberlain, Spring Hill
Thanks to Kinzinger
It’s time for accountability | Feb. 10
Thank you, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, for putting my feelings into words. He is absolutely right. The majority of us have gone silent. We know that Republicans cannot be relied upon to do the right thing. Why keep going to the well? The well is dry. As usual, it will be up to us, the silently observing majority to do the right thing and vote our conscience. As we showed in 2020, just because we are not loud and strident, doesn’t mean we can’t be effective.
Susan Bullard, Gulfport
Hold China to account
Since the coronavirus outbreak started in China in November 2019, outside scientists weren’t allowed into China to study the exact origin of the virus. Now, over a year later, after China has had the time to sanitize both the wet market where the virus supposedly came from and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is a P4 viral research lab, does China allow “a team of international and Chinese scientists” access. And of course, they’re finding was that it was “unlikely” that the virus came from the lab. The World Health Organization has pandered and acquiesced to China for decades. This latest report from the WHO and China is an affront to anyone with an ounce of intelligence. When are we going to hold China accountable for its actions?
Mark Khan, Tampa