Floored

Hindsight, famously, is 20-20; the future, a vision for 2020, say, is by nature hazy. All I know at this juncture is that I’m the only person in the family to have fallen both up the top step of the stairs and down the bottom one. Face plant, about four in the afternoon, onto the upstairs carpet; face plant, about four in the morning, onto the hallway hardwood. Sporting a shiner for the latter effort, although, mercifully, nothing hurt in the noggin. Nothing to be damaged in there, right? Blood everywhere at the foot of the stairs, and blood all over the bathroom I staggered blindly into. I don’t–in a bad football metaphor–know who targeting should be called on: me, or the floor.

No full re-cap of 2019 for this column. We’ve all slogged through it, we survivors–congratulations!–and suffice it to say there were both highs and lows. As during every year. For 2019, for us, it was two highs and one low. Less than savory was a purely illusory, entirely scurrilous lawsuit this paper was forced to settle, costing us thousands of dollars. Forced because it was pointed out to us that, in this particular neck of the Valley, it might not prove too onerous a task to seat a sufficient number of jurors–only eight!–who, if not hostile to, do not appreciate the Voice. Understood. But we truly owed the plaintiff nothing, having already paid her in full. She had no evidence–beyond recollection, which we have, as well–and I’m past exasperated, floored in fact, that her recollection could be weighed as equal to our actual documentation. And as the plaintiff, she bore the burden of proof in order to win her case. Seems insufficient to me if we’re supposed to be living under the rule of law.

More than making up for this, though, was the securing of a unique house and the Kid’s acceptance to Portland State University. I’ll take that every day of the week. Excited!

So I’m leaning into 2020 optimistically on our 2-1 2019 record. On the topic of being literally floored, here is what would shock–and perhaps pleasantly surprise me–in the new year.

It would be nice if, in the coming Senate impeachment trial, the Republicans would play it by the book. By which I mean the Constitution. I understand that as the majority they are entitled to set the rules, but they currently seem to be going by Arthur Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon.” That’s the wrong book. A good novel, still relevant, and contemplated with some trepidation at this crossroads–but hardly a roadmap for the future.

To have a trial, all the elements of one must be part of the process. Otherwise, it would be like having a football game without allowing a line of scrimmage.

Because, whether you agree or not with the president’s eventual acquittal–I’d be floored if he were not–the process at its end must be perceived to have been proper. Perhaps a first step in spanning this divide we’ve all been experiencing.

From ABC News on 29 December:

“Is Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, going to try to rig this trial, working in lockstep with the president and his lawyers? Or is he going to allow a fair trial?” Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said on ABC’s ‘This Week’ Sunday. “We keep hearing President Trump say he’s going to be exonerated. Look, if you have a rigged trial there’s no exoneration in acquittal…They’re going to have to answer for the fact that they don’t want to see any more evidence, right?…Those who vote against witnesses and vote against documents are essentially telling the American people they don’t want to see anything. They don’t want to hear anything. And in doing so, you’re complicit in a cover-up.”

This is the despicable pickle we’re currently in.

Law itself seems somehow less absolute now, not so upright as it ought to be. And that’s a good thing insofar as law shouldn’t always be monolithic. But how does it happen that I’d be floored if it operated properly? Or is “properly” merely a construct of my own expectation?

Or, dare I say, experience?

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