Ann Althouse responded sharplyto Ryan Lizza’s hit piece on Donald Trump at the New Yorker, which included the statement, “The Emoluments Clause has never been tested in the courts, but most scholars seem to agree that if Trump doesn’t take the prophylactic approach to his conflicts there is only one other anti-corruption clause in the Constitution available as a remedy: impeachment.”
This is the level of analysis we get at The New Yorker now? It’s on-its-face ludicrous to suggest that “most scholars” could possibly have an opinion on such a specific issue. Who are the “scholars” in Ryan Lizza’s world? They don’t sound like scholars to me. It sounds political, not scholarly.
And I do note Lizza’s use of the weasel word “seem.” Even so, the front-page teaser is so dispiritingly political. I would like to read some serious analysis of this subject, and I am a New Yorker subscriber.
Why are these articles presented in a form that is so off-putting to anyone who’s not tripping on Trump hate?
Well, we know the answer to that one. They are in such a form because the news media is speaking to a progressive Democratic audience—you know, like the reporters and pundits—that wants to believe that Trump’s Presidency is illicit, and this audience is the target of the Democrat/progressive effort to undermine his Presidency from the start. The journalists are hoping to influence the non-committed, the middle of the road, the inattentive but gullible center that can be recruited, the media believes, to its cause. That’s why.
“Most scholars seem to agree that if Trump doesn’t take the prophylactic approach to his conflicts there is only one other anti-corruption clause in the Constitution available as a remedy: impeachment,” is a deliberate lie. It is untrue. It is fake news, and again, a lot more likely to convince someone over the age of ten than “The Pope Endorses Donald Trump.” Let’s see if Snopes debunks this one. Any bets?
Ann Althouse, I have learned over the years, is not a partisan. She lives in Madison, as liberal as city as there is, and appears to be inclined that way herself, except that she disdains lies, lazy logic, bad arguments, ignorance, dirty politics and dishonest journalism, whatever policy or position they are employed to advance. She is a fearless truth-teller, as she sees the truth, and really, really is offended by bullshit. She has chosen to largely leave Obama out of her gunsights, I’m not certain why, but as for the rest of the American political scene, she has been refreshingly, almost uniquely objective.
Incidentally, here is the most recent essay about the Emoluments Clause at the Volokh Conspiracy, where a lot of legal scholars hang out. Funny: it doesn’t sound like “most scholars” agree at all.
Graphic: Publius Forum