Comment Of The Day: “Reluctant Additional Ethics Notes On A Manufactured Crisis: The Comey Firing Freakout”

With so much loose talk about impeachment going around (and by “loose” I mean “inexcusably ignorant”), texagg04’s review of the Constitutional standard for the removal of a President is a gift to readers of Ethics Alarms, and one of the most interesting and informative comments ever to appear here.

He was reacting to a New York Times op-ed, cited by another commenter,  by political scientist Greg Weiner (no relation) titled, “Impeachment’s Political Heart,” in which the author concluded,

“The question is by what standards they should conduct this work, and that question provides an opportunity to correct the mistaken assumption according to which presidents can forfeit the public trust only by committing what the law recognizes as a crime. That is a poor bar for a mature republic to set. It is not the one a newborn republic established. And that is why the idea that the conversation about impeachment is simply a political persecution of a man who is technically innocent of a literal crime not only jumps the investigatory gun. It misses the constitutional point.”

Having studied the issue myself, I immediately rejected Weiner’s analysis (which still is worth reading in its entirety) on the ground that a constantly evolving standard of what is a “high crime and misdemeanor” simply means that Presidents can be impeached for behaving, or governing, in ways that enough members of Congress, the news media and the public don’t like. That is what is being advocated now, and that approach would undermine our democracy, the power of elections, and the office of the President.

My gut response, however, is wan and insubstantial compared to tex’s masterful historical review and astute analysis, which (whew!) reaches a similar conclusion.

Here is texagg04’s fascinating Comment of the Day on the post, “Reluctant Additional Ethics Notes On A Manufactured “Crisis”: The Comey Firing Freakout”…I’ll have one brief comment afterwards:

[Weiner] is making an argument from the same source material I mentioned, chiefly the Federalist papers. I still haven’t found Madison’s own specific arguments regarding it, but I think the source is irrelevant as the body of work published by the Founders (“Federalist” and “Antifederalist” alike) should be read as a single work documenting an internal dialogue, to be used as clarification when and where the final adopted documents possibly contain ambiguity. This could very well be one of those cases. That being said, the body of work by the Founders which may aid in revealing their intent or at least how they believed their philosophy of our political system out to be enshrined in the constitution, isn’t the only body of work used to interpret their intent. There is precedence and tradition, which the author of this article disregards when he says “Our tendency to read the impeachment power in an overly legalistic way, which is ratified by 230 years of excessive timidity about its use, obscures the political rather than juridical nature of the device.”

He’s right in nothing but that many of the earliest drafts and proposed language of the impeachment standards were very vague, such as (not an exhaustive list):

“…and removable on impeachment and conviction for mar-practice, corrupt conduct, and neglect of duty.” (from an article called “Variant Texts of the Plan Presented by William Patterson”)

“The governors, senators, and all officers of the United States to be liable to impeachment for mal and corrupt conduct; and, upon conviction, to be removed from office, and disqualified for holding any place of trust, or profit.” (from an article called “Variant Texts of the Plan Presented by Alexander Hamilton”)

“9. Resolved, that a National Executive be instituted … and to be removable on Impeachment and Conviction of Mal-Practice, or neglect of duty.” (Notes of William Patterson in the Federal Convention of 1787)

“Mr. Maddison observed that to prevent a Man from holding an Office longer than he ought, he may for mal-practice be impeached and removed” (Notes of Major William Pierce)

“Mr. Dickinson moved that in the seventh resolution, the words, and removable on impeachment and conviction for mal conduct or neglect in the execution of his office, should be inserted after the words ineligible a second time. Agreed to. The remainder postponed.” (Notes of Honorable Robert Yates on the Federal Convention of 1787)

“-Chief Magistrate must be free from impeachment extent-manners- Wilson” (Notes of Alexander Hamilton in the Federal Convention of 1787 – this isn’t necessarily Hamilton’s view, rather he noted that James Wilson of Pennsylvania made the argument)

So why the switch to far more legalistic language?

Well, we know from their other writings that the Founders crafted the Constitution with an eye towards halting the ever-changing and easily violent passions of the People and even the People’s representatives. So language that creates a standard which essentially means one thing when the people *feel* one way and an entirely different thing when the people *feel* differently wouldn’t cut it. So the only option was the funnel the standards through Rule of Law. And since we know Laws change as well, new laws are added and old laws dropped, there still had to be a certain open-endedness to the Impeachment Clause. This way, any enacted laws in the future would apply to presidents as well as the standards written into the Constitution.

“…shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” It would seem that treason is unarguable. “Corruption” was replaced with “bribery” which seems to be a much more legally describable act – I mean, what one Democrat calls “pursuing an agenda” one Republican will call “corruption” and vice versa, so the term “corruption” seems a bit vague. As for the final clause, I think that’s where the Founder’s had an eye for whatever future laws Congress enacted or repealed and the long litany of laws the soon to be Congress would immediately adopt from the old government anyway.

I think however, that one standard probably every President has missed (simply because we’ve bequeathed ourselves TOO many programs, laws and bureaucracies) is that every department and section of the Executive branch exists because of a law, in order to pursue a particular law and governed by law…and that technically, anytime an Executive Officer (up to the President) does NOT enforce laws on the books or fails to follow particular laws as they govern the Executive Branch, then they are committing impeachable offenses. But holy cow if that will ever be triggered.

The author of the article quotes, as his decisive proof, Hamilton’s Federalist #65:

Mason’s intent was clearly to delineate a political category, something Alexander Hamilton — who did not shrink in the defense of executive power — recognized in Federalist 65, which says that impeachment applied to offenses “of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they related chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

He’s lifted that excerpt from a larger paragraph:

“A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.”

I think the author does a disservice by pulling the piece out of context. This paragraph is found within a 2-part essay on WHY the Senate has been given the power of trying impeachment proceedings, found within a larger arc of essays on the powers of the Senate in general. The focus of the essay has little to do with WHY any particular President should be impeached and more to do with WHY the Senate is the least worst forum to try the President in. I word it “least worst”, because the bulk of the essay acknowledges that every branch of government could have serious separation of powers issues and conflict of interest issues as the court of impeachment, but that the Senate is the “least worst” of them, and with impeachment split between House and Senate, and the Senate’s conflicts of interest (namely the appointment of Executive positions, is diluted to merely Confirmation of presidential nominations) that it’s a much better forum for the trial.

I think what Hamilton is actually describing, is that no matter what reason a President is impeached, it by it’s own nature will be political. Not that it can, ethically, have a political *source*, but that it will by nature have a political *quality*. Hamilton is merely describing the problems caused by impeachment and why the Senate best alleviates those problems.

I cannot find anywhere else that the Founders mused on exactly what they meant by “corruption” or “mal-practice” or “neglect of duty” and can only assume, since their vision was the Rule of Law, that they certainly did not mean any standard based on the capricious whims of opposing political opinions. But I don’t even think the author needs to make the argument he is making…he merely needs to follow the process and determine if Trump has broken any laws, which seems to be the “obstruction of justice” tack the Left is currently undertaking.

____________________________

I’m back.

Regarding that “obstruction of justice” tack: the loose talk about Comey’s firing being “obstruction of justice” is as rampant, and ignorant, as the loose impeachment rants. I just slammed a commenter who proclaimed that the only explanation for denying that Comey’s firing was “obstruction of justice” was my “Trump supporter bias.” No, it is because I know what I am talking about, and a legal act doesn’t become illegal because of what the official allegedly said were among his motives. As lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a Democrat who is as far from being a Trump supporter as I am, elegantly explained to badly out-brained Joe Scarborough on Twitter…

 

35 Comments

Filed under Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, History, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Research and Scholarship

35 responses to “Comment Of The Day: “Reluctant Additional Ethics Notes On A Manufactured Crisis: The Comey Firing Freakout”

  1. valkygrrl

    I’d like to add to this conversation the case of Judge John Pickering in 1804. Impeached by the house and convicted by the senate.

    One of the charges was being of bad moral character.

    I’d also like to add that the second article of impeachment against Richard Nixon (which passed out of committee) was

    repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposed of these agencies.

    Though ultimately Gerald Ford was correct, an impeachable offence is whatever 218 members of the house say it is. Just as the president has certain powers that can only be checked by voters (whatever the traditions are), congress’ power to impeach falls in the same category.

    • Of course it’s correct that that Congress CAN impeach for invalid and political reasons…and when they do, that’s the end of the democracy, and JFK explained in Profiles in Courage. As for the second article of impeachment of Nixon, that was just boilerplate. They still have to have examples that fit the constitutional standard. One was that Nixon used the IRS to intimidate and interfere with the rights of political opponents—you know, like Obama. And that is an impeachable offense.

  2. Chris

    Jack:

    No, it is because I know what I am talking about, and a legal act doesn’t become illegal because of what the official allegedly said were among his motives.

    This is obviously wrong as a general principle.

    There are plenty of things that are perfectly legal when done with a certain intent that are illegal when done with a different intent.

    To go back to the example I keep bringing up (and which no one has addressed), if I fire an incompetent employee because she won’t sleep with me, I have broken sexual harassment law.

    If I later tell someone I fired the employee because she wouldn’t sleep with me, not because of any of her real deficiencies as an employee, surely that can be used as evidence against me in a court of law.

    Another example: If I kick a rude and disruptive customer out of my business because they are Jewish, I have violated the Civil Rights Act. This is true even if kicking them out because they were rude and disruptive would be perfectly legal.

    If I later tell someone I kicked the customer out of my business because they were Jewish, surely that can be used as evidence against me in a court of law.

    I don’t know much about the crime of obstruction of justice, but it would surprise me if it were one of the few crimes where we do not take into account the official’s motives.

    • I’ll bite. Trump DIDN’T fire Comey because Comey refused to sleep with him, he fired him because he didn’t like the way Comey was handling the investigation into any links between Russia and his campaign. Could that be obstruction of justice? If so it was a very poor attempt, because the investigation is still ongoing, with more people than Comey moving it forward.

      Regarding your Jewish customer hypothetical, if you said “You dang Jews think you own everything! Get outta my place!” I think it would be a toss-up in court whether or not which was the more prominent motivation, the fact that they were Jewish, or that they were being disruptive. If they behaved themselves, maybe you would’ve let them stay, and kept your prejudiced feelings to yourself.

      I just watched “The Caine Mutiny” yesterday, (which I first learned about here on Ethics Alarms), and in this scenario I think Comey is Queeg, and Trump is the officers of the Caine. Which is more prominent in the motivation, personal animosity/self-preservation, or removing a person unfit for duty?

      • Chris

        I’ll bite. Trump DIDN’T fire Comey because Comey refused to sleep with him, he fired him because he didn’t like the way Comey was handling the investigation into any links between Russia and his campaign.

        That seems an inherent conflict of interest, no? It seems that this conflict of interest may be *legal,* but should it be? It certainly isn’t ethical.

        Could that be obstruction of justice? If so it was a very poor attempt, because the investigation is still ongoing, with more people than Comey moving it forward.

        The question is: did Trump know that? He said to the Russians that firing Comey “took the pressure off” the Russian investigation; was he just engaging in empty boasting? Or did he really believe this would take the pressure off? Other reports suggest he was blindsided by the bipartisan criticism he received for firing Comey; it seems he really did expect firing Comey to solve problems for him, not to create even more.

        Regarding your Jewish customer hypothetical, if you said “You dang Jews think you own everything! Get outta my place!” I think it would be a toss-up in court whether or not which was the more prominent motivation, the fact that they were Jewish, or that they were being disruptive. If they behaved themselves, maybe you would’ve let them stay, and kept your prejudiced feelings to yourself.

        I don’t think that would be a toss-up at all; it seems to me that would be a clear-cut example of religious discrimination.

        I just watched “The Caine Mutiny” yesterday, (which I first learned about here on Ethics Alarms), and in this scenario I think Comey is Queeg, and Trump is the officers of the Caine. Which is more prominent in the motivation, personal animosity/self-preservation, or removing a person unfit for duty?

        We can’t know for certain, but my money is on personal animosity/self-preservation.

    • You know, error doesn’t become truth by endurance. I know you think merely repeating a debunked assertion will eventually cause it to stick. It will work with some, but not with logic.

      You’re analogy fails because nothing has occurred as you claimed it has occurred.

      Trump has not “admitted” that that is *the* reason he fired Comey. That’s merely your spin on a single comment of Trump relating thoughts he had during the process of firing Comey.

      At some point your inexhaustible supply of pushing fallacious reasoning as proven fact is going to have to stop.

      • texagg04 wrote, “You know, error doesn’t become truth by endurance.”

        But…. a lie isn’t a lie if everyone believes it.

        When an Liberal thinks a thought, any thought, then that thought is automatically considered logical and should be presented as truth, and if a Liberal can find something (anything) in print, digital, or video that they think agrees with them, then that line of thinking it’s to be considered absolute fact.

        texagg04 wrote, “At some point your inexhaustible supply of pushing fallacious reasoning as proven fact is going to have to stop.”

        I wouldn’t hold you breath waiting for the moment that logical reasoning becomes dominate for Chris.

      • Chris

        Trump has not “admitted” that that is *the* reason he fired Comey. That’s merely your spin on a single comment of Trump relating thoughts he had during the process of firing Comey.

        The first sentence is technically correct. He didn’t say it was “the” reason he fired Comey, though he did say it was one reason. Your second sentence here is wrong; Trump also told Russian officials that he fired Comey to “take the pressure off” the Russian investigation, so we have more than just a “single comment.”

        My “spin” is also a logical conclusion based on the available evidence that we had even before Trump made either of these statements, and which reasonable people across the aisle already knew before Trump said anything about Russia.

        But to improve the analogy, I think that if a business owner admitted that someone’s religion was even one of the factors they considered when kicking someone out of their place of business, there would be a pretty good religious discrimination case against them. Similarly, if they admitted that one reason they fired an employee was that they wouldn’t sleep with them, there would be a pretty good sexual harassment case against them.

        Do you disagree?

        • Really? Let’s say an employee steals from the til and sexually harassed a co-worker, while screaming epithets at the boos in the middle of the establishment. He is fired for cause.

          The boss later says, “The best part of firing him is that I don’t have to look at a Muslim every day.” Want to sue?

          A female bank employee is habitually late for work, and has had numerous warnings. Customers have complained that she is rude. She never balances at the end of the day; records show it. She is given time to turn things around, and nothing improves. After she is fired for cause, her ex-supervisor says, “What really griped me was that she was hot, and she’d never have sex with me.” You really think she can claim wrongful termination? She could claim a hostile work environment, but not wrongful termination.

          Same with your situation.

          • Chris

            Those statements don’t necessarily show cause, whereas “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said ‘Man, Muslims suck,” does.

            ““I just fired Employee X. She was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because she wouldn’t sleep with me. That’s taken off” is a little more vague, though, when it comes to determining cause.

            It seems like statements like those would make a wrongful termination case plausible.

            • Any case is plausible. I’ve been involved in such cases. If the supervisor can prove that any objective boss would have a just firing for cause, the claim of wrongful termination almost certainly fails. And should.

              • Chris

                That’s a good point.

                As I’ve said, I’m open to the argument that this firing was not illegal. The most persuasive cases I’ve heard so far all say it wasn’t.

                But I am convinced it was unethical, and I have yet to see a persuasive argument to the contrary.

        • “The first sentence is technically correct. He didn’t say it was “the” reason he fired Comey, though he did say it was one reason.”

          Here’s what he actually said, along with several other things he said regarding Comey:

          “Look, he’s a showboat.”
          “He’s a grandstander.”
          “The FBI has been in turmoil.”
          “You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil — less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.”
          “I was going to fire Comey. I — there’s no good time to do it, by the way.”
          “I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it
          “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”
          “I just want somebody that’s competent. I am a big fan of the FBI. I love the FBI.”

          Then when prodded into making an emotional connection with the question: “But were you a fan of…him taking up that investigation? about the Russian investigation and possible…”

          Trump responds: “I don’t care”
          “As far as I’m concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly.”
          “When I did this now, I said I probably maybe will confuse people. Maybe I’ll expand that — you know, I’ll lengthen the time because it should be over with. It should — in my opinion, should’ve been over with a long time ago because it — all it is an excuse. But I said to myself I might even lengthen out the investigation. But I have to do the right thing for the American people.”
          “He’s the wrong man for that position.”

          Now, true to form, you continue to maintain the irreconcilable stance that Trump is some machiavellian power broker and also a bumbling idiot, you cleverly IGNORE THE ENTIRE conversation to focus on this, and this ONLY:

          “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”

          Within the context of the larger conversation, it paints a much different story than what you desperately want it to paint to fit your preconceived and internally inconsistent narrative. Even outside of the larger conversation it doesn’t *necessarily* say what you spin it to say, which makes your argument all the shakier.

          Looks to me like he very much recognized the political implications of firing Comey and was very much aware that firing him would not stop the investigation. Hence, stopping the investigation was NOT the reason he was fired, but it would seem the political fiasco that the investigation was becoming UNDER Comey was one of the reasons.

          Seriously, you need to take a step back and ask yourself if your worldview is allowing to look at this clearly or not…because it isn’t. It’s clouded with hate.

          “Your second sentence here is wrong; Trump also told Russian officials that he fired Comey to “take the pressure off” the Russian investigation, so we have more than just a “single comment.””

          No, it isn’t. Your spin is what is incorrect.

          Here’s what Trump said:

          ““I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,”
          “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
          “I’m not under investigation.”

          All that literally says on its face is “pressure is taken off because Comey is fired” it doesn’t say “Comey was fired so pressure would be taken off”. Though you’ll squabble about that, it is a substantive difference. In light of all else he’s said, it would seem that yes, if the goal is to move forward as an adminsitration, it is useful to have what Trump considers a fiasco being driven by Comey’s incompetence behind him, fully knowing the investigation will continue, under what Trump will probably hope is a less fiasco oriented leader…

          Of course we know, the Left, for whom you are a unapologetic cheerleader, will not let the investigation just investigate, you will continue to rapidly froth at the mouth and subvert all attempts at governance and then rant and scream when governance doesn’t occur.

          Seriously, you need to take a step back and ask yourself if your worldview is allowing to look at this clearly or not…because it isn’t. It’s clouded with hate.

          • Chris

            OK, let’s look at those other statements, tex.

            ““Look, he’s a showboat.”

            OK. This strikes me as the pot calling the kettle black, but let’s say it’s true. Is that a reason Trump fired him? I doubt it. He also doesn’t say it’s a reason he fired him. The only thing he specifically states was a reason for firing him was the Russia investigation.

            “He’s a grandstander.”

            See above.

            “The FBI has been in turmoil.”
            “You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil — less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.”

            See above. Also, Trump was praising Trump’s performance in the FBI this time last year. That makes this particular reason unconvincing.

            “I was going to fire Comey. I — there’s no good time to do it, by the way.”
            “I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it.”

            This doesn’t explain why he didn’t fire Comey earlier. Remember, he was still praising him in January.

            “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

            Note that this is the ONLY statement where Trump specifically articulates a motivation, saying that THIS is what he was thinking of when he made the decision. None of his other statements speak to what he was thinking when he made the decision, and as such, it is rational to believe they are post-hoc rationalizations.

            “I just want somebody that’s competent. I am a big fan of the FBI. I love the FBI.”

            See above.

            “I don’t care”
            “As far as I’m concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly.”
            “When I did this now, I said I probably maybe will confuse people. Maybe I’ll expand that — you know, I’ll lengthen the time because it should be over with. It should — in my opinion, should’ve been over with a long time ago because it — all it is an excuse. But I said to myself I might even lengthen out the investigation. But I have to do the right thing for the American people.”

            This is Trump just saying stuff. “Maybe I’ll expand that–you know, I’ll lengthen the time because it should be over with.” This is a common tic of Trump’s; he’ll say something right before directly contradicting it.

            Now, true to form, you continue to maintain the irreconcilable stance that Trump is some machiavellian power broker and also a bumbling idiot

            When did I ever characterize him as “a machiavellian power broker?” Being smart isn’t necessary for anything I’ve accused Trump of.

            All that literally says on its face is “pressure is taken off because Comey is fired” it doesn’t say “Comey was fired so pressure would be taken off”. Though you’ll squabble about that, it is a substantive difference. In light of all else he’s said, it would seem that yes, if the goal is to move forward as an adminsitration, it is useful to have what Trump considers a fiasco being driven by Comey’s incompetence behind him, fully knowing the investigation will continue, under what Trump will probably hope is a less fiasco oriented leader

            I’m pretty sure I’ve said the most likely conclusion is that Trump fired Comey for personal vengeance, not because he legitimately thought it would stop the investigation. I do think the statement you quoted of Trump’s implies more of a cause and effect relationship than you are seeing, but perhaps he was just bullshitting the Russians.

            I maintain that firing an FBI director who is investigating your own campaign is inappropriate regardless of the reason. It is an inherent conflict of interest, and creates the appearance of impropriety.

            • So would you be holding this position regardless of the president’s stated reasons? Or regardless of who the president is (if say Obama or Bush, or Hillary did the same thing)?

            • We don’t need any of this, we already know you’ll rationalize away EVERYTHING Trump says EXCEPT for rare items that can be loosely spun into your pre-conceived narrative.

              I merely demonstrated how everything he says actually can be accommodated via an objective, hate-free starting point.

              I do note however, you are softening your conclusion and backing off of your initial vehemence. So it is safe to assume our incessant takes-down of your routine are having some positive effect.

              • Chris

                I didn’t rationalize. I made arguments. You refuse to address them. I have addressed all of your arguments.

                Please show me exactly where I have softened my stance. I believe I have stayed fairly consistent throughout.

                • I don’t need to address each of them with a wide range of differentiating explanations. My idea remains consistent and sees the interview as a whole without a multiplication of excuses and spin.

                  You’re lost on this. But like I said, hate-blinders are terrible burdens to bear. Like Jacob Marly’s chains.

                  • Chris

                    K. Let me know when you’re willing to engage my arguments rather than spouting empty insults at them.

                    • No you don’t get to pretend that. You’re fully aware of the 5+ post discussions on this. That’s a middle school tactic. You’re better than this.

                    • Chris

                      Your tactics have been to constantly ignore my specific arguments and then pretend you addressed them.

                    • Chris wrote, “Your tactics have been to constantly ignore my specific arguments and then pretend you addressed them.”

                      What’s closer to actual reality is that the arguments have likely been addressed and Chris ignores them because they contradict his viewpoint.

  3. wyogranny

    How has the change in how Senators are put in office via the seventeenth amendment changed the Senate’s status as the “least worst” option?

    • I’d say made it a little more worse but possibly still least worse.

    • My opinion is that was one of the first missteps the killed our Republic (any doubt it is dead? The corpse is still jerking, but only by inertia and random nerve impulses)

      IMHO, the original system the appointed Senators got corrupted. It took a little while, but now the replacement (popularity contest) is now also corrupted. Term limits seem to be the only solution at this point (excepting extreme events) and that has issues as well. Term limits for all government workers (and no special pensions, health care, and exclusion from the laws the rest of us live with) might be a better path, lest the un-elected bureaucrat become even more of a power broker than today.

  4. Wayne

    This is a witch hunt plain and simple. Clinton who was impeached by the House for committing perjury, got let off the hook by the Senate. I don’t see any proof that Trump has committed any impeachable offenses.

  5. texagg04,
    Your comment is accurate, informative, and thought provoking!

    I agree with Jacks assertion that your comment is the “most interesting and informative comments ever to appear here”, at least within my time here.

    Well done!

  6. Christopher

    Smoke near HRC? Call the bucket brigade! Smoke near DJT? It’s manufactured outrage. Double standard? Did I miss the EA post critizing pay-for-play with Ivanka’s “foundation?” I know that someone else being culpable doesn’t excuse another’s unethical behavior, but calling out one instance ONSTANTLY while wrist-slapping the other is selective outrage, bias, and exactly what you constantly criticize media for. Yes?

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