(he said through gritted teeth..)
1. I received a nice, polite e-mail from a new reader here who accused me of engaging exclusively in “partisan/political rants.” “Further,” he wrote, “everything you say appears to be entirely one-sided (right/conservative/republican is good, left/liberal/democrat is bad).”
The man is an academic, so one might expect a little fairness and circumspection, but then, the man is an academic. His description is in factual opposition to the contents of the blog (I’m trying to think of the last Republican leader, conservative or otherwise, I designated as “good”), but I know from whence the impression arises: the fact that the entire American Left, along with its sycophants and familiars, the universities, show business and the news media, have gone completely off the ethics rails since November 8, 2016. I don’t know how else I am supposed to address that. It would have been nice, for balance’s sake, if a conservative cast of white actors in, say, a hit musical called “The Ray Coniff Story” had stepped out of character and harassed, say, Chuck Shumer, but this didn’t happen. If it had, I would have treated that breach of theater ethics exactly as I did the cast of Hamilton’s harassment of Mike Pence. (I would not, however, have been attacked for doing so by my theater colleagues, and no, I haven’t forgotten, and I’m not forgiving.)
If a GOP figure working for CNN as an analyst, say, Jeffrey Lord, had used his connections at the network to forward debate questions to Donald Trump and then lied about it when he was caught red-handed, I would have eagerly written about it in highly critical terms—but the Republicans didn’t cheat. Donna Brazile and the Democrats did.
If Hillary Clinton had been elected President and Donald Trump and the Republicans formed an anti-democractic movement called “the resistance,” tried to use a single Federalist paper as a rationalization to change the rules of the election and then pressured performers not to allow the new President the privilege of a star-studded, up-beat inauguration to unify the nation, and if a large contingent of Republican Congressmen had boycotted the ceremony, saying that they did not consider Hillary as “legitimate President,” Ethics Alarms would have been unmatched in expressing its contempt and condemnation. If conservatives were trying to limit free speech according to what they considered “hateful,” a step toward dictatorship if there ever was one, I would be among the first to declare them a menace to society. They haven’t advocated such restrictions, however. Progressives have. The Mayor of Portland has called for a “hate speech’ ban. What party is he from? Howard Dean said that “hate speech” wasn’t protected. What party was he the Chair of? I forget. What was the party–there was just one— of the mayors who announced that citizens holding certain views should get out of town?
“Need I go on? I could, because the uniquely un-American, unfair and destructive conduct from Democrats, progressives and the anti-Trump deranged has continued unabated and without shame for 10 months now. That’s not my fault, and I don’t take kindly to being criticized for doing my job in response to it. I have chronicled this as unethical, because it is spectacularly unethical, and remains the most significant ethics story of the past ten years, if not the 21st Century to date.
And the reluctance and refusal of educated and usually responsible liberals and Democrats to exhibit some courage and integrity and vigorously oppose this conduct as they should and have a duty as Americans to do—no, I am not impressed with the commenters here who protest, “Hey, I don’t approve of all of this! Don’t blame me!” as if they bear no responsibility—is the reason this execrable conduct continues. It is also why I have to keep writing about it.
2. I’m still awaiting the apologies and acknowledgement of my predictive abilities from all of my friends who chided me for suggesting that the Confederate flag and statuary-focused historical airbrushing mania would shoot down the slippery slope to threaten the Founders and more. CNN political commentator and former Congressional Black Caucus director Angela Rye proclaimed on CNN that the country must tear down all memorials and likenesses of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Rye said on CNN that “George Washington was a slaveowner. Whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not, he wasn’t protecting my freedom.”
Her ignorance and arrogance is staggering. Naturally, no one on CNN had the integrity, historical perspective, courage or wit to explain why her position is destructive and foolish. Hey, but it’s all right! There’s no slippery slope!
Oh, Professor? When Republicans and conservatives start tearing down statues of, say, Margaret Sanger in the dead of night, you can count on me to condemn that, too.
3. Now here’s a rant:
As I explained in the previous post, the President’s pardon of anti-immigration zealot Joe Arpaio was ill-considered and a poor use of the pardon power. To say, however, that the attacks on it are wildly disproportionate to its actual impact is an epic understatement. The crime Arpaio was convicted of is a misdemeanor. The sentence is light. He is 85 years old, and there is no chance of him repeating the crime–criminal contempt—or doing any further harm, other than shooting off his mouth, Joe’s specialty.
I was watching CNN to see how hard Texas is being slammed by ex-hurricane Harvey, and the crawl about how outraged various politicians are over the pardon was almost continuous. There was never such unbroken focus, by CNN or anyone else, when Bill Clinton took a bribe to pardon a rich fugitive with no redeeming characteristics whatsoever. There was no similar indignation about contempt for the rule of law when Obama’s Justice Department deliberately ruled that club-wielding Black Panthers intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 was acceptable, because of their color.
Then an esteemed reader sent me this head-exploding link to a Huffington Post article by a HuffPo “social engineer”—give me a break!—making the claim that the pardon was unconstitutional and would have a major impact–get this— on the investigation by the special counsel. I responded to the link thusly, in part:
This is in the disgraceful category of other forced arguments that Trump has committed a “high crime” that can’t exist, or has triggered an opportunity to remove him, like the Emoluments clause, or the claim that it’s “obstruction of justice” to fire someone he has the power to fire, or that there’s a loophole to allow his election not to count….
I’ve researched this. That “social change engineer”—how can you take anything written by someone who calls himself that?—is intellectually dishonest. ALL pardons cross the separation of powers. Only impeachment is immune from a Presidential pardon, and even that is sort of misleading. Impeachment itself isn’t a conviction for a crime.
The post is garbage, and the theory wouldn’t last two seconds in the Supreme Court. The argument against the pardon is that it’s a bad pardon. It is unquestionably a LEGAL pardon.
Later, I read my New York Times front page article that said that the pardon is “almost certainly” legal. Since the Times has never seen an impeachment theory it didn’t like, “almost certainly” almost certainly means, “No way, Jose! Even we can’t concoct an argument to back this up.”
And yet a smart, observant, progressive-minded reader found the “social change engineer’s ignorant claims persuasive! This is hate and confirmation bias run amuck, and, frankly, I’ve lost patience with it. The predominant approach to the Trump Presidency is that all previous standards of law, logic and fairness have been suspended, because Hillary’s legions and the impotent Republican bunglers who let Trump take control of their party are so furious that an unqualified, impulsive, narcissistic fool of inadequate education and intellectual resources became President of the United States. Well, they haven’t been suspended, you bitter assholes. We have laws, and processes and precedents, and no matter how much you wish it were otherwise, you can’t make up reasons to void an election just because you really don’t like the winner, even if you have wonderful reasons to dislike the winner (and you do).
Owning hotels is not going to become a grounds for impeachment. Stop saying it is. Using his family members as advisors is not a high crime or misdemeanor. Saying and tweeting stupid things is not a high crime or misdemeanor, no matter how stupid they are. Doing things that other Presidents have done without consequences are not suddenly crimes because this President does them. The President is not “disabled” under the terms of the 25th Amendment just because you regard not bowing down to progressive cant and the Political Correctness Gods as proof of a mental illness. These and other biased, irresponsible crack-brained fantasies mislead the public, waste everyone’s time and energy, and worst of all, force me to defend a President who literally has no ethics alarms–thus getting myself accused of being a white supremacist— because double standards are unethical per se.
Cut it out. It’s embarrassing you. It’s aggravating me. It is harming the nation and the democracy. Meanwhile, it increases the likelihood that President Trump really will do something epicly stupid and destructive. Just as Obama was a much worse President because the news media gave him a free pass and the impression that he was a brilliant leader when in truth he was a feckless fraud, the news media has squandered any ability it might have had to Trump him toward competency and responsibility by establishing itself as a relentless, inept, partisan adversary. Good job, Journalists. You are pathetic.
If everything Trump does is horrible, nothing is. If the narrative is that his very existence is grounds for impeachment, then the President has no comprehensible limits to what he can do. The assault, which has gone on literally from the second he was elected, is unethical indefensible, disastrous, destructive and incredibly stupid.
I have been, if anything, too tolerant of it. No more. This is wrong.