The questions by Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez during Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s hearing today mark him as far worse than a mere Ethics Dunce. It even exceeds the outrageous disrespect of President Obama displayed by GOP Congressman Joe Wilson when he shouted out “You Lie!” during a State of the Union address. Guiterrez—who opposes the rule of law and advocates open borders, just to put his principles and priorities in context— has been emboldened by the divisive and destructive abuse of the President by Reps. John Lewis, Maxine Waters and Frederica Wilson, among others (including Hillary Clinton), and more recently by the irresponsible and dishonest demand by Senator Gillibrand that the President resign for unproven, non-criminal conduct that took place, if at all, long before he was elected President, and that voters ratified by virtue of electing him.
Mostly, however, Guiterrez was moved to disgrace his office and the House of Representatives because he is an asshole—there’s no other word for it—who knows that his party will not discipline him, as it should, for this most disgusting display of unprofessional conduct and hate-mongering.
“I’d like to ask you about sexual assault by the President of the United States of America,” Gutierrez asked. This is itself a misrepresentation: there are no allegations of any sexual assault by a President of the United States, and non-government-related conduct real or alleged by a President before he became President is none of Congress’s business. But this Congressman talked at length about the President’s accusers from the 2016 campaign, and their renewed vigor as they try to exploit the post-Harvey Weinstein witch hunt. Freed of the traditional limits of basic decency and decorum that Congress has always previously required of members when they discuss the Chief Executive, Gutierrez repeated graphic details from some of the accounts, which to him are nothing more than rumors he chooses to exploit. He has no idea whether they are true, accurate, or tactical partisan lies. Yet he repeated them as fact, to embarrass and insult the President of the United States.
This has been the plot, and it is a plot, from the start, as the Democratic Party has, from the moment of Trump’s election, worked to strip him of the vital inheritance his high office has always conferred on its successive occupants, a basic level of respect, honor and deference without which effective leadership is all but impossible. Both parties observed these conventions because they knew that the government cannot function properly without them. Never mind. Democrats are angry that they blew the election, and are willing to court chaos to extract their revenge.
Non-criminal allegations, such as sexual harassment or “groping,” that involve conduct prior to a President’s election and that the existence of which was fully known by the electorate prior to an election cannot be “high crimes and misdemeanors.” No President has ever been the subject of investigations into his life and career before entering politics. (The Whitewater investigation involved an ongoing legal matter involving the Clintons and evidence of criminal fraud.)
Yet Gutierrez asked Rosenstein whether he thinks there are “grounds for a criminal investigation or an ethics investigation against the President.”
It cannot be over-stated just how vicious, unfair and irresponsible this kind of behavior is. Such a gratuitous and unjustified assault not only diminishes the President, but the power and prestige of his office, probably permanently. We have seen this before: one party’s scorched earth defilement of crucial institutional protections for short-term or elusive partisan gain is later taken up, repeated and escalated as a matter of retribution by the other party as soon as it is out of power, and the institution is permanently weakened. Meanwhile, the public’s trust continues to erode.
We have had a year of this, and it is getting worse, which means that our democracy is further imperiled as each month goes by. If Democratic leadership allows—encourages— their elected officials to behave this way, when the Democrats finally do regain power, they may have a nation so poisoned by their own hand that it cannot recover. It now appears that blacks, women and Hispanics in the Democratic Party have been given full license to be assholes, as long as the ultimate target is President Trump.
This is disastrous for everyone, and the irresponsible fools, still in the throes of a loser’s tantrum, are incapable of seeing it.