Comment Of The Day: “The Good Faith Of The Justice Department”: Sure.

This Comment of the Day is short but provocative. I have had it in a pending file for a while. What triggered my determination to run it now was this tweet cum meme, courtesy of Instapundit, by Harvard Law professor Adrian Vermeule:

I considered making the profesor’s tweet an Ethics Quote of the Week. I considered using it in an Ethics Quiz: “Would it be ethical to post this on Facebook, knowing that it will convince none of the Trump Deranged among my friends and merely cause their already weakened heads to explode?” I hate memes, and wondered weather this was too close to one to post without hypocrisy. And yet: Prof. Vermeule is absolutely correct. His brief tweet neatly consolidates what Ethics Alarms has been covering since the 2016 election, and why I believe that the progressive/resistance/Democrat/mainstream media/ Deep State alliance”s unethical efforts to delegitimize and undermine this President is doing—and will continue to do—far more damage to the nation than the Presidency of Donald Trump, even if he lived down to his foes’ worst assumptions.

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, “The Good Faith Of The Justice Department”: Sure. Humble promised that he would have a lot more to say on the topic. I’m counting on it.

 Since the election of Trump, I have seen the brains of otherwise intelligent and competent people liquefy and trickle out their ears in real time.

One of the most interesting symptoms of that liquefaction has been the invention or re-invention of all sorts of professional rules, policies and laws, specifically and discreetly to the detriment of this administration. When something new happens, something that has a burden of proof so high that it has never before been breached…. The Resistance desperately wants that to be the result of an abnormal presidency… But in reality it’s the response that is abnormal… It’s the height of naivete to assume uncritically that this was done properly.


14 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “The Good Faith Of The Justice Department”: Sure.

  1. If this were a political blog, I’d write a whole post about this piece in the National Review. For now, it suffices to note that it is uncannily on point with Humble’s COTD, AND the Professor’s tweet:

    It ends:

    The danger to the country this time around is that the Left has so destroyed the old protocols of the opposition party that it will be hard to resurrect them when progressives return to power.
    We are entering revolutionary times. The law is no longer equally applied. The media are the ministry of truth. The Democratic party is a revolutionary force. And it is all getting scary.

    I concur.

    • After the Bush scathing, and the Obama decade, the New Right will turn these lessons on the left. It is too late to stop this. The left pushed too far after the election, and we are now entering the time of revolution. Blood will be spilt in the streets, during riots if nothing else, when the left loses the coming elections.

      I have been predicting the rise of an unethical right for a while here, and now I predict massive Democratic losses everywhere but in Blue strongholds as the middle class is forced awake by progressive outrages.

  2. “Udinaas remembered eating smoked eel from Moss River one time when the trader ship had docked in Dresh. They were delicious, once one got used to the furry skin, which was to be chewed but not swallowed. He had since heard, from another slave, that the eels had been transplanted into Dresh Lake, producing a strain that was both bigger and nastier. It had turned out that those eels captured in Moss River were juveniles, few ever reaching adulthood due to a razor-jawed species of predatory fish resident in the river. No such fish were found in Dresh Lake, however, and adolescent swimmers from Dresh started disappearing before anyone realized the adult eels were responsible. Razor-jawed fish were netted from the river and tossed into the lake, but their behaviour changed, turning them into frenzy feeders and adult swimmers from Dresh started vanishing. The slave who had been relating all this then laughed and finished with, ‘So they poisoned the whole lake, killed everything. And now no-one can swim in it!’”

    -Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides

    • Sorry all, my first real comment had links, and I forgot that puts it into temporary purgatory, so here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite book series. Steven Erikson is criminally under-read, probably on account of him being Canadian. I recommend his work only if you have time, because the main cannon is ten massive slabs of paper long, and it will drag you in.

      My first thought was to run one of the many scenarios where people, rational people, threw skepticism to the wind and embraced ignorance, and I could think of nothing better than the hubub over the 25th amendment. It’s an especially good case study because it’s impossible to argue against: Even if you believe that the President should be removed from office by any means necessary, It is strictly harder to force the president out with the fourth section of the 25th than it is to impeach him. So if the Democrats ever get the votes, they aren’t going to wait for Pence or the part of the legislature that trails for them to do it.

      ANYONE who made this argument frankly did not know what they were talking about. And So. Many. People. Did. But. Spoke. Anyway.

      My second thought on it, I’m going to put together tomorrow, I’m still working it out in my head, but it has to do wit the loss of Trust and what that means going forward…Vermeule’s tweet touches on it… The reaction to Trump’s presidency will permanently scar the partisan relationships in America, and I don’t know what that looks like long term.

  3. I will go on a rant and maybe some folks can try to tell me what the hell is going on? Following the Never Ending Story of the Mueller investigation, I understand that questions were and have been raised regarding an internal bias. A thread of anti-Trump within the investigating team. The recent “raid” on the office of Trump’s fixer certainly raised my hackles, but it seems like they just grabbed everything they could lay their paws on. When the Hannity information surfaced I had some real difficulty making any connection – and then the leaks on Hannity? This is a freaking waterfall of leaks. Damn Zip Connolly appears more responsible.

  4. One of the interesting aspects of the current freak out by the left is that is demonstrates very clearly how content they were to be completely in control of all the levers of power during the Obama administration and how entitled they became. You’d think they were babies who’d had their pacifiers taken away for no good reason. I guess I had no idea they were so in control. It’s really a little disconcerting. And of course, with the inevitable Clinton Restoration, they were counting on another eight years. And then, total domination and a one party system. No more pesky people who don’t agree with them to deal with. Amazing.

    • Given the rhetoric since the election, I postulate we dodged a bullet. Had Hillary won, arrests for dissenting views and reeducation camps are no entirely unthinkable of the left.

      These folks owned the country in their own minds, and the complely illegal actions of their adherents shows that there is not law under socialists… just the silence of tyranny.

  5. The situation that always springs to mind when I think about the hopes and dreams of casual constitutionalists trying to find new and interesting ways to rules-lawyer the amendments into doing what they want was plan…. What was it Jack? Plan G? Centering around the 25th amendment.

    The 25th Amendment deals with the line of presidential succession in the case of a President becoming incapacitated, and is divided into four parts; Part one deals with the removal of a president due to death or resignation, Part two deals with vacancies in the office of the Vice President. Part three deals with powers pro tempore… The President lets someone (usually the VP) have Presidential powers for a while while they are incapacitated (This has actually happened a couple of times, usually when the president is being put under anesthesia for medical procedures). And Part four, the section that had everyone hot and bothered for a little while, deals with the removal of a president because they are incapable of performing their duties.

    “Incapable!” The throng shouted! That’s President Trump to a Tea! All we need to do is get him declared incapable under the 25th Amendment and we can have President Clinton after all! I’m not kidding, there were people who said this…. like this wacko atMedium… Although to be fair, they were few and far between. Most left leaning outlets said that it was possible, but they’d most probably be dealing with a President Pence, like theese folks at the The Guardian.

    What’s the problem with that? Well. It’s fake news. See, the 25th Amendment was mostly in response to the Kennedy assassination, but they also borrowed heavily from the time a President… I think it was Woodrow Wilson, suffered a stroke in office and his wife basically finished his term for him. The idea was to make a constitutional path for someone to take on the presidency when the president was incapacitated, but not killed. This was specifically not supposed to be used as a political tool though, so the bar for it was set much higher than other methods of removal, which on their own have some pretty high bars.

    Let’s run the scenario.

    First, Mike Pence would have to gather up a majority of Cabinet and go to war with Trump. They would have to write a declaration that the president was unfit for office, complete with their intent to replace the president with the Vice President, and deliver it to the majority senate leader.

    This would actually happen…. for about twenty-six seconds before Trump whipped a napkin out of his shirt, wrote, “I’m not incapacitated” on it, crumples it into a ball and tossed it at Mitch McConnel’s face. Remember: This law was mainly designed to remove presidents who were actually incapacitated, and was drafted in a Cold War climate. Basically… If the President couldn’t contest this, it happens.

    So President Trump would still be president. Now… Another choice would have to be made, but I doubt that Pence would pull the first plug without being willing to pull the second one, and he would write another declaration within four days that he really meant his first declaration.

    That starts a clock running, both the house and the senate have to assemble and within 48 hours, and vote on the issue within 21 days. That vote needs a two-thirds majority in both the house and the senate to pass, and if it fails to pass, Trump is still president.

    “But Jeff! That could happen! Why is this fake news?”

    Because, handy foil, Impeachment only requires two thirds of the members of ONE of the houses to remove Trump. There is no universe where section 4 of the 25th is invoked against a hostile president while Impeachment is on the table, and if the Democrats had the votes for impeachment, they would have done that first!

      • It was originally published in the WSJ of April, 24. Here’s the text:


        The Elitists’ Trump Excuse By William McGurn

        Let us stipulate that Donald Trump is unique. From his allusion to his privates during a GOP debate to the public berating of his attorney general to the nicknames he uses to disparage opponents, Mr. Trump tramples on the expected norms for a president. Some detect in Mr. Trump’s brand of vituperation an assault on the values and virtues that democracy requires to thrive. In this line of thinking, Mr. Trump is morally unfit for the Oval Office. Some speak even more darkly. In her new book, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says the world today has become a “petri dish” for fascism, calls Mr. Trump “the least democratic president of modern history” and notes that Mussolini, too, promised to “drain the swamp.”
        There is, however, a flip side to Mr. Trump’s speech and behavior. It has to do with the willingness of those who know better (or ought to know better) to look the other way so long as Mr. Trump is the target. So which is more damaging to the American body politic—the schoolyard taunts and threats of Mr. Trump, or the anti-Trump opportunism of “polite” society?
        The election and its aftermath have been an education in how the smart set responds when the American people refuse the judgment of their self-styled betters. In its most honest form, it is the “Resist!” movement. In the more genteel version, it turns out to mean not just opposing Mr. Trump’s policies, which people can reasonably do, but throwing fairness and principle to the wind so long as it might help bring down the 45th president. Consider:
        • In the thick of the 2016 election, the New York Times ran a front-page article in which it advertised that the particular dangers posed by Mr. Trump’s candidacy meant that the long-held norm of journalism— objectivity—might have to give way to a more oppositional approach.
        • Good liberals once found the idea of spying on American citizens without just cause unconscionable. But when the target is a former Trump campaign associate, it becomes OK to get a warrant based on an unverified dossier paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
        • James Clapper, President Obama’s director of national intelligence, revised procedures to make it easier for executive branch officials to “unmask” the names of Americans in intelligence reports and share the information among themselves, making leaks all but inevitable. The illegal leak of Mike Flynn’s name in connection with a phone conversation with Russia’s ambassador was one result. But again, it doesn’t matter because he was a Trump transition official.
        • When Sally Yates was acting attorney general and President Trump issued an executive order on immigration she objected to, Ms. Yates ordered the entire Justice Department not to obey, despite a finding from the department’s Office of Legal Counsel that the order was lawful. She was applauded in her insubordination by Andrew Weissmann, then a Justice attorney, who now serves on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. But it’s all for a good cause, right?
        • In the middle of a #MeToo moment ostensibly all about more respect for women, the president’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has been derided as everything from a “summer whore” to “a slightly chunky soccer mom.” Though the columnist who wrote the latter has since apologized, the accomplished Mrs. Sanders must wonder what happened to “when they go low, we go high?”
        • The pardon power enjoyed by the president is among the most unfettered in the Constitution. But because the president is Mr. Trump, and the pardon for controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has opted for lawlessness: appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the pardon’s legitimacy, in clear violation of the separation of powers.
        Meanwhile, week after week, the same people who accuse Mr. Trump of lacking depth and nuance toss off allusions to Hilter, Stalin and a parade of murderous dictators. Channeling Mrs. Clinton, they insist that anyone who would chose Mr. Trump over her—or God forbid, agree to serve in a Trump administration— isn’t just wrong but forever morally tainted.
        The people aren’t stupid. The 63 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump—some as an unappealing but better alternative to Mrs. Clinton, but many with gusto—recognize that what is going on here is a concerted effort to overturn the results of a legitimate presidential election. Is it really unreasonable to ask whether this might be as much of a threat to American democracy as anything Mr. Trump has said or done?
        To point to the double standard isn’t in any way to justify Mr. Trump’s more boorish displays. It is, however, to say that the standard ought to work both ways: Whatever the president’s sins, they are no excuse for not asking whether the double standards of his critics in polite society might be just as corrupting to American democracy— and why it is that Donald Trump’s “betters” are so often so much worse.

        Write to

        • Thank you, Zashin. I am… flabbergasted. The Wall Street Journal publishing such an indictment of the Establishment Elite is amazing.

          There is a ray of hope that others on the coasts see the destructive course the anti-Trump crowd is on, and are seeking to (finally!) curtail the downward spiral.

          Or maybe they simply see that they have a lot to lose, when the New Right uses these same tactics. How about the full force of the Intel and law enforcement community focused on spying on a Democrat candidate? Heck, why not on all of them? It is only money.

          Traditional Libs better fix this shit soon: 2020 is not that far away.

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