“Gotcha!” Ethics (Or The Absence There-Of): The Solicitor General Misspeaks

“Boy, what an idiot!”

Immediately, the shameless agents of “the resistance” in the blogosphere, cyberspace and the mainstream media leaped on the gaffe with the enthusiasm of jackals encountering  fresh carrion. Here is a typical example, from ThinkProgress:

“In Francisco’s defense, this is probably a slip-up. He probably meant to say that Trump has praised Islam as one of the greatest religions of the world. But still, it’s a slip-up that seems more likely to happen if you truly believe that Muslims are all the same. “

Now the accusation is that Francisco thinks “all Muslims are the same”? Morons! The Solicitor General doesn’t argue his personal beliefs or positions, but the government’s. Moreover, Francisco isn’t “Trump’s lawyer” as this consistently dishonest and rapidly partisan cyber-rag claims, but the United States of America’s lawyer. This is ThinkProgress taking the typical, current, Angry Left position that anyone who works for the Administration must also hold the parody of its alleged beliefs the “resistance” claims in its propaganda and fearmongering. ThinkProgress has no idea what Noel Francisco thinks about Muslims or Islam. Lawyers are not their clients, Francisco isn’t Trump, and Trump never said that Islam is “one of the greatest countries of the world.” What he said, in a 2017 speech in Saudi Arabia that was intentionally conciliatory to Islam,

“The Middle East is rich with natural beauty, vibrant cultures, and massive amounts of historic treasures. It should increasingly become one of the great global centers of commerce and opportunity.This region should not be a place from which refugees flee, but to which newcomers flock. Saudi Arabia is home to the holiest sites in one of the world’s great faiths…”

Francisco’s mistake in oral argument was absolutely meaningless, trivial, and without consequence. No Justice corrected it, because they all knew what Francisco meant to say, and also because most of them have probably done worse.  The actual quote he referred to was probably in his brief. Yet this arrogant and vicious cabal of progressive scolds nonetheless piled on, to embarrass Francisco, to attack the President, to throw their petty tantrum because they are going to lose on this issue, as they should , as they always should have. Now they will move on to their next effort to make governing as difficult as possible for the elected President, and as painful as possible for those who serve the nation along with him.

As I just wrote to a commenter on Ethics Alarms who debased himself by raising Francisco’s slip of the tongue, an oral argument before the nation’s highest court is incredibly stressful. The most brilliant, most prepared, most composed lawyers frequently stumble and stutter when they are under that microscope. Anyone who mocks a lawyer who makes a mere verbal miscue while broiling under a harsh professional spotlight with such massive stakes—as all Supreme Court cases have–is displaying ignorance, being a jerk, or both.

And let us consider Mr. Francisco, who is, it is a fair wager, more educated and astute than all of the cheap-shot artists taking aim at him combined. He is the first Asian American to serve as Solicitor General, meaning that the typical social justice assassins chasing him now would have almost certainly let his gaffe go unnoticed upon if he happened to be black, Hispanic, or work for Barack Obama. He earned a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago, and received his Juris Doctor with high honors  from the University of Chicago Law School. Next Francisco served as a law clerk for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and later for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Scalia, you may have heard, did not suffer fools gladly.

Francisco joined the law firm of Cooper, Carvin, & Rosenthal, now known as Cooper & Kirk. In 2001, Francisco was appointed as an Associate Counsel to President Bush in the Office of Counsel to the President. He later moved to the Office of Legal Counsel for the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice. Francisco left Justice to enter private law practice, joining the prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm Jones Day (they wouldn’t hire me) , eventually becoming the chair of the firm’s Government Regulation Practice. He argued several cases before the Supreme Court, and numerous cases in the lower federal and state courts. He was appointed by President Donald Trump to the position of Principal Deputy Solicitor General for the United States, served as the Acting Solicitor General, and then was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become Solicitor General.

I’m tempted to go on a rant about this pathetic “gotcha!” game the anti-Trump media has been playing. But I won’t, even though it is the equivalent of those who want to argue with a post here focusing on typos. Those kind of below-the-belt commenters don’t get out of the spam bin, because they are being assholes. So is the Left when it makes a news story out of a trivial slip of the tongue. Anything to justify attacking the President or anyone or anything connected to the President.

They don’t realize how terrible, desperate, ugly this makes them look, how much it alienates fair and rational Americans, and the price they will pay for stooping so low, so often.

The full oral argument is here.

24 thoughts on ““Gotcha!” Ethics (Or The Absence There-Of): The Solicitor General Misspeaks

  1. To those paying attention it is pathetic and ugly. To those who don’t, this gotcha behavior is intended to provide the Alinskyite margin of victory at the polls.

    The Left’s real problem with Trump is they hate facing a competent counter puncher who will not let bullshit stand as fact. (Yes, he, too, is full of it often, but I’ll stand with him against neo-Marxists all day long.)

  2. I posted this on the other blog, but thought to was worth repeating here, with a little deeper discussion…

    The assertion was the later words could not negate things said while campaigning, in other words, campaign rhetoric and promises. This is a peculiar stance to take: politicians say things all the time that are rhetoric, hyperbole, misstatements, partial truths, and outright lies.

    (Not to mention that if EVERY POLITICIAN were held to this standard, we would not have any left.)

    If you like your plan… if you like your doctor… hope and change… require employers to provide seven sick days year… Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center… Allow five days of public comment before signing bills…
    Tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials (this is my favorite, the irony is delicious)

    All that was Obama. Bush (both of them) did the same, as did slickwilly Clinton, and (I suspect, as I was too young to pay attention) Reagan before them. Campaign promises seem to be made to be broken, and no one prior to the ‘get Trump’ folks would have attempted to claim that they were binding in law.

    Some of those were not campaign promises, but spoken by a sitting President. Does that make them less binding than campaign rhetoric?

    Where is the outrage about the outright lies told by a POTUS, knowing that he was lying to the American people to pass a program that would substantially harm most of them?

    People are beginning to pay attention. Acting like an asshat gets noticed, and noted, by voters. It speaks for itself, and normal folks know that people who act like it are not trustworthy in everyday life. It should preclude the progressives ballyhooed ‘Blue Wave’ later this year.

    And if it doesn’t, the American experiment really will be over, and deservedly so.

    • Simple naked partisanship. The Democratic party’s platform is beginning to boil down to nothing except “we hate Trump.” Hating as your main plank, or a big main plank, usually doesn’t work against an incumbent. Hate didn’t unseat Obama in 2012, it didn’t unseat GWB in 2004, and it didn’t unseat Clinton in 1996. It frankly shouldn’t work. Anger and hate are all well and good in their own way, but eventually they fade and then you still have to get down to business. You can strut around the stage congratulating yourself and virtue signaling for only so long before you have to get down to governing.

  3. Yes…I think they’ve gone so far that the underdog factor has kicked in. Even if they don’t like him, a lot of people have started to feel sorry for him over the way people are treating him. The level of vitriol is just SO over the top that it’s
    jarring. Even putting aside the constant nasty ridicule, the way they are trying to invoke various Amendments to usher him out of office in what has been called a ‘soft coup’ by one proponent, is horrifying to anyone who ever stayed awake in civics class*. It’s they themselves who are broadcasting their ignorance of how the Republic functions, and their willingness to tear it apart to get at one person.

    He’ll be voted in for a second term, and they’ll wonder why….heaven help us all…or, they’ll be shocked! shocked, I tell you, when the next Dem gets in and every typo is a laugh riot, every bad hair day or weight gain is national news. Cries of ‘It’s not faaaaaaiiirr!’ will ring across the land. Made, bed, lie…to the ongoing detriment of society.

    * No expert am I, but I was always loved civics class, learning how the government was formed, the Constitution written, and of the Founding Fathers vision…so far ahead of their times. I was astounded after the election to see the wailing about how Trump was going to overturn all past Supreme Court decisions pertaining to women’s rights, abortion, and birth control, how he would single-handedly declare war, push the nuke button, the astounding ignorance of how the government functions. It really has saddened me.

      • I am not thrilled at the prospect, but I do trust that the Democrat Party will find a candidate to top TRUMP in the 2020 election – if TRUMP runs.

        Let me re-phrase that: If he runs, I trust that the Democrat Party is capable of finding a candidate who can win against him in 2020. Whether that will happen, though, well, I am starting to doubt.

          • Still too early to tell. I think Biden COULD win if he ran, but would not be guaranteed to win. Most of the rest of the Democratic bench has a lot of problems.

            • Too early? To be certain about the 2020 election in 2018? before anyone knows who’s running? Ya think?
              Biden would have beaten Trump in 2016. He has no chance, none, of being nominated in 2020. The Democrats have trapped themselves into having to pick a woman, and probably a minority woman. Anything else will alienate their ridiculous “base.”

              • Biden is a #meetoo trainwreck looking for a suburb… like a tornado looking for a trailer park. He is MR. Creepy incarnate, and that baggage would be used against him by the New Right in a heartbeat.

                The Democrats have to know this.

        • If they don’t scour the retirement community soon, they’d better find someone quickly that they can bill as a rock star…

          After Jack’s mention of it, I kind of hope that Nikki Haley gives Trump a run for his money in the GOP primaries.

          • “[T]they’d better find someone quickly that they can bill as a rock star…

            That someone is Oprah. All she has to do is say, “Oh, well…OK.”

            I have had similar hopes about Nikki Haley, but even she still leaves me feeling “Eeyorish.” If the President really, truly wants all this crap for four more years, and she runs against him and wins the primaries, I can’t picture his supporters dutifully switching to push the button next to her instead. A Haley nomination would be a rejection of TRUMP despite any successes he can claim, and would split the Republican party wide open – split wider still, if TRUMP decides to run for re-election as an independent. And, even if a Haley nomination did not split the Republicans, in a woman-vs.-woman contest, Oprah would beat Haley in 45 states.

            I might have missed on my prediction that Hlary Cnton would be the 45th president, but all that did was to put me in the same league with the world’s best prognosticators who made the same mistake. In 2020, if the D party nominates Hlary again, then that party will be split wide open – and might win the White House anyway, despite my doubts.

  4. Asian Americans don’t count as a minority to the progressive left. They are “over-represented” in all areas of high educational achievement so they are excluded.

    I have a friend who fled Vietnam on a boat with NOTHING as a little child. He and his siblings are all successful professionals now. Yet they too are part of the privileged class.

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