Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 2/26/2019: Horribles

GRRRRRRR!

I have to get my reply brief to that %$#@!#&%! Ethics Alarms defamation suit in today, and I just KNOW the online filing system isn’t going to work..

1. College basketball ethics. See? Baseball isn’t the only sport I follow! Zion Williamson, one of college basketball’s biggest stars and a potential NBA star as well, injured his knee after one of his Nike shoes split less than a minute into Duke’s game against North Carolina last week. Not only does Nike have a likely product liability lawsuit on its hands, while Williamson’s bright career is suddenly in limbo, the freak accident raised—AGAIN–issues of the propriety of the way universities like Duke handle big money sports. The New York Times asked:

“Here were all the issues of big-time college sports laid bare: Should amateurism be curbed in college sports, allowing athletes a cut of the money they help produce? Should a prodigious talent like Williamson, who is good enough to play professionally right now, have to risk his future competing for free because of an N.B.A. rule prohibiting him from leaping to the league from high school? Do the sneaker companies, which were at the heart of a federal fraud trial near the start of the season, do more harm than good in college sports?”

Answers: No, No, and Yes. Big time sports are a source of corruption in all colleges that feature them. Nobody should be admitted to college to play basketball or football. If they don’t want to learn, then there should be no place for athletes in college. Allowing universities to be participants in the business of sports to the extent that universities like Duke are is a travesty of education, and guarantees misconduct.

2. The shadow of Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood’s hypocrisy hung over the 2019 Oscars, but few noted it.

Donna Gigliotti produced the Oscars telecast. There has been no accountability for the many, many stars and Hollywood figures of both genders who enabled Weinstein’s crimes for years, then became #MeToo activists as soon as he no longer had the power to enrich them. [Pointer: Victory Girls]

3. Hasn’t this been obvious all along? Bloggress Ann Althouse does a terrific job deconstructing a New York Times article, a “Trump is Epic,” a conversation between columnists  Gail Collins and alleged conservative (who wants to repeal the second Amendment) Bret Stephens,  that could have been a parody of mainstream media bias and “resistance” false reasoning, but wasn’t. I didn’t have the heart or the stomach to fisk it, the thing is such self-evident crap: Thanks, Ann! She writes in part…

Anticipating a fizzle of a Muller report, Collins searches her feelings to find something that could be big: “Still feeling that the real disaster for Trump is going to come with the investigations into his business practices in New York.” Stephens says that his “guess” too. He expresses concern about Trump’s inauguration committee and campaign-finance violations, but he thinks they won’t amount to much if the Russian collusion story doesn’t stick. So instead of concentrating on “what Trump might have done behind people’s backs,” we should shift our concern to “what he does every day in plain sight.” So Collins poses the question, “Which horrible things the president has done lately seem most appalling to you?” Stephens indicates he’s ready to go — “Well, that list is long” — but then he chooses to “start by praising Trump on a couple of fronts”:

I think he’s shown moral leadership on Venezuela, by getting much of the world to recognize Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president and drawing attention to the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding under the Maduro regime. And I’m also glad he’s partially reversed course and will keep at least some troops in Syria….

 …[T]he first appalling thing Stephens comes up with —the declaration of a national emergency over border security. Second is calling the NYT “a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE” (the caps are Trump’s). And then “hankering for a deal” with North Korea, the “desire to start another trade war with Europe,” and “lies and exaggerations and demagoguery about the purported evils of illegal immigration.” And… “his overall comportment continues to be a foul stain on the office of the presidency.” Collins joins in with reproductive rights, domestic violence, and guns…

And then Ann writes…drum roll please?

…and it seems obvious that the main problem is what I’ve thought it’s been all along for Trump haters — they wanted the other candidate to win the last election.

Of course! Of course. From the second it became clear that Trump has upset Hillary Clinton’s coronation, he was a target, a Nazi, a threat to the Republic, and had to be removed, destroyed and undermined, for that reason alone.

Look at the “horrible things.”

  • “the declaration of a national emergency over border security.” That’s not a “horrible thing,” it’s a difference of opinion over policy. Democrats don’t think endless hordes of illegal immigrants are an emergency, because they think open borders are hunk-dory. Open borders really are horrible. Is Trump’s emergency move unconstitutional? Well we shall see, won’t we? Many non-horrible legal experts think he is within his powers.
  • Calling the Times an “enemy of the people”? Personally, I think he’s right. Speaking the hard truth isn’t horrible.
  • “Hankering for a deal” with North Korea–huh? Who doesn’t want a deal with North Korea? Obama’s deal with Iran wasn’t horrible, but any deal Trump cuts with North Korea is? Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!
  • “desire to start another trade war with Europe”-–false framing, and again, a policy difference over trade philosophies.
  • lies and exaggerations and demagoguery about the purported evils of illegal immigration.” Wait, WHAT? “Purported evils”?
  • “reproductive rights”–like the right to kill babies after failed abortions?
  • “domestic violence”–When has Trump endorsed domestic violence? Meanwhile, Democrats had a co-chair they didn’t force to resign who was accused of domestic violence, and has a Lt. Governor in Virginia who’s been accused of rape, twice.
  • “Guns” GUNS? Trump has done horrible things because he supports the Second Amendment, unlike Collins and Stephens?
  • “his overall comportment.” Well, they got me there: his comportment is horrible. But the electorate voted for him knowing what his comportment would be.

So Ann is right, and I’ve been right since all this started. The false narrative is that Trump is horrible, when in fact the horror to Democrats is that he doesn’t support their cherished positions. When they are tricked, or stumble, into making their case, it is jaw-droppingly clear: his crime was defeating Hillary Clinton, and unravelling the policies of Barack Obama, both fair,  legal and legitimate courses by an elected POTUS.

It’s like the racism Big Lie: ask people why they are so sure Trump is a racist, and they always have the same thin, dishonest list. He said Barack Obama wasn’t a natural born citizen, (He said the same think about white Ted Cruz.) He said all Mexicans were killers and rapists (No, he didn’t.) He’s anti-immigrant. (No, he’s anti illegal immigration, like the laws of the United States he is sworn to protect.) He said a judge was unqualified because he was Mexican-American. (No, he said that a Mexican-American judge was likely to be biased against him, which is defensible, if wrong, position.) He tried to ban Muslims from coming here. (No, he tried to block immigration from countries with high levels of Muslim terrorism as a security measure.) Racists support Trump. (Anti-white racists supported Barack Obama. Someone does not transfer their misconduct to you by supporting you.) There are more, but they are all based on confirmation bias and the prior presumption that Trump is racist, because that’s what they want the public to believe he is.

Trump’s “deportment” allows “the resistance,” media and Democrats to get away with this, and that’s his fault. It does not, however, make the Big Lies true. The assault on Trump is entirely based on his electoral victory, and as such, a rejection of our system and democracy for narrow political ends.

THAT’s “horrible.”

 

14 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 2/26/2019: Horribles

  1. Typical comment on Alhouse’s post—and remember, she’s moderate Left, as in “not bat-shit crazy”:

    “Trump is succeeding. That’s now the complaint. He’s succeeding, however, the wrong way. His success is pragmatic. Things work. The economy is doing great. We’re at peace and withdrawing from foreign conflicts.
    According to the NYT, he should be on a moral crusade to eradicate bigotry. The anti-bigotry crusade must go on! The anti-bigotry crusade took a big hit over the past few weeks. So little bigotry around that it has to be manufactured. But, we must stamp out every last bigot or else…

    • The anti-bigotry crusade must go on! The anti-bigotry crusade took a big hit over the past few weeks. So little bigotry around that it has to be manufactured. But, we must stamp out every last bigot or else…

      …nuke every conservative holdout from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

      There. Completed that thought for him. “Or else…” should always be followed by some consequence, n’est ce pas?

  2. “the declaration of a national emergency over border security.” That’s not a “horrible thing,” it’s a difference of opinion over policy. Democrats don’t think endless hordes of illegal immigrants are an emergency, because they think open borders are hunk-dory. Open borders really are horrible. Is Trump’s emergency move unconstitutional? Well we shall see, won’t we? Many non-horrible legal experts think he is within his powers.

    My guess would be, given that Congress is considering a bill to censure the emergency declaration, is that the Supreme Court will rule narrowly that the definition of an emergency is a political question that Congress already has the tools to address.

    Congress passed the law giving the president the powers. It retains the power to pass a law blocking the particular declaration; it could repeal the emergency declaration law entirely (and override a veto to boot).

    Thus if Congress fails to censure, or gets vetoed, it was the political choice of the legislators who concur with the President (by voting against censure) that allows him to exercise his law-given prerogative to declare an emergency, rather than strictly presidential overreach.

    • I’m not sure about that. Congress cannot retroactively declare illegal what was legal under current law. They can eliminate the power going forward, but not backwards. And their definition now is irrelevant to the legal issue. The legislative intent at the time is what counts.

      • They could pass a law that:

        1. Repeals the power of the president to declare emergencies, and;
        2. Declare the current declaration of emergency null and void.

        That would be within their power, assuming they could override an expected veto. Trump does not retain the power if congress passes a law to repeal it. The existing emergency declaration could also be undone by that or another act of congress, because once the power has been undelegated, the power to undo it would lie with them. The president cannot retain a power Congress has explicitly re-reserved to itself, even ex post facto, since there are no legal consequences unless the president tries to enforce a power he no longer has.

        Just as congress delegated the power to begin with, it can undelegate the power and undeclare the emergency, I believe — as long as they can override a presidential veto.

        But I think they’d have to do both.

        • If they could pass legislation revoking the powers, and that would stop this particular declaration of Nation Emergency, don’t you think that would also stop the other thirty-odd still in effect since 1979?

          http://fortune.com/2019/01/10/states-of-emergency-since-1979/

          Be careful whose ox you are goring, Democrats! You want to ease sanctions on North Korea, or fund Venezuelan dictators, or support terrorists? What a field day for the right!

          I say, make them all null and void. They are scams to make the Swamp rich.

          • If they could pass legislation revoking the powers, and that would stop this particular declaration of Nation Emergency, don’t you think that would also stop the other thirty-odd still in effect since 1979?

            Nope. Not unless they included them. Here’s why:

            1. Those emergencies were invoked while the power was lawfully delegated to the President;

            2. Thus, to cancel those emergency declarations, Congress would have to pass a law explicitly revoking all national emergencies they wished to revoke. As Jack pointed out, they can’t undo past acts legally performed while the power was delegated simply by restoring it to Congress;

            3. Finally, and this hardly needs mentioning, the President would have to sign the bill or Congress would have to override an expected veto.

            I say, make them all null and void. They are scams to make the Swamp rich.

            I have no problem with that. Congress probably would for the reasons you intimate.

              • Hey, you never know. I have seen things that looked like a slam dunk only to have some jurist write persuasively in the alternative. We laymen do what we can with what’s in front of us.

  3. My question deals with “Congressional oversight”. My understanding is that oversight of the Executive Branch involves oversight of activities of the agencies that are supervised by the President and not investigations of unrelated personal activities of the president. Where does Adam Schiff derive power to investigate Trump before the election under the House oversight responsibilities enumerated in the Constitution?

    • He would probably tell you that it has to do with potential conflicts of interest that may make Trump’s actions harmful to the “…interests of the American people” and motivated by a corrupt desire to enrich himself at our expense.

      Although when he says that, he is manifestly not talking about you, me, or others that don’t believe what Schiff does. Never mind if Trump is actually serving his constituents exactly as he said he would — Schiff thinks (or at least, represents — who knows if he’s ever actually had a coherent thought) that it’s all a corrupt effort by Trump to deceive America and help his business interests.

      Can you say, “Get Trump by any means necessary?” I knew you could…

      • Glenn,
        Every president has potential. I cannot find any suggestion in the Articles of the Constitution that gives Congress oversight powers beyond that which has or is proposed to occur. Schiff’s interpretation would create the potential for weaponizing oversight based solely on what ifs.

        • Schiff’s interpretation would create the potential for weaponizing oversight based solely on what ifs.

          Bingo!

          The problem is, Congress can effectively interpret their oversight role any way they want to, unless someone sues at the Supreme Court and wins.

          Just like the President invoking a national emergency in the present situation, I would say.

          And weaponizing oversight is precisely the Democrats’ intent here. They would argue that the president is doing the same thing to the executive, whether we would agree or not.

  4. Trump’s “deportment” allows “the resistance,” media and Democrats to get away with this, and that’s his fault. It does not, however, make the Big Lies true. The assault on Trump is entirely based on his electoral victory, and as such, a rejection of our system and democracy for narrow political ends.

    Yeah, that’s right, I think. The Left and their enablers on the right are so invested in moral superiority to the president, even the things he does that they agree with must be found deficient in some way as to render them “horrible.”

    Also, it’s risible seeing these people in the article list policy disagreements, disagreements that permeate our entire body politic where both sides have significant support, as among the “horribles.” That means, dear friends, that every policy disagreement we have with Democrats and liberal Rino-cons may be classified under that rubric.

    So all of us conservatives who are to the right of Susan Collins are “horribles.” As Kurt Schlichter says,

    It’s time to stop pretending that people who hate our guts don’t hate our guts, and that given the chance they won’t act exactly like people who hate our guts would act.

    Exactly. And they are trying to use Trump to get you (and me) out of the way. Permanently.

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