On one of Sunday’s talking head shows, Rep. Gerald Nadler (D-NY), whom you might remember pre-diet as one of the most vociferous defenders of President Clinton during the House impeachment hearings, said that there was no question that President Trump had obstructed justice. Asked why, then, the House wasn’t seeking impeachment, Nadler said, “We don’t have the facts yet.” Yes, it’s that again: “the resistance” is positive that the President broke the law somewhere, some how, without any evidence that he broke the law. They just know, that’s all. I’ve been reading Trump-deranged commenters making the same set of arguments for three years now, usually followed by, “If he’s innocent, what’s he afraid of?,” a statement that sounds more comfortable in German, Russian, or Chinese.
This is not how our justice system or our political system is supposed to work, nor is it a proper use of Congress’s investigation and oversight powers. As as been typical of the Democrats’ Bizarro World reasoning, Rep. Elijah Cummings called the President’s defiance an attack on the Separation of Powers. No, it is an attack on the Separation of Powers when Congress cynically sets out to interfere with the ability of the Executive to discharge his Constitutional duties by launching endless, unjustified investigations. In particular, the President is performing a national service by refusing to allow Congress to demand his tax returns. The tax returns of all American must be confidential and private. If Congress can demand and acquire anyone’s tax returns based on speculation alone, then no citizen’s tax documents are safe.
Obama Whisperer David Axelrod inadvertently spoke the truth in a tweet that said,
“Maybe I’m missing something, but the hazard of an omnibus document demand by House judiciary versus discreet, serial ones is that, however legitimate the areas of inquiry, the wide-ranging nature of it is too easily plays into the “witch-hunt” meme.”
This has been widely, and I believe fairly, translated as “If we are going to have a witch hunt, we shouldn’t be so obvious about it.” Only time will tell whether Democrats playing to their mouth-foaming, Trump-crazed base will prevail (with the help of the news media’s slanted reporting), but once again, it seems to be aimed at the more gullible and less intelligent voter. Over at Althouse, the mostly moderate commentariat seemed to see through the sham pretty easily. Examples:
- “When is a witch hunt not a witch hunt? When it’s a fishing expedition.”
- “It’s a Democrat party power grab. Witchhunt is just a description of means, not intent.”
- “Can’t wait for civil libertarians to come to the defense of the individuals caught up in this abuse of power. Oh wait. This does not rise to the level of a witch hunt. It is worse.”
- “Keep checking off boxes on the Witch Hunt checklist and it’s only a matter time before Republicans Pounce! and claim it’s a witch hunt.”
And many, many more.
In a related development, a useless and predictable poll is being widely celebrated that claims that a majority of Americans think that Trump committed crimes prior to being elected. I guess its a good teaching aid for confirmation bias classes: Republicans mostly don’t think he committed crimes, and Democrats overwhelmingly do. Note that most polled aren’t lawyers, so they really have only a vague idea what a crime is. (Paying off a porn star who’s blackmailing you is not a crime, for example.) Note also that it is not surprising that the news media’s constant “Trump may have…” stories have an effect on polling.
If I had to choose, I’d say the odds favor Trump violating one or more laws as a private citizen and businessman. Most individuals in his fields—hotels, construction and casinos, not to mention show business—break laws. Also most people like Trump, who do not have fully functioning ethics alarms, tend to break laws too. However, whether the public thinks someone broke laws or not has little value, especially when such a question is selectively asked. I know Hillary Clinton committed crimes. If Democrats weren’t bothered by that, why should I care whether they think Trump broke laws too?