Ethics Villains Of The Impeachment Coup, Part II

Is it really a coup attempt? Ethics Alarms has been calling the assault on the Trump Presiency that for quite a while. The reflex reaction I get from the Facebook Borg and others  is to deflect the accusation by sneering about “Fox News talking points.” I don’t use talking points. I almost never watch Fox News. A lot of intelligent, knowledgeable people know a coup when they see one; it isn’t hard. I suspect many of the Trump-Hate Brigade that ridicule that diagnosis know it’s a coup too. And they want one.

That means that they have abandoned the idea of American democracy. They may be the most important villains of the attempted impeachment coup.

With a recent essay, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi identified himself as one of the very few progressives with the integrity to call out his side of the ideological spectrum for what it is doing to the nation. He wrote in part:

I’ve lived through a few coups. They’re insane, random, and terrifying, like watching sports, except your political future depends on the score. The kickoff begins when a key official decides to buck the executive. From that moment, government becomes a high-speed head-counting exercise. Who’s got the power plant, the airport, the police in the capital? How many department chiefs are answering their phones? Who’s writing tonight’s newscast?

…We have long been spared this madness in America. Our head-counting ceremony was Election Day. We did it once every four years.

That’s all over, in the Trump era.

On Thursday, news broke that two businessmen said to have “peddled supposedly explosive information about corruption involving Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden” were arrested at Dulles airport on “campaign finance violations.” The two figures are alleged to be bagmen bearing “dirt” on Democrats, solicited by Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman will be asked to give depositions to impeachment investigators. They’re reportedly going to refuse. Their lawyer John Dowd also says they will “refuse to appear before House Committees investigating President Donald Trump.” Fruman and Parnas meanwhile claim they had real derogatory information about Biden and other politicians, but “the U.S. government had shown little interest in receiving it through official channels.”

For Americans not familiar with the language of the Third World, that’s two contrasting denials of political legitimacy.

The men who are the proxies for Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani in this story are asserting that “official channels” have been corrupted. The forces backing impeachment, meanwhile, are telling us those same defendants are obstructing a lawful impeachment inquiry.

This latest incident, set against the impeachment mania and the reportedly “expanding” Russiagate investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham, accelerates our timeline to chaos. We are speeding toward a situation when someone in one of these camps refuses to obey a major decree, arrest order, or court decision, at which point Americans will get to experience the joys of their political futures being decided by phone calls to generals and police chiefs.

…My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having .a bad president.  

“The people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump.”

Exactly. Ethics Alarms has been hammering this point since November 2016. How do we get that through the thick skulls of the biased, badly-educated, misinformed, hate-filled and fearful general public when most of the news media is made up of “the people” Taibbi is warning against?

Now here’s Michael Goodwin. He’s a conservative columnist, often too conservative for me. But he has eyes and ears, and knows his civics…

…We are now floating free of rules and restraint. Anything goes and there is no end in sight… Half the country blames Trump for our national discord, and they are partially right, though not for the reasons they believe. To point the finger at him for the bitter polarization is either ignorance or historic revisionism. America was deeply divided under the three previous presidents, so Trump cannot be solely responsible. Like most presidents, he is a ­reaction to what came before….

[S]ingling out Trump for the turmoil engulfing the country is possible only if you disregard the No. 1 contributor: the refusal of Democrats and most of the media to accept the results of the 2016 election. That refusal has become, among many on the left, borderline psychotic. Nothing else compares to the damage it is doing to our ­nation’s fabric and global image….The continuing challenge to his legitimacy is a cancer on the republic.

It is one thing for a president to suffer brickbats for failures and mistakes. That’s fair game. But no president in modern times has also faced endless assaults on his right to even set foot in the Oval Office and exercise the powers of the presidency. Yet here we are, nearing the third anniversary of his election by a decisive margin, and still the resistance to his right to govern rages on.

The precedent is terrifying. If this is the start of losers always declaring election results invalid, America is doomed….

Ann Althouse, a centrist law professor and blogger, also can see what’s happening. She writes of Goodwin’s piece,

I strongly agree with that opinion.  I am not a Trump supporter, but I have stood firm since the election on this point: Trump won, his supporters prevailed, and they are entitled to what they won. That’s why we go to so much trouble over the election. We’re currently troubling ourselves endlessly over the 2020 election, but why should we if the new game is to destroy whatever victory is achieved? Do Democrats think they can sell the idea that when they win, they get to keep what they won, but if the other party wins, it’s “a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham?” I don’t accept it, and I’m a moderate swing voter in a swing state.

I question Ann’s use of a silly Woody Allen quote (from “Bananas”) in this context. This isn’t funny. This is a catastrophe, and we all better find a more effective way to explain it to the deranged, the confused and the idiots. I fear that it’s all in their hands.

29 thoughts on “Ethics Villains Of The Impeachment Coup, Part II

  1. If someone in the leadership of the resistance doesn’t wise up and soon, November 4, 2020 will likely be among the darkest days in American history.

    • The Resistance is not asleep. They want chaos. They want disunity. They thrive on confusion.

      Nothing the Resistance has done over the last three years leads to any other conclusion. This is Saul Alinsky at its best, led by Hillary Clinton and the Impeachanistas. There was/is no basis for the Russia Collusion Catastrophe, just as there is no basis for Ukraingate, unless the real intent is for the DNC to kill off Joe Biden by saying, “Uh, Joe? It doesn’t make sense to impeach Trump when, you know . . . uh . . . you kinda openly admitted to doing the same thing. Maybe you should sit this one out. C’mon, Joe. Take one for the Team. Your family will be fine.” Add to that the Deep State and what do we have? A coup de tat, just not with Molotov Cocktails, machine guns, and a defecting military.

      This is a slow motion attack on the very institutions of the government. The Executive Branch, with Orange Man Bad in the Oval Office, has been declared illegitimate. The Judiciary, with Gorsuch (to an extent) and Kavanaugh, has been declared a tool of the Illegitimati. That only leaves the Legislature, with its arcane rules and procedures doing its level best to thwart Trump at every step. Republicans are tacitly involved because Republicans know what they want = more terms in power.

      jvb

  2. This is a catastrophe, and we all better find a more effective way to explain it to the deranged, the confused and the idiots. I fear that it’s all in their hands.

    Do you really think such a way exists?

    We have now devolved into listening only to those with whom we agree. You basically explained that yourself in the first paragraph.

    Jack, you are as eloquent and passionate a writer as exists in this world. Do you think what you have written above will persuade even the very few Leftists that read it? I suspect you don’t, and I’m convinced, rightly or wrongly (and very, very sadly), of the same thing.

    In Star Trek, the original series, Mr. Spock once said to an alien image of the Vulcan hero Surak:

    “It is not logical that you are Surak. There is no fact, extrapolation of fact or theory, which would make possible…”

    Stealing from Spock’s inescapable logic, I assert that there is no fact, extrapolation of fact or theory that will make this country continue to work if the Democrats and media don’t find some way off this track they are on.

    The only plausible result of failure is some kind of a revolution, either one in which the government suppresses the dissent of the citizens of this country and implements some kind of woke totalitarian society reminiscent of 1984, or an outright insurrection which metastasizes into a full blown civil conflict leading ultimately to the breakup of the United States.

    In fact, I think there is no longer any way to continue in our current form. Somewhere in the last 20 years, we crossed a Rubicon without really knowing it. How long all this will take to wash out is hard to know — it could be an immediate bloody blowup or it could simmer for years, even decades, like a slow-growing cancer.

    But I have come to believe that there is no longer a magic bullet, and that the vast reservoir of will required to prevent this outcome is no longer present. Perhaps a bloody horror of some kind, like a 9/11, or a plague, or an asteroid strike can reunite the country, but even that looks unlikely to last. Of course, I admit that may be too pessimistic. And how have we come to such a pass that our only hope for survival as founded may be the loss of many lives to some unforeseen event?

    I feel like we have reached, and most likely passed, the point of no return. Words will no longer get it done, no matter how eloquent, wise or profound. And unlike “anthropogenic climate change,” I think this is actually real, and imminent.

  3. “The precedent is terrifying. If this is the start of losers always declaring election results invalid, America is doomed….”

    This isn’t the start, though. We had the 2000 election, after all. This is just a continuation of Democrat Party politics that cannot understand why they could lose despite promising free everything and is trickling down to the state level with people like Stacey Abrams.

  4. Glen

    I fear you are correct. I do not see anyone on either side of the aisle up to the challenge of unifying the nation.

    We crossed the Rubicon when we attempted to correct past injustice with future injustice. This led to new found power that would inevitably lead to fights to protect such advantage.

    My concern is that if Trump is driven out or is so badly tarnished that he does not get reelected the Democrats will see this as a viable tactic to gain advantage over their challengers. Conversely, if Republicans begin to fight fire with fire problems will only escalate.

    The way I see it, even if Trump gets impeached , he needs to be reelected even if I would like to see a more worthy (read Presidential) candidate. This will prevent others from engaging in similar tactics. To avoid a full scale conflict, the winner of the 2024 election will have the enormous task of trying to give both sides a sense of true representation and fair treatment.

    • To avoid a full scale conflict, the winner of the 2024 election will have the enormous task of trying to give both sides a sense of true representation and fair treatment.

      I think this would be impossible. The leftwing has styled itself deliberately as opposition to everything a right-thinking person could possibly stand for. Even if there was a way to meet them halfway by this point, by nature of that one-and-only-one leftwing principle, they would oppose that (consider this assertion alongside the general political trajectory of the last century). It’s an intellectual, spiritual cancer which generates and thrives on resentment. Cure all resentments, and they’ll invent a new one. The only treatment is in separating ourselves from them and forming in our children an understanding of and severe intolerance toward all such (anti-)intellectual maneuvers.

        • By now, I’m hoping for just that. This pretend-unity with its expanding list of subjects one must avoid and lies in the face of which one must be silent is more tiresome than bullets. And notice how that other side is the one who has to never be offended! If there’s no response, then this passive-aggressive dance over the last few decades will have been an effeminate civil war, and we, to our eternal shame, will have lost it for fear of hurting the other side’s feelings.

          And I’ll have moved to Austria and begun spitting indignantly into the dirt every time I speak the name of this country, now populated only by hen-pecked cowards who chemically turn their own sons into “women” on the sole command of his purple-haired, gender-ambiguous elementary school teachers.

          These people have been molded by constant media conditioning to the end of making them unreasonable. There can be no hope of reasoning with them except in that whimsical sense by which I hope to have a private, walled, self-sufficient estate so I can get away from this nonsense.

    • We crossed the Rubicon when we attempted to correct past injustice with future injustice.

      This. As succinctly and perceptively stated as anything I have seen. I am totally stealing it, but crediting you.

      Well said.

  5. I have a hope that at some point Nancy Pelosi will say “Never mind,” and call a halt to her weird, undeclared, unprecedented, non-procedural impeachment “inquiry.” I think it may just run out of steam. I think it was Matt Taibbi who observed that going for impeachment over a phone call to Ukraine’s president was like deciding to impeach by pulling a ping pong ball out of a lottery thing and finding it read “Ukraine phone call.” I just think the whole undertaking is too rickety not to collapse under its own weight. It’s too preposterous. It may very well disembowel Biden and revive the Clintons. It may be wishful thinking but I think it’s running out of steam. I don’t think there will ever be a vote relative to this taken on the floor of the House.

  6. On Thursday, news broke that two businessmen said to have “peddled supposedly explosive information about corruption involving Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden” were arrested at Dulles airport on “campaign finance violations.” The two figures are alleged to be bagmen bearing “dirt” on Democrats, solicited by Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

    aH, “campaign finance violations” again.

    Has anyone noticed how broadly campaign finance laws are being interpreted? If campaign finance laws are so vague, they may be unconstitutional.

    Have an y of you heard of Stephen Lathrop?

    https://reason.com/2019/10/14/on-congressional-inquiries-and-presidential-defiance/#comment-7970541

    Whittington flies pretty wide of the mark. Whittington apparently ignores that Trump has a lot more to lose. For instance, he could lose a trial in the Senate, instead of collecting the near-certain exoneration he would be awarded if tried before further evidence can be collected.

    Thus, Trump’s non-cooperation is, without any reasonable contradiction possible, an attempt to suppress discovery of more evidence against him. And also an attempt to deny the House its prerogative to build a political case against Trump which would support impeachment and removal from office.

    Whittington also goes light on the powers available to the House. Pursuant to its impeachment inquiry, the House could monitor disbursements from the treasury, with an eye to finding any for purposes which had not been expressly appropriated. Government officers who authorized such expenditures could be subpoenaed, and held in contempt for those authorizations. They could be imprisoned by the House, without recourse to the justice system. They could be fined. Their paychecks could be garnished and their bank accounts frozen. Liens could be put on their real estate. All of that could happen alike to every Trump administration official who defied a subpoena, failed to produce documents, or lied to investigators.

    Where does Lathrop get the idea that the House could do that by itself?

    • Even worse, where does he get the idea the Executive would simply sit still for it? The first executive branch person who gets arrested on the grounds of the capitol building will be the last one that sets foot there without an armed escort, if at all.

      Also, does anyone rationally think that one “co-equal” branch has the constitutional authority to imprison another for purely political reasons? If so, I propose that the House is badly outnumbered by the executive branch in the enforcement area, and the general prohibition for using law enforcement for political purposes could be cast to the wind if the House tries such a thing.

      What is remarkable is that these people you have quoted above seem so cluelessly self-assured that the House possesses an ability in enforcement the other co-equal branches do not. Trying to play on the playground the Constitution allocates to the Executive is not a winning strategy.

      • Oh, and I forgot to mention: Suppose the judiciary orders the house to release and stop arresting people without due process of law? Would they simply demure?

        If so, I predict something that the wolf-criers have been proclaiming for years now actually happens — a Constitutional crisis.

  7. The issue for me is will the divorce be amicable or violent? Three years ago I would consider myself as crazy as Bernie for even considering separate states of America, but no longer. The issue will not involve the staggering logistics of such a divorce. How do we handle all the financial obligations? Military? On and on.

    • You know, I wonder about that, too. I don’t think we should rule out the possibility of an amiable, or at least relatively bloodless divorce.

      Unlike the Civil War, where one side wanted a breakup and the other manifestly did not, I don’t think that’s where we are if it comes to that now. Both sides want a divorce. It will be the shape of that divorce, i.e. the things both sides get, that will determine the level of bloodshed, if any.

      • The breakup may be mutually supported, but it will not be amicable. The leftists want power, and would quickly call for invasion of their recent territories.

        They would have to: their starving cities would eat them without an external war to distract the serfs.

  8. Pessimism abounds.

    Yes, I think there has been a soft coup going on for a while now.

    Soft Coup: sometimes referred to as a silent coup, is a coup d’état without the use of violence, but based on a conspiracy or plot that has as its objective the taking of state power.

    It comes down to this…

    Progressives are all in, they can’t stop their momentum now, it’s all or nothing for them, and much of the political left is following them like sheep. Progressives are willing to sacrifice everything, the United States, the Constitution, civility, peace, everything, to rid themselves of President Trump and anyone that supports him. Make no mistake about it what’s going on is a coup d’état that’s currently without the use of violence and on the surface the coup d’état appears to be against Trump and his supporters but this is just their means to an end, they want to fundamentally change the United States and turn it into a totalitarian state. They actually hate the people that are standing in their way to achieve their end goals. Their hate of their opposition, the people, has completely consumed them, the ends justify any means, there’s no turning back, there is no grey area for progressives – either you’re with them or you’re against them.

    The question you have to ask yourself is this; what are you willing to sacrifice to keep the United States and its founding tenets intact for generations to come.

    How did we get here?

    I fear that the 9/11 terrorist attack was the pebble in the pond, it cut deep into the psyche of the people in the United States. The terrorist suspected that this would be the seed of destruction. The terrorists knew that they could not achieve the destruction of the United States from outside the country so they instilled fear in the populace and inspired them to destroyed us from within. I think progressives actually admire the all or nothing commitment that they’ve seen in terrorist and I think they’ve adapted that tactic.

    Back in the early 2000’s there was a growing recession creating pessimism about our economic future. When Gore lost the election 2000 it created a terrible mistrust in the political left and a distinct pessimism about how our political system works began to flourish within the ranks of the political left, and then IT happened a major blow to the psyche of the United States.

    On September 11, 2001 our national “feeling” of invulnerability was absolutely shattered, our physical safety was directly threatened by those that have chosen to hate the USA for what we are and what we stand for. They took advantage of what our society accepted as vulnerabilities associated with our freedoms, and struck us at our core without any regard for human life thus attacking the core psyche of the United States and terrorizing the general population. Unlike the traumatic event that happened on December 7, 1941, what followed in the psyche of society after September 11, 2001 wasn’t the growth of national optimism and determination that came from the awakening of a sleeping giant filled with a terrible resolve (Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto) but was the rapid growth of national pessimism and outright fear. Our nation was starting its shift into an all or nothing society that no longer felt safe.

    September 11th was the proverbial pebble in the pond, it was a major traumatic event for the people of the USA causing wide spread PTSD from the direct and indirect effects of the 9/11 attacks and that PTSD has not been properly addressed. Instead we have the media and political apparatus in feeding frenzy trying to feed the pessimistic fear beast and promoting social divisions any ways that are very hard to undo. So we had a population that had been suffering from a form of untreated PTSD since 2001 and people are on the verge of psychological breakdowns and no one is even noticing the trend toward paranoia because it’s seems so common place. Now for the straw that broke the camel’s back, the election 2016. For 15 years the media and politicians had been poking and prodding you to mistrust anyone that differs from you, they’re been promoting mistrust, they’ve been promoting pessimism, and then a Presidential election happened that completely broke the psyche of a huge cross section of the population. Donald Trump the man and the President has trolled the political left and they have lost their minds. People that were once intelligent people have resorted to wild unsupportable conspiracy theories and are intentionally using those theories to drive a wedge deep between America’s growing identity tribes, this wedge is as deep if not deeper than the wedge of slavery in the mid 1800’s.

    The Democratic Party has become a party controlled by progressives that are devoted to their end game and it’s all or nothing for them.

    Are you devoted to opposing the progressives end game and how far are you willing to go to save the Constitution of the United States of America?

    Disagree with any of this you want but you must choose now, because if you wait too long to choose you will likely just be in the way. Choosing gives you purpose and purpose will guide the choices you make from then on.

  9. Steve,

    Unlike 1941 the U.S. was not attacked by a formal state actor. We were attacked by ideologues that lacked form and structure.

    Our inability to defend and against the external asymetrical threat and our unwillingness to use overwhelming force against countries that gave refuge or assistance to our ideological enemies gave our internal systemic adversaries the confidence to attack our Constitutional system from within.

    Trump is just making their attacks visible as he does not simply go quietly into the night as would McCain or Romney. He fights them and most of us quietly stand by in the comfort of our homes letting him fight the good fight so our lives are relatively uninterrupted.

  10. We hear from Jeff Jacoby.

    http://www.jeffjacoby.com/23343/impeachment-is-as-legitimate-as-the-electoral

    AS DEMOCRATS in the House of Representatives edge closer to impeaching Donald Trump, the president and his supporters roar in dismay and outrage. Impeachment is nothing less than an attempted coup d’etat, they argue over and over. It amounts to an assault, writes Tucker Carlson, on the “fundamental cornerstone” of American democracy: “respect[ing] the will of the voters.” Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser, describes the House impeachment inquiry as “an end run around the ballot box.” In a piece for The Hill, Trump ally Jenna Ellis Rives warns that all Americans should be appalled by the Democrats’ bid “to undermine a free and fair election.”

    If you’re not a Republican or a Trump fan, these perfervid denunciations of impeachment as illegitimate and antidemocratic may strike you as unhinged. After all, the power to impeach and remove a president is specified in the Constitution. It has been there — in Article II, Section 4 — for 230 years. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler have not proposed to do anything illegal or capricious. The GOP’s angry accusation that impeachment subverts America’s constitutional norms, Democrats must be thinking, just goes to show how poorly the GOP understands those norms.

    Yet when the impeachment shoe was on the other foot, it was Democrats who lined up to condemn the use of a constitutional tool as an illicit insurrection. The same “coup” language used so promiscuously by overwrought defenders of Trump today was used just as loosely by agitated backers of Bill Clinton then.

    “This partisan coup d’etat will go down in infamy in the history of this nation,” thundered Nadler in 1998, as the House of Representatives — then led by a Republican majority — debated whether to impeach the 42nd president. Ed Markey, who at the time represented Massachusetts’ 7th congressional district, was just as appalled: “We are now on the threshold of overturning the people’s choice for President,” he said. “We are permitting a constitutional coup d’etat which will haunt this body forever.”

    Joe Biden, Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders — all of them made the exact same argument against the impeachment of a Democratic president that Team Trump is making against the impeachment of a Republican: that only the voters should decide who sits in the Oval Office, and anything that overrides their will is tantamount to mutiny.

    • Yes we are seeing the same kind of arguments but under entirely different circumstances.

      The difference between the two impeachments; President Clinton was investigated by an independent counsel and found to have actually committed crimes while he was the President of the United States. Although President Trump hasn’t been presidential and has said a lot of things that he shouldn’t have said as president, but to date, President Trump has not committed an actual crime as the President of the United States.

      The arguments against impeaching President Clinton by the Democrats were partisan nonsense then and the arguments for impeaching President Trump now are partisan nonsense. Clinton was impeached for actual crimes he committed, Trump is being witch hunted and he has been witch hunted since he took office.

      The witch hunt begins and the Democrats have been and are trying entrapment. They’ve improperly started an impeachment inquiry and then accuse of Trump of obstruction of justice because he won’t cooperate with an improper inquiry that has not been voted on by the full house. This is important enough that it should bypass all lower courts and immediately be put before the Supreme Court of the United States.

      • The arguments against impeaching President Clinton by the Democrats were partisan nonsense then and the arguments for impeaching President Trump now are partisan nonsense. Clinton was impeached for actual crimes he committed, Trump is being witch hunted and he has been witch hunted since he took office.

        Jack Marshall created the Ethics Scoreboard in reaction to the defenses made by Clinton and his spokesholes.

        People kept saying it was just sex, that is was his personal life, that gentlemen are supposed to lie about sex, that Ken Starr was a panty sniffer.

        No one has been able to show why Trump’s call to the Ukraine President was wrong. He merely asked for a second look at the firing of a prosecutor, alleged to have been requested by Biden.

        • “No one has been able to show why Trump’s call to the Ukraine President was wrong.”

          True, but we all know from recent history that whatever a hive minded Democrat says is to be considered absolute fact and no one in their right mind should ever challenge a hive minded Democrat to prove their accusations.

          “…if the hive mind is challenged to prove its false accusations then those that are challenging them are falsely accused of sealioning on top of falsely being accused of being racists, sexists, etc.”
          A Rant: The Indoctrinated Social Justice Hive Mind

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