Just for the record, I’ve been calling this a “coup” all along. For some reason Facebook yesterday was stuffed with the specious and technical arguments that the Democratic Party/ “resistance”/mainstream media alliance’s efforts to find a way to remove the elected President literally from the moment he was elected (bringing those objective TV anchors and reporters to tears), and now finally culminating in a contrived impeachment hearing, is not accurately called a coup. “But it’s not through military violence!” “But if Trump is removed, it would make Pence President, so there’s no regime change!” I’ve explained before that what is being attempted meets the exact definition a “soft coup,” and thus that saying this isn’t an attempted coup is like saying a scrambled egg isn’t an egg.
This side of the ideological divide, as we know, thrives on word games and deceitful framing: heaven forbid that the public grasps what is going on under their noses.
It is particularly annoying when I am told that by one of the Facebook Borg whose understanding of the traditions and institution of the Presidency extends to what they have been told by Rachel Maddow lectures me that by using “coup” I am mouthing Fox News “talking points.” First, I don’t watch Fox News; second, Fox News has its share of pro-impeachment fans (making it more balanced than any other network, all of which appear to lack any prominent on-air employees who are not coup-collaborators), notably fake “judge” Napolitano, and third, most notable of all, Ethics Alarms began using the term “coup” while most critics (and Presient Trump) were throwing around “fishing expedition” and “witch hunt.”
Maybe the pundits who are suddenly using coup secretly read Ethics Alarms. That would be encouraging. In that spirit, here is a summary of Victor Davis Hanson’s ten reasons (to which number he adds “at least”) the current impeachment effort is in fact a coup, in a column yesterday in the New York Post adapted from a piece in the National Review:
1) Impeachment 24/7. The “inquiry,” supposedly prompted by President Trump’s Ukrainian call, is only the most recent coup seeking to overturn the 2016 election….
2) False whistleblowers. The “whistleblower” is no whistleblower by any common definition of the noun. He has no incriminating documents, no information at all. He doesn’t even have firsthand evidence of wrongdoing…
3) First-term impeachment. The Clinton and Nixon inquiries were directed at second-term presidencies, when there were no more electoral remedies for alleged wrongdoing. By contrast, Trump is up for election in less than a year. Impeachment, then, seems a partisan exercise in either circumventing a referendum election or in damaging a president seeking re-election.
Excellently and concisely put.
4) No special-counsel finding. In the past, special counsels have found felonious presidential behavior, such as cited in Leon Jaworski’s and Ken Starr’s investigations. By contrast, special counsel Robert Mueller spent 22 months and $35 million, and yet his largely partisan law and investigative team found no “collusion” and no actionable presidential obstruction of that non-crime.
5) No bipartisanship. There was broad bipartisan support for the Nixon impeachment inquiry and even some for the Clinton impeachment. There is none for the Schiff impeachment effort.
6) No high crimes or misdemeanors. There is no proof of any actual crime. Asking a foreign head of state to look into past corruption is pro forma. That Joe Biden is now Trump’s potential rival doesn’t exculpate possible wrongdoing in his past as vice president, when his son used the Biden name for lucrative gain…
7) Thought crimes? Even if there were ever a quid, there is no quo: Unlike the case of the Obama administration, the Trump administration did supply arms to Ukraine, and the Ukrainians apparently did not reinvestigate the Bidens.
8) Double standards…
…as Ethics Alarms has been pointing out repeatedly.
9) The Schiff factor. Schiff is now de facto chief impeachment prosecutor. He has repeatedly lied about the certainty of impending Mueller indictments or bombshells. He flat-out lied that he and his staff had no prior contact with the whistleblower. He made up a version of the Trump call that didn’t represent the transcript, and when called out, he begged off by claiming he was offering a “parody.”…
10) Precedent. The indiscriminate efforts to remove Trump over the past three years, when coupled with the latest impeachment gambit, have now set a precedent in which the out party can use impeachment as a tool to embarrass, threaten or seek to remove a sitting president and reverse an election. We are witnessing constitutional government dissipating before our eyes.
There is a memorable moment in the musical 1776 when Pennsylvania delegate John Dickinson demands that the newly drafted declaration be edited to omit a reference calling King George a tyrant. (Dickinson did not do this, and while he opposed independence, believing that the effort would end in disaster, he was not a loyalist as the musical presented him. The plot needed a villain, and Dickinson, a true patriot and an important Founder, was libeled to make him one. ) Thomas Jefferson retorts, “The king is a tyrant whether we say so or not. We might as well say so.”
This is a coup attempt whether we say so or not. We might as well say so