Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/5/2019: Post Impeachment Hearing Meltdown Edition

Good Morning!

Somehow a picture of the so-called “unicorn puppy,” appropriately named “Narwhal,” seems appropriate today. The Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream media has been pushing its corrupt impeachment plot on the assumption that sufficient Trump-haters would find it cute, but as of yesterday the undemocratic motives and ugliness of the effort stood out like a tail on a puppy’s face. You can’t hide it, and lots of people will convince themselves that it’s attractive. But rationally, the damn thing has to come off.

1. On the Stanford law professor’s joke about Barron Trump’s name. Oddly, perhaps the most harmless part of the otherwise embarrassing testimony of Stanford constitutional law professor Pamela S. Karlan yesterday became the most controversial. “While the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” she said.

HAHAHAHAHA! Good one, professor! Gratuitous and completely irrelevant to the issues at hand,  but hey, anything to throw fish to the seals! Based on the outrage around the conservative media, most of which only referenced this knee-slapper without quoting it, I assumed that she had actually insulted the teenager.  I kept reading about how this was one more example of the double standard: using Obama’s daughters for political warfare was off limits, but now this mean professor was getting laughs from Democrats by making fun of Barron Trump. Laura Ingraham tweeted that this joke was guaranteed to turn the public against the impeachment farce for good. (I don’t think so, Laura. You should get out more.) Naturally the First Lady piled on, tweeting at the professor, “A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.” Trump 2020 national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany went even more overboard:

“Only in the minds of crazed liberals is it funny to drag a 13-year-old child into the impeachment nonsense,” she wrote. “Pamela Karlan thought she was being clever and going for laughs, but she instead reinforced for all Americans that Democrats have no boundaries when it comes to their hatred of everything related to President Trump. Hunter Biden is supposedly off-limits according to liberals, but a 13-year-old boy is fair game. Disgusting. Every Democrat in Congress should immediately repudiate Pamela Karlan and call on her to personally apologize to the president and the first lady for mocking their son on national TV.”

Oh come ON.

Sure, Karlan exposed herself as an angry, biased, unprofessional and incompetent fool (she was on Obama’s short list for the Supreme Court, and reportedly also a favorite of Hillary’s) , but not with that remark. She mentioned the name of the President’s son! The Horror. She didn’t even make fun of it. Nobody, even the Obama-obsessed, ever held that a President’s children couldn’t be mentioned in public. This was nothing.

Unfortunately, Karlan really is a Trump Deranged wacko, so she issued one of the worst apologies in memory, proving her dead ethics alarms and her ugly bias in one swell foop, a Level 9  and 10 Apology (that’s baaaad) for the ages. To refresh your memory from the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale…

9. Deceitful apologies, in which the wording of the apology is crafted to appear apologetic when it is not (“if my words offended, I am sorry”). Another variation: apologizing for a tangential matter other than the act or words that warranted an apology.

10. An insincere and dishonest apology designed to allow the wrongdoer to escape accountability cheaply, and to deceive his or her victims into “I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the president would apologize, obviously, for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that,” Karlan said.forgiveness and trust, so they are vulnerable to future wrongdoing.

“I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the president would apologize, obviously, for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that,” Karlan said. Wow. Now that’s an insincere apology, mixed with a wild “It’s not the worst thing!” rationalization (#22), plus a sprinkling of #2 A. Sicilian Ethics, or “They had it coming,” #7. The “Tit for Tat” Excuse, and #32. The Unethical Role Model: “He/She would have done the same thing.”

This is an awful woman, and a worse professor. But she had already demonstrated that.

2. The House Democrats, specifically Rep. Nadler, who most have recruited these three hyper-partisan law professors, really did the nation a favor. The three proved so many contentions true that those with any objectivity have been pointing out for three years.  Since the President’s election, professionals have, in “Happy Days” terms, jumped the shark, and abandoned the objectivity and supposed wisdom that made them respectable as experts. Bias really does make you stupid, and that’s no hyperbole: it has made historians, journalists, judges, psychiatrists, academics, lawyers and others literally so blinded by hate and bias, plus the desperate desire to be admired by their deranged peer groups, that their IQs have fallen like IPod futures.

And fnally, we got a definative integrity and derangement test for everyone’s social media Trump Hater friends . If a Facebook friend could watch what Ann Althouse called “the posturing politicos professors,” then watch or read Jonathan Turley’s calm, scholarly, measured testimony reducing the impeachment claims to mulch, and still not think, “Oh my God! The Democrats have nothing! This is a complete abuse of the impeachment process aimed at removing an elected President because the Left doesn’t like him! (Or as Althouse’s first commenter put it, mocking Karlan,  “If Trump existing isn’t impeachable, then nothing is impeachable.),”  then you know they are completely gone, brain melted, judgment wiped out. It isn’t even a close call.

3. Another good comment on the Althouse post: “My takeaway? I sure hope these three nutcases aren’t typical of law school faculty all over the country.” Not typical, perhaps, but there are far too many law professors like them to have any faith in legal education.

Here was perhaps the worst of Karlan’s rant, though it’s a close race, as she posited what a law student might ask her:

What would James Madison think of us right now, can you tell me, professor? How about Hamilton?, what does he think, because we care about what that guy thinks now because of the Broadway musical about him. Well, this is the most impeachable thing that ever came down the impeachment trail. If this isn’t impeachable, then nothing is impeachable, and any President will be able to do anything and it won’t be impeachable!

Turley subsequently pointed out, accurately, that unlike the previous three impeachment inquiries, the Democrats had not even identified an actual crime. Another Althouse commenter reacted to Karlan’s ridiculous hyperbole with this (Either Ann’s progressive commenter have boycotted her like the Ethics Alarms leftists left this forum, or they have all turned against impeachment):

Oh really? If we can’t impeach for White House meetings in exchange for political investigations then we certainly can’t impeach a president for giving the nuclear launch codes to the Chinese. That’s it, sorry, the bar has been set by [this] idiot at the hearing. The last 24 hours were another self-inflicted wound to the impeachment push. The level of incompetence in the affair is so staggering that it’s beginning to look intentional.

4. Read this. Pamela McCarthy at the American Thinker saved me a lot of time with her excellent analysis, hitting virtually ever point I would make. Too bad she writes for an avowedly conservative publication, so it will be routinely ignored. If the New York Times or Washington Post had any integrity, they would be publishing columns echoing her.

5. One final, amusing comment from the Althouse thread, vulgar, but true:

“The Progs like to sneer that Trump supporters have insufficient respect for expertise. Well, expertise just came before Congress and punched itself in the nuts on national TV.”


17 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/5/2019: Post Impeachment Hearing Meltdown Edition

  1. Re: No. 1; Barron’s Baroness.

    I dunno that I agree with you on this one. Was it harmless? Considering her background and contempt of Trump, then, no. She suffers from “Orange Man Bad” syndrome. Hatred of Donald Trump trumps all and everyone and everything in his orbit is fair game. Republicans left Carter’s daughter, Clinton’s daughter, and Obama’s daughter alone and when one did take a shot at one of them, Republicans were quick to stifle it.

    Here, the impressive Prof. Karlan couldn’t contain herself and her biases. Even that bozo Don Lemon thought it was inappropriate, begrudgingly rebuking her. Mostly because it drew away from her conclusion that Orange Man Impeachable positions. Idiot. The bigger insult, though, was that the joke was dumb and not funny. It amounts to “I can name my son ‘Couch’ but that doesn’t make him a sofa.”


      • Maybe, but she felt the idiotic joke about his name was fair game. That is the point. When did anyone ridicule Obama for his daughters’ names? Chelsea? Amy? Not once that I can remember. Why? Because people had class enough to leave their kids alone. Yet, Barron Trump has been mocked for his looks, and accused of being autistic. As brash Trump is, he left their minor kids alone. Even Rush Limbaugh left/leaves minor children of politicians alone. Democrats say Hunter Biden and his shenanigans are off-limits (he’s an adult and hopeless) but Barron, a teenager no less, gets his name mocked by some stupid, self-important law professor. Why is that appropriate? Did she harm him? Probably not but I gotta say that someone mocked my son’s photo on Facebook once and I responded viciously. Minors are off limits, even for stupid, supposedly harmless jokes in the political arena.

        The more important issue is that this left-leaning, Trump-loathing law professor thought mocking his son’s name in a nationwide broadcast of impeachment hearings was acceptable, not whether Barron was harmed. Hell, he probably had no idea what was going on because he was (hopefully) in school at the time she made the stupid comment. Yet, she did it. As I stated before, even the supercilious Don Lemon thought it was in poor taste – you know you are on thin ice when Don thinks you crossed a line. Are Republicans making a mountain out of a mole hill, declaring this stupid joke shows the Democrats have jumped the shark? No, but it was in poor taste.


      • I agree that it was harmless but the goal was to reinforce her line of argument that Trump has visions of being a Monarch. The use of the language was not an attempt at being funny it was to implant in the minds of viewers the idea that because Trump named his son Barron ergo he is attempting to establish himself a King.

        Gee I wonder what prompted Tillerson’s parents to name him Rex.

      • It was certainly harmless to Barron.

        Not the point. Until progressives are forced to live by the standards they use to smear their opponents, their tactics will never end. They SHOULD be excoriated for violating norms.

        Trump’s White House (and wife) did just that. Sad state of affairs, but there it is.

        This is why we no longer have nice things.

    • The bigger insult, though, was that the joke was dumb and not funny.

      Dumb and unfunny AND obviously rehearsed in front of a mirror and coordinated with the Democrats on the committee who lobbed her a preplanned set-up question so she could hit with her joke. They’re even incompetent at gag-writing.

      • Local Radio Station commentator for my area said she rehearsed the joke in front of her cats.

        Get your facts straight! After all, hearsay is better evidence than actual evidence.

  2. The Barron comment isn’t bad because it “takes a shot at a kid” (it doesn’t), it’s bad because it reveals that these “experts” are just engaging in political ranting. The claim that Trump would want a feudal or monarchical society has literally NOTHING to do with this impeachment fiasco and everything to do with the same tired screaming the Left has been engaging in since the election in 2016.

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