Conclusion To The Written Statement of Prof. Jonathan Turley: “The Impeachment Inquiry Into President Donald J. Trump: The Constitutional Basis For Presidential Impeachment”

Jonathan Turley ended his epic testimony before the House Judiciary Committee with a flourish. His whole statement was remarkable, leaving no reasonable argument for impeachment standing—but then the now-insatiable desire to undo the 2016 election has never been rational, and it has relied, despicably, on the historical and legal ignorance of the vast majority of the American people. Turley provided an opportunity for responsible citizens to educate themselves: his language was easy and clear, and there were no pompous or especially academic turns of phrase. Nonetheless, few will read or watch the whole thing, allowing the news media, which has exceeded all previous villainy in this three-year long fiasco, to distort and minimize his patriotic achievement. To the degree that they succeed, it is do the detriment of the nation, and its future. Somehow, Turley makes this clear as well, yet does so without the kind of alienating condemnation that I, in his position, would be unable to resist.

No doubt about it, the professor is a far better scholar and advocate than I am, and a brilliantly talented teacher as well. Still, he made me feel good about the analysis I have been presenting here since 2016. I have studied Presidential history for a shockingly long time; I know my impeachment history well, and observed two of the three previous inquiries up close, live and carefully. I have been certain, certain, from the beginning that what we have seen here is an unprecedented crypto-coup, for virtually all the reasons Professor Turley explains. I’m glad to have the legal authority and the meticulous tracking of where the inquisition ran off the rails, but Turley validated the analysis I have  given readers here. That came as a relief and a confirmation.

It was naturally a special pleasure that the professor ended his testimony by referencing the scene in the video above, from “A Man for All Seasons,” my favorite ethics moment in any movie, and the clip most often used on Ethics Alarms. He also referenced the story of the Republican Senators who turned on their party and voted to acquit President Andrew Johnson, for me the most memorable chapter of “Profiles in Courage,” the book that introduced me to the topic of ethics when I was 12 years old. Turley quotes one of the Senators who was only slightly mentioned by credited author John Fitzgerald Kennedy, but it’s a stirring quote, and damn any politician or citizen who ignores its message.

Lyman Trumbull (R- Ill.) explained fateful decision to vote against Johnson’s impeachment this way:

“Once set the example of impeaching a President for what, when the excitement of the hour shall have subsided, will be regarded as insufficient causes … no future President will be safe who happens to differ with the majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate …I tremble for the future of my country. I cannot be an instrument to produce such a result; and at the hazard of the ties even of friendship and affection, till calmer times shall do justice to my motives, no alternative is left me…”

Those who endanger the future of my country because of their unrestained anger, hate, confirmation bias, partisan loyalty, prejudice, need to conform, and yes, ignorance and their lack of education, are contemptible. Those who lead them in pursuit of power are worse.

[Turley’s entire statement, with footnotes, is here. The Ethics Alarms edited version is here (Part I); here (PartII); here (Part III); here (Part IV), and here (Part V.) The video is here.]

***

V. CONCLUSION

Allow me to be candid in my closing remarks. I get it. You are mad. The President is mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My Republican friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog is mad . . . and Luna is a golden doodle and they are never mad. We are all mad and where has it taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad or will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in every future administration?

That is why this is wrong. It is not wrong because President Trump is right. His call was anything but “perfect” and his reference to the Bidens was highly inappropriate. It is not wrong because the House has no legitimate reason to investigate the Ukrainian controversy. The use of military aid for a quid pro quo to investigate one’s political opponent, if proven, can be an impeachable offense.

It is not wrong because we are in an election year. There is no good time for an impeachment, but this process concerns the constitutional right to hold office in this term, not the next.

No, it is wrong because this is not how an American president should be impeached. For two years, members of this Committee have declared that criminal and impeachable acts were established for everything from treason to conspiracy to obstruction. However, no action was taken to impeach. Suddenly, just a few weeks ago, the House announced it would begin an impeachment inquiry and push for a final vote in just a matter of weeks. To do so, the House Intelligence Committee declared that it would not subpoena a host of witnesses who have direct knowledge of any quid pro quo. Instead, it will proceed on a record composed of a relatively small number of witnesses with largely second-hand knowledge of the position. The only three direct conversations with President Trump do not contain a statement of a quid pro quo and two expressly deny such a pre-condition. The House has offered compelling arguments why those two calls can be discounted by the fact that President Trump had knowledge of the underlying whistleblower complaint. However, this does not change the fact that it is moving forward based on conjecture, assuming what the evidence would show if there existed the time or inclination to establish it. The military aid was released after a delay that the witnesses described as “not uncommon” for this or prior Administrations. This is not a case of the unknowable. It is a case of the peripheral. The House testimony is replete with references to witnesses like John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Mulvaney who clearly hold material information.

To impeach a president on such a record would be to expose every future president to the same type of inchoate impeachment.

Principle often takes us to a place where we would prefer not to be. That was the place the “Republican Recusants” found themselves in 1868 when sitting in judgment of a president they loathed and despised. However, they took an oath not to Andrew Johnson, but to the Constitution. One of the greatest among them, Lyman Trumbull (R- Ill.) explained his fateful decision to vote against Johnson’s impeachment charges even at the cost of his own career:

“Once set the example of impeaching a President for what, when the excitement of the hour shall have subsided, will be regarded as insufficient causes … no future President will be safe who happens to differ with the majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate …I tremble for the future of my country. I cannot be an instrument to produce such a result; and at the hazard of the ties even of friendship and affection, till calmer times shall do justice to my motives, no alternative is left me…”

Trumbull acted in the same type of age of rage that we have today. He knew that raising a question about the underlying crime or the supporting evidence would instantly be condemned as approving of the underlying conduct of a president. In an age of rage, there seems to be no room for nuance or reservation. Yet, that is what the Constitution expects of us. Expects of you.

For generations, the seven Republicans who defected to save President Johnson from removal have been heralded as profiles of courage. In recalling the moment he was called to vote, Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas said he “almost literally looked down into my open grave.” He jumped because the price was too great not to. Such moments are easy to celebrate from a distance of time and circumstance. However, that is precisely the moment in which you now find yourself. “When the excitement of the hour [has] subsided” and “calmer times” prevail, I do not believe that this impeachment will be viewed as bringing credit upon this body. It is possible that a case for impeachment could be made, but it cannot be made on this record. To return to Wordsworth, the Constitution is not a call to arms for the “Happy Warriors.” The Constitution calls for circumspection, not celebration, at the prospect of the removal of an American president. It is easy to allow one’s “judgment [to be] affected by your moral approval of the lines” in an impeachment narrative. But your oath demands more, even personal and political sacrifice, in deciding whether to impeach a president for only the third time in the history of this Republic.

In this age of rage, many are appealing for us to simply put the law aside and “just do it” like this is some impulse-buy Nike sneaker. You can certainly do that. You can declare the definitions of crimes alleged are immaterial and this is an exercise of politics, not law. However, the legal definitions and standards that I have addressed in my testimony are the very thing dividing rage from reason. Listening to these calls to dispense with such legal niceties, brings to mind a famous scene with Sir Thomas More in “A Man For All Seasons.” In a critical exchange, More is accused by his son-in-law William Roper of putting the law before morality and that More would “give the Devil the benefit of law!” When More asks if Roper would instead “cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?,” Roper proudly declares “Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!” More responds by saying “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

Both sides in this controversy have demonized the other to justify any measure in defense much like Roper. Perhaps that is the saddest part of all of this. We have forgotten the common article of faith that binds each of us to each other in our Constitution.

However, before we cut down the trees so carefully planted by the Framers, I hope you consider what you will do when the wind blows again . . . perhaps for a Democratic president. Where will you stand then “the laws all being flat?”

Thank you again for the honor of testifying before you today. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have.

30 thoughts on “Conclusion To The Written Statement of Prof. Jonathan Turley: “The Impeachment Inquiry Into President Donald J. Trump: The Constitutional Basis For Presidential Impeachment”

  1. From my point of view, Professor Turley incorrectly assumes Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, and their party currently engaged in the tasks of undermining much of the Constitution care how history or citizens will remember their acts. They, instead, appear to be serving a master unconcerned with the rights enumerated in the Constitution and dedicated to a future ruled by the caprice of an elite set of others who know better.

    Let us hope Professor Turley’s appeal is sufficient to sway those with integrity to step away from this dangerously unethical path.

  2. Corrected version:

    And when the last law was down and the Devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper? the laws being all flat. This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, man’s laws not God’s laws, and if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it! do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? I give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.

    It is interesting to me to — please excuse my boldness, as always — compare the eloquent speech above with the real facts of how power functions, and what results from those machinations of power:

    Jack wrote:

    Also no War, no United States as we know it. Lincoln was illegal, but right.

    If this is so, there exist in your eyes and to your sense of things very good reasons why the laws should, at times, be flattened as they were — definitely and in no uncertain terms — at this time, and in so very many instances afterward. Once the mechanism is set as ‘policy’, and the policy *works*, the policy is not changed and is repeated . . . Now, today, one faction desires to get its will by ‘flattening’ laws. Perhaps they won’t get their way, yet it is likely that they will get their way in some other way.

    And they are justified because — they might say this 1 or 10 or 100 years later — “Pelosi was illegal, but right”.

    It might seem that I am ‘complaining’ here. No. Though I am being a bit of a gadfly I am demonstrating that when it serves our interest we ‘flatten’ the laws with few second thoughts. When it does not serve our interests to see them ‘flattened’ we defend their structure with lofty rhetoric that could make angels cry.

    And so it goes.

    The battles taking place today will not be decided by ‘polite arrangements’ nor will our *enemies* be moved by gilded rhetoric. These battles occur because extremely powerful players have extremely important interests at stake and will stop at nothing to attain their will.

    The real question is to be able to see just what is at stake, and who it is at stake for.

    I suggest that America sold itself out long ago. Now, we live in the consequences of that. To correct the present, the consequences must be identified, and rectified. To rectify them means to engage in revisionist historical efforts: to look at historical events and extract them from narrative lies.

    Though there may, in truth, be a point where we decide that it is not in our interest to do so. And quite possibly it is better to remain within the structure of lies. (This is what Nietzsche said at some point, I don’t remember the quote: lies serve a very real function, the truth too weird, too demanding).

    • Lincoln’s decisions I highly doubt were “with few second thoughts.”

      Turley discussed that these times are not particularly unusual from other times when there’s “more rage than reason.” He noted that the impeachment laws we have now formed during difficult times, and from that I can assume that often mans laws come about because of problems and their consequences. It seems laws aren’t created because everyone is being ethical, truthful, and wise. However man is imperfect, so too, are our laws.

      I’m not sure there is a way to “correct the present” regardless of the issue. You’d have to go so far back in history to correct all the wrongs that we’d probably have to start at the beginning of time. More frustratingly, attempts to “correct” a whole societies’ problems, especially by force and rage, create bigger ones. Taken to extremes even genocide provides a “fix” to those who believe destruction of humanity will rebuild humanity, in their ever anointed vision.

      Life will never be fair. As Turley said “you can’t wait for calmer times.” So we do our best to apply reason and rationality to the laws that are constructed, knowing they may change or even at times need to be overridden. There will always be elites. There will always be liars. There will always be those seeking to make the world conform to their will. We can’t delete all the consequences and previous situations that, in some cases, I very much agree with you on.

      Here Turley reminds us of the road America hopes to travel on. A road of faith in the process and of faith that at some point, whether times are calm or not, we can unite in liberty. While elite masters attempt to strangle our freedoms (and always will) the rest of us can seek to practice discernment, no matter the consequences. Turley showed us what that looked like at the hearing.

      • Mrs Q wrote:

        There will always be elites. There will always be liars. There will always be those seeking to make the world conform to their will. We can’t delete all the consequences and previous situations that, in some cases, I very much agree with you on.

        Here Turley reminds us of the road America hopes to travel on. A road of faith in the process and of faith that at some point, whether times are calm or not, we can unite in liberty. While elite masters attempt to strangle our freedoms (and always will) the rest of us can seek to practice discernment, no matter the consequences. Turley showed us what that looked like at the hearing.

        The nearly unsurmountable problem that I constantly confront, and which I cannot resolve, is that which pertains to ‘Will to Power’. It is quite likely — I have finally figured this out — that my perspective is very difficult to grasp by many who might read what I write. What I tried to point out in what I wrote, above, and which you commented on, is that whether we like it or not, and whether we choose to live in accord with another type of will (Christian will is indeed a will, and it is an enforced will), the actual facts of life in this plane of existence is that all activity, all projects, all attainments, result from the will of The Will to Power:

        “And do you know what “the world” is to me? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household without expenses or losses, but likewise without increase or income; enclosed by “nothingness” as by a boundary; not something blurry or wasted, not something endlessly extended, but set in a definite space as a definite force, and not a space that might be “empty” here or there, but rather as force throughout, as a play of forces and waves of forces, at the same time one and many, increasing here and at the same time decreasing there; a sea of forces flowing and rushing together, eternally changing, eternally flooding back, with tremendous years of recurrence, with an ebb and a flood of its forms; out of the simplest forms striving toward the most complex, out of the stillest, most rigid, coldest forms striving toward the hottest, most turbulent, most self-contradictory, and then again returning home to the simple out of this abundance, out of the play of contradictions back to the joy of concord, still affirming itself in this uniformity of its courses and its years, blessing itself as that which must return eternally, as a becoming that knows no satiety, no disgust, no weariness: this, my Dionysian world of the eternally self-creating, the eternally self-destroying, this mystery world of the twofold voluptuous delight, my “beyond good and evil,” without goal, unless the joy of the circle is itself a goal; without will, unless a ring feels good will toward itself— do you want a name for this world? A solution for all of its riddles? A light for you, too, you best-concealed, strongest, most intrepid, most midnightly men?— This world is the will to power—and nothing besides! And you yourselves are also this will to power—and nothing besides!”

        I do not think that a great many people understand what results when the scientific vision of life, the biological understanding, ‘the actual facts of the case’ and the basic structure of the system we live in, becomes exposed to the light of day. Those who tell this truth are not ‘liars’ in my view: in a strange way they are ‘truth-tellers’. It is those who seem to believe that the Power Principle does not, more or less always, determine man’s choices that are the real ‘liars’.

        If you think that I am happy that this is so — that the world is, in fact, really and truly like this — I assure you I am not. To the degree that I participate in the world, and acquire ‘ownership interest’ in it, is the degree that I become compromised with the world and then — here is the real moral horror — I will at that point create gilded justifications and rhetorical subterfuges to conceal my complicity.

        Nietzsche did not so much as ‘reject’ Christian morality, no, he recognized that “God is dead and we killed him”. Ha ha. There is a profound irony there: Not only did man kill the Savior in the Christian story, but we killed the possibility of believing any longer in such a ‘metaphysical order’. We now see the world, and act in this world, strictly in accord with the truths of science and of physical reality and physical relationship.

        I am not sure if people recognize what this implies and what it ramifies. It is not that it will happen, it is that it has already taken place, and we now live in a world in which we are that world’s objects. We are surrounded by, and subsumed in, mechanisms (as I call them) and machinations which are so terribly much larger than our will and before which our power is almost at zero.

        But let us focus on ‘our will’ for just a moment. Take the average person, just pick one out of the multitude, and that person (I suggest in realistic cynicism) will be seen as having hardly any will at all, in the sense that we wish to define will, or in the best sense possible of ‘Christian will’. I have to point out that to be a Christian is to align oneself with a will that is not of this world. In fact, it is a radical imposition into a world that it sees — as Nietzsche so clearly sees and explains — is a Demonic World: a power-system; a machine really; an organic mill of energy & matter. To be a Christian (in the highest sense possible and in the idealistic sense) is to turn radically, and in a way suicidally, against the ‘machinations of the world’, of ‘Satan and his pomps’, as states the baptismal liturgy.

        Turley showed us what that looked like at the hearing.

        As much as I appreciate Turley, what he stands for and what he wrote, I exist uncomfortably under the impression that I am being presented with a rhetorical show, a kind of performance that is compelling and elevating indeed, but which only conceals, perhaps even more, the real facts of power and power’s machinations. (That does seem to be ‘the area that I work i’ as I struggle with ethics and morality: I admit that it is a little arcane, but there you have it).

        • As much as I appreciate Turley, what he stands for and what he wrote, I exist uncomfortably under the impression that I am being presented with a rhetorical show, a kind of performance that is compelling and elevating indeed, but which only conceals, perhaps even more, the real facts of power and power’s machinations.

          One needn’t accept all of your other precepts here to agree with this point. It IS a rhetorical show. It has been a rhetorical show since before Trump took the oath of office.

          We should be grateful for people like Turley who understand that it is EXACTLY that, but who still have the courage to stand and remind us of the hows and whys, however flawed they may have been in the first place.

  3. Anyone reinforcing your biases makes you feel vindicated as attested by your opinions under the guise of being an ethics expert. Self-professed at that. If Professor Turley is correct(I think he isn’t since he argued mostly on his beliefs & not on the merits of Article II Sec 4 of the Constitution), then 604 legal scholars are wrong. Chew on that for a while. http://bit.ly/2RuY98F

    • If you can read Turley’s thoroughly researched and objectively assembled arguments and call them (or mine) his “beiefs” (which is false on its face), then you are corrupted, by what combination of ignorance, emotion or bias, I don’t know, or care. Legal scholars, like the legal profession itself, have thoroughly disgraced themselves in their antiTrump bigotry; I have seen it first hand. If you knew who your were talking too, and were informed on the position of this blog toward Donald Trump, it would, presumably be obvious to you how claiming bias in my case makes you seem idiotic. As for your appeal to authority, any legal scholar who understood ethics or logical fallacies wouldn’t presume to use a phony device like appeal to mass opinions in a serious argument. They can’t rebut Turley, so they resort to the ethical fallacy, “Everyone agrees with me!” THey prove themselves poor scholars and unethical ones.

      As for you, don’t comment here again. I don’t accept jerks who presume to insult their host the second they walk in the door. Chew on THAT, dick-head.

      • I suspect Dick here defended Clinton in 1886.

        https://ethicsalarms.com/2012/09/07/the-ethics-corrupter-in-chief/

        Perhaps more damaging than Clinton’s conduct were the unethical messages and arguments his surrogates, lawyer Lanny Davis and others, flooded the talk shows and news shows with to keep public opinion supporting the poor, sexy, charming, persecuted President. They were the catalyst for my first ethics blog, for I was shocked at how invalid rationalizations were dominating the discussion. “Everybody does it!‘, used to excuse a President lying under oath, a bright line violation of his Oath of Office, because “everybody lies about sex.” “They did it too!,” citing actual and rumored sexual infidelities by past Presidents to minimize Clinton’s conduct, though had most of the actual affairs being cited been publicized at the time they occurred, those Presidents ( especially Kennedy) would have been impeached as well. “The King’s Pass,” claiming that Clinton was too important to hold to the standards of ordinary mortals. “It’s not the worst thing,” arguing that Clinton’s conduct didn’t reach the level of corruption of President Richard Nixon.* “Everybody makes mistakes,” as if a contrived cover-up of courtroom perjury and a months long workplace affair was “one mistake.” There were others. Lawyers, ministers, celebrities and elected leaders echoed these toxic excuses for Bill’s unethical conduct over and over again for months, rotting the public’s ethical instincts, all so he could get away with it. It worked, too. The Senate is a political body, and as long as the public had a high opinion of Clinton, it was never going to find him guilty of the House’s charges. If the President of the United States had to teach the country that lying under oath, having an adulterous sexual affair with an employee, lying to the public about it and impeding the justice system is acceptable, then so be it: the ends justify the means, of course.

      • Jack wrote: Chew on THAT, dick-head.

        Part of me says “booting out liberals when they first show up may be one of the reasons there are so few liberals around here anymore.”

        The other part says that if anyone deserved to be ejected upon entry, this idiot did.

        Mighta been fun to toy with him for a while before defenestrating him. But what the hell. It’s your blog.

        • If a liberal/progressive can muster the manners and restraint to display minimal levels of respect upon applying for privileges here, I eagerly welcome them. Tellingly, few do or can. Normally a first comment like that would never get out of moderation, so in a way I WAS toying with him.

      • ” As for you, don’t comment here again. I don’t accept jerks who presume to insult their host the second they walk in the door. Chew on THAT, dick-head.”
        When your argument resorts to name calling, we both know you are the one to whom you refer. And I agree you look like exactly what you are, the dick-head. Any doubt? Look in the mirror. If you equate disagreements with insult, you should do something else.
        I didn’t appeal to authority. I just pointed out there were many legal scholars who differed from you opinion. Yet your ego finds it necessary to just dismiss al of them as not understanding ethics or logical fallacies. That is a lot of false bravado.
        I don’t know for a fact but have a pretty good idea where you stand on Trump & your other biases. I’ve been reading your sorry ass since 2012. Your best retort is either an ad hominem or deriding one’s comprehension. Only a blithering idiot or Trump, sorry for being redundant, thinks he’s right all the time.
        Get over yourself and try some civility once on a while.

        • And, there you have it, brothers and sisters: the Bully Weasel Maneuver. Impugn someone’s integrity with baseless, vapid insults and then whine about it when the insulted party shoves it right down insulter’s throat.

          jvb

        • I’m scrupulously civil. In your case, I decided to make an exception. You were lucky to get that obnoxious comment up; I’ll leave this one up as well, because, like the first, it’s self-indicting. Oh, you weren’t appealing to authority when you cited a petition of legal scholars (I’m a legal scholar too, in legal ethics) and told me to “chew on it.” You have no integrity at all, and you insult me with such a blatant falsehood. Of course you were appealing to authority, and appealing to an aothority I know well, having worked in one major law school for seven years, and another for two. Law professors are about as left-biased as journalists, and too many, as your list proves, are incapable of getting past their own biases and partisan loyalties, and especially opposing their colleagues in their university bubbles.

          I do apologize for the dick-head jibe, however. Denigrating one of the rare liberal law professors with integrity as operating on bias is just so nauseating, I couldn’t let it pass. I should have stopped at “jerk,” though. Restraint under provocation is an ethical value.

          In case I wasn’t clear, you are banned here. You could be reinstated with a direct and appropriate apology—my email is on the blog—but I won’t hold my breath.

        • Dr. Dominique wrote:

          I didn’t appeal to authority. I just pointed out there were many legal scholars who differed from you opinion.

          When I read your first post it seemed to me that you were distinctly trying to use an appeal to authority.

          You presented a list of hundreds of scholars and positioned it against just one scholar, as if to suggest that the number of opinions against what Turley attempts to present must strongly suggest that Turley is wrong. That is a classic ‘appeal to authority’.

          It would have been far more interesting if you had outlined a solid counter-argument to Turley, or at least linked to someone who had.

          Note: Turley did say that Trump may have committed offenses that could have legal ramifications, and those offenses might be impeachable, but that if that is the case it must be proved with extremely strong evidence, not mere accusation under social and political circumstances “in which the facts must conform to the frenzy”.

          The ‘frenzy’ component is so obvious.

    • Excuse the pretentious presentation! It came out worse than I’d intended! 🙂

      Anyone reinforcing your biases makes you feel vindicated as attested by your opinions under the guise of being an ethics expert. Self-professed at that.

      Allow me another comment. If you look at your sentence objectively, I suggest to you that it is almost ridiculously congested with spurious perception and fallacy.

      You made an error in assuming ‘bias’, for the simple reason that there are — indeed their are — a group of tangible facts to the case. It is quite possible that the assessment Jack makes is not dependent on bias but rather on reasoned assessment. It is therefore an unreasonable assertion, if not also a *projection* on your part, that his opinion on the matter is one of bias. You are engaging in perhaps a similar sort of insinuating analysis, a prejudiced analysis, of his method of reasoning things through which also appears to be super-charged with your own bias. But it is more than mere bias: it is an imposition on your part of your own pet view. Why is this relevant? I propose that it is relevant because this is what ‘the Democrats’ and a fair slice of the entire Nation are doing: projecting a willful bias based in erroneous conclusions with not enough support from the facts (evidence).

      The assessment that Jack makes, and the assessment that Turley makes, do not depend on the discipline of ethics studies, so the ‘guise of being an ethics expert’ is a mis-placed attempt to undermine the rational facts — the evidentiary facts — the analysis of which have more to do with the discipline of law and also, I think it fair to say, common sense. You top this off by insinuating that his ethics background is ‘self-professed’ which could mean that he is an autodidact or one who never studied ethics as a discipline — yet both of these are flatly false.

      What interests me in what you write is that you give a demonstration of how defective thought-processes function. You are — literally — not thinking straight. Now, I suggest that a great proportion of the citizens of the nation cannot ‘think straight’ because they have not been properly trained to do so. It is after all a discipline and it cannot be faked. So, I would go on to say that this condition is a significant part of the problem.

      Add to that a mendacious press which means: 1) people who really are capable of clear and ordered thinking but who engage, deliberately, in concocting fallacious presentations & arguments and purveying them to the readership, or 2) people who also suffer from problems with clear, ordered thinking and receive their ideas/conclusions from others who have pre-fabricated these for them. This is where the ‘general condition’ of ‘frenzy’ is very important. My term is ‘social hysteria’, but frenzy is also a good term:

      >b>fren·zy (frĕn′zē)
      n. pl. fren·zies
      1. A state of violent mental agitation or wild excitement.
      2. Temporary madness or delirium.
      3. A mania; a craze.
      tr.v. fren·zied, fren·zy·ing, fren·zies
      To drive into a frenzy.
      [Middle English frenesie, from Old French, from Medieval Latin phrenēsia, from Latin phrenēsis, back-formation from phrenēticus, delirious; see frenetic.]

      Frenzy is — and here I suggest that you seem to be caught up in it — defined in Medieval (Thomist) philosophy as a ‘disorder of the soul’. But suffice for our purposes to avoid reference to the soul and let’s just stick with ‘self’ or ‘mind’ or ‘personality’. But let us say that it might be defined as an intrusion into rational matters what might be classed as ’emotional content’. A kind of fury obviously, and something which blinds the person who suffers under it.

      If Professor Turley is correct (I think he isn’t since he argued mostly on his beliefs & not on the merits of Article II Sec 4 of the Constitution), then 604 legal scholars are wrong. Chew on that for a while.

      Here I suggest you have a problem to surmount. First, your reasoning processes are (obviously) disordered and you yourself cannot (I opine) be relied on for accurate assessment in this matter. You have failed in every area. You are therefore ‘ensconced in fallacy’. Not an enviable condition! (It is also fair to suggest that you may simply have no idea what you are talking about . . . and yet you talk).

      But there is a road available to you: that of ordering and clarifying thought. This could take years and is not a simple matter (because we live in ‘disordered times’). But you could take the document that Turley wrote which is carefully & acutely reasoned and a) read it through and b) imitate the thought processes that went into it.

      What ‘604 legal scholars’ thought is fantastic hearsay! All you’d have to do is refer to one and present that counter-argument. Do you notice how you attempt to trick your readers with the same deception that has you mystified? You actually do believe that those 604 scholars have some valid — and devastating — argument (and if you didn’t you are engaging in a deception).

      So, in order to get to some genuine truth — something that you could actually believe in the sense of ‘trust’ — you are going to have to drop your entire false-argument and . . . get down to the business of doing your own sound thinking & analysis.

      What you are doing is relying on the ‘opinions’ (in the worst philosophical sense) of others. You are a *victim* of them and that is not an enviable position. And this is the terrible problem we seem to face in our present: that there are actors out there who are deceivingly involved in bad-faith argument, or who are simply deceived and continue a process of deception.

  4. In reading Lyman Trumbull’s statement, I am reminded of Michael Josephson’s description of ethical behavior: “Ethics is about how we meet the challenge of doing the right thing when that will cost more than we want to pay.”
    Reviewing Turley’s measured but eloquent and unequivocal statement, and then seeing the Democrats apparent total disregard for the veracity of his position and their fawning over the liberal academics who parrot their Trump-hate, it is clear that Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and company are totally without any ethical compass. From here, it looks like the Democrat party, if worth saving, will have to be rebuilt from the ground up.
    To hear Pelosi et al declare that it is all about patriotism and the Constitution makes me want to hurl. There isn’t a patriot in the bunch. Her lecturing about “the intent of the founding fathers” has the same credibility as an arsonist lecturing about the intent of the architect.

    • The tell, going back to the attempt to hijack the Electoral College, was the sudden and dishonest deification of Alexander Hamilton, who detested democracy, and wanted such options as electors over-riding the will of the electorate and impeachments on loosely defined grounds because he didn’t trust the public.

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