1. A recent exchange in a Facebook debate: I challenged someone who said that the President had extorted a foreign government to get “dirt” on a likely opponent in the election, thus personal gain. This, he said, was impeachable. After pointing out that the evidence of “extortion” is speculative at best, since a) no money was ultimately withheld, b) the government at issue says they did not feel extorted, and c), as many have pointed out, using such goodies as foreign aid and state visits as carrots to persuade governments to agree to various U.S. requests and demands that, among other results, might help a President or his party win an election is international politics as usual, and has only been called sinister during this administration.
Then I asked, “If all the facts were the same, except that Joe Biden had not entered the Presidential race, would there be anything wrong, much less impeachable, about the President asking the Ukraine to investigate what appears to have been possible illicit influences on the Vice President of the U.S. through benefits being showered on his son?”
No answer was forthcoming.
So much for impeachment article #1.
2. Alan Dershowitz explained last week that the Supreme Court “pulled the rug out of part two of impeachment” by agreeing to hear a trio of cases involving subpoenas for the President’s financial records. He is quite right; I would say inarguably so.
Dershowitz explained that by granting certiorari in three cases where Trump had challenged a congressional subpoena, SCOTUS had made a statement that there was a legal question regarding whether the subpoenas were valid. Because the Supreme Court said the issue needed to be settled, the message was that the President was right,, that he does not have to comply with a subpoena by Congress unless a court orders him to comply.
“Now, we don’t know how the court is going to come out,” the former Harvard professor said. “But they made it clear that’s a viable issue. So, that charge, that ground of impeachment, should be immediately removed by the House and not sent to the Senate. There’s nothing to it anymore after the Supreme Court today said you’re entitled to a review on an issue when the President challenges the subpoena power of Congress.”
And that’s it for #2. “It’s all done. It’s over,” says Dershowitz .
3. Trying to pick just one hysterical rant by one of the New York Times’ coup collaborators on the op-ed pages is tough; there’s at least one new brain-melting screed every day. David Leonhardt had a strong entry last week with “The Eight Counts of Impeachment That Trump Deserves” Leonhardt is not a lawyer, nor a political scientist. He’s mathematician who has been in journalism since college, and his strongly worded opinions on government matters typically have more certitude than scholarship behind them. His “Eight Counts” contained such howlers as “5. Acceptance of emoluments: The Constitution forbids the president from profiting off the office by accepting “emoluments.” Yet Trump continues to own his hotels, allowing politicians, lobbyists and foreigners to enrich him and curry favor with him by staying there. On Sunday, William Barr, the attorney general, personally paid for a 200-person holiday party at Trump’s hotel in downtown Washington.” Of course, Trump does not receive direct enrichment from hotel bills, since they are owned by a corporation. A recent study indicated that Trump’s hotel brand has suffered since he became President, and there is no evidence that he has profited from being President. Then there’s “6. Corruption of elections.” He writes, “Very few campaign-finance violations are impeachable. But $280,000 in undisclosed hush-money payments during a campaign’s final weeks isn’t a normal campaign-finance violation. The 2016 election was close enough — decided by fewer than 80,000 votes across three swing states — that the silence those payments bought may well have flipped the outcome.” He’s talking about the Stormy Daniels scandal. Actually, there is no precedent suggesting that any campaign-finance violations are impeachable, or that conduct prior to becoming President was the object of the Founders’ impeachment clause. Moreover, the idea that paying off a shakedown by a mistress is a campaign finance violation has been almost universally debunked. None of Leonhardt’s Big Eight are more than anti-Trump spin regarding conduct that can just as easily be justified.
But still, he loses the competition to Michelle Goldberg, whose “Democracy Grief Is Real: Seeing what Trump is doing to America, many find it hard to fight off despair” is a masterpiece in the genre of projecting one’s own unethical conduct onto the innocent. It’s also a classic example of Big Lie #5: “Everything is Terrible.”
The thing is really quite spectacular: while Democrats are abusing the Constitutional impeachment process as a culmination of three full years of trying to defy and undermine our democracy by undoing a lawful election…while they are giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens and plotting to give them the vote…while they are pursuing limits on the First, Second and Fifth Amendments, elimination of private health insurance, subjugation of areas of self-government to international bodies, and the required dictatorial powers to force businesses and citizens to accept Draconian measures to address speculative climate change in the future, Goldberg writes of despair because “democracy is dying” —because of the President who opposes these policies. It’s pretty clear by now what the Left means when they say things like that: democracy is dying any time they lose. Goldberg talks to a whiny progressive, who says,
“It’s like watching someone you love die of a wasting disease” (speaking of our country), she says. “Each day, you still have that little hope no matter what happens, you’re always going to have that little hope that everything’s going to turn out O.K., but every day it seems like we get hit by something else.” Some mornings, she said, it’s hard to get out of bed. “It doesn’t feel like depression,” she said. “It really does feel more like grief.”
Seek psychiatric help, dear. What hits you? Mean tweets? I could fisk this garbage with ease, but it’s 3 am, and Goldberg’s fantasy is self-rebutting.
My serious question: how brainwashed and biased does someone have to be to read such nonsense and not react with rolled eyes and a cancelled subscription?