Christmas Eve Ethics Stocking Stuffers, 12/24/2019: All Right, It’s All About Impeachment…

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night…

1. In the spirit of the season, I did not post this on Facebook with the note, “Good plan, everybody!” But I wanted to…According to Gallup, Trump’s approval is at 45 %. This actually beats Barack Obama’s approval rating of 42%  from Gallup at the exact same point in his presidency.  Obama went on to win reelection the following November, against a much stronger opposition candidate than anyone the Democrats have in the running. True, it helped that his IRS knee-capped conservative groups that might have helped Romney, but still.

Meanwhile, more bad news for the “everything is terrible” gang: Bloomberg reports that holiday shopping last Saturday sales reached $34.4 billion, the biggest single day in U.S. retail history.

2. Meanwhile, Trump Derangement reached a critical stage:

A. New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill, passed overwhelmingly by the Democratic-controlled state legislature, that would have allowed all federal judges to perform weddings in New York . Why? Because judges appointed by President Trump are unclean, or possessed, or something.

“I cannot in good conscience support legislation that would authorize such actions by federal judges who are appointed by this federal administration,” Cuomo said in his veto statement. “President Trump does not embody who we are as New Yorkers,’’ the Democratic governor said “The cornerstones that built our great state are diversity, tolerance, and inclusion. Based on these reasons, I must veto this bill.”

This takes guilt by association to new lows, I’d say. Are New Yorkers Americans, Governor? Then President Trump represents who you are.


B.  Former “Whose the Boss?” star Alyssa Milano, apparently determined to prove beyond all doubt that being an actress conveys no authority regarding politics beyond that of the average out-patient at a methadone clinic, snapped entirely. Earlier in the week she had appeared at an anti-Trump rally featuring her and Naked Ex-Congresswoman Katie Hill, who told the crowd, “Impreah the motherfucker!” (for he has degraded the  civility of political discourse!) Yesterday she sent this tweet…

..and this one…

Because screaming at the sky and a contrived impeachment is obviously not going to work. When is it ethical to start feeling sorry for these people?

Not yet…

3.  “Indelible” Kudos to blogger Ann Althouse for beating me to the punch about the news media’s face-saving narrative about impeachment—that whatever happens, it’s a blot, a stain, on Trump’s record. That’s going to be the Democratic campaign claim, I assume, and naturally the news media is laying the foundation:

“‘It’s a horrible thing they did’: Trump now bears the indelible mark of impeachment” — The Washington Post on December 19, the day after the House took that vote.

“Impeachment indelible stain on Trump’s legacy” — The Boston Herald.

“The indelible stain on Trump’s presidency belongs to the entire Republican Party” — The Colorado Independent.

Althouse, who picked those links, notes,

This idea of the indelible mark works to downplay the knowledge that the Senate will acquit the President. He won’t be removed from office, so wasn’t impeachment futile? No, it matters! It’s an indelible mark that will last forever, a stain that can never be removed!

The assertion of indelibility seemed really important for… what?… a day? And then along came the new idea that the President wasn’t even impeached at all. Yes, that too, happened on December 19th. Noah Feldman — last seen somberly informing us that what Donald Trump did was oh, so impeachable — returned for Act 2 of Law Professors Tell You What the Law Is.

This line of reasoning deliberately ignores the fact that this impeachment guarantees that impeachment will not be a blot on Trump’s record or any other Presient going forward, because the Democrats openly reduced it to a purely political and unethical weapon to be wielded for partisan gain, and not the important, last resort, Constitutional remedy it was designed to be.

When I was first studying the American Presidents in the fifth grade, it was obvious to me that Andrew Johnson was a very poor President, but not because he was impeached. He was impeached for standing up to a powerful, single-party dominated Congress that wanted to force the Executive to do its bidding, and violating an unconstitutional law passed ove4r his veto. Impeachment didn’t stain Johnson’s legacy, it enhanced it. Nor was Bill Clinton’s impeachment an “indelible stain”: by the 2012 Democratic convention, he was a “rock star,” and regarded as the party’s best asset. Clinton was finally stained, all right, as he deserved to be, as a sexual predator, but that wasn’t why he was impeached.

Donald Trump has similarly been elevated, at least in my eyes, by his resilience during the three year effort to overturn his election. Courage and fortitude are two of what I call the “enabling virtues”; they are admirable qualities that can be used to further good intentions or bad. The President was elected to do a job, and he has refused to let an unprecedented amount of obstruction, harassment and hate directed his way to stop him. The impeachment was just one  more obstacle that he had to endure.

9 thoughts on “Christmas Eve Ethics Stocking Stuffers, 12/24/2019: All Right, It’s All About Impeachment…

  1. # 1–“Meanwhile, more bad news for the ‘everything is terrible’ gang: Bloomberg reports”

    Small wonder Bloomberg is putting up uncharacteristic smoke screens, he has his own set of problems to tend:

    Mike Bloomberg Exploited Prison Labor to Make 2020 Presidential Campaign Phone Calls

    Think we’ll hear him claim he was helping them to learn a trade in the joint?

    Merry Christmas to you-n-yours, Jack; same to the rest of you’s!

  2. 1. The plethora of kids’ movies on TV right now has addled my head. I’m now composing lyrics to the tune of “Everything is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie”:

    Everything is awful
    When somebody else has more money than you.
    Everything is awful
    when you don’t get your due…

    Everything is awful.
    All because we really want it to be so.
    Everything is awful
    until we elect Joe…

    Okay, somebody more creative than I am pick up here.

    2B. I do believe in fairies. I do. I do.

    Merry Christmas!

    • With apologies to A.M. Golden, I was working on a response to 2B…and came up with a rhyme as well – a pretty silly lyric.


      Twas the night before Christmas
      Eyes closed as if blind
      Deep in shavasana
      I was losing my mind

      I needed to focus
      Clairvoyance was key
      Believe in believing
      I repeated to me

      My wife said “You’re crazy!”
      But I just tuned her out
      Impossible is possible
      I wanted to shout

      I centered my thoughts
      On changing the guard
      Milano suggested
      This would not be hard

      I felt pretty stupid
      Lying there on the floor
      When would this change happen
      There were just two minutes more

      And suddenly, breakthrough
      A response from the stars
      My wife yelled “The TV
      Reported Milano on Mars!”

  3. #1. Asshole, indeed!
    #2. Bwahaha!
    #3. The “indelible mark.” I guess that was the DNC-mandated “phrase of the day” for the media. Egad, the new “scarlet letter,” now an “I’ instead of an “A.”

  4. While I agree that the Democrats gave so cheapened the impeachment process so as to make it as indelible as a temporary tattoo, re-election just might otherwise do the trick.

    And then can you imagine how obnoxious Trump might be. If he does not win back the House, he might just dare Pelosi to impeach him again, and again, knowing that the mark will rub off on his opponents (as it always seems to do).


    • Yeah, I don’t want to think about that. I’m reminded of the moment in “This is the End” where James Franco is about to ascend to heaven to escape the apocalypse, and is so obnoxious as he rises that he’s dropped back to Earth.

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