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?
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.