My Impeachment Freak-Out Rebuttal To A Smart And Fair Facebook Friend

I just wrote the longest reply to a Facebook friend I have ever authored, not counting pasting in Ethics Alarms columns. He’s a fair and smart man, but he’s in the performing arts, which  means he’s surrounded by knee-jerk progressives who think Robert De Nero  and Meryl Streep are persuasive political commentators and who cheered when the cast of “Hamilton” ambushed Pence. In his post, he opined that historians would condemn ” spineless, groveling, boot-licking Republican Senators who covered their ears and willfully chose not to hear from fact-witnesses like John Bolton.”  He said he was sure “the truth will come out” concerning Trump’s “corrupt motives and his misuse of presidential power,” but that “giving a pass”  to an  “unstable, narcisisstic” President “convinced that he is above the law” was very dangerous. And so on–this is the standard mainstream media babble. I decided to write a detailed rebuttal, because I know my friend is an ethical and perceptive person, and view his acceptance of this false narrative issuing from the Left as evidence that he is the victim of propaganda. I think what might have tipped the scales for me was one of his friends citing with approval James Comey’s vomit-inducing op ed, yesterday, sanctimoniously telling us that despite the recent failure of the soft coup attempt he helped to advance, “we’ll be all right.” Gag, Ack, Yecch!

Here is what I wrote:

It pains me to see you fall into this intellectual trap, [my friend] though it is not your fault. Propaganda works, after all, and 90% of the reporting and punditry you get about the impeachment is incompetent and shockingly partisan. In fact, as with the illegal attempted impeachment of Andrew Johnson, Republican Senators are saving the Constitution and the Separation of Powers by blocking a precedent that would have reduced elections to just a temporary democratic moment until the opposing party could figure out some way to reverse hem. Few if any of the GOP Senators care for the President any more than you do (or I, for that matter), but Presidents were not intended to be impeached because Congress decides they are assholes, and that’s all that is being attempted here.

There’s no getting around the fact that the Democrats/”resistance” and such news sources as the Washington Post began promoting impeachment from Inauguration Day, and then floated 19 separate attempts to remove him, ultimately settling on one of the weakest, transparently rushing it through in time for the Presidential campaign. They wanted to impeach Trump for the “crime” of being Trump (can’t do that, and if you do, it’s called a “soft coup”) on the presumption of what his “real” motives were for an unremarkable example of typical Presidential foreign policy maneuvering using a contrived theory that, as Dershowitz among others (like me) have explained, could have been used with equal justification against a majority of the 43 men who went before him.

John Bolton had nothing relevant to say, because John Bolton could only testify that he had reason to believe that the President was using the threat of withholding a pot of money to push the Ukraine into doing something a President has the power to make it do. Bolton could not prove, or even say, that the primary reason the President was doing this was to help his re-election chances. That has been complete supposition from the start, and no, you cannot impeach a President based on what he might have been thinking based on a conclusion that he is “unstable, narcissistic, and convinced that he is above the law.”

As many (including me) have pointed out, there would be nothing assailable about seeking the truth about whether a sitting Vice-President in the previous administration engaged in influence peddling so his slimeball son could get a high paying position he had no qualifications for other than being the son of a VP if Joe Biden weren’t running for President. Well, that’s obviously nuts: all a corrupt official has to do to block an investigation is to run for President? Baloney.

Impeachment has to be bi-partisan and undeniable to be legitimate; that’s why we haven’t had any successful ones. This one was—by far—the most unjustified yet: at least Clinton broke the law (twice) in matters serious enough to get him disbarred (I argued at the time that it was strange that conduct that rendered someone unable to be a lawyer wasn’t sufficient to get him told he couldn’t be President). Trump was doing what was within his power and broke no laws, and removing him for that would essentially make every subsequent President a servant of Congress, which could remove him for “maladministration,” a criteria explicitly rejected by the Founders.

I’m going through all this  because you’re a fair and astute man who cares about reality. Facebook is a trap, because it does not encourage or reward honest debate. I’ve stopped (well, almost) pointing out completely deranged posts on this topic because the result is automatic: I am called a Trump supporter (I am NOT, and I can prove it: I am a supporter of the Presidency and the Constitution) and a parrot of Fox News talking points (I do NOT follow Fox News, which I regard as a hack news source–almost as bad as MSNBC and CNN)—then I get unfriended by five people who couldn’t explain the Johnson impeachment if there was a gun to their heads, and who didn’t see any problem when no witnesses were called in Clinton’s impeachment trial, if they know that at all, and most don’t.

Thus Facebook is an overwhelmingly anti-Trump and largely civically ignorant bubble that rewards ad hominem attacks and hateful rhetoric with buckets of likes. It’s “Mean Girls,” and unhealthy and wrong. (And if there was ever an example of ethical confusion, it’s citing an opinion piece by James Comey, of all people. It is a nice piece—written as investigations show that he fostered a corrupt culture at the FBI, lied to Congress multiple times and violated the law himself. Ironically, Comey sparked another fake impeachment plan (#7 on my list of 19), the one that held that even if a President fires a subordinate that literally everyone agrees deserved to be fired —Hillary would have fired him is two seconds–it’s obstruction of justice to do so if everyone decides that the REAL reason he was fired was to impede an investigation. The fact that a disgrace like Comey is welcomed onto the op-ed pages shows just how biased the the media is.

Actually, I’m not at all sure we’ll be “all right”—not with a major political party attempting to warp the last resort impeachment clause into a partisan attack tool in order to make up for its ability to win elections, and then having the news media allow it to cloak such anti-democractic warfare in language about “protecting democracy.”

Orwell. Bizarro World.

28 thoughts on “My Impeachment Freak-Out Rebuttal To A Smart And Fair Facebook Friend

  1. That’s a really good Facebook post but if he’s anything like the majority of my performing arts friends your post will glaze over his eyes, he’ll be angry for you piercing his lefty bubble, and he’ll disregard the content; of course there are worse reactions that I intentionally didn’t mention here.

  2. Bravo. You’re right on all counts, of course. But I hate to think you’ve wasted your time. The Deranged don’t think for themselves (thus, are guilty of the same things of which they accuse their opponents) and are conditioned to reject anything that doesn’t fit the narrative they’ve been relentlessly spoon-fed for three years.

    The Democrat Party is a corrupting organization.

    • It was no waste of time.

      The beneficiaries of Jack’s rebuttal are lurkers and fence-sitters who may sympathize with the democratic Party, but do not like being lied to.

      One of my longtime Usenet allies, Christopher Charles Morton, a native of Chicago, Illinois, a veteran of the United States Army, and current resident of Rocky river, Ohio, frequently exposes the lies of the anti-gun cult. He does not expect to change the minds of the leadership and spokesholes.

      His arguments are aimed towards the lurkers and fence-sitters who fear being mugged on the streets by street thugs, or their children being shot to death in a drive-by shooting by gangbangers. By exposing lies, he drives a wedge between the leadership and the rank-and-file.

  3. The big problem is that the Trump Deranged live in a bubble with their Facebook friends where facts contrary to their deeply held emotional beliefs are routinely disregarded as irrelevant. I remember a long time ago when I was present at a quasi legal hearing where a lawyer was making a case against retaining a sufficient number of psychologists to complete assessments for my district size. A colleague whispered to me that her arguments were too emotional and I was puzzled by his remarks. Now I have a better understanding about his comment.

    • It makes me wonder how this is going to end?
      Facebook is going to throw in the towel on censoring. Zuckerberg has stated that the progressives grow more and more bold and want any opposing viewpoint stifled. What he’s not saying but is likely true: progressives working at Facebook are part and parcel of the problem and ending political censorship is the only way to get them in line. That does not pirce the bobble created by unfriending but helps.
      I also wonder about how the mainstream media gets out. They now have zero credibility with half the country. That’s got to hurt at some point.
      I think the likely outcome is continued election defeats. If the next US election goes down like Boris Johnson’s election, it will sting. Do it a few times and they will have to regroup and adjust to re-enter the mainstream.

  4. For the first time in twenty or more years, I will not be attending the Virginia Stare Bar’s annual Criminal Law Seminar in Williamsburg precisely because James Comey is the luncheon speaker. I am really pissed that my dues money is paying him to speak

  5. One of the straight out lines being peddled by CNN and the WaPost is that “this is the first impeachment without senate witnesses.”.
    Good that you mentioned that Clinton didn’t have witnesses.

  6. Most interesting would be to find out how this friend of Jack’s responded. Or if Jack was outed / doxxed on Facebook by this friend to expose him to more deranged respondents.

    Read this morning how this happened via Twitter to a coach Marino from the Brown football team by a formerly coached NYT writer making sure the coach’s career is now jeopardized.

    The oh so tolerant left at its best.

    • There is a response–I’ve been reluctant to read it, because I’m afraid it will disillusion me, especiall after he “liked” this cretinous response by a friend:

      I think the basic problem here is your misunderstanding of impeachment and the problem. Btw when someone threatens to do something to you ( to withhold needed funds unless you do something they tell you to do it is called extortion). We anti- trump people do not want an Imperial President. Trump has been supported from the start by those who believe in a white, Christian, corporate, America that followed their belief systems. The founders worked very hard shaping the constitution to avoid an Imperial presidency. We see the lack of differing opinion within the Republican Party. We hear Trump believes article 2 that describes the powers of the president as a Carte Blanche. We see the first Republic going down the drain. You feel sorry for our new dictator. Poor guy.

      I almost never pull out my credentials, but I couldn’t resist this time. Don’t tell ME I don’t understand impeachment.

      • So what we have here is less a political position than a cannon of religious faith. This looks very like the kind of reply this same guy would doubtless make if you challenged him on global warming (or climate change, or whatever the doctrine is being called these days).

        The Left have become the new Puritans, and if they ever gain sufficient power, the equivalent of witch trials are certain to follow. One thing history proves beyond doubt is that personal beliefs, whether or not based in fact, are more than sufficient reason to imprison or kill the heretic.

        Facebook and Twitter are becoming the virtual church of the New Puritans. It makes perfect sense, if you think about it.

        • Glenn, this is reminding me of the Twilight Zone discussion I had with a consultant at the U.S Chamber who told me that dinosaurs didn’t exist. She was condescending and smug about it too. My hobby was paleontology for many years, and I keep up with the science. She just kept saying that dinosaurs couldn’t have exited because they would have eaten the people, and that “everybody” knew the Earth was just 10,000 years old. I felt like I was in the Scopes trial. She literally knew nothing, and acted like I was the confused one.

      • Despite your best efforts not a dent. When unable to respond blame it on white, male, Christian, capitalists.

        Obama was demonstrably more imperial…but not strongly any of the others on that list, so he’s fine because he was down with the Struggle. You know, an Alinskyite commie.

        The is going to end extremely badly. Prepare.

        • His actions were always behind a flurry of photo ops of him holding babies, playing with kids/meeting the famous in the Oval Office, dancing with Michelle, and The Bromance, the image of a wonderful guy just being President. It was effective. No one remembers or believes how many he deported, know how many drone strikes he ordered, about Fast and Furious, none of it.

          • Nor do any of them know how he threatened to withhold money appropriated by Congress unless universities violated the civil rights of male students.

            http://reason.com/2019/06/05/a-skeptics-look-at-administrative-constitutionalism/

            In May
            2013, OCR and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division sent a join letter to the University of Montana memorializing a settlement to a sexual harassment case brought against the university. The letter stated that it was
            intended to “serve as a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the
            country.”41 MIgnoring Supreme Court precedent, the First Amendment, and
            OCR’s own guidance from the Bush administration
            , the letter declares that
            “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as ‘any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,’” including “verbal . . . conduct”, regardless of
            whether it is objectively offensive or sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a
            hostile environment.42

            so, to these people, threatening to withhold money for the purpose of violating the civil rights of male students is good, threatening to withhold money for the purpose of reopening a criminal investigation is bad.

  7. “I am called a Trump supporter (I am NOT…”

    Well, you DID vote for him. Maybe you don’t support him now but you (and a bunch of others who couldn’t see his corruption to be as bad as the other candidate’s, and the fact that he is a loathsome bottom feeder) did act in a way that forces us all to be either supporters or not.

    • I did NOT vote for him, Patrice! If you followed the blog, you would know that. To the contrary, I was prepared to hold down my gorge and vote for Horrible Hillary right up to the last 72 hours. I wrote in a name.

      You’re too smart to make such a dumb comment. You’re educated—you should know that “being loathsome” is not impeachable, but true to your bubble, that’s the talking point excuse for all of this. Of coarse he’s loathsome. Lots of US Presidents have been loathsome–don’t make me give you a list. Nor was Trump appreciably more “corrupt” than Hillary, Clinton, Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson, Truman and several others, just in a different field.

      Read some history, learn your civics, stop listening to liars and Big Lie purveyors, and don’t accuse me of something I didn’t do.

      And you owe me an apology.

    • And lest my reply seem unduly harsh–and I guess it is—I regard the suggestion that I vote for the Presient as the equivilent of challengeing my honesty and integrity. I spent more time and effort than most trying to explain why DT should neither be nominated nor elected. As an ethicist who believes that character is the #1 requirement for leaders and US Presidents in particular, I stated unequivocally that I could not vote for someone like him as an ethicist and a student of the Presidency. My opinions have not changed on that score, though my conviction that the Democratic Party is an existential threat to democracy has intensified.

      But while character matters are, or should be, primary in the consideration of who to vote for, they are completely irrelevant to impeachment, and do not justify any other contrived effort to remove an elected President. On this I am both unshakeable, non-partisan and right, and opposing a wrongful effort to sabotage an elected President does not make me “a supporter.” It makes me a responsible and knowledgeable citizen.

    • Wow. Supporting a politician makes you responsible for their actions. Good to know.

      Who, pray tell, did YOU vote for? For the sake of argument, I am going to make an assumption.

      If it was Hillary, does that make you responsible for the deaths of US citizens in Benghazi? Did you vote for Obama? Does that make you responsible for the extra judicial drone strikes on US citizens? Or the deportation of all those undocumented ‘immigrants whose kids Obama kept in cages?

      I will apologize if you tell me you wrote a name in, like Jack. I am betting from your biased comment that I have nothing to apologize for.

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