I can’t believe I’m writing this at 8:30 pm.
(Who knows when I will finish it..)
No, I’m not watching the Oscars, because one political remark—we have been warned that Obama and Clinton speechwriter are ghostwriting winners’ acceptance speeches—might send me into the streets with a machete. Grace is still in a lot of pain and depressed in the aftermath of her fall 17 days, two hours and six minutes ago (the bouquet from the Ethics Alarms Commentariat is still beautiful); believe it or not, the Christmas tree is still not completely undecorated because I’ve been doing it, alone, in five minute increments, and really am in mortal fear that a drooling hoard of the Walking Trump Deranged will burst through the windows any minute now based on the crazy things I’m reading on social media. I believe that I have never lived through a period when so many smart people were expressing such astoundingly stupid assertions.
But the delayed Mookie Betts trade with the Dodgers finally got straightened out, so there’s that…
1. On the topic of stupid positions adopted by smart people. Naturally, Trump Derangement is the culprit. All these people caterwauling about the President firing Lt. Col. Vinderman, his twin brother, and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in the aftermath of the impeachment trial have forgotten whatever they once knew about management, common sense, and accountability.
“This shows this President’s respect for TRUTH!” wrote one temporarily–I hope–lobotomized friend. Wow. This isn’t especially complicated. Once a President no longer trusts a subordinate, he not only is justified in firing him or her, he has to, or he is incompetent and naive. It doesn’t matter if the distrust is justified, either. If the subordinate or appointee has shifty eyes, or seems evasive in his answers, that’s enough. No President in our history has been so routinely betrayed and undermined by leakers, partisan moles and Deep State vigilantes.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is an easy call. A member of the National Security Council, Vindman was on the infamous July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. He is widely believed to have been one of the sources who alerted the anonymous whistleblower whose name must not be revealed, Eric Ciaramella. Even before that crucial breach of confidentiality, Vindman’s direct superior, Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s senior director for European affairs, viewed him as untrustworthy. The President had every justification to fire him; calling it “revenge” is infantile. It was a firing for cause, and the President also firing Vindman’s twin brother is called “prudence.”
As for Ambassador Sondman, he served at the pleasure of the President, as the tradition goes, and I cannot fault Trump for no longer being pleased with a high placed diplomat who appeared to be doing his best to assist a House coup. To be fair, it is worth mentioning that Sondman was a dubious appointment to begin with, since he had no diplomatic experience.
2. The Left’s drift to totalitarianism continues. The Los Angeles Times reports that a proposed bill in California would require every citizen who is registered to vote to cast a ballot in all future elections. Assembly Bill 2070, if enacted, would “require a person who qualifies and is registered to vote to cast a ballot, marked or unmarked in whole or in part, at every election held within the territory within which the person resides.”
This is compelled political speech and unconstitutional, not that Democrats seem to care about that of late.
3. Well what do you know! A vestige of principle still lives in Chris Matthews. Once upon a time, long ago before he was co-opted by the one-way propaganda machine known as MSNBC, he was a brave and independent pundit fully capable of bucking the conventional wisdom and agenda of his party.( Matthews was an aide to Democratic legend Tip O’Neill, and is a lifetime Kennedy fanboy. ) But as my old friend and occasional commenter here, Tom Fuller, colorfully says “there is some shit he won’t eat,” apparently.
After the New Hampshire Democratic debate on Friday night, Matthews told the far, far Left MSNBC audience what should be obvious to educated and historically literate Americans: Socialism is contrary to our ideals, so Chris doesn’t trust anyone who advocates it for the United States, including Senator Sanders. Chris shocked his useful idiot colleagues when he rambled,
“The Democratic Party has to figure out its ideology…If the Democratic Party runs a socialist candidate, that’s a change to the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party’s been to the left of the Republican Party on the issue of mixed capitalism, more social programs. They push Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, enormously popular programs. I think ACA/Obamacare, I wish they’d follow through with it, make it work. I think most Americans would be happy with … a public option…I have my own views of the word socialist, and I’ll be glad to share them with you in private. They go back to the early 1950s, I have an attitude about them. I remember the Cold War…T]hose of us like me who grew up — who grew up in the Cold War and saw some aspects of it after visiting places like Vietnam like I have, seeing countries like Cuba, being there, I’ve seen what socialism is like. I don’t like it. Okay? It’s not only not free. It doesn’t freaking work. It just doesn’t work…
…I have an attitude towards Castro. I believe if Castro and the Reds had won the Cold War, there would have been executions in Central Park, and I might have been one of the ones getting executed, and certain other people would have been there cheering. So I have a problem with people who took the other side,…I don’t know who Bernie supports over these years. I don’t know what he means by socialism. One week, it’s Denmark. ‘We’re going to be like Denmark.’ Okay, that’s harmless. That’s basically a capitalist country with a lot of good social programs….What does [Sanders} think of Castro?…He became a communist and started shooting all of his enemies.”
After Chris, however inarticulately, committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the ascendant orthodoxy, #FireChrisMatthews began trending on social media, which proved Matthews’ point. Bernie’s minions don’t like free expression and having to deal with adverse points of view.
4. Keep the statues, lose the holiday. The newly Democratic Party-dominated Virginia House of Delegates voted 55 to 42 in favor of a measure already passed by the Virginia Senate to end the state holiday Lee-Jackson Day and replace it with a holiday on election days. Gov. Ralph Northam is prepared to sign the measure.
Lee-Jackson Day, celebrated in January, was created in 1899 to honor Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson’s naame was added to the celebrations five years later.
“Making election day a holiday serves a much more honorable purpose in this day and age than celebrating the ghosts of Virginia’s Confederate past,” Delegate Joe Lindsey, the House bill’s sponsor, said in a statement.
I’ll fight to preserve statues of regional heroes and politically incorrect historical figures, but this is a Jim Crow holiday that represents unapologetic nostalgia for the land of cotton where old times are not forgotten.
It’s also nice to see the Virginian Democrats doing something besides banning guns.
19 thoughts on “Late Sunday Ethics Dump, 2/9/2020: Firings, Voting, A Holiday Swap, And Chris Matthews Breaks Ranks”
I think Chris Matthews’ expiration date has come and gone. He’s become a parody of himself. Good for him for taking on Bernie and his Communism, but Chris really should just go fishing. What ever happened to retirement as a natural and worthwhile thing for people in or past their sixties? Don’t people want to do anything other than what they’ve been doing relentlessly for the last forty or fifty years? Don’t they have any hobbies or intellectual interests they’d like to pursue before taking their dirt nap?
I met Chris in an airport. 1) He looked incredibly old up close and without makeup and 2) He’s tall–maybe 6’3 or 6’4.
Big Irish galoot.
He’s always been more than a little suspect. He purports to equate his having been in the Peace Corps with other guys having fought in Vietnam. Sorry Chris, you lost me there.
This is great news about AB 2070 in my home state of California. At last we can have a true People’s Republic where all my fellow comrades are required to vote. I wonder if gulags in the desert are coming next in the desert for naysayers.
In Soviet California, ballot selects YOU!
‘You put ‘Yes’ vote in first box, or we put YOU in other box!’
Right. What are they gonna do, lock up all the minorities that don’t vote?
So now Virginia Democrats turned against the memory of the Confederacy.
I doubt it was due to a newfound appreciation for civil rights.
Jack, I hope Grace feels better soon.
Boy, so do I. And she.
#1 Here are some headlines I found on CNN website this morning…
“Trump sends strong signal of White House’s new power”
“He is fashioning the presidency around his own personality. It’s unrestrained, unaccountable, often profane and impervious to facts.”
“Schumer calls on Defense Acting Inspector General to investigate witness retaliation”
“Trump weaponizes the Presidency after impeachment victory”
Also here is an interesting video…
Constitutional law expert reacts to Trump impeachment: The legislative branch can abuse its power.
Re video: It really shouldn’t take a “Constitutional expert” to see that a president has a pretty wide latitude in employing his executive powers, and many have pushed the limits in one way or another. In the absence of a clearly defined crime (which the dems couldn’t claim, much less establish), “abuse” is highly subjective, and that’s when the determination falls to the courts, not to one house of the legislature. The dems were rightly afraid to go there.
By the hierarchy set set in Youngstown v Sawyer, Obama surely abused his power in establishing DACA, which had expressly been rejected by Congress several times. Nothing Trump did came even close to that.
Wanna bet those who wouldn’t vote would somehow have their votes miraculously counted anyway?
What are the up and coming dictators in California afraid of here? A coming conservative surge?
Or do they just want an easy way to identify conservative voters for vilification purposes?
They are doing more than banning guns. They are trying to pass a law to make criticizing a lot of political leaders illegal. Not only that, they want to give the Virginia Capitol Police statewide jurisdiction to hunt down and arrest such dangerous criminals. Just as Trump says “They’re not after me, they’re after YOU. I’m just in the way.” They really aren’t after the Second Amendment, they are after the entire Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is just in the way.
Serious question, can the firing of the brothers Vindman and Ambassador Sondland be interpreted as workplace retaliation. If I recall the rules, your employer cannot retaliate against you for lodging a complaint, participating in an investigation, acting as a witness in an investigation. Now I am not a lawyer or a labor law specialist, so I’d love to hear a more informed take. Do the things I listed refer exclusively to EEOC complaints? The Vindman affair seems more workplace protocol. He did jump over the chain of command, and went about in highly unorthodox fashion to lodge a complaint. At the end of the day, shouldn’t one resign and then issue an open letter of their reasoning, to protest management’s failings, if management failed to address, or ignored the issue. Of course an important component of all this is a good faith complaint. I think we can have a debate about Vindman being a good faith actor.
Neither Vindman was fired they were reassigned. I would suspect that Col. Vindman does not enjoy EEOC protections as a member of the military. His brother never testified so no one can claim he is being retaliated against.
Further, Vindman transmitted classified information to a third party. He could be prosecuted for that alone. Vindman could have protected himself by being the whistleblower. He chose an invalid method. Morever, his assignment was ending in 3 months.
If I recall from the Schiff/Nadler show the source of all the other witnesses’ beliefs about Trump’s motivation regarding the delay of aid came from Sondlein’s “presumptions, assumptions and fact free conclusions”
#3… while his words *seem* to ring true, I just don’t understand how brave he’s being – he’s saying “America is NOT a socialist country, just a country that I wish would adopt a lot of very socialist plans, but without shootings”