The quote in the title, in various forms, has been repeated as a running gag on Instapundit, the conservative mega-blog, for four years now. The idea behind it was that in light of the chaotic and intentionally obnoxious style of the President, Democrats only needed to behave in a statesmanlike, responsible, fair and judicious manner to prevail politically. Instead, they did exactly the opposite.
The problem is that acting crazy worked. The increasingly radical leftist base wanted to rain anger and hate down on President Trump while trying every avenue to remove him without having to brave an election. After originally resisting, the Democratic leadership eventually capitulated, bolstered by now completely partisan news media and the Republican NeverTrumpers, whose hatred of the President was as much driven by class as politics. Now that Democrats have won control of the Senate as well as the White House, they apparently see no reason to stop the formula that succeeded so well—at the cost of dividing the nation, risking violence, destroying trust in our institutions, and cementing a new normal of endless political warfare, but still. This has become the party of “the ends justifies the means.”
Of course, staying this course is also crazy, as well as destructive and dangerous. Perhaps they do not know how to get off the rails of the 2016 Election Ethics Train Wreck they started, nurtured and fueled. I agree, it’s a difficult task. The apparent Biden strategy of offering a plastic olive branch to the 50% of the public his party has insulted and denigrated for all this time and saying, “Ok, now we should be nice and respectful to each other, and shame on you if you aren’t” will not work; I can figure that out by just reading Ethics Alarms comments.
But what really won’t work is acting even crazier, which today involves seeking to crush President Trump even though he has been defeated, embarrassed (mostly by his own words and actions) and will be leaving office in a few weeks. It is crazy, for example, with his term almost over, for Democrats and other members of the Axis of Unethical Conduct to highlight their own hypocrisy and double standards by talking as if their own leaders and allies didn’t encourage, cheer on and excuse the nation-wide violence by Back Lives Matter protesters and rioters this summer and fall.
President Trump encouraged his die-hard followers to protest the election results. He was, indeed, playing with fire, knowing what some of his followers were like. But the party pretending that it has never seen such conduct is the party of a mayor, in the city where Trump’s supporters gathered, who directed that “Black Lives Matter” be painted in huge block letters on her city’s streets while that group’s insurrectionists were breaking laws, burning property, looting and intimidating citizens around the nation. It is also the party whose Speaker of the House called for “uprisings all over the country” in response to the administration’s illegal immigration policies. Merriam-Webster defines “uprising” as “a usually localized act of popular violence in defiance usually of an established government.”
Even with the assistance of a subservient news media that will scrupulously avoid pointing out the double standard, those now being demonized know what’s going on, as will some members of the Democratic party with integrity and perspective—there have to be some. The outraged rhetoric is crazy.
Crazier still is the effort to impeach or remove President Trump using an unconstitutional interpretation of the 25th Amendment. This can only be explained by pure hate and the urge for revenge, as Democrats who failed in one coup attempt and theory after another show they are determined to get their prize even when it 1) makes no sense and 2) will exacerbate the divisions in the nation, which are already at a dangerous level.
Ann Althouse’s reaction this morning nicely demonstrates the craziness:
I’d like the Democrats — who have won — to show calm steadiness and grace, not crank things up to higher and higher hysteria! What was the point of dragging old man Biden to the fore and using him — rather than Sanders or Warren — to defeat Trump if not to rope in those of us who just want things to be sensible, moderate, and practical?!
Reading that, I found my mind slightly paraphrasing the sentiments of Sir Thomas More’s cynical servant, Matthew: ” [And I’d like us to] have good luck all the time. I wish rainwater was beer! I wish we had wings! But we don’t.”
Ann has also pointed out that Joe Biden’s conduct right now seems at odds with his promise last week:
“Here’s my promise to you: I’ll be a president for all Americans. Whether you voted for me or not, I’ll wake up every single morning and work to make your life better.”
“Biden won the election because people wanted calm, moderation, and normality. But it’s not enough that he may be a calm, moderate, normal person. He must lead. Where is he now? Can he show his supporters how to gracefully accede to power? Can he unite us? I want an aura of beneficence, dignity, and inclusion!”
Oh Matthew! Matthew? Please give your speech to Ann again, will you?
On a related note, Josh Blackman and Seth Barrett Tillman have written a thorough examination of the legitimacy, legally and constitutionally, of trying to impeach Trump based in an incitement to riot theory. Read it, but not to hold you in unnecessary suspense, they conclude that the theory is really, really weak.
They also point out that nothing stops Congress from impeaching a President after he leaves office. It would be crazy for Democrats to try to do that, which means that I wouldn’t put it past them. This is a party consumed with hate, and unless a strong and principled leader within the party works to bring it back into the realm of responsibility and national interest, I don’t see the craziness ending any time soon.