In Ethics Alarms’ compilation of the previous 19 attempts at removing President Trump since his election had been stalled at Plan S, the unconstitutional, cynical and non-substantive impeachment of President Trump on spurious grounds in 2019. It’s lack of validity was demonstrated by the fact that neither the news media nor Democrats mentioned the sham during the 2020 Presidential campaign. In the introduction to the list, I wrote,
When Plan S, which late novelist Robert Ludlum might have called “The Ukrainian Perversion” if it had been one of his novels, fails like the rest, or if President Trump is re-elected, the list will keep growing. As scholar Victor Hanson Davis has pointed out, the sheer number of these successive plans belies the claim that this is not an ongoing attempt at a soft coup.
As it turned, out I was more right than I intended to be. Never did I suspect that Democrats would continue to try to remove the President before the end of his term even if they won the 2020 Presidential election, but they are doing so because the other 19 attempts failed. Since this cannot reasonably be called a soft coup, since the Democrats have already won the White House, Plan T must be recognized for what it is: an act of pure hate and vengeance, and a deliberate, calculated insult to Trump’s supporters as well as those citizens who believe that that their government should not behave like third-world failed state.
The rest of this post will be added to “Presidential Impeachment/Removal Plans, 2016 to 2020”:
Plan T (added 1/9/21): Trump should be impeached for “inciting a riot” with his speech to supporters on January 6, as Congress gathered to officially approve the states’ electoral college vote making Joe Biden the 46th President. The transcript is here.
The President did not incite a riot under current law or logic. While his speech was irresponsible, just as his refusal to capitulate to logic and political tradition by dropping his claims of fraud against Democrats and the 2020 election (while leaving pursuit of the genuine questions surrounding the fiasco to others) was irresponsible. There is certainly no evidence that he wanted his supporters to invade the Capitol, or that he was seeking a violent confrontation. His subsequent refusal to unequivocally condemn the rioters was another terrible choice, but hardly an impeachable one, especially in the context of recent, more destructive riots that many political leaders and the news media fueled by their rationalizations and passive support.
There are no words in the speech that encourage violence. Law professor/blogger Ann Althouse listed what she considered the seven most provocative statements in the speech, noting that none mention or suggest violence:
7. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.
6. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal…. We will not let them silence your voices.
5. The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican party if you don’t get tougher.
4. [W]e’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed, and we’re not going to stand for that.
3. We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.
2. We’re not going to let it happen. Not going to let it happen.
1. Together we are determined to defend and preserve government of the people, by the people and for the people.
If that’s an incitement to violence, then so are hundreds, maybe thousands, of speeches, some of them famous, made by U.S. elected officials and political leaders throughout our history.
The logic of impeaching the President for his speech (and, I assume, for having the bad taste to finally react to the ultimately successful effort by a confederacy of the “resistance,” Democrats, news media, and, finally, Big Tech and the social media platforms, to take him out of office “by any means necessary”) is that his words did spark the Capitol rioting, regardless of their meaning or his intent. If this really is the standard our government wishes to establish, that a politician’s words can be made impeachable by their unintended results carried forward in their name by the radical, the lawless, the mischievous and the moronic, then all passionate political expression is effectively banned, and an ill-chosen phrase—Barack Obama’s suggestion that the death of Trayvon Martin was analogous to one of his children being killed comes to mind—will be a potential career-ender for members of both parties.
Add to this the fact that Plan T is motivated not by the best interests of the nation or to protect the public, since Donald Trump’s Presidency ends in less than two weeks, but a gesture of hate and revenge by a party that, as the previous 19 plans already have vividly illustrated. never accepted the will of the people in electing this President, and have become more angry and frustrated as they efforts to remove him failed. Now, after their success, however tainted, they still cannot resist inflicting a final indignity, a slap in the face, an ultimate demonstration of contempt by not even allowing him to complete his term.
Incredibly, this is the most unethical of the 20 plans. The Theory is simply this:
“We have the votes in the House, and maybe the emotional and visceral revulsion at the rioting will give us the votes in the Senate, so we will impeach him because we can, and because we hate the bastard.”
There is a lot more to discuss, and we’ll do that in Part II.