Pelosi’s Unconscionable “Snap Impeachment,” Part II: If This Happens, It Will Be Time To Release A Real “Kraken,” And I Hope I Can Help Feed Pelosi To It…[Corrected]

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Plan T, the apparent plan to impeach President Trump for a crime he clearly did not commit, is arguably the worse of the various AUC-contrived removal plots, because it will do the most damage by far. Even the actual impeachment, the ridiculous Plan S, had little long-term effect, and the Democrats abandoned it even as a campaign issue. Even they didn’t take it seriously: like so much of the rest, it was just one more way to denigrate, obstruct and weaken the leader of their own nation. It was part of strategy, that’s all. As I wrote in Part I, this is different in kind:

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.

I admit it: I am angry about this, and if it occurs, I will not forget it or forgive it—and I do not consider myself one of the Trump supporters being ostentatiously slapped in the face. I am angry because this is not how the United States of America behaves towards its leaders. I know readers here are sick of me saying this, but I will say it again because it is true: the nation owes respect and debt of gratitude to every President of the United States, without exception, when they leave office, and that respect should continue to the end of their days, and throughout our history. That’s right, every single one of them, the skilled and less-than-skilled, the competent and incompetent, the best and the worst of them, Andrew Johnson as well as Lincoln, Nixon as well as Eisenhower, the Bushes as well as Reagan, Hoover as well as FDR, Carter, Clinton, Obama, and yes, Donald Trump.

The job was always a killing one and a near impossible, one, and it has only become more difficult and unpleasant. Taking the job is an act of patriotism, and enduring it is an act of courage and character. No President has been treated as atrociously by so much of the public, the opposing party, his own party and the news media as Donald Trump, and it is remarkable that he accomplished as mach as he did under continuous attack. Nearly every other President has been accorded a “honeymoon,” the occasional benefit of the doubt, the opportunity to just play the head of state and accept the pomp, ceremony and traditional acclaim that comes with it. Not President Trump. He was not permitted a peaceful inauguration, nor respectful audiences in Congress to his State of the Union messages, nor the pleasure of throwing out the first ball in the baseball season, nor the host role in the Kennedy Center Honors, nor even an invitation to attend state funerals. Yet President Trump buggered on, as Winston Churchill said, doing his best to try to fulfill his promises and do what in his view was in the best interests of America.

He has been kicked virtually every day of his four years in office, and now his repulsive, vindictive, thuggish foes want to kick him as he goes out the door.

The effort to lay lat weeks riot at the Capitol at Trump’s feet is too cynical and false to be tolerated. Professor Turley had a succinct summary of how disingenuous that is in his recent column in the Hill:

We have had four years of violent protests, including the attacks on federal buildings, members of Congress, and symbols of our democracy. Former Attorney General William Barr was heavily criticized for clearing Lafayette Square last year after protesters injured numerous law enforcement officers, were injured themselves, burned a historic building, caused property damage, and threatened to breach the White House grounds. There were violent riots during the inauguration of Donald Trump and a lethal assault on some Republican lawmakers playing softball. Indeed, this year started as last year ended, with attacks on federal buildings in Portland and other cities.

It is beyond hypocritical for the same people and party that largely encouraged, enables and rationalized these and more to now pretend to be shocked, call a single, particularly stupid and pointless riot at the Capitol a “threat to Democracy,” and to attempt to impeach the President for his role in it, which consisted of endorsing a Constitutionally protected protest. The true threat to Democracy has been ongoing for four years, and it was called “the resistance.” I find it hard to believe that the American people will accept such a transparent and Orwellian distortion of reality, but I know that I won’t.

If the Congress wants to censure President Trump or some other symbolic gesture, fine. As I have written here, it was inappropriate for the President to be challenging the validity of his defeat, even more so than it was for Hillary Clinton to challenge the validity of her defeat, by Trump. Doing so was, in sequence, predictable, irresponsible, dangerous, in many ways justified, and completely in character. I would not object to an official precedent being established holding that no matter how close or dubious an election is, challenges to the results must not be pronounced in public, by POTUS.

Impeachment on this basis, however, is pure lawlessness. Here’s Turley again in another column (this is his specialty, after all). The emphasis is mine:

“..Democrats are seeking to remove Trump on the basis of his remarks to supporters before the rioting at the Capitol. Like others, I condemned those remarks as he gave them, calling them reckless and wrong. I also opposed the challenges to electoral votes in Congress. But his address does not meet the definition for incitement under the criminal code. It would be viewed as protected speech by the Supreme Court.

When I testified in the impeachment hearings of Trump and Bill Clinton, I noted that an article of impeachment does not have to be based on any clear crime but that Congress has looked to the criminal code to weigh impeachment offenses. For this controversy now, any such comparison would dispel claims of criminal incitement. Despite broad and justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or riots. But he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to raise their opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to back the recent challenges made by a few members of Congress. Trump told the crowd “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices be heard.”….

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Pelosi’s Unconscionable “Snap Impeachment,” Part I: Welcome to Plan T

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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.

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Comment Of The Day: “Query: How Many Ways Is This Poster Unethical Or Ethically Obtuse?”

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Mrs. Q—I’m still beginning 2021 hoping that she will re-activate her personal column on Ethics Alarms!—delivered a characteristically sharp and thoughtful commentary on the meme/poster above, thus earning the Comment of the Day.

In related news, Andrew Sullivan had this exchange with a trans activist who accused him of being a bigot. (Andrew, as he tells us at every opportunity, is gay):

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A brief on-topic digression: I find it amazing how really terrible reasoning and stunningly lame arguments find their way onto public forums to make the public even more ignorant and incompetent than it already is, meaning dangerously ignorant and incompetent. Consider that last tweet: Molly begins by saying that her assertion that Sullivan is bigot is bolstered by her own self-proclaimed status, or in other words, “It’s true because I saw so.” Next, she cites a personal anecdote as if what she thought and she chose to do proves anything about anything other than what she thought and she did. Finally, we get the non-sequitur that “Foucoult had sex with transwomen,” a twist on #32. The Unethical Role Model: “He/She would have done the same thing.” There was nothing wrong with Foucoult having sex with transwomen if indeed that is true, but that still doesn’t mean that not having sex with transwomen is proof of bigotry, and who made Michael Foucoult the arbiter of sexual preferences?

Ann Althouse, who found that Twitter exchange, was sufficiently perplexed by Molly’s argument that he hypothesized that it has to be a joke. She also found this, for which I am grateful:

Schrödinger’s Douchebag: A guy who says offensive things and decides whether he was joking based on the reaction of people around him.

That’s funny, but in real life the process is that someone makes a statement that offensive or stupid, means it, but retreats to Rationalization #55, The Joke Excuse, when they are criticized.

Here is Mrs. Q’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Query: How Many Ways Is This Poster Unethical Or Ethically Obtuse?”:

Welcome to the world lesbians have been subjected to for at least 6-10 years.

Please take a gander at TERF is a Slur. A “TERF” is likely defined as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. However this term has been used specifically against lesbians who object to sleeping with or dating men who identify as lesbians. Ask any lesbian what being a part of the LGBTQ+ “community” is like if you object to a born-male partner personally.

The sad thing is there are plenty of queer and bisexual identified women (and men) who are more than happy to date men who identify as women and/or lesbians. For a long time in history, men have viewed “bedding real lesbians” as a badge of honor or conquest or something. For some lesbians the energy from these born men feels the same. Now straight men are finally getting the same treatment.

Gay men are also being pressured to be an ally by sex act. The whole LGBTQ+ solidarity idea is a myth pushed by lobbies hungry for money and power. This queercraft – as I call it – pushes a message that gay is whatever you decide but also that gay is old-fashioned and to be transcended by being an all encompassing “queer.”

And queer, mind you, increasingly means heterosexuals (often white, progressive, and middle class or above) who want to facilitate both “gender variance” in fashion/personal expression, and playing with “sexual edges and norms.” Basically some kinky straight folks want to get points for donning more than rainbow socks but also rainbow identities.

Gays who don’t have an interest in transgender partners are at times vilified for having a “genital fetish” and I suppose the TRA’s, aka trans radical activists (or trans rights activists – but I like to separate those who want equal rights from those who perpetuate false equity through eradicating sex-based rights), are finally coming for the straights.

But I want to say something else regarding why this issue became something I came to pay attention to for a while.

It began when my wife, a “gender non-conforming” lesbian, was harassed multiple times by FtM’s. Each time she was literally just minding her own business when one shoulder-checked her and called her a “fucking dyke.” This happened a couple more times in different ways by two others assailants. Worse, at her former workplace, a bizarre campaign to remove sex-segregated bathrooms went out of control.

When a six foot two person in heavy boots and too short of skirts claims online to “love blood” and “body horror” while identifying as a “leather dyke” who is into children’s books and anime, it’s understandable some women may be uncomfortable around such a person, especially one who clearly shows, by the fit of clothing, to be an intact male. The bathroom felt like a war zone when this person and others began publishing various workplace bathroom photos online.

And the lesbian bars in cities across the country closed, many after being targeted for being “transphobic” for simply calling themselves “lesbian bars.” Some were cancelled because enough women at such venues rejected born-male advances.

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Query: How Many Ways Is This Poster Unethical Or Ethically Obtuse?

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Here’s my preliminary list:

1. It deliberately or ignorantly confounds bias with hate. Bias is a preference that may or may not be rational. There is no evidence that those men who would not choose to date trans women hate them. Do short men choose not to date tall women because they hate them? Do educated men prefer not to date high school drop-outs because they hate them?

2. Thus the poster denies the human right to choose who we want to have romantic relationships with. If it’s hateful not to want to date women who used to be men, then it’s hateful to choose only to date attractive women, thin women, strong women, Jewish women, women of one’s own religion, nationality or race. Personal preference is itself unacceptable if it does not advance the current definition of social justice.

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Saturday Ethics Bits and Pieces, 10/24/2020: Sushi And Coyotes

1. Another day, another police shooting where the black victim entirely brought his fate upon himself, resulting in, of course, another protest. This time the episode was in San Bernardino, California. An officer was dispatched at 11:16 p.m. in response a 911 call about a man jumping on cars in a parking lot. He’s “really drunk and he’s waving around a gun…and he’s just going crazy,” the caller told the police dispatcher. She described him as a black man with a white shirt and black shorts.

As soon as police learned he was black, they might as well have replied, “Sorry. He’s your problem.”

Body camera video shows the officer approaching Matthew Bender, who fits the description by the 911 caller. The police officer pulls out his gun and tells Bender, “Let me see your hands.” Bender  raises his hands briefly and then puts them back on his side, walking away from the officer and telling the cop, “Man, I’m going to the store.” The officer holsters his gun away and attempts to apprehend Bender, who tells him, “Don’t touch me!” The police officer wrestles Bender to the ground and tells him, “Stop fighting, dude.” Bender is seen on video reaching for an item in his waistband that appears to be a handgun.  As both men get up from the ground, and the officer draws his weapon and fires four shots at Bender, which proved fatal. A loaded, unregistered pistol was found on the suspect, who had a criminal record going back 17 years, , with arrests attempted murder, false imprisonment, domestic violence, theft and possession of narcotics. Shortly after the incident was reported, demonstrators shouting, “Abolish the police!” “Defund the police!” and “Fuck the police!” took to the streets, blocking  an intersection and attacking vehicles.

The policy the demonstrators in these episodes want is one where the police are defenseless, arrests are impossible, and black skin ensures immunity from law enforcement. This is neither just, fair, nor rational.

2. Give hate a chance. Hate is in, as you know: the Democrats are depending on it, and little else, to bring them victory next month. A website called BestLife developed a formula for determining the “most hated states,”  ranked from least hated to most hated. Who hates a state? I’ve been in 48 of them plus the District, and I like some more than others, but hating a state seems pathological to me. I assume the calculations preceded the George Floyd Freakout, because Washington, Oregon and Minnesota come out far too positively in light of their behavior since June. And why is Oklahoma the fourth most hated state?

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The American Bar Association Has Lost Faith In Professionalism, It Seems.

For as long as I can remember, lawyers took pride in that fact that they could pound away at each other in the court room, shout, sneer, mock and beat an adversary into a metaphorical pulp, and put it all aside the second the case was finished. The idea that being friends, even close friends, with an opposing advocate compromised a lawyer’s determination and willingness to fight for his or her client was an anathema to the whole concept of professionalism. During the Civil War, West Point classmates on opposite sides sometimes met before a battle, shared a whisky, old memories and a few tears, and the next day did their best to kill each other. That mindset was analogous to how I was taught lawyers were supposed to behave, and, indeed, did.

Now the American Bar Association has apparently decided that it was all a myth. In  Formal Opinion 494, “Conflicts Arising Out of a Lawyer’s Personal Relationship with Opposing Counsel,” the ABA expresses doubts that many lawyers are up to the task.

“A personal interest conflict may arise out of a lawyer’s relationship with opposing counsel, the ABA now says. “Lawyers must examine the nature of the relationship to determine if it creates a …conflict and, if so, whether the lawyer reasonably believes the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client who must then give informed consent, confirmed in writing.”

The opinion breaks possible personal relationships into three categories:

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‘All You Need Is Hate, Hate—Hate Is All You Need’…The Sequel!

That was the title of a post on February 19. That title is appropriate now, and so is the beginning of that post…

“Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”

It is ironic that President Richard Nixon’s most profound quote, an ethics quote, in fact, should have come as he left the Presidency, in his farewell remarks immediately after resigning his office in 1974 as impeachment and removal seemed unavoidable. It is doubly ironic that his words so prophetically apply at this moment to the target of his own hate that destroyed Nixon, the Democratic Party.

That the entire, ugly spectacle of a great political party shredding its own ideals and capitulating to unreasoning, all-consuming hate as its sole reason for being is not a new observation at Ethics Alarms, but it has reached its apotheosis… the final, total corruption of the party that once styled itself as the herals of peace and love was cleared and paved once Democrats, pushed by the fanatics of the “resistance,” abandoned policy commitment and fealty to America ideals and principles. The party devoted its energy and passion to making its attack on Donald Trump entirely personal, betting that never ceasing ad hominem rhetoric abetted by the now almost completely submissive left-biased media would be sufficient to bring down the Trump Presidency, hopefully without the messiness of an election, but if not, then at the polls in November.

Never before has  the brief for defeating an incumbant President been based on sheer hatred and little else. The reason why this is true becomes more evident every day, for Nixon was right. Hate is destroying the soul of the Democratic Party and its members. Its  strategy of employing the  atomic version of the politics of personal destruction, which the decried during the Clinton years, has torn the country apart to an extent that may have rendered it ungovernable.

There! Thank you, February Jack! You just saved August Jack the trouble of composing over 300 words. Now let’s talk about the hate assault of the Democratic allies..

  • Bette Midler. What a great talent she was, and what a vile creep she is. Midler is also typical of the Hollywood elite and once-elite—who constantly show why performers should shut up and reform. They are, however, fine examples of their non-famous compadres on social media. Here was Midler’s tweet about Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention:

Hypocrisy is the coin of the realm up and down the Democratic Party. These fake progressives weep for the plight of illegal immigrants who avoid sufficient involvement in American society to speak English at all. Yet they think they can seamlessly use insults  they would declare racist, sexist or otherwise proof of some form of cancel-worthy bigotry if they issued from a Republican, conservative, or heaven forfend, the President, and yet turn around and employ the same weaponized verbiage against those domestic enemies” (per Nancy Pelosi) with impunity. Continue reading

Sunday Ethics Apparitions, 8/16/2020: Triceratops? What Triceratops? What IS A Triceratops?

1. From the Ethics Alarms cultural literacy files. I remember this re- tweet by acclaimed novelist Joyce Carol Oates from 2015; I can’t believe I didn’t post on it then. (Pointer to Ann Althouse for reminding me of it today):

Now,  I would like to believe that Oates was joking (I’m not sure about Tilley), but she is not known for madcap humor. Apparently “Jurassic Park,” Steven Spielberg  and popular culture are beneath her, and she was so focused on literature in school that dinosaurs completely missed her attention. I regard this as being estranged from one’s culture, and I regard that as irresponsible.

2. Question: If Twitter is taking down tweets involving hate speech, why is unequivocal hate like this permitted? Robert Trump, the President’s younger brother, died yesterday. The President wrote,

“It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.”

Yet the hateful, vicious “resistance” couldn’t rise to a moment of bipartisan decency. The hashtag #wrongtrump, is the second highest trending on Twitter, with more than 80,000  tweets last I checked. Among the the ghouls were journalist David Leavitt., ” who tweeted, “What did he promise the devil for the Grim Reaper to take the #wrongtrump ???” (5.7 thousand people “loved” the sentiment), and Bishop Talbert Swan, president of the Springfield, Massachusetts, branch of the NAACP (and a pastor, which will perhaps help illuminate my attitudes toward organized religion), who wrote “Dear Grim Reaper, You took the #wrongtrump.” That one got 10,000 hearts.

These are mean, bad people with dead ethics alarms. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “HBO Max Adds A Disclaimer For Morons Onto ‘Blazing Saddles’”

I would not have expected mysterious veteran commenter Extradimensional Cephalopod to be the one to score a Comment of the Day regarding the idiotic and offensive “trigger warning” HBO Max felt it had to append to “Blazing Saddles.” Mel Brooks’ satire (and fart jokes) would not seem to the kind of thing a squid from another plane of existence would be able to appreciate. Shows what I know.

But seriously folks, this is the first ethical analysis of “Blazing Saddles” I’ve ever seen, heard, or imagined. And as usual with EC, it is thoughtful and enlightening.

Here is Extradimensional Cephalopod ‘s Comment of the Day on hate, contempt, and  the post, “HBO Max Adds A Disclaimer For Morons Onto ‘Blazing Saddles’”:

On the one hand, I agree with the people ridiculing the disclaimer. On the other hand, if it gets more people to watch the film and learn to appreciate satire, I’m in favor of a little message at the beginning that says, “It’s okay, you’re not a bad person for watching this film.” I’d like to get to the point where we don’t need the disclaimer, though.

When you mention hate and contempt, it makes me realize that most of what people refer to as “hate” is actually contempt, and that sloppy language prevents them from realizing what they want and what they need to do to get it. People don’t just want to eliminate “hate”—they want to be respected. Continue reading

OK, What’s Going On Here?

In the Washington Post yesterday, the Washington Post’s Sunday “Outlook” section included an op-ed in which  Lawrence Downes,  a former member of the New York Times editorial board, enthusiastically wrote about his new pastime:

[I have] right-wing culture war books from the Fox-News-angry-White-person’s superhero universe. Besides Hannity, I’ve got Lou Dobbs, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Rudy Giuliani and Bernie Kerik. The list is not comprehensive. It includes Karl Rove and Hugh Hewitt but not Newt Gingrich, Tucker Carlson or Donald Trump…The Fox folks seemed so bilious and out of place in that pleasant company, like toadstools among the daffodils. So I’d buy them up and take them home. Not for reading, which brought no pleasure, but for quarantine. The books are dispatches from a phony war, the one Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes helped gin up and got obscenely rich on. If you believe, as I do, that the plutocrat propagandists of Fox, talk radio and the GOP are lying liars who have vandalized our politics and country, then finding a Hannity or Ingraham book is like finding one of their bricks. The books piled up in my basement, out of circulation (which was the point) but always naggingly present, like asbestos. I wanted to be rid of them. And yet I paused, because even contemplating destroying books felt terrible…

I hit on the answer…. About once a week, I tear them into strips. I add them to the coffee grounds, potato and carrot peelings, onion and avocado skins, asparagus stubs, the papery bits of garlic, eggshells and dead flowers, and let the worms do the rest…

Turning propaganda into worm castings is not going to measurably reduce the amount of Fox News-iness in the environment. It is not strictly necessary. But if Hannity and company want to keep telling us that we are all at war, to keep stoking the flames and fanning the fear, then, for the good of this country, the people we love, the democracy we might lose and the world we want, so be it.

What’s going on here? Continue reading