On the eve of the ridiculous impeachment vote, I have a few thoughts about the House vote, and the potential trial in the Senate.
First, there’s not much left to say about the House Dems’ mendacity during the impeachment process. Yes, they’ve flip flopped a dozen times, and they’ve made fools of themselves. Their lawyers made ambulance-chasers and slip-and-fall hacks look like Learned Hand, their arguments were specious, and their representatives couldn’t have more thoroughly beclowned themselves if they had been wearing big, red noses. Like Emmett Kelly, or Bozo. Or Ted Kennedy. (By the way, has there ever been a more perfect name for a judge than “Learned Hand?”)
But the best evidence of the utter emptiness of their case is the pitiful charges that they finally settled on. After months of bloviating about treason and bribery and genocide and human sacrifice, they landed on “abuse of power” and “obstruction of congress.”
“Abuse of power” is a verbal Rorschach test. Let’s consider a few hypotheticals:
Lincoln suspends habeas corpus during the Civil War.
FDR imprisons tens of thousands of Japanese-American citizens, and tries to pack the Supreme Court.
JFK secretly starts us on the path to Vietnam by sending unofficial advisors, and secretly backs the clandestine Bay of Pigs invasion.
Bill Clinton uses a naïve girl his daughter’s age as a humidor.
Obama uses the IRS against his domestic political opposition, and unilaterally nullifies US border policy after saying dozens of times that doing so would be unconstitutional.
I use my rugged charm and razor-sharp wit to overcome the way I look, and close the deal on making a Norwegian-American goddess my wife, marrying so far up that it is likely illegal in 37 states.
Which of these would constitute an “abuse of power?” Which do you think the partisan hacks in the Democrat House would agree on? (Hint: Lincoln was a Republican, and I am a conservative. So only those two.)
If Trump’s phone call is an abuse of power, then every president who has ever lived, or who ever will live, is guilty of abuse of power. And if the GOP were anywhere near as rabidly aggressive as the Dem elite left, the next time we elect a Dem president we’d start an impeachment investigation as soon as that president crossed his or her fingers to take the oath of office.
But “obstruction of congress” is even goofier.
Because obstructing congress is not only NOT impeachable, it’s not even WRONG! And it’s not a bug in our constitutional framework – it’s a feature.
One of the most brilliant ideas of our brilliant Founders was the set of checks and balances that they hard-wired into our political system. They knew human nature, and the insatiable human will to power, so they constructed a system in which “ambition checks ambition,” to quote either Madison or Hamilton, in Federalist 51. The executive would be strong, but the jealous judiciary would check the executive. The power-hungry Congress would have the power of the purse, but the executive could check them. And the ambitious executive could be checked by the congress.
“Obstruction” is basically a synonym of “check.” It’s only because the Founders were deft writers — in addition to being incisive thinkers — that they didn’t coin the phrase “obstructions and balances.” Because that doesn’t sound nearly as good, even though it means essentially the same thing.
It’s Trump’s job to obstruct congress! Especially when it’s peopled by the likes of Jerry the Hutt, Eric the Flatulent, Adam “Mr. Mackey” Schiff (Mmmmkay?), Tutankhamen Pelosi et al.
To impeach a president for opposing the congress is like demoting a fireman for putting out fires, or firing a plumber for unclogging a toilet, or fining a cop for arresting the Democrat base for stealing and mugging. (But mostly it’s like the unclogging the toilet thing.)
When it comes to the Senate trial, I am very worried that most of the GOP senators, conservative talking heads, and Rush Limbaugh are arguing that the Turtle should call for an immediate vote in the Senate and dismiss the charges in one day. I have a high-minded reason for thinking they’re wrong, and multiple visceral, Machiavellian ones.
The high-minded reason is that our constitutional system requires a serious consideration of any articles of impeachment that the House ever sends to the Senate. The momentous actions of a president and the congress should get scrutiny, and especially when an impeachment has been voted along completely partisan lines, that drastic step should be debated.
The Machiavellian reasons are several:
- The House Dems were absolute jerks and ran a one-sided smear campaign, as evidenced by the fact that public support for impeachment actually dropped after people saw their case. The GOP senators don’t have to be jerks to give the Dems a taste of their own medicine — doing so would be simple fairness.
- Conducting at least a week or two of trial will allow the GOP to actually correct the record. The Dems distorted the facts by interviewing some of the witnesses secretly, and by not calling some witnesses that would likely destroy their case; the whistleblower and Hunter Biden both leap to mind. If the whistleblower is not a noble seeker of truth but a partisan leftist hack who colluded with Schiff’s office to bring distorted charges that were only corrected because Trump released the Ukraine call transcripts – and he almost certainly is! – the American public needs to see him testify. (Or else squirm and take the Fifth, sweating like Grandma Squanto when the US cavalry comes charging across the prairie.) (#wemustneverstopmockingher). And if Hunter Biden is not an expert in the politics of energy exploration and extraction in Eastern Europe, but just a drug-addled degenerate sexual pursuer of his dead brother’s widow who was using his daddy’s name to extort money from a foreign nation – and he certainly is! — the American public needs to see that, too.
- It would be political malpractice for the GOP NOT to press their advantage by slamming the Dems before going to a vote to dismiss. The House Dems lied and behaved contemptibly, and by doing so, they handed the GOP senators an over-sized wooden mallet. We in the conservative base – and, I think, a lot of the general public, who are tired after three years of smears and hoaxes – are entitled to see at least a round or two of whack-a-mole. But we’ll settle for whack-a-Schiff, and whack-a-Nadler.
I’m not saying that the GOP needs to conduct a months-long political circus, the way the House Dems did. But we should at least put their feet to the fire for a little while, and cause them enough pain to make them think twice about pulling something like this again.
I know that there are risks in going down this path. Voters might be so sick of the whole thing that they’d like to see the GOP vote it down immediately, and let things return to normal.
But there is an opposite risk, too. Because if the GOP votes to dismiss the charges immediately, you know that the Dems and the MSM (but I repeat myself) are going to cry foul, saying that Trump obviously has something to hide, and that the GOP wouldn’t even look at the facts and grant a fair trial.
Sure, they’ll be lying through their teeth. Just like they’ve been lying for the last three years.
But they’ll get headline and frontpage coverage of that lie, and it will be repeated ad nauseum for month after month, until by next November, a huge chunk of the American public will believe that Trump did something really, really bad. Because otherwise, why would the GOP have just swept it under the rug and refused to have a trial?
Before you dismiss that as my paranoid fantasy, consider how many Americans – right now, after all of the Dem claims that have been proven false – believe that Trump paid for a Rockette line of Russian hookers to pee on Obama’s bed in a Moscow hotel, or that he was referring to white supremacists when he said that there were “good people on both sides”?
Fish are going to swim, birds are going to fly, and the Dems and MSM are going to lie. I get it.
But we don’t have to make it even easier for them. And if the public, when hearing these lies, remembers seeing Hunter Biden and the “whistleblower” hack and Adam Schiff, bathed in flop sweat while stammering through cross examination or taking the 5th, they might be a little less likely to believe the smear. Plus the attack ads – absolutely true ones! – will practically write themselves, and the GOP will be able to run them on a loop in all of the Trump districts where House Dems who voted for impeachment are trying to get re-elected.
In other words, to quote my favorite Brit (just barely edging out Boris Johnson), “Cry havoc, and let slip the Cassie the Wonder Dogs of war!”
Avenatti/Hunter Biden 2020!