Thursday, December 19, 2019

Political War News 2019-12-19

     Well, as everyone from here to the Lesser Magellanic Cloud should already be aware, the House of Representatives voted yesterday to impeach President Trump. All the “for” votes came from Democrats; one Democrat voted “against,” one split his vote on the two articles, and a third voted “present.”

     Several pundits have commented darkly on this turn of events. Andrew McCarthy and Andrew Davis both foresee this sort of political warfare as a “new normal:” whenever the president is of one party and the House majority is of the other, the president will be impeached irrespective of any substance. The Boston Herald’s Joe Battenfeld commented dryly:

     In the U.S. Senate, where impeachment trials are held, lawmakers are set to acquit President Trump.

     Then we have just another year to wait before the House tries to impeach him again.

     All of that was to be expected. But the fun has spread even more widely than many are aware.

     Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) has demanded changes in the Senate’s rules for the trial. One of those rules is that the calling of a witness to testify before the Senate requires a majority vote. This displeases the Democrats, who want to introduce witnesses who would make allegations against the president that go beyond the House’s articles of impeachment. We may call this the “Kavanaugh strategy:” a method by which the Democrats could prolong the Senate trial indefinitely, as they tried to do when Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court.

     That would certainly not be favorable to a trial on the merits. Indeed, it summons memories of the Star Chamber, in which an Englishman could be compelled to face charges not specified in advance. The unspecified charges could – and often did – go beyond what the law forbids: i.e., accusations of “moral turpitude” that could get the defendant sentenced to an interval in the stocks, a public flogging, or having his ears cut off. The Democrats demand a similar Senate trial in which they could call an arbitrary number of witnesses to allege whatever would keep the proceedings going and the media dirt mills churning. Under such conditions, even Republicans nominally committed to acquitting President Trump might be moved to vote for conviction, if only to get the hell out of there.

     Nancy Pelosi has muttered about not submitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate until the rules are changed to make them “fair.” This is a second string to the “drag it out” bow: a charge that the trial rules are themselves slanted against the Democrats. Mind you, allegations that the proceedings during the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees were slanted against the Republicans were sniffed aside. But that won’t stop the Democrats from leveling the same charge against the GOP-controlled Senate.

     Imagine a state of affairs in which President Trump must face the voters while still awaiting trial, because the media are trumpeting the “unfairness” of the Senate’s rules. Can you imagine the capital the Democrats’ media handmaidens would make of that situation?

     At this time, the impeachment can be cast as a purely partisan move. Should the Senate dismiss the charges on a party-line vote, the Democrats would have a stick with which to counter-flail the GOP for partisanry. Of course, at this time there’s still a possibility that one or more Senate Democrats would join the Republican caucus in dismissing the charges or a summary acquittal after a brief trial, but no one can be certain about that yet.

     Even should the Senate not approve changes to the trial rules, further media involvement could arise through interviews and publicity granted to “witnesses” not permitted to “testify” in the trial. As the media are wholly enlisted in the anti-Trump movement, this is more likely than not – and would permit the fomenting of public suspicion about a “cover-up” of presidential wrongdoing.

     The existing situation, as farcical as it is, has commentators such as Mark Levin saying that it makes the impeachment of the next Democrat president absolutely imperative. Congressman Louie Gohmert and Senator Lindsey Graham are similarly minded:

     “I'm really saddened for my country," Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, told the Washington Examiner. “I'm really concerned that the irreparable damage that now every president that has a different party in the House in control of the House will have to fight impeachment his whole term. It's just a very, very dangerous precedent. There will definitely be some people wanting payback.”

     Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday impeachment payback is inevitable.

     "Anything you do to us, we can do to you," Graham said. "We have some people on our side just as crazy as people on their side."

     This is not a pleasant prospect for the future of the Republic.

     The Democrats have lost heavily in opinion polls and canvasses of probable voters because of the impeachment farce. Their strategists have undoubtedly gathered to discuss how they might alter their approach to recoup. The current standoff, in which a thin margin provided the vote to impeach the president and a thin margin will likely acquit him, provides all sorts of fodder for speculation.

     There’s much to think about – and to fear – in the current situation. “Normal” politics has been displaced by total warfare politics, in which there are no rules other than victory. Under such a mindset, what remains unthinkable? Assassinations? Pogroms against districts heavy with political opponents? The complete suspension of the Constitution?

     It becomes ever more likely that a majority of decent Americans will decide it’s time to reach for the musket over the mantel. For what else is there to do when the opponent’s power-lust has caused him to reject all moral and ethical constraints?

     Once more, with feeling:

You cannot fight power-lust with logic and evidence.
You have to kill it.
There are no alternative methods.

     Have a nice day.


mobius said...

Massive numbers of indictments could change that tune.

Linda Fox said...

This explanation of the Star Chamber needs to be more detailed. Most people aren't aware of how the Tudors used to them imprison and execute their political enemies. What they know of the Tudors is:
- Henry VI was (allegedly) the good guy who took down the EVIL King Richard III (actually likely completely made up)
- Henry was the guy on the playing cards who had six wives
- Elizabeth I was an amazing, early sort of feminist, who TOTES represents female empowerment

That's it. The MANY abuses of the Tudors, who had a marginal claim to the English throne, are completely ignored.

Aesop said...

Anybody who thinks the bolded closing quote via Kurt Schlicter was solely metaphorical, signify by standing on your heads.

This is going nuclear the minute one side starts to lose, with the inevitability of the tide.

The Democrats are crazy, and the Republicans want a reckoning.
It will end in blood.

Mark said...

"Then we have just another year to wait before the House tries to impeach him again."

Maybe not. I see the strong possibility that the house will change hands, again. There could be enough people whose eyes have been opened sufficiently to see the corruption and decay in the Democratic Party leadership... even WITH the propagandizing of the DNC Public Affairs Office,... I mean, legacy media machine. (As long as the voting/counting has not been corrupted -- not a sure thing, unfortunately.)

Hope springs eternal... or maybe that's just wishful thinking.

SWVAguy said...

Aesop, agreed. These people don't know how close we are to a violent uprising. Right now, here in Virginia, the situation is fairly benign, but if Blackface and the rest of the democrats in the capitol aren't getting the message from the vast majority of 2nd amendment sanctuary counties, then I fear the worst.

Pumpkin Pie said...

Dark times are ahead for what is left of the republic but the good guys will not rebel beyond typing on their keyboards. Who among the good guys is willing to be imprisoned or killed to support a revolt whose success is far from certain? The good guys just don't have the stomach to sacrifice their lives to kill the enemy. I hope I am proven wrong.