The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Impeachment Day Arrives

Posted on | December 18, 2019 | Comments Off on Impeachment Day Arrives

Today the Democrats will vote to impeach President Trump for . . .

Uh, whatever. Ever since Trump was elected, Democrats promised they would impeach him if Nancy Pelosi ever got the Speaker’s gavel, and today they will keep that promise. The pretext for this was a “whistleblower” — a Democrat holdover on the National Security Council staff — who went running to Adam Schiff with a wild tale about Trump’s July phone call to the newly elected president of Ukraine. All questions about that phone call were answered by Trump through the simple expedient of releasing the transcript. But having worked themselves into an impeachment frenzy over this, Democrats refused to acknowledge that Trump had beat them, and continued stumbling onward.

Yesterday, Trump gave them the back of his hand:

President Trump, in a blistering, no-holds-barred six-page letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., lambasted the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as an “open war on American Democracy,” writing that she has violated her oath of office and “cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!”
“Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening,” Trump said, just a day before House Democrats were expected to vote to impeach him. “Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat. So you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes. You view democracy as your enemy!”
He went on: “You are the ones interfering in America’s elections. You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.”

Did you know that, in its origins in English law, an official who was impeached was usually punished by execution, then drawn and quartered? Impeachment was intended by our Founders to be a remedy of last resort, and by requiring a two-thirds majority to convict in the Senate, the Constitution discourages any such proceeding on trivial grounds or disputed charges. People who think the 1998 impeachment of President Clinton was “just about sex” have not studied the case adequately. President Clinton perjured himself while giving testimony in a federal civil-rights lawsuit brought by Paula Jones, and furthermore obstructed justice by his efforts to prevent Jones’s lawyers from learning the truth about Monica Lewinsky (which was relevant as evidence to Jones’s suit). You may believe, as I do, that the legal precedents in regard to “sexual harassment” long ago went too far, but nevertheless, the law is the law, and Bill Clinton could have settled that lawsuit out of court, but refused. Paula Jones had a right to truthful testimony in her lawsuit, and Clinton illegally deprived her of that right. When the Drudge Report first broke the story of Monica Lewinsky, everyone — and I mean everyone, Democrats included — said that if the story was true, Clinton would have to resign. Instead, as both Dick Morris and Sidney Blumenthal have said, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s response was: “We’ll just have to win.”

So anyone invoking the 1998 impeachment to justify what Democrats are doing now must ignore the obvious objections: If Clinton had settled that lawsuit — and who now doubts Paula Jones was telling the truth? — there would have been no impeachment. If, when the Lewinsky scandal broke, Clinton had resigned, there would have been no impeachment. The reason there was an impeachment was because there was clear and unrefuted evidence (DNA on Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress) that Clinton had perjured himself, and substantial evidence to show obstruction of justice in a federal civil-rights lawsuit. But I digress . . .

What is the substance of Democrats’ case against Trump now? It is simply a dispute over his exercise of diplomacy with Ukraine — a matter of foreign policy, related to corruption that occurred during Obama’s presidency, which is in turn related to the “Russian collusion” hoax that Trump’s enemies perpetrated against him for two years. Now, you may dislike the methods by which Trump endeavored to get the results he wanted in Ukraine, but the idea that this was “a threat to our democracy” (as Democrats keep saying) is ludicrous. They cannot claim Trump obstructed justice, because there was no underlying crime to conceal, besides which Trump released the phone transcript as soon as Schiff and the Democrats tried to make a “scandal” of that July phone call. How is that “obstructing” anything? Because there is no actual crime involved, Democrats have instead made “abuse of power” the central claim of their impeachment, as if the actual “abuse” (i.e., Joe Biden demanding the termination of a Ukrainian investigator who was looking into Hunter Biden’s shady Burisma deal) did not occur on Obama’s watch.

In essence, Democrats are proving the truth of what Trump says in his letter: They never accepted the legitimacy of his victory in 2016, so they “have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes.” This is self-evident, and there is a reason why polls show that support for impeachment has been declined even among Democrat voters, over the past two months.

Democrats have chosen poorly, and we can hope they will soon regret it.



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