Indicting The Trump Organization

In the matter of the indictment of both the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg, the Wall Street Journal reports that Mr. Weisselberg is charged with illegally avoiding taxes on $1.76 million he allegedly received in benefits over 15 years. These untaxed benefits included the use of a company car and apartment. 

It is entirely possible that prosecutors brought low level charges against Mr. Weisselberg in order to pressure him to cooperate with the investigation of Mr. Trump. If he cooperates he gets some sort of immunity deal; if not, the threat of more serious charges hangs over his head. In any event prosecutor Carey Dunne said in court that “It’s not about politics”. 

Except that it obviously is.

If the whole affair were not about politics serious indictments would have been handed down a long time ago. Remember that the indictment charges that the tax evasion scheme—more akin to a parking ticket—has been going on since at least 2005.  Add to that the fact that Weisselberg has been working for Trump for 50 years. And we are to believe that prosecutors suddenly discovered that the Trump organization committed the unspeakable crime of not paying withholding taxes on a company car and apartment? 

Consider. Somehow or other those very same prosecutors, along with their friends in the press, managed to turn a blind eye to the financial machinations of the Clinton Foundation. Nor could the press get very interested in the ongoing Hunter Biden saga, even though Hunter Biden admitted that he was (and is) under investigation by the prosecutor’s office in Delaware. For that matter, most of the press (we don’t know about the DOJ) remains remarkably incurious about the extent to which Hunter Biden’s finances were mixed  in with his father’s when he needed extra cash to pay Russian hookers. See story here. 

In addition, there are technical issues here that strongly suggest this exercise is political. First, it is clear that the prosecutors are squeezing Mr. Weisselberg to turn on Mr. Trump. That implies that they can’t make a case solely with the documents. The fact that they need a star witness suggests a weak case.

Second, the charges that are being so enthusiastically reported in the press are federal offenses. So why is the case being prosecuted in state court? New York is barred from prosecuting if federal authorities bring charges on the same facts. Moreover, it is far easier to prosecute a case in federal court. The most likely explanation is that the feds are not interested because they don’t think much of the case. 

Third, it would be much easier to make a federal conspiracy case against the Trump Organization than go the state route. Again, why is NY State leading the charge? Probably because NY Attorney General Letitia James thinks she has a shot at Andrew Cuomo and this case would be the way to capitalize on that. (For more on the technical aspects, see this story.)

There is another question that must be asked. Why is it that after a summer of rioting, arson and looting, not to mention a surge in murders, the state decided to expend its resources on what is sure to be a political spectacle rather than the pursuit of serious wrongdoing?  (Note: not for a minute do I doubt that Weisselberg  and the Trump Organization are guilty of the charges). 

To answer the question: There are two reasons why these charges are being pursued. The first is tribal hatred, pure and simple. New York City is a seething cauldron of Trump hatred and anything that hurts Trump is good. Second, as the policy prescriptions of the national Democratic Party become more widely known, and the public begins to recoil, the first order of business is to change the subject. And what better way than to gin up some Trump hatred in the belly of the beast?

I have little doubt that Donald J Trump and his ilk have played fast and loose with the rules, and maybe committed crimes, for decades.  Just like the Clintons. But this action by NY State reeks of selective prosecution. It represents the continuing and  disgraceful politicization of the justice system. In the end,  perverting the justice system to seek revenge on political enemies is what you expect from a banana republic, not a liberal democracy. And a prosecutor who does that is far more dangerous than a loser like Donald J Trump. 

JFB

The Unbearable Incompetence of Mr. Biden

During the presidential campaign of 2020 the argument was being made that candidate Joe Biden was at heart a moderate who would guide the ship of state back to normalcy. Biden, who ran as not-Trump, asserted that all the talk about radicalism and “The Squad”was nonsense. He dismissed the idea that his party had become radicalized and sought to reassure voters that he represented the traditional values of his party. “I am the Democratic Party right now” he intoned in a debate with Donal Trump.

Well, how is that working out?

Let us consider what Biden and the Democratic Party have been up to since his election in November of 2020. 

The Democratic Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, has announced that she will only grant one-on-one interviews with “black and brown reporters”. In a way this does represent traditional Democratic thinking. Individuals don’t count for very much, only the tribe matters. 

That, and anti-semitism, are very much the drivers of the policy preferences of the Squad and the rest of the increasingly ascendant hard left of the Democratic Party. As Hamas rains rockets down on civilian population centers of Israel, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and the Squad are calling on the Biden Administration to halt arms sales to Israel. 

Then we have Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) an acolyte of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has condemned Israel for the “infringement of human civil rights” of Palestinians. For her part, Ilhan Omar said “Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism.” She somehow neglected to mention that if a nominally civilian structure is targeted by Israel, they are given warning to evacuate before the attack is launched. On the other hand, Hamas, an arm of Iran, deliberately targets Israeli civilians. And as for human rights in Palestine, pace Rep. Bowman, compliments of Mahmoud Abbas and his government, there aren’t any. 

For his part, President Biden, only reluctantly defended Israel’s right to defend itself from attack, presumably out of deference to his Party’s left wing, increasingly the only wing the Party has.  And let’s not forget that the aggressor here is Iran acting through its proxy Hamas, with the stated intention of wiping Israel off the map. 

President Biden does have an ally here—the mainstream press, which covers virtually every story through the lens of Trump hatred. It reduces to Biden good, Trump bad. And so every story is either framed in that light or simply ignored in order to keep the Biden ship and its progressive allies afloat. 

Consider the recent NY Times column by David Brooks, the thrust of which is that, since his election, Biden hasn’t changed at all. He has always been a progressive, he is just bolder now because the times demand it. Brooks is correct about the first part; Biden always has been a progressive albeit with his finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. But his policy agenda has  nothing to do with what the times demand; it’s what his party demands. 

In short, the Biden campaign was a scam, another example of bait-and-switch, designed to suck in moderate voters blinded by Trump loathing. 

That’s what explains why Biden and his allies in the press have gone quiet on the border situation in which the number of minors held in detention by the Federal Government is about double what it was at is highest point during the Trump years. The same deplorable conditions in which they were being held still prevail. Not a peep from the usual suspects though. 

The same can be said about why public schools, owned by the Teachers Unions, have remained largely closed to in-person teaching in urban areas, especially in blue states.  It explains why elected Democrats are, at best, quiet about urban rioting and calls to defund the police even as crime rates skyrocket.  

It explains why, through executive order, climate risk is being added to the remit of supposedly independent regulators like the Federal Reserve. It explains why the Administration is pushing for the PRO-Act which seeks to force people to join unions by eliminating right-to-work laws and allowing card check unionization. It explains the constantly shifting mask mandates. 

The same dynamic explains why Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida is routinely excoriated in the press for producing results that range between pretty good and exemplary, but Andrew Cuomo of New York is increasingly handled with kid gloves. This despite his catastrophic handling of the Covid pandemic in nursing homes, his deceit in reporting data, his use of state employees to work on his self-congratulatory book, complete with a $5 million advance fee. 

And, oh yes, remember when Mr. Biden referred to Texas Governor Abbot’s Covid policies as representing “Neanderthal thinking” that would lead to a surge of infections. A surge that, as it turns out, never happened. Or the “impending sense of doom” that CDC Director  Rochelle Walensky warned about a mere 45 days ago? 

We are only 4 months into the full 48 months of a Biden Presidency. Mr Biden is already displaying indications that his  presidency will rival that of Jimmy Carter’s for incompetence. Perhaps before the whole sorry spectacle is over the Republicans will abandon the circular firing squad to which they have become so attached. That would allow them to act as the loyal opposition. With the emphasis on loyal. 

JFB

The Liz Cheney Affair

In 1860, on reading Darwin’s Origin of the Species, it was reported that the wife of the Bishop of Worcester said “Let is hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known”. If, as seems likely, Liz Cheney (WY -R) is summarily tossed out of the Republican Party leadership, the Bishop’s wife would make a fitting replacement. 

After all, Liz Cheney is about to be sacrificed because she is telling the truth about the 2020 election. And a solid majority of House Republicans know it; they just don’t want it to be widely known—even though it already is among the community of the sane. 

The reason why Liz Cheney is a problem for the fanatics in the Republican Party is that she insists on telling the truth, and telling it out loud. Donald J Trump, she says, lost the election of 2020. Well, that should be as controversial as asserting that gravity exists. Cheney also famously voted to impeach Mr. Trump for his use of violence and intimidation when he stoked up a mob on January 6, 2021 to prevent Congress from performing its Constitutional duty to count the votes in the electoral college so that Vice President Pence could declare Joe Biden the winner. 

Of course Liz Cheney was right on both counts. Mr Trump, like all schoolyard bullies, is just a sore loser. And loser is the operative word here. He lost the popular vote by 7 million votes, and he lost the electoral college by getting only 232 votes to Joe Biden’s 306. Not that mere facts matter very much to the luminaries leading the fight to overthrow Cheney. 

The leaders in the fight to overthrow her include such notables as Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-R) who, among other things, is (allegedly) the subject of a sex trafficking probe by the Department of Justice. Then there is the delusional Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA – R), a QAnon conspiracy theorist who continues to insist that Trump won the 2020 election. 

Here is where we come to a critical difference between House Democrats and House Republicans. House Democrats actually believe the nonsense that they routinely assert, about…roughly everything. Which is not to deny that as Democrats move forward with their legislative agenda they are capable of inflicting massive damage on the body politic, precisely because they believe in what they are doing. Ignorance and enthusiasm always make a bad combination.

The vast majority of Republicans on the other hand do not actually believe the baloney about Trump “really” winning the 2020 election that was stolen from them. They are simply cowards. They are quaking in their boots, fearful of being politically injured by a school yard insult hurled at them by the World’s Biggest Loser.  Their claim to leadership is that they don’t actually believe a word they are saying. 

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when Republicans could do simple arithmetic. That time has past. They are apparently clamoring to get on board a train driven by a man who lost what should have been an easily winnable Presidential election. And he did lose—to a 78 year old political hack whose campaign consisted of reading banalities to a teleprompter set up in his basement. 

Meanwhile the Republican Party as a whole ran considerably better than Trump did. They picked up House seats whittling down the Democratic majority to one of the smallest on record. They only lost control of the Senate because The World’s Biggest Loser made sure of it in Georgia by discouraging Republican voters in the suburbs in the January run-off.  The Republicans also picked up the Governor’s office in Montana; and they won new majorities in the New Hampshire Assembly and Senate. Democrats won no new majorities in State legislatures. None. 

Republicans are about to commit political vandalism on a grand scale. Not only are the Republicans on the cusp of voting to institutionalize the big lie; they are doing it to curry favor with a loser. A big loser, who wallows in grievance; a loser who has displayed stunning incompetence; an ignoramus who has demonstrated he is  incapable of comprehending truth, much less telling it. 

It is beyond comprehension why Republicans would expect that they will earn the confidence of the voting public by signaling support for Trump and Co. It is clear from the election returns of 2020 that the Republican Party didn’t lose; Trump did. He lost by alienating highly educated suburban Republicans.  By supporting the ouster of Liz Cheney for the sin of telling the truth, the Republican Party is turning itself into a smoking ruin led by…losers.  

JFB

Senator Mitch McConnell Excoriates Donald Trump

In the aftermath of the Senate vote that acquitted former President Trump in his second impeachment trial, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a speech on the Senate floor in which he explained his vote to acquit. His rationale was procedural; he argued that the Senate lacked jurisdiction to convict because Trump is a now a private citizen and no longer President. If the Senate has the power to impeach a private citizen, which would then allow the Senate to bar that private citizen from ever holding public office in the future, the impeachment power has no limits.

That, it seems to me, is both a close call and a perfectly reasonable position.

We should also note that McConnell pointed out that the matter does not stop here. Trump is still answerable for his actions in both the criminal and civil courts.

Most important is what McConnell said about the substance of the matter. He said what is obviously true, but needed to be said by the ranking elected Republican. In fact, it should have been repeated by all the Republicans. He said that there is no question that Trump provoked the mob into a foreseeable response. In addition, Trump was both practically and morally responsible for the result, which was the storming of the capitol building on January 6.

Senator McConnell’s speech is presented in its entirety in the YouTube video below.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell.

JFB

Trump Impeachment Redux

Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin (D. MD) led off the proceedings with a video montage that included some footage of Donald Trump’s incendiary speech and the subsequent attack on the capitol by an enraged mob. The video, shown below, is devastatingly effective. It really says all you need to know. The rest is sophistry.

Attack on the Capitol

JFB

Ben Sassse

The Nebraska Republican Party is set to censure Senator Ben Sasse. Again. The charge is that he has not, and will not, bend his knee to Donald Trump in the upcoming impeachment trial. Like Liz Cheney, Sasse has stuck to his guns.

If the Republican Party is ever going to reclaim the mantle of Lincoln and once again become a governing party it is going to need leaders like Sasse and Cheney. The alternative is the road to hell. It is a road shared by Trump fans as well as pretty much the entirety of the Democratic Party. They just don’t realize they share the same underlying collectivist assumptions about the role of government and the use of government power. But they do.

Ben Sasse recorded a short video statement for the Nebraska Republican Party that can be seen below. It is a statement of civic responsibility that, if people paid attention to it, could (and ought to) go a long way toward getting U.S. politics back on the road to reason.

JFB

Same Circus, Different Clowns

As roughly everybody knows, on January 6, 2021, then-President Donald J Trump stirred up a crowd by claiming that the most recent presidential election was stolen from him, implying that  Joe Biden’s ascension to the office was illegitimate.  Immediately thereafter a crowd of Trump supporters, some of whom were armed, attacked the Capitol and attempted to stop Congress from carrying out its lawful duty in counting the electoral votes of the several states. Counting those electoral votes was the last formal step in certifying the election, paving the way for Mr. Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021.  

In the aftermath, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell pinned responsibility for the attack on Trump. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Senate minority leader Charles Schumer demanded that Trump ether step down or be forced from office immediately. As in right away, without delay. (See the You Tube video below dated January 12, 2021.)

In the event, Pelosi and Schumer demanded, naturally enough, that someone else take action. When that didn’t work, the House impeached Trump for the second time. The vote came on January 13, 2021, a day after Schumer’s speech. But then a funny thing happened. Speaker Pelosi didn’t get around to sending the article of impeachment to the Senate for 12 days, by which time Biden had been sworn in and Trump had become a private citizen. 

Not only that, the article of impeachment was for incitement. Trump could easily have been impeached for dereliction. He, as Commander-in-Chief, refused to respond to an attack on the seat of government. Moreover he rebuked his own Vice President for refusing to tamper with the states’ electoral votes. Not only are those surely impeachable offenses; the evidence is unassailable.  

As it now stands, after insisting on the immediacy of the situation, Speaker Pelosi took her time sending over a deeply flawed article of impeachment. The trial is not scheduled to begin until February 8, 2021. Moreover, the article she sent over contains two important constitutional issues. The first has to do with the definition of incitement—at what point does a political speech become incitement to violence? The second has to do with impeaching a former president. 

The balance of the evidence suggests that a former president may be impeached, paving the way for a majority vote that would prohibit him from holding office again. But there is sufficient ambiguity to make the case less than clear cut.  

The issue of incitement is more problematic. Did Trump incite his followers to violence? It is my opinion that he did. But having said that, we need to acknowledge several factors. First, restricting the political speech of a sitting politician sets a dangerous precedent when free speech is already under attack. Second, the incitement charge was totally unnecessary to achieve the desired goal, namely securing a conviction in the Senate. Third, because of (presumably) sloppy drafting and the constitutional issues involved, Republicans can dodge the underlying issue. In effect they are being given a low cost opportunity to vote for acquittal. 

An acquittal would allow Trump to argue that once again, he has been exonerated. That is surely not an outcome to be welcomed. But it sure looks like the path of least resistance, due in part to the handiwork of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer. As always they have quashed the national interest in favor of their own narrow political interests.  

JFB

Impeachment Redux

Clowns to the left of me, 

Jokers to the right…

From “Stuck in the Middle With you” written by Gerry Rafferty. 

It seems reasonably clear that Donald J. Trump, who has by now passed Richard M Nixon in the proverbial race to the bottom, has undoubtedly committed an impeachable offense. It is also reasonably clear that the Democratic Party, in its ongoing love affair with incompetence, is regrettably about to go out of its way to make removing him from office nearly impossible.

The single article of impeachment they are poised to pass is going to accuse Trump of inciting an insurrection. The problem is that the wording is an invitation to partisan sniping and the making of legal arguments that conflate Trump’s political offense with the criminal law. Not only is this going to make a conviction impossible, it is entirely unnecessary. 

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy suggests language that avoids these traps and gets to the heart of the matter. He writes: 

“If what the Democrats truly want is bipartisan consensus in the service of national security, rather than political combat, the articles of impeachment they plan to file should charge the president with (a) subversion of the Constitution’s electoral process, particularly the Twelfth Amendment counting of the sovereign states’ electoral votes; (b) recklessly encouraging a raucous political demonstration that foreseeably devolved into a violent storming of the seat of our government; and (c) depraved indifference to the welfare of the vice president, Congress, security personnel, and other Americans who were in and around the Capitol on January 6.”

The charges contained in McCarthy’s language appear to be beyond dispute. Congress could (and should) pass such an article with dispatch and send it along to the Senate. If the Senate wants to pretend it can’t find a way to vote on the article before January 20, or at least vote to censure Trump, so be it. What had heretofore been known as The Party of Lincoln, will have shown itself to be largely populated by cowering fools, utterly unwilling to stand up to mob violence, and incapable of protecting liberty and our institutions. 

Add to that the cynical calculations of the Democrats, some of whom wish to delay an impeachment trial until after Trump has left office, a course of action Jim Clyburn has suggested. The stated reason for this is that Trump could then be barred from office in the future. 

That is nonsense, for two reasons. First, the impeachment power was designed for removal from office, not punishment. After removal, punishment can be meted out the usual way. Second, As Bruce Ackerman points out in the Washington Post, Congress can ban Trump from holding federal office in the future using Section 3 of the 14th amendment. They could do so by finding that he engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the Constitution of the United States. Moreover, such a finding would not require an impeachment conviction. It would require a simple majority in both houses of Congress. That should be doable. 

If Congress decides to wait months to hold an impeachment trial (at which time Chuck Schumer will be majority leader) it will be simply because they wish to use it as a partisan cudgel while they pass the Party’s progressive wish list, including trillions in new “stimulus” that doesn’t stimulate.  All the talk of getting rid of Trump “immediately” will have been shown to be just that. Talk. And it will be politics as usual. 

JFB

A Supposed Return to “Normalcy”

President-elect Joe Biden won the race by running a determined campaign that focused exclusively on an indisputable fact. Joe Biden is not Donald Trump. To which the voters responded by giving Trump the heave-ho while cutting into the Democratic majority in the House and (probably) leaving the Senate in Republican hands. 

The institutional Democratic response to all this thus far has been to continue to push their leftist agenda that was fairly decisively rejected at the polls. In return they ask for a return bipartisanship and comity. 

The plea for comity is coming from people who spent the last 4 years or so calling the Republicans racists, white supremacists, misogynists and Nazi sympathizers. It comes from people who routinely voted as a bloc against Trump’s judicial nominees and legislative initiatives. It comes from people who argued that the entire Trump presidency was illegitimate; that but for collusion with Russia, Trump would not have been elected and  that Trump was a Russian “asset”. 

Democrats and their friends in the media ludicrously argued that Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh was the leader of a high school gang-rape team; that in high school he unsuccessfully tried to assault Christine Blasey Ford. Mind you Blasey Ford never produced a shred of evidence supporting her claim; the witnesses she cited either refused to testify or flat out contradicted her, including her friend Leyland Keyser. And speaking of media friends, none of this prevented the Washington Post from describing Blasey Ford as a “prosecutor’s dream witness”.

Beyond the direct testimony of Blasey Ford, the party promoted wild and unsubstantiated claims of sexual assault brought forward by attorney Michael Avenatti. The legal career of Mr Avenatti has by now taken a turn for the worse. He is now a convicted felon, having been found guilty of committing fraud and extortion against Nike. 

And then there were the physical attacks on officials of the Trump Administration, encouraged by Maxine Waters (D-CA), among others. According to NBC News, on June 25, 2018, she said: 

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters, who has called for President Donald Trump to be impeached, told supporters over the weekend. 

In the event, activists took up the call with zest, chasing scores of Trump officials and Republican office holders out of restaurants and physically threatening them, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife Elaine Chou. And that isn’t all. Representative Steve Scalise was shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter during a Congressional baseball game. (I hasten to add that the man was obviously mentally ill, and Senator Sanders quickly condemned the shooting). 

Nevertheless, the point remains. Democrats and progressives launched a scorched earth campaign of opposition, and not for the first time. Now that they have the White House, a bare majority in the House, and lack control of the Senate they have decided that they are in favor of bipartisanship and comity after all. Who is kidding whom?

The obvious question is: If Democrats are so interested in compromise, what grounds are they willing to concede in the search for consensus? The answer is: none. 

In that respect let us consider where the head of the party and its titular leader stands. To begin with, he has nominated California AG Xavier Becerra to lead HHS. Becerra, who has no experience in the field is quite simply a culture warrior.  In particular, he is an abortion rights fanatic. Operating as California’s Attorney General, he launched lawsuits seeking to overturn other states abortion restrictions. Those states include Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio. His justification for doing so? “No government” he said “state or federal, has the right” to interfere with abortion. Which, in another context, is essentially the argument Texas AG Ken Paxton recently made with respect to the election, an argument that rightfully got the back of the Supreme Court’s hand. 

Becerra defended California’s mandate (since overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in NIFLA v. Becerra) that required pro-life pregnancy centers to provide patients with information on how to obtain state funded abortions. In yet another attack on the first amendment, he sued the Little Sisters of the Poor seeking to require them to finance the purchase of contraception and abortifacients. 

Then there is the nomination of Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In one sense she is a candidate that everyone can agree on: she has antagonized just about everyone in Washington, left, right and center. And not because she is a strong independent leader. She is simply a Hillary Clinton sycophant. In emails revealed by Wikileaks she wrote “I would do whatever Hillary needs always. I owe her a lot. And I’m a loyal soldier” and, “I don’t really think the issues matter”. The only explanations for her selection are these: either Biden picked a sacrificial lamb to appease the nomination Gods, or he is making selections essentially at random. No one thinks she is actually qualified to run OMB. 

I could go on, but there is only so much time in a day. It is becoming increasingly clear that the idea of a return to “normalcy” is nothing more than a liberal fantasy. Personnel is policy and Biden is in the process selecting personnel who are creatures of the left, most of whom served in the Obama Administration.  Not only have they presided over numerous policy disasters in the past, they are unchastened, and fully intend to repeat their failures.  Moreover, at the Administrative level it is clear that the supposedly moderate Biden means to govern by “pen and phone”, Obama style. 

Strap in because the best days of the Biden administration are already behind us, and he hasn’t even taken the oath of office yet. 

JFB

Sore Loser

On Friday evening the Supreme Court refused to hear the case brought by Texas’s Attorney General and joined by 18 additional Attorney’s General, all of whom are Republicans.  The plaintiffs in the case sought to have the Court throw out the votes of 4 states to be replaced by the state legislature’s choice of electors to the Electoral College. Conveniently enough, all 4 state were won by Joe Biden and all 4 states have Republican majority legislatures. 

In the event, when the Court declined to take up the case, it did so without dissent. Two Justices, Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito, took the position that the case should be heard, but pointedly noted that the case would fail on the merits. As Andrew McCarthy notes here, Thomas and Alito adhered to their longstanding position that “…the Court must accept cases when states invoke the Court’s original jurisdiction.” The net result is that the Court voted against Trump 9 – 0, a stinging rebuke no matter how you slice it. 

If anyone feels shame anymore then there ought to be a lot of shamefaced people walking around Washington this morning. Start with the man who initiated the lawsuit, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Add the 18 other Republican state Attorneys General who joined the suit. And to that add the 100 or so Republican Congressmen who backed the lawsuit. 

They should be ashamed because not only was the lawsuit garbage from the very beginning; it also implied a wholesale rejection of the separation of powers as well as state sovereignty. It would have set the stage for the spectacle of the states suing each other over policies that clearly reside in the purview of the individual states. And not to put too fine a point on it, just the other day those very same Republicans were arguing that Democrats were turning the Court into a super legislature to achieve policy victories they couldn’t achieve through the electoral process. 

Well, perhaps the Republicans ought to consider the consequences of having nominated a narcissistic reality TV star for President. It ought to be pretty clear that the voters rejected both Trump the person and hard left collectivism. Maybe, just maybe, the Republicans will stop with the cult-of-personality nonsense and begin to act like adults, but I’m not counting on it. 

The Democrats don’t exactly come off well in this fiasco either. Keep in mind that they spent the last 4 years attacking the integrity of the 2016 election, arguing among other things, that Russian interference handed the election, which rightly belonged to Hillary Clinton, to Donald Trump. And Democratic here Stacey Abrams has yet to concede that she lost the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018. Before the 2020 election even took place, Hillary Clinton announced that Joe Biden should never concede the result. And in Iowa, Democratic candidate for Congress Lisa Hart, who lost the race by 6 votes, has refused to concede and is petitioning Congress to seat her instead of the actual victor. 

Some interest should be given to the predictions of Democratic pooh-bahs  who launched an all-out attack on the Supreme Court. Consider for a moment the dire predictions of Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) who argued that as a result of the Citizens United decision (affirming the 1st amendment by the way) a wave of “dark money” would crash over the elections ensuring corporate control of “our democracy”. Or predictions that Republican Supreme Court nominees would “hand the election” to Trump. 

Well a wave of dark money did cascade over the 2020 elections. But it was largely Democratic money, much of which came from Wall Street. And it didn’t do the Democrats much good in Congressional races where they lost seats. Also consider that Trump has now lost something like 33 of 34 election related lawsuits, and that the Supreme Court turned him down cold without a dissent. It’s pretty hard to take the Sheldon Whitehead’s of the world seriously. 

As if the whole situation were not absurd enough to be the subject of a Fellini film, in the wake of the latest defeat, Trump got busy on his Twitter account. See below.

Donald Trump


Donald Trump. Again.

So what does it all add up to?

First, Donald Trump has presented clear and convincing evidence that he never should have received the Republican nomination and never should have been elected President in the first place. Second, the Republican Party, terrified of its increasingly yahoo electoral base, has abandoned its former principles and continues to display a remarkable profile in cowardice. Third, the leadership of the Democratic Party, is increasingly driven by principles–the wrong ones. They are headed down the path of a radical collectivist ideology that bears no dissent and has always led to ruin.

Cheer up, though. Voters in the U.S. have always been quite willing to throw the bums out for a new set of bums. And thus punished, one set of bums gets enough of the message to correct the errors of the last set of bums. And then the cycle repeats.

JFB