VDH: The Ten Reasons

By Pie Guevara

Pie Guevara appears in Post Scripts courtesy of Jack Lee and Tina Grazier. Pie Guevara is an unregistered trademark of Engulf and Devour Investments LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walton Industries which, in turn, is wholly owned by David Walton.  So there!

 

Ten Reasons Impeachment Is Illegitimate

A must read from Victor Davis Hanson. Please be sure to click on the link! I have reproduced his article below but it may not be up for long because of copyright issues.

VDH is one of my favorite writers. Check out his writ on Amazon. I just got through my copy of “The Second World Wars.”

Books By Victor Davis Hanson

Ten Reasons Impeachment Is Illegitimate

By Victor Davis Hanson

There are at least ten reasons why the Democratic impeachment “inquiry” is a euphemism for an ongoing coup attempt.

1) Impeachment 24/7. The impeachment “inquiry,” supposedly prompted by the president’s Ukrainian call, is simply the most recent in a long series of “coups” that sought to overturn the 2016 election and thus preclude a 2020 reelection bid. The pattern gives away the game.

Usually the serial futile attempts to abort the Trump presidency — with the exception of the Mueller Dream-Team debacle — were each characterized by about a month of media-driven hysteria. We remember the voting-machines-fraud hoax, the initial 2017 impeachment effort, the attempt to warp the Electoral College voting, the Logan Act, the emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, the McCabe-Rosenstein faux coup, and various Michael Avenatti-Stormy Daniels-Michael Cohen psychodramas.

Ukraine then is not unique, but simply another mini-coup attempt that follows the last failed coup and that will presage another coup to take its place when it too fails to remove Trump.

All of these efforts reflect a desperate effort both to reverse the 2016 election and to preclude a 2020 reelection effort, and, barring that, to drive down the Trump polls to the point of making him delegitimized. A week after Trump was elected, the Wall Street Journal reported that intelligence agencies were withholding information from their president. “Anonymous,” in a September 5, 2018, New York Times op-ed, bragged of an ongoing “resistance” of high-ranking government officials seeking to stonewall Trump. As soon as Trump was inaugurated, Washington lawyer and former Obama official Rosa Brooks was publicly raising the possibility of a military coup to remove him. Retired admiral William McRaven recently called for Trump to be gone — “the sooner, the better.”

Mark Zaid, the lawyer for the whistleblower, in his arrogance, long ago at least told the truth when he chose the words “coup” and “rebellion” to characterize left-wing efforts to remove Trump. He admitted that the coups would fail (given their lack of legality), but that they would still be followed by successive efforts. In a sane world, with this “bombshell” disclosure, the entire whistleblower caper would now simply vanish.

2) Whistleblowers Who Are Not Whistleblowers. The “whistleblower” who prompted this most recent iteration of attempted Trump removal is no whistleblower by any common definition of the noun (i.e., “an individual who, without authorization, reveals private or classified information about an organization usually related to wrongdoing or misconduct. Whistleblowers generally state that such actions are motivated by a commitment to the public interest.” — Encyclopaedia Britannica). He has no incriminating documents, no information at all. He does not even have firsthand evidence of wrongdoing, much less proof of suspect conduct within intelligence agencies that alone would prompt a legitimate appeal to the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.

Instead, the whistleblower relied on secondhand water-cooler gossip about an illegally leaked presidential call. Even his mangled version of the call did not match that of official transcribers. He was not disinterested but had a long history of partisanship in general, and concerning Ukraine in particular. He was a protégé of many of Trump’s most adamant opponents, including Susan Rice, John Brennan, and Joe Biden. He did not follow protocol by going first to the inspector general but instead caucused with the staff of Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry. Neither the whistleblower nor his doppelgänger Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, who both professed strong pro-Ukrainian sympathies during their past tenures associated with the Obama administration, were bothered by the activities of the Bidens or by the Obama decision to stop arms deliveries to Ukraine. Their outrage, in other words, was not about Ukraine but over Trump.

It is highly unlikely that there are any plans to call the whistleblower or recall Vindman in person before any committee, because their usefulness as instigators of “impeachment” has already passed, and both are now rank liabilities. Their inconsistencies and past partisan affiliations offer only vulnerabilities.

3) First-term impeachment. The Clinton and Nixon inquiries were directed at second-term presidencies in which there were no more electoral remedies for alleged wrongdoing. In contrast, Trump is up for election in less than a year. Impeachment then seems a partisan exercise in either circumventing a referendum election or in damaging a president seeking reelection.

4) No Special Counsel Finding. In the past, special counsels have found felonious presidential behavior, such as cited in Leon Jaworski’s and Ken Starr’s investigations.

In contrast, Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent 22 months and $35 million, and yet his largely partisan law and investigative team found no collusion and no actionable presidential obstruction of that non-crime. We are not just proceeding with impeachment without a special counsel’s finding of wrongdoing, but after a special counsel’s finding of no actionable wrongdoing.

5) No Bipartisanship. There was broad bipartisan support for the Nixon impeachment inquiry and even some for the Clinton impeachment. There is none at all for the Schiff impeachment effort, given its overtly partisan nature.

6) Impeachment without High Crimes or Misdemeanors. There is no proof of any actual Trump crime.

No longer is Nancy Pelosi describing the whistleblower as central to the impeachment inquiry. Asking a corrupt foreign head of state to look into past corruption is pro forma. That Joe Biden is now a candidate for president and Trump’s potential rival does not ensure him exemption from his possible wrongdoing in the past as vice president when his son used the Biden name for lucrative advantage in leveraging Ukrainian money for assumed preferential Obama-administration treatment.

In other words, it is certainly not a crime for a president to adopt his own foreign policy to fit particular countries nor to request of a foreign government seeking U.S. aid, with a long history of corruption, that it ensure it has not in the past colluded with prior U.S. officials in suspicious activity. A president can appoint or fire any ambassador he chooses, all the more so when one has a known record of partisanship. It is not a crime to disagree with House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff when he says that White House officials must testify when he so summons them.

The irony is that while the House politicizes impeachment, the IG of the Justice Department, Michael Horowitz, and lifelong civil servant and federal attorney John Durham are likely to show concrete evidence that the now-exempt Obama administration used the powers of the FBI, CIA, and DOJ, unethically if not illegally, to attempt to destroy the candidacy, transition, and presidency of Donald Trump — still the current object of yet another political coup.

7) Thought Crimes? Even if there were ever a quid, there is no quo: Unlike the case of the Obama administration, the Trump administration did supply arms to Ukraine, and the Ukrainians apparently did not reinvestigate the Bidens. As a matter of general policy, Trump has been far harder on Russia and far more concretely supportive of Ukraine than was the Obama administration. That stubborn fact is ipso facto evidence that if there was any quid pro quo, it was more likely a matter of Biden rather than Trump pressuring the Ukrainians, given the actual quite different results: Again, the Trump administration armed the Ukrainians; Obama and his administration did not. Thought crimes are still not impeachable offenses.

8) Different Standards of Justice. There is now no standard of equality under the law. Instead, we are entering the jurisprudence of junta politics. If an alleged quid pro quo is an impeachable offense, should Vice President Joe Biden have been impeached or indicted for clearly leveraging the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor for dubious reasons by threats of withholding U.S. aid?

Should Barack Obama have been investigated for getting caught on a hot mic offering to be flexible after his reelection on missile defense if Vladimir Putin would give him some space? In fact, Russia did not embarrass Obama during the subsequent 2012 successful Obama reelection effort, and Obama did shelve joint Eastern European missile-defense plans.

So there is no consistency in presidential audits. Would the Obama administration have welcomed or even tolerated congressional requests to turn over all its emails, private phone conversations, and memos concerning covert meetings of U.S. and Iranian officials that surrounded the nocturnal transfer of $400 million in cash for the release of American hostages — with much of such money ending up in the hands of Hezbollah terrorists? Would the Obama administration have complied with requests for texts and transcripts surrounding its decisions to halt Eastern European missile defense?

9) The Schiff Factor. Representative Adam Schiff is now de facto chief impeachment prosecutor. He has repeatedly lied about the certainty of impending Mueller indictments or bombshells. He flat-out lied that he and his staff had no prior contact with the whistleblower. He made up a version of the Trump call that did not represent the actual transcript, and when called out, he begged off by claiming he was offering a “parody.” He has an unsavory reputation as a chronic selective leaker of classified information in the House Intelligence Committee. For weeks he has not allowed Republican members of his House Intelligence Committee to have the same freedom to call and cross-examine witnesses as was extended to the then-minority Democrats during the committee’s 2016-07 investigation of FISA, unmasking, and surveillance abuses.

Tradition and protocol argue that the proper place for impeachment inquiries and investigations is the House Judiciary Committee. Schiff successfully hijacked that committee’s historic role for two reasons: 1) His reputation as a brawling hyper-partisan meant that he would turn the investigation into a proverbial witch hunt and wet the lunatic beak of the progressive base; and 2) he has the ability so far as intelligence chair to selectively block rapid dissemination of transcripts of cross-examinations of witnesses and to use secrecy to massage the conduct of the committee and to selectively release information to the media.

10) Precedent. The indiscriminate efforts to remove Trump over the past three years, when coupled with the latest impeachment gambit, have now set a precedent in which the out party can use impeachment as a tool to embarrass, threaten, leverage, or seek to remove a sitting president for political purposes to reverse an election.

At best, we have turned a uniquely constitutional republic into a European parliamentary system in which heads of states can be removed from power without national elections. At worst, we are now a rank banana republic in which coups are an accepted model of political opposition.

The next Democratic president should be prepared, in his first term, for the real chance of facing the same, and apparently now institutionalized, tactics used against Trump.

We are witnessing constitutional government dissipating before our very eyes.

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9 Responses to VDH: The Ten Reasons

  1. cherokee jack says:

    I’ve been watching presidents breaking rules since FDR. I’ve seen them make alliances with monsters, treat the Constitution like a list of suggestions, piss away billions down one rat hole after another, make end runs around congress term after term, start illegal and unnecessary wars, reward friends who needed slapping down, and slap down good guys who dared to cross them.
    Not one or two presidents. Every president has pulled stunts that could have gotten him impeached, if there hadn’t been enough cool heads around to counsel patience and upcoming elections.
    What I have never seen is the wild eyes, dripping fangs and irrational hatred from this would-be junta trying to accomplish their coup. Not because they have a just cause, but because Trump has been spitting in their soup, and they don’t like it. They’ve been frantically searching for any excuse they thought they could sell to the ignorant masses.
    Maybe we’re picking up bad habits from hanging around the Mid-East too long.

  2. Chris appended by Pie says:

    [Wherein Mr. Souza blathers on, repeats his complaints, tries to deconstruct VDH in a weird ramble and calls VDH a liar (like no one saw that coming). Waste your time if you want. Souza is heavy on spamming the comments section today.]

    I remember seeing Victor Davis Hanson speak at Fresno State when I was a student. I remember being impressed by the quality of his arguments. Unfortunately I have never seen such quality in his written work especially over the past few years. There are a number of irrational arguments and false claims in the above article.

    1) VDH is literally defining any theory of how to remove Trump from office, no matter how obscure, as a “coup,” and conflating all of those theories in with the current impeachment. That some op-ed writers have written about the Logan Act or the 25th Amendment does not make them members of a coup. The fact is that none of these theories were acted upon. Democrats in the House were very careful and hesitant about impeachment and did not begin impeachment proceedings for the first two and a half years Trump was in office. To say that impeachment is illegitimate because a lot of people wanted to impeach Trump before it happened for various reasons is ridiculous.

    2) VDH is simply lying about the whistleblower. The Trump-appointed IG says that he did have some first-hand information. It is also not required that a whistleblower have firsthand info anyway, not even in the definition of “whistleblower” VDH provides. The same IG also says that the whistleblower followed the legal process for his report. As for why the whistleblower wasn’t bothered by the Bidens or Obama withholding aid from Ukraine but is bothered by Trump’s threat to do the same, the difference is obvious: there was no evidence that Biden’s or the Obama administration’s actions toward Ukraine were based on personal or political advantage, while there is overwhelming evidence that Trump’s threat to Ukraine was done only for political advantage.

    3) The idea that it is wrong to impeach a first-term president no matter the offense is nonsense.

    4) The idea that a special counsel needs to find a violation of law prior to an impeachment is nonsense.

    5) There is no bipartisanship because congressional Republicans are terrified to go up against Trump. The party no longer stands on any principle and instead has become a party devoted to satiating the ego of one unstable man.

    6) Bribery and witness intimidation are crimes. But technical violations of the law are not required for impeachment, and every impeachment has included at least one article that did not rise to the level of a prosecutable crime. “Asking a corrupt foreign head of state to look into past corruption is pro forma,” but threatening to deny aid to a foreign government unless they announce a public investigation into a baseless conspiracy theory targeting one’s political rival is not. The fact that Trump asked for no general anti-corruption measures other than ones that would directly benefit himself is damning evidence that Trump did not make this threat in the best interests of the nation. It’s now come out that Trump did not raise corruption in a previous call with Ukraine even after his aides counseled him to do so. So the president does not care about corruption generally, he only cares about what would benefit his odds in 2020. It is amazing that there are still some that can’t accept this given it’s all he ever talks about.

    7) A threat is not a “thought crime,” even if that threat is unsuccessful. The threat was made, as even the non-transcript “transcript” makes clear. Trump only released the aid after the whistleblower report was on its way to Congress. There’s also a good argument that withholding the aid for as long as he did without vetoing Congress’s decision to release it was illegal.

    VDH’s claim that Trump has been tougher on Russia than Obama is a lie.

    8) There were no “dubious reasons” for Biden’s threat. As Vice President, Joe Biden would have had no authority to release or withhold aid himself. As his threat was carried out in the public eye, with the support of both parties in Congress and all our European allies, the conspiracy theory that Biden only did this to help his son–who was never personally under investigation–is ludicrous. Biden pressured for Shokin’s firing because everyone in our government and in the governments of our allies knew he was corrupt and was refusing to investigate corruption. Period.

    9) Schiff’s summation of the phone call was obviously his own interpretation, and was presented as such–no one who listened to more than a minute of his speech would have mistaken it for a word-for-word recitation. Republicans on the committees were allowed to ask questions–many did not show up.

    10) I am all for the precedent that a president caught abusing his office by withholding congressionally approved military aid in exchange for politically-motivated, foreign-led investigations into his opponents should be impeached.

  3. Chris says:

    Max Boot has a less detailed but still good rebuttal to VDH’s argument here:

    President Trump’s Republican defenders are making many arguments against impeachment. Too bad none of them make sense. But maybe that’s because the members of Congress and Fox News talking heads rushing forward to defend him aren’t the sharpest tools in the drawers? What happens when a top-tier conservative intellectual steps forward?

    Victor Davis Hanson certainly qualifies. He is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and a renowned military historian. I have known and respected him for years. So I was quite interested to read his article, “Ten Reasons Why Impeachment Is Illegitimate.” Alas — spoiler alert — he is no more convincing than a Fox News anchor. Here are his arguments and my replies:

    1. “The impeachment ‘inquiry,’ supposedly prompted by the president’s Ukrainian call, is simply the most recent in a long series of ‘coups’ that sought to overturn the 2016 election and thus preclude a 2020 reelection bid.” There has been no “coup” — “the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group” — but there have been many legitimate investigations prompted by the president’s unethical and even illegal conduct.

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    2. “The ‘whistleblower’ … is no whistleblower by any common definition. … He has no incriminating documents, no information at all. … He was a protégé of many of Trump’s most adamant opponents, including Susan Rice, John Brennan, and Joe Biden.” The whistleblower alerted Congress about Trump’s attempts to blackmail Ukraine into helping him politically — and what we have learned since then has fully confirmed the initial report. Given that the whistleblower was reportedly a low-level CIA officer assigned to the White House, it’s ludicrous to describe him as a “protégé” of former vice president Biden or a political partisan.

    3. “The Clinton and Nixon inquiries were directed at second-term presidencies in which there were no more electoral remedies for alleged wrongdoing. In contrast, Trump is up for election in less than a year.” Democrats could hardly allow Trump to seek reelection unimpeached when he was trying to undermine the integrity of the election. In any case, Andrew Johnson was impeached in his first term and in an election year.

    4. “No Special Counsel Finding. In the past, special counsels have found felonious presidential behavior, such as cited in Leon Jaworski’s and Ken Starr’s investigations.” Hanson has some nerve, ignoring special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s evidence that Trump obstructed justice — and then complaining that the impeachment can’t proceed for lack of a special counsel. Again, Hanson never seems to have heard of Johnson, who was impeached without a special counsel.

    5. “No bipartisanship.” So because Republicans refuse to examine the evidence on the merits, the case shouldn’t proceed at all? This gives partisans a veto on any impeachment.

    Opinion | ‘Read the transcript’: How Republican Fox News fans view the impeachment inquiry
    Fox News watchers are more committed to President Trump than other Americans. Post media critic Erik Wemple went to Fox Nation’s Patriot Awards to find out why. (Video: Erik Wemple, Joy Sharon Yi, Kate Woodsome, Danielle Kunitz/Photo: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
    6. “There is no proof of any actual Trump crime. … Asking a corrupt foreign head of state to look into past corruption is pro forma.” There is no credible allegation of any wrongdoing by Biden, yet Trump demanded that Ukraine “investigate” him in cooperation with Trump’s personal attorney. There is a strong case that Trump tried to solicit a bribe and invited foreign election interference in violation of U.S. law. But you don’t have to commit a felony to be guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

    7. “Even if there were ever a quid, there is no quo: Unlike the case of the Obama administration, the Trump administration did supply arms to Ukraine, and the Ukrainians apparently did not reinvestigate the Bidens.” The aid to Ukraine only flowed once the whistleblower came forward, sparing the Ukrainians from giving in to Trump’s extortion.

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    8. “If an alleged quid pro quo is an impeachable offense, should Vice President Joe Biden have been impeached or indicted for clearly leveraging the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor …? Should Barack Obama have been investigated for getting caught on a hot mic offering to be flexible after his reelection on missile defense if Vladimir Putin would give him some space?” Both Biden and Obama were pursuing legitimate U.S. national security objectives. Neither sought any aid for their own campaigns.

    9. “Representative Adam Schiff is now de facto chief impeachment prosecutor. He has repeatedly lied about the certainty of impending Mueller indictments or bombshells.” Schiff is infinitely more truthful than Trump or his defenders. Attacking a prosecutor hardly exonerates a defendant — in fact, it’s usually a sign the defendant doesn’t have a case on the merits.

    10. “The indiscriminate efforts to remove Trump over the past three years, when coupled with the latest impeachment gambit, have now set a precedent in which the out party can use impeachment as a tool to embarrass, threaten, leverage, or seek to remove a sitting president for political purposes to reverse an election.” No one is reversing an election — impeaching Trump won’t make Hillary Clinton the president. Democrats are using a constitutional procedure to hold the president accountable for his misconduct, and they have a much stronger case than when Republicans tried to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about sex.

    If even the great historian Victor Davis Hanson can’t make a single convincing argument against impeachment, I am forced to conclude that no such argument exists. All that is left is the tribal loyalty that Republicans, including Republican intellectuals, feel toward a Republican president. They would never make such excuses for a Democrat.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/11/12/republicans-have-no-convincing-argument-against-impeachment/

    • Pie Guevara says:

      The only statement that counts — “they [Democrats] have a much stronger case than when Republicans tried to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about sex.”

      So that was why Clinton impeached! Not for breaking the law, not for obstructing justice, not for committing perjury, and not for lying in front of a federal judge during a deposition.

      • Chris says:

        It’s not the only statement that counts, it’s just low-hanging fruit. Bill Clinton should have resigned in disgrace, and we’d probably be in a better position as a country right now if he had been removed from office through the impeachment process. Allowing him to get away with perjury is a big part of the reason why we have Trump today. That Boot trivializes Clinton’s conduct doesn’t discredit the rest of his argument in my view, though.

  4. Chris says:

    Conor Friedersdorf also responds:

    The term coup conjures “a sudden, illegal, often violent, taking of government power, especially by part of an army.” The House impeachment inquiry is neither sudden, nor illegal, nor violent, nor being carried out by the military. Using the word coup to describe the process is dishonest and irresponsible.

    “At best, we have turned a uniquely constitutional republic into a European parliamentary system in which heads of states can be removed from power without national elections,” Hanson writes, referring to a removal mechanism created by the Constitution. “At worst,” he adds, “we are now a rank banana republic in which coups are an accepted model of political opposition.” His rhetoric is inflammatory nonsense that can succeed only insofar as it overwhelms logic.

    Hanson goes on to characterize the impeachment inquiry as the latest of multiple attempts “to reverse the 2016 election.” As he well knows, however, impeachment and removal by the Senate would not “reverse the 2016 election.” Neither the previous president, Barack Obama, nor Trump’s 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, would occupy the White House in the event of removal. Neither the laws Trump has signed nor the judicial appointments Trump has made would be negated. And the new president would be Mike Pence, by virtue of the fact that he was on the same Republican ticket that won the Electoral College in 2016.

    Jane Chong: There’s never going to be a clear standard for impeachable offenses

    The Constitution matters. So does the English language. To conserve the integrity of both––a project avowedly conservative writers ought to care about––requires choosing words with more intellectual honesty and care than Hanson shows. Alas, he is not an outlier among Trumpists. Even the House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has called the impeachment inquiry “a calculated coup.”

    Ramesh Ponnuru responded at National Review as a constitutional conservative should. “This is the same rhetoric that Democrats used during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton,” he wrote. “It is no more apt now. The Constitution lays out a way for presidents to be removed from office by Congress, just as it lays out a way that presidents can take office without a popular majority or even plurality.” That constitutional procedure, he continued, “cannot successfully be invoked without the support of a supermajority of the public larger than what is necessary to elect a president in the first place.”

    If efforts to oust Trump ever trigger political violence by people who don’t understand the constitutional legitimacy of impeachment and removal, blame for the bloodshed will reside in part with Hanson, McCarthy, and all the other pro-Trump commentators who cast a tool the Framers gave us as illegitimate.

    he term coup conjures “a sudden, illegal, often violent, taking of government power, especially by part of an army.” The House impeachment inquiry is neither sudden, nor illegal, nor violent, nor being carried out by the military. Using the word coup to describe the process is dishonest and irresponsible.

    “At best, we have turned a uniquely constitutional republic into a European parliamentary system in which heads of states can be removed from power without national elections,” Hanson writes, referring to a removal mechanism created by the Constitution. “At worst,” he adds, “we are now a rank banana republic in which coups are an accepted model of political opposition.” His rhetoric is inflammatory nonsense that can succeed only insofar as it overwhelms logic.

    Hanson goes on to characterize the impeachment inquiry as the latest of multiple attempts “to reverse the 2016 election.” As he well knows, however, impeachment and removal by the Senate would not “reverse the 2016 election.” Neither the previous president, Barack Obama, nor Trump’s 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, would occupy the White House in the event of removal. Neither the laws Trump has signed nor the judicial appointments Trump has made would be negated. And the new president would be Mike Pence, by virtue of the fact that he was on the same Republican ticket that won the Electoral College in 2016.

    Jane Chong: There’s never going to be a clear standard for impeachable offenses

    The Constitution matters. So does the English language. To conserve the integrity of both––a project avowedly conservative writers ought to care about––requires choosing words with more intellectual honesty and care than Hanson shows. Alas, he is not an outlier among Trumpists. Even the House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has called the impeachment inquiry “a calculated coup.”

    Ramesh Ponnuru responded at National Review as a constitutional conservative should. “This is the same rhetoric that Democrats used during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton,” he wrote. “It is no more apt now. The Constitution lays out a way for presidents to be removed from office by Congress, just as it lays out a way that presidents can take office without a popular majority or even plurality.” That constitutional procedure, he continued, “cannot successfully be invoked without the support of a supermajority of the public larger than what is necessary to elect a president in the first place.”

    If efforts to oust Trump ever trigger political violence by people who don’t understand the constitutional legitimacy of impeachment and removal, blame for the bloodshed will reside in part with Hanson, McCarthy, and all the other pro-Trump commentators who cast a tool the Framers gave us as illegitimate.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/impeachment-not-coup/601981/

    • Pie Guevara says:

      Talk about much ado about nothing.

      Using the term “coup” to describe what the Democrats are doing is dangerous? If violence breaks out Hanson will be responsible for bloodshed? I have read some hysterical nonsense from the intellectually bankrupt, politically desperate and English language challenged Mr. Souza but this is a bit much.

      Using the word “coup” to describe the Democrats’ multiple political scams to damage the president and destroy his presidency does not rigorously follow the dictionary definition. So what? Using terms a bit out of place to make a point is a not out of bounds when writing an opinion piece and is an oft used device.

      The supposed “whistleblower’s” lawyer himself has used “coup” to describe what he and the Democrats are doing and now the word is supposed to be out of bounds? Oh puhleeeese. Another lame attempt from Mr. Souza and his ilk to control the language and thereby control the conversation. *Yawn* These people need to get a life.

      It is the Democrats who have compromised the integrity and legitimacy of the impeachment process by turning it into a farcical political weapon. Not people who describe their crass political show trial efforts as an attempted “coup.”

      Then there is Mr. Souza’s silly, mealy-mouthed complaint on “reversing” the 2016 election. That is logically and reasonably and easily read as meaning to reverse the election by removing the president from office. Souza’s absolutely idiotic literal reading that it means to install Hillary is something no reasonable person would actually assume or believe.

      Like I said, much ado about nothing. Souza is dismissed.

      • Chris says:

        The supposed “whistleblower’s” lawyer himself has used “coup” to describe what he and the Democrats are doing and now the word is supposed to be out of bounds?

        My understanding is that Zaid was describing the president’s actions as a “coup,” not Democrat efforts. But either way, he was wrong to use this term. A “coup” is an inherently violent and illegitimate action, and it is indeed stupid and wrong to describe an impeachment as a coup. Impeachment is a process outlined in the Constitution, and not one of Hansen’s points demonstrates that the constitutional process isn’t being followed.

        The same is true of the ridiculous claim that it “reverses an election.” The election happened and impeachment doesn’t reverse it. Mike Pence ran on the same ticket and every informed American knew at the time that he could become president if the president died, became incapacitated, or was impeached. Heck, some people voted for the ticket for that very reason, just as many voted for McCain/Palin thinking it meant she might become president if McCain died in office (which was a huge consideration at the time).

        The language we use matters. Calling impeachment a “coup” or “reversing an election” makes people dumber. It spreads misinformation and is anathema to critical thinking. Hyperbole and exaggeration are appropriate in some circumstances but when we are debating whether or not a process is lawful or legitimate it is important to be careful. You don’t see me accusing President Trump of “treason” as some liberals do, because I think that only muddles the issue and serves to misinform. I hold myself to the same standards I hold others to, while you think hyperbole and exaggeration are fine for you but wrong for your opponents.

  5. Chris says:

    Ambassador Sondland’s testimony this morning is devastating. He confirms that there was a “quid pro quo,” that it was specifically about an announcement of an investigation rather than an actual investigation, that everyone knew about this quid pro quo, and that the only issues Trump cared about were Burisma (meaning the Bidens, which he claims he didn’t know at the time) and the 2016 election (meaning the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in our election).

    Sondland cannot be dismissed as a Deep State operative–he donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration and was hand-picked to be Trump’s ambassador to the EU (of which Ukraine is not a part).

    There is no logical conclusion from this other than that Trump was acting solely in his own political interests when he made this quid pro quo, not the national interests. He was not concerned with actual Ukrainian corruption–which Zelensky had already been taking efforts to fight–and made no conditions regarding general anti-corruption measures in that country. He did not even care whether Ukraine actually investigated these issues–he just wanted a public announcement, proving that negatiove news coverage of Biden was his goal. His goals were to spread a lie about who meddled in our election in 2016 and to get anothe country to meddle in the 2020 election! If this is not impeachable, we might as well amend the Constitution to get rid of Congress’ impeachment power entirely.

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