Disagreeing Over Impeachment

Democrats start something dangerous, with no idea how it will end.

After almost three years of trying, and consistently failing, to find a plausible pretext to impeach President Donald Trump, it seems that the Democrats may finally have convinced themselves they've glommed on to something: Mr. Trump's request of the President of Ukraine to reopen an investigation into the well-paid activities of Vice President Joe Biden's son, which, according to Vice President Biden himself, was shut down because of his vehemently-stated demand that a large dollop of aid the Ukraine would be blocked unless they complied with his demand.

Or, looked at a different way, President Trump used foreign-aid millions to blackmail a foreign government into smearing his likely opponent in next year's Presidential election.

It's astonishing what different conclusions partisans can reach from the same set of facts.  As our Chief Executive Officer, the President is also our chief law-enforcement official (after all, the attorney general works for him at his pleasure), as well as the Constitutionally-anointed head of our foreign policy.  Haven't we endured years of claims of foreign corruption of our politics and demands for investigations into it?  Isn't pressuring foreign governments to help root out corruption what our President is supposed to be doing?  Indeed, have we not been repeatedly told that nobody is above the law, and shouldn't that include Democrat presidential candidates as well as Republican ones?

On the other hand, it does seem unseemly for a President to use the power of government against his political opponent.  This is why we're so aghast at how Mr. Obama behaved toward Mr. Trump's campaign - and yes, he did indirectly tap the phones at Trump Tower, just as Mr. Trump famously claimed and the media continue to deny.

At the very least, this affair puts on full display the double standard in the media.  When Joe Biden boasted about using his leverage over government funds to force a foreign government to close an investigation into his son's employer, that's fine.  When Mr. Trump, maybe, vaguely, implicitly uses funds to ask a foreign government to help our Attorney General with an investigation into that selfsame corruption, that's impeachable.

But none of that is new - for decades now, being a Democrat means never having to say you're sorry or answering for your crimes.

The question now is, what will ordinary American people think of the accusations?

Thus it was that your humble correspondent found himself in a conversation with a man who has nothing to do with politics; is above-average in intelligence; is about averagely informed in that he watches the mainstream news and reads the occasional online article but not much more; is patriotic and believes in the greatness of American history but has sympathy for those less fortunate.  In short, he is a mild center-leftist who generally votes Democrat, but neither a frothing lunatic nor a Communist.

The Confused Center

And at first glance, his opinion is not reassuring: generally, he sympathizes with the impeachment going forward, and thinks what Mr. Trump did was wrong.

This is the flip-side of Mr. Trump's brash style: It makes his supporters love him, but it makes centrists uneasy.  He has managed to convince many of them that he is an unpredictable firebrand who has no particular commitment to following "the rules."

This feeling is not wrong.  Mr. Trump indeed has no commitment to following "the rules."  That is why he was elected - most Trump supporters have reached the conclusion that "the rules" are rigged in favor of the Left, and that Republicans who follow them will always lose as they've been consistently losing for decades.  Yes, Mr. Trump is not your ordinary Republican nor your conventional politician - that's the whole point!

To Trump supporters and highly politically aware conservatives, Mr. Trump is the natural and necessary reaction to a decades-long co-opting of our systems of government by the Left, often referred to as "the long march through the institutions."  It was necessary to upset the applecart, because the applecart was deliberately taking the country away from Americanism and toward socialism and cultural Marxism.

To centrists who aren't particularly politically aware, though, Mr. Trump seems a sudden change from the predictable and generally calm "ordinary" politics - because he is.  It's like the proverbial frog immersed in slowly-heating water, which seems fairly comfortable and predictable, even though eventually it will be deadly.  If a hand reaches down and fishes out the frog, he's naturally going to wriggle in protest and try to escape from what is, in reality, saving him from an awful fate.

The bottom line?  The average man-on-the-street still generally has a good degree of trust in our institutions.  Yes, everybody knows that there are corrupt officials and partisan journalists, there always have been.  But in general, most Americans believes that our systems are functioning more or less as designed and that things will work out overall.

Relatively few have fully digested the abundant evidence that our media is overwhelmingly liberal and is specifically and deliberately lying about the current Ukraine flap.

Most Americans still believe that the CIA and FBI are generally evenhanded, rather than, as has now been pretty well proved, both largely run by and riddled with hardcore Democrat partisans who claim to view it as their sworn duty to save America from the President that Americans freely and fairly elected while raking in money through book tours and Kickstarter.

In short - my acquaintance agrees that there exists a fetid swamp of corruption and unaccountable power, but he does not recognize that The Swamp has taken over his whole yard, basement, first floor, and is lapping at the top of the stairs near his bedroom.

Even Mr. Trump himself, when elected, probably didn't realize just how far our national corruption had gone in spite of working for years to build skyscrapers in the New York City version of the swamp.  He knew that the Clintons were corrupt, of course, and he had encountered other corrupt Democrats, and any number of bureaucrats.  Until last year, though, it seems like he still had some general faith in the overall evenhandedness of our institutions, with certain exceptions that he attacked as he realized the need.

With the final release of the Mueller report, that seems to have changed.  Yes, Robert Mueller himself may once have been a competent, fair, and nonpartisan leader, as well as a registered Republican.  But his Congressional testimony opened grave questions as to his current senility, and it quickly became apparent that literally everyone else on his team was a Democrat, most of whom literally had serving the Clintons on their resume, as even the partisan "truth checkers" had to grudgingly admit.

No nonpartisan institution would ever allow a team like this to be created in the first place to say nothing of including naked bigots like Peter Strzok who had exchanged dozens of anti-Trump text messages with his paramour.  Some wiser head would have insisted that registered Republicans be added, or would have quietly insured that Mueller's medical and aging issues were revealed early so he could be replaced by someone better able to handle the heavy lifting of maintaining impartiality and fairness in such a sensitive investigation.  The only way this team could have acted in the totally unjust way it did, is for every single power-player involved to be utterly corrupt and partisan.

Mr. Trump knows this now, which is why he's gone to war with the intelligence community.  Indeed, this is the wrong way of putting it.  To draw a lesson from the past, it's technically accurate but not really the whole truth to say that FDR went to war with the Japanese.

No, FDR simply recognized that a state of war already existed with Japan after they'd taken visible offensive action to knock America out of the Pacific.  Similarly, thanks to the Mueller report and its aftermath, Mr. Trump now sees that the Deep State, the Swamp, or whatever you want to call it, has taken offensive action to knock him out of the Oval Office regardless of the vote of the American people, regardless of the truth, and certainly regardless of any sense of fairness or proportion.  The Democrats have even admitted that any action aimed at taking out Mr. Trump is OK:

I'm concerned if we don't impeach this president, he will get re-elected.

 - Rep. Al Green (D, TX)

Donald Trump is presented with a rather more difficult job than FDR had.  On December 8, there were no Americans wondering whether there was an enemy out to get us, and precious few asking whether they were worth fighting.  Mr. Trump has to deal with lots of both.

Thus, at bottom, his Number One task is showing Americans just what exactly is the reality of what they suppose to be their government of the people, by the people, and for the people and not for the corruptocrats of both parties who actually run the place.

In a way, this current "impeachment" process provides the perfect opportunity: Donald Trump stands accused of doing exactly the same thing Joe Biden proudly boasted of doing.  A more blatant double standard could hardly be imagined, and the reason is obvious: Joe Biden is the very embodiment of the liberal political establishment, whereas Donald Trump is anything but.

There's a difference between, on some level, knowing that the law works differently for the powerful and connected than it does for me, and seeing it live and in living color when the powerful and well-connected try to take each other out.

This is how it worked in ancient Rome; unfortunately, the proletariat ended up simply cheering on the battling aristocrats and rooting for casualties.  In modern American we still seem to retain at least enough republican virtue as to not think politics is supposed to be a blood sport.  Yes, politicians should go to jail when they commit crimes, but this should be on account of the crime and not the political party or who's in power.

As things stand, there's no way Donald Trump can personally lose.  If impeachment is defeated, the Democrats are even bigger losers and Joe Biden stands revealed as the epitome of swampy corruptness.  If Trump is impeached and removed on such transparently biased charges, all America will be duly informed that no, it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government will be run only by candidates approved and endorsed by the bipartisan Establishment, to implement only the polices they want put in place.  The rest of us just live here.

It seems like the Democrats are either so confident in their power that they believe it no longer matters what ordinary people see, understand, or believe; or they're so panicked by Donald Trump that they're not thinking things through.

Which is what scares us most of all about where we stand today: When powerful people panic, dangerous and deadly mistakes get made, with unpredictable and disastrous consequences - and not just for themselves either.  When kings go forth to war, peasants supply most of the casualties and pay most of the cost.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

.... seems that the Democrats may finally have convinced themselves ... President Trump requested of the President of Ukraine that he reopen an investigation into the well-paid activities of Vice President Joe Biden's son ....

Which by no stretch of the most Orwellian imagination comes even close to representing any request President Trump ever made.

Someone needs must read the transcript of the much-misquoted conversation.

October 9, 2019 10:42 PM

As your friend might suggest, we've always had politcal conflict, bad actors and greedy and incompetent leaders, but heh, it's America, and our basic love of freedom will always prevail. We'll never be Venezuela, China, or any of those countries who failed....it's just not possible!
Well....that, I suspect, is what they all thought.
Thanks for a rational assessment of this terrible piece of theater. It's helpful.

October 9, 2019 10:53 PM

What concerns me is that people such as your center-left acquaintance believe that those of us who have added up the facts and reached the conclusions you presented are a little off the wall at best, or conspiracy theorists at worst, and don’t need to be taken seriously.

For most of us, taking the step from awareness of some corruption to the knowledge that corruption is endemic in our institutions and exemplified by Democrat leaders is like stepping off a cliff. Doing so means acknowledging that many people who hold power in this country are wicked and do not care about the people they supposedly serve. If we allow ourselves to see the truth of what is going on, it becomes nearly impossible to shrug and do nothing. Our knowledge imposes seriously on the comfort of our lives.

October 10, 2019 9:47 AM

That's not just a problem with normal people. I wrestle with it every day. If I truly believe what I'm writing, why am I still leading a more or less ordinary life?

The answer is kinda shameful: I haven't managed to come up with any better ideas that seem like they would work. Knowledge is power, so I spread knowledge as best I can.

Thomas Jefferson would suggest pitchforks and torches, but I'm not persuaded that would be the least bit effective, when we have elected Democrat Representatives glibly suggesting that our army could simply nuke recalcitrant conservatives if it comes to that.


October 10, 2019 9:54 AM

If Trump is impeached in the House on a party line vote, but not removed by the Senate, he will most likely be reelected. However, since the narrative is falling apart, and there was no quid pro quo, it's possible that Pelosi can't get an impeachment vote in the House. Moderate Democrats will vote against it. At that point, Pelosi and the Democrats will be well and truly screwed.

If, as I suspect, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, both Ohrs, Comey, Brennan and Clapper are indicted, the centrists will no longer be able to ignore the Democrats' corruption. The plea deals just before the election will make it obvious who was criminal. The Pravda Press won't be able to spin it away.

October 10, 2019 11:35 AM

Mr. Proudfoot,
As my Jewish friends say, " From your lips to God's ears".
F. Johnston

October 10, 2019 11:40 AM

I remember reading a term from a combatant in the CA homeless wars..." Homeless Industrial Complex". The Democrat's core constituencies are gov't unions, welfare recipients, and trial lawyers. The notion is that the Dems win when the homeless situation is " managed" not solved. If there is low/reasonable cost housing, there will be less homeless. That means fewer case workers, housing authorities, and advocacy lawyers. It gets worse...if these folks have a stable living place they stand a better chance of getting a job in our low unemployment economy. And if employed, the Dems don't have the welfare check to enforce political obedience. Even worse, if anchored in a community, they will probably insist on a first rate education for their children... Oh Oh ...bad news for the Educrats and Teacher's Unions. Pretty obvious why Dem dominated communities cheer on perpetual homelessness.

October 10, 2019 6:06 PM

Think you're onto something, bsinn. Try naming businesses in the USA that DO NOT benefit in some way from the money governments at different levels gather up and redistribute.

October 11, 2019 2:10 PM
Add Your Comment...
4000 characters remaining
Loading question...