‘Republicans Pounce,’ Bigly

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler delivers an opening statement as the committee begins its markup of articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, December 11, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
The impeachment itself is the trophy example of a weaponized investigation being used for political purposes.

Some copy-editor at the New York Times has a sense of humor.

“The president and his allies have turned investigations into a political tool for use against their enemies,” reads the headline over a “news analysis” by James B. Stewart.

Well.

The Democrats began publicly laying the foundation for impeaching Donald Trump before he was sworn in as president, the FBI under the Obama administration used counterintelligence powers to investigate the rival party’s presidential campaign and falsified evidence to get permission to continue the investigation, etc., but when Trump et al. point out that the inspector general has found serious misconduct on the part of the FBI, it’s “The president and his allies have turned investigations into a political tool to use against their enemies.” It’s the new “Republicans Pounce!” headline.

I do not think that you would need to be an admirer of President Trump or a partisan Republican (I am neither) to understand, as all mentally normal people do, that the impeachment itself is the trophy example of a weaponized investigation being used for political purposes. You can even believe that the president should be impeached and removed from office and understand that. Because that is the obvious truth. There isn’t anybody who does not know that, even though there are many people who cannot, for professional or psychological reasons, admit it.

In the now-forgotten days of October 2016, the great rhetorical demand among Democrats was that Donald Trump and Republicans promise that they would “accept the results of the election.” This was always a little mystifying, inasmuch as it raised the question of what they might do instead — raise an army? But that rhetoric was premised on the assumption that the Republican candidate was going to lose in 2016. Since then, it has been Democrats who have steadfastly refused to accept the results of the 2016 election. The hyperbole about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election (settle down, you mouth-breathers — it is possible for something to be both real and exaggerated at the same time) is part of that. The impeachment is part of that. The years-long campaign to establish a pretext for impeachment was part of that. (Emoluments, indeed.) Michelle Goldberg’s bizarre politics-as-group-therapy (“Democracy Grief Is Real,” etc.) is part of that. So is “Resistance!” and the risible insistence that Donald Trump is the worst thing since Adolf Hitler.

My own belief is that the Republican party was wrong to nominate Donald Trump in 2016 and that he has no business being president of these United States. But that is how the election went. And the fact that your dotty old grandmother saw a couple of silly Russkie posts on Facebook does not change that. The votes were the votes. There is no serious dispute about that, but Democrats nonetheless reject the legitimacy of the election . . . just as they refused to accept the results of the last presidential election a Republican won.

(A pattern emerges . . . .)

It is the Democrats who are willing to undermine our institutions — accepting the incompetence and corruption at the FBI, IRS, NLRB, and more while pouring scorn on the efforts of inspectors general to address such incompetence and corruption. It is the Democrats who are bent on delegitimizing the Supreme Court now that they no longer believe that they can count on it to give them the political outcomes they fail to achieve through elections and legislation. It is the Democrats who now insist that evidence-free accusations are sufficient grounds to disqualify nominees for federal office, that universities and employers should be deputized to enforce political conformism and homogeneity, etc. Does anybody really think the Democrats would be leaning on Facebook if Hillary Rodham Clinton had been victorious in 2016?

You know better. You really do.

“The president and his allies have turned investigations into a political tool for use against their enemies.” Okay, Sparky. New York Democrats just had to be stopped by the courts from abusing their prosecutorial powers to punish Exxon for having naughty views on climate change, pretending that this political jihad was a securities-fraud case. Garrett Graff over at CNN wants Fox News to be treated as a threat to national security. You think Kamala Harris as attorney general in California was using her prosecutorial powers to go after conservative nonprofits’ donor lists because she was looking for pickpockets and jaywalkers? Or was it because she wanted to use investigations as a political tool for use against her enemies?

“Enemies.”

Maybe think a little harder about those headlines. Maybe question the assumptions underlying them.

And maybe spare us your tedious, lying sanctimony.

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