A view from the right intelligentsia

https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-impeachment-subverts-the-constitution-11572040762

The bona fides of the authors are pretty compelling, and their arguments are somewhat grounded.

I say somewhat, because they talk about “rules” for impeachment, not as written, of course, but just what they said happened in the 3 other times: Johnson, Nixon and Clinton.

Johnson did have a full House vote just to start the inquiries and draw up the articles of impeachment. Nixon had a House vote too, but a lot of investigation went on before the hearings took place. Clinton the same. As a matter of fact, Clinton was investigated for 6 years about real estate and sex harassment before he lied under oath about adultery. Talk about trying to turn over not one, but two legal elections. And the various stages and permutations of Ken Staars investigation was daily fodder on the nightly news.

And, of course, the Benghazi investigations (6, 7 or 8, I can’t recall) were certainly packed with closed hearings before Clinton was called.

So I think that argument of being not done according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules is a bit specious. Especially when the Democrats say that all this information will come out and the hearings public in a few weeks. I know that the complaint is that leaks are hurting the president. (What else is new? His own staff has been a flood of leaks since the inauguration.) But the more damaging ones, like Taylor’s, was his opening statement which he himself handed to the press. Wall Street Journal I think.

Similarly, the examples of past presidents using aid for leverage were pretty much all in the national interest such as regards to war, human rights, etc. I don’t believe Trump even had Ukraine on the radar until Biden became a serious contender.

Anyway, I toss out this link as an example of at least looking seriously at arguments from right wing thinkers rather than those who stormed the hearings the other day. BTW, a bunch of those guys were on the committees themselves and questioning the witnesses.

And I know I am no legal scholar. But then to the best of my knowledge, no one else commenting is either. We are all in the shallow end of the pool.

24 thoughts on “A view from the right intelligentsia

    1. The arguments that the House is not doing Impeachment the “right way” are flawed in the extreme. Particularly the attempt to use any of the prior Impeachments as any sort of guideline. Since there ARE no guidelines and the circumstances are different, such arguments fail on their face.

      Since those making these hypocritical arguments know full-well their obvious weaknesses it is simply more of the tiresome deflect/distract and delay nonsense that trump and his sycophants have been reduced to.

      I hope Adam and Nancy stay the course; follow the money, find the truth, and expose the rot and corruption of this Presidency.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, the “Rules” are vague, but it is a year until the election.

        The Senate is NOT going to remove Trump for anything in that phone call, so what is at stake is how this affects the coming elections in Congress as well as for President.

        If it were a month until the election, that might go against Trump, but there is too much time remaining to prevent the people from finding out how unjust the process is. When the transcripts inevitably come out, the difference between the carefully selected sound bites Schiff is reporting and the full statements in context will reveal Schiffs dishonesty.

        The blatant unfairness of this process will be an embarrassment for every Democrat who had any part in it. Trump will be reelected, but the really heavy price will come in the Congressional elections as Trump starts his second term with a strong majority in both houses.

        This far out from the election, Democrats should be conducting this inquiry with a great show of fairness and due process to appear to be above reproach, but they are instead disgracing themselves with plenty of time for the public to see it for what it is.

        There, I’ve ignored Napoleon’s advice again and told you how to save yourselves, now go ahead and tell me something irrelevant and wrong about Trump.

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        1. ”The Senate is NOT going to remove Trump for anything in that phone call…”

          You are right. The phone call was just the “smoke alarm”. There are still the transcripts, the statements by Taylor, et.al. The time periods involved. Giuliani’s actions and friends. If the evidence shows that Trump clearly held back military aid for personal political advantage he is out. Even McConnell couldn’t save him.

          As I have written numerous times, I prefer to let the election decide. And that may still be the case if the House bails on impeachment. And perhaps Dunham will find some massive conspiracy. Or maybe all our career diplomats met in the Appalachian Mountains (like the meeting of the five Mafia families back in the 50’s) and cooked up an elaborate scheme with fake texts, etc.

          You are also right about one other thing. The election is a year from now. That means 11 months from the usual “October Surprise “.

          The American electorate is famous for its ADD, so more than a month or two means little.

          At least the Brits know this and limit campaigns to 6 weeks and not 2 years.

          IMHO

          Liked by 2 people

  1. RE: “I say somewhat [grounded], because [the authors of your source] talk about ‘rules’ for impeachment, not as written, of course, but just what they said happened in the 3 other times: Johnson, Nixon and Clinton.”

    Rivkin and Foley actually argue that the rules of impeachment are contained in the plain language of the Constitution and in the historical record of the development of that language. They note that the same rules have been deduced in substantially the same form from the same sources three times in our history. If you’re going to casually dismiss all of that, you have some burdens to meet.

    Specifically, you must show:

    • That the current impeachment inquiry is legally or constitutionally valid in a way that either the Senate or the Executive can be compelled to honor.
    • That there is evidence the president committed an impeachable offense.

    Even playing in the shallow end of the pool, it should be possible for you to meet these burdens using logic alone. If, however, you don’t know how to swim, and you are convinced the lifeguards don’t, either, you should probably get out of the water.

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  2. The procedures followed by the House will become more apparent when the hearings are public as planned in a few weeks. Right now is a fact finding mission. Sort of like a business that finds a lot of money and inventory missing. They are going to check to make sure that it is not inadvertent before they call the police.

    There are congressmen on both sides of the aisle, more Democrats than Republicans of course, that are not comfortable with regime claims of no quid pro quo for partisan political gain. That would be abuse of office, a “high crime. So both parties are given equal time to question people involved. And that will continue in public hearings. If the evidence doesn’t support impeachable offenses, there won’t be an impeachment.

    How is that not constitutionally valid? I say it is as outlined in Article 1. Probably more so than the Starr investigation that lingered for 6 years starting with a real estate deal and ending with a blue dress and rife with leaks along the way. And that was nothing more than a $55 million effort to reverse a twice duly elected president. Some precedent that was.

    If the evidence is enough to draw up articles of impeachment, after all the public hearings, then so be it. Then the Senate trial will determine if that is the case and it is strong enough to remove the president.

    I think my case is sound.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “How is that not constitutionally valid?”

      How is WHAT constitunionally valid?

      Are you claiming the House’s “fact finding mission” is an impeachment proceding or are you claiming it is something else?

      If it is something else, then none of your comments on the WSJ article apply.

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      1. Are you saying the actions of the House are not Constitutionally valid? You don’t think the House is permitted to gather facts and testimony about the regime’s actions with regards to Ukraine?

        Talk to Trey Gowdy about inquiries regarding the actions and words of an administration. secret testimonies and 7 or 8 hearings.

        Seems a simple question.

        Your dismissal of my comments is silly…in my opinion of course.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. RE: “Are you saying the actions of the House are not Constitutionally valid?”

        Of course not, and neither does the WSJ article you criticize. The actions of the House, however, are not impeachment actions, as the WSJ article points out.

        It would appear that actually agree with the WSJ, meaning that your criticisms of the article make no sense.

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        1. Nah. You are way off base with my point which was essentially that the right wing spin was evident in the piece. Of course that is why it was published.

          I illustrated the fallacies.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. RE: “I illustrated the fallacies.”

          Not really. You misrepresented the argument. The significance of the three historical impeachments is that they followed the same rules, because the rules are known. Your idea that the rules can be anything you or someone else makes up is pure misrepresentation.

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          1. …”they followed the same rules, because the rules are known.”

            Well then, where exactly are they known? Where are they spelled out letter for letter? The rules in the Constitution are vague at beat. And the party in power has a choice on how to interpret and implement said rules.

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      3. “Are you claiming the House’s “fact finding mission” is an impeachment proceding or are you claiming it is something else?”

        I’d say it is what they say it is, a House investigation into activities conducted at the White House and State Department, and possibly impeachable offenses — an investigation with 47 GOP members in attendance, and an investigation no different than those, oh say, conducted into the events at Benghazi.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. RE: “an investigation no different than those, oh say, conducted into the events at Benghazi.”

          That’s what the WSJ article points out. There are practical consequences to the inquiry being an exercise of mere oversight. One is that the executive may ignore subpoenas and decline to present witnesses. Another is that the Senate can dismiss an impeachment trial without hearing it.

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          1. The House is not going to send just the results of any oversight inquiry to the Senate for a trial. They have said the they are going to open the hearing after a vote by the entire House.

            And, lo a behold, a House vote on Thursday for an impeachment inquiry, per NYT 30 minutes ago:

            “This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the president and his counsel,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement.

            This seems to be about 2 weeks sooner than was discussed in the media per interviews. I suspect that the closed door inquiries may have divulged more evidence.

            “We live in interesting times.” Per an Old Chinese curse.

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  3. It continues to amaze me that the GOP and Trump supporters are spending more time complaining about the process than the potential impeachable actions of Trump. Notice how very few are saying he didn’t do it, just complaining about the way the investigation, analogous to a grand jury, is being conducted.

    The GOP “stormers” included folks on the 3 committees conducting the hearings. Why weren’t they in their seats for the depositions to be given that day? The hypocrisy of those actions alone causes one to SMH.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Notice how very few are saying he didn’t do it”

      The WSJ article Mr. Rothman shares devotes considerable space to the question of impeachable actions. It argues that there are none, because Trump’s actions are all consistent with the legal performance of the duties of his office.

      Specifically, if there’s no illegality, then there’s no “abuse of power.” And if there’s no abuse of power, then there’s no impeachable offense.

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      1. The authors, like all of us, are entitled to their opinions. And like us, they are just as likely to be wrong as right. And seeing as we don’t have all of the facts in the inquiry at this time, it is impossible to say who is right and who is wrong.

        My point was that the majority of Trump defenders on Capitol Hill are only going after the process and not the actions of Trump. And any time they are interviewed they avoid the question on activity and pivot the argument to the process. Even Lindsay Graham has questioned the legality of Trump’s actions. But then he goes back to the process. And in doing so, he shows his hypocrisy on the subject of impeachment. He had no issues with the process in the Clinton investigations. Yet he is always attacking the current process.

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