Thursday, January 3, 2019

Romney And Pelosi

I try to avoid doing blogs unless I have something somewhat original to say. However, there were two bits of commentary today that I found so cogent, given the current state of our polity, that I thought perhaps some originality could be found in simply uniting or juxtaposing key passages from each. I have one minor caveat for each.

First, Victor Davis Hanson comments on Mitt Romney's public auto destruct--and much more:

After listing Trump’s successful policies ... Romney mysteriously concludes that “These are policies mainstream Republicans have promoted for years.”

I think about at least 40 percent of the electorate might beg to differ.

Certainly, the prior appointments of Supreme Court Justices Blackmun, Brennan, Powell, Souter, and Stevens, to name a few, would not suggest much Republican consistency in appointing conservative Supreme Court justices. China’s unfair trade policies were never reined in, but often enhanced by laissez-faire Republican administrations hand-in-glove with corporate globalism. I am not aware that the regulatory state significantly decreased over the last 40 years, despite Republican governance.

Romney is certainly right that presidents “should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” And Trump has been often a catalyst rather than a restraint upon national mudslinging. But we also forget that, for the first time in modern memory, during the 2016 election, one candidate hired a law firm and opposition research team to employ a foreign-national operative, who in turn bought foreign sources to discredit his employer’s opponent and with others also enlisted the existing hierarchies of the DOJ, CIA, FBI, NSC, and FISA courts to break past protocol, and often the law, in order to obstruct the candidacy, transition, and presidency of  Donald Trump.

[Comment: Here's my caveat, or quibble: Too many in our conservative commentariat are Anglophiles, uncritical fanboys of Churchill. What needs saying here is not simply that Hillary recruited the help of a foreign national who bought foreign sources (Russian) to influence a US Presidential election, but that our Intel agencies were suborned to collude with the Intel agencies of foreign powers (Britain, Australia, and apparently others) for the same purpose.]

There was a constitutional way of checking Trump through the 2018 midterm and in the 2020 presidential elections without a “resistance” trying immediately to undermine from within his administration, to warp the Electoral College, to sue to overturn voting totals in key states, to introduce articles of impeachment, to turn to the Emoluments Clause, the Logan Act, and the 25th Amendment, to unleash a special counsel (of 19 months tenure and counting) to look for “collusion” as a way of examining some 20 years of prior Trump behavior, to energize a media that on average offered 90 percent negative coverage of the presidency, while a Republican “deep state” operative (bragging in a NY Times editorial no less) vowed to obstruct and retard the work of the elected president.

I cannot recall ... an assassination chic that has so permeated our society that even Shakespearean companies took up the theme of ritually killing the president. Even if Romney believes that Trump is a veritable Captain Queeg, he surely also realizes that Herman Wouk’s point was that the Caine mutiny was an avoidable conspiracy, one prompted by ego, careerism, and reasons other than concern for naval efficacy.


Romney is, again, worried that “Our leaders must defend our vital institutions despite their inevitable failings: a free press, the rule of law, strong churches, and responsible corporations and unions.” But, again, his critique is curiously one-sided. The Trump administration has been championing the rights of persecuted Christian minorities abroad in a way not seen in the past. It has been outspoken at home and abroad in defense of religious liberty.

The Mueller investigation has not yet found violations of the rule of law by President Trump, who will go down in history as the most audited and investigated president in history, although other prosecutors may well find serial lawbreaking on the part of federal-government hierarchies in association with the promulgation of the false Steele dossier, the use of informants, surveilling, unmasking, and illegal leaking.

“Fake news” also predated Donald Trump. And it is now a weekly occurrence (the most recent, that Michael Cohen really was in Prague colluding with the Russians). Were press coverage 70 percent anti-Trump, the American people might be not so fed up with the news. But when it is 90 percent negative, and when media so often announce that the rules of disinterested coverage should be suspended in the unique case of Trump, then, again, the maladies endangering the press are often self-inflicted.

In the second blog, Don Surber comments first on the new House of Pelosi's agenda:

Democrat Nancy Pelosi regained her speakership in the House and announced on NBC what her entire agenda is: voiding the 2016 presidential election.

But then he turns to what's been going on for the past two--or really three--years, and what has come of it:

But after two years of this nonsense investigation they have nothing on President Trump at all. His supporters know this. An impeachment may unleash a rage from the American people that would scare Washington into submission.

[Comment: My caveat here is really more of a quibble, but an important one. The fact is that Trump has been under investigation by the Deep State for far more than two years. We can trace the beginning of this process back as far as December, 2015, at the latest. There's no reason to limit it to the Mueller Witchhunt. As Surber suggests, this is almost beyond belief.]

As Mitt Romney learned in the last 24 hours, Republicans Against Trump are not welcome in Washington, even by their nieces.

The Mueller investigation so far has shown us:

  1. Obama spied on President Trump.
  2. Obama stopped any indictment of Hillary.
  3. Comey destroyed evidence of Hillary's server crimes.
  4. Podesta, Manafort, and other politicos make money in foreign elections.
  5. The Kremlin made up opposition research for Hillary.
  6. The FBI has way too much power.

Good luck defending that in a Senate impeachment trial.


  1. I would argue that what we have seen in recent days (escalating attacks against Trump by both Democrats and RINOs) is but the first salvo in a final desperate campaign to remove Trump from office by any means necessary. This assault is likely being managed and financed by the best and brightest that the Swamp can muster, and they will persist with ever-increasing intensity and illegality until they either succeed or are decisively defeated. Ideally, the next Attorney General will quickly appoint a new special prosecutor and task him/her with a mandate to root out the pervasive internal corruption within numerous Federal agencies and then actually prosecute those responsible for known crimes, up to and including sedition. No more fake investigations and toothless sham reports. Failing that, it will fall upon the citizens of this country to rally against this corruption in a major show of dissent (as has happened in France recently). I understand that the weather in DC is quite nice in April. If the next AG does not act before then, the citizens of this country should do so.

  2. I agree, Unknown. I think Pelosi, for the time being, is being driven by the Left towards impeachment, willy nilly. And I'm sure that effort will get whatever financing it needs and whatever staffing from the Left legal establishment that it needs. The positive sign I saw today was that already last night Romney had been forced to backpedal. That suggests a degree of unity within the GOP that we haven't seen for some time--probably several GOP leaders talked turkey with him. Of course that doesn't change things on the Dem side, but Trump sorely needs a united party. He'll do what he needs to do, I believe--including declass--but unity will make things easier.

    I like, too, that you bring up the subject of the AG. I read today that Barr's hearings before the Judiciary committee (Lindsey Graham, now) are coming up mid January, and it's expected that Barr will sail through without making any stupid commitments--he's not a Sessions, to say the least. As I've said before, he's taking this job on with full awareness of what the political environment will be like--but he's taking it on anyway. Until proven wrong, I take that as a very good sign. But as you suggest, he can be of great help to Trump. Barr's whole legal/constitutional frame of thinking is that of a determined supporter of a strong executive, and that bodes well, too.