Friday, May 31, 2019

UPDATED: Has The Left Thought This Impeachment Thing Through?

Robert Mueller and John Brennan are nothing if not card carrying members of the Deep State. Thus, Mueller's parting shot at President Trump--with his less than subtle observation that "the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing," which was quickly followed up by Brennan's full throated call for Congress to act on Mueller's prodding--is surely a measure of the desperation that the Deep State is feeling. Trump has come through the Russia Hoax inquisition in better shape than ever, with a Department of Justice primed under AG Bill Barr to get to the bottom of Deep State plotting against our electoral processes. The Deep State took its best shot at the king and failed with its Russia Hoax, but now the king is about to take his best shot at them.

That much I get. But I wonder whether the Left, which appears delighted with Mueller's irresponsible performance and is in full cry for impeachment, has taken stock of what impeachment would inevitably lead to. Have they weighed the speculation that Trump may actually want to be impeached, and what might be behind that? They might want to stop and think before taking the impeachment plunge, but then that might not be their style.

Those making the case that Trump wants to be impeached are, in fact, savvy observers of the political scene and they include a broad spectrum of pundits and politicians. Typically the argument runs that the American people don't want impeachment, especially with the economy booming, and will penalize the Dems for their madness in 2020. For example:

Don Surber:

President Donald John Trump wants them to impeach him because this is the best way to penalize Democrats for trying to frame him and remove him from office in a Deep State coup.

Conrad Black:

The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. They must put up or shut up, impeach or back down. The president has called their bluff and the game is about to end, either an embarrassing defeat for the Democrats or political annihilation.

And, yes, Nancy Pelosi:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told her Democratic colleagues Thursday that President Donald Trump “wants to be impeached” so that he can be vindicated by the Senate.

In fact, the implications of impeachment go far beyond these political considerations and get to the heart of the almost palpable fear now gripping the Deep State. Let's first review the approach Mueller took, because that will have a direct bearing on how impeachment would work in the case of President Trump.

First, note that Mueller's Report declined to accuse Trump of obstruction--although that will be the basis for any impeachment charges. The reason Mueller declined to make that charge--even privately to Barr--is because he had no criminal case for obstruction. The WSJ summarizes that fact clearly:

Yet Mr. Mueller’s analysis of the obstruction evidence in his own report makes clear that no investigation was obstructed. Not the FBI’s counterintelligence probe, and not his own. No witnesses were interfered with, and Mr. Mueller was allowed over two years to issue nearly 500 search-and-seizure warrants and interview anyone he wanted, including anyone in the White House.
Mr. Trump sometimes showed his exasperation ... in suggesting to more than one adviser that Mr. Mueller be fired, but no one acted on it. The special counsel probe rolled on without interference.

Had Mueller actually attempted to put together a criminal obstruction case from thin air in his report, that would have invited outright rejection from Barr on unassailable legal grounds. Barr did, indeed, make the determination that the report made no case for obstruction, but Mueller's ploy insured that the report would contain all the smears that might later be used for impeachment.

Notice too that, in his "parting shot" no questions press conference, Mueller again declined to accuse Trump of any crime. Instead he spoke of "wrongdoing." That choice of words was carefully considered. To understand what's at work in both Mueller's Report and his "parting shot," let's turn to Jack Goldsmith. Goldsmith, for those not familiar with him, is a NeverTrumper and an apologist for the Deep State. He's also articulate and an acute legal thinker. He's a Harvard law professor, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and held key legal positions in the second Bush administration. Writing at Lawfareblog, Goldsmith forthrightly declares:

I have little trouble concluding that Trump committed impeachable offenses, should Congress want to pursue that option. 
What I am not sure of is that Trump committed a crime. Indeed, I am pretty sure that many of the 10 events outlined in Volume II of the Mueller report could not even theoretically be crimes under the obstruction statutes as they are currently written. (It is pretty settled in practice that an official can be impeached for behavior that does not rise to the level of criminality under the U.S. Code.)

This is exactly what Mueller is inviting Congress to do: impeach Trump for conduct that does not rise to the level of criminality, conduct that was not obstruction even in a theoretical sense. While I can accept the proposition that "an official can be impeached for behavior that does not rise to the level of criminality," I would nevertheless argue that to do so would almost always be unwise and, in this case, reckless. But let's see how this would work out.

What happens when the House impeaches a President? We have a trial in the Senate. And, granted that such a trial doesn't conform strictly to what would happen in a normal courtroom, what would we see? The House would present its case, presenting evidence and, presumably, witnesses. And that's where things would start to go very wrong for impeachment enthusiasts.

The problem is that, as at any trial, the President would get to question those witnesses. Even worse, if possible, the President would also get to present evidence on his own behalf, and call witnesses of his own choosing.

Part of what would make this scenario so problematic for the impeachment case is the vagueness of the charges, the fact that they would not involve strictly circumscribed criminal charges--or only charges that would not survive the most rudimentary scrutiny, as both Mueller and Goldsmith recognize. How would the President defend himself against such general charges of what Mueller and Goldsmith would call "wrongdoing"? In my estimation Trump would be well advised to make the same case he has been making all along: that he is the victim of a Deep State conspiracy that was launched and maintained for two and a half years, an investigation based on a hoax--a hoax that the investigators were a party to.

Would such a defense be allowed? I would argue that in the circumstances of an impeachment, and especially one that arose from an investigation that admittedly found no substantive wrongdoing (i.e., no "collusion"), no reasonable defense would be denied the President. With that in mind, consider what Goldsmith, the Deep State apologist, wrote over a year ago:

America doesn’t have coups or tanks in the street. But a deep state of sorts exists here and it includes national security bureaucrats who use secretly collected information to shape or curb the actions of elected officials. 
Some see these American bureaucrats as a vital check on the law-breaking or authoritarian or otherwise illegitimate tendencies of democratically elected officials. 
Others decry them as a self-serving authoritarian cabal that illegally and illegitimately undermines democratically elected officials and the policies they were elected to implement.

But even if we focus narrowly on the intelligence bureaucracies that conduct and use information collected secretly in the homeland, including the FBI, National Security Agency (NSA), and National Security Council, there is significant evidence that the deep state has used secretly collected information opportunistically and illegally to sabotage the president and his senior officials – either as part of a concerted movement or via individuals acting more or less independently. 
The hard questions are whether this sabotage is virtuous or abusive, whether we can tell, and what the consequences of these actions are.

Now, Goldsmith is only talking about leaks here. A year later, we now know beyond a doubt that the illegality went far deeper: a fraudulent investigation and FISA based on a "dossier" that the FBI was repeatedly warned against, and much more. If Trump's defense is that he was a victim of the type of sabotage Goldsmith (partially) describes, that Senate trial could turn out to be a real train wreck for the House.

For starters, who would the House call as witnesses? Mueller? Mueller is at the heart of the illegality that was the Russia Hoax. Devin Nunes and Andy McCarthy have argued persuasively that Mueller knew basically from the day he walked into his Special Counsel office that there was no "collusion" case, that he had no business running an investigation of the President. (And McCabe's obstruction-because-he-fired-Comey theory simply isn't serious.) That's a big part of why Mueller didn't want to testify before Congress--he didn't want to be questioned by the GOP representatives as to why he didn't call it quits when he knew there was no "there" there. Well, I'm here to tell you that it wouldn't get any better for him if he were cross examined by a pro like Emmet Flood, Trump's lawyer, at a Senate trial.

In fact, Mueller's problems go even deeper. Mueller was FBI Director when a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was entered into between the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). That MOU, which was totally illegal, was concealed from the FISA court until NSA's Mike Rogers went to Chief Judge Collyer and spilled the beans. What the MOU did was to allow the private contractors to use FBI systems to run illegal searches on US persons. That was the basis for the initial illegal spying on the Trump campaign, which may have begun even before 2016. In short, Mueller would be an utter disaster as a witness for impeachment, and if the House didn't call him Trump certainly would. Nor would Mueller be able to refuse to answer questions, as at his "press conference."

What other witnesses would the House call? Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, James Baker (FBI counsel to Comey), Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates? The list goes on, but once again, if the House didn't call these people Trump certainly would. They'd all be under oath, and they'd all be subject to cross examination and impeachment--both by other witnesses and by evidence. What a mess! Can you imagine a less savory bunch of witnesses?

And speaking of evidence ...

Yes, Trump would have access to whatever evidence he needed to make his case that he was the victim of Deep State illegality. Can you say "declassification"? If you think the Left and the Deep State is scared witless at the threat of declassification now, imagine how it would be when all that declassified documentation was aired on national TV! Trump and his lawyers would be licking their chops at the thought of using that mountain of declassified documentation against any House witnesses. And maybe even against some members of the House itself. The evidence would be compelling, and when Americans saw it they would find Trump's tweeting about the Russia Hoax and Mueller's witchhunt totally understandable. In fact, many who currently find Trump hard to swallow might begin to see him as a deeply sympathetic figure in the light of the evidence.

The Deep State is talking up impeachment, probably in the desperate hope that they can reach some sort of de facto ceasefire with Trump and Barr. Wouldn't it be ironic if the Impeachment Caucus in the House actually pushed ahead?

Last night commenter Mike Sylwester wrote that impeachment would be a circus, but a circus run by the Republicans--and a great chance to educate the public. I'm sure there are smart people in DC who've been thinking about that, but I don't the impeachment enthusiasts on the Left have done so. How educated do they really want the public to become? As it is, events are probably beyond their control at this point.

UPDATE: Well, maybe not so much an update as an addendum:

For anyone interested, here are three links to decent discussions of the meaning of the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors". They're not really long:

My conclusion is that if the House should vote impeachment there would probably be no way to avoid a Senate trial, but there would be no way to make a convincing case. Trump has obviously not committed a "high crime"--if he had, it would have been highlighted in the Mueller Dossier--and the obstruction smears in the Mueller Dossier would be defended as the acts of an innocent president. Trump would present mountains of hard evidence to convincingly show that he was the target of an enormous conspiracy involving multiple serious illegal acts on the part of most of the top level officials in the Intelligence Community--in collusion with foreign intelligence services. The verdict would be a no-brainer, but the trial would shock and outrage the country, due to the revelations of corruption on the part of the Deep State, the Democrat party, and the Establishment media organizations.


  1. The Senate Republicans should question on national television:

    * Glenn Simpson

    * George Papadopoulos

    * Carter Page

    * Michael Flynn

    * Paul Manafort

    * Stefan Halper

    ... and so forth on so on, in order to educate the public.

    Foreigners -- such as Christopher Steele, Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer and Erika Thompson -- surely will testify. However, the Senate Republicans can summon them to testify anyway and then distribute buckets of fried chicken throughout the Senate floor at those times when those defiant foreigners are scheduled to testify.

    The Senate Republicans should begin their circus trial by questioning Robert Mueller along these lines:

    * Was Mueller aware that Rod Rosenstein had offered to secretly record his conversations with President Trump?

    * Does Mueller know whether Rosenstein did record Trump's conversation with Rosenstein and Mueller?

    * Did Mueller himself secretly record that conversation?

    * How did it happen that Mueller left his cell phone in the room where that conversation took place?

    The Senate Republicans will be running the circus trial, and they can make it an extraordinarily entertaining and educational event, broadcast on national television for record-breaking audiences.

    1. The list of witnesses could be as long as your arm, and the list of questions would be ... endless!

      I listened to some commentators this morning, from last night's shows. Huckabee came the closest--although Nunes was pointing out that these Deep State guys like Comey and Mueller can't agree to go with one story. Huckabee said, Hey, Dems, if you wanna impeach, knock yourselves out. It would be a complete disaster.

      Conrad Black says he thinks the Dems will ultimately come to their senses and step back from the cliff and take the shellacking they'll get anyway, but then he adds:

      "I assume contemplation of what awaits will induce the House Democrats to opt for a trip to the woodshed over the political gallows, but it would be impetuous to bet a five-cent cigar on their collective judgment. Their attempt at regicide has failed completely; it’s still a bit of a long shot, but they might just manage suicide."

    2. Foreigners -- such as Christopher Steele, Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer and Erika Thompson -- surely will **REFUSE TO** testify.

    3. If they do, that will NOT be a benefit to the impeachment enthusiasts.

  2. A recurring theme of history is those men who would impose their will over the common man. This is nothing new and will not change. They know better. There is some attractiveness to this idea as found in Plato's philosopher king. However, the philosopher king has to be of exceptional character for this to work.

    As to your article, I give Nancy Pelosi credit for realizing that impeachment would be a disaster. Whether she can hold her caucus back or not, I do not know. Some in her caucus do not have the wisdom and restraint to realize that impeachment proceedings would be a disaster.

    As I have said in past comments, Donald is a genius when it comes to certain things and I think that he would make them rue the day that they first banged the gavel down to begin the proceedings.

    I was a Republican in 1997 but I wasn't an enthusiastic supporter of impeachment for Bill Clinton. I certainly thought that Clinton had done wrong and had disgraced his office. Impeachment is a drastic step and it is a political process. Impeachment is overturning the will of the electorate. In Bill's case, he was in his second term. In Donald's case, he is in his first term. Let the voters decide whom they believe, Donald or the Deep State/Dems/Media.

    I agree with you and Mike that the Dems have a week hand. My amateur political opinion is that they face a shellacking without impeachment and a disaster with impeachment.

    1. I wish I knew more about impeachment. I heard a clip of Dershowitz who maintained that you need BOTH high crimes (whatever those are) AND misdemeanors (whatever those are). He argued strenuously against what he called the Maxine Waters Standard--it's whatever we say it is. That is what he thinks is going on, and that's what I describe above.

  3. Oh, I forgot something that undercuts my last comment. Bobby Boy has decreed that he is done talking. So I guess he wouldn't show up for the trials. LOL.

  4. The Republicans should begin their circus trial by questioning, in turn, Mueller and his entire Special Counsel staff.

    Each of these Trump-hating lawyers should be asked:

    * What did you study and write during the investigation?

    * Whom did you question during the investigation?

    * During all those activities, exactly how were you obstructed by President Trump?

    * When and why did you perceive that such an obstruction had begun? What were the indications?

    * Did you document those occasions when you were obstructed? If so, then provide your documentation.

    * When you were obstructed, were you eventually able to overcome the obstructions? If so, then how?

    * If you were not able to overcome the obstruction during Mueller's investigation, then provide the relevant details so that the Senate can summon the obstructed witnesses and obtain the obstructed documents now for this trial.

    * Were you aware of any Trump-supporters on Mueller's staff? If so, then name them.

    * When did you yourself arrive at a personal opinion that there had been no collusion with Russia? Did you tell any fellow staff members that you had arrived at such an opinion? If so, whom?

    * Were you one of the "snippy" staff members who wrote the letter complaining about William Barr's summary of the report? Do you know who wrote the letter? If so, then who participated in writing it? If not, then were you asked to participate in writing it? Asked by whom?

    * Was the final report discussed by the entire staff of lawyers? Did the lawyers agree with the report unanimously? If not, then who disagreed, and what were the contentious issues? Did you yourself personally agree with the entire report? If not, then did you voice your disagreement? About what issues?

    * Do you yourself personally think that President Trump should be removed from office for obstruction of justice? If you were a US Senator, how would you vote on this issue?

    * What was your opinion about the impeachment of President Clinton? If you had been a US Senator at that time, would you have voted to remove him from office?

    * Do you find any fault in the Obama Administration's investigation of Russian collusion? For example, do you agree that the FBI's seizures and searches of Carter Page's communications were reasonable, in accordance with the US Constitution? As another example, do you agree that the FBI had good cause to initiate its Crossfire Hurricane investigation based on George Papadopoulos's conversations with Joseph Mifsud and Alexander Downer?

    * Rod Rosenstein allowed the Special Counsel to investigate other matters that might arise during the investigation. Were there any other matters that were not investigated but that, in your personal opinion, should have been investigated? Did you personally suggest the investigation of any other such matters? If so, then which other matters? What was the result of your suggestion?

    * Are you aware of any other lawyers' suggestions that other matters be investigated? If so, then identify those lawyers and tell us what you know about those suggestions and the outcomes.

    * To your own knowledge, what was the purpose of the Special Counsel's efforts to question President Trump personally? Did you participate in any staff discussions of those efforts? If so, then tell us about those discussions. What was your own understanding of how the proposed questioning of President Trump was related to the issue of obstruction of justice.

    1. I see no reason, given the setup as described, why they shouldn't do exactly that.

  5. Here are some more questions that Senate Republicans should ask each lawyer on Mueller's staff:

    * Do you agree with the report's conclusion that the Russian Government meddled in our 2016 election?

    * During your participation in the investigation, did you personally see evidence that is not available to the public?

    * Did you see secret evidence that the CIA had a source who was close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and who informed the CIA that Putin personally was managing the meddling in the election?

    * Did you see secret analyses that were done by the NSA, CIA or FBI and that convinced you that Russian Military Intelligence stole files from computers of the Democratic National Committee? If so, then how certain and convincing were those analyses?

    * Did anyone on Mueller's staff investigate the possibility that WikiLeaks received DNC files from Seth Rich? If so, then which lawyers investigated that possibility?

    * What is your opinion of Julian Assange's denials that he obtained any relevant files from Russians -- in particular, from the Russian Government? Are you aware whether anyone on Mueller's staff discussed or even mentioned Assange's denials?

    * Do you remember seeing any Russian-bought advertisements on Facebook during the months preceding the 2016 election? If so, then do you feel that the ads might have affected your own vote for President? Do you think that such ads on Facebook might have affected the election outcome significantly?

    * Do you think that any of your own personal acquaintances might have decided to vote for Trump or against Clinton because of such ads on Facebook?

    * Before you participated in the Special Counsel investigation, did you yourself ever think that Russia might have colluded with Trump and/or his staff to affect the election? If so, then describe that opinion of yours during that previous time. What new information changed your own mind during your participation in the investigation?

  6. Mark I'm curious. In the event of a Senate trial can the accused compel any American citizen to testify. After all aren't all Americans entitled to the best defense possible or can anyone refuse a subpoena. I'm thinking here specifically of a former president and a former president's wife. Or is that so pre-Mueller and 20th century ancient legal thinking. And they think the Moon Landing in '69 had a large viewing audience.
    Hugh W.

  7. It's a trial. That should mean that it at least follows traditional Anglo-American concepts of how a trial should be conducted. I take it that anyone could be compelled to turn up. They would also be allowed to take the 5th.

  8. Mr. Wauck,

    I'm just rereading your article and thinking about what a disaster that this will be for the Dems. I'm in particular focusing on Nadler, AOC, Schiff and Ilham Omar. Your title is "Has the Left Thought This Impeachment Thing Through?".

    A Forrest Gump quote keeps going through my mind as I ponder the possibility of a trial.

    "Stupid is as stupid does."

    1. Pelosi seems to get it, but the rest--even the lawyers--don't. I can't imagine what they're thinking. I understand that they're scared witless of all the Russia Hoax coming out into full sunlight, but impeachment does not seem to be a solution to that. The only solution is to cut themselves loose from the Russia Hoax madness, but that's clearly not gonna happen because they've got Hillary and Obama involved. That, I think, is the botttom line.

  9. Here are a few more questions to ask each lawyer on Mueller's staff:

    * Was there ever any staff discussion of the fact that your own investigation was impeding investigations that were being conducted by Congressional committees or by DOJ/FBI inspectors general?

    * Were there any staff discussions that the Special Counsel staff might accommodate those other investigations?

    * Was there any staff discussion that the Special Counsel's failure to provide any information to the electorate before the 2018 mid-term elections might affect those elections?

    * Was there any staff discussion of the possibility to issuing interim reports to the public? For example, might the public have been informed much earlier that the Special Counsel had concluded that there was no Russian collusion?

    * In general, what is your thinking about the Special Counsel's own obstruction of justice and about its own meddling in US elections?

    Each Special Counsel lawyer should be asked all these questions on national television during the Senate trial.

    1. Here are a few more questions to ask each Special Counsel lawyer on national television during the Senate trial:

      * Do you think that William Barr essential terminated the investigation? Would the investigation continued longer if Rod Rosenstein had continued to be the US Attorney General?

      * If Barr had not become the US Attorney General, then how much longer would the Special Counsel investigation continue? What areas of further investigation were terminated prematurely because Barr occupied his office?

      * In regard to Congress's indictment of Eric Holder because he refused to provide documents about the Fast and Furious matter, do you think that a Special Counsel should have been appointed? Do you think that was a prima facia case of obstruction of justice?

      * In that same regard, might you have supported an impeachment of Attorney General Holder or of President Obama?

      * Do you think that President Trump should have been compelled to personally answer Robert Mueller's questions? If answering the questions in writing was inadequate, then explain why.

      * President Trump thought that Mueller had too many conflicts of interest to be a fair Special Counsel? Do you think that Mueller should have involved himself in the issue of Trump's firing Jim Comey, who had been a close colleague and personal friend of Comey for many years? Do you consider Trump's raising of this conflict-of-interest concern to be obstruction of justice?

      * In general, do you think that any US President has a right to raise conflict-of-interest concerns about a Special Counsel? When is raising such concerns an obstruction of justice, and when is it not an obstruction of justice?

  10. I've said this before, but I'm still at a loss to figure out why so many Democrats are pushing to initiate impeachment. They say things like "it may not be popular, but we have a sworn duty to uphold the rule of law". Many of them have to be fully aware of all the risks you aptly describe in this article. Maybe they think they can get away with pushing impeachment and never have to actually make it happen, but the more they push, the harder it is for them to back down if they want to maintain credibility with the base they are trying to appeal to. Maybe there's some clever angle I'm missing, but it just seems to be an act of political suicide.

  11. Sheer desperation? It's as good as I can come up with for the Deep State. Perhaps you saw that a recent liberal study showed that Bernie voters were "low information." I think that's where the pressure from the base is coming from--incorrigibly low information and ideologically corrupted people who are immune to rational persuasion. When you build a coalition on that basis, well, you're riding a tiger and dare not get off.

    1. Sure, but when the effort inevitably fails, they are going to have worse standing with that low info base. In fact, they will look worse for having strung people along with the false hope. I guess I would make distinctions among three groups of Dems. There are the ones who may be implicated in crimes/abuse. I guess they feel they have nothing to lose, especially if no deals are in the offing. Then you have the clown car of declared presidential candidates. I guess they feel they need to demonstrate their props to win the nomination, but that presumes the majority of primary voters are low info fools. They may be correct in that assumption. The last group (which I think is fairly small) is Dems who don't fit either of the first two categories. For that group, I find the impeachment drumbeat the most puzzling.

    2. Really, they have no good options. I agree that impeachment is probably the very worst option--"suicide", as Conrad Black calls it. How do you explain crazy? It's what Eric Voegelin termed "gnosticism": a denial of obvious reality and a conviction that reality can somehow be changed by repetition of talking points that are disconnected from reality. You could call it a variation of the big lie approach, except that for so many of these people it's no longer conscious. They actually believe some of this stuff. Bizarre.

    3. Essentially the answer I would give. They have a tiger by the tail. They're only options are: hang on and hope an opportunity presents itself to get loose with minimum damage or let go and deal with the business end of the tiger.

  12. I think I've said it here before, so bear with me. Our public sphere has devolved to Team Sport Politics: my team wins, your team loses. By. Any. Means. Necessary. If I have to change the rules (customary practice, tradition, assumptions) or move the goal posts, so be it. Power politics is another way of looking at it--man's shear will to dominate another.

    We no longer engage in spirited debates/discussion of first principles or trade-offs in decision-making for the greater good. It is advocacy based on self-interest. Feelings count for everything--all the marbles. Rational, disinterested, objective, clear-minded thoughtfulness is as useful as a horse-drawn carriage. Second-order consequences? A foreign language.

    Your Voegelin quote just above is pitch-perfect.

    1. The Founding Fathers apparently wanted to avoid the party system in politics--and then immediately proceeded to dive into it themselves. So, there we are: "Team Sport Politics." Both parties do engage in it, although I would argue 1) there is a difference in DEGREE between the two parties, and 2) the ideological underpinnings of the Progressive movement actually amount to a difference in KIND from the underpinnings of our Constitutional order as envisioned in the Constitution itself. The preponderant influence of the Progressive element of the Dem base thus tends toward the dissolution of our Constitutional order more than mere "Team Sport Politics."

    2. Mr. Wauck,

      If I am understanding your thoughts about the ideological underpinnings that you mention, than you may be in agreement with Dennis Prager when he states that Leftism is a kind of religion. It destroys everything that it touches.

    3. I prefer to maintain distinctions by using terms such as gnosticism and ideology (which in my lingo is normally a pejorative) rather than religion. For the same reason I prefer to refer to Christian "faith" rather than to refer to Christianity as a "religion". "Religion" has a very specific meaning for me, which you can read about in my pre-Russia Hoax blogs. However, I know where Prager is coming from and what he means. I'm sure we're pretty much on the same page as far as the human experience that is reflected in Left/Prog thinking.

    4. I'm sure if you questioned Prager he'd tell you that Leftism is more a perversion of what religion is, or should be. So rather than risk misunderstanding I use Voegelin's terms: gnosticism or ideology.

    5. Speaking of religion, don't forget to look again at my article about the song "Sounds of Silence". I think you might enjoy reading it.

    6. And I DID enjoy it--just to be clear. :-)

    7. I think that you explained Dennis Prager's position about Leftism better than I did and I would day that you two are on the same page.

  13. Well, here I go again with a thought or three:

    1) Mark, you illustrate in glorious detail the general line of thinking I and I'm sure many others have had spinning around in our heads for some time now. Cheers to that - great work.

    2) On top of all the risks to the would-be impeachers you lay out, we have also the Democrat Senators who would have to either swallow their richly underserved pride and vote against conviction or jump right off the cliff and vote for it. Either way they're totally hosed. They have to be conveying this to Pelosi.

    3) Despite all that, if the House *doesn't* impeach; MSNBC, CNN, NYT, WaPo, etc. will be forced to cover "Operation Crossfire Boomerang" from now until Election Day. Their viewers and readers will never view or read that, and of course their (the media's) seditious, traitorous complicity will be exposed for all to see. This will kill them economically and make them even more of a laughingstock than they already are. They MUST have other material to fill the airwaves and print, and impeachment is the only option on the menu. We should never discount the importance of the fact that the Dems and the Dem media MUST have ammunition, always, to be able to stay on offense. Offense is their only defense. It is this alone that sustains them. Like the lowly shrew, if this sustenance runs out - even for a bit - they're done, and they know it.

    No wonder ol' Nancy speaks like she's been hittin' the bottle. She probably has been, and who can blame her?

    1. I think the MSM will be able to manufacture plenty of nonsense to distract from the real crimes. But aside from news coverage, I imagine it would be quite bizarre if in the months running up to the election we had both an active impeachment process and the boomerang prosecutions going on. In other words, another flaw in the impeachment strategy is that they are facing a shrinking time frame in which to achieve their goal of taking him out. It's of little value if they haven't completed the task by election day. So the pressure on Nancy to get going increases with each passing week.

    2. Barr blasted the media in his interview.

  14. #2 Brad, it does seem to me that the Dem senators have been pretty consipicuously quiet on the specific topic of impeachment. Of course those who are running for POTUS have a few things to say, but Schumer and Durbin? Not much. But, as you say, they must have a lot to say in private.

  15. I'm guessing Dem politicians are humoring their low-information high-energy constituents, and want to be seen as still "res!st!ng" Trump since that's what got them elected.
    Until indictments of Comey/McCabe/Brennan/Strzock/etc. are issued. At which point Dem politicians will switch from "!mpeach" to politics-as-usual: "It was all Trump's fault those poor FBI/CIA folks felt they had to defend the constitution by burning it. We need to elect a Dem President to Pardon the poor FBI/CIA folk!"

    1. Well, you saw what Barr said in that excellent interview. It seems he expects that, too.