Mitt Romney and His Oath

At the start of the impeachment trial in the Senate, each Senator took an oath administered by Chief Justice John Roberts:

“Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you god? “

I’m going to argue every Democratic Senator, plus Mittens, violated that oath.

During the impeachment trial, the Democrats made an argument that witnesses were absolutely needed to for the Senate to have all the evidence needed to conduct a fair trial.  To that end, the Senate voted on the issue of calling witnesses:

“The final tally was 51 votes against the motion, and 49 in favor.

The vote dashed Democrats’ hopes of hearing testimony from former Trump national security advisor John Bolton, and it shifted the weeks-long trial into its final stages.

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Utah’s Mitt Romney, broke with their party in order to join Democrats in voting to admit additional evidence, but the majority, 51 Republicans, did not.

Democrats had needed at least four GOP senators to vote with them, and they fell short of that threshold by two votes. “

So every Democratic Senator plus Susan Collins and Mitt Romney voted to include witnesses because they regarded witnesses as vital to determine what happened.  As an aside, I would have preferred witnesses myself.  Considering how absurd this impeachment was, it would have benefited the country to have an impeachment trial in which everyone involved, from the whistleblower, to Adam Schiff, to Nancy Pelosi and the Bidens, testify under oath.  Heh, it could have been an amusing couple of months!

So what happened at the conclusion of the trial?

“On Feb. 5, the Senate voted 52-48 to acquit Trump on the abuse of power impeachment article and voted 53-47 to acquit Trump on the obstruction of Congress impeachment article. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the only senator who broke with his party, voting to convict Trump on abuse of power. “

So every Democrat, plus “Pierre Delecto,” after arguing that they didn’t have enough evidence and they needed more, decided to say, eh fuck it, and vote guilty anyway.  That seems a pretty clear violation of their oath to do “impartial justice.”  Justice was never on the menu.

 

 

The Turnout Election

As a “Demography is Destiny” type of guy, my default view is that the 2020 election should be a cakewalk for the Democrats.  All Democrats have to do is not be crazy…but that seems like a high bar.

Katie Pavlich reports at Townhall on President Trump’s New Jersey rally from last Tuesday and the statistics gathered by the Trump campaign are interesting.

The analysis of the most important states don’t look good for the President but the data gathered by Brad Parscale at this most recent (and other) Trump rallies is encouraging.  This is going to be a turnout election, one in which the Democrats won’t be caught sleeping again like they were in 2016.  For Trump to win he needs not only to get everyone who voted for him previously, but also to add a lot more new voters. It’s easy to get voters like me to show up at the polls; I’m engaged and will be voting rain or shine, but most Americans are not engaged, or even registered to vote.  Getting those people to the polls is a big ask, but absolutely necessary if Trump is going to have any chance of winning.

And then there is the part of Parscale’s tweet that goes back to the first thing I mentioned in this post, not being crazy.  26.3% of the attendees of Trump’s New Jersey rally were Democrats. If the Democrats are really serious in purging every non-woke Democrat out of the party, they can’t win.  Of course we are early in the primary season now, where crazy is a premium; but for how long?  The longer the Democrats remain crazy the better Trump’s chances are.

Iran with Egg on its Face

What a difference a week makes!  Since I last wrote about the drone killing of Quds Force commander General Soleimani, we’ve gone through press hysterics unmatched since Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court.  The draft and World War III trended on twitter as the media primed up young people to be very afraid that the cost of their student loans was conscription into Trump’s war machine.  Even the creaky anti-war movement, in a coma since the election of President Obama, roused from its slumber to beclown itself in cities across the world.

Instead, the entire crisis played out in Trump’s favor.  Iran fired Ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq, with no US casualties; then declared their revenge over. Meanwhile scores of Iranians were killed in a bizarre stampede at Soleimani’s funeral and Iran Air Defense, using a SA-15 air defense system, shot down a Ukrainian jet liner, killing more Iranians as well as people all over the world, but no Americans.  So while the world is trying to get answers from Iran as to what happened, Trump is back on the golf course, crisis over.

The only hanging chad over the Trump response is the claim that there were imminent attacks against four other embassies in the area, a claim that was apparently not made during the classified briefing to Congress.  That is the sole issue that the MSM was left with to tangle with Trump administration officials on the Sunday morning talk shows.  After promising World War III, if that’s all you got, then it’s hard to see how this issue isn’t a victory for Trump.

Personally I think the “imminent threat” claim was just something Trump ad-libbed during the Laura Ingraham interview.  But I have to admit I don’t really care about it, because an “imminent threat” isn’t a necessity for taking out a terrorist.  We didn’t need an “imminent threat” to take out al-Baghdadi or Bin Ladin; they were terrorists who had an ample list of charges against the US for terrorism, and so did Soleimani.

Predictions for 2020

I had a pretty good prediction run for 2019 so hopefully I can continue that; however it’s an election year so everything should be extra crazy.  So with that in mind, I present my 2020 predictions.

Reparations will be on the Democratic Platform

After several of the Democratic Presidential candidates came out in support of reparations, it’s hard to imagine that this year reparations wouldn’t finally make the platform somehow.

There will be an independent never-Trump candidate in the race

I don’t know how well-funded he or she would be, but for the purpose of sapping GOP votes from Trump to throw the election to the Democrats, there will be an effort to promote someone to give the several hundred never-Trumpers some voting alternative.

Joe Biden will not be the Democratic Nominee.

I’ve been saying it for months, in spite of his rather constant lead near the top of the polls, but the issue is that ultimately, it’s not the gaffes, but the fact that the gaffes will look more and more like dementia rather than “that’s just Joe.”  I think the Democrats would prefer a crazed socialist to an obviously mentally failing “moderate.”

There will be an additional impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives this year to consider new impeachment charges.

This of course, is the action of a crazed opposition, but that’s where we are, so I’m confident the House will consider new charges for impeachment.

There will be a Supreme Court vacancy this year.

Even though the Supreme Court prediction burned me last year, I guess I’m a moth driven to the flame on this, so I’m going to say that either due to retirement or death or disablement, there will be an opening.

There will be some sort of Brexit this year.

Democrats will retain control of the House.

Republicans will retain control of the Senate.

 

 

You may notice that I didn’t make a prediction on who wins the Presidency.  In 2016 I held off until August…and got it wrong.  My prediction on what makes the difference in the race is that this will be a turn out election; whoever gets their people to the polls in high enough numbers will win, and as of now, Democrats tend to dominate the ground game.

 

Also, a not quite prediction:

I wouldn’t really say this is a prediction, both because it’s outside the one year window of this post and because at this point it’s more guess than prediction, but this could move up to a full blown prediction in the future (but that’s just a prediction).

Notre Dame, when rebuilt, will have some sort of Islamic imagery included.

 

2019 Predictions Wrap Up

I had a fairly substantial improvement in the predictions biz success rate this year so let me take a moment to brag:

Whoohoo!

Now to my predictions!

Mueller’s Investigation will not show any collusion between Trump or the Trump campaign and Russia to “hack” the election.

Easy win.  The charge was absurd to begin with, so the only uncertainty was when the report would be released, not what it would say.  So the much awaited “Mueller Time” turned out to be a big goose egg for the Democrats and media.  Not that it mattered.  They still believe Trump is a Russkie spy anyway.

The House Judiciary Committee will vote on articles of impeachment this year.

This was getting a little down to the wire, but the Judiciary committee finally voted on impeachment. Of course, even if they hadn’t I might have taken the credit for this anyway since the House did hold an “impeachment inquiry” then of course a full vote in the House.  But I still win even with my very specific prediction.  I must have powers!

Sorry Bill Maher, but no recession by the end of this year.

Not just Maher, but multiple economists all generated “reports” stating that the economy had topped out and would begin sliding into recession or that Trump’s crazy trade policy would push us into recession; in any case, the economy would be in recession in time for the 2020 election.  This sounded like a lot of wishful thinking, and considering some of the sources (I’m looking at you Mark Zandi!) I figured this was a hope, not a data driven prediction.

No Brexit.

In spite of that “hard date” of October 31, 2019, I had a suspicion that with a government jam packed with remainers, it would be next to impossible to push Brexit through this year, and on that I was correct.  Of course, the recent British elections have cleared that logjam, so next year may be a different story.

President Trump will have another Supreme Court nomination to make by the end of the year

This was my choke point.  I thought that Clarence Thomas might see the opportunity to resign and get a strict constructionist, a much younger one, to replace him.  Instead, Thomas is having the time of his life and shows no sign of leaving.  RBG is apparently much sicker than was known this time last year but I saw a Thomas graceful exit as more likely than Ruth Bader Ginsberg being carried out.

So that gives me an 80% success rate this year.  Let’s see if I can maintain that level of success next year!

With a short impeachment trial, more GOP sabotage of Trump

I almost popped out of my chair when I saw these headlines:

U.S. Senate leader McConnell raises possibility of quick impeachment trial

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell raised the prospect on Tuesday of a short Senate impeachment trial for President Donald Trump in which no witnesses would be called.

Unless McConnell’s goal is to damage Trump’s re-election chances, that’s one of the dumbest things he could do.

While Trump has repeatedly called the House Democrats’ impeachment investigation a “witch hunt,” he also has called for a trial with witnesses testifying.

In a tweet on Dec. 5, he wrote: “We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify.” He was referring to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Biden, his son Hunter and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, all Democrats.

Last week, Trump dispatched his top White House lawyers to attend a lunch with Senate Republicans to discuss the possible impeachment trial.

White House legislative liaison Eric Ueland told reporters after that meeting that in order for Trump to make an effective case to the Senate, “We need both a full trial and the opportunity to call witnesses,” pointing to the Senate chamber.

This guy gets it.

McConnell unfortunately does not. Either a short Senate trial, or a motion to dismiss, will make it look like the fix was in and instead of giving Trump a chance to make his case, it will make him look guilty as hell, saved only by slavish Trumpies in the Senate.  Of course, there are no Trumpies in the Senate, slavish or otherwise. So that makes McConnell’s statement all the more confusing.  Does McConnell actually want to taint Trump and damage his re-election chances?

Senator Lindsey Graham is also another one who wants to end this quickly.  Version 1.0 has been trying to masquerade as Graham version 2.0.  It didn’t work.  He wants to let the managers present their case, then vote.  No witnesses called.

“My goal is to end this as soon as possible for the good of the country because I think it’s a danger to the presidency to legitimize this,” Graham stated.

“Does that mean no witnesses at all?” Hemmer asked.

“I don’t need any witnesses at all. I am ready to go,” Graham replied, adding that the issue of Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine can be addressed outside of impeachment hearings.

No it can’t.  Nothing will be addressed, ever if it’s not addressed during the impeachment trial.  That’s the necessity of having a trial in the Senate for as long as it takes to pick apart this fake frame job.  If that means calling every single witness who was called in during the House hearings, and pick apart exactly what they think the President did that was impeachable, including Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, so be it.  Sure there is a fun aspect to this too.  The prospect of getting Hunter under oath and finding out exactly how much his father knew is tantalizing, as well as getting Adam Schiff under oath and pick apart the timeline of his contact with the whistleblower, and scheduling it during the Iowa caucuses would be high political art.

However the Senate GOP establishment types who want to give the House Democrats a pass on this snow job raises my alarm bells.  Is the goal to harm Trump by not giving him a chance to expose this fraudulent impeachment, or are they trying to hide something else?  I don’t know, but this is yet another reminder that the goals of GOP office holders and GOP voters don’t always, or even most of the time, line up.

 

Not Wired for Democracy

Although skepticism of democracy is usually an aspect of the right (and the founders BTW), in the Trump era it is seeping over to the left.  After all, what good is democracy if it doesn’t elect the people I like?  And that seems to be exactly the conclusion that UC Irvine Professor Shawn Rosenberg has come to, as noted in this Politico article.

“Democracy is hard work. And as society’s “elites”—experts and public figures who help those around them navigate the heavy responsibilities that come with self-rule—have increasingly been sidelined, citizens have proved ill equipped cognitively and emotionally to run a well-functioning democracy. As a consequence, the center has collapsed and millions of frustrated and angst-filled voters have turned in desperation to right-wing populists.

His prediction? “In well-established democracies like the United States, democratic governance will continue its inexorable decline and will eventually fail.””

Reading that paragraph, I rub my chin and thoughtfully consider the meaning behind the text and can only conclude…

HaHaHaHah!

So “society’s “elites”—experts and public figures” have lost control of the narrative so democracy stinks.

Of course, the left has always been a bit transactional when it comes to Enlightenment concepts like representative government and individual rights.  They by and large agree with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that democracy is a train, and when it takes you where you want to go, you get off.  They are not as explicit as the Turkish President was in saying that, but it’s fairly easy to read between the lines given the #resistance and the more or less permanent coup that’s been ongoing since inauguration of President Trump.

In another left leaning “end of democracy” porn, this time from The Atlantic, How America Ends, senior editor Yoni Appelbaum, goes down the predictable, yet totally opposite of reality view of; what if Trump and his supporters don’t accept the consequences of his all but inevitable defeat in 2020?  Or as he states, “democracy depends on the consent of the losers.” In its own way, that’s actually profound.  But he’s got his article aimed at the wrong direction.  Appelbaum and his allies in the media specifically and the left in general, never consented or accepted their loss in 2016. They’ve totally rejected the election results, and have acted in a way that regards the current administration as totally illegitimate.

I wrote about this strain on the idea of representative government back on Inauguration Day in 2017 when I posted how gob smacked I was that the left still hadn’t got over their election defeat.  Well here we are almost 3 years later and in the midst of an absurd impeachment battle, it’s clear to me that the left isn’t wired for democracy.  The problem is, both sides have to accept the rules to make representative government work, and since one side has categorically rejected the rules, Rosenberg’s prediction, “democratic governance will continue its inexorable decline and will eventually fail,” is likely to come true.