Friday, December 20, 2019

Hypocrisy laid bare

I didn't think it was possible for some of our politicians to sink to new lows.  They've already plumbed so many depths, so shamelessly, that anything worse seemed beyond them.  I was wrong.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated Thursday that she would delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate, seeking more clarity on the rules for President Trump’s trial and potentially pushing the proceedings well into the new year.

Mrs. Pelosi’s comments drew condemnation from Republican lawmakers and President Trump, but the California Democrat said that she couldn’t select impeachment managers and advance the matter without more details about the Senate’s plans for a trial, which she has said should be conducted in a manner that she considers fair.

. . .

The Constitution doesn’t spell out the exact procedure for articles of impeachment being sent to the Senate, but specialists across the political spectrum say that Mrs. Pelosi has the power to delay sending the articles.

. . .

Some Democrats have expressed support for delaying sending over the articles of impeachment indefinitely, as a way to apply pressure on Mr. McConnell to allow witnesses and to obtain documents from the administration.

“We have one card to play here, which is the timing of its conveyance to the Senate, and how can we use that card to try and make the process balanced,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D., Conn.). “I think the speaker has a point of leverage. And she’s going to use that leverage to make sure the trial is fair.”

There's more at the link.

The Constitution is very clear that the House of Representatives and the Senate control their own modus operandi.  Neither can dictate to the other how it should conduct its affairs.  For Ms. Pelosi to insist that she won't carry out her duties unless the Senate bows to her will in the way it does its business is so ridiculous, so over the top, that it's beyond pathetic.  In a sense, it puts the cherry on top of the charade that has been the entire impeachment process.

From the very start, this has been the most hypocritical process imaginable.  Remember all the hype about "the whistleblower"?  Turns out there wasn't one.  In fact, there has not been one single witness produced, during the entire impeachment proceedings, who had or has first-hand knowledge of anything of which President Trump has been accused.  Not one single first-hand witness.  Instead, they've all been third-hand allegations:  "I heard that this happened", or "I was told that this occurred", or "It seemed to me that this implied that".  Such testimony would never convict any criminal in a court of law.  It's hearsay.  It's not testable or verifiable.

Then there's the way Republicans were refused the right to ask a number of important questions, and denied the ability to cross-examine important "witnesses" (who weren't).  This was so outrageously biased that even some Democrats cringed at the sight.  It was blatant hypocrisy on display, and those guilty of it appear quite unashamed by it - more's the pity.

Now we have this.  A party-line vote in the House has produced articles of impeachment that are so vague, so non-specific, that almost any President in US history could be accused of the same "crimes".  Not content with such chicanery, Ms. Pelosi is now trying to use them as a lever to manipulate the Senate, over which she has no control whatsoever.  How would she react if Senator McConnell tried to force her to run the House of Representatives according to his wishes?  She wouldn't be very happy, or very polite - but she has no problem trying to do precisely that to him.

Of course, the articles of impeachment are now a matter of official record.  I sincerely hope that Senator McConnell brings them to the floor of the Senate with or without Ms. Pelosi's cooperation, and opens them to debate and a vote there - whether or not it's an actual trial.  In fact, since a trial in criminal or civil court can't take place without formal charges being presented (and that's what articles of impeachment are - they're charges), perhaps he'd be justified in demanding that they be submitted by a given date and time.  If they're not, then he can move to dismiss the charges on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.

I truly don't understand how any supporter of the Democratic Party can tolerate so grave an abuse of power, so blatant a trashing of the structures of this Republic to promote partisan political interests.  If the Republican Party tried to do precisely the same thing, the screams of outrage from the progressive left (and almost all the news media) would be apoplectic . . . but when it's for a cause they support, all we hear is crickets.  That speaks very poorly for the ethical and moral sense of those on the left.

I've said before that I don't support either political party - I vote for the individual.  I also don't like how President Trump behaves, and have serious problems with some of the ways he conducts himself.  Nevertheless, he's very clearly the victim here, not the perpetrator.  I sincerely hope that these bogus charges backfire on all who conspired to pass them, and redound to their electoral doom next November.  That would be nothing more than poetic justice.  As for Ms. Pelosi . . .



LightlyStarched said...

I am disappointed too, that there wasn't more first-hand testimony. Why do you think Trump blocked Mulvaney and Bolton from testifying?

Peter said...

@LightlyStarched: Did he? I don't recall seeing any direct White House ruling on the matter - only press speculation. If you can provide any hard evidence to confirm that, I'd be pleased to see it.

Rob said...

Trump=Bad explains it all.

milton f said...

Heh. Who CARES???

Let Ms. Pelosi sit on their P.O.S. so-called-impeachment. I offer a hearty belly laugh, and total disdain for whatever it is that they have done in the House.

When (and if?) they ever get around to sending their sham of a waste of paper and waste of time, the Senate ought to call EVERY ONE OF THE CRIMINALS THAT WE ALREADY KNOW OF, to offer their (lies) testimony, and prosecute every one of those lecherous bastards to the full extent of the law. The Republican led Senate should sink down to the level of depravity of the House, and conduct their own witch hunt. And their "trial" should last at least as long as the mueller thingee plus the imeachment thingee, plus the delay thingee plus interest.

In the meantime, all we can do is pray for the conversion of their heathen souls. Peace.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

I was born in 1961. I first started paying attention to politics in the mid 1970's. In the time since there has not been ONE Deoocrat candidate for the Presidency that didn't make me feel like vomiting day-glow. My affection for the Republicans has been limited at best, but the only time I have even been TEMPTED to vote for a Democrat was when I lived in DC during M<arion Barry's comeback, when I briefly considered voting for Barry so he could go down with the ship.

Trump may have 'abused' his power as President. But the Democrats have yet to demonstrate that. Their complaints about him seem to add up to "He doesn't run his administration the way we would if we had won! How DARE he!"

LindaG said...

None of it has been fair so far, so why change now?

Uncle Lar said...

It's a tossup as to which behavior most Americans find most reprehensible: lying, cheating, and acting out as a sore loser. It would appear from here in the cheap seats that the Democrats have managed to achieve all three in a glorious display of malfeasance and corruption.
One may only hope that we are watching the train wreck that should in a just and honorable world result in the ultimate destruction of the Democratic party as a credible force in American politics.

LL said...

Stylistically, Donald Trump is a New York real estate developer. If you're not from New York, he (much like Bloomberg) comes across as an egomaniacal jerk. However, when you look at what he's managed to do in 3 years, he's an AMERICAN with the heart of an AMERICAN who wants to MAGA.

He's offended by Biden and son, and all of the rest of the corrupt crap that the Deep State dreams up. And they hate him for calling them out. Somebody has needed to do that for a long time.

Keith_Indy said...

Why would the Senate work on something that isn't before their chamber yet?

Want to see the rules we will use, send us the articles of impeachment.

Mitch should use this line "You have to pass the Articles so that you can find out what is in the rules."

P. Lester said...

They may think they can hold up the trial until after the election and hope they win back the Senate. I also heard that Schiff is thinking about impeaching the Vice President too. These people are out of control.

Overload in Colorado said...

Lt Col Vindman testified, and was a witness to the call.
The whistleblower is most likely Eric Ciaramella, an intelligence officer.

B said...

"I truly don't understand how any supporter of the Democratic Party can tolerate so grave an abuse of power, so blatant a trashing of the structures of this Republic to promote partisan political interests."

Because to these people, nothing matters but power.

Plus "Orange Man Bad".

It's now just an exercise in trashing Trump's reputation as much as possible in front of the election.

Peter said...

@Overload in Colorado: No, LtCol. Vindeman was not a witness to the call. He heard about it through the conversations of others, and reported it on that basis. His "evidence" was therefore hearsay testimony, not first-hand.

Unknown said...

One of the more interesting comments I've heard on this is that any bill that isn't finalized at the end of a term is void, and apparently there is precedent in the impeachment of a judge.

Another comment is that before a bill is finalized, any person who voted for the bill can call for another vote, so we'll see if anyone gets cold feet after a couple weeks back in their district.

And one of the professors that the Democrats called in to testify is saying that the impeachment isn't official until it's delivered to the Senate, so officially Trump has not been Impeached yet.

any or all of these lead to very interesting results.

Robin Datta said...

The Senate should NOT nullify anything. Have the House eat their own turd.

The Senate should resolve immediately, that:

•"All high crimes and misdemeanors that are addressed in the impeachment document must be annotated with the respective US code."
•"ALL Senate legislation will await the bill that the House is currently withholding."

That would be the finest Christmas present to America!

Kristophr said...

Unknown: Exactly. If the House does not submit the articles of Impeachment to the Senate, then President Trump has not been impeached.

This gets more and more hilarious.

John said...

Nancy added the colored rubber band to the top of the ever growing, Democrat poop pile.

KurtP said...

Democrats tolerate this Barbara Streisand because to them, as I've noticed since the Clinton administration-- The ends justify the means.