Trump Impeachment, Continued

There are wonders if Pelosi really had 218 votes for impeachment – my guess is that she does; but that would probably entail about a dozen House Democrats walking the plank; ie, almost ensuring their defeat for re-election next year.

This whole thing is a set up, of course. Seems that someone in the Deep State altered the whistleblower rules about a month back to allow hearsay to be reported – used to be you had to have some direct knowledge of the event. If I were Trump, I’d order that no rule changes are valid unless he, personally, signs off on them. That aside, this is a crafted plan…but, to do what? I mean, of course the Democrats would love it if Trump’s support collapses and the GOP committed suicide by voting to remove him. But, so far there has been no drop in Trump’s support (even Nate Silver is saying that Trump is as popular as Obama at this point in his Presidency – and this, keep in mind, with relentlessly negative coverage rather than the daily MSM tongue bath that Obama got). The GOP is raking in money off the impeachment issue (last I checked, $15 million in the 72 hours after Pelosi’s announcement). Mitt is being Mitt, of course, and a few other wets in the GOP are making their high-minded statements, but there doesn’t appear to be any real crack in the ranks…so, what does this accomplish? Not sure.

And that’s before we get to some really cold, hard facts. From what I’ve read, I guess that a very large portion of Democrat voters – perhaps a majority – believe that if the House impeaches, Trump is removed. They are unaware of the whole Senate trial aspect of it. But that is what has to keep Democrat leaders up at night – a trial in the Senate means a trial conducted under whatever rules McConnell decides upon (and the Senate could just vote to dismiss the charges without a trial, guys). Anything that Trump and McConnell would like to be revealed would be – sure, the Chief Justice presides and, in theory (no one really knows), could make rulings from the bench on what is admissible…but the Senate can override the Justice by simple majority vote. In short, an actual trial would be a nightmare for the Democrats and while operating under McConnell’s rules, they’ll have the task of talking 23 Republican Senators into removing Trump – and that’s if all the Democrats stay on board (Manchin would be a likely “no”, absent rock-solid evidence, I think). It’s an insurmountable obstacle – and only real criminal activity and Trump dropping to an average of 30% in the polls would make it possible.

It could be, of course, that they are just toying with this – willing to move if things go their way, but mostly just placating their base while hoping that something turns up to separate Trump from his supporters (that is what all of this has been about since Day One, by the way: the Democrats know that to win in 2020, they have to convince three or four million of Trump’s 2016 voters to abandon him…doesn’t matter how much they run up the score in CA and NY, if they can’t get back PA and MI, they’re toast…and they know it).

As for our side: don’t know about you guys, but I coldly furious about the whole thing. It is, now, only incidentally about Trump: this is a very large portion of people – including many in leadership – who are saying that I’m not allowed to participate in my own governance: that I’m not allowed to vote for someone disapproved of by the Ruling Class. I’ve come across some rather ardently anti-Trump people over the past three days who are now determined to vote Trump just on that principle: that we get to decide and what we decide is what will happen until we decide differently.

Mueller is a Coward

I watched Mueller’s statement today and I was nauseated. Here we have a guy who has spent his life in the top echelon of American law enforcement, and he’s a coward. A completely gutless man. A liar, too. He is simply, in my view, running scared – and on his way out the door, twitching down a chair in front of his pursuers.

The crucial thing he said was that he won’t testify under oath – and that if compelled to do so, is just going to keep referring to his bogus report, which is filled with innuendo (as was his statement) against Trump, but without any proof – or even a logical chain of reasoning to back it up. Mueller was set to destroy Trump, and found there was no means to do so. Now, he’s just trying to get out of it – and by fueling the fires of Democrat impeachment talk, he probably figures that if there’s an impeachment, at least then people won’t pay attention to what Barr is doing, and that any indictment by Barr of Mueller or his people will appear politically tainted.

Now, why doesn’t Mueller want to testify? Because he’d have to lie. As Roger Simon points out, one of the key questions any GOPer would like to ask Mueller is “when did you know there wasn’t collusion?”. The answer to that is, probably, “within days of starting”. Had Mueller made that point early, then the whole thing would have fizzled…but, he didn’t. Why, not? Well, that would bring us to the second important question we’d like to ask: “why did you bring charges entirely un-related to the 2016 campaign?”. The answer to that is, almost certainly, “because we hoped by so doing to scare Trump people into lying about Trump”. Mueller simply can’t answer those questions truthfully – and while he would try like heck to dodge any such questions, it would eventually come out that his whole motivation from start to finish was political: to annul the results of the 2016 election.

Pelosi is now going to come under massive pressure to approve of impeachment hearings. So, Mueller might well have accomplished his primary task today: get himself and his troops off the hook. But I think that an impeachment will end up being a disaster for the Democrats and will go a long way towards re-electing Trump next year. There is nothing there: Trump didn’t break the law, and so couldn’t have obstructed an investigation into the law which wasn’t broken. Democrats control the House and can get their bill to say whatever it wants, and Democrats can get up on the House floor and say whatever they want…but, in the end, they’ll have to go before the Senate and prove their allegations and they simply can’t do it. At least the GOP in 1998 could prove their case against President Clinton…Democrats can’t do that against Trump. And while there may be one or two GOPers inclined to vote to convict simply because they hate Trump, they’ll shy away from it absent proof…while there are a couple three Democrats who will take their political life in their hands if they vote to convict. A majority Senate vote to acquit will be Trump’s exoneration. No doubt about it: the people will believe he’s innocent, and will really wonder why we were put through all this for nothing.

A Cave or a Tactical Retreat?

Did Trump cave? Time will tell. But, let’s look it over:

We were at an entire impasse. The Trumpist base was delighted with the shutdown and fully prepared to wait forever for the government to reopen. The Democrats were also delighted with the shutdown and fully prepared to wait until Trump agreed to a permanent spending bill with no wall. Neither side felt any desire to move – and, in fact, both sides faced the wrath of their own base if they did move. What was the end game on this?

Sure, Trump could have just continued with the shutdown and used emergency powers to build the wall. But, he said very clearly that he still may do that. Meanwhile, there are other things to do, none of them getting done if the shutdown goes on and on. Someone needed to take the Base Hit and move. Trump decided to move. He has said that he’ll give it a few weeks to see what the Democrats do, and then either return to a shutdown or just build the wall. Our real trouble here is that we don’t know what Trump fully has in mind, and as I’ve noted before, in the really crucial policy moves, there are no leaks from Team Trump.

There are things moving in the world, and while we all do feel delighted with the shutdown, there are things that we want done which are hampered by the shutdown. Then there is the thing of foreign and defense policy which can’t sit in suspension forever. The fast-moving situation in Venezuela once again informs us that we have to be nimble. Trump has a grave responsibility as President and I don’t think it would have been wise to just keep going and going and going. He showed that he’s ok with it – longest shutdown in US history, after all – but, in the end, when you’ve reached an impasse, you have to do something different if you want to break it.

I’m in the position of trusting Trump’s instincts on this. If it was a mistake, then that will just have to be endured. But if Trump has something up his sleeve (perhaps inside knowledge of coming events which will make the shutdown moot?), then we all might wind up very pleased after all is said and done.

We’ll just have to wait.

Trump the Good

After the latest WE GOT HIM, NOW!!! in the MSM about Trump failed, it started to occur to me that the problem our Liberals and Never Trump have is that they are working from the assumption that Trump is just like them. Meaning, that Trump is as much a garbage person as they are, or at least as much garbage as those they prefer to have in power.

Think about it: all of these people who really go after Trump, can you name anything constructive they’ve ever done in their lives? They are pundits and activists and consultants and think tank denizens…but have they, in any real sense, ever had a real job? Lived the real life?

Now, to be sure, Trump is rich, and he was born rich. I think and wonder what I might have been like at 30 with an essentially unlimited supply of money. Unlimited supply of money and also famous. All that money and fame and beautiful women always circling around. I don’t know what I would have been like – but the temptation to at least take advantage of certain things offered would have been mighty hard to resist. And, it seems, that at times Trump didn’t resist the temptation. But, that he sinned merely means he’s human. And there’s a huge difference between a good man who sins (the Bible says that even the righteous man falls seven times a day, after all), and a bad person who positively enjoys sinning.

The reason we’ve got things like the Mafia is because some people simply like to do bad. They consider it fun. They also consider it far more worthwhile to get via screwing over someone else than it is to get by work. It is just part of the run of humanity. Most people resign themselves – in joy or sorrow – to merely doing what needs to be done and assuming that the proper reward will come of that. But some, and it isn’t a small number, are forever seeking the angle – the con which will get them what they want without all that tedious necessity of earning it. Some of the people like that – the more “successful” ones – are rich. But not all of them are; and not all people who are rich are like that. Some rich people are actually quite decent. And I think Trump is one of them.

Trump, from what I can see, doesn’t seek ill for anyone. He’ll punish anyone who crosses him (though he should, at times, turn the other cheek), but he doesn’t seek the destruction of others. He’s one of those people – my grandfather was another – who are entirely ok with other people doing well. My grandfather’s mot was “better to have 10% of something than 100% of nothing”. Meaning, if you can help others win while you’re winning, it is all to the good. Trump seems to be like that. But think about the people who essentially run things in America: it is a gigantic, vicious competition to see who gets on top and the way you get to the top is by crawling over the lives of those you destroyed. Matt and I experienced this when we were blogging and trying to break into writing for money: outside a few gems, no one would help us. They were fearful that if we got, they’d lose. They didn’t see it as something where if we all teamed up, all of us would do well. They didn’t want that – they all wanted themselves to be Number One…and in their minds, that meant keeping people like me out and down.

But, as I said, Trump doesn’t seem to be like that. The Democrats and Never Trump are going to keep on tripping over themselves because they keep looking for the evidence that Trump is just like they are, and he’s not. They’ve found out he’s not perfect – but that didn’t take much effort as it was in the news all along. But they will not, I suspect, ever find the kind of evidence to prove he’s like the Clintons, or Pelosi or any one of a hundred Establishment grifters. He’s not on the take. He hasn’t destroyed anyone. He hasn’t abused anyone. He’s just a normal man – meaning, he’s a good man (who sins).

Impeachment Talk

New articles of impeachment have been filed in the House. I’m thinking that just about every two years someone files articles of impeachment against every President – but, most of the time, it is mere boilerplate. This time, it might have more to it. The Democrats will do everything they can to harm Trump, of course. They won’t hold back from impeachment based upon the facts of the case or simple decency: if they do it, then it is because they calculated it works best for them.

It won’t happen tomorrow. First, Mueller has to drop his report – which will have nothing, but will hint darkly at this and that horrible thing the President may have done. Then the House will hold well-televised hearings and MSNBC will have to talk shop it for a few news cycles. So, not before, say, April, at the earliest.

The Democrats have the votes to impeach – if Pelosi allows it to come to the floor, then the President will go on trial before the Senate. It is highly unlikely that Democrats will find 20 Republican Senators willing to commit political suicide by voting to remove the President. But, I don’t think that would be the Democrats real desire (they’d take it if they could get it, of course). All they’d really be hoping for is for 51 Senators to vote to convict. While that would not remove Trump from office, it would be devastating to him. The Democrat talking point would be “a majority wanted him removed from office”. Trouble is, I don’t think even Mitt Romney would go along with it. Susan Collins is up for re-election in 2020 and while she wins by attracting Democrats, she does need a united GOP to get over the top. Murkowski isn’t up until 2022, so she might be a possibility – but, once again, she’d risk a pretty ferocious backlash at home should she vote to convict Trump. Democrats would need to find four Republican Senators to get to that 51, and I just don’t see where they get the four.

And that, right there, might get Pelosi to spike any impeachment move. A Senate which voted by a majority to acquit Trump would work out to a vindication of the “witch hunt” accusation. It may boomerang very hard against Democrats – especially as they’ll have no legislative accomplishments to burnish their record heading into 2020. On the other hand, the Democrat base – which, according to polls, believes that Trump got elected because Russia switched votes in 2016 – would be quite furious if Trump isn’t impeached. The Democrats have dangled the red meat of Trump’s removal in front of their base for two years…will they be satisfied with anything less?

Personally, I think the Democrats made a strategic mistake when they followed along with the Team Hillary idea that Trump’s victory was illegitimate. They could have more effectively fought him on policy – what they’ve been fighting him on is his mere existence. His continued existence works out to defeat for the Democrats – and by not accepting him as legitimate, they’ve fairly well foreclosed any possibility of negotiating with him. They’ll have to go into 2020 without having gotten rid of Trump, and without having anything else to show for their efforts.

Unilateral Withdrawal From the Open Thread

Trump disappointed me in deciding against moving the US Embassy officially to Jerusalem, but the withdrawal from Obama’s bogus Paris deal makes up for that quite a lot.

First off, the deal was unconstitutional: it was a treaty which Obama never submitted for ratification. And it was not submitted because it would have been swiftly voted down. Secondly, it didn’t do anything – even in theory, if all its provisions were carried out, the apparent supposed benefit was a mere 0.2 degree reduction from expected warming by 2100, or something. Finally, it appears to require us to shovel many buckets of money at foreign governments and progressive NGO’s. I don’t see any point to the agreement, folks.

It has been very revealing that many of the Never Trump Conservatives are taking exception to this action – including those who had called the agreement, when reached, a bad thing. All of a sudden, it is bad for our global leadership position to withdraw! This is absurd – and shows that Never Trump isn’t motivated by principal, but merely by animus towards Trump. Which is fine – but if you just hate the guy, say that: don’t try to tell me you’re trying to save Conservatism from Trump and then go off and defend something as anti-Conservative as the Paris deal.

A Few Things About the Immigration Executive Order

Naturally, if Trump does something, liberals find some reason to express their faux outrage. I know I haven’t blogged here much–or at all–lately, but I thought I’d just compile some important information for everyone to consider before jumping to conclusions, and of course, to highlight the hypocrisy of those who claim to be outraged.

The list of countries covered by the executive order came from Obama

Contrary to claims that the countries covered were determined by which countries Trump has or doesn’t have business interests, the list actually comes from the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which was signed by Obama.

The Executive Order allows for exemptions

All you have to do is read it.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

The president has the authority to restrict travel

For those people who think the Executive Order exceeded presidential authority, they should read 8 U.S. Code § 1182 – Inadmissible aliens

(f)Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

Every President since Carter has restricted travel from certain groups of immigrants

Alex Pfieffer at The Daily Caller goes into detail about what each president did with that authority, so give it a read.

 Obama “banned” Iraqi refugees for six months in 2011

ABC News reported back in 2013, “the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets.” Does anyone recall outrage about this? Me neither. The action was clearly rooted in a legitimate security concern that was determined to outweigh other considerations.

As it is written, it is not supposed to cover current green-card holders

David French, hardly a Trump supporter, explains at National Review “The plain language of the order doesn’t apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., and green-card holders have been through round after round of vetting and security checks.” Either the EO is being improperly implemented, or somehow, the Trump Administration is interpreting the EO differently. Regardless, I completely agree that green-card holders should not be targeted by the EO, and if they are, deliberately, or accidentally, it is wrong and needs to be remedied.

On that note, French’s piece as whole is worth reading.