Ode to the Constitution and the Common Man
Like American Thinker’s Monica Showalter and Sharyl Attkisson, I think Attorney General William Barr is honest, very capable, and on his way to exposing the Deep State and its skullduggery in the 2016 election. It’s a time-consuming labor and it may well be late spring or early summer before we see the fruits of his and U.S. Attorney John Durham's work, but it’s coming. In the meantime several developments -- the Supreme Court’s action this week, and the overwhelming rejection of the UK’s Labour Party at the polls fill me with hope that our national nightmare -- the arrogance and stupidity of our political, academic, judicial, and journalist elites -- is also reaching bottom.
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court agreed this week to hear the president’s appeals of three cases on congressional and state oversight of the commander in chief.
There is no doubt in my mind that both the legislative and judicial branches of our government have overreached in trying to hamstring the president and these three cases should prove a benchmark on how far this nonsense will be allowed to continue. As Judge Neomi Rao argued in her dissent from a decision for a rehearing below: “The Constitution and our historical practice draw a sharp line between the legislative and judicial powers of Congress. By upholding this subpoena, the panel opinion has shifted the balance of power between Congress and the President and allowed a congressional committee to circumvent the careful process of impeachment.”
The congressional cases involve the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subpoenas of Trump’s personal and corporate financial records and the House financial and Intelligence Committee’s subpoena of two banks Trump dealt with, again seeking a broad range of his financial records. It is clear to me that the intent is to cherry-pick and publicize from these records to smear the president. His financial dealings have already been well scrutinized by the IRS and were informed by the advice of his accountants and lawyers. It’s of a piece with the lies spread and megaphoned by a credulous and conspiratorial press which for years spread the preposterous Russian collusion tale and credited the thoroughly debunked Steele dossier.
Here are the Democrat members of the House Oversight committee:
- Carolyn B. Maloney, New York, Chair
- Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia
- Lacy Clay, Missouri
- Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts
- Jim Cooper, Tennessee
- Gerry Connolly, Virginia
- Raja Krishnamoorthi, Illinois
- Jamie Raskin, Maryland
- Harley Rouda, California
- Debbie Wasseman-Schultz. Florida
I doubt it has the financial background or integrity to honestly analyze these voluminous documents.
Much the same can be said of the House Financial Services Committee:
- Maxine Waters, California, Chair
- Carolyn B. Maloney, New York
- Nydia Velázquez, New York
- Brad Sherman, California
- Gregory Meeks, New York
- Lacy Clay, Missouri
- David Scott, Georgia
- Al Green, Texas
- Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri
- Ed Perlmutter, Colorado
- Jim Himes, Connecticut
- Bill Foster, Illinois
- Joyce Beatty, Ohio
- Denny Heck, Washington
- Juan Vargas, California
- Josh Gottheimer, New Jersey
- Vicente González, Texas
- Al Lawson, Florida
- Michael San Nicolas, Guam, Vice Chair
- Rashida Tlaib, Michigan
- Katie Porter, California (resigned)
- Cindy Axne, Iowa
- Sean Casten, Illinois
- Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts
- Ben McAdams, Utah
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York
- Jennifer Wexton, Virginia
- Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts
- Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii
- Alma Adams, North Carolina
- Madeleine Dean, Pennsylvania
- Jesús "Chuy" García, Illinois
- Sylvia Garcia, Texas
- Dean Phillips, Minnesota
Amusingly enough, some of the most absurd leftists in Congress, like Maxine Waters, Rashida Tlaib, and Al Green, are members of the committee.
The third case in this triptych of overreach is the efforts by Democratic district attorney for Manhattan Cyrus Vance to obtain eight years of Trump’s tax returns.
In the congressional subpoena cases, the question is whether there is a legitimate legislative purpose for seeking these records. After all, Congress is not and should not be a freewheeling prosecutorial arm. Its actions must have a legitimate legislative purpose, and to my way of thinking, these are simply a further smear-and-hamstring show.
As for Vance’s attempt, Trump’s personal lawyers reminds that the president has immunity from criminal prosecution -- impeachment for crimes being the sole remedy -- and the subpoena is an attempt unlawfully to pierce that constitutional immunity,
“That the Constitution would empower thousands of state and local prosecutors to embroil the president in criminal proceedings is unimaginable,” the petition reads. “Indeed, politically motivated subpoenas like this one are a perfect illustration of why a sitting president should be categorically immune from state criminal process.” Vance's office declined to comment on Friday to The Hill.
Given the nonsensical plethora of nationwide injunctions issued by federal district court judges, the history of abuse of process by such means is patent. Even the California Supreme Court seems to have had a glimmer of reason when it struck down a state law requiring candidates to disclose their tax returns to appear on the ballot.
But the significance of the Supreme Court grant of certiorari in these cases is broader. Doubtless because their leading candidate Joe Biden is actually guilty of quid pro quo bribery, Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee ditched those charges in its articles of impeachment which now charge only obstruction of Congress and abuse of power, charges as vague as they are unconstitutional. Professor Alan Dershowitz;
Both are so vague and open ended that they could be applied in partisan fashion by a majority of the House against almost any president from the opposing party. Both are precisely what the Framers had rejected at their Constitutional Convention. Both raise the “greatest danger,” in the words of Alexander Hamilton, that the decision to impeach will be based on the “comparative strength of parties,” rather than on “innocence or guilt.”
That danger is now coming to pass, as House Democrats seek for the first time in American history to impeach a president without having at least some bipartisan support in Congress. Nor can they find any support in the words of the Constitution, or in the history of its adoption. A majority of the House is simply making it up as they go along in the process, thus placing themselves not only above the law but above the Constitution.
In doing this, they follow the view of Representative Maxine Waters who infamously declared that, when it comes to impeachment, “there is no law.” From her view, shared by some others, the criteria for impeaching a president is whatever a majority of the House says it is, regardless of what the Constitution mandates. This reductionistic and lawless view confuses what a majority of the House could get away with, if there is no judicial review, and what the mandated duty of all House members is, which is to support, defend, and apply the Constitution as written, not as it can be stretched to fit the actions of an opposition or controversial president.
If the House votes to impeach President Trump on grounds not authorized by the Constitution, its action, in the words of Hamilton, is void. As he put it in the Federalist Papers, “no legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.” If this is indeed the case, then the Senate will be confronted with a constitutional dilemma, if and when it will receive a void and invalid impeachment. It will have to decide whether to proceed with a trial of charges that are unconstitutional and therefore are void.
And as Dershowitz notes, the Supreme Court’s action effectively kills the obstruction article:
“Look, the most important development happened TODAY [December 10]. The Supreme Court of the United States absolutely pulled the rug out of part two of the impeachment referral by granting certiorari, by granting review in a case where Trump challenged a congressional subpoena! And the Supreme Court said we’re going to hear this case! ...Think of what that message is -- it’s Trump was right!”
Boris Topples Labour
If that news weren’t sufficient to cheer us up, the stunning victory of Boris Johnson and the Brexiters was a delight.
Melanie Phillips credits the British working class for a victory which Boris credits to “literally everyone from Woking to Workington. From Kensington, I’m proud to say, to Clwyd South. From Surrey Heath to Sedgefield. From Wimbleton to Wolverhampton.”
The stakes in this election were enormous, not just for Britain but for the world. Labour is led by the most far-left leadership in its history, supporting terrorists abroad and incubating virulent antisemitism at home.[snip]
It was defeated by a seismic shift which may just have redrawn the British political landscape for ever.[snip]
The white working class, those blue-collar workers who had been tribal Labour supporters for generations, voted en masse for the Conservatives for the first time ever.[snip]
Because the British working-class is deeply, passionately patriotic and attached to democracy. They are the very best of Britain. Time and again they have saved the country in its wars against tyranny by putting their lives on the line to defend what it stands for: their historic culture, institutions and values.
That’s why in the 2016 referendum they voted en masse for Brexit. [snip]
It’s hard to exaggerate the anger by the Brexit-voting working-class at what they saw as an anti-democratic coup by Remainer Labour MPs who were determined to stop Brexit and spit in the eye of democracy.
These working-class voters also believe in hard work, responsibility and their own human dignity. They feel patronised and demeaned by welfare dependency, and have absolutely no time for the metropolitan liberals’ social agenda.
They are repelled by identity politics and victim culture, and are deeply worried by Muslim immigration and behaviour. Having watched with dismay the emergence of effectively segregated Muslim areas within their towns, they have been enraged by the way the allegation of “Islamophobia” has all but silenced concerns about outrages such as the Muslim rape and grooming gangs that have abused thousands of white girls, or the attempt to Islamise a number of schools.
So in this election, just as when they voted for Brexit in 2016, the working- class has risen up in revolt against the liberal universalists who control both their party and British culture.
(An often-seen Facebook meme echoes this sentiment: “They send our sons to Afghanistan and theirs to the Ukraine.”)
I think the same is true here and I hope this revolt against globalism, identity politics, and political correctness results in a similar displacement of the Democrats and whoever they nominate for the presidency.
If the Democratic members of Congress were wiser, they’d see the tsunami coming.
In any event, the only thing that could make me happier in this busy week before Hanukkah and Christmas would be to hear that Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, and the Squad were growing fearful that angry members in the Democratic cloakroom would cane them and throw them and their staffs out of the Capitol.