Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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There is a phrase that has been batted around lately more than a tennis ball during a long rally at Wimbledon: rule of law. But for once, it’s not the Right that is doing the batting. It’s the Left. It seems they’ve become acutely aware of the concept after claiming President Donald Trump believes he’s above the law due to his recent impeachment acquittal in the Senate. On top of that, the President has also suggested the Department of Justice look into the conviction of former Trump associate Roger Stone (and with good reason if the recent news around the judge and jury in his case are accurate). Now, the Left is on their outrage soapboxes demanding the President and the Right respect the rule of law.

As you might guess, I take the rule of law seriously, or at least seriously enough to write a weekly blog post highlighting the Leftist take on the phrase.

rule of law

What the Left thinks it means – following the letter and spirit of the law

What it really means – following the letter and spirit of the law even when it’s politically inconvenient to do so

The Left may have the trial lawyers in their back pockets (and their hands in the back pockets of the trial lawyers for that matter), but that doesn’t mean they have a healthy respect for the law. What they do have is a healthy respect for those who can create laws through rhetorical or contextual devices that judges who are already predisposed to agree with the outcome will allow to stand in court. From the bizarre arguments from Roe v. Wade to the more recent, yet equally bizarre, legal arguments requiring Christians to act against their faith to accommodate same sex marriages, the Left figured out how to get what they want without consulting the voting public: file a lawsuit! Then, it’s just a matter of crafting a legal argument so seemingly air-tight that no appeals court could overturn it and, voila, you have a law and the rest of the country has to go along with it.

Of course, once that happens, the Left demands everyone follow the letter and spirit of the law with no deviations whatsoever. On the other hand, if it’s a law they don’t like, they feel it’s morally justified to defy the law. Sanctuary cities, anyone?

It’s this duplicity when it comes to the law that rings hollow when the Left talks about the rule of law. The recent impeachment fiasco…I mean trial is a nice microcosm of this. Remember when the Left jumped all over Mitch McConnell and other Republican Senators to recuse themselves because they already made up their minds on impeachment? On the surface, it seems like a reasonable and legally justifiable position. Of course, that same argument could have been applied to Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and a whole host of Democrat Senators who had not only made up their minds to impeach the President, but made it a part of their regular communication with followers, constituents, and fawning media types.

And let’s not forget one of the articles of impeachment had zero basis in law, but it didn’t bother Senate Democrats enough to make them vote with the law and not with their party. But hey, party over country is a Republican thing, right?

If you haven’t recognized this Leftist tactic, it’s right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. They are trying to hold the Right to the rule of law (or at least the Leftist version of it) while ignoring it themselves, and until recently it was virtually foolproof. Then, as more conservatives and Republicans began to educate themselves on the Left’s tactics, they started to call out the Left and flip the script on them. Not only did the Right flip the script, but the Left flipped their lids, as well as their talking points, to the condition we’re in now. To use a more modern bit of terminology, we’re in the Upside Down.

Or at least some of us are.

Although it’s nice to hear Leftists take the rule of law seriously for a change, it’s based on the politics of the situation, not out of any core principles they have. In fact, the same Leftists going after President Trump for alleged violations of the rule of law were conspicuously absent when President Barack Obama took similar action on matters more pressing than a Tweet about Roger Stone.

This is where it’s important to take the politics out of the rule of law. President Obama violated the law on several occasions and many, including your humble correspondent, were justifiably outraged. President Trump, I feel, has violated the law as well, and only some of us are outraged. By letting our politics guide our decision-making, we can justify poor behavior for the sake of rooting for “our team.” But wrong is wrong, no matter whether we love or loathe the criminal. An eye for an eye may be a boon for the eyepatch industry, but it’s a poor way to enforce the law. It has to be enforced across the board for the rule of law to have any weight.

That is why Lady Justice is blind. Either that or it was an unfortunate recreation of a scene from 50 Shades of Gray, but in either case, we need to be absolutely sure we are standing for the rule of law in every case. Donald Trump isn’t my cup of Earl Grey (not of the 50 Shades variety), but I want him to be extended every legal opportunity I would get as an American citizen. The Left doesn’t want that, though. They want to prosecute first and ask questions never, all under the guise of defending the rule of law from the man they’re trying to prosecute. Call me crazy, but doesn’t that sound a lot like abuse of power? And, if so, where are the Left’s rule of law hawks on impeaching Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, and the whole cast of characters involved with the impeachment process? I’m sure they’re working on it, right after they try to impeach President Trump for something else that may or may not be against the law.

After all, it’s not like Leftists are known to be hypocrites, right?

That’s It?

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Today, House Democrats announced they would introduce two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. After weeks of testimony, months of investigation, and years of blathering about both on the news, they finally decided on…abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The audible thud you heard was the Left’s expectations crashing like the Hindenburg, but with a lot less fire.

Maybe it’s me, but these articles of impeachment seem to be missing something, like…say…actual illegal activity. After all, the standard for impeachment is “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which heavily suggests there has to be some illegal activity for impeachment to be warranted. And, yes, I know impeachment is a political process and not a legal one, but you would need to either be inept or a spin doctor extraordinaire to arrive at abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as crimes.

Then again, these are House Democrats we’re dealing with here, so it’s possible both are in play.

With the last impeachment on record, that of Bill “Commander in Briefs” Clinton, House Republicans put forth a total of four counts of impeachment, all them tied to actual law. The two the House decided upon were perjury and obstruction of justice. Compare that to the two counts House Democrats cobbled together. The only one that comes close to legal precedent is obstruction of Congress, which is only close because it’s one word off from the actual crime.

With that, let’s take a closer look at the two counts of impeachment against President Trump.

First, there’s abuse of power. That is such a nebulous charge it could apply to anyone and anything. If the President got a meter maid to let him or her stay in a parking spot 5 minutes after the meter ran out? ABUSE OF POWER! The President borrowed a book from the library and hasn’t returned it in 2 years? ABUSE OF POWER!

Now, here’s the tricky part: abuse of power may not be a crime nor a misdemeanor. To my knowledge (which I admit may not be as thorough as some of the legal scholars out there), abuse of power isn’t against the law. It’s certainly not ethical, but it may not be criminal. And there is a vast difference between legal and ethical, one that House Democrats don’t appear to see in front of them. If this one doesn’t get laughed out of the House in a bipartisan effort, I’ll be disappointed, but not surprised for a reason I’ll get into later.

The second charge of obstruction of Congress has a bit more precedent behind it. Contempt of Congress has both criminal and civil punishments to it, which would fall under the actual high crimes and misdemeanors section of the Constitution. Where it falls apart is with what has happened so far with the Impeach-A-Palooza campaign. President Trump barred some members of his office from testifying, but Trump himself hasn’t been called to testify before Congress. He’s been invited, although perhaps more tongue-in-cheek than serious, but he hasn’t been called by any of the House Democrats running the multitude of committees involved in the process. Another technicality, I know, but one that changes the dynamic of the charge itself. If one is not called to testify before Congress and isn’t called to produce documents, one cannot be charged with contempt of Congress under the letter of the law.

And the self-professed “defenders of the Constitution” have failed to see the simple logical trap they fell into.

Reaction to the two impeachment articles ranged from “why aren’t there more” on the Left to “you got nothing” on the Right. For the purposes of this impeachment fiasco, I’m siding with the Right. Although both sides of this situation can rightly be accused of having partisan blinders on, the fact remains none of this would have happened if House Democrats hadn’t decided to go all in on impeaching President Trump for reasons that can best be described as petty. If you doubt me, look at Leftist Twitter right now. They are inventing high crimes and misdemeanors to justify their belief President Trump should be impeached, and few of them have any actual legal foundation. To put it mildly, they are losing their hivemind over this. The Left is out for blood and they will stop at nothing, including inventing new laws out of Orange Man Bad, to sate their bloodlust.

Having said that, I think the obstruction of Congress charge has enough legs to get through the House, and the Senate will not punish President Trump on it, mainly on party lines. What impact will that have on the President? None. He’s pretty much written off the impeachment as so much of a joke Amy Schumer is going to steal it for her next comedy special, “Who Are You and Why Should We Care?” The people who support him will continue to do so, those who don’t will continue to berate him, and people trying to play both sides of the fence will continue to pretend to be Nadia Comaneci while holding in their opinions so they can appear above it all.

What the Left isn’t taking into consideration is the fact impeachment isn’t a winning issue to a lot of people, including Democrats. Based on early speculation on how the votes are going to go, there are a handful of Democrats willing to break ranks with the party leadership and vote against impeachment. Given the fact impeachment is polling worse than toejam right now, this isn’t a dumb move on their part. So far, there’s only one former Republican, Justin Amash, willing to vote for impeachment. Now, I’m no math whiz, but if even 2 Democrats vote against impeachment, that’s already a net loss for the Left.

In the grand scheme of things, though, it may not matter. All it takes for a majority in the House is 218 votes, and Democrats have 233 votes currently. If things go by a party line or mostly party line vote, the House will be able to impeach President Trump. Yet, of the two articles so far, only one has any kind of legal foundation. This is enough under the Constitution, but it may not be enough for the voting public. In today’s political climate, even the perfectly justifiable will fall to the whims of the people.

House Democrats have taken a risk with Impeach-A-Palooza, and outside of their allies in the media and their sycophantic ideological bubble-mates, few people have come around to their way of thinking. And with there being less than a year before the 2020 elections, they don’t have the time to spare splitting their time among impeachment, going on cable news shows and talking about impeachment, trying to get something done legislatively that doesn’t suck like a Hoover at the center of a black hole, energizing the base to keep voting and donating, trying to help candidates, watching their pennies as donations to the DNC get drier than a sand martini in Vegas, deciding which member of the Democrat Clown Car to support so they might get a spot in his or her Cabinet should the President be defeated, and pretending they don’t care what the President tweets while acting like Pavlov’s dogs in a room full of alarm clocks all set to go off at the same time.

Whew! I haven’t seen anyone juggle that many balls since the last gay orgy I attended, but that’s another story for another time. In the meantime, I’ll be over here watching Nancy Pelosi play the fiddle while Congress burns.