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Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 23, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Orchestrated Impeachment Inquiry Still Flailing

In his closed-door testimony before the House that was strategically leaked to the press, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor alleged that President Donald Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly announce his intent to open two investigations — the first into Ukraine’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election and the second into Burisma, the Ukrainian energy giant for which Hunter Biden had been a board member. This “explosive” testimony has Democrats and much of the mainstream media triumphantly declaring that they have finally found evidence of the smoking gun.

However, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hit the brakes on the Democrats’ impeachment train. “In 90 seconds,” he said, “we had [Rep.] John Ratcliffe destroy Taylor’s whole argument.” He then pivoted to highlight the fact that this not-yet-voted-on impeachment inquiry is still nothing more than a Democrat-orchestrated show trial. It’s a trial in which a dishonest “Adam Schiff won’t let us talk about what happened,” McCarthy noted, though he added, “There is no quid pro quo.”

Until Democrats actually vote on impeachment and hold public hearings, this whole affair is nothing more than political theater designed to damage Trump’s reelection bid and, if possible, see him removed from office. This is the Democrats’ impeachment 2.0 strategy. After the tale of Russian collusion blew up in their faces following the failure of Robert Mueller’s investigation to pin an impeachable offense on Trump, Democrats opted for Ukraine-gate.

Democrats, supported by their Leftmedia cohorts, declared that Trump is guilty of engaging in an impeachable quid pro quo based upon a dubiously produced “whistleblower” complaint. But the complaint’s primary allegation that Trump pressured Ukraine into digging up dirt on his political rivals was proven wrong by the transcript of the phone call. No matter — Democrats and the Leftmedia insisted that there is reason to initiate an impeachment inquiry, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced but while unilaterally breaking with past precedent to hold a vote to initiate such a serious decision. Pelosi did that to prevent Republicans from interfering in the charade and to make sure that Democrats control the narrative. To that end, Pelosi and company ridiculously assert that in order to get the “truth” of what happened, everything must be done in secret. Thus, the American public is dependent upon learning of the progress of the “impeachment inquiry” via the mouths of Democrats. And we’re to believe this is a serious investigation.

Meanwhile, back to Trump and Ukraine. It does appear that Trump was engaged in seeking to find out who was behind the collusion hoax, a problem that clearly had ties to the U.S. intelligence community. Trump obviously doesn’t trust the intel community, and who could blame him? So while on the one hand the State Department was officially engaged in investigating corruption related to the 2016 election, it also appears that Trump tapped his trusted personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to spearhead a second investigation somewhat independent of the State Department. And given Giuliani’s reputation, it is entirely possible that he pressured Ukraine to investigate.

Trump wants to get those who were responsible for unleashing the whole Russia-collusion hoax. It also seems clear that he fears both the intelligence community and the State Department are still full of members of the deep-state cabal who are out to get him. And the Ukraine “whistleblower” complaint only serves to further support Trump’s suspicions.

Finally, there’s the question of motive. Why would Trump care about Biden if there wasn’t the obvious suspicion of potential corruption related to Biden’s own quid pro quo in 2015 in shutting down the investigation into Burisma? If Biden had not been involved in any significant manner with Ukraine, then Democrats might have an argument. But the fact is Biden was involved, and Trump has every right to find out if Biden’s actions were tainted.

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Lynching Hypocrisy

“Lynching” is a provocative word, given America’s history of an estimated 4,400 blacks murdered in lynchings over a roughly 70-year span. Being provocative is what animates Donald Trump, so it’s no surprise that he chose the word to describe what Democrats are doing with impeachment. “So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump said. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!”

There are times when Trump takes to social media with reactionary, petty, vindictive, and ridiculous things. This is not one of those times.

We’re going to go out on a limb and speculate that, before Trump’s thumbs got to typing his tweet, he already knew what media outlets were soon forced to report: A slew of Democrats — led by Joe Biden — used the word “lynching” to describe Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. We don’t recall a flood of Leftmedia stories back then slamming Democrats for that deliberate word choice or giving historical lectures about the awful history of lynching. But here we are, swamped with such stories now. Of course, these sanctimonious lectures leave out the inconvenient truth that actual lynchings were perpetrated mostly by Democrats.

Biden provided the most humorous “gotcha” for Trump. “Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution,” Biden huffed. “Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable.” But then CNN grudgingly went to the 1998 tape of Biden telling Wolf Blitzer, “Even if the president should be impeached, history will question whether or not this was a partisan lynching.”

Confronted with his own words, Biden was forced to apologize, saying, “This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that.” But, he insisted, Trump is the real sinner because he “chose his words deliberately” (as if Biden hadn’t) and “continues to stoke racial divides in this country daily.”

Poppycock. Trump isn’t “stoking racial divides”; Democrats are.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board argues, “No President should use the word in the off-hand and self-indulgent way that Mr. Trump did in his tweet.” The Journal adds, “The more he forces Republicans to defend words or actions that don’t deserve defending, the more their resentment will build and the more political trouble he will be in.”

That may be true, but it’s also Beltway-New York echo-chamber pablum. Trump was elected precisely because he wouldn’t behave like other presidents and because voters were fed up with other Republicans refusing to stand up to Democrats. In any case, his “trolling” consistently provides one important service to the country: revealing the shameless hypocrisy of Democrats and the Leftmedia.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

WICKED BEDFELLOWS: “Russia and Turkey have agreed to ensure Kurdish forces withdraw from areas close to Syria’s border with Turkey and to launch joint patrols, in a deal hailed as ‘historic’ by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.” (Agence France-Presse)

IDENTITY SOCIALISM: Fake Indian Elizabeth Warren is running out of fake money to pay for her terrible ideas (Reason)

COLLUSION DELUSION: “Do-nothing Congress”: Pelosi, Democrats produce more subpoenas than laws (The Washington Times)

NINTH CIRCUS: Ninth Circuit upholds block on birth-control exemption for religious employers (National Review)

NURTURING COMPETITION: Senate Republican Josh Hawley introduces bipartisan bill empowering users to withdraw their data from social-media giants (National Review)

OFF TO MORE FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS: Tech companies are accelerating their exodus from China (The New American)

MEANWHILE… For the first time, there are fewer wealthy Americans than Chinese (CBS News)

HOT AIR: California governor who wanted higher gas prices wants investigation of high gas prices (Associated Press)

CONCESSION: “The Hong Kong government on Wednesday withdrew the controversial extradition bill that sparked months of violent protests, but that is only one of the five demands that continue to drive protesters to the streets.” (Fox News)

POLICY: Is it time for America to begin decoupling from communist China? (The Federalist)

POLICY: Breathe free: Capitalism helps protect the environment (The Daily Signal)

HUMOR: Hillary Clinton sells out tour for new book, Everyone I Don’t Like Is a Russian Agent (Genesius Times)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “A modern sex scandal has erupted on Capitol Hill. What’s that? You haven’t heard about it? Take one guess as to which party the accused belongs. That’s right — Democrat. Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) allegedly had an intimate relationship with a female member of her campaign staff along with her now-estranged husband. In addition, she also reportedly had an affair with a male congressional staff member. … Hill serves on the House Armed Services Committee and has access to sensitive military information. She would be a perfect target for blackmail. Who knows, perhaps she’s being groomed to be a Russian asset. (Sarcasm alert!) Illicit sex in Washington is hardly breaking news, unless it involves a Republican. Not surprisingly, every major media outlet is ignoring this story. But Hill has clearly violated House ethics rules, passed in the wake of the #MeToo movement, that ban relationships between members of Congress and their congressional staff. Yet the media breathlessly reported on a false dossier that claimed Donald Trump did unspeakable things in a Moscow hotel. Just another day in fake-news land.”

SHORT CUTS

For the record: “The United States engages in quid pro quos all the time when it comes to foreign assistance. Our aid is not charity; Americans expect to get something in return for it.” —Marc A. Thiessen

Cue the outrage machine: “So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching.” —Donald Trump

Double standards: “Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution. Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable.” —Joe Biden, who subsequently said this when his latest example of hypocrisy (see below) was unmasked: “This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that. Trump on the other hand chose his words deliberately today in his use of the word lynching and continues to stoke racial divides in this country daily.”


A trip down memory lane…

“Even if [Bill Clinton] should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard.” —Joe Biden, 1998

“We’re taking a step down the road to becoming a political lynch mob. … We are going to find a rope, find a tree, and ask a bunch of questions later.” —Rep. Jim McDermott, 1998

“In pushing the process, in pushing the arguments of fairness and due process, the Republicans so far have been running a lynch mob.” —Rep. Jerry Nadler, 1998

“The lynch mob … now has a new leader.” —Sen. Harry Reid, 1998

“It is a verbal political lynching on the floor of the Senate.” —Sen. John Kerry, 1998


And last… “Hypocrisy: Kamala Harris called the debunked Jussie Smollett hoax a ‘modern-day lynching.’ Jerry Nadler accused Republicans of running a ‘lynch mob’ against Bill Clinton. No one accused them of racism. There weren’t any Mainstream Media calls for their removal from office.” —Charlie Kirk

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.


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