Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 5, 2019


“In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever character composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason.” —James Madison (1788)

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Impeachment Inquisition: Prof. Turley Hammers Dems

The Democrats’ impeachment charade continued Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, as four constitutional scholars opined over whether President Donald Trump deserves to be impeached. Three of the professors were called by the Democrats and, predictably, argued that Trump’s “crimes” are indeed impeachable. But the fourth actually got it right — this whole fiasco is insane.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at least waited until Thursday morning to instruct the Judiciary Committee to proceed with drawing up articles of impeachment. President Trump “abused his power for his own personal political benefit,” she declared, which “strikes at the very heart of our Constitution.” To hear such melodrama from a Democrat is as amusing as it is pathetically hypocritical. But they have a Christmas deadline to keep.

So, back to the hearings. Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman claimed that the Founding Fathers “would identify President Trump’s conduct as exactly the kind of abuse of office, high crimes and misdemeanors that they were worried about. And they would want the House of Representatives to take appropriate action and to impeach.” Please. In any case, Feldman is hardly a source for unbiased analysis — he’s been calling for Trump’s impeachment for the past three years. A mere two months after Trump’s inauguration, Feldman was demanding his impeachment because he disliked one of Trump’s social-media messages. He also claimed Trump should be impeached over his use of the constitutional pardon power.

Leftist professor Pamela Karlan, who also has a history of repeatedly clamoring for Trump’s impeachment even prior to his taking office, demonstrated her profound anti-Trump bias by claiming that the president sees himself as a king as the setup for a lame and rehearsed joke about why he named his son Baron.

However, the one witness who turned the hearing on its head was the only one called by Republicans — George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley. A Clinton supporter and a Democrat, Turley reiterated that he’s not a Trump backer while he presented the most reasoned, non-biased opinion regarding this impeachment fiasco. He challenged the Democrats’ entire rationale for impeachment, noting that, unlike all prior impeachment proceedings in U.S. history, no case for an actual crime has been established.

“If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president,” Turley argued. He then observed, “We are all mad. Where has that taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad or will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in every future administration? That is why this is wrong.”

Turley also blasted Democrats for abusing their power, the very thing they’ve charged Trump with doing: “President Trump has gone … to the courts. He’s allowed to do that — we have three branches, not two. If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power. You are doing precisely what you’re criticizing the president for doing.”

In their desperation to remove Trump from office with this ridiculous impeachment gambit, Democrats are doing grievous damage to themselves and our governmental institutions. No wonder they have lost the attention and concern of the majority of Americans, as demonstrated by the fact that more Americans are doing online searches for a “controversial” commercial for an exercise bike than for impeachment testimony. Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled Senate confirmed four more of Trump’s court nominees Wednesday, so at least something worthwhile was taking place on Capitol Hill.

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The Strategy Behind the Georgia Senate Pick

Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp appointed multimillionaire businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is retiring to cope with his declining health. Normally, this sort of story would be worth a headline and a shrug, but this time, it involves the president and some infighting among conservatives.

President Donald Trump met with Gov. Kemp to advocate for his own choice for Isakson’s Senate seat — Rep. Doug Collins. The widely reported narrative is that Kemp “bucked” Trump by picking Loeffler instead. For our part, we suspect there was a good cop/bad cop wink and nod here. In other words, Trump gave Kemp some needed political space.

Collins is a staunch conservative who represents the Ninth District, one of Georgia’s most conservative districts; no one questions his credentials. In fact, he’s currently the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, where his task is to defend Trump against the Democrats’ absurd impeachment inquisition. Collins is needed where he is, but, in part due to his vigorous Trump defense, he’s also arguably less well-suited for a statewide Senate contest next year. The state isn’t as “red” as it used to be, primarily because of women in the Atlanta suburbs. Not only does the Senate pick have to win in 2020, but Kemp has to prove he’s not just “doing Trump’s bidding.”

We believe Kemp (and Trump) had this in mind when picking Loeffler. She is a complete unknown to grassroots Republicans, and many wonder if we’re getting a senatorial version John Roberts — acceptable on the surface but an unreliable “moderate” underneath. After all, Loeffler served on the board of Grady Memorial Hospital, the largest provider of abortions in Georgia. She’s also CEO of Bakkt, a bitcoin-focused company, and part owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream. The WNBA donates to Planned Parenthood and other feminist groups, and Loeffler’s involvement in the WNBA means she’s benefited from the cronyism that funds sports stadiums across the country.

But Kemp’s no dummy, and he’s most certainly not trying to win the approval of the Planned Parenthood Left. In fact, he’s doing his best to keep conservative support. He signed one of the most pro-life laws in the country last year despite the threats of Hollywood, which is heavily invested in the Peach State. Kemp’s stand is all the more remarkable after the previous Republican governor caved to the Rainbow Mafia and vetoed a religious-liberty bill after having promised to sign it.

Kemp stood firm against critics of his yet-to-be-announced Senate pick, too. “I stand with hardworking Georgians and @POTUS,” Kemp tweeted last month. “The idea that I would appoint someone to the U.S. Senate that is NOT pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-freedom, and 100% supportive of our President (and his plan to Keep America Great) is ridiculous.”

Meanwhile, for all the caterwauling about Kemp “bowing to the Swamp” with his pick, it’s interesting to note that he choose the self-made millionaire who isn’t beholden to any political base and who isn’t currently employed in the Beltway. As Loeffler put it, “I am not a career politician or even someone who’s run for office. Over the last 25 years, I’ve been building businesses, taking risks, and creating jobs. I haven’t spent my life trying to get to Washington.”

As for her conservative bona fides, she says, “But here’s what folks are gonna find out about me: I’m a lifelong conservative. Pro-Second Amendment. Pro-military. Pro-wall. And pro-Trump. And I make no apologies for my conservative values, and will proudly support President Trump’s conservative judges. I am strongly pro-life. The abortion-on-demand agenda is immoral. In the Senate, I look forward to voting for S. 160, Senator Lindsey Graham’s 20-week abortion ban. When it comes to protecting innocent life, I look to God because every life is a blessing. In Washington, I will work with President Trump to continue the incredible economic progress our nation has seen.”

Obviously, Loeffler’s actual track record has yet to be established and there are indeed questions — if not outright flags — about what we do know, but she checked a lot of the right boxes with her remarks. “As an outsider to Washington, I know I will have to prove it,” she admitted. “To earn your confidence and support, with my votes, my priorities, and my actions. And that’s exactly what I’ll do.” As long as that’s the case, the controversy surrounding her pick will soon be a distant memory.

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


NEXT STAGE: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asks Jerry Nadler to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment (National Review)

GETTING ACTUAL BUSINESS DONE: The Senate confirmed four federal judges while the House heard impeachment testimony (The Daily Caller)

AWKWARD: Jerry Nadler dozes off during impeachment hearing (PJ Media)

ADIOS: Trump cancels NATO press conference, heads back to DC after being mocked by Justin Trudeau (The Daily Wire)

HARD PILL TO SWALLOW: Pelosi drug-pricing plan could keep 100 new medicines from reaching patients (The Washington Free Beacon)

THE CATALYST? A BUTTERFLY SANCTUARY: Judge temporarily halts construction of a private border wall in Texas (The Hill)

RUSSIANS CHARGED: Two Russian hackers charged in sweeping malware attack on U.S. (NBC News)

KEY WITNESS AN “IMPOSTER”? George Zimmerman sues Trayvon Martin’s family for $100 million in damages (NBC News)

POLICY: Principled inaction in the face of climate-change extremism (Human Events)

POLICY: The surprising role of high-income families in student debt trends (American Enterprise Institute)

HUMOR: House hears testimony from renowned, unbiased legal scholar Hillga Clintonheimer (The Babylon Bee)

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

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Rich Lowry: “The economy is in robust good health, but our social fabric isn’t. By two basic measures of social vitality, births and deaths, American society is faltering. Both the fertility rate and life expectancy are declining, in a sign that people feel less secure and, in some cases, have no hope at all. … To put it bluntly, contemporary America is characterized by less pro-creation and more self-destruction. This suggests something is profoundly wrong with the state of the union, although it doesn’t receive the attention and the debate it deserves. … If we can get a handle on the opioid crisis, it will make an enormous difference, but the trends in life expectancy and fertility ought to occasion soul-searching. How is it that a society as technologically advanced and affluent as ours can’t provide a more inviting environment for childbearing or the supports to keep people from doing themselves grievous harm? Even if there are no ready policy answers, the question must be asked.”


Observations: “Contrary to the Democrats’ story, regurgitated in Schiff’s report, there is no contradiction in believing both that Russia hacked to harm Democrats and that Ukraine meddled to harm Trump.” —Andrew McCarthy

For the record: “A new Economist/YouGov poll … asks Americans the question: ‘Are you better off now than you were four years ago?’ Among registered voters, 50% say yes and just 32% say no, while 17% say they’re not sure. Even among the President’s opponents there is some acknowledgment of progress in the Trump era.” —James Freeman

Upright I: “I get it. You’re mad. The president’s mad. My Republican friends are mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog seems mad and Luna is a golden-doodle and they don’t get mad. So, we’re all mad. Where has it taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad or will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in every future administration? That is why this is wrong.” —George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley

Upright II: “I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president. That does not bode well for future presidents who are working in a country often sharply and, at times, bitterly divided.” —Jonathan Turley

Upright III: “I’m not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him. My personal and political views of President Trump are irrelevant to my impeachment testimony, as they should be to your impeachment vote. As I have previously written, such misuses of impeachment would convert our process into a type of no-confidence vote of Parliament. Impeachment has become an impulse buy item in our raging political environment.” —Jonathan Turley

Nope: “My campaign is evolving the same way President Obama’s did.” —Sen. Cory Booker

World’s smallest violin: “You know, I went to the inauguration of Donald Trump, which was one of the hardest days of my life, to be honest. Obviously, I was crushed, I was disappointed, and I was really surprised because I couldn’t figure out what had happened.” —Hillary Clinton

Gender dysphoria? “Well, contrary to what you may hear, I actually like men.” —Hillary Clinton

Non compos mentis: “I was personally surprised at how popular Reagan is in the Soviet Union.” —Bernie Sanders in the 1980s

And last… “The Democrats’ major complaint against Trump is that he has abused his power, yet everything they’re doing is abusive of their power. They have handled this so poorly, they have concealed their true intentions so ineptly, that they are going to be in worse electoral trouble.” —David Limbaugh

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