“Men of energy of character must have enemies; because there are two sides to every question, and taking one with decision, and acting on it with effect, those who take the other will of course be hostile in proportion as they feel that effect.” —Thomas Jefferson (1817)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Trump ‘Acquitted for Life’
- The Political Tragedy of Mitt Romney
- Filed: Department of Justice Criminal Complaint Against Rep. Nancy Pelosi
- Sandbagging Sanders
- Ronald Reagan’s Birthday
- President Donald Trump’s SOTU Guest List
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Wednesday was a memorable day for our Republic. For only the third time in U.S. history, the Senate voted to acquit the president of articles of impeachment introduced by the House. To this day, no U.S. president has been convicted by the Senate and removed from office, and with President Donald Trump the vote wasn’t even close. In a clear repudiation of the House Democrats’ partisan impeachment charade, the Senate voted 53-47 and 52-48 acquitting Trump of the Democrats’ two vacuous charges. The lone Republican siding with the Democrats on the “abuse of power” charge was, unsurprisingly, Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee who lost to Barack Obama. Thus ends the most hyper-partisan impeachment in U.S. history.
Trump celebrated his acquittal and promised to further respond to “our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” by noon Thursday. It certainly is a big win for the president, for the Republican Party, and for the country. Once again, the wisdom of our Framers was poignantly displayed, as the Democrats’ politically motived gambit failed precisely because impeachment was never designed or intended to be used as a political tool by the opposing party to oust a duly elected president over purely partisan sentiments. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “Chalk up one more victory for the Framers of the Constitution, who realized the dangers of political factions and created the Senate to check them.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s petulant action of tearing up her copy of Trump’s State of the Union Address perfectly matched the grossly partisan nature of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. Thus, in response to her declaration that Trump is “impeached for life,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy shared a video of himself declaring Trump “Acquitted for life” as he tears up a copy of the articles of impeachment.
Getting back to the vote, what may have come as a minor surprise was the fact that Joe Manchin (WV) and Doug Jones (AL), Democrat senators representing solidly pro-Trump states, voted to convict Trump. Then again, it’s really not surprising at all. In Jones’s case, his chance for winning reelection in 2020 in deep-red Alabama is so slim that no matter how he voted he’s unlikely to win — so why break with his party? He might as well be a loyal sailor and go down with the ship.
In Manchin’s case, the calculation was that of pragmatism. He’s not up for reelection until 2024, so that was hardly a pressing concern. The bigger factor was his standing within the party and the reality that if the Democrats win control of the Senate in November he doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of Chuck Schumer for failing to hold the party line. In all likelihood, Schumer also engaged in a little quid pro quo with Manchin to ensure his vote to convict. As we have previously noted, the Democrats’ primary aim with their impeachment gambit was not the removal of Trump but winning control of the Senate. Schumer’s oft-repeated talking point is that Senate Republicans held an unfair impeachment trial. For that to have any appearance of credibility, he couldn’t have any Democrat defectors.
Finally, immediately following the Senate’s acquittal vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got back to business by filing cloture on several judges. He continues the unrelentingly effort to act on Trump’s agenda to fill the nation’s federal courts with solid constitutionally committed judges.
With his vote to convict President Donald Trump on one of the two dubious articles of impeachment, Mitt Romney became the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president of his own party. He also managed to cement himself as arguably the biggest tragedy in American politics in recent years.
Romney has served his country, including saving the 2002 Winter Olympics while working for free and serving a term as governor of Massachusetts, also forgoing his salary. He twice ran for president, which takes an enormous commitment of time and energy that, in Romney’s case at least, indicates a deep love for the country and a desire to make it better. The same can be said for Trump’s decision to run for the office. Had Romney won in 2008 or 2012, our nation would have been spared all or some of the woeful Barack Obama years.
As we noted in 2016, Romney was right about Trump’s numerous flaws. (If President Trump’s personal life had been closer to Romney’s, the GOP would potentially be in a much better position in the suburbs.) And Romney has been correct about our departure from the principles of the Founders.
That said, despite grasping the problem, Romney is a deeply flawed messenger who is unable to bring himself to do what needs to be done in order to get back to those principles — partly because he has been on both sides of every important issue. Trump, character flaws and his own flip-flopping notwithstanding, has been willing to fight the Left.
Arguably, Romney’s “good guy” persona has rendered him unable to deal with the realities we currently face. In 2012, he was viciously attacked as a tax cheat by Harry Reid and accused of wanting to put African Americans back in chains by Joe Biden. Had a fraction of the fire and energy Romney aims at Trump been directed at Reid and Biden in the 2012 election, Romney would have won and rendered Trump unnecessary. Instead, he’s relegated to throwing barbs at Trump from the Senate, even if he does support the president’s agenda 80% of the time (more than several other Republicans).
While turning the other cheek may be good for the soul, in politics, it is unilateral disarmament.
Romney’s vote to convict burned a lot of bridges and, in 2024, he will have to face the voters of Utah, who will render their verdict. He may well end up a one-term senator when he could have been a good president. That is the real tragedy.
To the Honorable William Pelham Barr, United States Attorney General, and to the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice:
At approximately 2218 hours on Tuesday, 04 February 2020, I witnessed clear and indisputable evidence of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Speaker of the House, committing an act that I believe brazenly and feloniously violates federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 2071. In fact, her actions were witnessed by federal law-enforcement officials and she may have colluded with members of her political caucus who were also witness to this act, in premeditation for the commission of this offense. Please see this video evidence in support of this complaint that Rep. Pelosi violated 18 U.S.C. 2071 and the Presidential Records Act of 1978.
President Donald Trump clearly outlined, prior to Pelosi’s criminal actions, that the State of the Union is strong. The success of this administration deeply concerns Rep. Pelosi and her U.S. Senate counterpart, Charles Schumer (D-NY), leaders of the Democrat Party, because the success of the Trump administration on behalf of the American people threatens the Pelosi/Schumer political dynasty.
As evidence of her malicious intent, Rep. Pelosi bookended the President’s speech with insults, deliberately omitting the traditional words of introduction, “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States,” and opting instead to state, “Members of Congress, the President of the United States.”
Once at the podium, President Trump personally delivered to Rep. Pelosi the official signed State of the Union transcript as prepared for the Congress.
During the President’s remarks, Rep. Pelosi scored cuts in the official transcript of the State of the Union, demonstrating premeditation in preparation for destroying it at the conclusion of the speech. After the President completed his remarks, Rep. Pelosi committed an act that starkly demonstrated her cadre’s hatred of Mr. Trump and his grassroots American supporters, whom these partisans loathe.
Rep. Pelosi took the official State of the Union transcript and, page-by-page, willfully mutilated and destroyed that document. Rep. Pelosi maliciously obliterated what she called the “dirty” speech, later confessing: “I tore it up. I was trying to find one page with truth on it. I couldn’t.” Notably, Rep. Pelosi also shredded the names of the great Americans listed on those pages, living and deceased, and the names of Americans in the gallery. In doing so, she libelously denigrated each of them personally by suggesting there was no truth to their life stories.
The actions of Rep. Pelosi constitute a violation of 18 U.S.C. 2071, actions that were premeditated in collusion with co-conspirators within her caucus. The signed official State of the Union Address that Rep. Pelosi destroyed was property of the United States of America. Rep. Pelosi had no records-disposition order providing her with the specific authority to destroy that official government record.
Further, the White House media director confirmed, “The speech she ripped up was a one-of-a-kind record, signed by POTUS… It belonged to the American people, not to [Pelosi].” That assessment was affirmed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Thus, this official signed transcript of the State of the Union speech falls under the Presidential Records Act of 1978.
According to 18 U.S.C. 2071: “Whoever, having the custody of any such record … willfully and unlawfully … mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit [his or her] office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”
Concurring with this assessment that Rep. Pelosi violated 18 U.S.C. 2071, House Judiciary Committee member Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has filed an official complaint with the House Committee on Ethics, noting: “There is no question that Speaker Pelosi ‘mutilated, obliterated, or destroyed’ the copy of the President’s address provided to her. The law does not allow the Speaker of the House to destroy the records of the House…”
I respectfully request a prompt reply from the Department of Justice concerning this criminal complaint and the legality of Rep. Pelosi’s actions, as well as of those who had prior knowledge of this criminal act.
Publisher, The Patriot Post
When are “coincidences” no longer believable — and a Democrat Party civil war seemingly inevitable?
On February 1, the Des Moines Register informed its readers why it decided not to release the final installment of the CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll, indicating where the Democrat presidential candidates stood heading into Monday’s first-in-the-nation primary (caucus) vote. According to the paper, “A candidate’s name was omitted in at least one interview in which the respondent was asked to name their preferred candidate.” And despite the fact that it appeared to be a single instance, the paper decided not to publish the same poll it has conducted and published for 76 years “out of an abundance of caution.”
Perhaps. Or perhaps, as a tweet by reporter/conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich indicated, Bernie Sanders finished first and Joe Biden finished last. For the less conspiratorial, political analysis website FiveThirtyEight’s final poll on February 3 had Biden in second place, but Sanders still maintained the top spot.
After Monday night, none of it was supposed to matter because the Iowa caucuses would remove all doubt as to which candidate the voters preferred.
Except that they didn’t. Although denied by party officials, a disastrous new smartphone app created for caucus organizers by Shadow, a tech firm run by veterans of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, failed to properly tally the votes. The chaos continued into Wednesday evening. While results remained officially unfinished, three things became clear: Biden’s media-anointed status as the frontrunner is a sham, Sanders remains a potent force, and a Democrat Party that wants to run the country is composed of embarrassing incompetents bedazzled by dubious technology.
Regardless, that’s two coincidences. Yet for Sanders supporters, two other developments also seemed destined to undercut their candidate. One is the reality that the DNC has changed the debate rules — candidates no longer need to meet a minimum number of donations to appear on the debate stage in Nevada on February 19. This paves the way for the appearance of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is not soliciting any campaign donations. Again, it is undoubtedly sheer coincidence that Bloomberg is the only Democrat candidate who has personally donated money to the DNC, to the tune of $300,000.
Two, Sanders supporters believe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s delay in sending articles of impeachment to the Senate was designed to keep Sanders off the campaign trail, while Biden remained unimpeded by the subsequent trial. This particular manipulation was seen as a reprise of the DNC’s effort to undermine Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Democrats are facing a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” conundrum. If Sanders wins the nomination, the man who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, praised Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba and the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, and advocates for free college, free healthcare (even for illegal aliens), a moratorium on deportations, and just about every other big-government, redistributionist, national-debt-exploding scheme imaginable would likely get crushed in the general election.
On the other hand, if Bernie loses the nomination and his supporters believe it’s due to DNC malfeasance or subterfuge, they will likely stay home, or possibly vote third party, also enabling Trump to prevail.
A brokered convention? According to Politico, a handful of Democrat insiders have “discussed the possibility of a policy reversal to ensure that so-called superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the party’s national convention.” This is viewed as a way to “potentially weaken Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and head off a brokered convention.”
In 2016, superdelegates were allowed to vote on the first ballot, and they overwhelmingly sided with Hillary Clinton. The rule was changed to placate the party’s increasingly leftist members, who viewed it as an integral part of the effort to sandbag Sanders. His supporters would undoubtedly be enraged by any reversal of the reversal.
Yet if a brokered convention occurs and a possibly front-running Sanders is still sandbagged by party insiders? At the 1968 Democrat Convention, there was rioting in the streets outside the International Amphitheatre in Chicago. This time there might be rioting on the convention floor itself at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, especially when one considers some of the revealed comments made by a Sanders campaign operative. “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination or if it goes to a second round at the DNC convention, f—ing Milwaukee will burn,” said campaign staffer Kyle Jurek. “It’ll start in Milwaukee. And when the police push back on that, other cities will just explode.”
As for Sanders himself, The Washington Post reports that, if elected, he would issue a series of executive orders “he could unilaterally enact.” They include a halt of border-wall construction, a reversal of Trump’s immigration policy, the reinstatement of the Obama administration policy granting legal status to illegal aliens, declaring climate change a national emergency (and thus halting the exportation of oil), and the cancellation of federal contracts for businesses paying workers less than $15 an hour.
For Democrats who don’t “feel the Bern,” such policies are untenable. “Democratic donors and party insiders are warning that large swaths of their voters could stay home — or even defect to Trump — if Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders snags the nomination,” the New York Post reports. Michael Kempner, a longtime Democrat donor who has given money to Biden and Pete Buttigieg, sees the proverbial writing on the wall. “For Democrats to win,” he warns, “the election must be a referendum on Trump and not a debate about socialism.”
By contrast, columnist Roger L. Simon believes that debate is exactly what America needs. “This wouldn’t be a so-called ‘uni-party’ election resulting in minor differences in the tax code, as it usually does,” he explains. “Trump versus Sanders would be capitalism versus socialism!”
Undoubtedly. Moreover, there is a searing irony attached to this ongoing debacle: A Democrat Party that has long cultivated an increasingly radical-leftist, power-consolidating agenda now has a genuinely radical-leftist candidate with the backing of equally radical supporters — but the party establishment is terrified.
Why? Because unlike other Democrats, Sanders has upended the party tradition of obscuring its radicalism until after the election. In short, Sanders won’t make phony centrist appeals that conflict with his agenda just to win votes. He is, as they say, “all in.”
The Democrat establishment? It will go all out to stop him. “Hell hath no fury like Bernie’s millennials if they are thwarted,” warns columnist Miranda Devine.
Thwarted? Betrayed is the far more likely scenario. And it won’t be even slightly coincidental.
Thursday, Feb. 6, marks the 109th anniversary of President Ronald Wilson Reagan’s birthday, or, as he would have phrased it, the 70th anniversary of his 39th birthday.
Either way, we’re grateful beyond measure for his service to our country, the shining City on a Hill, and his steadfast devotion to American Liberty.
In honor of his birthday, we remember “The Speech” — his 1964 address that vaulted him to national prominence: “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing. … You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right, there is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”
“It’s time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, ‘We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government.’ This idea — that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power — is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”
He concluded, “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.”
We also invite you to visit The Patriot Post’s vast collection of commentary and resources on our nation’s 40th president.
Mark Alexander’s essays:
And, of course, Reagan2020.US
The honored guests that President Donald Trump recognized during his State of the Union address included:
Stephanie and Janiyah Davis from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Janiyah is stuck in a failing school, though Trump is pushing for school choice to help her.
Kelli and Gage Hake from Stillwater, Oklahoma, were there to represent Gold Star Families after Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake was killed while serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.
Jody Jones from Farmersville, California, lost his brother, who was brutally murdered by an illegal alien.
Iain Lanphier from Scottsdale, Arizona, wants to join the Space Force, and he’s the great-grandson of Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee.
Carl and Marsha Mueller from Prescott, Arizona, lost their daughter, Kayla, to the brutal jihadi Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz from Del Rio, Texas, has helped protect America’s homeland for nearly three decades.
Tony Rankins from Cincinnati, Ohio, served in the Army in Afghanistan. Due to PTSD, he became addicted to drugs and ended up losing his job, family, and home. He now works in an Opportunity Zone and has overcome addiction, rejoining his family.
Robin and Ellie Schneider from Kansas City, Missouri — Ellie was born at 21 weeks, six days, and is one of the youngest premies to survive in the U.S.
Amy Williams works full time for the Army and devotes hundreds of hours to helping military families, all while raising her two children as her husband — Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams — serves on his fourth deployment. The Williams Family, of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were reunited at the Address.
Each of these Americans, in their own way, represent the greatness of our country, and Trump masterfully wove them into his State of the Union Address.
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Read 2020: The Great State of the Union. “I say to the people of our great country and to the members of Congress: The state of our Union is stronger than ever before.”
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GRANDSTANDING WAS REHEARSED: Pelosi pre-ripped SOTU speech during Trump address (Fox News)
AWESOME: McConnell, immediately after impeachment acquittal, files cloture on more judges to remake judiciary (The Daily Wire)
“HE SHREDDED THE TRUTH”: Pelosi unloaded on Trump in private meeting after SOTU standoff (Politico)
REMINDER: Top Romney adviser worked with Hunter Biden on board of Ukrainian energy company (The Federalist)
CLEARER PICTURE: Buttigieg, Sanders nearly tied as Iowa caucus results narrow (AP)
TRADE TRUCE: China cuts tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. imports (AP)
FOR THE RECORD: ObamaCare made things worse for patients with preexisting conditions (The Daily Signal)
RAINBOW MAFIA: “Sesame Street” to feature cross-dressing gay entertainer for impressionable preschoolers (The Federalist)
WHEN RITUAL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN REUSE: Baltimore County admits it hasn’t been recycling glass for seven years; it still encourages residents to recycle glass (Reason)
POLICY: The deregulatory achievements of the Trump Labor Department (National Review)
POLICY: As Trump said in State of the Union, demand for school choice is huge (Washington Examiner)
SATIRE: Democrats leave chair empty at State of the Union to honor fallen hero Qasem Soleimani (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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- Video: Pelosi and Her Fellow Dems Have SOTU Sadness — Whether it was shaking heads or tearing up Trump’s speech, Democrats weren’t too happy.
- Video: Rush Limbaugh’s Diagnosis Threatens Voice of Conservatism — Due to advanced lung cancer, Limbaugh’s dynasty faces its biggest challenge yet.
- Video: It’s Black History Month, but This Time Something’s Different — Allen West deciphers the philosophical and principle shift occurring among blacks.
- Video: The Narrative vs. the Truth on Healthcare — Jason Siler addresses the Left’s bogus narrative regarding our healthcare system.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
No kidding: “I wish Romney fought as hard for voters in 2012 as he does against the Trump administration.” —Dana Loesch
Just saying: “I wasn’t sure if [Nancy Pelosi] was ripping up the speech or ripping up the Constitution.” —Mike Pence
Friendly fire: “A warning to Democrats — what [President Trump] was saying to African-Americans can be effective. You may not like it, but he mentioned HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities]. Our black colleges have been struggling for a long time — a bunch of them have gone under. He threw a lifeline to them, in real life, in his budget. He talked about that. He talked about the criminal justice reform. He talked about opportunity zones. He talked about school choice. … We got to wake up, folks. … We say, ‘Well, he said "s-hole nations,” therefore all black people gonna hate him forever.’ That ain’t necessarily so.“ —Van Jones
A stopped clock is right twice a day: "Those were some really poignant moments. I don’t know if you saw them, but you should go online and look. The president in that speech [Tuesday night] celebrated what the country is about from one set of moments, our diversity, how we overcome, how we come together.” —CNN’s Chris Cuomo
Snowflake: “Even the mention of Brett Kavanaugh for me is a trigger. Just as a woman in America, the fact that he, you know, rightfully was accused, and having an incredibly strong woman come before the public and the world and tell her story of sexual assault by this person that was appointed to the Supreme Court is just — I couldn’t stand still and not do anything about it, and I needed to walk away from that.” —Rep. Rashida Tlaib on why she stormed out of the SOTU
Hot air: “In the year 2020, how can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change?” —Sen. Bernie Sanders
No way to spin it: “I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We took a gut punch in Iowa. The whole process took a gut punch. But look, this isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been knocked down.” —Joe Biden on his fourth-place finish
Spare us the dialogue: “As the president’s impeachment trial began, Republican senators pledged an oath to defend the Constitution. Today, 52 of them voted to betray that oath — and all of us. We’re entering dangerous territory for our democracy. It’ll take all of us working together to restore it.” —Hillary Clinton
And last… “Democrats think President Donald Trump committed a high crime or misdemeanor the moment he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. That is the original sin of this presidency — that he won, and they lost.” —Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
Join us in prayer for our Patriots in uniform and their families — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way, and for our nation’s First Responders. We also ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the Spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis