Public Service Announcement
I was going to leave this as a comment, but it deserves a post.
This morning I read a comment from someone who says that he “used to respect” me for my work as a DA and my behavior through the Kimberlin saga, but now he apparently does not respect me because I believe Donald Trump is corrupt and should be removed from office. I think he believed the expression of that opinion hurt me. It did not. Comments like that used to bother me, but not any longer. Today, I see many comments like that a lot, on my blog or on Twitter. I block the people, or ban them, dust off my hands, and go on with my day.
If you claim to have respected me in the past, for my media criticism, for my work as a prosecutor, for my willingness to take on Brett Kimberlin and refusal to settle with him, or whatever — and now you say you don’t respect me because I don’t like Trump — you never respected me. You respected an image of me that wasn’t me. You respected an image of someone who you believed was a partisan warrior who would always be on your “side” regardless of what your side did. You didn’t know me, you didn’t respect me, and I’m glad to be rid of you.
I wrote a fairly impassioned post last night praising the closing argument of Adam Schiff and bemoaning the fact that Mike Lee and Ben Sasse, two men *I* used to respect, are going to back Trump to the hilt. The thing is, I respected the image of those guys, that they projected through their books and public speeches. But as it turns out, my image was different from the actual men — who, as it turns out, are flawed (as all men are), and weak, and who could not muster the necessary courage in the end (which is not true of all men). Like my commenter, I respected my vision of a person, but I didn’t know the person — and in the end, the person is not the image. I’m not the unwavering partisan warrior that my commenter thought he respected, and Mike Lee and Ben Sasse are not (as far as I can tell, though I’d love to be surprised!) the stand-up guys I thought they were.
So be it.
In comments to that post, at least a couple of my longtime friends have expressed opinions about this whole saga — opinions that I disagree with strongly. One believes Trump to have been railroaded. One believes Trump to be a fool but says he is not the danger; his puppeteers are. I disagree with them, but they are friends — as dear friends as someone whom I have never met can be — and I am not going to simply cast them aside because they have a different opinion about some political matter than I do. (If they had spent their lives portraying themselves as heroes of the Constitution, and had any actual say over this matter and caved, things might be different!)
Someone who casts me aside over Donald Farking Trump? Feh. Be on your way.
Thus ends the announcement.
Thank you.Patterico (115b1f) — 1/24/2020 @ 7:52 am
I respected you. I still respect you. I can honestly say that I fundamentally agree with you though I think there are numerous other reasons that Trump is unfit for office aside from the Ukraine affair. I’m sure I will continue to lurk and occasionally comment here and I hope the respect is mutual.Gryph (08c844) — 1/24/2020 @ 7:59 am
There was a time, not so long ago, when abhorrent events such as the rise of ISIS wouuld lead me to think, “This, too, shall pass.”
Today, I’m not so sure, but the posts and comments here continue to give he hope.
Thank youJohn B Boddie (286277) — 1/24/2020 @ 8:04 am
If every President since 1901, with either a “Bad Character” or had abused power had been driven from office by Congress we’d have lost the Following:
TR, FDR, Wilson, Harding, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama. But only Nixon was forced to resign and only Clinton was impeached. We already have a way of getting rid of President’s with bad character, the ballot box.rcocean (1a839e) — 1/24/2020 @ 8:35 am
Thing about the Kimberlin lawfare was that there was always this effort to make it partisan. That seemed to serve to gain allies just on inertia of allegiance. I also think this hurt with some judges seeing the whole matter as nothing more than people fighting over politics and taking it too far.
I think a lot of the great people who supported free speech repeated over and over that it wasn’t about left vs right.
Almost no one I used to read back then shares my view on Trump. I’m profoundly disappointed that so many pundits have sold out. It’s great to criticize democrat misconduct or political ideas that are foolish, but the whole time I really thought that these guys would say the same, if a Republican president were corrupt. And for most of them, that’s just not true.
This blog has always really drawn out a lot of anger for being more about basic principles and less about profit or allegiance to other blogs, or partisanship. I’m really glad there are a few like that. I’m also glad some Trump supporters come here to engage, even if their arguments are repetitive. The trolls in that (or other groups) shouldn’t be conflated with the guys who are at least exposing themselves to the argument that Trump’s a corrupt leader.
I encourage the angry online-all-day infowarrior guys to really try hard to apply their support of Trump to similar behavior for any other politician. But I know that can’t happen. Trump’s going to get consistent benefit of the doubt so many how off-the-rails he is. Also I encourage them to go outside. Some of the loudest voices online are online a suspiciously high portion of the day, and I think this loyalty to a politician might be all they have in their lives. Something really sad has happened to these people.
Also, Ace of Spades talks a lot about manliness and cucks for a coward who abandoned his friends when Kimberlin told him to. As Ace said when he started covering that story, “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.” It’s no surprise that those wrapping their identity and worth in their support of a political faction and opposition to a political faction have identity and worth issues.Dustin (b8d6d1) — 1/24/2020 @ 8:37 am
I respect you too, since you’ve never – to my admittedly limited knowledge – held yourself out as some Leader of the Conservative movement or Right-wing Republican, nor allowed others to publicly hold you out as such. You’ve always maintained your distance and made it obvious you disagreed with parts of Conservative Orthodoxy. So your dislike of Trump was no surprise.
Based on my limited reading.rcocean (1a839e) — 1/24/2020 @ 8:39 am
4. Yeah, cause that worked so well in the past…Gryph (08c844) — 1/24/2020 @ 8:39 am
One believes Trump to have been railroaded.
Heh! I probably still like Cruz more than you do these days, as well. And we have hardly ever agreed on Justin Amash (or Rand Paul, either, I think).nk (1d9030) — 1/24/2020 @ 8:40 am
6. Repeat after me, children: “Trump is not conservative.”Gryph (08c844) — 1/24/2020 @ 8:40 am
“You’ve always maintained your distance and made it obvious you disagreed with parts of Conservative Orthodoxy. So your dislike of Trump was no surprise.”
Do you think anyone here, conservative or liberal – other than you, maybe – is dumb enough to believe that Donald Trump has anything to do with “Conservative Orthodoxy”?
More likely you are just trolling, as usual.Leviticus (efada1) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:00 am
I read and commented on this blog in 2007 (using the handle LagunaDave), but drifted away for reasons I don’t recall (in 2008 I had a health problem that caused me to tune out politics through most of the presidential campaign, and that probably had a lot to do with it).
After Trump’s nomination, election and inauguration, I watched as many of the conservative voices I had enjoyed and respected – Glenn Reynolds, the Powerline guys, Rush, Drudge, half the people at National Review, and plenty of others – unmasked themselves as unprincipled partisan hacks.
After the first month or two, I realized none of them were going to stand up for what they had professed in the past, and hold Trump accountable. No, they were going to defend or excuse every indefensible and inexcusable thing he did (and he would give them plenty of opportunities…) for the next four years.
In my dismay at what was happening to my country, and the party I had supported for 40 years, I wanted someone to commiserate with, but the list of people who would still tell the truth was depressingly short.
There was Jonah Goldberg, but he’s more of a syndicated writer than a blogger. There was Allahpundit, but HotAir is overrun with Trumpkins and the comment section was toxic even before Trump crawled out of his sewer.
One day, as I sat depressed in front of my computer monitor, an idea came to mind, seemingly out of nowhere:
“What about that Patterico guy?”
I thought, “You know, he was pretty honest. He might not have sold his soul to the devil. Let’s see.”
I have to say, you seemed to be much more equivocal back then (February or March 2017?), but you were not giving Trump a pass on the evil stuff he had said and done in the past. You seemed to be hoping that your worst fears would turn out to be wrong. Which was a perfectly reasonable position to take, for an optimist (I’m not an optimist, in case you haven’t noticed…).
Optimism in regard to Trump, of course, is now dead and buried.
Anyway, I’m glad that my image of you as an honest conservative turned out to be right!Dave (1bb933) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:03 am
I used to respect Breitbart. Then he died. Now I don’t.Kevin M (19357e) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:24 am
Some of my dearest friends are hardcore Trump supporters waiting for next civil war and the end times, who think Obama is a Kenyan and Hillary killed 30 people with her bare hands. So be it. I will not let a schmuck like Trump decide who my friends are.
I appreciated your posts on RS before the purge, Mr. P. Ironically a lot of politically disengaged people like me are learning about Conservatism after-the-fact. Your movement isn’t dead, folks, don’t give up (in case you might be tempted to, not that you were).JRH (e25db5) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:25 am
@13. By after-the-fact, I think non-engaged folks like me did get shocked by Trump. The infighting within Conservatism attracted bystanders like me. Gawkers to watch the infighting, who learned some things. I learned: you folks are not racist, mean, bigoted. You’re adhere to a set of principles. That’s all it is. I regret believing what the MSM told me for years. That you guys were in some way bad. I do see now the error of that and see how it led us to Trump. Hope we can move forward to better places. somehow someway.JRH (e25db5) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:36 am
Again I say this in defense of professional politicians in a party system: At some point party and principle will collide. Because of the way parties work (and the whole point of parties in the first place) a politician who chooses to stand outside the party on principle will find his support evaporating. “You don’t support us, we don’t support you.”
Now, maybe, when a party goes over the edge, like the GOP has with Trump or the Dems have done with the totalitarians, it makes sense to stand to the side. Maybe that will work if others do. Romney — say what you will about his flip-flopping — has stood more on principle against Trump than 98% of his party. The fact that he’s got a safe seat, and is old enough not to really care anyway, gives him some room. But even he is not going to cut the party adrift. Mike Lee has no such leeway.
It is rare to see a politician tell his own party to frack off. McCain got away with it for a while, but lost the support he needed in the end. Bernie has done it forever, and has undying support from a few. But the rest of the party hates him and will sit on their hands if he’s the nominee. Wellstone, McGovern, Palin, Wayne Morse, Goldwater, Pete McCloskey, Gene McCarthy, Ron Paul (never really a Republican) — all stood on principle and got nowhere when they needed the party behind them.
So, if you lose respect for someone who sucks it up in order to fight another day, it’s like saying that you prefer soldiers who don’t surrender. Judge them instead by how unforced their support for the wayward party is, and where they choose to offer it.Kevin M (19357e) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:41 am
Disagreement is fine but something about Trump has ripped away the veneer that most Americans want to think and use reason in politics (and in life). I always thought Americans were serious people talking about serious topics in a serious way, but now I realize that too many see their best/only contribution as venting about how things make them feel or insulting others.DRJ (15874d) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:41 am
I don’t agree with you about Trump, or at least the reptilian, hooray for our side part of my brain doesn’t agree with you, but have always appreciated your honesty and commitment to principle. Keep it up and don’t change.RL formerly in Glendale (40f5aa) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:46 am
Not every one who bends with the wind likes the wind.Kevin M (19357e) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:46 am
Well said.Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:51 am
It’s your site, and when commenters get personal or engage in unfounded attacks, I don’t see a problem with bam-sticking them for their incivility. It’s like a guest at your house deciding it’s okay to sh*t on the Persian rug that really tied the room together.
The guy also likened you to LGF, which is a lie. Charles Johnson will kick you out for merely disagreeing with him (which happened to me), and I don’t see that going on here.
Pat, I’ve haunted your blog since it started. There must be a reason I’m still here. If it’s not always agreement with your opinion du jour — but it is often enough — it’s respect for the blog itself and the community you’ve built — with the certain knowledge about how hard that was to do.Kevin M (19357e) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:51 am
First, thank you and your co-bloggers for maintain this blog. I like it and I appreciate the time you spend creating content for to read and discuss. Second, there are a number of things I disagree with you on. But I’ve always respected your adherence to principle and your ability to acknowledge edge cases and instances where two valid goods are on competition. I also respect and appreciate the time and energy you put into getting things factually correct.Time123 (c9382b) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:01 am
I was about to comment when I read @times123’s comment. They said it better than I would have, so ditto that. Thanks for your writing.Marc (586943) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:07 am
Re: Mike Lee and Ben Sasse.steveg (354706) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:16 am
They were always political animals and in the same way hyenas can never be lions, they are political animals. They can’t be me even if they share some principles with me. Simply put, the Republicans will lose power if Trump is impeached and Lee and Sasse may not like Trump but they like the alternative less.
They are also under tremendous pressure as they try to keep power. If I was in charge, if Murkowski broke from us, I would move her office to the basement in a corner of the Janitors breakroom and strip her of any and all perquisites. I’m assuming McConnell is using all the leverage he has to keep the pack a pack in formation and focused on the threat.
I’ve also chided at times over not knowing what they know… I am assuming they don’t learn everything from TV or the media. McConnell would be remiss if he has not had members of the House and staff brief them on what testimony was stricken, how its being spun.
I chide because we don’t know what they know, and judging people negatively that know more than we do over their decisions isn’t fair and can be particularly unfair when we haven’t heard the entire version of their side of the story.
Sometimes it sounds like a judge who already thinks no one of color should ever go to prison. He or she has their mind made up and completely disrespects anyone who feels different, judges every prosecutor bringing a case as a puppet of racism, and every jury that returns a guilty verdict as the lowest of the low.
Let’s say every GOP Senator had a moment of clarity, realized what Trump was doing to their cherished principles, and decided to vote to convict. Trump is sent packing 97-3. What would happen after this principled stand (not counting the Democrats who were simply partisan)?
1) Trump’s supporters would be apoplectic in their anger.
2) Someone else would get the GOP nomination for 2020. Doesn’t much matter who.
3) The Democrats would realize that they were going to win, no matter who they nominate and they’d put up Warren with a promise to triple the size of government.
4) The Democrats win, and win 15 Senate seats as all of Trump’ supporters “punish” them.
5) Warren wins, and has an unassailable majority in Congress and is filibuster-proof in the Senate.
6) The government triples in size overnight, and 11 new justices are confirmed to the Supreme Court.
But PRINCIPLE!Kevin M (19357e) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:25 am
Usually, I’m not much for the “parade of horribles” but the Democrat candidates seem pretty much that.Kevin M (19357e) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:27 am
When did I ever say Trump was “Conservative Orthodoxy”? Do you leftists and Never trumpers on this blog have a reading comprehension problem? You seem to like setting up straw men and knock them down. Just stop including me in your “response” and attack TRump.rcocean (1a839e) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:32 am
There are few public voices on the non-left side of the spectrum today who will acknowledge that the way Trump speaks and behaves in public (and in those closed-door meetings that the public learns about later) actually reveals a great deal about his mind and motives.
Too many of the people I used to read and listen to have taken the position that it’s unfair to judge Trump by the evidence of our own eyes and ears; that people who dislike him are blinded by hate. And whatever evidence appears showing gross dishonesty or shocking ignorance or self-serving abuse of power is brushed off in the same way: as just another unfair attack on our poor, beleaguered president.
I didn’t change my general viewpoint just because Trump became president. Neither did Patterico or certain regulars in the comments here, which is why I visit every day.Radegunda (39c35f) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:32 am
I find it awful that the people’s bulwark against the socialist horde is Donald Trump. What a weak, ignorant, nekulturny and stoopid man. Thank God for the 22nd Amendment.Kevin M (19357e) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:44 am
I really like having a place where I can have an informed and thoughtful discussion with people that I disagree with. Just recently Frost and Whembly. There are trolls here who aspire to add nothing beyond the occasional punchline and other’s who POV is so alien to mine I doubt we’ll ever communicate, but mostly that not the case. This type of long form discourse is rare online these days.
So whoever it was that Called RCocean ‘dumb’ should apologize. It was a rude thing to say.Time123 (b4d075) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:49 am
How about we say that every GOP Senator says “This was 100% unacceptable. We’re supporting the impeachment and we’re not voting to remove from office. Instead we’re going to do the following lesser punishments and enforce them by cutting all exec brand spending until he complies.” Seems like a decent approach.Time123 (c9382b) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:54 am
Patterico, you are most deserving of our respect – you certainly have mine. I am not so foolhardy as to toss aside a friendship over any disagreement, especially not over something as ephemeral as politics.
One of the things I value at this site, is the correction to my faulty thinking that I receive from those who are kind enough to take the trouble. I hope that I have made my appreciation known to those who have shown me that kindness.felipe (cfae78) — 1/24/2020 @ 11:37 am
Okay, enough with the sappy talk!felipe (cfae78) — 1/24/2020 @ 11:39 am
If only someone could have warned us that nominating, electing and enabling Trump would end disastrously!Dave (1bb933) — 1/24/2020 @ 11:50 am
Although I disagree with most of your take on Trump, and you get me riled up sometimes, I still respect you as well as your opinions of Trump. I see it differently than you, but completely understand why you feel the way you do. Just because there is disagreement, how can you not respect someone who is principled and sticks to those principles? That’s something to always be admired, regardless of whether one agrees with specific views or not.Ed B (c9777a) — 1/24/2020 @ 11:55 am
Eight years of HRC then eight years of one of these Dem saps, and maybe the makeup of the Fourth Circuit is such that the Kimberlin case takes a different turn. But … principles.Munroe (7b400a) — 1/24/2020 @ 11:56 am
California isn’t in the 4th circuit.
and yes, principles. Ethics. Right and Wrong. They still matter.Dustin (b8d6d1) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:03 pm
And I’ll tell you one more thing: anybody fawning over Ace of Spades has diminished credibility when they talk about their big picture view on how to respond to lawfare properly.Dustin (b8d6d1) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:05 pm
The Impeachment imbroglio has given me a solid gut-check on whether I am a principled person or a partisan. It is a very hard truth to unravel. I think I am more partisan than I want to admit but I am still bitterly clinging to the hope that I have principles. So for that reason I am inclined to respect Patterico for his stand even though I want to accuse him of TDS. I have withheld many posts that would have challenged his opinions, but luckily, I am too busy to write and so I was able to let the moment pass.
I hated Trump from the beginning. A Joke. I saw He did not belong in the race, and certainly not as a Republican. Of all 34ish candidates from both parties in 2016, Trump ranked 33. Only one candidate was worse. HRC. I watched with sickness how Trump rose in the rankings and began to take the lead, at the end I still harbored fantasies that Cruz would pull it out, that the Republican voters would not nominate this impostor to the party ticket. And I do blame the voters, not the party for this. I thought that he was opposed by the establishment. He won because the Democrats wanted him to win, and thus the media did, and they made it happen, both purposefully and through negligence just by giving him so much airtime. I thought that Trump would ruin the Republican brand and usher in a worse backlash than what Obama ushered in at the end of his term. But He won, I held my nose and voted for him. HRC should not win, and I was not willing to waste my vote on a protest. HRC should not win. He was a clown, but she had proven herself corrupt.
But then I saw him govern. I expected a Democrat in a Republican skin, but I saw the most libertarian and conservative polices and actions that I have seen since Reagan. Trump was more effective than any other candidate would have been. I began to see him in a different light. Trump is a contrarian, I think. The Democrats are idiots. The Republicans are too, but in this instance not nearly so. I think Trump was a blank slate going in. I am highly certain that if The Democrats had made one simple overture at the start of his term instead of attempting to remove him by force from the very day of the election, they could have had him governing from their playbook. Instead, they tried to abort him before birth and strangle him in sleep ever since. I don’t think Trump is a conservative, but I think he is doing conservative things because the Democrats are his enemy. So that makes me happy. It is the opposite of what I expected. I see the country improving and the Democrats hurting, and I want more Trump. I am not a Trumpist, though. I want to see his policies move forward, but I wish the vessel were more pure. And here is the challenge. Just how much principle am I compromising by supporting Trump because my partisan desire to oppose statism, socialism, and restrictions on freedom?
I don’t believe Trump is a menace. I don’t think he abuses power any more than many others have. He is not a tyrant and is not self-serving in that he is using the presidency for direct personal gain. I think he is gaining from it, and I think he makes decisions favorable to himself, but not purely for himself. In that sense I think he is not much different than many politicians. He is just not as good at it as others. He is a political novice, so while his instincts seem to be very good in some areas, he is ham-handed in others. And I think Ukraine is ham-handedness, rather than malevolent. Maybe he should have hired a consulting group through an intermediary to hire an Ex British agent to fabricate dirt on Biden. Then he would not have been impeached. Or he could have had FISA warrants issued “mistakenly” on Biden staffers as a way to spy on him. Not sure if that would work though since the alphabet agencies would not likely have cooperated. Maybe he could have used IRS staff to mess with the charitable status of groups that might lend aid and support to his opponents, but again, IRS would not have cooperated. You see, that is where it becomes hard for me. I wonder if Trump was exploring options. Maybe he did want to get dirt on Biden as a way to kneecap a rival. After all, from his perspective that appears to be how the game is played. Democrats have been doing that to him from the beginning. But nothing actually happened. No investigation was announced, no money was denied past the deadline date. Lots of feathers were ruffled, though. (please forgive any lack of subtlety on this. I TRY and keep up on all the facts, but I have yet to see a systematic listing of the actual facts free from conjecture so I might not have the full understanding.) Maybe Trump got some good advice from a staffer while all this was happening and realized he can’t be so direct, and thus did not follow through on what he wanted. Anyway, if people are not in jail for padding their foundation with millions or suborning the FISA system, I am not sure I can vote to convict for this whole Ukraine thing.
But again, I don’t know. I want Trump to win because I want the Dems to lose because I think they will do serious harm to freedoms and prosperity. I also think they are more corrupt but don’t get caught because almost all the other major institutions in the country are on their side. Thus the best way to insure clean government is to keep a Republican President in office so that the bureaucrats, courts, media and intellectuals will keep a close eye on them. Put a Dem in the oval office and you have only the conservative Blogosphere running interference. So is it fair to use the whatabaoutism and compromise my integrity? In politics, I think it might be. I have no illusions that politicians can get through a career unsullied. Those that do either have significant independent resources or live in a safe district/state and can vote against their base to some degree and still survive. So, I expect some level of corruption because it is almost required for success. But there are limits. A rapist should not be President. Guys who kill someone though negligence and then hiding it should not be senators. People who took bribes as a judge should not be a congressman. Not sure Trump rises to that level. Being odious is not impeachable.
So maybe we should have censured Trump for bad judgement and moved on, but he did actually DO anything but play the game as it was shown to him.WaBlogLog (32b868) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:06 pm
In the spirit of the polite disagreement I was once graciously complimented for providing, I’ll offer a thought or two that might clarify whatever angst still exists about such conflict. (As I’ve said before, I’m a Canadian, so I have the privilege of not actually feeling myself duty-bound in any way to defend the Trump presidency. However, I am also a pro-life Catholic, and the fact that Trump is the first and only U.S. president in the March for Life’s nearly 50-year history to actually speak at the event earns him and his people a lot of sympathy from me, so that may be factored into understanding my thoughts as appropriate.)
I suggest that the basic problem is not the argument as to whether any given president has become sufficiently corrupt to merit emergency removal from office (let us stipulate that no president in history has ever been entirely non-corrupt), but the realization that the conditions of what defines “unacceptable corruption”, and thus permit a trustworthy and honest exercise of the impeachment power, have been allowed to become overwhelmingly (and quite possibly irretrievably) politicized. Moreover, this change didn’t happen under this administration and Congress, but under its predecessors, in two steps:
1) When the Republican-held House impeached Clinton in 1998 for a minor, but clearly specific and defined, offense of perjury, the Democratic party and base immediately characterized the endeavour as wholly partisan despite a legitimate, if small, cross-party support for both impeachment and acquittal, and have spent the twenty years since repeating this message (including pre-emptive dismissals of any future attempts as obviously partisan);
2) When the House, under both Republicans and Democrats, refused even to attempt impeachment of Obama despite administrative offenses far more egregious than Clinton’s (Fast and Furious, the “keep your doctor” lie, Benghazi, the Iran treaty) — at least partly out of recognition that there was no way to impeach the first Black president without being completely destroyed as racists in the public eye — the Republican base came to the same conclusion that the Democratic base already had: Neither party was willing any longer to pay the price of upholding principle when convinced its opponent would not do so as well.
Classically the answer to this difficulty of mutual bad faith is the act of martyrdom, which means, literally, “witnessing”: the willingness to suffer, visibly, in public, for one’s principles; to demonstrate via undeniable personal cost the certainty of one’s conviction. But even martyrdom these days is now critically dependent on a fatally compromised media apparatus that will do anything, from dishonest spin to outright suppression, to thwart messages it doesn’t like: to witness, you have to be allowed to be witnessed. This, too, is one of the difficulties in trying to separate our knowledge of people from our image of them: for anyone except those we have known personally for many years (and not always them, either), we never, in truth, have anything but an image. So to hold the inevitable inconsistencies in this image solely against the real person is not always productive, either. Good does not excuse bad, but bad does not erase good.
For myself — and, as noted, with the luxury of having no direct personal stake in the issue — I can understand coming honestly to the conclusion that the cost-benefit analysis of Trump’s presidency comes down firmly on the side of not removing him. Likewise, one must respect the stance that corrupt officials should be removed regardless of cost or benefit, or the system loses credibility and justification. But when upholding principle has the costs it does, people will become skeptical, and not unreasonably, of those who declare on behalf of everyone else that those costs must be paid here and now.Stephen J. (f77922) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:11 pm
After reading Stephen J. I had a thought. It has always seemed to me that “intergity for thee but not for me” is the Dem playbook. Let’s get the Dems to put their money where their mouths are. The Pubs could give them an offer: We’ll give you Trump if you give us prison sentences on FISA abuse to the cabinet level. Let’s not settle for unilateral seppuku.WaBlogLog (32b868) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:32 pm
Too many Trump supporters are just making horrible arguments….with it all boiling down to “Democrats are bad and they (DEMs) don’t deserve to win here.” Yes, some still question whether there is enough evidence of intent, but those do not take the logical step of wanting to hear from Bolton, Mulvaney, and Pompeo to better examine that intent. Others note the national damage was minimal because the aid was ultimately released and the efforts were publicly revealed…..meaning, voters can decide how much this bothers them. My concern on this line of thought is how many people have been sand bagged and don’t understand factually what has actually happened. They keep equating the actions of Joe Biden with what Trump did….or maintaining that our treaty required Trump to investigate “corruption”…..or that abuse of power is not impeachable.
But here it’s being mad that Patterico is not being a good partisan. For me, this was one of my key reasons for not voting for either Trump or Hillary…..I wanted no obligation to either of them…because I figured each would put me in an uncomfortable position because of sketchy ethics or incompetence. I say hold course. I don’t know how the GOP weathers this…..but I still believe the blowback will be significant….despite a decent economy and relative calm in terms of foreign wars. There needs to be people who are offering a competing vision to Trump….eventually things will shift back or else we are on the path of one-party rule which is depressing.AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:36 pm
39. Not a bad post, Mr. J. Where you lose me is in asserting that it matters who we vote for, or that one party is more corrupt than the other. I don’t wish to attempt to argue from a false premise.Gryph (08c844) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:38 pm
“The Pubs could give them an offer: We’ll give you Trump if you give us prison sentences on FISA abuse to the cabinet level. Let’s not settle for unilateral seppuku.”
And the fact that absolutely no Democratic office-holder of note would ever take their opponents up on any such offer is also highly indicative that much of the conflict is theatre, not sincere. Which unfortunately only reinforces the conviction of mutual bad faith.
I respect martyrs who pay their own prices much more than I do those who use their martyrdom to take their enemies down with them, but even that has an undeniable commitment about it. (Those so-called “martyrs” who choose to take innocents down with them solely for the shock and horror value are, of course, not worthy of respect at all.)Stephen J. (f77922) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:39 pm
I guess that bizarre suggestion comes from this segment on FoxNews yesterday.
No one with any involvement in Fast and Furious has ever suggested that President Obama or Attorney General Holder had knowledge of the program until it was shut down after the death of Agent Terry, and the Inspector General’s 471-page report confirmed this, so it’s unclear what you think Obama did that was “far more egregious”.
There is no doubt about who conceived and authorized Fast and Furious, although I would suppose under the Trump doctrine (“I have an Article II where I have the right to do whatever I want as president”) it would have been perfectly acceptable for Obama to do so, and even to use the operation to extort political favors for his re-election campaign from the leaders of the Mexican government.Dave (1bb933) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:43 pm
“Where you lose me is in asserting that it matters who we vote for, or that one party is more corrupt than the other.”
Oh, one is definitely more corrupt than the other, if only because the public media information apparatus is so clearly on their side. But if you want to argue that neither meets the minimum threshold of honesty to be worth voting for, well, I concede that to be a distressingly plausible conclusion.
However, almost certainly one is more worth voting against than the other. Hence I urge all concerned not to make the mistake of giving up on voting.Stephen J. (f77922) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:43 pm
“No one with any involvement in Fast and Furious has ever suggested that President Obama or Attorney General Holder had knowledge of the program until it was shut down after the death of Agent Terry….”
That’s why I said administrative offenses. Certainly someone deserved official penalty of some kind in the Obama administration for that, and while Obama and Holder knew nothing of the program until after it was over, I find it highly implausible they had no decisive involvement whatsoever in corruptly minimizing the fallout and consequences. (And that’s taking Holder, at least, at his word — something our own host was loathe to do at the time.)Stephen J. (f77922) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:51 pm
45. Oh, that’s so cute coming from a Canadian. I think you’re wrong, but we’ll just have to respectfully agree to disagree.Gryph (08c844) — 1/24/2020 @ 1:05 pm
“Yes, some still question whether there is enough evidence of intent, but those do not take the logical step of wanting to hear from Bolton, Mulvaney, and Pompeo to better examine that intent.“
AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 1/24/2020 @ 12:36 pm
We know where this leads, and I like fishing as much as the next guy, but it gets old after three years — especially when we only have twigs and snags to show for our effort.Munroe (dd6b64) — 1/24/2020 @ 1:05 pm
“Oh, that’s so cute coming from a Canadian.”
Believe me, I’m well aware of the difficulties in finding a candidate worth voting for. Being a pro-life Catholic only makes that doubly difficult in Canada (no major party up here will go for that), and even preferring candidates I trust to put at least some thought into federal and provincial budgets (which rules out both Liberal and NDP parties by default) has its limits. I couldn’t vote for the Conservative candidates in my ridings in either of our last couple of elections, as both had dealbreaker flaws for me, so I had to end up going to a minority party for both.
In some ways I envy the two-party system; it at least makes those choices much simpler, and guarantees your vote has at least some effect.Stephen J. (f77922) — 1/24/2020 @ 1:21 pm
Fast & Furious was a drop in the bucket of arms smuggling to Mexico. An independent study of the problem found that about 212,000 firearms are illegally trafficked to Mexico every year.
Operation Fast and Furious involved about 1300 firearms that were purchased and not recovered, over a little more than a year – about 0.5% of the total crossing the border during that same period.
It was a poorly conceived, under-resourced and badly executed law-enforcement operation. Nobody has ever credibly alleged criminal motives by anyone involved.Dave (1bb933) — 1/24/2020 @ 1:43 pm
@16.Disagreement is fine but something about Trump has ripped away the veneer that most Americans want to think and use reason in politics (and in life). I always thought Americans were serious people talking about serious topics in a serious way, but now I realize that too many see their best/only contribution as venting about how things make them feel or insulting others.
“I’m gonna talk about us – the average guys, the John Does. If anybody should ask you what the average John Doe is like, you couldn’t tell him because he’s a million and one things. He’s Mr. Big and Mr. Small, he’s simple and he’s wise, he’s inherently honest but he’s got a streak of larceny in his heart. He seldom walks up to a public telephone without shovin’ his finger into the slot to see if somebody left a nickel there. He’s the man the ads are written for. He’s the fella everybody sells things to. He’s Joe Doakes, the world’s greatest stooge and the world’s greatest strength. Yes sir, yes sir, we’re a great family, the John Does. We are the meek who are supposed to inherit the earth. You’ll find us everywhere. We raise the crops, we dig the mines, work the factories, keep the books, fly the planes and drive the buses, and when the cop yells, ‘Stand back there you,’ he means us – the John Does. We’ve existed since time began. We built the pyramids. We saw Christ crucified, pulled the oars for Roman emperors, sailed the boats for Columbus, retreated from Moscow with Napoleon, and froze with Washington at Valley Forge [and put men on the moon.] Yes sir, we’ve been in there dodging left hooks since before History began to walk. In our struggle for freedom, we’ve hit the canvas many a time, but we always bounced back because we’re the people – and we’re tough.”- Long John Willoughby [Gary Cooper] ‘Meet John Doe’ 1941DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 1:58 pm
41. Too many Trump supporters are just making horrible arguments….
Hypocrisy isn’t much of an argument- horrible or otherwise- at all. See Lindsey Graham and Alan Dershowitz for details…
“Let’s go to the videotape!” – Warner Wolf, sportscaster, WABC-TV/WNBC-TV, NYCDCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 2:06 pm
@23. There isn’t a senator who ever lived who hasn’t awakened, looked in the mirror and whispered, ‘Good morning, Mr. President.’DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 2:13 pm
@38. So maybe we should have censured Trump…
Bingo. The day after Helsinki.
Unfortunately, it’s a little late in life to start trying to enforce discipline on a 73 year old billionaire.DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 2:30 pm
Gryph (08c844) — 1/24/2020 @ 1:05 pm
ad hominem, it’s what’s for breakfast.frosty (f27e97) — 1/24/2020 @ 2:33 pm
@11. After Trump’s nomination, election and inauguration, I watched as many of the conservative voices I had enjoyed and respected – Glenn Reynolds, the Powerline guys, Rush, Drudge, half the people at National Review, and plenty of others – unmasked themselves as unprincipled partisan hacks.
You haven’t lived long enough- after years of spinning ‘influence,’ nobody wants to be suddenly on the outs, find themselves irrelevant and on the bottom of the deck, destined for a fate akin to The Weekly Standard. Punditry can be a sweet and lucrative gig- espcially if you eat three time a day and wanna live in Georgetown. Welcome to 1964.DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 2:43 pm
But actually it’s 1535:Dave (56a06c) — 1/24/2020 @ 3:21 pm
@57. Welcome to 1964. So profound!
So accurate — and relevant to the U.S.A. factions of the now– not the Wales-of-not-now-1535.DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 3:50 pm
@38. NYers and tri-state area residents have known this guy’s shtick for years. West of the Hudson, the rest of the country only knew him from his time hosting a scripted TeeVee show, ‘The Apprentice.’
Helsinki. That was the day Congress blew their opportunity to discipline this bad boy by establishing some guard rails and initiating censure proceedings against him. But no. Both parties in Congress had other self-interested priorities instead.
There’s a common thread w/this guy though his whole life: from an unruly childhood into his military school days, through three trophy wives and multiple tawdry affairs; his Roy-Cohn–to-the-mattresses-win-at-any-cost-attitude; busted business deals, casino bankruptcies, bullying NYC mayors, taunting Page Six celebs, stiffing contractors, abusing network TeeVee execs –even his eating habits.
The dude is a catch-me-if-you-can-contrarian who rebels at everything; he’s a guy who has never been properly disciplined. If family, educators, wives, mistresses, business colleagues and Wall Street financiers didn’t have the patience to corral him, Congresscritters sure as hell won’t. The cache of ‘impeachment’ has been cheapened and weaponized- and you can thank GOP Gingrich for accelerating that decline in the ’90s from the truly valid efforts to go after the GOP’s Nixon in the ’70s.
But Trump is no Reagan; he’s more a ‘Rockefeller Republican’ these days though it’s not a perfect overlap; but he’s definitely a Portrait-of-Dorian-Gray-Reagan, exhibiting all the reckless excesses seeded and championed in the gilded-go-go-credit-card-days of Reagan’s 80s. He is a GOP creation; their Frakenstein who got loose from the castle that is Trump Tower. But the U.S. is pretty damned resilient. Our institutions will weather Trump Times just fine.DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 4:21 pm
JRH put it best: “ I will not let a schmuck like Trump decide who my friends are.”
Most of the folks on the Left do let their political figurehead determine who they think is decent or evil.
I have learned a lot from Patterico. I actually learn more from Patterico when I don’t agree with him, because—agree or disagree—his commentary is principled and organized.
I think that DJT (as DRJ stated above) tends to make many people reveal their true selves.
But I do not—for a second—think that politics should dictate my friendships or relationships with family.
Many years ago, I was visiting my wife’s parents back east. My mother-in-law accused me of brainwashing my wife into right of center politics. I told her that my wife had seen what had happened to me in academia, and it upset her. That she has always stood up for fairness. And that the worst thing a person can do is hate on the basis of a “D” or “R” letter.
She just shook her head, and told me people didn’t really do that (I know, I know).
That evening, my father-in-law held forth at one point that all Republicans were racists and nasty. I just looked at my mother-in-law, who in turn looked away. She said nothing.
I finally said to my father-in-law, “You do remember that my father, mother, and brother are registered Republicans, right? And they have always welcomed you into their home.”
I kind of ruined the dinner.
Patterico, thank you for your opinions—regardless of whether or not I agree with you.Simon Jester (9ac1a0) — 1/24/2020 @ 4:24 pm
[Trump] is a GOP creation; their Frakenstein who got loose from the castle that is Trump Tower.
He is in no wise a GOP creation. He was not courted, groomed or supported by the GOP. He as been tolerated at best by the GOP AFTER the jolt of lightening that gave him life. That jolt came from the combination of DEM excess and media malfeasance that energized the people of America and gave them desire to stick it to the establishment and vote in a national Jesse Ventura.
Trump has as much popularity as he does because he has the right enemies. They do not love him as much as they love whose eyes he keeps poking his stick into. He is THEIR Son of a bitchWaBlogLog (5dfc9b) — 1/24/2020 @ 4:55 pm
WaBlogLog (5dfc9b) — 1/24/2020 @ 4:55 pm
Pretty much. There are sociological and psychological versions of Newton’s laws. They just aren’t as clearly understood. If you’re surprised Trump popped up in the GOP it’s because the D’s have more rigid enforcement mechanisms and HRC had 2016 locked in. Things started going out of balance with Bill. It’s possible Bush 2 might have brought things back into alignment but 9/11 stopped that and BO expanded it. Something disruptive was inevitable. HRC wouldn’t have returned us to the status quo and getting rid of Trump won’t either. I don’t know what comes next and at this point, I’m just hoping it’s not bell-bottoms.frosty (f27e97) — 1/24/2020 @ 5:26 pm
@61. Except he is; a total GOP creation, crawled right out of the cesspool that was Reagan’s giled, excess ridden 1980s. He’s their horror come to life– and to elected office.DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 5:41 pm
@51 This is just a personal theory of mine, but ultimately I think it comes down to: Are people happy with how things are or do they need something to change.
Generally speaking, the modern R party has often represented stuff staying the same and the Democratic party has represented something needing to change. It’s why the Rs have more often been in power than not IMO, people mostly like the status quo.
It’s why the Rs are least successful when they want to change stuff. Everyone is used to Obamacare now and they like being able to insure their 24 year old who hasn’t quite finished college and that they can buy insurance even though they had 100% successful heart surgery when they were a baby and haven’t had a day of trouble since, but no one would insure them before. They are fine with the current social security because while it may or may not have trouble in the future, the future isn’t today.
It’s why more women and minorities tend to vote Dem. They need more stuff to change for them.
We got Clinton because of an economic downturn, we got Bush because everything looked all happy/shiny and didn’t need to change. We got Obama because of an economic downturn and because of the war. We got Trump because everything was back on track. IDK if we will get Trump or a Dem next time. Right now the economy is on track, but 10 months can be a long time. IDK if people will decide that the Rs represent government corruption right now and want a change. Anyway, that’s my theory.Nic (896fdf) — 1/24/2020 @ 5:41 pm
I hope this reaches to Pat and his other co-bloggers.
I’ve got nothing but respect for all of you. That includes the participants to this blog.
So, I know I recently wrote wall-o-texts recently, but maybe our disagreements can be distilled to this:
How much can you separate the man from his policies?
For example… I freaking love Pink Floyd. But, man Roger Water is a piece of bleep…if you get my drift. 😉
We all are more than just our politics.whembly (c30c83) — 1/24/2020 @ 6:02 pm
@ whembly, #65:
A-freaking-men. I wish more people would believe that…but even among the people who say it, it’s mostly lip service. Can we call this WHEMBLY’S LAW?
If so, here’s DEMOSTHENES’ COROLLARY: The more things politics touches, the less livable society becomes.Demosthenes (7fae81) — 1/24/2020 @ 6:10 pm
There are still many good folks we can all respect including this guy.DRJ (15874d) — 1/24/2020 @ 6:17 pm
@ Dave, #57:
“A Man for All Seasons” is a particularly relevant entertainment in this era. We Americans have a king again, ruling us by the mercurial star of Whim.
…and no, I don’t mean Trump. I’m talking about King Mob. Would that we were subject to the relatively tender mercies of Henry VIII!
But then again, why am I worrying? This isn’t Spain, you know…Demosthenes (7fae81) — 1/24/2020 @ 6:19 pm
55. He’s not wrong because he’s Canadian. I just happened to disagree about a simple difference of opinion. Go google what an “ad hominem” argument is and then try again next time I actually make one.Gryph (a53a3d) — 1/24/2020 @ 7:02 pm
With your assistance, and approval.Dave (1bb933) — 1/24/2020 @ 7:14 pm
I have a question for people in other professions than politics. Have you ever had to work for a terrible, no good, assh0le of a boss? Was he someone who’s poor recommendation of you would make it hard to get another job in your profession? Did you quit, loudly declaiming this boss as a cretin, a crook and a fool?
Or did you just bear with it, knowing that he’d be gone soon enough?Kevin M (19357e) — 1/24/2020 @ 8:35 pm
*whoseKevin M (19357e) — 1/24/2020 @ 8:35 pm
@71 Once I quit and went back to school. Once I persisted, because the admin turnover speed is insane where I work. However it turned out that she moved to the DO (though this did mean that as long as I changed districts she was not a person I needed a recommendation from). Good thing I didn’t have any ambition to move beyond my current position in my district since none of use were particularly quiet about how awful she was.
However, I have also been in positions where it was necessary to go directly against my boss using the appropriate structural remedies. Once my boss got fired. Once we had a strictly professional relationship until he got fired for something else.Nic (896fdf) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:16 pm
Soldiers in the moment fight for those around them. Maybe we should strip MoH winners of their award because they admit to not thinking of principles in that moment.steveg (354706) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:19 pm
Was it for the Constitution? “no”
Was it for the Republic? “no”
Our Democracy? “What? I heard that on MSNBC but no longer knows what that means”
The President? “That guy?”
Congress? “what? Hell No”
The Flag? “kinda as a symbol but not really”
Your unit “they’d have done the same thing”
#7steveg (354706) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:22 pm
Patrick used to think Ace was the greatest when he was excoriating people he didn’t like.
Its all about whose ox is gored
Soldiers in the moment fight for those around them.
True. Very true. But they would have already fragged a guy like Trump.nk (1d9030) — 1/24/2020 @ 9:25 pm
Not sure that would be the way it went… because if he fought for you, even once, you wouldn’t frag him. This is the faintest of praise, but even bergdahls teammates looked for him and didn’t eat his Slim Jims until they knew he’d gone AWOL
By the way, your blog name – NK is the symbol of a very hot biotech stock. NK stands for natural killers cells and biotech is harnessing those to attack cancer.
Waiting to see what impact you have on Trump and have alerted the secret service.
This is probably my last post on the blog so I thought I’d address you.steveg (354706) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:19 pm
You’ve been fun to read. the guy who wrote the Curmudgeons Guide had nothing compared to you.
@70. No, Dave; didn’t create Reagan’s gilded 1980s cesspool; he did. No, Dave, didn’t release the Frankentrump; the weak and feckless conservative ideological movement gave him life and did. But yes, as a strategy to contain, box-up and render that movement irrelevant– something moderate Republicans and Dems have tried to do for decades- it has been MAGA-nificent; gloriously successful– and even fast than dreamed. The judgeships are a fair exchange– and yet you still complain.
“Sad.”DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:42 pm
@71/72. No, we just set him up to fail and take the fall from his boss– w/o him ever knowing it.DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:45 pm
@ steveg :
Why is this your last post on the blog??Dana (8ef71a) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:54 pm
This is probably my last post on the blog so I thought I’d address you.
I’m sorry to hear that. I won’t ask why because that’s your business.
You’ve been fun to read.
Likewise. I’ve always liked your style and respected your opinions.
the guy who wrote the Curmudgeons Guide had nothing compared to you.
I wish I had a pithy answer to that. Thank you?nk (1d9030) — 1/24/2020 @ 10:55 pm
Reading your blog has always been a breath of fresh air in the current highly polarized and rabidly partisan atmosphere, and I thank you for providing this forum. I’ve never understood those who take the time to post here just to lambast you and call you unpleasant names. That’s like insulting your host when you’re in his house. There are certain blogs out there I used to read until they turned to 24/7 Trump cheerleading, at which point I simply stopped reading them. I think you’ve been remarkably patient with some of the more aggressive trolls here.Roger (7efba0) — 1/25/2020 @ 4:52 am
P.S. Thanks, too, for your weekly selection from the Bach cantatas.
Which ones were those?rcocean (1a839e) — 1/25/2020 @ 4:59 am
@ steveg, #75:
Would this be the same Ace who, in 2016, announced he would vote for Hillary Clinton for president because he couldn’t possibly support Donald Trump — went so far as to call himself a NeverTrumper — and then did a heel turn mere days later, threw himself behind Trump, and started attacking Republicans who wouldn’t support Trump?
I wonder what changed…Demosthenes (7fae81) — 1/25/2020 @ 5:54 am
rcocean (1a839e) — 1/25/2020 @ 4:59 am
I’d put Ace in that category.frosty (97040b) — 1/25/2020 @ 5:55 am
You should ask Harvey Weinstein’s rape victims.Dave (1bb933) — 1/25/2020 @ 8:24 am
I don’t know why the comments have turned so personal but I am going to charitably assume that people are wondering who here puts their money where their mouth is. The answer is I have.DRJ (15874d) — 1/25/2020 @ 8:47 am
That wasn’t intended to be personal, but a reminder that politicians are professionals too, and suggestions that they go along with their idiot boss to “save their careers” are more than a little judgemental. I was just wondering if anyone else was willing to toss their careers away in favor of “principle.” Not many would.Kevin M (19357e) — 1/25/2020 @ 9:47 am
Trump is not supposed to be the boss of Congressmen and Senators, unless you meant their idiot constituencies.nk (1d9030) — 1/25/2020 @ 9:51 am
I don’t mind people have strong opinions about the actions of political figures, so long as they are consistent in their judgement or evaluation.
It is decidedly NOT different when “your” person does it.
I think that we all need to have a set of standards, and then follow them. We don’t change those standards when we dislike or like a person. Nor when there is a specific letter after their name. And absolutely not modify them with any sentence that begins with “I can see why that’s true, but you have to understand…”
We have standards, or we don’t.
Otherwise, this is how we act.
It is NOT different when Trump (or Obama, or Romney, or GWB, or HRC, or whomever) does it.
Too much hypocrisy everywhere these days.
You do not have to agree with me. But I think most people know, in their heart of hearts, that I am right about this.Simon Jester (9ac1a0) — 1/25/2020 @ 10:18 am
My boss isn’t my job.
I still have a job to do, and to do it the best at my ability. No one should have to sacrifice their career just because of that asshole boss.
It’s a hallmark of being a good freaking human being to do your job right despite challenging circumstances such as horrible bosses.whembly (c30c83) — 1/25/2020 @ 11:40 am
Reagan didn’t vote to nominate and elect the Putin-fellating piece of fecal matter who currently occupies the White House; you did.
How will you ever face Grissom, White and Chaffee when you finally make it to the Big Launch Pad in the Sky, after voting to put a KGB agent’s bitch in the Flight Director’s seat at Mission Control?Dave (2c186f) — 1/25/2020 @ 2:39 pm
#75: Careful, mention this and at least two people are going to tar and feather you. And then sneer at someone who didn’t feel he could go the distance with Mr. K (a more odious person never met, of course).Leuthen (46cb3f) — 1/25/2020 @ 3:16 pm
And, a question I have asked often to friends in a friendly manner: if not Trump, who then, Hillary? The usual answer is #Non-Binary! But I think any sentient person knows that it was one or the other. So now he’s in office. All of the dire predictions to the contrary, the country seems to be doing well.
I remember the Clinton years. I loathed both of the Clintons because I was an up close and personal witness of the campaign to destroy Monica Lewinsky. I knew her then, but not now. She was a decent person and her life was destroyed by Bill, who lied under oath about his relationship, and by Hillary, who knew the truth but headed up the Bimbo Squad as it was called then. It was a painful thing to watch, and I was in the outer orbit.
But, I felt then that allowing civil cases to be filed and adjudicated was not a good thing, because a precedent set would be standard operating procedure in twenty years. So, as much as I loathed the man, I could not support the predicate: perjury in a trial that should not have been allowed to go forward in the first place. I was liberal then, but that didn’t inform my thoughts on the matter. And so I pushed back on those who would be called NeverClinton today. He wouldn’t be President forever, and while I thought the Paula Jones suit had merit, the thought of a civil tort being the basis for impeachment left me cold. It will happen again, because it almost worked the first time. Plenty of time to go after the man once he left office
What is happening today feels very much like what happened way back when. I don’t hate Trump. I didn’t like the fact that I felt compelled to vote for him because Hillary!, but I pulled the lever and hoped for the best. I see the similarities between the two events, mostly in the overheated rhetoric and a curious zealotry, and it again leaves me cold. I don’t believe Trump committed a crime, fine, others may disagree. But think about how this particular sausage was made in the House and tell me it’s completely kosher and I will wonder if, as in the Clinton impeachment, emotion is overriding both logic and consideration for the best interests of the Republic.
Some may think the ideas expressed here are too nuanced by half, but I’ve put some thought into the subject. and to my thinking, this isn’t shaded of gray: it’s black and night. Now, holding these ideas and beliefs does not make one a popular person here. I’ve often seen things get very personal very quickly over very small matters. I believe, Mr. Patterico, that you are times too quick to take offense, and also have the tendency to slap a derisive label on me (Trumpkin!), albeit indirectly. We live in a time in which civility is not considered when dealing with another. That frays the Social Contract just as a hasty impeachment corrodes the foundations of the Republic.
My two cents. Offered with sincerity and with comity. Be well.All4One (46cb3f) — 1/25/2020 @ 4:00 pm
@93. EZ: blame the contractor– the Republican Party. 😉DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/25/2020 @ 4:49 pm
I find the logic odd. You said that people who expressed respect for you previously and have now lost it just didn’t know you, and had previous respect based on an image of you, based on your politics. Yet isn’t that just what you have said about Ben Sasse and Mike Lee? You respected them for their political views, but have now lost respect for you based on their opinion concerning President Trump? Can’t it simply be that you disagree with them on this issue.
Me? My respect for you is unchanged, even though we very much disagree concerning Mr Trump. My opinion is that, as far as the President is concerned, policy trumps personality. I can think that he is an [insert slang term for the rectum here] but still realize that the part which impacts every American are his policies.
The Lord turned Saul of Tarsus, a persecutor of Christians and a certainly vile man, into the Apostle Paul. David was described in 1 Samuel 13:14 as a man after God’s own heart, but David took the wives of two men from them, Michel from Palti (2 Samuel 3:14), and BathSheba, whom he impregnated and then had her husband, Uriah the Hittite, set in a dangerous position in battle to be killed. While I would never say that Mr Trump has somehow been sent by God, we can see that the Lord has used some very flawed men for his purposes. I can accept that Mr Trump, a personally reprehensible man, has been doing much — certainly not all, especially where spending is concerned — of the work conservatives have wanted to see done.The confused Dana (b49bca) — 1/25/2020 @ 5:33 pm
And I am an ass. I wrote my first comment in haste, and did the very thing I lament: passing up civility in favor of snide. I apologize to all. I’m a hypocrite, so maybe my two cents isn’t worth a damn.All4One (46cb3f) — 1/25/2020 @ 5:36 pm
98. Self-awareness is a good first step.Gryph (08c844) — 1/25/2020 @ 5:54 pm
I think you are confusing ethics and principles for political loyalty with your vague ‘views’ term.
Central to conservatism is that all are equal in treatment before the law. No one who forgives Trump something they wouldn’t forgive the rest of us can call themselves conservative.Dustin (b8d6d1) — 1/25/2020 @ 6:57 pm
Which ones were those?
Instapundit comes to mind. Particularly the comment section.Kevin M (19357e) — 1/25/2020 @ 7:01 pm
To the confused (and, if I recall, Catholic) Dana:
As much as I have always liked you (and continue to like you), I find your analogy very frustrating.
David was called “a man after God’s own heart” because he *repented* and humbly grieved (and suffered for) his sins – not because he brazenly continues in them and simultaneously absolved himself of them. There are other Old Testament Kings who took the latter path, and they were not beloved in the eyes of God.
In fact, one of David’s great punishments for his sin and his hubris was *removal from the throne.*
Anyway, I find it an exceedingly odd analogy, in these circumstances.Leviticus (7fcc89) — 1/25/2020 @ 7:10 pm
@ Dana, #97:
Samson might’ve been a more apt example. Proud to the point of arrogance, petty, boastful, spiteful…and a Nazirite who didn’t follow the expected code…but still a man God chose to accomplish a particular task and to illustrate an important point. Plus, the use of Samson would probably not risk touching off a string of outraged commenters who accused you (incorrectly) of comparing Trump to two of the great Biblical figures.
Perhaps I am particularly sensitive to this argument because I have a coworker who has told me on more than one occasion that she believes Donald Trump has been ordained by God for this hour. It is one of the reasons that she overlooks, or discounts, all the faults in his character in a way she would never do if Trump were a Democrat. When I hear her say that, I try to keep Samson in my mind, as a reason why I can’t absolutely say that she’s wrong.
However, I would like to note that such men are only worth telling stories about because they are RARE. People who make your argument on behalf of any particular contemporary example, be it Trump or anyone else, are well-advised to keep in mind that the historical odds are not in their favor.Demosthenes (7fae81) — 1/25/2020 @ 7:48 pm
Snorfle! You guys! David? Sampson? The only Biblical figure Trump resembles is Ananias, the husband of Sapphira, who was struck dead for lying about, of all things, how much of his property he had tithed over to the Church.nk (1d9030) — 1/25/2020 @ 8:21 pm
Just remind people who think Trump (or anyone else) is God’s chosen, that sometimes God chooses a person to be a means of punishment and affliction.
BTW, David was merely reclaiming Michal as his wife. Abigail might fit better. The text of 2 Samuel even calls her “Abigail wife of Nabal the Carmelite” when naming “David’s two wives” (chapter 2 verse 2).Kishnevi (22ac03) — 1/25/2020 @ 8:37 pm
I agree with this. May we all practice what we preach. But let’s do one another the favor of being honest: your throw away comment is a pale imitation of Don Rickles. An eye for an eye, and soon we are all blind. I will choose to believe that you are having a bad day. Or you may have offered a sincere reply, in which case I am in the wrong. Their is value in diplomacy. A major pitfall in this medium is that intent is easily misinterpreted. I find this fault in myself, others may have a keener sense of perception. If I make this error, call me out. I will take whatever you have to say into consideration and adjust my approach accordingly. Mea Culpa: brevity is a skill I am attempting to master. I’m failing miserably. Annoying, I know. *sigh*.All4One (46cb3f) — 1/25/2020 @ 8:43 pm
Trump is no hero, flawed or otherwise, and no “anointed” except possibly by Russian hookers per the Steele Dossier. He is a rich jerkoff who lies a lot, and that’s all he is, and all he will ever be, no matter how many of his supporters view him the way dung beetles view an elephant.nk (1d9030) — 1/25/2020 @ 9:02 pm
@ nk, #104:
Just because I was trying to help refine Dana’s point, that doesn’t mean I agreed with it. As the whole of my comment made clear.Demosthenes (7fae81) — 1/25/2020 @ 9:19 pm
I know. I just didn’t want to hurt poor Dana’s feelings by making it seem that I was only picking on him for his David reference. For the sake of your feelings I concede that my Samson reference was, when all is said and done, a strawman crafted entirely by me. Would that be okay?nk (1d9030) — 1/25/2020 @ 9:37 pm
“For the sake of your feelings”…really? Oh, please.Demosthenes (7fae81) — 1/25/2020 @ 9:46 pm
No, not really. It was a subtle micro-aggression on my part because you upstaged my “his supporters view him the way dung beetles view an elephant” in my previous comment.nk (1d9030) — 1/26/2020 @ 4:53 am
It wasn’t that subtle. And I don’t believe in micro-aggressions.
The last couple times we’ve exchanged words, I’ve gotten the impression that I have done something to offend you…maybe that’s too strong… to irritate you, anyway. If so, I wish you’d just tell me what it is so I can apologize. I’m really trying to move away from passive-aggressive exchanges, and I don’t want to get into one here.Demosthenes (7fae81) — 1/26/2020 @ 6:11 am
All humans sin but God still uses and blesses us. I hope that is what Christians are thinking about when they talk about God using Trump. But IMO the times when God uses evil to accomplish His purposes, eventually there is punishment for the wicked people, cities or nations.DRJ (15874d) — 1/26/2020 @ 6:31 am
Demosthenes (7fae81) — 1/26/2020 @ 6:11 am
Relax, Demosthenes. [if, in the future, I shorten your handle to “Demo,” please do not take it as a slight]
Trekkie Trigger alert
Think of nk as a Klingon; when he seems aggressive, he is being friendly. If he talks to you at all, you have won favor with him.
nk’s motto: The enemy of my enemy is the enemy I will kill last.
You’re welcome, nk.felipe (023cc9) — 1/26/2020 @ 6:47 am
Bingo!felipe (023cc9) — 1/26/2020 @ 6:50 am
61. WaBlogLog (5dfc9b) — 1/24/2020 @ 4:55 pm
No, it was the combination of Democratic intellectual dishonesty and 40 years of propaganda, mainly on talk radio, against illegal immigration. Other Republicans found they could not argue against him.
If Donald Trump is a Frankenstein’s monster, than Bill Clinton (who may have encouraged him to run for president, thinking he was guaranteed to lose)
and Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama are the Frankensteins.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/alabama-s-jeff-sessions-becomes-first-senator-endorse-trump-n527661Sammy Finkelman (083d4c) — 1/26/2020 @ 7:15 am
95. All4One (46cb3f) — 1/25/2020 @ 4:00 pm
It didn’t have merit. Paula Jones was manipulated into filing that lawsuit, (Bill Clinton had Arkansas State troopers lie about her saying she consented, then he made sure she became aware of the American Spectator article, then he refused to correct the record, and then, I think, he sent her a lawyer) and she filed under the wrong tort!!
Bill Clinton always knew he was going to win that lawsuit whenever he decided to put an end to it. Bill Clinton wanted the lawsuit as a public excuse to have a legal defense fund. Later, Bill Clinton settled with her, but that was on done the basis of the legal “principle” that people who lose lawsuits are almost never prosecuted for perjury.
In the course of the lawsuit, Bill Clinton’s possible sexual relationships with subordinates became relevant because Bill Clinton had signed a bill into law making it so!
At the very end, the judge reversed herself and ruled it was not relevant, but that was much too late.
Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky became known to Paul Jones’ lawyers because he made the mistake of exiling Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky to the exact same office in the Pentagon!Sammy Finkelman (083d4c) — 1/26/2020 @ 7:30 am
Vell, nk’s just zis guy, you know?Dave (1bb933) — 1/26/2020 @ 9:10 am
None of the above, Demosthenes. I was just joking around, all down the line: About sparing Dana’s feelings, about sparing your feelings, about engaging in micro-aggression. You have done nothing to offend or irritate me — in fact I always find your comments informative and enjoyable.
And I am not a Klingon, and ” The enemy of my enemy is the enemy I will kill last” is not my motto. That’s just some of felipe’s humor. I hope. You don’t really think of me as a Klingon, do you, felipe?nk (1d9030) — 1/26/2020 @ 10:47 am
Notice he *doesn’t* deny being the former president of the galaxy, or inventing the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.Dave (1bb933) — 1/26/2020 @ 12:10 pm
nk (1d9030) — 1/26/2020 @ 10:47 am
Of course not! It’s just me being silly.felipe (023cc9) — 1/26/2020 @ 12:18 pm
Hear ye, hear ye! Let all know that felipe thinks of nk as “a voice that cries out in the wilderness.” Spread the word.felipe (023cc9) — 1/26/2020 @ 12:22 pm
Thank you, felipe!nk (1d9030) — 1/26/2020 @ 4:21 pm
But regarding that “motto” … it got me thinking: If it sometimes seems like I’m defending Trump, against the the Democrats or their #FakeNewsMedia organs, that’s because “The enemy of my enemy is just one more lying mother-figure who is lying to me”.nk (1d9030) — 1/26/2020 @ 5:03 pm
A matter of opinion, I respect that. That was not exactly my point though, was it? Sure, Clinton was censured for his conduct in regards to the matter after he left office (I’ll leave it up to you to argue that was wrong), but my point was and still remains that the Jones lawsuit should not have been have been allowed to go forward while Mr. Clinton was in office, lest the precedence set jeopardized all Presidents ability to govern after the fact.All4One (46cb3f) — 1/27/2020 @ 2:23 pm