Thursday, December 05, 2019

democrat impeachment voliates due process

The lawmakers were echoing objections made by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in an Oct. 8 letter to top House Democrats that said Trump’s lawyers must be allowed to call and cross-examine witnesses, access evidence, and be afforded other “basic rights guaranteed to all Americans.”

The following examines the procedures followed in past impeachment investigations and explains why, contrary to Republican claims, the current inquiry does not violate Trump’s constitutional rights.

Members of three Democratic-led House committees have been interviewing government officials behind closed doors to try to build a case that Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate a rival - Democrat Joe Biden - for his personal political benefit.

While Democrats have led these interviews, Republicans who sit on the committees are also able to review documents and ask questions of the witnesses. Trump’s lawyers have been excluded.

Democrats have said they will hold public hearings soon in order to make their case against Trump to voters. House leaders have likened their investigation to a grand jury proceeding, a preliminary stage of a criminal case conducted in secret.


Cipollone said the House has “not established any procedures affording the President even the most basic protections demanded by due process under the Constitution and by fundamental fairness” in violation of “every past precedent.”

In addition to granting Trump the right to access evidence, examine witnesses, and have counsel present at hearings, the committees must also disclose evidence that is favorable to him, he wrote.

Cipollone argued that Republican lawmakers should be allowed to issue subpoenas, which would enable them to present their own evidence and try to undermine the Democrats’ version of events.

The White House also said the investigation was not legitimate because the full House had not voted to authorize it.

In U.S. impeachment proceedings, the House investigates and votes to impeach, and the Senate holds a trial to determine guilt or innocence and whether the president stays in office.

Some of the protections requested by the White House were given to Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, the two presidents in modern history to face impeachment probes.

The House allowed Nixon’s defense lawyers to respond to evidence and testimony during his impeachment inquiry. Nixon resigned from office in 1974 before being impeached, however.


Twenty-five years later, Clinton was afforded similar protections. Clinton was impeached by the House but not convicted by the Senate.

In both of those cases, the House also held a full vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry.

Some scholars have said that Clinton’s case was unique and cannot be likened to the current proceeding, however, because the Republicans who impeached Clinton relied on evidence laid out in a report by former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who Democrats accused of political bias.

Frank Bowman, a law professor at the University of Missouri, said the U.S. Constitution gives the House the freedom to set its own ground rules for the process.

No full vote is needed to authorize an investigation and the House is not obligated to let Trump’s lawyers participate, Bowman said.

“Trump has no standing whatsoever to insist that the House do impeachment the way he would like it done,” Bowman said.

Bowman added that fairness to Trump is more of a concern if there is a trial in the Senate, which is currently controlled by Republicans. Like the House, the Senate has broad authority to set its own impeachment rules.

But some legal experts said giving Trump basic protections and allowing his lawyers to participate would make the impeachment investigation appear more fair.

That could be a wise political move for Democrats, said Ross Garber, who teaches impeachment law at Tulane Law School and has represented four governors in impeachment proceedings.

Bypassing due process safeguards that are standard in the U.S. legal system “may make the American people question the legitimacy of the impeachment process,” Garber said.

Monday, December 02, 2019

four reasons why Trump isn’t a dictator

During the holiday season conservatives are going to spend lots of time across the dinner table from a family member that’s a know-it-all Democrat. No matter how much you’re determined to simply eat, laugh and watch sports, there’s always that one family member who will continue to goad you until talking President Trump and politics is unavoidable.

After you’ve destroyed that person with facts, instead of licking his or her wounds and accepting defeat, they actively recruit all of your other Democratic family members to gang up on you. Much like the original instigator, you quickly realize that their arguments are as void of facts and high on emotion as a Don Lemon monologue. Once they finally realize they can’t convince you to vote Democrat in 2020, they resort to calling Trump names and questioning how you could ever support him. The list of names might include everything from tax cheat, philanderer, racist, sexist, fake president, and Russian plant to dictator. 

It’s the word “dictator” I’m most concerned with, particularly when they ignore the fact that the top-tier candidates in the Democratic primary are running as socialists. Our parents, our schools, our media and even some of our churches have failed us.

Here are four reasons why Trump isn’t a dictator:

1. Dictators don’t cut taxes: Dictators don’t sign legislation like the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” as President Donald Trump did, that allowed more Americans to keep more of their own hard-earned money. On the contrary, via over taxation, dictators seek to hoard the nation’s wealth for themselves, their allies and to buy allegiance from their military so they can crush dissent like China does (note to LeBron James).

2. Dictators don’t deregulate: Personally, I hate regulation because it’s the easiest way for unelected bureaucrats to circumvent the will of voters. However, I understand under the right circumstance, regulation is a necessary evil. I’d prefer all regulation be implemented at the state and local levels.

With that said, President Trump promised to reduce regulation on the campaign trail, and he’s kept his promise. According to the Heritage Foundation, during Trump’s first 22 months in office he only took 229 regulatory actions compared to former President Obama, who took 647 regulatory actions, and former President George W. Bush, who took 465 regulatory actions in the same length of time. Under Trump’s Executive Order 13771, which he issued just 10 days after taking office, agencies were required to “offset the cost of any new significant regulation (or guidance) with at least two deregulatory actions.” Trump also placed a budgetary cap on agencies to reduce their incremental costs. The bottom line is, dictators don’t seek to relinquish control by weakening their own government. Dictators gain more power and control over their people by creating more government dependence.

3. Dictators don’t tolerate dissent: could you imagine President Xi Jinping of China tolerating the level of criticism President Trump endures daily from the mainstream media? What about Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro? Do you think North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un would tolerate dissent without some reporter ending up dead somewhere? Yet, over 90 percent of media coverage of President Trump is negative. Real dictators respond with military force to squash dissent. Trump uses Twitter to fight back against the media elites, and he’s the dictator? Give me a break!

4. Dictators wouldn’t support Second Amendment rights: you’d think this would be a no-brainer for Democrats but it’s not. Consider Venezuela. They banned private gun ownership in 2012. However, the police, Army, and some security contractors remained armed. According to the Daily Caller, the former Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez, claimed “the law would curb the country’s high rate of violence and said the ultimate goal was to disarm all private citizens.” As a result of the law, only 37 weapons were handed over voluntarily, but more than 12,500 were taken by force. Chavez’s predecessor, Nicolas Maduro, ramped up the program in 2013 and today his soldiers are shooting citizens fending for food and fighting human rights in the middle of the street.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, was the first president since Ronald Reagan to speak to the National Rifle Association (NRA). He’s since spoken at several of their gatherings. Because our Second Amendment explicitly states that “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” it’s safe to assume that no president that wanted to be a dictator would speak in front of a group of gun toting Americans that would fight to the death to ensure that never happened.

Sadly, many on the left have been so dumbed down by our educational system that they wouldn’t know what a dictator was if he or she were promising a socialist utopia like Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and running in their own Democratic primary

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Speaker Pelosi Uses Catholic Faith as a Cop Out

After giving House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) the greenlight to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi melted down in front of reporters at her own press conference.

Beyond her usual talking points of "saving Democracy," and "adhering to the Constitution," the Speaker used her Catholic faith to skirt a simple question from Sinclair Broadcast Group reporter James Rosen. Rosen asked Speaker Pelosi very plainly if she hated the president whom she is in the process of impeaching in the House of Representatives. Rather than give a calm, respectful response, as an alleged ally of the free press would, Speaker Pelosi snapped at Rosen and invoked her Catholic faith as a shield, claiming to be offended.

    JAMES ROSEN: Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?

    NANCY PELOSI: I don’t hate anybody. … And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word “hate" in a sentence that addresses me. … I pray for the president all the time. So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.
    — JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) December 5, 2019

Speaker Pelosi’s attempt at claiming the moral high ground here is the peak of hypocrisy from a career politician. Our individual faith and beliefs are our own forces to reckon with, but Speaker Pelosi is far from a shining example of a strict follower of the church’s teachings, especially given her spineless rhetoric on abortion as the issue moves to the center of the ideological divide.

As her party moves further to the left each day, especially on the issue of abortion, Speaker Pelosi has simultaneously remained silent while still claiming to be a moderate and a faithful Catholic. The mainstream Democratic Party, fueled by young progressives and far-left interest groups, has embraced unlimited, late-term abortion with open arms. The Speaker refuses to condemn the abhorrent abortion laws implemented in New York and Virginia, which both go even further than third trimester abortions. She also turns a blind eye to the harmful rhetoric pushed by groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL, both of which provide substantial monetary donations to the Democratic Party, as they encourage American women to "shout their abortions."

These radical views on abortion would nearly force former President Bill Clinton to side with the GOP on the issue. The 42nd president famously championed the “safe, legal and rare,” abortion stance, but the aforementioned ideology is now viewed as a stigma against women by young liberals. Mainstream progressives, the group dominating the agenda of the Democratic Party for the sake of votes, have shifted the narrative surrounding abortion from a solemn, difficult choice to a normal, routine healthcare procedure. This rhetoric is not only setting a dangerous precedent, but is also out of touch with reality.

The two traditional sides of the movement can disagree on when life begins and what trimester to cap legal abortion at, but the opposing sides have historically agreed that this choice is a solemn one for women. The Democratic Party stepping away from that historical agreement should sound the alarm for American voters.

This shift also gives Speaker Pelosi, a respected and talented legislator, a unique opportunity to be a leader within her party. However, instead of dispelling the notion that the views of the Democratic Party do not align with the far-left’s radical views on abortion, Speaker Pelosi turns a blind eye and cashes the campaign checks from far-left interest groups.

This is the Speaker’s burden to bear, but to invoke her Catholic faith in front of the American people in order to avoid admitting her obvious hatred for President Trump is despicable. If Madam Speaker wants to hate the duly elected president of the United States, she can. If she wants to embrace the radical abortion views of the growing, progressive wing of her party, that, too, is her choice. However, to use her Catholic faith as an excuse to claim immunity from talking about either of these issues, which her once-reasonable party has taken extreme stances on, goes against the very teachings on which she claims moral high ground.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

What Impeachment Exposed About Trump and 2020

For those who got stuck watching the past two weeks of testimony in the circus inquiry into impeaching President Trump there is a bit of news that has been uncovered.

Let face it only about 3 percent of the American people spent time watching the proceedings. Compare that to the near 30 percent of the American people who tuned in to view the Clinton impeachment proceedings and you already understand something very important.

After watching the Democrats attempt to displace a lawfully elected president via fake charges of collusion with Russia, the voter doesn’t seem very impressed with an effort to displace him over a phony charge of “quid pro quo.”

Denying due process, witnesses, or even their choice of the committee members who would be allowed to speak just added to the (****yawn****) sham and why people felt no compulsion to view the goings on.

Now that it appears Democrats have called their final witnesses and they are preparing to recommend the formal articles of impeachment, it’s my belief that the president’s team will finally be allowed to punch back for the first time.

But before they do we need to point out a significant and vital truth.

Post intel-committee polls are pointing out this truth. But it deserves a wider recognition.

It would be wise for Pelosi and Schiff to consider it prior to taking even another step forward.

Democrats cast President Trump as someone who is so self-driven that he’s attempting to subvert justice just to “win an election.” That his thirst for victory pulsates through his heart so obsessively that he would break laws to have foreign governments interfere in our process just so that he could beat a Democrat.

Yet here’s the unspoken truth: He doesn’t need to.

He never has.

In 2016 he literally spent the least in campaign operations to win an impressive 30 state (plus) victory.

He spent less than his GOP opponents in the primary.

He is spending way less than any of the Democratic candidates at present, with hundreds of millions in cash on hand, ready to go to work when the time is right. But the truth is he’s had hundreds of millions in the bank since his victory in 2016.

The Democrats didn’t lose because the Russians spent $90,000 on Facebook ads. Team Hillary spent upwards of $69 million.

They lost because her message didn’t connect with voters who felt like Washington, D.C. was ignoring them.

In 2016 candidate Trump had no track record, but he had ideas, and he made promises. In 2020 he’s kept 87 of those promises, and he still has ideas not yet implemented.

In 2020 he will likely spend less money on media than his opponent. He will focus resources into going to meet voters at his enormous rallies. People will feel heard, they will look at his track record now, and will easily send him back to finish the fight.

He doesn’t need Russian bot-farms. He doesn’t need Ukrainian investigations. He doesn’t need a thing.

And it seems voters understand this.

Multiple polls showed movement with independents since the “public” impeachment inquiry had begun. Different polls showed differing amounts but the range was 8-11 percent in the president’s favor.

The media—which is the public relations arm of the Democrats—has helped spread the idea that if President Trump has done something illegal, that it should be looked into.

Voters gave the Democrats the chance to make their case. And just like with Russia, collusion, and Mueller, the wheels fell off the cart under scrutiny.

Donald Trump will win more states in 2020 than he won in 2016. (I’m on record saying 34-38. He won 30 in 2016). And he doesn’t need any help from anybody, minus the voters that he has worked tirelessly for while in office.

Believing otherwise is just playing the sucker the impeachment Dems tried to convince you that you were these past two weeks.

Don’t let them

Monday, November 18, 2019

Civil War Begins When the Constitutional Order Breaks Down

Georgetown Institute poll finds that two-thirds of us believe we are edging closer “to the brink of a civil war.” Yet Americans cannot properly analyze this “gathering storm.” We lack a framework, a lexicon, and the historical data (from other civil wars) to see clearly what is happening to us.
Here is a quick template for how we might more usefully decipher how this nation gets to another civil war. It is arranged as a short series of questions: 1) What is civil war? 2) Why do political-constitutional orders sometimes breakdown, rather than simply transform in response to change? 3) How is violence essential to constitutional and political resolution? 4) How close is the U.S. to such a break down, and its consequences?
What is civil war? 
Civil war is, at root, a contest over legitimacy. Legitimacy—literally the right to make law — is shorthand for the consent of the citizens and political parties to abide by the authority of a constitutional order. Civil war begins when this larger political compact breaks down.
Civil War means that there is a functional split within the source of legitimacy between two parties, each of which was formerly part of the old constitutional order. Thus each can claim that it represents the source of new legitimacy, and the right to define a new or reworked constitutional order.
Hence civil war becomes a struggle in which one party must successfully assert a successor legitimate order, and to which the opposing party must eventually submit. This is above all a contest over constitutional authority. Inasmuch as civil war happens after constitutional breakdown, it means that resolution must be reached not only outside of a now-former legal framework, but also unrestrained even by longstanding political customs and norms. Extra-constitutional force is now the deciding factor, which is why these struggles are called civil wars.
Americans are most familiar with our own such battles, from 1775-1783 and 1861-1876. For example, Parliament’s “Intolerable Acts” (1774) stripped Massachusetts of its governing legitimacy, leading to armed resistance to Parliament’s authority. Two “legitimacies” at war.
In 1860, the election of Abraham Lincoln convinced Southern electorates that the incoming Republican administration would strip them of their way of life. The slave states could only accept a constitutional order that fully supported slavery. The only legitimacy lay in Slavocracy—while the North, for its part, would not, as Lincoln declared, accept “the nationalization of slavery.”
Why do some constitutional orders breakdown rather than transform?
Our political stability has depended on the tenure of periodic “party systems.” Legitimacy flows from the give and take of a two-party relationship. American party systems have had dominant parties or states. In the first party system, four of the first five presidents (32 out of 36 years) were slaveholders from Virginia. The second party system was more balanced between Democrats and Whigs, but broke down in the 1850s when the Whigs up and vanished, with party stability disappearing with them. The new GOP dominated the third system, 6-2, with one of the Democrats impeached. Equally, the fourth was also Republican, 6-1, with a Republican third party challenge electing the only Dem. FDR’s fifth party system put Democrats in office for 32 out of 48 years, with both GOP administrations governing within a New Deal worldview.
Many thought that Reagan’s electoral wave signaled a sixth party system, yet it failed to take root. After 1992, the parties have alternated presidents every eight years, and with each succeeding administration, the political milieu has grown yet more rancorous and divided. There is no relationship between parties now — save as sworn enemies — let alone a “system.”
The situation resonates with the 1850s. When collegial understandings between “The Democracy” and the Whigs evaporated, a new opposing party appeared suddenly, and as an enemy. No other relationship was possible.
Hence, a party system ending without a consensual replacement means that longstanding customs and norms that undergird constitutional relationships are quietly pared away. In other words, well before legal confrontations over legitimacy, the erosion of informal rules sets up adjudicating crises over formal rules. This was a feature of the final deterioration in Congress before 1860, marked by brawls on the floor of the House and a bloody assault in the Senate.
Dismantling a web of political relationships precedes the dismantling of constitutional legitimacy.
How is violence essential to constitutional and political resolution?
Violence is the magical substance of civil war. If, by definition, political groups in opposition have also abandoned the legitimacy of the old order, then a successor constitutional order with working politics cannot be birthed without violence. Hence violence is the only force that can bring about a new order. This is why all memorable civil wars, and all parties, enthusiastically embrace violence.
The character of civil war is existential. The breakdown of the old order forces frightening prospects on society. If constitutions represented a collective source of authority, in its violent replacement are suddenly two opposing and inimical pretenders, each crying for both allegiance and punishment. Moreover, one party’s victory is the inevitable loss of the other’s way of life.
Hence in such conflicts, the entire society must choose sides, and it is an all-or-nothing choice. Moderates and undecided, and those peaceful fence sitters all are forced to join warring factions. In civil war, perhaps the greatest violence, in the heart, is the aggressive coercion to join a warring cause.
War becomes a great, mutual ritual of resolution between enemies-once-brothers. Here, longstanding customs and norms, paradoxically, come right into play. While old political norms may have been discarded, old conflict norms again take center stage. If there is to be a war, certain expectations, even hallowed traditions come into play: How battle should be formed, and also too, the pathways battle resolves.
Hence, the “Cousins’ War” of 1775-1781 quite clearly took its battlefield cues from the English Civil War (1642-1651), and followed the rituals, not only of formal battles, but also the norms and standards for victory and defeat. Likewise, the Confederacy, three generations later, explicitly declared itself a glorious cause cut from the same cloth as the declaration of 1776.
Our antique civil wars were not bound to formal rules, yet somehow they held to well-etched bounds of expectation. American society today has very different norms and expectations for civil conflict, which certainly will constrain how we fight the next battle.
Today’s America no longer embraces a national landscape of an industrial-lockstep battlefield (think Gettysburg, D-Day). Our next civil war—as social media so eloquently reminds us—will enact its violence on a battle campus of equal pain, if less blood. Yet there will be much blood, however it will take form like the gatheringchaos of our world.
How close is the U.S. to such a breakdown—and its consequences?
American constitutional order has not broken down, yet. Constitutional legitimacy still rules. Recent tests of legitimacy confirm this. A presidential impeachment in the 1990s did not lead to conviction in a trial, nor did anyone expect it to. The Supreme Court decided a contested presidential election in 2000, and the decision was everywhere accepted. 2016, in contrast, was bitterly accepted. Yet even the relentless force to depose the president that followed, through a special prosecutor, was spent by the spring of 2019.
Yet if these are tests of robust legitimacy they are hardly reassuring.  A daily torrent of unfiltered evidence suggests that our constitutional order is fissuring before our eyes. That we have skirted constitutional crisis for the past quarter century is no reassurance, but rather an alarm of continuing erosion. Each new test is yet more bitterly contested, and still less resolved.
Today, two irreconcilable visions of American life believe that they can continue only if they own the whole order. Yet ours has been a shared constitutional order. As we witnessed from 1860-1876, it must proceed as a consensual and joint party system: It cannot exist through single party ownership. The single-minded drive toward this goal—especially now by Blue state Democrats—has embrittled our constitutional order, and is creating the basis for a full-scale legitimacy crackup. Here’s what it might look like:
A contested election that Court decision fails to resolve. Supreme Court legitimacy has eroded in the years since Bush v. Gore. Today, a Court decision that is rejected by half the nation would not only effectively drain its authority, but also leave the U.S. no final arbiter in governance. Democrats’ courtpacking would certainly abet this.
Declaration of a pre- or post-election state of emergency. As Commander-in-Chief, the executive can temporarily assume extraordinary powers. We have witnessed such moments as recently as 9-11. What if the emergency had a domestic focus, such as a “coup d’état” within the government itself? What if it was the refusal of Congress to accept such an executive order, or even the continued tenure of the president?
State nullification of Federal policy, laws, or executive decisions.State nullification, indelibly tied to another civil war, casts a long shadow. States are selectively nullifying executive decisions and federal law, like Blue states with sanctuary cities and legal marijuana. What if beleaguered Red states defied Federal gun confiscation (second amendment) or exercise of religion (first amendment) laws/executive orders, by calling up state militia and mobilizingstate defense  forces?
The issue here is not “What if?” but rather, “What then?” It is not about the authenticity of conflict scenarios, but rather about how contingencies we cannot now predict might bring us to a breaking point, andthe breakdown of legitimacy.
Already, warring sides have hardened their hearts so that they will do almost anything in order to prevail. The great irony is that their mutual drive to win—either to preserve their way of life, or make their way of life the law of the land—means that the battle has already become a perverse alliance. Today they refuse to work together in the rusting carapace of old constitutional order. Yet nonetheless they work shoulder-to-shoulder, together, to overthrow it. For both sides, the old order is the major obstacle to victory. Hence victory is through overthrow. Only when constitutional obstacles are toppled can the battle for light and truth begin.
Editor’s Note: The first paragraph was edited to reflect the exact wording of the Georgetown Institute poll.