"We are now living in a brave new American world never envisioned by the Founders."
Victor Davis Hanson looks at leftists and #NeverTrumpers.
…There are inconsistencies and incoherencies in all these anti-Trump views.
First, there is a high bar—indeed no contemporary precedent—for attempting to remove a modern president in his first term with a presidential election less than a year away, without bipartisan and popular majority support, and without a special prosecutor’s findings of illegal or even unethical behavior.
…Or compare Trump’s current three years with the tenure of his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama.
Was Trump caught in public on a hot mic finalizing a quid pro quo arrangement akin to the one Barack Obama summarized with outgoing President Dimitri Medvedev that soon led to Vladimir Putin giving the American president needed helpful “space” during his reelection bid in order to win U.S. abandonment of Eastern European missile defense? Was that a “bribe” in which Obama diminished U.S. security interests in robust missile defense to the benefit of his own reelection campaign? Did Trump forbid all lethal military aid to Ukraine in order not to aggravate Putin—as Obama did?
Has Trump conducted government surveillance on suspected leakers, such as Associated Press journalist critics or a Fox reporter? Had he, would he be impeached? Has he weaponized the IRS to use its vast power to deny nonprofit status to perceived hostile left-wing groups in the climate of an upcoming campaign? Are the current directors, respectively, of the Trump Administration’s Office of National Intelligence, CIA, and FBI now peddling an opposition research dossier on Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), paid for with Trump campaign money and compiled by a hired British foreign national, who in turn drew on bought Russian rumors and gossip?
…I could go on. But the point is that no one yet has convincingly argued that Trump’s behavior in office does not meet the standard of successful presidents such John F. Kennedy or Bill Clinton (neither of whom was removed from office). Do we wish to criminalize politicking as a substitute for elections?
The Foundations of Trump Hatred
In sum, what explains the decision to end the Trump presidency in a way we have not removed prior presidents?
First, the media is now not just 90 percent anti-Trump in its coverage, but has but merged with the Democratic Party in its activism. Most egregiously it reports anti-Trump rumor and gossip as fact, explaining why so many reporters have been forced to apologize, been fired, been reassigned, or disgraced for peddling false stories.
Second, NeverTrumpers are orphaned from 90 percent of the Republican Party who voted and will vote again for Trump. They know they are often played as useful idiots by progressives who otherwise want nothing to do with them, and will not wish to have anything to do with them, even as apostates, in the post-Trump era.
They have crossed the proverbial Rubicon and must know that they have no constituency left and cannot go back. They are tottering on their coastal perches, alienated from all their accustomed conservative loci of influence, power, and prestige. So they go even further for broke: either Trump is disgraced and removed from office and they are redeemed in “I told you so” fashion, or they will continue to become marginalized, as embittered and lonely scolds in the twilight of their careers.
Third, the Left was intoxicated on Obama’s two terms of progressive transformation. Progressives really believed “demography is destiny.” Obama supposedly had created a new 51 percent constituency of lockstep gays, blacks, Latinos, Asian, women, youth, and immigrants who together outnumbered the embittered and vanishing clingers, deplorables, irredeemables, and dregs. Voting entirely on the basis of shared race or gender or orientation was considered the new pillar of identity politics.
…Fourth and finally, there is currently a full-fledged progressive assault on the Constitution. It supersedes even efforts to curtail the Second Amendment and stifle protected free speech by slandering it as “hate speech” and thus not protected by the First Amendment.
Almost all the Democratic candidates have called for jettisoning the Electoral College. Many states have sought to force their legislatures to have electors vote in accordance with the national popular vote. The 25th Amendment is now viewed as an excuse to demonize, emasculate, and maybe remove a president without an election.
Many of the Democratic candidates have endorsed the once infamous “court-packing” schemes of FDR to stack the Supreme Court with liberal justices in a way impossible under the current century-and-a-half protocols of judicial appointments.
…None of the haters cares that unemployment is at near-record lows, the stock market at record highs, economic growth steady, inflation and interest rates low, minority employment at all-time levels—or that there is a looming shared need to address entitlements and deficit sooner than later.
None care that for three years, there has been a nonstop effort from within and outside government to end the Trump presidency, or at least to sabotage it along the lines outlined by the anonymous New York Times op-ed writer, the whistleblower lawyer Mark Zaid, or departing Department of Defense official Evelyn Farkas, or as bragged about by #TheResistance.”
We are in new territory now. Hating a president is equivalent to finding him guilty of supposed high crimes. Impeachment is a casual affair. Hearsay is as valid as direct testimony.
We are now living in a brave new American world never envisioned by the Founders.
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