‘Heartbroken’ Pelosi Fast-Tracks Impeachment

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“This is a very sad time for our country. There is no joy in this,” said Nancy Pelosi Saturday. “We must be somber. We must be prayerful. … I’m heartbroken about it.”

Thus did the speaker profess her anguish—just four days after announcing that her Democratic House would conduct an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

But is this how it really went down? Is this how Pelosi came to authorize an impeachment inquiry before she read the transcript of the conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky?

Another explanation, based on the actual events, suggests itself.

By late September, Pelosi was under constant fire from the House “resistance” that wanted Trump impeached and whose numbers were slowly growing. What was the speaker to do?

The judiciary committee is the body historically authorized by a vote of the full House to conduct impeachment inquiries. But to Pelosi this was looking like a loser, a dead end, a formula for failure followed by a backlash against House Democrats and her own removal as speaker in January 2021, if not before.

How so? Her judiciary committee chairman, Jerrold Nadler, in his investigation of Trump, had presided over a debacle of a hearing where Trump ally Corey Lewandowski mocked the members. House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth called the hearing a “fiasco.”

Thus, when news broke of a July 25 conversation between Trump and the president of Ukraine, during which Trump allegedly urged Zelensky “eight times” to investigate Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden’s connections to corrupt oligarchs, Pelosi seized upon it to solve all her problems.

To satisfy the red-hots in her Democratic caucus, she announced an impeachment inquiry on her own. To spare her moderates the pain of having to vote for or against an inquiry, she skipped the floor vote.

To ensure the investigation was done swiftly, she took the franchise from Nadler and his judiciary committee and handed it to Adam Schiff and the intelligence committee. Now she is urging a narrowing of the articles of impeachment to just one — Trump’s request of Ukraine’s president to look into the Bidens.

Pelosi’s hope: Have one House vote on a single article of impeachment by year end; then send it on to the Senate for trial and be done with it. This is Nancy Pelosi’s fast track to impeachment of Trump and ruination of his presidency. But, to be sure, she is “heartbroken” about all this.

For three years, the media-deep state axis has sought to overturn the election of 2016 and bring down Trump, starting with Russia-gate. Now it appears to have tailored and weaponized the impeachment process.

That is what this is all about. It always is. Then-editor Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post, when it looked like the Iran-Contra matter might break Ronald Reagan’s presidency, after his 49-state landslide, chortled, “We haven’t had this much fun since Watergate.”

This is what the deep state does to outsiders Middle America sends to Washington to challenge or dispossess it.

How should the Republican Party and Trump’s base respond?

Recognize reality. Whether or not …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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The Hazards of ‘Normalizing’ Impeachment

By W. James Antle III

I must confess I am torn on impeachment. Not the “whistleblower report” or the House Democrats’ looming inquiry into President Donald Trump, that is, but on the question of whether impeachment should become a routine form of White Housecleaning or remain, as impeached former President Bill Clinton often said of abortion, “safe, legal and rare.”

Clinton’s was largely a partisan impeachment. While a significant number of Democratic congressmen voted to open an inquiry and a handful even backed some articles of impeachment, the matter was largely pursued by Republicans in the House (where only a simple majority is necessary to impeach) and had zero support from Democrats in the Senate (where a two-thirds majority is required to convict and remove). We do not yet know where the Trump impeachment inquiry will end, but it begins in the same place, give or take the occasional Mitt Romney here, Justin Amash there.

Twenty years ago, I favored Clinton’s impeachment (though my lowly position as an intern in a Republican county office in northeastern Ohio greatly diminished the salience of this bold stand). In the years since, I’ve second-guessed whether it is wise to impeach the president of the United States with the support of only a third of the electorate and a near certainty that the Senate would vote for acquittal. Both public support for impeachment and the prospects of a Senate conviction are somewhat higher in Trump’s case, but not insurmountably so.

Impeachment, James Madison wrote, is an “indispensable” tool “for defending the community against the incapacity, negligence, or perfidy of the Chief Magistrate.” Aside from elections themselves, it is really the primary one the Founders gave us to rein the president. With Justice Department guidelines now recommending against the indictment of an incumbent president for any reason, it is arguably the only one.


The Cato Institute’s Gene Healy has described “the notion that impeachment is reserved solely for criminal abuses of office” of the presidency as a myth. “Perversely, as the power of the office has grown, that misconception has ensured that the federal official with the greatest capacity to do harm now enjoys stronger job protection than virtually any other American,” Healy writes.

Would presidents have grabbed so much power if the legislative branch jealously guarded its constitutional prerogatives as the Framers envisioned? Would the imperial presidency even exist in the first place if Congress had used every means at its disposal to claw back these constitutionally dubious usurpations, including impeachment?

The answers to these questions are as obvious as Congress’ unwillingness to protect its own constitutionally delegated powers when politically inconvenient. The system of checks and balances has been broken by partisanship. Partisanship, paradoxically, is perhaps the most promising avenue for repairing it. Congressional Republicans successfully imposed real spending restraint on a Democratic president via sequestration. They have allowed a president of their own party to run trillion dollar deficits in a time of low unemployment and economic growth. Similarly, congressional Democrats have challenged the constitutionality of a presidential war …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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Dreadlocks Hate Hoax

By Rod Dreher

Verily, our president is a crackpot. He might or might not need to be impeached — that remains to be seen. But if you want a good example of why a lot of conservatives are not going to be quick to surrender him, look no further than this disgusting story from suburban Virginia, via the Washington Post:

The sixth-grade girl at a private Virginia school who accused three classmates last week of forcibly cutting her hair now says the allegations were false, according to statements from the girl’s family and the principal at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield. School officials met with the girl and her family Monday morning before releasing the statement.

The 12-year-old, who is African American, said three white boy students held her down in a school playground a week ago during recess, covered her mouth, called her insulting names and used scissors to cut her hair.

The grandparents of the girl, who are her legal guardians, released an apology Monday.

“To those young boys and their parents, we sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused,” the grandparents wrote in a statement sent to The Washington Post by the school. “To the administrators and families of Immanuel Christian School, we are sorry for the damage this incident has done to trust within the school family and the undue scorn it has brought to the school. To the broader community, who rallied in such passionate support for our daughter, we apologize for betraying your trust.”

Last week, NBC Nightly News broadcast the allegations from coast to coast — proving that the mainstream media learned nothing from the Jussie Smollett hoax, or the Covington Catholic boys witch hunt. From the print version of the story:

Three sixth-grade white boys at a Christian school in Virginia where Vice President Mike Pence’s wife works cut a black girl’s hair, calling it “nappy” and her “ugly,” the girl says.

Amari Allen, 12, told NBC Washington that she was about to go down a slide during recess at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield on Monday when one of the boys grabbed her and put his hand over her mouth. The second boy grabbed her arms, while the third cut off some of her dreadlocks.

“They said my hair was nappy and I was ugly,” she said.

The key phrase in this story is “where Vice President Mike Pence’s wife works.” That’s the only reason why an unproven incident of schoolyard bullying makes national news: because it’s something that the media can use to trash Republicans. Of course this black 12-year-old who claims she was bullied on the playground at a conservative Christian school that employs Mike Pence’s wife must be telling the truth, because that’s exactly how white male conservative Christians behave — right? And of course a playground incident, the truth of which had not even been established must be reported as nationally relevant news.

I feel sorry for Amari Allen’s grandparents, her caretakers. They had the courage to come forward with the truth … …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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Iran Reframed

By Daniel Larison

Narges Bajoghli has written a fascinating book about her research into the work of pro-government media and film producers inside Iran. The book is called Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic, and it just came out last week. I have read shorter pieces of analysis from Prof. Bajoghli before, and I have occasionally cited her in some of my posts here, so I knew the book would be worth reading. I finished it a few days ago, and it does not disappoint. Najoghli presents a thoughtful, critical, and nuanced account of her subjects.

The book introduces us to many of the people responsible for creating pro-regime media and shows us how they operate, the divisions and disagreements among them, and what motivates them. One of the questions that Bajoghli seeks to answer is how the older generations of regime supporters are attempting to “transmit the commitment of their revolutionary project” to later generations, and along the way she shows us that there is a significant generational divide between the early supporters of the regime with their experience of the war with Iraq and the newest generation that have been coming up in the last ten to fifteen years. This is important research that allows us to understand how different regime supporters see their own system and their country, and it points to divisions that exist inside that system that are usually invisible to outside viewers. It also shows how the regime’s media producers have adapted over the last decade to appeal to the wider Iranian public with nationalistic messages and it tells how they are making use of a variety of media to deliver that message in ways so that the audience doesn’t realize that it is a product of the state.

One of the interesting splits in the ranks of these regime media producers was generational. The older men that Bajoghli interviewed understood their membership in the Basij in terms of defending the country against invasion, and they held the newer members in low esteem because they saw them mainly as opportunists out for personal advancement. One war veteran said of them: “For us, it was a matter of life and death. These kids are ideological and they don’t even know why.” (p. 47) Interestingly, the older Basijis that Bajoghli met refused to let their children join the organization, which they saw as a step down from the status that they had acquired for themselves and their families.

During her research, Bajoghli spoke to many veterans of the war with Iraq, and during her conversations with them she found that they would switch between their real, honest accounts of their wartime experience when they had grown to trust her and would then slip into an “official” mode when on camera. This is hardly unique to the Iran-Iraq war, but it is something that can be overlooked when the “official” line is the only one that is permitted to be heard: “The official narrative of the war has stayed …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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Rebecca Grant: Why Dems need you to believe that Trump damages our national security

By Rebecca Grant Why did foreign policy with Ukraine get dragged into impeachment? Because it’s crucial for the far-left to get you to believe Trump is a danger to national security. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines


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Superman As Good As Gatsby

By Rod Dreher

A reader who is a high school English teacher writes:

Just opened the latest edition of the Council Chronicle, the quarterly magazine of the National Council of Teachers of English. It’s my first issue in awhile, because I was teaching in another department for the last few years. The table of contents is below [The photo above is the one the reader sent; all the articles are behind a subscriber paywall. — RD].

This publication used to be a great resource for lesson plan and assessment ideas. Now it’s a guide for how to politicize instruction and dumb down the curriculum. Just about every article mentions free choice as the standard — in other words, letting students read whatever they feel like instead of choosing works of substance for them. (Actual quote from a university instructor: “Why do we think The Great Gatsby is great when Superman has been around for almost as long?”) Sorry, but there’s no way I would have voluntarily picked up most of the classics that made me love literature — but having been assigned them in my courses, I discovered ideas and styles that stretched my perspective and challenged my intellect. Now the only leading we’re encouraged to do is toward “activism and joy,” in that order.

I was planning to attend the annual convention this year, but at this point I can’t see spending professional development funds on this hogwash. And this joke of a magazine is going straight to the recycle bin.

Readers, do you know if the English teachers at your child’s school follow these culturally Marxist pedagogical trends? Shouldn’t you know, one way or the other? If this is how your kid is being taught English literature, you need either to get your kid to a different school, or to do what Czechs did under communism, and find some way to give private instruction in real literature and humanities subjects to your young people.

Advertisement …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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Margaret Atwood’s Latest is a Poor Woman’s Handmaid’s Tale

By Micah Mattix

When Margaret Atwood announced that she was working on a sequel to her 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale, she said she was inspired by all the questions she had received about Gilead “and its inner workings.” “The other inspiration,” she said, “is the world we’ve been living in.”

That sequel, The Testaments, has now been published, but it turns out that it has little to say about “the world we’ve been living in” and even less to say about the logic of tyranny, which was one of her primary concerns in The Handmaid’s Tale. Instead, The Testaments is a mediocre thriller sprinkled with a few groan-inducing allusions to Donald Trump. (A national emergency is declared, for example, to stop Handmaids from crossing the border. Yes, fake news is mentioned.) It is a book, Sam Sacks writes in The Wall Street Journal, that shows little interest in what the events of the novel might mean and instead simply tells us what happened in Gilead after Handmaid’s ambiguous ending, which is also “a way of describing the difference between literature and entertainment.”

And rather paltry entertainment at that. I enjoyed Handmaid’s Tale and still think it is one of the more important novels of the past 50 years. The Testaments, however, is a mess.

The story is set 15 years after Offred, who had been having an affair with her Commander’s assistant, Nick, is apparently whisked away by Gilead’s secret police, the Eyes. One of the Eyes turns out to be Nick. Offred had told him that she thinks she is pregnant with his child, and as she is walking towards a waiting black van, Nick tells her that these Eyes are members of Mayday—a covert organization that helps women escape Gilead’s oppressive patriarchal regime. Unsure if she should believe Nick or not but without the choice to do otherwise, Offred steps into the van.

Was Nick lying or telling the truth? We’re not told in Handmaid’s Tale, but Atwood reveals all in Testaments, which is narrated by three female characters—Agnes Jemima, “Daisy,” and the infamous Aunt Lydia. Lydia, who is a far more complex character than she is in Handmaid’s Tale, is the most intriguing of the three, but even she is uneven.

Without giving too much away (a few spoilers to follow), we learn early on that Lydia is working to bring down Gilead’s government as revenge against Commander Judd, but her plan for doing so, despite her otherwise cold cunning, is almost laughably implausible. You see, she has been acquiring dirt on Gilead’s ruling men in a dossier—murders, infidelities, treacheries—and at the right moment, she hopes to send it to the media in Canada who will broadcast it to the world, thus causing chaos in Gilead, as Commander turns against Commander. Why Lydia, who is otherwise an unflinching realist, thinks this will work is unclear. Why we should is even less so.

There’s more. Lydia’s communication with Mayday is disrupted before she can put her plan into action. How can she get the …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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The Sane Alternative for North Korea Policy

By Daniel Larison

Bolton reminded everyone today why we should be very glad that he no longer has any influence on U.S. foreign policy:

In his remarks, Bolton raised the specter of the United States’ using military force to prevent North Korea from maintaining its nuclear threat. He also said one outcome of U.S. policy should potentially be regime change in Pyongyang.

Bolton’s answers to virtually any foreign policy issue are war and regime change, so it is no surprise that he continues to peddle the same bankrupt ideas now that he is out of government. Considering that Bolton was involved in blowing up the Agreed Framework and encouraging North Korea to abandon the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it is remarkable that anyone would still be listening to anything he had to say about North Korea’s nuclear weapons now. Bolton has made a career out of contributing to and creating new national security problems for the U.S. and then arguing for the most destructive and reckless responses to the new problems, and it is an indictment of the Republican Party that he continues to be taken seriously on foreign policy despite his horrendous record.

Hard-liners like Bolton assume that North Korea won’t disarm voluntarily and conclude that North Korea must therefore be compelled to give up its weapons by force. That is clearly the wrong answer, and it is an incredibly dangerous thing to believe. If disarming North Korea requires a war, it isn’t worth doing, and a war would invite the disaster of nuclear war that disarmament is supposed to prevent. The right answer to North Korea’s continued possession of nuclear weapons is to treat it as an arms control problem, and that means pursuing an agreement that will put limits on what they can build and deploy. Van Jackson explains why this is necessary:

In a recent report with the Center for a New American Security, I therefore propose redesigning Washington’s North Korea policy to acknowledge that the underlying premise of America’s longstanding approach has been overtaken by events. The assumption that the United States can convince North Korea to denuclearize is not only incorrect; it leads to coercive policies that increase the risk of nuclear conflict. As I recount at length in On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War, the goal of denuclearization justified a maximum pressure approach to North Korea in 2017, and maximum pressure played a leading role in causing the nuclear crisis. Rather than dial back a quixotic goal, the Trump administration ratcheted up the means employed and the risks taken to realize it. The nuclear confrontation might have been avoided entirely if the United States had more realistic expectations for what could have been achieved with North Korea.

To better manage the risks of nuclear instability in Korea, the report urges policymakers to stop treating denuclearization as a realistic planning factor and instead pursue an arms control approach that prescribes for the United States a series of unpalatable but essential actions.

U.S. policy towards North …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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