Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Impeachment Gambit Is a Bad Bet

I have long since harbored the notion that Richard Nixon was not forced out of office by Watergate or obstruction of justice, but by the Vietnam War. The nation was failing in Vietnam and the intellectual elites who gave us the war needed to shift the blame. In Richard Nixon they found the perfect scapegoat. After all, LBJ had escalated the war. Nixon had de-escalated it. But, someone had to pay for Vietnam and Nixon had made the war his own. Ergo….

Along the same lines Ross Douthat wisely argues that the success of failure of a presidential impeachment and removal has less to do with supposed conduct in office and has more to do with the state of the nation. When things are bad in the nation, impeachment and removal become more viable. When things are good, those who are trying to punish the president seem to be sabotaging the nation.

Douthat explains:

But the simplest explanation is that Nixon didn’t survive because his second term featured a series of economic shocks — summarized on Twitter by the political theorist Jacob Levy as “an oil crisis, a stock market crash, stagflation and recession” — while Clinton’s second term was the most recent peak of American power, pride and optimism. In a given impeachment debate, under this theory, neither the nature of the crimes nor the state of the political parties matter as much as whether an embattled president is seen as presiding over stability or crisis, over good times or potential ruin.

As for Trump, the economy is good. No wars are going on. And Trump has stood up for America on the world stage:

But maybe it matters more to Trump’s not good but stable — amazingly stable — approval ratings that he is presiding over a period of general stability, at home and abroad, which would have to fall apart for the supermajority that turned on Nixon to finally turn on him.

You would never know it from the media, but the last years of the Obama presidency were not so good after all:

But one reason Trump managed to get elected was that the waning years of Barack Obama’s second term felt chaotic and dangerous across multiple fronts — with the rise of the Islamic State, the Russian seizure of Crimea and the Ukrainian quasi-war, a modest increase in crime and a series of terrorist attacks domestically, and a version of the child migrant crisis that has recurred under Trump.

While Congressional Democrats are looking increasingly pathetic in their defense of Trump’s Ukraine policy, they ignore completely Obama’s feckless response to the Russian annexation of Crimea. And they have forgotten that Obama refused to send Ukraine the anti-tank missiles it needed to defend itself against Russia.

Have you noticed that the Trump years have seen precious few mass terrorist incidents? No Fort Hood, no Boston Marathon, no San Bernardino, no Orlando. Obama was incapable of denouncing Islamist terrorism... and this seems not to have subdued the terrorists.

As for the Trump era, things seem to be getting better. Except perhaps in the so-called minds of the leftist media commentators and Democratic politicians:

the Trump era has been arguably calmer than 2014-16. The migrant crisis and white-nationalist terrorism have both worsened, but the late-Obama-era crime increase appears to have subsided, campuses and cities have been relatively calm, Russia’s aggression has given way to stalemate, the Islamic State’s defeat has been mostly completed and Islamist terrorism has grown more sporadic than in the period that gave us Charlie Hebdo, San Bernardino and much more. Meanwhile the economy has grown steadily, leaving a majority of Americans in their best financial position since the days when Clinton survived impeachment.

By Douthat’s calculus, the Democrats are holding a losing hand and are trying to bluff their way out of it. It makes good sense to me. And, to you?


Bizzy Brain said...

Nikita Khrushchev became leader of the U.S.S.R. after Stalin died in 1953. In 1954, Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukraine for reasons you can look up on the internet. So, am wondering what the big deal was about Russia taking Crimea back and why should we have to go to war with Russia over that? Am not an Obama fan, but he was probably asking himself the same question.

UbuMaccabee said...

The coup by the DNC, the Obama administration, the intelligence agencies, the State Dept., the Senate Select Committee, the federal bureaucracy and the media against the democratically elected legitimate president must keep the hysteria brewing as two torpedoes race toward their ship. It is a battle for control of information and how it will be framed. This whole farce is orchestrated to give the media a 24/7 alternative to the stubborn facts that just keep leaking out. The story is already out, but the regular guy doesn’t get it yet, and ‘impeachment’ is designed to keep it that way.

In other news, orangemanbad and additionally, orangemanbad.

We are Spain, and the Catalan anarchists are demanding an end to all private school education. The police in Barcelona are looking the other way as leftist mobs beat and murder people in the streets.

UbuMaccabee said...

Additionally, I think there is solid conjecture that the information in the Steele smear came from Ukraine not Russia and that is was put together by Nellie Ohr. The hit on Trump originated in Ukraine. I also suspect the hacking of the DNC server that the FBI failed to look at and instead turned over to Crowdstrike also has a Ukraine connection. The Dems are very nervous about all that remains buried in Ukraine, and this is an effort to muddy the water before the truth continues to get out.