Donald Trump

All This Impeachment Talk Is Pure Trump Derangement Syndrome

That man in the White House is vulgar, disrespectful, self-involved, maybe even dangerous. So?

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Reason

Well this didn't take long, did it?

Donald Trump, the most-unlikely and least-liked president in the history of the United States, had barely celebrated his first 100 days when calls for his impeachment started flying faster than Anthony Weiner dick pics at a Girl Scout cookout. For the good of democracy, don't you see, the Republicans must not only be kicked to the curb in the 2018 midterms, but the president himself must be thrown into the street, just like he once tried to evict that old lady from her house in Atlantic City!

In the wake of the firing of FBI Director James Comey, whose recent testimony on Hillary Clinton's emails was so flawed and incompetent that his underlings immediately issued a clarification to the Senate Judiciary Committee, virtually every non-Republican #NeverTrumper (plus Sen. John McCain, who has some good reasons to hate Trump) has called for The Donald's head on a platter. And this was all before the tantalizing possibility of a "Comey memo" detailing various attempts by Trump to shut down an investigation of possible ties between former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and Russian operatives.

But let's get real: At this point in the game, all the explainers about how impeachment works (the 1990s called, they want their sex scandals back!) and adapting the 25th Amendment's ability to remove the president from decision-making during colonoscopies to the current crisis are evidence-free exercises in ideological masturbation. If we are going to survive not just the Trump years but eventually get around to kick-starting the 21st century, we're going to have become smarter media consumers and demand more from both our politicians and the press. "The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo," explains the Paper of Record, "but one of Mr. Comey's associates read parts of it to a Times reporter." As Reason's Scott Shackford has noted, that's what Joe Biden would call a "big fucking deal" if it turns out to exist and to be accurate. It's also a pretty big if at this point.

But even before Comey's possible "paper trail" documenting President Trump's demands (which may or may not actually rise to the level of impeachable offense) came to light, his enemies were out in force. For god's sake, they wanted him impeached even before he was the Republican nominee.

"An attempt to obstruct justice is an impeachable offense," huffed Andrew Sullivan in New York magazine last week. "And Trump has just openly admitted to such a thing" because "sources close to Comey" said the president-elect asked the FBI director for his "personal loyalty." What unemotional analysis. Remember that a year ago, Sullivan called the possibility of a Trump presidency an "extinction-level threat" to mom, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Elsewhere in New York, Jonathan Chait, who is as doggedly a Democratic partisan that exists in print, put out an article under the headline, "The Law Can't Stop Trump. Only Impeachment Can." Trump's high crime for Chait was the completely opaque charge that Trump shared classified intel with Russian officials visiting the White House, a charge flatly rebutted by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, who said the shared info was "wholly appropriate" and that "the president in no way compromised any sources or methods." For Chait though, and so many more either openly in "the Resistance" or just fellow-traveling, the real problem is that America never anticipated peckerwoods being in the Oval Office. "The system is set up with the unstated presumption that the president is a responsible person who will act in a broadly legitimate, competent fashion," writes Chait. "The system is designed so that the only remedy for a president who cannot faithfully act in the public interest is impeachment."

Forget all that Madisonian mumbo-jumbo about "if men were angels, no government would be necessary." A real-estate developer from Queens with history's worst comb-over is about to bring the Statue of Liberty to her knees like an ISIS captive. Indeed, whether or not James Comey's memos detailing his version of Trump's perfidies against a free-and-independent FBI—you know, that august institution which has one of the very worst records among any law-enforcement agency of abusing powerThe Atlantic's James Fallows has already said that the mere firing of Comey is "worse than Watergate." Think about that for a second. No one disputes the FBI director serves at the pleasure of the president and he can fire him whenever he wants. What "Watergate" revealed was not simply Richard Nixon's willingness to lie and cover up criminal activity committed on his behalf, but an entire apparatus to spy on, pervert, and undermine elected government.

Assuming the worst about Trump at this point, his behavior doesn't come close to rising to that level or the actions undertaken by, say, Ronald Reagan during Iran-Contra. If anything, Trump is such an idiot that he is sealing his own fate by forcing congressional Republicans, most of whom don't particularly care for him anyway, to call for bigger and better investigations about Russian influence in the 2016 election. Short-termers such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz are already subpoenaing whatever memories James Comey jotted down during his generally mediocre-to-awful tenure as head of the FBI. Comey is the guy, we should recall, who tried to strong-arm Apple into undermining its phone encryption even though it was able to crack the San Bernadino's phone just fine, who gave Hillary Clinton aides immunity and allowed them to destroy their laptops, and recently attacked the First Amendment because it gave Wikileaks space to publish authentic-if-purloined documents. The best thing you can say about Comey is that he's no Louis Freeh or J. Edgar Hoover, which is the textbook case of damning with faint approbation.

Needless to say, none of this absolves Donald Trump of any wrongdoing. But impeachment talk this soon and this thick is coming not from a place of seriousness but pure partisanship and ideology masquerading as disinterested belief in the public good. When the Republicans moved to impeach Bill Clinton back in the 1990s, it was the same thing and it didn't exactly work out that well for many of the main conspirators, or for the country at large. Among other things, the impeachment push indirectly led to the ouster of Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House, which eventuated in an actual child molester being way high up in the presidential line of succession.

The impeachment of Bill Clinton was one of the major mileposts in the long, ongoing shift of America from a high-trust to a low-trust country, one in which faith, trust, and confidence in most of our major public, private, and civic institutions have taken a massive beating for decades now. Maybe it was the Warren Commission Report that got the ball rolling, or Lyndon Johnson's infamous "credibility gap." All the secret wars in Cambodia and Watergate sure didn't help and the mind-boggling revelations of the Church Commission might have the final nail in the coffin of trust. The Pinto disaster sure didn't help, nor did other revelations of private-sector fakery. You throw in freakazoid oddness such as the People's Temple, United Way scandals, and rampant Catholic Church buggery, and, well, what do you expect? Across the board, fewer and fewer of us trust the government, the media, labor, corporations, etc. to do the right thing given the option of doing the wrong thing.

And get this: However unpopular Donald Trump is, Congress is even less trustworthy. Libertarians especially ignore this slide in trust and the rush to partisan-driven calls to undermine elected officials absent actual evidence at our peril. Low-trust countries don't actually shrink the size, scope, and spending of government. Perversely, citizens call for "government regulation, fully recognizing that such regulation leads to corruption." It helps to understand that Donald Trump, for all of his obvious bullshitting, flip-flops, and lies, isn't the cause of anything but the effect. The 21st century in the United States began with an election that was effectively settled by a coin toss, which does little to create faith in institutions (especially as Republicans in Bush v. Gore appealed to the federal government, while Democrats called for state's rights). Then came the 9/11 attacks, an intelligence failure compounded by a massively mendacious disinformation campaign that resulted in a Middle East quagmire, ballooning deficits, and a mind-bending bailout of mega-corporations. President Obama's stimulus plan failed every measure it proposed as success and was capped by passage of a health-care law that ultimately spawned the "Lie of the Year" for 2013. Along the way, we also had a series of national intelligence heads baldly lie about what sorts of information was being collected (illegally, legally, does it matter?) on law-abiding Americans. We've learned that police act poorly in many circumstances, that local and state governments are awful as often as they are outstanding, and that corporations (Volkswagen!) will try to get away with lots of chicanery too.

Of course trust in institutions is mostly at all-time lows! That's why Donald Trump was able to beat Hillary Clinton in one of the weirdest, most-unpredictable elections ever. Trump is the function of our disillusionment and that's one of the reasons why he is ultimately an electoral dead-end. Never a consistent conservative or Republican, he is the sterile end of 20th century politics, the last in a long line of bullies-who-will-tell-us-how-to-live that has no future. Despite some good deregulatory gestures, he is too mired in 1970s nostalgia for a world that ceased to exist even before his first divorce. That was enough to squeak by Hillary Clinton, who also didn't bother to offer a future-oriented vision for America, so secure was she in her historic victory.

For the rest of us, though, especially those of us of a libertarian bent, we need not simply to expect better but to demand better. Regardless of slow economic growth throughout this century, regardless of the endless wars in which America is mired, and regardless of the ever-growing wall of petty and grand regulations and restrictions against new ways of doing business and living life, we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment, one in which more and more of us are more able than ever to live where we want, work where we want, marry whom we want, eat what we want, and travel where we want. As Matt Welch and I wrote in The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, politics is a lagging indicator of where America is headed. Outside of the political realm, our lives are mostly getting better. The challenge—a brutal one given current circumstances—is how to drag politics into the 21st century so that we finally leave behind two major political parties that are so awful neither of their candidates could win even 50 percent of the popular vote.

One thing is clear: Cleaving to right/left, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat tribes in a world in which more and more people define themselves as libertarian isn't going to work. Neither will falling for fake-news narratives about Trump's historical badness. We need a new politics that is ultimately based on policy, not personalities; policy, not politics; and policy, not partisanship. We need to demand more of our elected representatives and we need to start yesterday.

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  1. This is perfect, and why I love Reason.

    1. Seconded.

      1. Do we have a quorum?

        1. +4 makes it so

          1. Fifthed with a fifth.

    2. It’s pretty much why I don’t. Reason is Republican-lite/right. Seems like it used to be about something more than that but maybe not.

      1. “Reason is Republican-lite.”

        You may have just inadvertently confirmed that it has hit it stride once again considering how many Republicans around here complain that Reason has become a leftist rag.

        You KNOW you’re libertarian when every conservative thinks you’re hopelessly left wing and every leftist is convinced you’re far right. That’s kinda our trademark — we piss of statists of every stripe.

  2. Another Trump-hating piece from that leftist scum Reason!!!!!!!

    1. Ha, can you act any more hysterical? I know you right wingers have had a bad few weeks, but calm down charlie.

      Perhaps it would be best if you put your blinders on, and only read Reason when they criticize the left (which this article does).

      1. Reading comprehension’s still not your long suit, eh Tulpa?

        1. Tulpa’s suit is neither long nor strong.

      2. I suspect that Crusty was, in fact, being sarcastic.

        1. Everybody knows libertarians never use sarcasm…

            1. Agreed. Pretty lame.

        2. It’s impossible to tell since so many people act exactly like that (loveconstitution1778 or whatever his username is).

          Poes law in action.

          1. You mean they have a problem with a media/opposition party statist plot to bring down a duly elected president based on lies? Imagine that.

            If Trumo is smart he should start putting your progressive masters in prison. At least half of the previous admin appears to be guilty of a variety of felonies. And that’s based on a lot more than ‘anonymous sources’.

        1. Bully!

    2. It’s much more entertaining when you bother to read the article, Crusty Balljuggler.

      1. Whoooooosh!!!!

    3. Mark Mueller is a highly respected former Director of the FBI and will provide closure for those who need comforting. Any Russian threat from afar pales however compared to the real threat to our United States from International Globalists within.
      President Trump has already saved our sovereign democratic republic in his first 30 days when he rejected Obama’s Globalist TPP agreement he preserved our 241 years of self determination. Why do you think the establishment Globalist’s MSM is hounding him relentlessly? TPP was their beginning of the end of our 241 year history of self determination. Today the Globalist owned and operated MSM which they have gained control of has been converted from our 4th estate to their disloyal anti U.S. of American sovereignty, insidious 5th column. President Donald J.TRUMP is our only legitimate Commander In Chief.

  3. …flying faster than Andrew Weiner dick pics at a Girl Scout cookout.

    Get that image out of my head.

    1. Pretty sure Gillespie meant “Anthony” Weiner, though.

      1. No, fuck that Andrew Weiner guy too!

        1. I bet he’s related to Anthony.

          1. Andrew’s internet name is Chuy Danger.

            1. Goddamnit.
              [Helplessly breaks out into Carlos Danger dance]

        2. I hope to God that Mitch Daniels can pull the right strings to squash any impending Girl Scout/Dick Pic investigations of him. Otherwise, I’m fairly certain he’d exercise more tact in letting him go.

          1. Followed that link. Decided not to click on “Pulse shaping: a tutorial review”.

            1. Yeah, but did you get the laser photo?

              1. I got the laser photo just for the articles.

      2. Gillespie’s hot blooded italian sass runs too hot and flies too fast for things such as editorial review.

      3. “Andrew” is what Anthony named it.

  4. Does Trump really have a Bad Comb-over ? Honestly, I haven’t been able to tell what he is doing with his hair. Originally I thought it was a bad wig, glued in place. Then, I thought his barber just hated him. Now……I don’t know what to think.

    1. My theory is that he has a bald spot on top and that he grows the front really long to comb it back over the bald spot.

      And I hate that I have a theory.

      1. I’m actually pretty sure it’s his back hair that he stretches over his head with two sided tape.

    2. It’s one of life’s great mysteries.

    3. Is that why Robby …. ?

      No, can’t be.

    4. Well, as Bill Gates, who’s worth $87 billion, taught us, a good haircut costs $88 billion.

  5. calls for his impeachment started flying faster than Andrew Weiner dick pics at a Girl Scout cookout.

    Pretty sure you mean “Anthony” Weiner.

    1. Anthony, Schmanthony, same diff…

  6. Who the hell is Andrew Weiner?

  7. And the nearly 99% of the rest of the media blitz is not Trump Derangement Syndrome?

    Its TDS all the way down.

  8. Look, we’ve got something. We haven’t had a decent presidential scandal in 9 years. Let us have our fun.

    1. My only criticism is rather Tha recusal Sessions should have done this from go.

      1. I don’t think there is anything actually there. If Sessions and Team Trump thought it would get this far from the beginning, they probably would have taken the political hit of appointing a special prosecutor much earlier.

        My whole problem with the Russia/Trump thing is that if Russia WERE trying to mess with our election, why in the heck would they need Trump? It is not like Clinton didn’t provide all the rope. What could Trump possibly have provided the Russians?

        1. Deven- that’s an excellent point, with all the leverage the Russians have on Hillary she would have been a much better plant.

      2. Sessions should give the democrats the finger and say ‘nothing to see here’. Then close any remaining investigations. After the initial outcry, he should empanel grand jury’s against most of the Obama administration. When the left starts rioting nationally, declare martial law in the right spots and lock those assholes up too.

        Hilarity would ensue.

  9. If he’s impeached, then we get Hillary, right?

    1. That’s what some people I know think will happen.

  10. Very well-written, thank you.

  11. It’s too late. Both tribal bands of statist douchebags would sell the country down the river to hold on to their power. C’mon, they gave us Trump and the Hag.

    Now it’s just about who can sell their respective free shit menu to the most people. Anyone with half a brain can see where it’s going. One can only hope the implosion just takes out DC.

    1. ^ This.

      A year ago today, I harbored hope that the 2016 election would be so absurd that it would shake people out of their dualistic partisanship.

      Instead, basically everyone I know simply doubled down. I guess once you’ve drunk the “it’s all the fault of the other team” Flavor-Aid, the stupider things get, the more convinced you are of your conclusion.

  12. Good piece.

    PS This is a test comment.

    1. Hey kid, this lawn *vaguely points at nothing* stay off it!

  13. I think the historical demand for “more” from our politicians is the problem we face now… Not the solution of tomorrow.

    I want them to spend LESS of my money on welfare and warfare. I want them to spend LESS time coming up with ways to run (or better… ruin) my life. I want them having LESS influence on future generations via state education camps. The LESS they do… The more of a screw up it’s OK for them to be. It’s fine if the kid pushing a broom can’t read, write, or think critically. It’s a bit of a problem if the heads of an organization can’t.

  14. I read this in an Alex Jones voice, and it was perfect.

    Well said in most respects Nick, I didn’t see much bullshitting in this article.

    1. Well said in most respects Nick, I didn’t see much bullshitting in this article.

      While this is an unusually more level-headed piece from Nick…

      When the Republicans moved to impeach Bill Clinton back in the 1990s, it was the same thing

      I don’t know what Nick’s definition of ‘same thing’ is but I have trouble pointing to or naming the Russians that Trump victimized the way I can list;

      Gennifer Flowers
      Monica Lewinsky
      Juanita Broadderick
      Paula Jones

      Off the top of my head.

      Not to say that Clinton deserved impeachment, but the literal equivocation is pretty shitty. Trump, Clinton, Cosby, Pistorius… same thing.

      1. Yeah – “same thing” is strong, but I can see what he’s getting at. The 90s Republicans were hell-bent on impeaching Clinton for something, because (in fairness) they knew he was shameless crook and sincerely thought it was only a matter of time before he stumbled and they could get him.

        Over the course of the 90s you could feel them getting more and more obsessed with cornering him on anything they could turn impeachable, and they eventually did.

        But it’s important to note that Clinton actually did commit perjury and actually did harm the people you point to.

        Democrats have been calling for Trump’s impeachment since before inauguration, and they don’t seem to feel like they even need a crime to accuse him of. He’s impeachable because he’s icky.

        1. And he was disbarred

          But honestly I think it is pretty vile that he was banging an employee. Especially in light of the accusations from Arkansas. There is no reason to think that was truly consensual.

          Didn’t JFK have women brought to him?

          1. i don’t think it’s fair to assume he raped them; it’s just as hypocritical to go all #listenandbelieve the moment a democrat is accused the same way feminist rediscover health skepticism the moment it’s convenient for them.

            Sure it was unethical, but there’s scant evidence he, or Donald Trump, assaulted anyone.

            1. I think Bill Clinton is a serial date rapist. Going back to at least his undergrad days in college.

      2. #ClintonLiedNobodyDied

        1. Vince Foster would like to have a word with you.

        2. They misspelled Rape on those bumper stickers.

          1. The problem is actually the opposite and is the main reason why I disliked Gillespie’s use of the word. He’s using the word same when, in lots of different senses, he knows and means ‘similar’ or ‘not the same’.

            H. W. Bush lying to influence the electorate to vote for him. (Read my lips…, etc.) -> Not Rape.
            Clinton lying to influence women and staffers to have sex with him. -> (I did not have sexual relations…, etc.) -> Not Rape.
            W. Bush lying to influence the electorate to vote for him. -> (US should not nation build, etc.) -> Not Rape.
            Obama lying to influence the electorate to vote for him. -> (Day 1, close Gitmo…, etc.) -> Not Rape.
            Trussians (Am I doing this right?) lying to influence to influence the electorate to vote for him. (Take your pick…, etc.) -> Not Rape*.

            *Except in this case, despite full acknowledgement that it doesn’t rise to Watergate or even Iran-Contra levels, when I say it I mean it’s a crime worth at least investigating.

            Maybe Nick has framed things such that when/if Trump actually does bungle something to the point of prima facia conviction, Reason will be able to actually sound reasonable on the matter. I don’t think they’re there yet and Clinton Lies = Trump Lies isn’t a move in the right direction.

        3. Except a bunch of Serbs.

          1. Yeah, but they were Christians and we were helping the mooslims, so that doesn’t count.

        4. The employees at Al-Shifa may disagree with you. Funny how the bombing coincided with a stained dress appearing in the press.

    2. Do you know what else is best read in an Alex Jones voice?

      1. Yevgeny Zamyatin’s “We”?

  15. I kept waiting for the “libertarian moment” paragraph, and was not disappointed

    The rest was excellent though

    1. Pretty much my only takeaway was that Gillespie thinks we’re living the Libertarian Moment by delaying the kickstarting of the 21st Century.

      1. I think his point was that technological and economic progress have rendered us practically freer despite political stagnation or regression. I guess the question is who’s freer: someone who can fly anywhere in the world in a few hours for a few hundred bucks but needs a license to braid hair, or someone from a different time who could perform a lobotomy without a license but couldn’t afford with 5 years wages to travel to the next country over over 6 weeks and with a high likelihood of dying along the way.

      2. I think his point was that technological and economic progress have rendered us practically freer despite political stagnation or regression. I guess the question is who’s freer: someone who can fly anywhere in the world in a few hours for a few hundred bucks but needs a license to braid hair, or someone from a different time who could perform a lobotomy without a license but couldn’t afford with 5 years wages to travel to the next country over over 6 weeks and with a high likelihood of dying along the way.

  16. “An attempt to obstruct justice is an impeachable offense,” huffed Andrew Sullivan in New York magazine last week. “And Trump has just openly admitted to such a thing” because “sources close to Comey” said the president-elect asked the FBI director for his “personal loyalty.”

    Let us assume, arguendo, that those “sources” are completely accurate in this.

    Unless Sullivan can be bothered to quote the actual statute he thinks applies, he’s talking BS.

    The likely bets are in Title 18 of the US Code, sections 1505 and 1510 … and neither of them seems to apply (the rest of Chapter 73 doesn’t seem remotely applicable to any accusations at hand).

    A broad demand for “personal loyalty” cannot possibly be “obstruction of justice” under either of those sections of Title 18, if only because it doesn’t specifically demand any action.

    It may be unsavory, but it simply isn’t remotely illegal.

    1. It may be unsavory, but it simply isn’t remotely illegal.

      Arguably abrogates his 1A rights as a person.

      If the tables were turned and the FBI or intelligence community were believed to be beholden to Russian (or other) influences, the ability of the President to at least ask people if they were personally on his side (without instruction, demand, or request for action) would be unquestionably legal.

      You may suggest that he was demanding that Comey kiss the ring, but without an explicit attempt to make him do so it’s all assumption of guilt.

    2. Kinda like whipping out your penis and asking Monica if she is your friend?

  17. Special counsel appointed.
    More fake news.

    1. Damn right, these Trump deranged pushers should be eating crow.

      1. Not to worry. The former FBI chief never existed, he wasn’t really appointed just a few minutes ago, and Trump is doing an excellent job.

    2. You must still be butthurt over Ted Cruz losing the primaries.

  18. First, they came for the authoritarian. I said nothing and we all lived happily ever after.

  19. Now now Gillespie. You are supposed to take your marching orders from your pals at the Georgetown cocktail parties. Why aren’t you on the IMPEACH TRUMPHITLER train??? You’re risking an invite to next weekend’s mega-cocktail-party extravaganza! I hear Lena Dunham will be there.

    1. I hear Lena Dunham will be there.

      Man, last time you said that it just turned out to be Crusty without his wig on.

  20. This piece is fantastic. I love seeing this from Reason. More Gillespie is better.

    “If we are going to survive not just the Trump years but eventually get around to kick-starting the 21st century, we’re going to have become smarter media consumers and demand more from both our politicians and the press.”

    I would love to read some perspective from journalists here at Reason who have earned my trust over the years–like Gillespie and Welch, et. al about why the media’s response to consumers has been so lame in recent years.

    I’ve linked to that Galllup poll showing that the average American’s opinion of the news media and its credibility had fallen to 32% support as of a month before the last election when Trump won–an 8% drop just over the course of the the campaign alone. It was at an all time low since Gallup had started polling on that question about the media. That number was once as high as 76% of the people who said they trusted the news media to tell them the truth.

    You couldn’t stay in business as a restaurant with that kind of drop from your customers, and it’s even worse these days, what with people able to tailor their news sources to their tastes. You can watch MSNBC if you’re a progressive or a liberal or you can watch whatever is passing for conservatives over at Fox News if that’s your inclination. So the media isn’t just losing credibility with the people who disagree with them–they’re losing it with the people who agree with them!

    1. Just for the record, . . .

      “WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.”

      —-Gallup

      http://tinyurl.com/hda5s4u

      Who the hell can take that kind of customer satisfaction and keep going like it isn’t really happening?

      Over at ESPN, I hear they’ve made a conscious decision to skew more progressive now. Do they just not care about ratings anymore?

      1. “Over at ESPN, I hear they’ve made a conscious decision to skew more progressive now. Do they just not care about ratings anymore?”

        Of course they care about ratings. But they don’t care about the ratings of people who won’t watch them anyway. ESPN, *like all the others*, is transforming into a niche media outlet. They are going to be the “Progressive Place for Sports” (evidently). Maybe Fox Sports can become the “Real Murican Place for Real Murican Sports” or something.

        1. Of course they care about ratings. But they don’t care about the ratings of people who won’t watch them anyway.

          Because when you think “sports programming viewer”, SJW snowflake is what you think.

          Just like SJW snowflakes certainly helped Marvel out when they decided to cock up their comics for their benefit.

    2. Actually Mr. Gillespie spent the past ~6 yrs. losing my trust & esteem in him, which used to be high, but everybody else suddenly shot past him on the way down over the past yr., like maybe they have less wind resistance. I was all like, is the Jacket strangling one of my favorite HyR bloggers? Let the real Nick loose! Until I got used to it.

  21. Nice job on this one Nick.

  22. So, why isn’t the media changing to reflect consumer tastes?

    Is it because Fox and MSNBC and CNN, etc. are basically glamor projects these days–where the money doesn’t really matter? Sort of like having a huge house, a trophy wife, or the world’s biggest yacht–who cares if it doesn’t make money?

    Is it because you can draw a tiny share on cable news and still make a profit because of the way cable can charge fees for channels most people never watch?

    Is there another industry besides news where customer satisfaction numbers matter less?

    If 68% of your customers don’t believe anything you tell them, how do you stay in business? Why don’t they change and just pile on more and more TDS instead?

    1. IMO that’s not it.

      The media HAS changed to reflect consumer tastes. Everyone has their own niche media source now. The market responded to liberals who didn’t want to read good things about conservatives, and to conservatives who didn’t want to read good things about liberals, and each segregated away from each other.

      I think the opinion polls about the media are kinda like the opinion polls about Congress. People consistently give Congress low ratings but then they also consistently re-elect the same shitbags over and over. So what they probably mean is, Congress overall sucks, but THEIR representative is fine. It’s everybody else’s Congresscritters which are the problem. So when people give the media low ratings, what they might mean is, the reporting overall sucks, but THEIR particular niche media source is fine. It’s all of the other media outlets that are the problem.

      1. ^ I think this is basically right.

        It’s like the way people pretty much universally agree that they themselves pay too much in taxes, but that people richer than themselves should pay more. The difference between a Republican and a Democrat is often simply which of these two notions is closer to your heart.

        My congress critter has his priorities in line. Yours keeps trying to steal my money.

      2. Indeed. Consumers don’t want objective reporting. They want Team Good SLAMS Team Evil over their proposal to throw babies out of windows.

      3. So it’s not my news that’s the problem–it’s everybody else?

        I can see that.

        I used to feel that way about Reason until it started feeling like the TDS was so bad . . . like Gillespie effectively defending Trump. Gillespie doesn’t want to defend Trump. Gillespie would much rather be skewering him. Trump sucks in all sorts of anti-libertarian ways. But when everybody starts piling on him for absurd things, . . .

        It’s like when the torture/Abu Ghraib story broke. I don’t want to defend terrorists! I didn’t think it was possible to make me–effectively–defend terrorists. Then the Bush administration starts torturing them, denying American citizens their Fifth Amendment rights, etc., etc.

        No, Trump isn’t a terrorist, but the principle is the same. There are so many legitimate things they could go after Trump for. Why not pick one of them?

        The answer is TDS.

        1. “There are so many legitimate things they could go after Trump for. Why not pick one of them?

          The answer is TDS.”

          IMO that is too simplistic an answer.

          Not everyone agrees on what constitutes “legitimate”. To a lot of people, apparent “Russian collusion to throw the election” is a legitimate topic of concern. Personally I think the evidence is thin for this line of inquiry. BUT, since everyone has their own niche media sources now, they all have their own bubbles of information. If your particular media bubble had daily/hourly breathless stories about RUSSIAN COLLUSION, you might be forgiven if you conclude that there must be something to this story – because you see it all over the place in your little bubble. It’s the same thing on the right. Before the election, there were a lot of people on the right who were CONVINCED that Hillary had some serious health problem. Why? Because they saw it EVERYWHERE in their media bubbles. A great many of the right-wing sites had daily “Hillary health issues” stories, even before her fainting spell on 9/11. So to them, talking about Hillary’s health is “legitimate”.

          1. It also ignores the reality that Russia/the USSR has been influencing elections for decades.

          2. Dems convinced their audience that Russians literally hacked the voting machines

          3. The nature of the Russian “collusion” is no different than the nature of the Access Hollywood collusion.

          4. Understand what I’m talking about when I’mtalking about TDS.

            Whether or not we should coordinate with Putin on ISIS in Syria like we coordinated with Stalin on the Japanese in China is a legitimate policy question. If somebody wants to argue against it, do so. Don’t bury it all under allegations of corruption with the Russians–that latter bit is TDS.

            If you want to go after Trump for wanting to build the wall or doing security checks on refugees, there are all sorts of legitimate ways to go after him on these issues. Don’t compare deportation to the fugitive slave act or tell me about how Trump is racist–that’s all TDS. Don’t cite Trump’s campaign rhetoric as justification for a stay on an executive order–that’s TDS.

            I could go on and on–getting rid of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion is not the same as doing nothing at all, just because Trump endorses the plan? That’s TDS. Don’t tell me that Congress setting immigration policy is unconstitutional (despite it being an enumerated power of Congress) because Trump is suddenly involved.

            On and on and on and on . . .

            There are legitimate takes on these issues–that are never articulated under a mountain of TDS that only serves to make Trup seem credible by comparison.

            1. Good point. In short “Trump sucks and is a big meanie!” Is not a policy position.

      4. What is also forgotten is that ‘appealing to the audience’ doesn’t necessarily mean adopting the views of the audience. People love to hate their enemies. Plenty of conservatives watch/read more lefty news than righty news, and vice versa. Just read through a political story in the WaPo and see how many conservatives (and maybe some libertarians) there are who read it just to jump in and yell at the screen over it.

        Subscriptions are moribund as a means of revenue; it’s all about views and clicks now, and to get those, inciting hatred as annoyance is as effective as inviting agreement.

  23. …the last in a long line of bullies-who-will-tell-us-how-to-live that has no future.

    Gillespie, you’re my favorite Pollyanna.

  24. Donald Trump, the least-liked president in the history of the United States?

    I do recall that after Lincoln was elected, he was so disliked that a number of states tried to leave the United States. Despite the current after the fact reverence we have for President Lincoln, I think Trump is at best a distant second.

    And I can point you out to some blogs where Trump is the most admired president and Lincoln is seen as evil personified….

    1. California wants to secede, and who are we to say no to that?

      1. A third of Californians voted for Trump or Johnson.

        That’s an awful lot of average working people you want to throw to the SJW wolves.

      2. California doesn’t want to secede, only some citizens of California.

        You do understand the difference, right?

        And if CA seceded, what then if NorCal wanted to secede from that? Then Fresno from that? Lots of nice borders and duplication of government then, right?

        Or would we end up in state of anarchist bliss where all such entities magically disappeared as everyone seceded from everyone else?

      3. Progressives are welcome to leave, but they get nothing. Not one fucking square inch of US soil.

    2. Yeah – usually people modify that with “modern history” – i.e. since Teddy Roosevelt.

      Whenever people go in for the “worst” or “least-well-liked” President in history, I can’t help but think

      “James Buchanan at the end of his term?”

      “Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore or James Tyler, whose own parties wouldn’t even nominate them for re-election?”

      “Chester Arthur, who was so hated by his own cabinet that they all quit when Garfield died and he became president?”

      And these are just the uncontroversially bad ones. Is Trump even nearly the dangerously hot-headed tyrant that Andrew Jackson was?

      1. John Tyler, that is. Our most memorable president.

  25. That first paragraph 10/10 XD

  26. I agree with Nick in the main. But this article could have used a good proofing before publication.

    I’d hate for some innocent man’s dick pics to be at any Girl Scouts event. That’s just wrong.

    1. Listen, where I come from a jamboree is code for, “show everyone pictures of your penis.”

      1. This is why there are no libertarian women, Crusty.

  27. So, uh, this seems significant:

    Special counsel appointed in Russia probe

    DOJ has appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate administration in a letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Word on the street is Rosenstein is going rogue and basically gave the White House no heads up he was doing this.

    1. Can you imagine how many heads will explode when Mueller tells the world that there is no collusion between Putin and Trump ?

      1. Actually I expect they will go apeshit and actually try for impeachment once they find out Trump and Putin exchanged potato salad recipes.

    2. Other word on the street is that Trump was fine with Mueller taking over, so I’d hold off on believing any “going rogue” stories for the time being.

  28. The House has appointed a special counsel:

    Decision to appoint special counsel casts doubt on congressional plans for probes

    Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

  29. Thanks for the reminder of what a worthless rag this magazine is. It’s too tough for the wannabe teenager to write a straight piece on this important topic. Instead, he opts for strained attempts at snark, sarcasm, and humor, making the article unreadable.

  30. we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment

    1. This moment seems to never come, and it seems to never leave.

  31. It will be interesting to see if the impeachment fever breaks. What a boring time we would be living in.

    1. Just remember Trump is first and foremost a troll. He’ll always have some new inflammatory outrage to plop on your doorstep.

      1. Trump is all stray voltage all the time.

    2. That’s what’s really weird about this. I’m utterly bored with politics and with the media. I suppose it would be a libertarian moment if the government would, well, stop.

      1. You’ll miss it when it’s gone. Like Patton after WW2, when the libertarian moment arrives, you’ll wish we kept marching into ancapland or whatever the relevant metaphor for the USSR would be.

  32. Did Nick just tell to me to endeavor to persevere?

    1. The time is always right for a Josey Wales reference.

      1. Can I hear an “amen”?

    2. Gave ya a nice piece of rockcandy, too.

  33. A week ago, many were outraged that Trump may have taped his conversations with Comey. By next week, the same people will be demanding that all presidential conversations be taped.

    1. Jeez, I forgot about the tapes. Are we headed for Trump’s Tapes versus Comey’s Memo?

    2. I’m actually surprised that they don’t tape everything already but then that would rule out plausible deniability

    3. If Trump had an obvious camera in his office and told everyone that walked in “this conversation is being recorded” then it wouldn’t be a problem. But secretly recording people without their consent? Best case, it’s dishonest but necessary. Worst case, is a needless violation of rights.

      And in either case, thinking there’s a chance of being recorded in what appears to be a private conversation will make most people hesitate to say things that need to be said.

      1. Is DC one party consent? And/or are there special rules about this for public officials.

        In any case, it’s a game everyone can play. Other officials would probably follow suit and start recording (or threatening to record) conversations with each other, with Trump’s aides, etc. I guess with everyone in the executive branch taking on the mentality of East German civilian living in fear of the Stasi, if nothing else everyone will be a lot more cautious with their words. Or they won’t and it will be a lot of blackmail material floating around.

  34. “The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo,” explains the Paper of Record, “but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter.”

    and yet, they did not ask for the copy, or better yet, ask Mr. Comey himself about the memo in question.

    Anyone wonder why they decided to go ahead with the story.

    1. Because journalism is dead?

    2. and that, in a nutshell, sums up perfectly why people have no faith in the media.

  35. The hysterical herd of independent minds, who are crying the sky is falling, ought to read up on recent American history. I’m a retired baby boomer and Vietnam veteran. I know how bad things can really get. I served as a medical corpsman and the casualties just during the Tet Offensive of 1968 were more that those during the Iraq War. OK, Trump’s presidency looks like a remake of “Mr Simth Goes to Washington” directed by David Lynch on an acid trip. I will grant you that. But nothing that has happened yet starts to come close to the chaos and civil unrest of the mid-sixties and early seventies. The times during which I grew up was a tragedy. This current era is more like history repeating itself as a farce. The theme music for this era could be R.E.M.’s classic “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).

    1. Baby boomer! Get him!!

    2. Great comment Hoffman. Someone gets it.

  36. Did you guys hear the reports that Trump is losing his shit and is throwing f-bombs left and right? That’s the tape I would love to hear.

  37. The left thinking you’re one of them is sometimes the price you pay, I guess, for thinking bad things about Trump.

  38. If the 2020 presidential race is between, say, David Duke and Zombie Gus Hall, Gillespie will say it’s *still* the libertarian moment, and that 2020 (not 2016 after all!) is just the last election of the 20th century.

    He doesnt’ even seem to get that one of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost was precisely because her speeches to Wall Street revealed her to be in sympathy with free trade and open borders–in other words, she lost very largely because of the issues on which she *agreed* with Gillespie (even if she had to play down these stances in public–which backfired because it added to her reputation as untrustworthy, but was prompted by a recognition that her real stances on those issues *were* in fact unpopular).

    But I am afraid that no evidence will ever be enough to disabuse Gillespie of the “libertarian moment” fantasy.

  39. If the 2020 presidential race is between, say, David Duke and Zombie Gus Hall, Gillespie will say it’s *still* the libertarian moment, and that 2020 (not 2016 after all!) is just the last election of the 20th century.

    He doesnt’ even seem to get that one of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost was precisely because her speeches to Wall Street revealed her to be in sympathy with free trade and open borders–in other words, she lost very largely because of the issues on which she *agreed* with Gillespie (even if she had to play down these stances in public–which backfired because it added to her reputation as untrustworthy, but was prompted by a recognition that her real stances on those issues *were* in fact unpopular).

    But I am afraid that no evidence will ever be enough to disabuse Gillespie of the “libertarian moment” fantasy.

    1. Sorry for accidentally posting this twice.

  40. Nick fails to take into account that the truth of the charges are irrelevant in our gaslighting politics.

    Comey made up an entirely new legal standard of intent to absolve Clinton. Besides not getting caught, just what did Hillary supposedly “not intend” when she set up a private server for all her State Department communications?

    The IRS targets over 1000 political opponents of the Obama Regime, and there’s “not a smidgen of corruption”.

    Bake me a fucking cake. It’s been required in the constitution for 150 years, but people just missed it.

    Hey look, it’s a penaltax! Government takeover of last vestiges of free market health care, *totally* constitutional.

    The Left started this a century ago with the Living Constitution (I speak for the Constitution, for the Constitution has no tongue!), and has gone full PoMo post truth propaganda.

    All that they need to impeach Trump is for enough GOPe and Never Trumpers to play along with a Kabuki Impeachment, they all vote that Trump is reincarnated Hitler, and they impeach him.

    Deep State, Media, entertainment, schools will all play along. Do you doubt it?

    Constitutions mean nothing without a commitment to honestly following them. They’ve been talking impeachment since the moment it was clear Trump won. With the Republicans split, there is a good chance it works.

    What they’re not counting on, is for Trump to fight back *in kind*, and most of the people with guns supporting him.

    1. How did I know byebyeDavid would eventually get around to talking about his guns.
      Fucking nut-con. Go back to the Federalist and fap to your ammo pile with the other nut-cons.

      1. You know how some high-rise buildings skip the 13th floor and pretend there isn’t a 13th floor? Apparently your copy of the Constitution does the same thing with #2.

        You can’t just pretend that the right keep and bear arms doesn’t exist because you think guns are icky.

  41. One correction: Calls for impeachment didn’t begin this week. Or last week. Or even shortly after inauguration.

    Many high level Democrats were openly claiming they would impeach Trump shortly after he took office as soon as the election results were official.

    Obama administration officials bragged in the New York Times that they had placed classified information in position to be leaked after the election with the hopes of undermining the incoming president and leading to impeachment.

    How many times do we have to live through the feigned surprise of the media as they help the DNC carry their water? When Clinton bragged that he was going to shut down the government and blame it on the Republicans, the same reporters who told me about the strategy breathlessly reported that Newt Gingrich shut down the government two weeks later. When Obama ran the same gambit a couple of decades later, the same thing occurred. The whole “press colluding with the Clinton campaign” thing from 2016 just died on the vine without anyone even pretending to get to the bottom of it. They just transitioned to “the resistance”.

    And now we have an openly declared plot to sabotage the next administration – and nobody is bothering to report it as such as the plot comes to fruition.

    How many times are the American people going to let them run the same playbook?

    1. Good post, Cyto

  42. Toking and posting, Nick?

  43. Geez, Nick, that was a surprisingly good piece. Way to go.

  44. “One thing is clear: Cleaving to right/left, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat tribes in a world in which more and more people define themselves as libertarian isn’t going to work. Neither will falling for fake-news narratives about Trump’s historical badness. We need a new politics that is ultimately based on policy, not personalities; policy, not politics; and policy, not partisanship. We need to demand more of our elected representatives and we need to start yesterday.”

    AMEN!!

  45. Nick I really think you are one of the great minds in media but please explain why you think John McCain has a right to hate Trump. McCain is senile, he has dragged this country into more wars than I care to think about. He certainly wasn’t a hero unless you consider Hanoi Jane a hero. He is probably one of the last Progressive Republicans. Trump never said anything about him that the majority of the public doesn’t already know. Trump doesn’t want to attack Russia or Iran, and in the process killing about 80% of the population. For some reason that really pisses McCain off. No I didn’t vote for Trump and I never would. Actually Trump/Clinton actually made me lose my remaining faith in our political system, but John McCain should have been aborted at birth

    1. Nick is Ajit Pai’s cock holster

      You just want to be Drumpf’s

  46. That man in the White House is vulgar, disrespectful, self-involved, maybe even dangerous. So?
    Sheesh! He maybe was, not is. And definitely Clinton was impeached for something, he just had Monica Lewinsky as a cock holster.

    Just like Ajit Pai has Nick Gillespie as his.

  47. “Donald Trump, the most-unlikely and least-liked president in the history of the United States”

    Oh, please. He maybe, probably is, the one most disliked by the Liberal Progressive Left. And they are trumpeting their displeasure from the rooftops (and making ostentatious fools of themselves in the process). That doesn’t make them the whole of the country, though they probably think they are.

  48. Man, Alyssa Milano’s advice column is harsh today.

  49. “…Donald Trump, the most-unlikely and least-liked president in the history of the United States, had barely celebrated his first 100 days when calls for his impeachment started flying …”

    I’m pretty sure that’s in error. I’m not bothering to dig it up, but I seem to recall Maxine Waters talking about impeachment well before he even took office.

  50. I do get a strong whiff of, “maybe we’ve pushed this silliness a little too hard, a little too quickly”.

    Reason has been one of the Left’s useful idiots in this whole debacle. Do so-called libertarians think they’re getting anything out of this? Who’s the real winner here? The American people? Liberty? Trump goes, and we all win?

    What Reason seems to have missed in their relentless demonisation of Trump, is that impeachment talk, etc., has nothing to do with reality or principles, it has to do with the Deep State fighting back from its dark, dank holes. Or do these idiots think legions of bureaucrats and rent-seekers are guided by higher principles like the defence of liberty? That when the Left assumes its rightful place again, taxes will drop to 15% and the EPA will be defunded?

    You don’t have to like Trump to recognise that the Deep State has never been so frightened for its own existence. Much the same way as average folks feel when the IRS turns up at the door. But no, instead of rejoicing at this phenomena, Reason et al. have piled on as willing accomplices to the very enemies they claim to be against.

    Just like single payer is on the way in health care thanks to the complicity of congressional conservatives, the Deep State will continue thanks to the assistance of the likes of Reason.

  51. Nick,

    Donald Trump is unlikely to be “least-liked president in the history of the United States.” Ask Daniel Shays about George Washington. Ask the Cherokee about Andrew Jackson. Ask John Wilkes Booth about Lincoln. Ask Murray Rothbard about FDR.

    I will substitute the thought that Donald J. Trump is the most suited to be President in the Age of Comedy. Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers should kiss Trump’s ring.

    Neil

  52. “we’re going to have become smarter media consumers and demand more from both our politicians and the press”
    Do as I say, not as I do.

    Nick G

  53. It appears to me that both our last two Democrat U.S. Presidential nominees, the unqualified one senate term token black man and the unqualified one senate term token white female were selected and financed by establishment Globalists for their lack of core values and vulnerability to manipulation by their sponsors. Both would surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty for a * hat pin, let alone a new hat. It took the Globalists 8 years to stack the State, Justice and Security departments under the Obama administration with totally bias establishment Globalist pandering sycophant partisans ( “Of the roughly $2 million that federal workers from 14 agencies spent on presidential politics by the end of September, about $1.9 million, or 95 percent, went to the Democratic nominee’s campaign”, according to an analysis by The Hill, 10/26/16 ) and they are beside themselves with anxiety and frustration because their plans to surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty with TPP have been foiled by Trump rejecting TPP. That should alarm every American patriot. Viva President Trump. Ironically it is the right of self determination that President Trump was elected to preserve that allows the MSM to continue to publish this yellow journalism as news.
    *(to paraphrase Eliza Doolittle, of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion plays) The lessons learned become much more far reaching.

    1. Calm down Dan, I don’t think you even read the article. This is about Trump’s downfall, not Clinton’s. Stop it with the straw man attacks, we’re a bit too clever for those around here. The Russians should know that by now.

  54. It appears to me that both our last two Democrat U.S. Presidential nominees, the unqualified one senate term token black man and the unqualified one senate term token white female were selected and financed by establishment Globalists for their lack of core values and vulnerability to manipulation by their sponsors. Both would surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty for a * hat pin, let alone a new hat. It took the Globalists 8 years to stack the State, Justice and Security departments under the Obama administration with totally bias establishment Globalist pandering sycophant partisans ( “Of the roughly $2 million that federal workers from 14 agencies spent on presidential politics by the end of September, about $1.9 million, or 95 percent, went to the Democratic nominee’s campaign”, according to an analysis by The Hill, 10/26/16 ) and they are beside themselves with anxiety and frustration because their plans to surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty with TPP have been foiled by Trump rejecting TPP. That should alarm every American patriot. Viva President Trump. Ironically it is the right of self determination that President Trump was elected to preserve that allows the MSM to continue to publish this yellow journalism as news.
    *(to paraphrase Eliza Doolittle, of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion plays) The lessons learned become much more far reaching.

  55. It appears to me that both our last two Democrat U.S. Presidential nominees, the unqualified one senate term token black man and the unqualified one senate term token white female were selected and financed by establishment Globalists for their lack of core values and vulnerability to manipulation by their sponsors. Both would surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty for a * hat pin, let alone a new hat. It took the Globalists 8 years to stack the State, Justice and Security departments under the Obama administration with totally bias establishment Globalist pandering sycophant partisans ( “Of the roughly $2 million that federal workers from 14 agencies spent on presidential politics by the end of September, about $1.9 million, or 95 percent, went to the Democratic nominee’s campaign”, according to an analysis by The Hill, 10/26/16 ) and they are beside themselves with anxiety and frustration because their plans to surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty with TPP have been foiled by Trump rejecting TPP. That should alarm every American patriot. Viva President Trump. Ironically it is the right of self determination that President Trump was elected to preserve that allows the MSM to continue to publish this yellow journalism as news.
    *(to paraphrase Eliza Doolittle, of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion plays) The lessons learned become much more far reaching.

  56. This is all based on hearsay “evidence” that won’t stand up in court, let alone journalism 101 class.

    The smokescreen keeps thickening. The man behind the curtain – John Podesta – is really interested in deflecting attention from the 800 pound gorilla – Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s PAC for election in 2020 was initiated to little fanfare this week. I have a bet running that she will announce her run during the mid term elections.

    Seth Rich will have his justice.

    1. LOL this is entirely Trump’s doing and we’ll see in the coming months who is right. Clinton ain’t going to run again.

  57. cod thats a good one, faster than anthonys weiners dic-pics at a girl scout cook out, haha

  58. Nick;
    A lot of verbage but finally found the point in the last sentence.
    The Founders were trying to do away with the “Better Management Theory of Government” and the reliance on “good” people. This is the reason for the 3 branches with “enumerated powers”. This was the reason Madison and Henry brought forth what would eventually be the first 10 Amendments. (remember, these Amendments don’t really define or protect our “rights”! What they do is clearly state what the Federal Government, their employees, and contractors can’t {CAN NOT!!} legislate on, decree on, or “rule” on). The first 10 Amendments are the LIMITATIONS on the authority and autonomy of the Federal Government! “the chains that bind them”,,, Jefferson.
    The linch-pin to this concept is the Oath of Office. It is a legal and binding contract to abide by the Oath. To violate the Oath of Office is a crime.
    The problem is the belief in politics over LAW! Government, religion, corporations, businesses, groups, clubs, and the Individual must all live within Law or be Out-Law.
    This begs the question, What is LAW?
    I say it is something akin to Maybury’s two rules for civilization, ie: “Do all you have agreed to and do not encroach on other persons or their property”.
    Politics is Institutionalized Corruption. It is inherent in the concept and application.
    Codify Law
    Hold our “elected” officials to being Oath keepers
    Stop the Statist Jury Tampering

  59. This article is all over the place, but I want to lock in on one point…the Iran-Contra reference in relation to impeachability.

    In my opinion, facts don’t dictate that Trump has done anything that would currently warrant impeachment. However, if he hasn’t already, he probably will…because he’s narcissistic. Getting back to Iran-Contra, are you kidding me? How many times over have administrations stomped over the Constitution in more recent years way more egregiously than that scandal? The degree of knowledge that Reagan had personally about the logistics will never be known. But, I believe that was a noble enterprise. Nobody in the administration profited from it at the time (sending arms to Iran was not a positive thing, but Iran’s enemy was Iraq). Congress was an impediment to containing communism in the Western Hemisphere. The Reagan administration got something done, and no Americans died.

    There is no comparison to having a President who not only can’t accept having policy initiatives challenged, but can’t accept criticism itself.

  60. “Comey is the guy, we should recall, who tried to strong-arm Apple into undermining its phone encryption even though it was able to crack the San Bernadino’s phone just fine, who gave Hillary Clinton aides immunity and allowed them to destroy their laptops, and recently attacked the First Amendment because it gave Wikileaks space to publish authentic-if-purloined documents.”

    Don’t forget perhaps the FBI’s gratest success during his tenure. Becoming the largest distributor of child pornography in history, while simultaneously increasing membership, collection size and download speeds! But prosecution is secondary to protecting the super secret methods and tools, so they will just call this a trial run of mass entrapment and save what they’ve learned for a future with fewer pesky “due process” rights and hopefully get the real bad guys that actually READ wikileaks.

  61. So…Nick is uncritically linking Jacobin now.

    Huh.

  62. Voters must understand that they could have voted for legalization of electrical power plants and against race-war prohibitionism by choosing the LIBertarian option on the ballot. Trump was electorally elected because the Democratic Platform Committee lacked the sense to copy the libertarian repeal plank (as in the 1932 precedent). Instead they fished the Soviet policy of quixotic tilting against the enemy’s energy infrastructure out of the dustbin of history. So… those illiterate intelligentsia are in an authoritative position to tell the rest of us that the winners have stupid written all over their faces?

  63. I have been a registered Libertarian for quite a few years but am growing somewhat disenchanted with (what appears to me) to be a creeping liberal slant to articles in Reason. The Democrat person of today seems increasingly to lack perception that the party, the media and its consumers show an abnormal blind eye to any facts but what they wish (and seem to believe) wholeheartedly whether real or desired. Republicans are hardly any better in their perception of humanities foibles, and from the articles in Reason, Libertarians are becoming mired in generalities and false statements also.

    1. Goodbye, the door is over there. The free mints are meant for paying customers.

  64. Now is the moment for libertarians to loudly turn against Trump, or you/we will go down with him. Libertarians have nothing to win by defending Trump. Dump the Trump mess on the heads of the authoritarian big government nationalists. The only viable future for the GOP is as a libertarian party.

  65. Trump attacked the free press, and he got exactly what he deserved

    The president has the greatest self-pity. The best! “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly,” Donald Trump said this week as he heard the special prosecutor’s footsteps.

    Thus did our assured head of state, equal parts narcissistic and uninformed, rank his treatment worse than that of Benito Mussolini (executed corpse beaten and hung upside down in public square), Oliver Cromwell (body disinterred, drawn and quartered, hanged and head hung on spike), Leon Trotsky (exiled and killed with icepick to the skull), William Wallace (dragged naked by horses, eviscerated, emasculated, hanged and quartered) and the headless Louis XVI, Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I.

    Trump hasn’t been treated badly. He has been treated exactly as he deserved, a reaction commensurate with the action. He took on the institution of a free press ? and it fought back. Trump came to office after intimidating publishers, barring journalists from covering him and threatening to rewrite press laws, and he has sought to discredit the “fake news” media at every chance. Instead, he wound up inspiring a new golden age in American journalism.

    Will no one rid him of this turbulent press?
    https://tinyurl.com/lacze7d

  66. A country gets the government it deserves. If it is “We the People”, where are WE now? It is not Trump’s fault, it is all of ours.

  67. It’s good to see the democrats doing something productive for once. The sooner Trump is gone the better. Cheeto Musolini shouldn’t be in charge of the nuclear codes, he is unbalanced. Pence will be a way better President.

  68. Great post , thanks for sharing

    areghost.com

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