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Putting Country Above Party Works Both Ways

Impeachment? Treason? The president may be reckless, but so is the left's anti-Trump hysteria.

TrumpMolly Riley/Sipa USA/NewscomThroughout Donald Trump's short but eventful presidency, Democrats have been imploring Republicans to show loyalty for country over party.

If you believe our bumbling president's hiring of the likes of Paul Manafort or Mike Flynn—who was apparently under investigation when he joined the administration—reflects abysmal judgment, I'm with you. If you believe those decisions could turn out to be scandals, it's difficult for me to disagree. If you believe Trump's admiration for authoritarians in Russia undermines our standing in the world, I'm there as well.

Then again, recklessly throwing around words like "impeachable" and "treason" before the evidence exists to level those consequential charges also puts party over country. Hysteria also erodes trust in our institutions for nothing more than political gain.

You will, for instance, have to read six paragraphs into Reuters' recent highly shared scoop headlined "Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians: sources" to learn that "people who described the contacts to Reuters said they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far."

Talk about burying your lede.

For those keeping score, despite ceaseless leaking from the intelligence community, there has really been no evidence offered so far to prove "collusion" between Trump officials and Russia to "hack the election"—an absurd oft-used phrase that has convinced millions of Americans that their votes, their government and free will have been abducted by another country. If that day ever comes, I will write a column in favor of impeachment. Until that day, I'm certain folks with giant platforms like David Gregory will continue claiming that the Russians "hacked the election."

Convincing your gullible flock that we live in a republic easily annexed by a rickety former superpower is not putting your country above your party. To see the world from this prism, Time magazine visualizes the Kremlinizing of the White House. Its newest cover shows an image of St. Basil's Russian Orthodox Cathedral merged with the White House (the substance of the feature doesn't even really reflect the cover).

One wonders what the reaction would have been if a major magazine had run a cover of the White House conflated with an Iranian mosque while Barack Obama was sending pallets of cash to the Islamic Republic? Of course, a cover would have been hysterical—and not in a funny way. The former president believing that appeasing the Iranians was in the strategic interests of the United States doesn't make him treasonous; it just makes him a terrible president—and not the first or last.

Does putting your country above party mean never being skeptical of the intentions of an intelligence community that has lied to the American people repeatedly over the years and is trying to overturn an election?

There are other issues to investigate—potential obstruction of justice, for instance. We'll have to wait and see what special counsel Robert Mueller finds. Well, some of us will wait.

According to McClatchy, Democrats are expected "to poll the public's views on impeachment, trying to acquire hard data about an issue that until now has not been seriously analyzed." If the polling shows that impeachment is a political loser, will Democrats abandon their plans for it and put party above country?

Now, I realize there is no room for half-measures in this political environment. You must be wholly, 100 percent convinced every day on every topic that Donald Trump is guilty of every act floated by every anonymous source in every publication or you will accused of abetting the coup against the American people.

But it's worth pointing out that Democrats, at least rank-and-file liberals, seem to have convinced themselves that this saga ends with articles of impeachment and removal. Who knows? Maybe they'll be right. But it's not concern-trolling to point out that having this level of certitude about an outcome has the potential to be self-destructive for the country as well.

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Photo Credit: Molly Riley/Sipa USA/Newscom

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  • Shirley Knott||

    Why on earth do you believe that our political institutions are worthy of trust?
    Just because they're not as bad as North Korea or Myanmar or shithole-of-your-choice does not mean they are worthy of trust.

  • DanO.||

    It has to do with philosophical principles, specifically the discipline of politics.
    I know, I know, philosophy. Icky!

  • ||

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  • DanO.||

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  • gaoxiaen||

    ( . Y . )

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Better than a chocolate starfish ...

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    How Dare yo question our political institutions!

    Middle school social studies tell us that we have a government by the people, and for the people.

    Are you too good for middle school social studies? Stupid?

    Moran! Duh!

    See: Trump.

  • MikeP2||

    "Why on earth do you believe that our political institutions are worthy of trust?
    Just because they're not as bad as North Korea or Myanmar or shithole-of-your-choice does not mean they are worthy of trust."

    The ideals of freedom that this country was founded on require trust in the political institutions. Without trust, the people avoid and circumvent the State. But the State can't allow that and maintain itself, so it seeks direct control. And thus we have the current downward spiral of freedom. Civil society requires the individual to trust that he's not going to get fucked over by the State.
    Yes, trust is difficult in our current times, but if you are making a bizarre comparison to NK or Burma, you need to go read a friggin history book and educate yourself about how governments, countries, and civil societies have risen and fallen. The Founders were friggin geniuses.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Opting for nationalism over tribalism is just asking for a slightly different set of awful dysfunctions.

  • MikeP2||

    ^^^

    True..nationalism is certainly akin to tribalism writ large. Although I think there is a historical argument that Nationalism is a far less problem than tribalism and may even be the only working solution for the worst aspects of tribalism.

    It wasn't nationalism that led to the Holocaust, regardless of what the Nazis termed themselves. It was base tribalism through and through. And a good analysis of history I think shows that tribalism is the root cause of the worst human atrocities. Nationalism is almost always too fractured to maintain a cohesive direction for long. nationalism certainly leads to wars....but tribalism leads to genocide.

    I think the US is a perfect example of the benefits of nationalism over tribalism. Yeh, its not perfect, but the country's worst moments have been when tribal-alignments rose above nationalism. Our current deeply-fractured state is due to the left's incessant tribal agenda. A little nationalistic, "go America", may be exactly what tamps down the tribal crap that's leading us down a dark path.

  • NoVaNick||

    A little nationalistic, "go America", may be exactly what tamps down the tribal crap that's leading us down a dark path.

    This might have worked 30 or 40 years ago, as it did for Reagan; the problem now is that thanks to political correctness and the cult of victimization, combined with social media, tribalism is far too entrenched here for anyone other than privileged white males to believe in the concept of "one nation under God, indivisible...."

  • MikeP2||

    Not so sure. It's certainly difficult to see a positive outcome of the tribalism in play right now. Everyone is in a special interest group, everyone defines themselves to specifically distance themselves from everyone else. At some point, hopefully, they will realize that diverse people can coexist without killing each other....the basic premise of this country for the last dozen decades. People need to remember that it's okay to disagree and even hate each other but still live on the same street without issue.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    And, typically, commerce between people like that is a good way to help keep the peace. (Yes, I am preaching to the converted here.)

  • NoVaNick||

    I think many recent immigrants also appreciate what America (used to) stand for. After all, why else would they be here? I heard some schmuck on NPR yesterday going off about how his dad, who immigrated from India, shrugged off what his son considered "hate crimes (his store window was smashed) and microaggressions" as the cost of living in a free and open society that allowed him to get where he wanted in life through hard work and send his son to college (so he can learn useful stuff like the word microaggression)

  • DanO.||

    Just because most Democrats, like most Republicans and their libertarian kissin' cousins, are partisans doesn't mean that General Cheeto isn't a pathological liar, a malignant narcissist, an amoral, ignorant thug who is drunk on power and who will do anything to preserve it, up to and including his clumsy, arrogant, amateurish and hopelessly inept attempt at bringing Comey into the fold. The chips will fall where they may, but this self-pitying president has no one but himself to blame for the reality of his own making.

  • NoVaNick||

    Being a narcissist/sociopath/pathological liar is a perquisite for politicians of either major party. Trump's crime is that he is honest about it.

  • NoVaNick||

    sorry-prerequisite

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Well, it's a perquisite too.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    You perceive a difference with Trump - that "he is honest about it" - that you should take more seriously. Trump doesn't perceive anything wrong with his mendacity and narcissism. He's not embarrassed about it. He doesn't feel the need to hide it. He's -worse-. His character is seriously screwed up.

  • MikeP2||

    step away from your TDS self-delusion and take a few deep breaths.

    Regardless of Trump's behavior and character we know a few key facts.

    Numerous colleagues and employees have stood up in support of him.
    Very few colleagues and employees have spoken out against him. Even those dozen women claiming assault quickly disappeared into the mist...difficult to give them credibility.
    He raised apparently good, hardworking kids.
    Even his ex-wives still stand up for him.
    There are a number of stories about excessively generous behavior to others.
    For all the excessive media and political attention applied to Trump, it's amazing how few damning stories have surfaced.

    None of these facts support that he is "seriously screwed up". Sure, hate him on policy or behavior. But stop being delusional.

  • Tony||

    And since you held Obama up to the standard of "He raised good kids and none of the dozens of sexual assault allegations can be proven," people should totally listen to what you have to say about this. Also your treatise on trusting government institutions now that there's such a great guy in charge of them--primo stuff dude.

  • MikeP2||

    I never criticized Obama for have a screwed up character, you ignorant partisan hack.

    Obama was too scripted for my taste and perpetuated too many special interests. but beyond that, meh.

    And learn how our government works, you dolt. Trump isn't 'in charge' of our government. he directs one piece. And ironically, his trust ratings are better than the legislative branch at the moment. If nothing else, Trump may actually increase trust in government overall as the other branches up their game to provide balance, even if he corrodes it in the executive.

  • ||

    I never criticized Obama for have a screwed up character, you ignorant partisan hack.

    Yeah, but other people who posted comments here did, so don't pretend you're not guilty of their hypocrisy.
  • MikeP2||

    "Yeah, but other people who posted comments here did, so don't pretend you're not guilty of their hypocrisy."

    BO was rarely criticized here for having a seriously screwed up character or being some bizarre mentally-ill orangutan. He was criticized for his actions and policies, which sucked.

    most of the partisan morons here like Tony and DanO can't even articulate what they don't like, so devolve into some sort of feverish derangement.

    And you defend it. ridiculous

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  • DanO.||

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  • DanO.||

    your TDS self-delusion

    Anyone who dares to criticize General Cheeto is delusional and deranged.
    This place has some sick, sick fucks.

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  • notJoe||

    And you, with your juvenile name calling and stupid slurping noises are the sickest of the lot.

    And yes, you are deranged. Delusional, I dunno. Do you think you're a hamster?

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    This place has some sick, sick fucks.

    I am sure Mommy told you not to look in the mirror too much ...

  • DanO.||

    Trump's crime is that he is honest about it.

    Trump is "honest" about being a narcissist/sociopath/pathological liar?
    You need to pull your ass off his hand. That's just bizarre.

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  • Spinach Chin||

    Trump invented a false story about his administration colluding with the Russians?

  • Spinach Chin||

    There's a difference between being partisan and making shit up because you don't like your opponent.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Donald Trump is a Giant General Cheeto! Stupid liar, asshole thug! Authoritarian! Stupid Moran!

    God, God I hate Donald Trump!

    And I hate all of you!

    I squeal with glee at your destruction, and the destruction you brought upon yourself!

    That will teach you a lesson, for what you did to me all those years ago! I never forget! NEVER! AND I NEVER GET OVER ANYTHING, EVER, EVER! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHA! VICTORY IS MINE!!!!!!

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    That sums it up nicely.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    So...

    Weigel changes his handle AGAIN?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    No, this one a legit dumbification handle. It translates dumb into obviously dumb.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Bradley Manning, is that you?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""a pathological liar, a malignant narcissist, an amoral, ignorant thug who is drunk on power and who will do anything to preserve it,""

    Describes Hillary Clinton.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    Trump is obviously different from Clinton in this regard. He doesn't even try to hide it. He may not even perceive some of it. There's something wrong with him that Clinton doesn't share.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Would you rather have a president who is openly corrupt, or a president who is corrupt and tries (with varying degrees of success) to cover it up?

    In my more optimistic moments, the one seems more likely to scare public opinion away from authoritarianism than the other.

  • Spinach Chin||

    I've said before that the only real difference between Trump and other politicians is that Trump makes no attempt to hide who he is, boorish arrogance and all. Most politicians have groomed themselves over their careers (and even proceeding it) to try to portray the perfect public image, going so far as to structure paying your taxes in a way that makes you look charitable and mundane.

    Whereas Trump comes across as human and flawed, Clinton is cold and robotic.

    Which would you rather have a beer with?

  • Tony||

    Actually a lot of politicians are a lot smarter and more qualified than Donald Trump.

  • Spinach Chin||

    What qualifications are required to become president?

    What standard do you use to measure Trump's intelligence?

    I'll ignore the fact that your comment is a complete non-sequitur.

  • Tony||

    The real difference between Trump and most other politicians is that he's far stupider and more mentally ill than average.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    far stupider and more mentally ill than average

    I think you might be overestimating the intelligence and mental stability of your average politician.

  • Spinach Chin||

    And yet, illegal immigration down 70%, most conservative agenda since Reagan, Keystone and Dakota pipelines being finished, stock market at record highs, consumer confidence through the roof.

    Most importantly, an originalist on the Supreme Court.

    I'll take the World's Dumbest Politician over a progressive any day of the week.

  • Tony||

    One wonders why he had to commit so much treason to accomplish all that.

  • Spinach Chin||

    Yes, all zero if it.

  • notJoe||

    far stupider What, "like, with a cloth?" stupid? Like "why am I not up by 50 points" stupid? I doubt it.

    more mentally ill So you're a psychiatrist now? Or just parroting something Jamie Oliver told you to say? (Which seems to be your fallback whenever you're not spouting recycled 1920's eugenicist racism.)

  • notJoe||

    Err...John Oliver. The pajama boy clone, not the chef.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    But will they be smart enough to sense a shift in what the voters are looking for?

  • ||

    The voters don't know what's good for them.

  • Paradigm||

    > But will they be smart enough to sense a shift in what the voters are looking for?

    Were the Democrats and the left smart enough to sense that the American people are sick to the back teeth of being called racists and stupid hicks? No, you put Thomas Perez, race baiter extraordinaire, in charge of the DNC. You also listen to Maxine Waters, who should have the circus theme playing in the background anytime she opens her pie hole. That woman is about as stupid as your average cocker spaniel.

  • BYODB||

    You take that back! Cocker Spaniels are way smarter than Mrs. Waters!

  • DarrenM||

    You mean they are better liars. I agree.

  • gclancy51||

    And the award for the first irrelevant Hillary comment of the day goes to TrickyVic, still stuck in October '16!!!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Hey Dan, has it occurred to you that entire statement could be used to apply to Hillary?

    At least a reasonable percentage of Trump's platform isn't progressive dog shit.

  • brec||

    Then again, recklessly throwing around words like "impeachable" and "treason" before the evidence exists to level those consequential charges also puts country above party.

    Did we reverse "country" and "party" here?

  • ThomasD||

    The part that worries me about all this is: Trump already beat them once at their own game. They are moving into poorly charted waters now so there is little way of predicting the limits of what Trump might decide to do in response.

    The best possible outcome would be for the people to realize that the Federal government has too damn much power, and the whole edifice needs to be pulled down to ground level.

  • Rebel Scum||

    The best possible outcome would be for the people to realize that the Federal government has too damn much power

    Wishful thinking. Some might think so now, but that's only because "their" party is not in power. Incidentally, my lefty gf's lefty mom scoffed when I suggested that most of what the fedgov does is unconstitutional, and she TEACHES GOVERNMENT at a public school.

  • BYODB||

    Ask her about enumerated powers, watch her squirm.

  • ThomasD||

    " Some might think so now, but that's only because "their" party is not in power."

    Well, yeah, that's the hope - that more people begin to recognize that the people in power, who they thought were "their" people, really aren't their people, and are really on there for themselves (and often also there for the people in power who ostensibly represent the "other side" but are really on their for themselves.)

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    That doesn't sound like a great outcome, rather, it sounds like a cataclysmic failure that would bring pain or death to millions of people before something else happened, and the reaction to that outcome might well be worse.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I'm hoping the Dems go he rails that the general public goes through a new ew red scare and forces the Feds to tear them apart.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    'So far off the rails'

  • J Ortega y Gasset||

    Both sides are profoundly insincere... and that's not exactly a blazing insight. The centrists and moderates have essentially abandoned the field (or have been eliminated by the highly partisan closed primary system). The people left playing politics are the militants on both sides (including the commentariat) and the shameless opportunists. The libertarians... prattling on about "force" while the culture wars are being won without them.

    Hysteria "erodes our institutions"? What institutions? Is there something out there not riddled with corruption, incompetence, and/or irrelevance? Harsanyi reminds me of Kevin Bacon's character at the end of Animal House.

  • gclancy51||

    "Is there something out there not riddled with corruption, incompetence, and/or irrelevance?"

    Libraries had a good run for a while until the fell prey to stipulation 3...

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If you believe Trump's admiration for authoritarians in Russia undermines our standing in the world, I'm there as well."

    If you believe what people say in public is more important than what they do, then those people typically think Trump is the worst president ever.

    Progressives have become so obsessed with what people say and how they say it, it isn't even funny. That people who have felt victimized by the chilling effect of the left's obsession with PC speech flocked to Trump who ignores all that stuff shouldn't be surprising.

    We shouldn't get lost in that labyrinth ourselves, though, and if that means we end up being misunderstood as Trump supporters, then let the left pound sand. It won't be the first time the libertarians have made principled stands in the face of being called bad names.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In this example, Trump's attempts to collaborate with Putin on ISIS in Syria is Trump actually trying to do something. Trump voicing an opinion about Putin in some respect isn't doing anything--it's just words. If collaborating with Stalin on kicking the Japanese out of China is a good idea, then, yeah, FDR should shake hands with Stalin.

    If Trump needs to say something ugly in order to do what's in the best interests of American security, then he isn't undermining our standing in the world--anywhere near as much as he's doing what needs to be done to help eliminate ISIS as a security threat to the United States.

    Maybe think of it this way: Did anything increase our standing in the world more than defeating the Axis powers? Didn't that happen in spite of and/or because of FDR shaking hands with Stalin?

    P.S. It's hard to champion free speech against encroachment by snowflakes, on the one hand, and go bananas every time Donald Trump says something controversial on the other. They're just words in both cases.

  • J Ortega y Gasset||

    I think you're working too hard to stretch the PC nonsense with the Trump hysteria nonsense.

    I think Trump is doing shitty job as president, in part because of what he's saying. There are times presidents have to lie, but Trump lies about stupid things. There are times you make staff into sacrificial lambs, but generally as a last resort and to some necessary end. Trump cuts the legs out of people, seemingly motivated by nothing more than narcissism and a lack of impulse control. Trump was a buffoon as a celebrity, something I never thought about more than a moment having never watched, "The Apprentice." Things that push rating in the world of television don't work well trying to manage a vast federal bureaucracy or deal with global issues as the leader of the most powerful country on earth.

    There's a difference between some private college student body president saying some idiotic snowflake shit and the President of the United States sounding like the guy at the end of the bar who's had three too many drinks.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    Yes, he's qualitatively different than others in this regard (an argument I'm making all over this article's discussion board). He doesn't seem to be embarrassed about, need to hide, or possibly even perceive his extraordinary mendacity. His character flaws are manifest. Worst office-holder ever.

  • MikeP2||

    "...President of the United States sounding like the guy at the end of the bar who's had three too many drinks."

    Some of our best presidents often sounded like the guy at the end of the bar who's had three too many drinks. Just because the history books only relay to us the eloquent speeches doesn't mean that was their complete personality. Trump is far closer to the historic mean for political behavior than most of our recent presidents. Perceptions radically changed when TV came into the political arena, and BO was the epitome of a POTUS scripted for media consumption. In the grand scheme of things, Trump is pushing us back to reality and in the long run we'll benefit from it. Scripted/fake political addresses 24/7 takes us down a difficult path I think.

  • J Ortega y Gasset||

    I'm not disagreeing. America has endured some godawful presidents although I'm confident if given four years, Trump can make the bottom three. My point to Ken is that I wasn't feeling the connection between generic PC snowflake nonsense and what Trump spews on a daily basis. The gasbagging of the Brown student body president doesn't move the S&P 500 index. Trump's gasbagging can. Here's a wager. I'll bet within the next four years Trump makes an offhanded comment about nuking a country that's crazy/serious enough to cause some real world problems.

  • MikeP2||

    "I'll bet within the next four years Trump makes an offhanded comment about nuking a country that's crazy/serious enough to cause some real world problems."

    I'll bet that within the next four years Trump will make numerous offhand comments that are crazy/serious enough to cause some real world problems, but in fact never do because no one outside of beltway pundits and media hacks put any credence to "offhand comments".

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So far that gasbagging has lifted the s&p, so your criticism is...? Trump bad! Sad!

  • Ken Shultz||

    I was referring specifically about his comments regarding "admiration for Putin".

    I don't believe that was an offhand comment. Trump has been trying to forge a working relationship with Putin in order to fight ISIS in Syria since before he became President, and he was showing Putin that he was not so thoroughly hostile to Putin (like Obama was) that they couldn't possibly work together.

    If we're ignoring the question of whether it's better to collaborate with Putin on ISIS in Syria--rather than invade, fund rebels, do our own bombing campaign, etc--because we're so obsessed with Donald Trump's statements about Putin, then we're making a big mistake.

    If the Obama administration wouldn't say nice things about Putin--even if doing so was in America's security interests--then that doesn't make him a good leader. That just may indicate that we've gone overboard looking at what people say when we should be concentrating on what people do.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Incidentally, from what I can tell, Trump expressing "admiration for Putin" comes from this:

    "Donald Trump issued a statement after Putin praised the real estate mogul as a "talented person" and "the absolute leader of the presidential race."

    "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond," Trump said in a statement. "I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.""

    https://tinyurl.com/jsrw3p5

    Color me something other than outraged.

    If I had to use one word to describe that statement, it would be "diplomatic".

  • BYODB||

    The weird thing is, and I hate to admit this, but if you listen to some of Trump's speeches instead of the manufactured sound bytes he actually doesn't sound that nuts most of the time. It was pretty eye-opening for me.

    Does that mean I agree with him on a whole slew of issues that are anti-liberty? Not at all. But it also means that there's something fishy going on when all we get are the idiot-bytes. No one seems interested in watching the entirety of political speeches except the political class, and what they're telling us is said is not what is actually being said many times. That's...dangerous partisanship. Not just the regular kind of 'we disagree' partisanship.

    This is what most people understand 'fake news' to mean, but it could just as easily be called 'P.R. Speak' or 'Spin' in a by-gone age of the 1990's.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I voted for him because most of his platform is decent..He just needs to stick to it.

  • J Ortega y Gasset||

    The comment you quoted was certainly less controversial than many of Trump's other statements, although he does seem to have an affinity for tin pot dictators. I suppose the statement would be "diplomatic" in the sense that it was meant to avoid offense. I rather doubt it was "diplomatic" in the sense of serving a larger strategic vision of geopolitics.

    To the extent Trump is currying favor with Putin seems less about U.S.-Russia relations and more about Trump serving his own interests. He's possibly the most self-referential (and reverential) human being I've ever seen.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It was "diplomatic" in that it was meant to show Putin that Trump was willing to do what he could to forge a security relationship--specifically to fight terrorism. Trump mentioned terrorism by name.

    It was "diplomatic" in the technical sense--it was naked diplomacy. To show you I'm open to a constructive relationship, watch, I can even take a compliment from you with grace. Neither Hillary nor Obama could do that.

    Hillary Clinton openly questioned the legitimacy of Putin's election in 2011 to the press--more undiplomatic statements I can hardly imagine coming from a real Secretary of State.

    The Obama administration wouldn't even consider cooperation with Putin--and their objections to working with Putin were often over issues like the way Putin handles the issue of gay marriage.

    That is not diplomacy. That's neocon thinking, which both Hillary Clinton and Obama subscribed to--certainly in respect to their inability to work with dictators.

    Trump is a pragmatist, and after 16 years of failure, it's about time a grown-up went back to what works. Time to dust off the Scocroft, Weinberger, Jim Baker, Jean Kirkpatrick playbook. Sure, the called some bad plays, too, and made mistakes, but they also won us the Cold War--and they were dealing with people just as bad or worse than Putin.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So your argument basically boils down to trump not talk goodly therefore bad. If you actually look at what he's done it has been on net good. Most of his nominations have been good, gorsuch, mattis, mcmaster, haley, pruitt, devos. He has rolled back a fair number of Barry's bad regulations. His fcc chair is unwinding all of that net neutrality aka google payoff nonsense. He's cleared keystone and dakota. He's demolished the cpp.

    So what has he done that's actually bad? You could argue the travel ban. Flynn appears to be a poor choice. Sessions, meh. Turning jared kushner into super junior birdman hyperforce go? Ok.

    I get it: trump not talk goodly. It's a great argument. Really.

  • J Ortega y Gasset||

    Any judgment on Gorsuch is premature. The rest of the nominees are just tiny dots sitting atop a vast federal monolith. As for actually bad, I'll go with the executive order on immigration. Sessions is a horrible pick and his recent "max sentences" directive is an ugly belch from a badly digested failed war on drugs. I'm going to say his handling of intelligence has been poor. You can argue the dumpster fire has paralyzed the federal government and that's not a bad thing, but that weak beer.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    If Barack Obama had fired FBI Director James Comey for the reasons given in Asst. AG Rosenstein's letter, or for any other reason whatsoever, he would surely have been impeached by the Republican House of Representatives. As for "Appeasin' Obama and his pallets o' cash", since when does Reason object to payment of debts? This is third-rate anti anti-Trump jive.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If Barack Obama had fired FBI Director James Comey for the reasons given in Asst. AG Rosenstein's letter, or for any other reason whatsoever, he would surely have been impeached by the Republican House of Representatives."

    The Republicans wouldn't even enforce a contempt order against Lois Lerner.

    The Republicans wouldn't even pursue perjury charges against James Clapper.

    Try again.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    They didn't enforce a contempt order against Lois Lerner because, as the Justice Department concluded, she wasn't in contempt. " The whole "case" against Lerner is that she made a brief opening statement and then refused to answer questions, exercising her Fifth Amendment rights, which libertarians generally say they're fond of. It's true that the House could have used its "inherent power" against her, but that hasn't been done since 1934.

    Republicans didn't pursue perjury charges against James Clapper because they agreed with what he did.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "They didn't enforce a contempt order against Lois Lerner because, as the Justice Department concluded, she wasn't in contempt."

    Are you under the impression that the Obama administration has the authority of the courts?

    Congress found her in contempt and refused to enforce it.

    If they wouldn't even stand up to Lois Lerner, how can you say that they would have impeached the president?

    Or do you imagine that the Obama Justice Department saying that what Obama did was okay somehow trumps impeachment proceedings?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Ken, you are exactly correct. The House leadership has yet to show proof they have any balls whatsoever.

  • MikeP2||

    "If Barack Obama had fired FBI Director James Comey for the reasons given in Asst. AG Rosenstein's letter, or for any other reason whatsoever, he would surely have been impeached by the Republican House of Representatives"

    that's just delusional. The Director serves at the whim of the POTUS. Comey could have been fired for having his hair parted the wrong way. What Rosenstein outlined was clear evidence of Comey's bizarre political behavior both before and after the election. Obama, should have fired him last July for making the statements regarding Clinton that circumvented his role relative to the AG. the only reason he didn't was because it served the DNC, but it was clear evidence that Comey was out of control.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    It is not delusional. Just because the president has the authority to fire the director of the FBI doesn't mean that the House could not construe that action as obstruction of justice. Everyone recognizes that the impeachment power is entirely at the discretion of the House and is non-reviewable by the U.S. court system.

  • MikeP2||

    "Everyone recognizes that the impeachment power is entirely at the discretion of the House and is non-reviewable by the U.S. court system."

    educate yourself. Impeachment procedures require, by law, specific conditions for it to be applied.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Educate yourself yourself. If "by law" you mean "subject to judicial review", that's not true. The House of Representatives is the sole judge of its own compliance with the Constitution. If a bill of impeachment passes the House, as one did against Andrew Johnson, and as one did against Bill Clinton, then the president is impeached. There is no procedure to overturn an impeachment. The Senate, of course, doesn't have to find the president guilty, but that is a different issue.

  • BYODB||

    You might want to look into who is named the judge in impeachment proceedings.

    Hint: It's the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    As a further aside, you may note that the SC is also the one that checks Congress's compliance with said Constitution. In impeachment proceedings, it's done by being the literal final authority on the matter.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    You might look at the Constitution. The Chief Justice has nothing to do with the impeachment proceedings in the House. He presides over the Senate proceedings, but lacks the authority of a judge. He can't reject any of the articles of impeachment. He can't dismiss the case, etc. He can't enter a judgment NOV. It's entirely a political matter.

    Both Congress and the president have many unreviewable powers. The Supreme Court is not "the literal final authority".

  • BYODB||

    The literal final authority on whether congress has overstepped the constitution, yes. I.E. if Congress tries to impeach the President for eating Chocolate, that would not be constitutional and thus would not fly.

  • MikeP2||

    *why am I bothering*
    *because you're a glutton for punishment*
    *I have better things to do*
    *no you don't*

    stupid voices.

    but anyway. "by law" means that the impeachment cannot proceed. Legally, impeachment proceedings require specific criteria, none of which include 'firing an employee that the POTUS is authorized to fire'. Until a crime has been identified...even a lil one like Bill's...and I mean crime...impeachment is not legally viable.
    If the House proceeded to vote on an impeachment that was not valid under the criteria, the vote would be invalid and unconstitutional. The POTUS could ignore it, and the SCOTUS would be up to their pits in it. But it's never going to happen....that's what would be legitimately called a "constitutional crisis" as branches started taking actions they are not authorized to take.

  • DarrenM||

    Ah. So you agree that this whole thing is purely political.

  • Tony||

    Yeah poor Hillary Clinton, I'm sure you said at the time.

    What a pathetic shithole this place has become. Donald fucking Trump. Do you really think you're on the winning side of history with this guy?

  • ||

    What is it that makes you think "history" is a team sport?

  • Tony||

    The fact that it's written by the victors?

  • ||

    I see.

    So you are a "might makes right" guy, after all.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Every progtard is. Most of them like to hide that fact until they are in control, or greatly outnumber their opponents.

  • Jerryskids||

    If Barack Obama had fired FBI Director James Comey for the reasons given in Asst. AG Rosenstein's letter, or for any other reason whatsoever, he would surely have been impeached by the Republican House of Representatives.

    You work for CNN? That's pretty much the line they've been pushing - the Republicans are hypocrites for not condemning Trump when everybody knows if President Hillary Clinton had done this they'd be screaming bloody murder. Never once do they mention that we all also know who wouldn't be screaming bloody murder if President Hillary Clinton had done this - and that would be the Democrats and CNN.

  • Jerryskids||

    We know this because if you watched CNN during the campaign everything that came out about any of Hillary's scandals was reported from the standpoint of "Republicans are attacking Hillary for this, that or the other in hopes of scoring some political points and here's how this might play out". As far as CNN was concerned, there really weren't any Hillary scandals, it was all just minor petty bullshit stuff that the GOP was trying to blow up for partisan political purposes and the GOP trying to make mountains out of molehills was the real story. I've never once seen a CNN anchor or analyst other than the token Trump sockpuppet make this argument, and that argument is always scoffed at and dismissed as a laughable attempt to poison the well or muddy the waters on the real issue of Donald Trump being an out-and-out lying crook who somehow swindled his way into the Oval Office.

  • Jerryskids||

    We know this because if you watched CNN during the campaign everything that came out about any of Hillary's scandals was reported from the standpoint of "Republicans are attacking Hillary for this, that or the other in hopes of scoring some political points and here's how this might play out". As far as CNN was concerned, there really weren't any Hillary scandals, it was all just minor petty bullshit stuff that the GOP was trying to blow up for partisan political purposes and the GOP trying to make mountains out of molehills was the real story. I've never once seen a CNN anchor or analyst other than the token Trump sockpuppet make this argument, and that argument is always scoffed at and dismissed as a laughable attempt to poison the well or muddy the waters on the real issue of Donald Trump being an out-and-out lying crook who somehow swindled his way into the Oval Office.

  • KBeckman||

    Really? So ordering the executing an American citizen without due process and starting a war with Libya without congressional approval are not impeachable offenses in your book?

    If they weren't going to impeach him for legit transgressions what makes you think they would over firing the FBI director?

  • Rebel Scum||

    The muh-Russia hysteria is on par with thinking Obo was some kind of Islamofascist manchurian candidate.

  • MikeP2||

    Wait, I thought we've already established that Obo was, in actuality, some kind of islamofascist manchurian candidate.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    we've already established that Obo was, in actuality, some kind of islamofascist manchurian candidate.

    Your point being ...

  • MikeP2||

    Since when do comments require a point? Don't hold me to your false standards.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Since when do comments require a point?

    You are right.

    Since DanO. became a shit-stain on his Momma's sheets, they don't.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Sir! Your comment is an insult to fecal matter everywhere!

    DanoO is far more loathsome and disgusting than feces.

  • ||

    The former president believing that appeasing the Iranians was in the strategic interests of the United States

    the eternal Obama question: is he lying or is he stupid?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Well, seven-dimensional chess does look, to the layman, an awful lot like Whac-A-Mole.

  • Jerryskids||

    I was laughing my ass off at Chris Cuomo this morning on CNN, they were hard and heavy on the gossipy bullshit about how Comey hated Trump hugging him and how he tried to avoid Trump's attention - and CNN's spin on this is that this provides evidence of what a repulsive creep Donald Trump is. If they stopped to think about it, what they're really providing is evidence that Comey had a personal dislike of Trump and a plausible suspicion that Comey's personal dislike of Trump may have affected his professional dealings with the man.

    And then Cuomo gets into this back-and-forth with some Congressman about the whole Russian influence thing and the Congressman's pointing out that there's plenty of investigation and yet no smoking gun and therefore it's plausible to assume there was no interference. Cuomo is of course insisting that even if there is no smoking gun, since nobody knows whether or not there was Russian interference it's equally plausible to suggest there was. To my dismay, the Congressman didn't immediately shoot back with a "You mean, since we don't know whether or not Chris Cuomo likes diddling little boys, it's just as plausible to assume he does as to assume he doesn't, right?" Cuomo's such a moron he doesn't know that an either/or choice doesn't make a 50/50 proposition - either the Sun will go supernova tomorrow or it won't is not a flip of the coin.

  • Sevo||

    If the investigation keeps up, they'll find that Trump gets his hair done by a non-union Russian émigré, and Tony will break out in assholes and shit himself to death screaming "TREASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

  • BYODB||

    "Cuomo is of course insisting that even if there is no smoking gun, since nobody knows whether or not there was Russian interference it's equally plausible to suggest there was"

    I've said from the beginning of this whole insanity that it's a no-win scenario for Trump. You can never, ever 'prove' that there isn't collusion. It's impossible. Therefore it's the perfect baseline charge for a witch hunt to authorize investigations that may or may not turn up something completely unrelated that you can spin into charges, or at least to destroy the credibility of a sitting President.

    Mark my words, this 'scandal' will be talked about until the end of the Trump presidency no matter how much lack of evidence they come across. Unlike Obama's birth certificate, there is no document that you can produce that says 'never colluded'.

  • ||

    this 'scandal' will be talked about until the end of the Trump presidency no matter how much lack of evidence they come across

    With the caveat that it will be replaced by a real scandal if said real scandal actually emerges.

    Witness how quickly Team Blue media stopped wringing their hands about the intelligence sharing when they thought they had the Comey-firing memo. What was treasonous one day was old news literally the next day.

  • BYODB||

    Yes, agreed. Although I'll say that they will cite those previous 'scandals' each time they call for more and more investigations as though numerous investigations that have found zero wrongdoing are all evidence that more investigations are needed. (Pretty much the definition of a witch hunt...isn't it?)

    With that kind of logic, it's hard to say that they won't actually impeach Trump for something by the end of his term. It's doubtful that those charges will 'stick' since I doubt they'll ever find an actual smoking gun even if he was conspiring, but it's within the realm of possibility they could find some other semi-criminal charge to level at him given his world standing and overall wealth.

    The point that I just can't stop myself from making is that the Media is completely and utterly ignoring the sources that started this whole insanity. It involves intelligence leaks of FISA obtained information that was unmasked due to last-minute Obama policy changes, and then circulated to something like 15-20 agencies as unmasked information. Of course it was leaked. That is the literal thing that we've been worried about ever since we found out about FISA. Guess what Reuters just used as a source for their latest smear piece?

  • ||

    Does putting your country above party mean never being skeptical of the intentions of an intelligence community that has lied to the American people repeatedly over the years and is trying to overturn an election?

    This is what concerns me the most, honestly.

    A whole big swath of Team Blue, who until pretty recently thought of themselves as pro-democracy and anti-military dictatorship, are openly calling for the secret police to overthrow the democratically elected president, as if the ultimate backstop protection against a bad president is not Congress or the USSC, but those guys in the shadows with the long knives. *They* probably have our best interests at heart, right?

  • MikeP2||

    At the end of the day, I'll side with the person who was elected, regardless of party, before I'll side with an unelected bureaucrat or media personality.
    It has become quite concerning how much power resides outside of the elected officials. 'swamp' indeed.

  • BYODB||

    If there's one group of people that knows that strangers with long knives are safe to hang out with at night, it's socialists. Right up until the actual Night of Long Knives, that is, which always seems to surprise them for some reason.

  • ||

    "Well - they said they were on our side!"

  • BYODB||


    "The former president believing that appeasing the Iranians was in the strategic interests of the United States doesn't make him treasonous..."


    Interesting point of view, but it's worth mentioning that it's apparently fine for Obama to sent pallet loads of cash to an actual enemy of the United States but not ok for Trump to...do what exactly? Honestly, not sure what Trump has actually done. But we do know what Obama did. He sent tax payer money to a country that wants to wipe us off the map. Does that equal 'treason'? *shrug* I guess not, but if that's your stance you have zero legs to stand on for impeaching Trump. Zero.


    And yes, I realize that's what Harsanyi is saying. The left is just pissed off because after 8 years of Obama overreach they left themselves high and dry on the credibility front and their witch hunt is killing off what little credibility they might have had left with centrists.

  • BYODB||

    I did just recall that it wasn't technically tax payer money, if I recall correctly it was Iranian money that was being held because of, well, the fact we're basically enemies and it happened to be in America.

    And yes, at least we both agree that it was a retarded move. If sending enemies of the United States a shit ton of money isn't treason, then is there really such a thing as treason short of actually killing someone for a foreign power? Apparently not.

  • ||

    IIRC, it was a payment that was owed to the previous regime when the revolution happened, and US FedGov withheld payment on the grounds that someone new had moved into that address.

    It may not have been particularly intelligent policy, but probably was within his purview as President, since it was not, as you say, taxpayer money, but a disputed foreign debt.

    Also not terribly different from Trump exercising his discretion to fire his FBI chief. Clumsily done? Check. Politically backfired? Check. Illegal? No.

  • BYODB||

    Something like that, but it's a good illustration of what is 'treason' exactly since one would think paying that money to Iran would clearly be against our national interest at the time that the payment was made.

    Example, if we had owed Germany a million dollars before Hitler took over should we pay that million dollars to Hitler after they won the revolution? I'd say the obvious answer is 'no'.

    As to 'illegal', I honestly don't know but I will admit as much. But, one would think with the loose definition of 'treason' or 'collusion' that we're using today prior acts of the Obama administration would fit the same definition. I find it bizarre in it's obvious and unrepentant hyper-partisanship. I've never seen anything like it before.

  • ||

    one would think with the loose definition of 'treason' or 'collusion' that we're using today prior acts of the Obama administration would fit the same definition

    Yeah - it would be hard to argue that they don't.

    By any standard by which Russia is "Our Enemy," Iran is also "Our Enemy."

  • ||

  • DanO.||

    Look at all the libertarians who are not Republicans.

  • ||

    (*) (*)
    *

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Dan, wouldn't you be much more at home at Salon, HuffPo, or Vox? Your kind craves an echo chamber right?

  • Mark22||

    Not a Republican yet, but I'm getting there, given how increasingly deplorable the left is becoming.

    Just keep up the good work, DanO!

  • Voxpo||

    "the left's anti-Trump hysteria."

    Right...wouldn't want to be hysterical.

    "David Harsanyi...author of Obama's Four Horsemen: The Disasters Unleashed by Obama's Reelection"

    Oh.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    So....you're comparing a single book written by some author I've never even heard of to the 24/7 onslaught of EVERY print and TV news outlet, save Fox News and a handful of others. Well shit, you've convinced me. The news media is fair and balanced after all.

    Are you fucking serious?

  • Sevo||

    Naaah.
    Fucking stupid. You can tell: He supports Obo.

  • Voxpo||

    Apparently you can't.

  • kellygardner546||

  • kellygardner546||

  • XM||

    Oh, I think the REALLY interesting question is - Is Trump particularly more corrupt or reckless than any other president, or does it merely feel that way because the media is actually interested in doing their job on Trump, but not anyone else?

    Bush and Obama trotted out disastrous gun walking programs which essentially sold guns to the drug carter. Obama may have even used untracked guns. No anonymous leaks there. No constitutional crisis.

    Edward Snowden did leak stuff on the NSA. He didn't read 2 lines from memos to Fox News or Talk Radio, nominally enemies of Obama. But boy did he become an inconvenient figure for the MSM and the establishment. Obama loyalists and the Mccain class derided him as a traitor.

    Anyone remember the IRS scandal? No criminal charges were filed, even though the tea party groups were demonstrably targeted and certain evidence kept on disappearing. Lerner pled the fifth and eventually resigned. Strange! How would the media react if this happened under Trump?

    Obama fans were irate when the GOP accused Obama of sending "random" payments as part of the Iran deal. But the bigger issue was that a president made a deal (with no congressional approval, despite it being a treaty) that can't be meaningfully enforced and would be changed on whim on the Iranian side. I mean, that sounds like.... something Trump would do.

    Trump does plenty things that invite suspicion. But the media was always selective in is coverage and sense of outrage.

  • ||

  • Longtobefree||

    The democrats (and apparently 98% of the press), hate Trump.
    Trump is a white male.
    The democrats (and apparently 98% of the press), are racist and sexist.

  • stellapalmer4545||

  • stellapalmer4545||

  • jbsnc||

    Putting country above party? Is this sarcastic humor? Much of the left is Socialist Fascist oriented, rejects the letter and spirit of the Constitution, has proposed a 'living Constitution' meaning it evolves as those in power want it to, herds society to the left, and is the new version of book burning and silenced speech. Country comes AFTER a 1984 society, far after.

  • Lester224||

    Not even John Oliver (left side of the left) really thinks that Trump will be impeached. The impeachment hysteria is fueled by illogical liberal wishful thinking. Too bad, since for the sake of national dignity I'd rather have Pence despite his leanings toward theocracy.

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