Due Process for a Scavenger Landfill Dog

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So I would like to take a few moments to write about the Trump impeachment fiasco, and to do so without actually talking about Trump himself, or his character, or his tweets, or his hair. For the sake of the argument, allow me to grant all the emotional distaste that your righteous spleen might be able to generate.

A friend of mine recently wrote, apparently pleased with the aftermath of the impeachment vote, that no one should ever be considered to be above the law. This bromide is of course correct, but it was so wildly wide of the mark that I felt like I had to reply. It was a true bromide, but badly and baldly thrown.

And my reply was that while nobody should ever be considered to be above the law, it is even more important that we recognize what is actually occurring here, and state firmly for the record that no one should be considered to be beneath it either. And I wouldn’t hang a landfill scavenger dog on the basis of the kind of wicked and corrupt processes we have witnessed over the last several months.

But CT Wants to Throw the Bum Out

What I intend to do in this space is take a look at the Christianity Today editorial by Mark Galli, the recent one that called for the removal of Trump, and thereby broke the Internet. Whether that removal happens by means of the electoral process or by impeachment, CT has kindly left to our prudential judgment. More about that in just a wee bit.

In the editorial, CT says this:

“We have reserved judgment on Mr. Trump for years now. Some have criticized us for our reserve.”

Reserve, nothing. This is where I want to throw a flag, and penalize CT for unsportsmanlike conduct. This was an egregious late hit, using the helmet for a spear tip. On top of that, it was a late hit from a third-string player on the sidelines, not even part of the action.

It was not reserve that caused CT to wait until now. It was the fact that the whistle had blown and the play was already over. The impeachment action was over and done, and the Left has gotten to their high water mark in this travesty. Their flow is now done, and the ebb is about to start. It was now or never. If CT wanted the cover provided by the high foolishness of others, it was going to have to be now.

If one happens, the trial in the Senate is going to blow the whole case to tatters, and after Trump is exonerated by the Senate, a few other things are coming down the pike. And if the House remains coy about what they have done and refuses to send over the articles of impeachment—even though the matter was apparently URGENT just a few weeks ago—then the shenanigans and monkeyshines of the House will then get buried under a cascade of coast-to-coast laughter, followed by a torrent of overripe vegetables hurled by an exasperated public.

And I also hear word of a federal prosecutor named Durham, with a glint in his eye, and a gun loose in his holster, walking around loose interviewing people. Unlike Horowitz, he has the power to initiate criminal prosecution. And it appears that a bunch of people in Washington believe that the best defense is a good offense, or at least a non-stop offense. And if the offense is not a good offense exactly, but more like a four-hundred pound guy on rickety stilts kind of offense, then that tells us how worried they are about what is going to happen if they have to go on defense, and that concern clearly extends to what will happen when they must start defending the indefensible under oath. As it is, their narrative is already starting to resemble Jake’s excuses in The Blues Brothers.

In other words, there will never be a more opportune moment for CT to take their shot against Trump while conveniently hiding behind somebody else. The “high crimes” charges against Trump have hit peak plausibility, and although the peaks were never all that high, they are certainly not going to get any higher. In fact, these plausibility peaks are kind of like when your dog runs away in west Texas, and you can see his tail for three days. If there was ever going to be a moment when CT could don a mantle of faux righteousness, and even fauxer courage, that moment is now—because it is all downhill from here.

This is the one moment when Christianity Today could take a shot at the president without any real risk whatever. Because the impeachment crazed Left is way over-extended, CT could also count on an inordinate amount of frantic applause from the Left, which is exactly what they got. CT could draw themselves up to their full prophetic height, and—now that the Democrats had done all the dirty work—lecture all the pleb-evangelicals with unwashed necks about whom they are really serving. Their line was that it is time to stand fast. It is time for audacious fortitude. It is time for courage.

It is as though Herod Antipas had somehow run afoul of Tiberius Caesar, who threw him into jail, whereupon John the Baptist promptly took his chance and wrote a stern and censorious letter to the editor about Herodias. This is a mode that some might call sunshine prophetic.

From Their Own Statement  

And these are not mere assertions on my part. The central problem with what CT did here is apparent, lying right on the surface of their editorial.

First, they acknowledge the animus of the president’s prosecutors, and how this could easily distort the facts. And they grant that Trump had no even-handed opportunity to present a defense. They say all that, right out loud and everything:

“Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had it out for him from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion. This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.”

This is fake even-handedness. It is not judicious. This just makes everything high-handed and wicked bad.

So there was nothing resembling due process, which CT grants, quite handsomely. But then, by some mysterious legal jiggery-pokery, the editors of CT have found themselves in full possession of the facts that a fair process would have unearthed, had we only had one. One wonders how this could possibly have happened. Yes, the trial was rigged from day one, as we fully acknowledge, so it is therefore quite a relief to our sensitive and finely-tuned consciences that the defendant is guilty, guilty, guilty (!!!!) It would be a shame for such a sham process to happen to someone we didn’t already detest. That would have unfortunate consequences. Someone we like might be railroaded.

“But the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

The facts in this case are unambiguous? That is precisely what they are not. They were hotly disputed by multiple responsible people who were not allowed to present their case.

So CT grants the bias of the prosecutors, the possibility of factual distortions, and the rigged refusal to let the president have a serious defense, and yet the results of the trial are magically “unambiguous”?

Golly. Good thing he is guilty. We might have to feel bad about this otherwise.

By Whatever Means

I mentioned earlier that CT had left with us the discretionary power of deciding which way the president should be removed. Awfully nice of them. Whether by impeachment or by electoral rejection, the evangelical Christian’s duty is now plain. Either support the impeachment, or vote him out eleven months from now.

But I want you to note how fastidious CT is being here, and in this instance it is a fastidious and very precious purity that actually kicks the door open for manifest wickedness.

In other words, the normal electoral process for removing Trump would necessitate voting for the Democratic nominee, whichever Bolshevik that turns out to be. A third party purity vote wouldn’t count, because the prophetic call from CT here was to remove Trump, not to keep your own skirts clean by voting for the Pure Thoughts Party. And the only real practical alternative to Trump is the Democrat. But absolutely every last one of those people is pro-abortion, and Tulsi Gabbard, the long shot, is the only one who appears to be less than enthusiastically and rabidly pro-abortion. All of the likely nominees over there are members of the death cult that has America by the throat.

But don’t worry. According to CT, compromised evangelicals, the kind who have made their peace with this smoking Molech of ours, can still strike a blow for righteousness by voting for someone who will be guaranteed to perpetuate the slaughter. That is mandatory now, and Christians can no longer agree to disagree. According to CT, we used to be able to have “political” disagreements about whether or not to vote for the party that maintained that it was all right to slaughter the unborn, provided it was done in the darkness provided by the shadowy penumbra of the Constitution. But now, if we don’t support impeachment, then we must vote for the Death Party. Not to do so is to forget the “Creator of the Ten Commandments.”

Land of Goshen, heavens to Betsy, and for the love of Pete.

You are going to express your distaste for tawdry politics and back room deals by insisting that we vote against someone who, you say, was guilty of pressuring the new president of Ukraine to open an investigation of tawdry politics and back room deals.

In other words, an investigation of Biden’s behavior in Ukraine would not have been merely an investigation of a possible political rival to the president. It would have been an investigation into the behavior of someone whose levels of official corruption would make all of Trump’s New York real estate deals look in comparison like a chapel service at a convention of Sunday School superintendents. Somebody should calculate what Hunter Biden was earning in Ukraine per minute, and then all of us could see if that was higher than the hourly minimum wage that these guys are pushing as their favorite way of throwing the little guy out of work. And then maybe somebody should figure out what Hunter was earning per second.  

There really is a boatload of real corruption there, and if you show any kind of serious intent of investigating it, that is like walking up to someone you don’t know, licking your forefinger, and attempting to touch their eyeball. You will get a reaction.

We have been watching that reaction, as a matter of fact.    

Courage of Their Convictions

I am beginning to suspect—although I do not yet know—that the 2020 election is going to be another sad time for the Left, much like 2016 was, only with a lot more Dread in the run-up to it.

So here is my invitation to CT. I would like to ask them to rerun this editorial, or one very much like it, a year from this January. Schedule it for January 2021. The chances are excellent that Trump will still be president, he will still have all the same character flaws, and the chances are even better that he will not have apologized for any of them. He will have carried the country in a fashion that will have made people think about that thing that happened to the hapless George McGovern. A number of people who used to be employed by our intelligence agencies will be wending their way through the courts, on the way to jail. Michael Flynn will have received a presidential pardon. There will be fluffy clouds in the blue sky, and the House Democrats will have been humiliated at the polls.

If that is the set-up, as I am beginning to suspect that it will be, then CT could take the very same stand, and there will be no one to hide behind. We will then see if they have the courage of their stated conviction, or if they were just taking their last likely opportunity to take a cheap shot.

And apart from the cheap shot at the president, let us not forget the cheap shot taken at the rank and file evangelicals, of the kind that CT used to represent. In fact, just a few decades ago, the higher echelons at toney magazines like this one actually used to know some of us.

Important Update

It appears that Mark Galli, facing the kind of blow back he likely did not anticipate from the R & C evangelical wing (rubes and cornpones) has decided to walk back a significant amount of his editorial, leaving behind only the acrid taste of his distaste for the president, along with more than a little bit of political incoherence. And the tumult also provoked this response from the magazine, which didn’t walk anything back but did give the rubes and cornpones a little bit of a brotherly shoulder rub. So there’s that.