The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Moby Dick

The Democrats can't seem to let go of Donald J. Trump. Today, they intend to impeach him for a second time. "Incitement" as we'll see later in this post, didn't happen in any criminal sense, but Trump did instigate the debacle at the Capitol. If he had a year left in his term of office, impeachment might be something to consider, but he now has 7 days left.

The debacle at the Capitol has discredited him, his own party is distancing itself from him, many of his defenders have abandoned him, his social media megaphone has been disconnected, and his term of office is all but over. You'd think that the Dems and their trained hamsters in the media would celebrate his fall and subsequent departure and move on.

But Donald Trump is Moby Dick to the Left's Captain Ahab. In Herman Melville's classic novel,  the Captain was obsessed with killing the great white whale—at any cost. Like Ahab, the Dems are willing to risk even more extreme political division (counter to the claims made by Joe Biden that "unity" is his goal). They are obsessed with the whale and are cheered on by their supporters and assisted by their hamsters in the media as they spend the opening days of Biden's ascension to the presidency in an effort to destroy and humiliate the outgoing president.

Jonathan Turley is "an American attorney, legal scholar, writer, commentator, and legal analyst in broadcast and print journalism. He is a professor at the George Washington University Law School, and has testified in United States Congressional proceedings about constitutional and statutory issues." (Wikipedia) He is hardly a member of any seditionist group—a label that is now leveled at anyone who questions whether Trump actually did "incite" the mob that invaded the Capitol. Turley writes:

Democrats are seeking to remove Trump on the basis of his remarks to supporters before the rioting at the Capitol. Like others, I condemned those remarks as he gave them, calling them reckless and wrong. I also opposed the challenges to electoral votes in Congress. But his address does not meet the definition for incitement under the criminal code. It would be viewed as protected speech by the Supreme Court.

When I testified in the impeachment hearings of Trump and Bill Clinton, I noted that an article of impeachment does not have to be based on any clear crime but that Congress has looked to the criminal code to weigh impeachment offenses. For this controversy now, any such comparison would dispel claims of criminal incitement. Despite broad and justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or riots. But he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to raise their opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to back the recent challenges made by a few members of Congress. Trump told the crowd “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices be heard.”

... There was no call for lawless action by Trump. Instead, there was a call for a protest at the Capitol. Moreover, violence was not imminent, as the vast majority of the tens of thousands of protesters were not violent before the march, and most did not riot inside the Capitol. Like many violent protests in the last four years, criminal conduct was carried out by a smaller group of instigators. Capitol Police knew of the march but declined an offer from the National Guard since they did not view violence as likely.

Trump undoubtedly did exhibit recklessness and very bad judgment when the events of the debacle at the Capitol are viewed in hindsight. That would be enough to label him a demagogue and to question his fitness for another four years in the White House. But Trump won't be in the White House after January 20th. 

The Dems claim that impeachment is necessary to ensure that Trump is not allowed to run in 2024. They have no worry in that regard. Trump, through his own bad judgment and thoughtless language, has destroyed his own reputation and turned many of his supporters against him. Media will not provide him with the means to communicate in any modern context. His voice will be silenced. His own party would never endorse his candidacy. Only in the fever swamps of leftist thought is there any threat of another Trump presidency.

Impeachment will accomplish one thing. In the fever swamps of hard-right thinking, it will provide yet another grievance that will remain unresolved. Given the current state of political affairs, why incite (that word again) when it simply isn't necessary.  Trump is over. There's just no need to chase the whale.

There's a quote from Moby Dick that seems relevant here:

“There is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of man.”

Trump may very well be a white whale—a once in a century political phenomenon that was part "beast" and part ... you fill in the rest. His opponents' reaction to him over four long years before the debacle at the Capitol may have been part prescience at what would come in his last weeks in office. But any objective assessment would also have to consider the possibility that it was part madness.