Trump Derangement Syndrome

DJ Trump is definitely his father’s son. He has managed, like dear old dad,  to once again make seemingly normal people to take amazingly stupid positions. What Trump the Younger did in meeting with someone claiming to work with the Russian government was not treasonous. Nor was it a brilliant move. And his decision to disclose the emails hours before the New York Times disclosed is as much proof of a “transparent administration” as dumping illegal drugs down the toilet with DEA sledgehammering down the door is proof of someone being anti-drug.

People, including yours truly, have marveled at Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Much like it’s early incarnation, Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), it has caused folks on the left to become completely unhinged, finding conspiracies everywhere. What makes TDS worse is that it has metastasize and caused folks on the right to become equally unhinged.

Beyond the issue with DJ Trump and his journey to gain dirt on Clinton from the Russians is the reaction from both pro and anti Trump forces. On the pro-Trump side, the defenses of young Mister Trump boil down to Kennedy did it and if it’s not illegal, it’s no biggie.

The first argument, if you are not aware of it, concerns a report found in the KGB archives that indicates Ted Kennedy sought the assistance of the Soviet Union to defeat Ronald Reagan’s campaign. Republicans and conservatives have wielded this accusation in the past as proof of the perfidy of the Democratic Party.

So why the eff would you know use it to justify what DJ Trump did? Just because someone on the opposing side did something horrible does not justify your side doing something similar. If it was wrong for them to do it, it is wrong for you to do it.

Since Glen Beck started his own brand, The Blaze, I have gotten the impression he has been selling his old blackboard to right wing crazies. You know the blackboard that he used to show linkages between various left wing causes as proof of an attempt to overthrow the US government and impose Sharia law and install Obama as Imperator. I mean I assume Alex Jones wandered down to Wal-Mart and picked one up and uses it to warn of the dangers of Pig/Human Hybrids and NASA’s Martian Slave Colonies.

(This by the way shows Jones’s disconnect. I’m supposed to believe a government agency is actually running a program efficiently and secretly? Please)

Showing some sort of connection between Ted Kennedy and Yuri Andropov does not justify a DJ Trump-Vlad Putin connection. Whataboutism is not a valid counterpoint to claims of DJ Trump’s inappropriate behavior.

This segues nicely to point two: just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it’s ok. There are any number of things that are perfectly legal, but still douchey. Jacking up the price on epi-pens after the government gives you a de facto monopoly isn’t criminal, just evidence of your ass-hattery. The fact that the FBI determined that Hillary Clinton broke no laws by storing classified materials on an unsecured server didn’t make it right. Indeed, if you look at Comey’s news conference, he bent over backwards to point out what Clinton did was wrong while not being illegal.

As I noted yesterday, the approach used by DJ Trump & co was mind-bogglingly stupid. But that in and of itself is not evidence of criminal activity or intent. It is perfectly acceptable to note what DJ Trump did wasn’t treason or criminal while still noting what an idiot he was for doing it.

The biggest danger the right has in its knee-jerk defense of Trump is going to be that moment in the future when he does something that is completely inexcusable and indefensible you will be forced to either excuse and justify it or explain why this one thing was what pushed you over the edge. You will go from being political supporters to cult members.

And that is not where you want to be going into the midterm elections or in 2020.

Meanwhile the left continues its inexorable slog towards Tinfoil Hat-landia. Apparently Glen Beck has decided to market his conspiracy blackboards and sell them at Target (pronounced by the left as Tar-Jay). There is not a single accusation against Trump that doesn’t go up on the board with a piece of string connecting it to something else. And it doesn’t matter if it is connected to something that has been disproven. Because to the left, anything anti-Trump is true. Even when it isn’t.

What constantly surprises me about the left (though it shouldn’t) is how historically illiterate they are. I understand Karl Marx is out of favor (he is after all, just another dead white male), so perhaps they forget his comment  “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Now see if they had bothered to learn that, they would realize they already made the same mistake with Trump that they did with George W Bush: you cannot be an evil genius while simultaneously having such a low IQ you can’t bend over to tie your shoes. And yet the left insists that he is an idiot while at the same time the center of a vast conspiracy on three continents to overthrow the US government and install Vladimir Putin as Supreme Leader.

Just because two events occurred near one another does not a conspiracy make.Remember Correlation Is Not Causation. A spike in internet traffic on a Russian bank server days after DJ Trump’s meeting with an alleged member of the Russian government does not show evidence of collusion anymore than you can blame people who eat cheese of being at fault for dying while tangled in their bed sheets.

chart
This chart has no relevance to the blog. Much like many of the connections the left is trying to make between Trump and Russia.

Not everything that happens around Trump is proof that Putin is Fearless Leader and the end of the Republic is nigh or evidence of Trump Treason. (Though if it was Trump Treason, it would be the richest, most luxurious treason ever. But I digress) The constant pearl clutching isn’t going to help you win the midterms or the 2020 campaign.

When DJ Trump first released his emails, Twitter’s own Iowahawk tweeted:

self inflicted

Right now, I have the media leading on points.

DJ Trump and the Search For Russian Dirt

Here’s a radical idea: It is entirely possible to believe what DJ Trump did was stupid while not treasonous.

Was it illegal? Possibly. As Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law at UCLA and overseer of the Volokh Conspiracy Blog, notes it appears Courts would find it illegal:

Foreigners who aren’t U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents, the argument goes, are barred from providing candidates any “thing of value” in connection with any American election campaign. Campaign staff are barred from soliciting any “thing of value” from such foreigners. And, the argument goes, valuable political information about an opponent’s misdeeds is a “thing of value.”

That would also include if a foreign national, living in the US notified a campaign about irregularities.

But, Volokh thinks the law might violate the 1st Amendment.

Yet that, it seems to me, can’t be right. It would raise obvious First Amendment problems: First, noncitizens, and likely even non-permanent-residents, in the United States have broad First Amendment rights. See Bridges v. Wixon, 326 U.S. 135 (1945) (“freedom of speech and of press is accorded aliens residing in this country”); Underwager v. Channel 9 Australia, 69 F.3d 361 (9th Cir. 1995) (“We conclude that the speech protections of the First Amendment at a minimum apply to all persons legally within our borders,” including ones who are not permanent residents).

Second, Americans have the right to receive information even from speakers who are entirely abroad. See Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301 (1965). Can Americans — whether political candidates or anyone else — really be barred from asking questions of foreigners, just because the answers might be especially important to voters?

He also noted people are claiming Trump the Younger actually received anything of value. (Indeed it is not even clear what evidence of dirt on Hillary was proffered). DJ Trump’s met with supposed members of a foreign government and it is probably a stretch to equate information given by a government to work performed by a citizen of a foreign government.  You can read the whole post here

I happen to agree with Volokh. If the law was as broad as some are asserting it is, the law would be unconstitutional for being overly broad.

I can’t imagine not wanting to know what the Russians claimed they had. Depending on what was presented as evidence, I may also want to  let the FBI know about the situation. We are, after all, talking about someone who was in the very inner circles of power. If the Russians disclose a major bombshell about what Clinton did while in government, it may suggest there is at least one Russian agent inside the White House or State Department. I would think people would want to know.

(And if the Russians were prepared to give up something that juicy, it would also mean they had access to far worse evidence of wrong doing).

And as Volokh notes, why should Americans not be told of something just because the source is not American, but Russian? If the information is relevant, it should not matter where it came from.

(It also possible the supposed dirt was something already known and reported on in the press. During the Cold War, KGB agents in the United States were known to take stories they read in the New York Times and Washington Post and send reports based on those stories, taking credit for the ‘intelligence’.)

The problem with the way DJ Trump and the other folks running the campaign handled it, was the seeming complete lack of awareness regarding who was offering this information. Since 2012, Republicans had been hammering the Obama Administration over their coddling of Putin. How many times did Republicans post videos of Mitt Romney warning about the Russians in 2012 and Obama’s snide comment about the 1980s?

On some level, you would have to wonder why this was being offered to you. Why are the Russians being so nice? What do they want in return? Are they trying to blackmail me?

(The great irony of course is if this was some sort of blackmail attempt by the FSB, they probably picked the one person who is probably blackmail proof. Based on the response to every accusation made against Trump since the beginning of his campaign, one gets the feeling he would simply dismiss it as “fake news” and move on. Blackmail only works if you can embarrass the target. And Trump seems incapable of that emotion).

As I mentioned yesterday, the people running Trump 2016 are not Mensa Candidates. DJ Trump, Manafort, and Roger Stone remind me of characters from a Tim Dorsey novel, specifically Elroy, Slow, and Slower from Coconut Cowboy (though not necessarily in that order).  I mean look at this from the emails DJ Trump published yesterday:

Whut

It was 100 years ago this year the Tsar was deposed and the Russian monarchy abolished. The end of the Soviet Union did not restore Royal Authority. So why in the name of all that is holy didn’t someone wonder about the Russian Crown Prosecutor?

Plus it apparently never occurred to them to ask why a British music promoter had such pull with the Russian government. Music promoters can barely get meetings with record labels, why would you think they could get you access to dirt held by the <ahem> Russian Crown Prosecutor?

Ultimately, the “professionals” running political campaigns need to treat emails from Russians claiming they wish to share dirt on an opponent the same way every sane person treats emails from Nigerian Princes claiming they have a vast fortune they wish to share:

Mark it as Spam and move on.

Life Moves Fast

One of the many amazing things about the Trump Presidency (besides learning that comedians holding up fake severed heads of the President is not violent rhetoric, put posting gifs of with the President’s head and the CNN logo superimposed on wrestlers is a core-shaking threat to the Republic) is how fast the news cycle is.

Less than twenty fours ago, there were stories about how Donald Trump Jr  (hereinafter DJ Trump) may or may not have met with Russians who may or may not have had incriminating evidence against Hillary Clinton. The hot takes on social media were at about a 9 responding to it.

I was in the midst of my take when DJ Trump decided to turn it up to 11.

I posted this H L Mencken quote before the election. I think it is fitting to post it again in light of DJ Trump’s actions:

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

And it is equally important to remind everyone, Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and the mainstream media still couldn’t beat the man being advised by the likes of Manafort, Stone, and DJ Trump.

The Buffalo Bills of the Political World

Special Elections are odd ducks in American politics. A lot of pundits try to use them as Roman Seers did the entrails of chickens. And both groups had probably the same rate of success. The elections can serve as insights into how parts of the Country view the then political status quo. The US government is still, regrettably, a duopoly. So no matter how much candidates try to make it all about them, special elections are tied to the parties. A vote for a Republican in the special election is a vote for the Trump agenda. A vote for a Democrat is a vote against the Trump agenda. This why pundits like to see them as massive bellwethers.

Going against that concept is a special election allows the parties and their various political surrogates to concentrate their firepower (i.e. money) on a single election in a manner they cannot replicate during a general Congressional election. Yesterday’s Georgia 6 special election cost the parties approximately Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00). To replicate that in 2018, across 435 Congressional Seats would require spending Twenty-One Billion Seven Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($21,750,000,000.00). While that might be the most honest “shovel ready” jobs politicians could create, it just ain’t happening.

While they might not be bellwethers, special elections can serve as a canary in the coal mine for political parties. If the party out of power racks up surprise victories, the party in power needs to take notice. If the party out of power keeps losing, they need to reassess their strategy.

For example, the January 2010 win by Scott Brown’s the vacant Massachusetts Senate seat (along with the Republican victories of the governorship of Virginia and New Jersey in November 2009) should have been a wake-up call for Democrats that the American public was very uneasy with the Democrat’s agenda. They should have stopped with Obamacare. They opted not to do so. And the result was the 2010 wave election.

The Republican victory in GA-6 does not qualify as a bellwether. While this would be an Ossoff victory would have been an upset (the first Democrat to represent the District since ’78), the closeness of the race would have mitigated against it. The intense focus of the democrats on that election would have been something they would not have been able to replicate 18 months from now. But, take Handel’s 3.8 point victory and the 3.1 point victory by Ralph Norman in the under-reported election in South Carolina and the GOP should pause for a moment. While they have won all of the special elections this year, the margin of victory has been incredibly small, especially in traditional Republican districts (the last poll for SC-5 had Norman up 53-37. Given his 52-48 victory, all of the undecideds apparently broke for the Democrat). And these districts have been in various parts of the Country, giving a better snap shot of America’s views. The people may not like the Democrats, but they are clearly not enamored with the Trump Agenda.

The Republican party is going to be battling some strong headwinds in 2018. Historically, midterm elections are referendums on the party in power. The lower the popularity of the President, the worse his party does. Having a President with a popularity rating in the low 40s is never been a good sign for his party. If the GOP wants to insulate itself from any chance of losing the House, they will need to come up with a legislative agenda they can pass. And given the short-attention span of the President (Last week was announced as infrastructure week and very little in the way of policy was set forth) and the risk aversion of the Senate to initiate anything (see the one infrastructure policy Trump did announce), and Paul Ryan needs to put together a group of high profile bills he knows he can pass to show the American People Congress is doing something.

As for the Democrats, they also need to keep in mind that these elections are not bellwethers. But they also have to overcome the fact that when it comes to picking up Republican seats, they are 0-4 in special elections this year, despite backing truckloads of money into each of the races. And in each case they came tantalizingly close to winning, only to lose in the end. Between 1990 and 1994, the Buffalo Bills were the AFC Champions and played in Super bowls XXV through XXVIII. They lost each one. Almost all were heartbreakingly close games.

The Democrats are the now the Buffalo Bills of Politics.

#sad
The epitome of #sad

The Democrats need some serious introspection. It is said that armies are always preparing to win the last war. The special elections show the Democrats are always prepared to lose the last election. The idea that they could run a campaign solely built on a hashtag (#Resistance) and blind opposition to the President has to be considered a failure. The idea they could bring someone into Georgia Six who didn’t live there and was funded by major donors from outside of Georgia was a hell of a gamble that failed spectacularly. (And Ossoff whining this morning that despite his campaign spending $40 million that somehow a lack of campaign finance is the reason he lost shows a stunning lack of awareness). I would commend you to read this long twitter rant by someone who lives in the District to understand how badly the Democrats handled this.

And the blame has to start at the top with Nancy Pelosi. She has been the leader of the House Democrats since 2006. With Hillary wandering the back woods of Chappaqua like some sort of pant-suited Bigfoot, Pelosi is the “Face of the Party”. The minority leader is the poster child for costal liberal elitism. The day she retires (or is ousted from Leadership) will be a sad day for GOP fundraisers. And her policy agenda s shows a complete lack of awareness of the reality that allowed Trump to win the presidency.

But even party members have to get a grip. During Ossoff’s concession speech, there were reportedly cries of “Not our Congressman”. This continual refusal to acknowledge the other party’s victory as legitimate is doing it no favors with those people who don’t live breathe and eat politics. National Review’s Kevin Williamson summed it up best:

So, the election didn’t go your way. That means America is finished, defeated, corrupted beyond redemption? Grow up. Nobody said being free would be easy. We, all of us, have work to do — childish fantasies and childish temper tantrums aren’t getting it done.

The Democrats have to stop treating anyone who opposes them as being some sort of racist, misogynistic xenophobe. This strategy failed in 2016. And it has failed five times in 2017. A new strategy is required.

The biggest problem with the Democrats is they love the pomp and circumstance of being the opposition. But they don’t like the details. In contrast, the Tea Party was founded in not in opposition to President Obama, but to his policies. The Tea Party had a very clear agenda: they were for cutting spending, reducing taxes and reigning in government. They had very clear goals. And the Tea Party was equally clear they were ready, willing, and able to work with President Obama. It was Obama who decided to ignore the Tea Party and opted instead to become President Phone & Pen.

Democrats keep trying to replicate the 209-2014 Tea Party movement and failing. Sure, the Occupy Wall Street protests had all the visual hallmarks of the 1960s protest movements. But they never had a solid agenda of what they wanted to have happen. It was always this vague re-hashed of discredited Marxist-Leninist ideas. The #Resistance is the same thing. The main agenda item for them is the impeachment of Trump. That idea precludes any idea of them working with the President. Which means, from a practical standpoint, whatever policy ideas they get around to promoting have no shot of being implemented. Trump is nowhere unpopular enough for people to realistically believe he would be convicted by Senate. And while the #Resistance makes noises about also impeaching Pence and installing Pelosi as President, they have failed to produce a single item about the Vice President to even remotely suggest he has done anything that could be considered a misdemeanor, never mind a high crime. A vote for the #Resistance is a vote for a futile gesture.

The Democrats can be the party of No. But they have to have solid agenda. If you oppose Trumpcare, then have a basic plan for how to fix Obamacare. Opposing tax reform? Then what’s the bullet point ideas you have? Show the American people there is something more than just a foot-stomping, holding your breath until you get your way from the party.

The one good thing about this is neither party will actually undertake any introspection. They will continue doing what they normally do. And so the 2018 election will be decided, as every election since the fall of Berlin Wall, by the words of the Apocryphal Harold Macmillan:

“Events dear boy, events.”

And since the duopoly is content to let events controlled their fortunes, it gives opportunities to third parties to step into the breach.

Comey & May… in June

A few quick thoughts

In about ten minutes, former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. When the news first broke about Comey’s meeting with Trump and the claims that Trump seemingly attempted to obstruct justice, I noted there were two possibilities: Either Trump had obstructed justice and needed to be impeached or the media vastly overplayed its hand. Based on Comey’s prepared introductory remarks, it seems like option 2 is what we are seeing.

On one level, Comey’s recitation of his history with Trump shows the President to be a rather insecure narcissist who really has no idea how government is supposed to operate. His demands for loyalty make sense for a businessman who has just completed a hostile takeover of a company, but have no place when dealing with government officials in positions where they required the advice and consent of a co-equal branch of the government. Comey did not owe loyalty to President Trump. Comey’s duty of loyalty was to the United States Constitution and his oath to uphold the law.

This is where Comey’s testimony hurts him. Comey does not appear to be some guardian of Truth, Justice and the American Way. His own words damn him as bureaucrat seeking to maintain his position. He promises the President “honest loyalty” and then immediately runs home and drafts a CYA memo outlining everything he thinks Trump did wrong. That is not loyalty. More important, that is not honesty.

Comey’s claims regarding the incident when Trump is said to have pressured him to end the investigation into Mike Flynn also doesn’t make sense. Leaving aside his claims that he “understood the President to be requesting we drop any investigation of Flynn”, that means whatever you want it to mean and doesn’t even remotely come close to obstruction. What damns Comey is his reaction. If he really believed the President was attempting to obstruct an investigation, he had an obligation to notify the Attorney General ASAP. Comey claims he didn’t because he believed Sessions was going to recuse himself into the Russian Investigation. But Sessions had just been sworn in five days prior. There was absolutely no indication that Sessions would recuse himself. Indeed, the news at the time seem to suggest Session wouldn’t recuse himself. And it wasn’t for another two weeks that he did. So there was nothing on February 14, 2017 that would allow Comey to believe Session shouldn’t be told that President of the United States was committing a crime.

Likewise, Comey claims he didn’t tell the then Acting Deputy Attorney General, Dana Boente, “who would also not be long in the role.” Boente was appointed as the temporary AG on February 9, 2017, the same day Sessions was sworn in as the Attorney General. Boente remained in that position until April 25, 2017 when Rod Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate. Even if you believe that Comey had some special insight that Session would be recusing himself (and there is nothing in the prepared statement to support that assertion), the idea that Comey thought it better to conceal the possibility of Presidential criminal activity from the Deputy AG who would be on the job for another six weeks rings hollow.

And there is something very odd in Comey’s belief that the best way to enforce the laws of the United States and make sure the President wasn’t breaking them was by writing it down in a memo. As that was the only action he took regarding Trump’s remarks, then the FBI cannot claim the President was obstructing its investigation

(As an aside, I am also surprised by Comey’s claim that he only spoke privately as FBI Director with President Obama twice. Even accepting Comey’s view that he reports to the Attorney General, the idea that the President would not call the head of the FBI to have a one on one conversation shows a surprisingly low level of interest by President Obama in law enforcement activities, especially given the various terrorist attacks, such as the Pulse Nightclub, or the San Bernardino attack. Maybe it was true that Obama found out about everything that happened in his administration through the media).

The great irony in all of this is Trump’s demand for loyalty seems to have stemmed from a desire to have the DOJ and FBI publicly confirm what Comey told the President privately three times: Donald J. Trump was not under criminal investigation in connection with the Russian Influence Investigation. Comey as a private citizen did what Trump wanted him to do while he ran the FBI.

So there is no obstruction and no criminal wrong doing by Trump. And it is very unlikely anything Comey says today is going to change those facts.

 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pond, the citizens of the UK are voting in a snap election. As we await the first election results from Sodor, it appears likely that Theresa May will return as Prime Minister of a Conservative Government and Jeremy Corbyn and Labour will be the opposition. The polls showed a tightening race. But interestingly, the Conservative vote remains steady, at about 45% (+/- 3 pts) in all the polls. Labour’s gains came from the other leftish parties. So it is not that Labour convincing people not to vote for the Conservatives, but convincing people not to dilute the opposition. It’s not really clear this is a viable long term election strategy, especially in a campaign that was, until the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London, primarily focused on the Brexit campaign.

And while May and the Conservatives have a lot of questions to answer about why there are so many potential terrorists walking around the UK, Corbyn’s views of Islamic Terrorists does not appear to be one that will resonate with voters who wish to feel safe.

Comey may win. In which case, the populist revolt which gave us Brexit and Trump rolls on, confounding the chattering classes who thought/hoped the wave had broken in the French Elections. And that means we are truly be living in interesting times.

Au Revoir Paris Accord

It is expected President Trump will, at a 3 pm Press Conference this afternoon, announce the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Environmental Agreement. While the withdrawal is a good idea, from both an economic and scientific stance, the method being used is not smart politically.

Why? Well for that we need to set the WABAC machine to 1997.

Waybackmachine3[1]

 

We first go to Kyoto, Japan. There, we see members of the United Nations agreed on a treaty calling for significant cuts in the emission of Greenhouse Gases. The emission cuts would come almost completely from the developed nations and up and coming countries, such as China and India could pour as much CO2 in the air as their little hearts desired. As it is relevant to the United States, the Kyoto Protocol would have required the United States to reduce its carbon output to pre-1990 levels. It was estimated that the cost to the US economy would have been a loss of $397 Billion in the GDP and 900,00 jobs. In addition, It was also estimated it would additionally burden the economy by an additional $338 billion in new regulatory and tax costs. Despite this, then Vice-President Al Gore signed the Treaty on behalf of the United States. Under the United States Constitution (Article II, section 2), the Senate must ratify any treaty by a 2/3rd vote.

Now, let’s hop from Japan to Washington, D.C. On June 12, 1997, which is shortly after Gore signed the Treaty, but before the Clinton Administration sent it to the Senate for Ratification, Senator Robert Byrd (D) introduced Senate Resolution 98 :

Declares that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997 or thereafter which would: (1) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex 1 Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period; or (2) result in serious harm to the U.S. economy.

Calls for any such protocol or other agreement which would require the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification to be accompanied by: (1) a detailed explanation of any legislation or regulatory actions that may be required to implement it; and (2) an analysis of the detailed financial costs which would be incurred by, and other impacts on, the U.S. economy.

On July 25, 1997, S.Res. 98 passed 95-0. 54 of the 55 Republican Senators and 41 of the 45 Democratic Senators voted. (Democrats Bryan (NV), Feinstein (CA), Harkin (D) and Reid (NV) did not vote as did Grams (R)). This was a swift and clear repudiation of Vice President Gore and the Clinton Administration’s actions in siging the Protocols. Clinton never sent the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate because his own party told him it was DOA.

Fast forward to 2001. President George W Bush decided to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, noting the 1997 Senate Vote. That was the mistake. Because Bush just withdrew from the treaty without a formal Senate rejection, it allowed Democrats to claim that they thought the treaty was a good idea without having to answer any of the difficult questions about the costs. Had he sent the treaty for ratification, it would have locked the Democrats into either supporting the job-killing treaty or admit it was a bad idea.

That’s why President Trump would be making the same unforced error if he simply withdraws from the Paris Agreement. Instead, the President should announce that he and his advisers have determined the Paris Agreement signed by President Obama meets the legal definition of a treaty. Since it is a treaty, under the Constitution, the Senate has the duty to advise and consent on such matters. As such, he is sending the Paris Agreement to the Senate for consideration.

This is not without precedent. In 1848 President James Polk sent the Senate the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo for consideration. The treaty, which would end the Mexican-American War, had been signed on behalf of the United States by Nicholas Trist after Trist had been recalled by Polk. Polk sent the Treaty to the Senate, explaining how it came to be, but noting since the Treaty had been signed, Polk felt it was his obligation to forward it to the Senate for consideration. The US Senate ratified the Treaty on March 10, 1848.

By having the Senate consider the Accords as a Treaty, it will force pro-Paris politicos to defend the costs and strictures the treaty would place on American Industry, including the job losses. How many Democratic Senators from Red States and/or states Trump won in 2016 will want to be seen voting for a job-killing treaty? Especially those Senators up for reelection next year? Every US Senator will be forced to publicly commit to a position on the Agreement.

In addition, the refrain from Democrats since November 9, 2016 is Trump was the illegitimate winner of the Election. If Trump simply withdraws there will be a drumbeat from the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) that this is another illegitimate act. But if the Senate votes down the Accord, there can be no claim of illegitimacy as the Rule of Law will have been followed.

It’s Almost June and We Still Have Snowflakes [Updated]

So by now, you are aware of the kerfuffle regarding Kathy Griffin and her… joke/performance art/cry for help. Ms. Griffin will almost assuredly have a couple of Secret Service Agents dropping by for coffee, much like Madonna did just after the inauguration. So, let’s get these facts out of the way:

  1. What Griffin Did Was Not Funny
  2. The Secret Service Does Not Consider a Sense of Humor to be an Asset to the Job.
  3. What Griffin Did Was Stupid

Beyond that…. Why is this a big deal?

Is there a certain level of media hypocrisy in underplaying Griffin’s actions as opposed to… oh, I don’t know, say creating a national incident over a rodeo clown wearing an Obama mask? Yes. Indeed, a Hell Yes would be accurate. But this isn’t new. Everyone knows this. Getting outraged at this is like getting outraged at the sun rising in the East or a Tiger going Tiger. Why are we getting hysterical over something we already know to be true?

Honestly, this is not really a threat to the President. No one is going to go all Guiteau because Kathy Griffin inspired them. If Kathy Griffin had the ability to convince people to kill, she would not have been Joan Rivers’s answer to Joey Bishop. She wouldn’t be a D-List celebrity telling unfunny jokes to an increasingly uncomfortable Anderson Cooper on CNN every New Year’s Eve. She wouldn’t have been the spokesperson for Squatty Potty.

And yet to judge by the social media circles of conservatives, they seem to be in a bit of melt down over this. They find what Griffin did to be mean and unfair and these folks need a safe space to be protected from Griffin’s meanness. These conservatives are in fact, becoming Snow Flakes.

Now, just like Leftist Snowflakes, it’s not really their fault that they think they have the right to be shielded from unpleasant facts. They can point to the success from their Leftist colleagues have had in being protected from wrong think and point out “I learned it from watching you!“.  Plus, our education system does a piss poor job of teaching American History. If we did a better job, these folks would realize American Politics is rather tame in comparison when men were men and women were women and everyone walked 20 miles, uphill, in snow, to get anything done. You know, the days when America Was Great. Back then politics was a rough and tumble contact sport.  Someone holding up a pretend head of a politician you like gives you the vapors? Geez, they used to routinely burn effigies of candidates they didn’t like. Politicians these days never had it so good.

Again, it is beyond cavil that what Griffin did was stupid, unfunny, and tasteless. She apologized for her actions and she was fired as the spokesperson for Squatty Potty. Isn’t that enough?

(And I mean really, at this point Griffin needs to take a time out and examine the choices she has made in her life that led her to believe being a celebrity spokesperson for something called Squatty Potty was a good idea.)

The point is for people to stop deciding every damn thing is a hill worth dying for. Screaming up and down about the media’s double standard on this topic isn’t worth it. Especially when she apologized for what she did. Kathy Griffin doesn’t need to be fired by CNN for what she did. I mean personally, I would rather watch the fake disembodied head and the statue of the dog pissing on fearless girl than endure another edition of Cooper/Griffin. She is simply not important enough to exert any sort of energy over her employment status.

(In fact, I think her presence on the network is some sort of punishment, though I’m not sure who is being punished. Reminds me of the punchline of a Bill Clinton in Hell Joke: “’I can handle that!’ Clinton proclaims enthusiastically. ‘Very well,’ says Satan. ‘Monica, you may go.’).

We don’t need a modern, secular Auto-da-fe every damn time some famous person says or does something insipid. That becomes nothing but a show trial with people abjectly apologizing for giving offense. History shows no good comes of it and there’s already enough of that nonsense in the world without us adding to it.

**Updated**

Of course just after this went through the pneumatic tubes of the interweb, I see this:

CNN

So she is now unemployed.