Thursday, September 26, 2019

Will the Impeachment Query Quietly Go Away?, and Other Impeachment Questions

By Robert Wenzel

At the post, It is Time For Libertarians to Come to the Defense of the President, there are a number of comments that need to be addressed.

First up, one commenter writes:

This "investigation" for impeachment will quietly go away unless the dems are willing to sacrifice the Bidens and the perception of Obama with it. Remember the president gets to defend against impeachment and it is material to defense what these prominent democrats did in the Ukraine.
There is a lot of confusion here. First, the impeachment process does not require that the House allow for the target to defend himself (though Clinton sent lawyers to argue his case and defend him before the House Judiciary Committee).

Further, the impeachment process, that is the inquiry and the putting together articles of impeachment, is being done in a different manner under Pelosi, which makes a Trump defense in the House against impeachment unlikely.

The impeachment process during the Clinton hearings was all done under the House Judiciary Committee.

This will not be the case under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In Pelosi's version, each of the six committees -- Judiciary, Intelligence, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Oversight and Foreign Affairs -- will continue with their investigations, looking at different elements of Trump's presidency, his past and his businesses. These committees months ago already sorted out the different areas they are investigating, and many of the investigations are still charging ahead or are tied court battles.

After these inquiries, each of the committees will provide input to include in articles of impeachment that would be written up under the House Judiciary Committee. The committee would then vote on whether to refer the articles to the full House of Representatives. 

But all the House has to do, in the end, is come up with, under the House Judiciary Committee, articles of impeachment that the full house votes on. No Trump defense is required.

Second, even if the House were to allow some kind of defense by Trump representatives, the House is controlled by Democrats and no way, no how, will the topic of the Bidens, much less Obama, be allowed to be brought up.

Trump and his operatives will continue to beat the Bidens are shakedown artists, open to bribes,  theme outside the House chamber but it is not going to occur as part of the impeachment process itself.

Still, it might make things more difficult for Joe Biden as he seeks the Democratic nomination but that only makes the road easier for the much more dangerous Elizabeth Warren.

Another commenter writes:
So Walter Block was right about Trump all along!
I don't believe Dr. Block's claim was: Things will get so bad under Trump that the number of socialist sympathizers will grow thus making Trump attractive compared to the new socialism. (SEE: POLL: Democrats Turn Against Capitalism).

Once again, the point to supporting Hillary over the buffoon Trump was that the boring, lazy, crony Hillary could never get any kind of movement going and the Hillary-haters would be paying attention to libertarians for arguments on why Hillary was evil. Thus, growing the libertarian base. Instead. with Trump, we have the opposite, kids looking to socialists for an alternative to Trump.

I warned about this before and immediately after the election.

Immediately after the election on November 10, 2016, I wrote:
Heading into the election, I felt that for strategic reasons Hillary Clinton was the best alternative for libertarians. Not because she is good on many issues, she is not, but because she would come with a ready-made opposition that would listen to libertarian arguments against her.

It would have been a great opportunity to reach out to Trump supporters and spread the libertarian message. That opportunity is now gone with the Trump victory. Trump supporters are rabid, they will likely follow him down almost any hell hole.

These people are not going to listen to our arguments for smaller government. Their man is in power.

There will be opposition to Trump but it will be coming from the left, not the Trump right.

The left is all about expanding the state. Thus, it will be very difficult to reach out to these people and present state shrinking anti-Trump ideas. They are a perfect target for the socialists...

 The socialists are going to experience a boom in followers under Trump.

Thus, neither the left nor the right is going to be open to libertarian ideas at the present time.
And so it has come to pass. 

Another commenter writes:
Lessor of 2 evils? That’s not a choice. Certainly not a choice I pick between. Trump is a murderer. Has Hunter Biden murdered anyone? He may have, don’t know, but I know Trump has. There’s nothing good about Trump and nothing to defend. Let the democrats and republicans waste as much energy and time as possible on impeachment. It would be great if this went on for years. Let each side dig in and fight to the bitter end. Whoever wins in the end, the fate of Liberty isn’t in their hands. It will be, as it always has been, in ours. 
The commenter here fails to understand political rearguard action. It is not used to reverse the advance of socialism but merely to slow it down in its path.

Thus, the question is not one of "The lesser of 2 evils?"  the question is: How can we slow down the advance of socialism? And the slowdown is certainly not going to occur if both chambers and the executive office are controlled by Democrats.

Thus, at this point, it is important to support Trump as a Dumb Boulder in the road. Yes, he is a murderer and Hunter is a crony but not a murderer, but that is not the problem at hand. The problem at hand is: Who will advance us further down the socialist road, a split government with Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of the Senate or a situation where Trump-energized socialist-leaning Democrats are in full control?

Trump has already done his damage pushing part of the nation toward socialism, now he becomes tactically valuable as a Useful Boulder.

I also add that as we "protect the boulder president" that it is fine to point out that in the straight-up comparison between Trump's phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the shenanigans of Hunter Biden and his father that Trump looks like a choir boy. We can point this out because it is true and it makes tactical sense to do so as we attempt to help save the nation from total control by the increasingly socialist-leaning Democrats. That is to say, an Elizabeth Warren presidency would be a horror. She is not the sluggish, boring, crony Hillary Clinton, who would barely be able to carry out the orders given to her by the establishment. Nor is she the buffoon Trump. She would be an energized, creative, smart socialist, who could bring more pain to the United Staes of America than any other person running for office that has a chance of winning.

Trump is bad but he must be used to stop Warren.

And also what would become a more lefty Democratic House following an impeachment, must be stopped.

As Karl Rove writes:
Mrs. Pelosi knows impeachment is unpopular with voters, especially in the 43 Republican districts that Democrats flipped in 2018. She knows impeachment will drown out all other messages, leaving Democrats without a record of achievement next fall. She realizes the most likely Democratic casualties at the polls will be moderates, not Democrats from safe, left-leaning districts, leaving Mrs. Pelosi to preside over a more rambunctious caucus, even if she retains the House majority.
Then there is this comment about the impeachment proceeding itself:
This whole thing has already fizzled. As usual it’s blown up in the Democrats face. Hahaha.
It may be a bit early for celebration. The charge against Trump is very weak, however, whether Trump gets impeached or not, and whether there is a trial in the Senate, is dependent on perceptions.

If there is a shift in voter sentiment against Trump, the impeachment votes will be there. And if the shift is big enough, it will be for conviction in the Senate.

Democrats have miscalculated before with all of Russiagate, bringing Robert Mueller in to testify and bringing Corey Lewandowski to testify, so they don't have a great track record but this time they appear to have House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a more active role. She has more strategic sense than the other House Democrats combined.

So we just have to see how all this plays out. There are just too many moving parts with all kinds of people seeking to remove the Boulder.

Republican Senator Ben Sasse already appears to be in the anti-Trump camp:

 Alan Greenspan's wife claims  (although it would be a conviction in the Senate not as she writes an impeachment):

The Mooch is stirring the pot:
And the latest:

As far as the Senate, a two-thirds majority is required to remove him. That's 67 votes. There are currently 52 Republicans in the Senate and 46 Democrats and 2 independents. Thus, for Trump to be convicted in the Senate, if the independents (Bernie Sanders and Angus King) vote with the Democrats for Trump's removal, 19 Republicans would have to join. I doubt the votes are there, yet. And the odds seem against it now, but that is not a comfortable margin.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.comand Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bankand most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.


  1. I don’t see how any republicans in the senate would split from the party if it gets to them. Wouldn’t this be a death nail to the republicans, if not forever, then for quite a while? They could kiss the presidency goodbye, for a long long time.
    Supporting Trump. How can you say this isn’t a lessor of 2 evils situation? It’s exactly what the phrase means.
    Let’s say Warren is elected. She gets 4 years? Sure she is energetic, but how energetic would she be once elected? Things don’t seem to ever work for the promises presidents make. And talk about a resistance rising up. People would be against her even more than they were against Obama.

  2. In the spirit of "rear-guard action," I always approve of and support gridlock, e.g. Red President/Blue House of Reps/Red Senate, or Blue Prez/Red House/Blue Senate, etc. etc.
    But since all combinations seem to result in bigger government and more government spending, which are the barometers of the loss of liberty (and indeed, we're at record levels of deficit, government debt and spending with Trump in office), then it's a pretty frantic and chaotic rear-guard action, facilitating little more than a frenzied rout of a retreat!

  3. What the Dems are doing reminds me of what bank lenders do when they are desperate to make loans. They throw “spaghetti” against the wall to see what sticks (i. e. they run any and every kind of loan by Credit to see what they can get approved). The Dems have thrown Russiagate, Robert Mueller testimony, and Lewandowski testimony against the wall, but nothing stuck. The real fear is the six House committees - Judiciary, Intelligence, Ways & Means, Financial Services, Oversight and Foreign Affairs - find something that will stick. They seem to have time, opportunity and cover from their base to keep this up over the long-term. Sooner or later, they might get lucky.

    As much as I hate to say it: I’ll hold my nose and defend Trump because it’s the best way, at present, to slow the advance of socialism.

  4. Nancy Pelosi is once again doing a great job of campaigning for a Trump 2020 presidency. As Ann Coulter tweeted, he should send her a few bucks and pay her for her services.

    1. No joke, she is so stupid she just can’t help herself. She is really delving into foreign ground here too, calling on the constitution for her actions.