Friday, January 8, 2021

'The Wall Street Journal' Sticks a Knife in Trump

The lead editorial in The Wall Sreet Journal is calling on President Trump to resign:

From the editorial:

In concise summary, on Wednesday the leader of the executive branch incited a crowd to march on the legislative branch. The express goal was to demand that Congress and Vice President Mike Pence reject electors from enough states to deny Mr. Biden an Electoral College victory. When some in the crowd turned violent and occupied the Capitol, the President caviled and declined for far too long to call them off. When he did speak, he hedged his plea with election complaint.

This was an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election. It was also an assault on the legislature from an executive sworn to uphold the laws of the United States. This goes beyond merely refusing to concede defeat. In our view it crosses a constitutional line that Mr. Trump hasn’t previously crossed. It is impeachable...

The related but separate question is whether impeachment or forced removal under the 25th Amendment now is in the country’s best interests. The latter seems unwise unless Mr. Trump threatens some other reckless or unconstitutional act. After Wednesday he has promised to assist an “orderly transition” of power. A Cabinet cabal ousting him would smack of a Beltway coup and give Mr. Trump more cause to play the political victim.

Impeachment has the virtue of being transparent and politically accountable. If there were enough votes to convict in the Senate, it would also seem less partisan. The best case for impeachment is not to punish Mr. Trump. It is to send a message to future Presidents that Congress will protect itself from populists of all ideological stripes willing to stir up a mob and threaten the Capitol or its Members...

If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign. This would be the cleanest solution since it would immediately turn presidential duties over to Mr. Pence. And it would give Mr. Trump agency, a la Richard Nixon, over his own fate...

It is best for everyone, himself included, if he goes away quietly.

Trump has made a mess of things.

He quite simply bungled the populous movement he developed. Now, the establishment, which includes the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, wants to kick his significant carcass out of the White House even though his lease from the people doesn't expire for another 12 days. As if Trump is going to somehow lead a real insurrection in the 12 days he has left.

And there wasn't a serious insurrection on Wednesday. As the expert on insurrections  Edward N. Luttwak writes:
Insurrections are common but Wednesday’s aborted insurrection on Capitol Hill was unique. The usual purpose of mobilizing a mass of people and deploying their sheer momentum against the edifices of power, a royal or presidential palace, or a parliament is to seize power—through the act of seizing that iconic building. But that is logically impossible when the ruler is not the enemy to be replaced but rather the intended beneficiary of the insurrection.

What happened was certainly not an attempted coup d’├ętat, either. Coups must be subterranean, silent conspiracies that emerge only when the executors move into the seats of power to start issuing orders as the new government. A very large, very noisy and colorful gathering cannot attempt a coup.

There have been quite a few cases around the world of what is best described as mass intimidation directed against parliaments. But in all such cases it was some specific law that was wanted or not wanted, which legislators under the gun might then vote for or against. For that to happen, the legislators have to be all gathered in the legislature and kept there to be coerced. Most recently in Beirut last August, Lebanon’s Parliament was besieged by a crowd demanding and forcing the government’s resignation. This conspicuously did not happen in Washington on Wednesday because it was a crowd that invaded the building, not snatch teams sent to seize individual legislators to be cajoled or forced into their seats.

Given all these exclusions, only one description remains: a venting of accumulated resentments.
The establishment surely understands this. The desire by the establishment to push Trump out, at this late date, is about the establishment wanting to send a signal to the world that they always get anyone who defies their rules.

But, if the right man ever comes along, they won't get him. He will, of course, have to be much more politically savvy than Trump and, hopefully, with much more solid foundational principles based on liberty. Someone who can also spot a swamp creature long before such a D.C. creature could get anywhere close to the White House.

The establishment shouldn't sleep too easy. Trump is a buffoon in many ways but he did uncover and prove that there are tens of millions that are not at all happy with what is going on in Washington D.C. It is a roadmap for the rest of us. And for that one success, Trump deserves a statue of himself placed in front of the Capitol with his middle finger raised high at that "sacred" building where pork is made inside.



  1. The only real thing of significance that came from Trump was his ability to completely eviscerate the conservative style of governance that had dominated the party since Reagan. The faux fiscal conservatism that had always been a complete lie even under Reagan was completely abandoned under Trump ensuring huge deficits throughout his presidency. On a more positive note the neoconservatives like Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan were essentially thrown out of the party, and while Trump is no noninterventionist his nationalistic tendencies have been a significant improvement compared to previous Republican administrations. Even now people like Kristol and McMullin are trying to weasel their way back in the party, but I think that ship has sailed. Regardless of how ignominious Trump is personally after leaving office I doubt anyone can take up the mantle of Trumpism and the old style of Republican leadership will also fail to gain power again. What comes after this I have no idea. I hope we can go towards a more liberty oriented path, but even a return to a Robert Taft like Republican party would make me optimistic for the future.

  2. Future candidates for President will by now have learned their lesson: Only "team-players" and candidates with "the right attitude" need apply. E.g., the likes of Jeb Bush, Bob Dole, Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Gerald Ford, etc.
    And obviously that will be just for show, to add a patina of legitimacy to what will soon be, in reality, a one-party electoral system.

  3. If the word "incitement" is being defined down to mean calling for a political march, then what do we make of all the calls for BLM marches over the summer?

  4. Amash's successor from west Michigan Peter Meijer (pronounced Mire) age 32 doesn't sound too bad for a Republican.

  5. Hear Hear!

    The swamp is the Leviathan. The amount of money and power invested in its existence and continuation is literally beyond the grasp of the average layman. No one man, not even The President, can take it down. President Eisenhower warned of it in ‘61 and he was powerless to stop it in it’s relative infancy in comparison to 60 years later. Kennedy was murdered by it and because of it.

    The deep state is afraid of the people, however. That’s why they completely marginalized Trump and stole the election from him. He has an extremely dedicated following and honestly, if Trump was truly aware of what he was up against and had the actual convictions of a libertarian, along with the brains, he could have taken it all down. He just needed to motivate the people who put him into office 4 years ago to kick ass. You can’t stop 60 million people from cleaning house.

    However Trump is just not that smart. He doesn’t play 3D chess. Q is a counter intelligence op by either deep state operative or just a 500 lb nerd getting his attention jollies in his parent's basement.

    Nothing Trump has done in his 4 years in office has shown any strategic investment in a plan with well formed values and ideals. His cabinet picks have all been swamp creatures except for Steve Bannon. I’m sorry, but anything that makes Trump to be this super intelligent strategist is just total bunk. None of these things have ever had one bit of reality to them.

    On the contrary, all these people who write these things about Trump’s super intelligence are either pure fanatics with zero grip on reality or worse, operatives who are intentionally misleading patriots by giving them the false impression that this is all part of the plan and they just need to wait and watch it all unfold by showing up at the right time and place. It’s a total disinformation op intended to confuse and diffuse people.