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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Dershowitz’

Yesterday, Alan Dershowitz ,the attorney for the president***, stated:

“If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.

Reading this with the most benign interpretation, you might have a scintilla of reasonable argument. The president very well may do things that are in the public interest that also make him look better just because he’s did his job. Signing trade deals, for example.

But that’s not what we’re looking looking at here. And if you look at what Dershowitz claims in practical terms shows it for the insanity it is.

In short, anything the president*** does to be reelected is not illegal or impeachable so long as he believes his reelection is the best thing for the nation.

It’s a throwback to Richard Nixon‘s response in his David Frost interview when asked about the illegality of his actions: “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.

This argument places the power of the president above all law.

It also opens a Pandora’s Box for behaviors that could well push a nation into authoritarianism.

By Dershowitz’s logic, if the president*** believed (just believed with no evidence) that the election of the Democratic candidate for president would not be the best thing in the public interest, he could unleash all sorts of attacks with the full power of all the governmental agencies at his disposal.

Anything he did toward this end would be permissible. Anything.

And because of this current sham trial and the expected acquittal being gifted to the president*** by this craven and cowering group of GOP senators, there will be no oversight, no method of stopping him from crushing anyone who stood up to him. Even his cover ups and his refusal to provide documents or allow testimony become legal because, in his mind, it is in the public interest.

His interest becomes the public interest.

His grievances become the public’s grievances.

And he is a man with more grievances than any other man alive.

That’s scary territory, folks. Especially when you’re dealing with the kind of personality we know is possessed by this person.

We will have no guarantees of fair elections or of fair justice. There are so many scenarios– and all of them are awful– that wait for us if we throw open the lid of this Pandora’s Box.

And many of them will affect average citizens in a very real and negative fashion. It won’t just be high profile politicos.

There will be an acquittal. We all know that. Short of new new impeachment proceedings (he can be impeached again and again) brought about by even more overwhelming evidence, we will only have one chance to slam this lid shut.

And that is to Vote Blue in overwhelming numbers up and down the ballot in this year’s elections.

Don’t wait. Make sure you’re registered to vote now. Make sure your friends and families register and vote.

To do anything less is insanity.

 

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There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

——Isaac Asimov, Newsweek interview, 1980

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We’re on the eve of a dramatic and historic event starting tomorrow with the impeachment trial in the Senate. The stakes from this trial are as high as we have ever faced as a nation, far more than the two previous impeachment proceedings of the last fifty years, the Nixon and Clinton affairs. Neither of those had imminent national security issues. Neither had the sitting president asking for and receiving assistance from foreign nations in gaming our elections. Neither had the president using the whole power of his office and the many agencies at his disposal to obstruct and evade investigation.

As serious as those prior impeachments were, they pale in comparison to this trial and the ramifications that emerge from its outcome. With an acquittal of charges, the current president** will be totally unrestrained in his actions with, for all practical purposes, no oversight. An acquittal basically says that any president from this point forward can do whatever he desires. He can smother any investigation, refuse to release any information and persecute those who stand against him.

The president**, if you believe the hackneyed rationale of his attorney Alan Dershowitz, is unimpeachable for abuse of power or obstruction of justice.

Dershowitz has written that this president** could allow Russia to retake Alaska, in the same way it is attempting to reclaim Ukraine, without ordering resistance from our troops. As wrong as he claims it would be, Dershowitz writes that this would not constitute an impeachable offense.

As insane as that sounds, it may not be out of the realm of possibility for this president**, given his subservient stance toward Putin and Russia.

His power, according to Dershowitz–at least at this time–is near absolute. To put it plainly, he is above the law.

That is the nightmare scenario we are facing in this trial– a man with little, if any, self-restraint who may be given the green light to indulge his deepest and darkest desires. And to think that he won’t head that way with this newly found freedom is foolishness. Can you think of a single day in the past three years where he has tried to unify this nation in any way? His time in office has been a blur of self-serving actions, befuddling lies that are pawned off by his willing accomplices as truths, attacks of retribution and an almost nihilistic attack on the functional systems of our nation.

With acquittal, the last three years of madness and stupidity will be seen as the “good old days” as we go forward.

How did we get to this point? Well, it’s been heading this way for about forty years. For one thing, there is the unrestricted money in political campaigns which allows the wealthiest among us to parlay their wealth into political power that would give them even more advantages. So they can amass more wealth and more political power.

That might be the biggest contributing factor. But much of it comes down to the words at the top of the page from Isaac Asimov.

This cult of ignorance has been nurtured greatly in the past forty years. Minds that are easily distracted and lazy are easily manipulated. Those who wish to cultivate these people feed them misinformation, disinformation and outright lies, stoking their fears and angers while at the same time bringing them to the belief that their only hope lies in the very people who are fanning the flames and profiting from it.

Ignorance is a powerful force.

Ignorance becomes a belief system. It’s almost impossible to fight this belief with rational and fact based arguments. The line my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge” could easily be replaced now with “my belief, as unfounded and ridiculous as it is, is greater than your facts.

I try to maintain a sense of hopefulness in the face of the tide of ignorance that swirls around us. But today, as we wait on a trial that whose outcome seems almost preordained to hurl us into an abyss, I am not particularly filled with optimism.

I want to be wrong and hope I am proven so.

But I don’t think I am and don’t think I will be at this point.

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