Part 2—We seek relief from the courts: We liberals are jealous of any suggestion that we might not be able to lock him up.
Lock him up! It's now our great cry. This longing inspired the letter which tops today's letters page in the New York Times:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (6/13/17): How can President Trump say “no collusion, no obstruction,” based on the public testimony given by James B. Comey, former F.B.I. director, to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence? Everyone knows that the most sensitive information and, potentially, the most damaging, is not being released to the general public at this time, and is available only to the committee and to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, behind closed doors.For the record, the key word there is "potentially." Meanwhile, this writer leaped into action at the mere suggestion that we might not be able to lock him up, collusion/obstruction-wise.
For the record, this letter was a response to faulty claims in this New York Times news report. But mainly, the writer wanted the world to know that we still plan to lock him up!
In fairness to the New York Times, the second letter in today's stack expresses a knee-jerk reaction from the other of our ever-widening continental divide.
To read that second letter, click here. To learn of the greatness of Comey the God, we had to wait until letter 5:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES: It seems to me that a coward is someone who sends out tweets in the middle of the night—misleading, deceptive, indecipherable tweets—and refuses to answer questions at a news conference, instead hiding behind his press spokesmen and women when explanations are needed from the chief tweeter.Sad. In that utterly childish letter, one of the cowboys wears a black hat. The other cowboy loves his country, follows the law, and will be seen as a hero for the way he risked losing his job.
It seems to me that a coward is not someone who is willing to take all questions from friends and foes, who follows the evidence and the law wherever it goes because that’s his job and he loves his country, someone who is not afraid to take on the Democratic candidate for president two weeks before the election or the president of the United States. And risk and lose his job as a result of his dedication.
The latter is and will be seen historically as a hero!
That hero's great name is Comey the God! This silly letter comes live and direct from childhood's (refusal to) end.
That last letter writer doesn't seem to hail from our own liberal tribe. To him, Comey revealed his moral greatness when he intervened in the White House campaign last October, with two weeks to go, staging one of his serial interventions against the interests of Candidate Clinton.
That writer doesn't hail from our tribe. But as he completed today's pile of letters, he described one of our press corps' inventions. He told us of Comey the God!
With regard to Donald J. Trump, that first letter writer reacted jealously to the mere suggestion that we might not be able to lock him up. This represents an unfortunate focus of our tribe, after several decades of moral and intellectual failure.
We liberals! We love the idea of locking him up—and we adore the thrill of the chase. Last night, it was one of CNN's "analysts" who told us to get the popcorn ready for this afternoon's pursuit of Jeff Sessions. It will be good solid fun!
That said, our tribe increasingly relies on the courts as it becomes increasingly clear that we don't know how to win elections. That we don't know how to win debates. That we don't know how to function.
Tomorrow, we'll review the state we're in after a decade of election defeats. For today, let's review our increasingly prevalent dream of rescue by the courts.
Ideally, we want to be able to lock them up—to catch our political opponents committing actual crimes. Indeed, our biggest corporate cable has made a career of pleasuring us with such mindless pursuits.
(She especially wants to lock them up if they've been caught on audiotape saying that they enjoy touching their girl friends' breasts. On three occasions this year, she swore that she was playing that year-old tape of Governor Bentley for the last time. Mercifully, the third time was finally the charm. We hope.)
We liberals want to lock Trump up. (We'd like to jail Sessions too; more on that to come.) Our biggest stars are willing to misinform us, sometimes quite badly, to let us enjoy the thrill of this widening chase. That said, this morning's papers show another side of this sad decline, in which we tacitly acknowledge the fact that we don't know how to win debates in the court of public opinion.
Yay yay yay yay yay! This morning's papers describe our tribe's two latest wins over Trump:
In this news report, the New York Times reports that a three-judge panel unanimously ruled against Trump's Muslim or travel ban.
In this report, the Times reports that two attorneys general (of Maryland and D.C.) have filed a lawsuit claiming that Trump is violating the constitution's no foreign emoluments clause, a proscription dear to Americans.
Within the tents of our tribe, these actions are regarded as triumphs. We tend to blow past the question of how we ever managed to lose an election to someone like Trump in the first place.
We tend to miss the patheticism of our need to turn to the courts. We also tend to miss the downsides to these news reports.
Let's skip the foreign emoluments fight, which no one understands. Let's focus on our latest victory over that travel of Muslim ban.
As far as we know, there was no convincing substantive basis for Trump's executive order. We also know how these court actions will seem to the "teabaggers" Over There—to the people who have been kicking our electoral ascots over the past many years.
Consider this chunk of Adam Liptak's news report in the Times. We know how three matters will look to the baggers, and we think they aren't necessarily wrong in what they think they're seeing:
HULSE (6/13/17): A second federal appeals court has ruled against President Trump’s revised travel ban, delivering on Monday the latest in a string of defeats for the administration’s efforts to limit travel from several predominantly Muslim countries.Let's consider how three partts of that report will look to the folk Over There:
The administration has already sought a Supreme Court review of a similar decision issued last month by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va. Monday’s decision came from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco.
The two courts employed different reasoning to arrive at the same basic conclusion. The Fourth Circuit said the revised executive order violated the First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion.
The Ninth Circuit, by contrast, rested its conclusions on statutory grounds. It said Mr. Trump had exceeded the authority Congress granted him in making national security judgments in the realm of immigration without adequate justification.
The decision, from a three-judge panel, was unanimous. It was issued jointly by Judges Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald M. Gould and Richard A. Paez. All three were appointed by President Bill Clinton.
The ruling affirmed most of a March decision from Judge Derrick K. Watson, of the Federal District Court in Hawaii. But the appeals court narrowed the injunction issued by Judge Watson in a significant way.
The appeals court said Judge Watson had erred in barring the administration from conducting internal reviews of its vetting procedures while the case moved forward.
"The two courts employed different reasoning to arrive at the same basic conclusion?"
Surely, we all understand how that will look. It will look like a version of "verdict first" from Alice in Wonderland. It will especially look that way based on this second element:
"All three were appointed by President Bill Clinton?"
Surely, we know how that will look to the baggers. Consider:
In the earlier 10-3 decision by the Fourth Circuit, the ten were all appointed by Democrats, the three by Republicans. Surely, we all know how that will look to the folk Over There.
(To us, this looks like the latest manifestation of the continental divide which is eating away at our culture, even at the foundations of our nation. Increasingly, every vote in every body correlates with tribe.)
"The appeals court said Judge Watson had erred in barring the administration from conducting internal reviews of its vetting procedures while the case moved forward?"
Good God! Did that Obama-appointed judge actually do that? We had assumed that claims to that effect were the latest example of silly bullroar from the dimmest regions of Trumpsylvania's Hannity County.
But no! Apparently, that one "liberal" judge actually ruled that the Administration couldn't conduct internal reviews of those vetting procedures! Surely, we all understand exactly how that will look Over There, even now, after three other Democratic appointees have ruled that Judge Watson was wrong.
(Conservatives have long been told that Judge Watson issued that ruling. Only we liberals have been protected from this unsettling fact.)
Whatever the judicial merits may be, we think this morning's reports come from an unimpressive place in our tribal devolution. Increasingly, we pray that we can lock Trump up. We also pray that we can be saved by the courts.
How did Trump ever win in the first place? As we keep losing power all over the land, we never quite manage to ask.
Tomorrow: So many defeats!
Thursday: Sadly, our tribe in action