If I Meant Well, It’s Okay

I’ve been juggling a couple of work projects and home projects this week. As I write this, there are a couple of electricians in our office downstairs installing some lovely inset lighting. And while all that goes on, the impeachment trial is on CNN in the background.

Steve’s theory — and it’s a good one, I think — is that all these speeches are not really for the Senate or the impeachment itself. There is pretty much zero chance that Democrats will have enough votes for a conviction, barring some unforeseen bombshell. So, why all this effort? It could bite Democrats in the ass, if it pushes borderline Republicans to the voting booths in November.

Steve thinks this is all about history. These speeches are going to go down in the books in part because of the Grade A oratory skills of people like Adam Schiff. And also because this president is going to do something even worse in the future, and Democrats want to point to this record as evidence that they did their best to stop him. They’re also forcing Republicans and their henchmen to go on the record with mind-blowing, insane arguments that demonstrate their insincerity and corruption.

Case in point, Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz made the argument that quid pro quo is impeachable, if a president does it for personal gain like to build a hotel. But quid pro quo happens all the time in normal international affairs, if a president does it for the national good. But what happens when, a president does it to get reelected? Dershowitz argued that since a president considers it in the national good for himself to be reelected, as any politician believes, so therefore it is not impeachable.

The Daily had a nice rundown of his argument. More here.

So, if I rob a liquor store, because I believe the liquor store has too much money and that I would use their money to give to orphans and babies, then no crime would be committed.

Have you been watching the impeachment? What do you think?

9 thoughts on “If I Meant Well, It’s Okay

  1. So, if I rob a liquor store, because I believe the liquor store has too much money and that I would use their money to give to orphans and babies, then no crime would be committed.

    Politicians already do that in every town that’s not dry. They tax liquor to the hilt, arguing they’re using the money for the general welfare. It’s not a crime.

    Typo: Adam Shiff. not Shift.


    1. This equivalence stuff is nuts. So much chaff goes up every time Trump does something wrong that it’s nihilism.


  2. Your analogy is an apt one–I hadn’t thought about it quite that way before–it suggests self-interest is primary, and thus anarchy would result. I’m with you.

    And if you do decide to rob a liquor store, could you save a bottle of Benedictine for me?


  3. If the Democrats think that history will read their Senate speeches, they are seriously delusional. Nobody does that.

    As to Dershowitz’s argument, I recall Al Gore making the same argument, that his various fund-raising violations were justified, because it was the only way to stop the Republicans, which would be seriously damaging to the country. https://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/04/us/gore-says-he-did-nothing-illegal-in-soliciting-from-white-house.html


  4. When I turn on the news and the first section is impeachment news/speeches, I either mute it or flip it off for a while. Have you and Steve actually been listening to a lot of them? I just haven’t the interest or stamina. I have asked myself the same question about what all these speeches are actually for. Why are we having to come up with some kind of logical reasons for them?

    This idea of *intent* being the deciding factor in making some action a crime is not something that usually works in court. I think you’d still end up with jail time if you robbed a liquor store, even if you claimed good intentions. (Real-life example: peace activists were jailed for breaking into a nuclear weapons plant and pouring blood on the weapons. Their intent was to save the world from possible nuclear destruction, which seems like a very good intent on their part. The court put them in jail for years.)

    I did watch the video of Biden bragging to a conference that he had forced Ukraine to fire the Ukrainian prosecutor that happened to be investigating Burisma Holdings, the company that was paying his son, Hunter Biden, over a hundred thousand a month.
    Biden threatened to withhold a billion dollars in loan guarantees. In his own words:

    “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,.”
    “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

    One reason Biden supporters are saying that this ‘quid pro quo” was acceptable is that (according to Politifact): “We found no evidence to support the idea that Joe Biden advocated with his son’s interests in mind.”

    But if he did advocate an action that coincided with his son’s interest, isn’t that, by definition, acting in his own self-interest? Do we have to do some kind of mind-reading to figure out his intent?

    My answer is that we can only judge something based on a persons actions relative to their own interests. But then that leads me to the conclusion that both of these actions are wrong. I don’t see how one is acceptable and one is a crime. And that leads me to the conclusion that the Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot with this impeachment.


    1. What I have read is that the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, the one that Biden wanted fired, was actually *not* investigating Burisma or other corrupt companies. The new prosecutor was.


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