Our Upside-Down Postelection World

After Nov. 3, the meaning of some words and concepts abruptly changed. Have you noticed how new realities have replaced old ones?

Media cross-examination of the president is now an out-of-date idea. The time for gotcha questions has come and gone. Why ask a president whether he is a traitor or a crook when you can focus on his favorite flavor of milkshake or compliment him on his socks?

The old pre-election truth was that new vaccines take years to develop. The new postelection truth is that it’s no big deal to bring out new vaccines in nine months.

Impeaching a first-term president after his first midterm election — on a strictly partisan vote, for political reasons other than the Constitution’s “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” — is now a terrible idea.

Worse would be to appoint a special counsel to harass a president on unfounded charges of collusion with China. An even scarier notion would be a conservative dream team of partisan lawyers hounding President Joe Biden — using a 22-month, $40 million blank check.

It would be unprofessional for university psychologists and physicians from a distance to diagnose, in pop fashion, the mental faculties of a President Biden.

Certainly, there would never be talk about Department of Justice officials contemplating wearing a wire as part of an entrapment scheme to remove a President Biden through the 25th Amendment. That would almost constitute a coup attempt.

Almost as bad would be for the holdover FBI director to start “memorializing” his private conversations with Joe Biden on FBI devices. He might then leak such memos to the press — just in case he were to be fired for secretly investigating Biden for “Chinese collusion” and then lying about such a probe.

What happened to the Logan Act? Not long ago it was assumed to be a critically needed guardrail. Wouldn’t it now ensure that presidential transition team members were not calling foreign leaders while Donald Trump is still president? How has it suddenly become a defunct, ossified relic?

Leaking classified material would be about the worst thing government officials could do. Imagine if a Trump holdover, burrowed into the new Biden administration, released a transcript of Biden’s private conversations with the Mexican president or the Australian prime minister. [ … ]

What do you think?

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