Kristallnacht Remains Relevant 81 Years Later: Jonathan S. Tobin, Jewish Press, Nov. 10, 2019
This week Germany marks the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass.” The nationwide Nazi pogrom against that country’s Jewish community took place on Nov. 9-10, 1938, and is chiefly remembered for the destruction of so many Jewish-owned stores, buildings and synagogues—debris filling the streets with shards of glass from shattered windows and doors.
Table of Contents:
Trump, Israel and the Democratic Crackup: Caroline B. Glick, Israel Hayom, Oct. 25, 2019
Not anti-Semitism to Say Netanyahu Government Has Been Racist, Sanders Says: Amir Tibon, Haaretz, Oct. 29, 2019
We Shouldn’t Impeach Trump on the Basis of Flawed Legal Theory: Robert Ray, Time, Nov. 7, 2019
The ‘Whistleblower’ and the President’s Right to Present a Defense: Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, Nov. 9, 2019
Nearly every week, the Democrats reach new heights of radicalism. Israel has good reason to be deeply worried. Until 2000, the peaceful transition of power in the wake of elections was a feature of American democracy that everyone took for granted. In 2000, the Democrats shifted. They refused to accept the election results in Florida that gave Bush his victory in the state, and through it, in the electoral college, until the Supreme Court ruled that the results were legitimate. Even afterward, many Democrats considered Bush’s victory and his presidency illegitimate.
In retrospect, the Democrats’ refusal to accept the legitimacy of the 2000 election results marked the beginning of the party’s radicalization. Since Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, the speed and depth of the party’s radical transformation has gone into overdrive.
The day after the election, Democrats coined a new term in American politics, “resistance.” Until then, the side that lost a presidential election was the “opposition.” But the Democrats don’t simply “oppose” Trump, they “resist” him.
The distinction is profound. An opponent recognizes the basic legitimacy of the person he opposes. A resister does not. The purpose of the anti-Trump resistance is not to offer an alternative path for governing. It is to nullify Trump’s presidency by among other things delegitimizing and dehumanizing Trump his family, associates and supporters. The resistance seeks to paralyze Trump’s presidency to prevent him from wielding the power of office and oust him from that office as quickly as possible.
To this end, for instance, the Democratic minority in the Senate has used procedural rules to slow-roll Trump’s appointments to senior positions in the executive branch and impede his ability to govern.
The resistance is not limited to the partisan arena. During the 2016 elections, and to an even greater degree in their aftermath, Democrats in the US media and in the federal government – particularly in the intelligence, law enforcement and diplomatic arms of government — joined Democratic politicians in their efforts to nullify the Trump candidacy and later presidency. Like the politicians, they have used the power of their positions to undermine and subvert Trump’s presidency to foment his departure from office. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Democratic candidates running for president criticized the Trump administration’s Middle East policy in appearances before the annual J Street conference in Washington on Sunday and Monday. Sanders: ‘It isn’t anti-Semitism to say that the Netanyahu government has been racist’ Bernie Sanders was the last candidate to take to the stage. He began his appearance by saying that he is “very proud to be Jewish” and was looking forward to becoming “the first Jewish president.”
Sanders said that “if there are any people on Earth who need to do everything against Trump’s racism, and try to bring people together around a progressive agenda, it is the Jewish people.”
“As a kid I spent many months at a Kibbutz in Israel. I believe in the right of Israel to exist, in peace and security,” Sanders said. “But I also believe that the Palestinian people have a right to live in peace and security.”
“It is not anti-Semitism to say that the Netanyahu government has been racist. That is a fact.”
Sanders drew a clear line on the question of conditional military aid. “We spend $3.8 billion on military aid supporting Israel. We have a right to tell the Israeli government that we will not accept authoritarianism and racism.”
The veteran politician said some of this money could be used to reshape and improve the situation for Palestinians, especially in Gaza, where it could be invested in economic development. “My proposal is not radical. All it says is that we need an even-handed proposal,” Sanders said. “What is going on in Gaza is inhumane and unacceptable.”
The Vermont senator said he would “undo the damage” that Trump caused to the U.S. relationship with the Palestinians, although he mentioned that Netanyahu’s government wasn’t the only problem. “There have been corruption in Hamas and the Palestinian government as well.”
On Trump and Netanyahu, Sanders said the two leaders – “one could be impeached and the other going to jail” – were in no position to lecture anyone about integrity.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Chuck Shumer also addressed the conference on Monday evening, as well as several Israeli and Palestinian figures. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
We Shouldn’t Impeach Trump on the Basis of Flawed Legal Theory
Time, Nov. 7, 2019
Is the U.S. House of Representatives hurtles toward impeachment ahead of the holidays, it is appropriate to consider, in as dispassionate a way as possible, what really is at issue for the country to decide. One must begin with the words of the Constitution. The removal of the President from office necessarily proceeds only with a determination, through House impeachment and upon conviction by a two-thirds majority in the Senate following trial, that “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” have been proved. What constitutes a “high” crime? Alexander Hamilton provided the answer in the Federalist papers: only those offenses within Congress’s appropriate jurisdiction that constitute “the abuse or violation of some public trust.”
So while it is fashionable at the moment for some to argue that President Trump is removable from office simply if it is proved that he abused the power of his office during his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, the Constitution requires more. To ignore the requirement of proving that a crime was committed is to sidestep the constitutional design as well as the lessons of history. A well-founded article of impeachment, therefore, must allege both that a crime has been committed and that such crime constitutes an abuse of the President’s office.
The problem for those pushing impeachment is that there appears to be insufficient evidence to prove that Trump committed a crime. Half the country at present does seem prepared to conclude, on the basis of the summary of the Trump-Zelensky call released by the White House on Sept. 25, that Trump at least raised the prospect of an unlawful quid pro quo. The theory seems to be that Trump proposed an exchange of something of personal benefit to himself in return for an official act by the U.S. government. On one side of that alleged quid pro quo would be the public announcement of an investigation by Ukraine into a rival presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, and a member of Biden’s family. On the other: the release of temporarily withheld foreign aid, including military assistance.
The problem with this legal theory is that an unlawful quid pro quo is limited to those arrangements that are “corrupt”–that is to say, only those that are clearly and unmistakably improper and therefore illegal. But in the eyes of the law, the specific, measurable benefit that an investigation against the Bidens might bring Trump is nebulous. There is a serious question as to whether it could ever constitute a criminally illegal foreign campaign contribution of personal benefit to President Trump. Indeed, the Office of Legal Counsel and the Criminal Division at the Justice Department apparently have already concluded it couldn’t. Just as important, the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts have struggled since at least the early 1990s with application of the federal anti-corruption laws to situations like this, where an “in kind” benefit in the form of campaign interference or assistance is alleged to be illegal. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Right church, wrong pew, as we Catholic types are wont to say.
As I tried to explain in Thursday’s column, Rand Paul is wrong to insist that the Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause demands that the so-called whistleblower be unmasked and publicly questioned. That does not mean, though, that Senator Paul’s general idea (that the “whistleblower” should testify) is wrong; nor does it mean that the Constitution’s guarantee of trial rights is irrelevant.
The right to present a defense, also vouchsafed by the Sixth Amendment, is the guarantee on which Paul and the rest of the president’s supporters should focus.
This comes with the same caveats elaborated on Thursday. The Constitution vests the House and Senate with plenary authority over their respective impeachment proceedings (the House to decide whether to file articles of impeachment, the Senate to try the case). No court has the power to make either legislative chamber afford a particular quantum of due process.
That said, impeachment is inherently political. Here, it has been launched when we are less than a year out from an election in which the American people are supposed determine for themselves whether the president should keep his job. By the time impeachment has run its course, we could be just a few months from Election Day. Apparently, though, the political class is intent on end-running the sovereign, attempting to remove President Trump on its own. To pull that off, it will need to convince the country that (a) it has grounds so extraordinarily serious that Trump must be ousted forthwith and (b) the procedures under which it impeached were fundamentally fair.
I don’t think they have a prayer of demonstrating the former, such that two-thirds of the GOP-controlled Senate would be spurred to remove the president. (Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is hovering around 90 percent.) As for the latter concern, due process, there must be some and it must be meaningful — not because it is legally mandated, but because it is politically essential.
This is why many of the more pragmatic Democrats knew impeachment was a bad idea. As a practical matter, they don’t have close to the votes to remove, so it’s doomed to fail. The public knows it’s doomed to fail and may well resent Democrats for gratuitously putting the country through it. If Trump is denied due process, the proceedings will look like a kangaroo court and Democrats will be blamed. And if Trump is afforded due process, the case he presents may damage Democrats come November.
We do not have a ton of prior impeachment experience to go on, but the presidents in each episode were afforded the right to present a defense — both in the House proceedings leading to articles of impeachment and in the Senate trial. The right to present a defense is importantly different from the right to confront the House Democrats’ case for impeachment.… [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
For Further Reference:
From Red Poppies To International Treaties, Scraps Of Paper Matter: Niall Fergusson, Globe and Mail, Nov. 11, 2019 – This is the time of year when I get the paper-flower question.
The Unbelievable Night The Berlin Wall Fell: Peter Robinson, NY Post, Nov. 8, 2019 — Two scenes from the end of the Cold War: Scene one: On June 12, 1987, President Reagan stood before the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate rising behind him, to challenge to the leader of the Soviet Union. “General Secretary Gorbachev,” the president said, “if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate.
WATCH: 2020 Democrats on Israel’s Record on Human Rights: We asked the candidates whether Israel meets international standards of human rights: NTY, Oct. 28, 2019 — Democratic views of Israel are in flux. President Trump has redefined the American role in the region and a younger generation of liberals are questioning Democrats’ longstanding support of Israel’s security policies. We thought this question would gauge Democrats’ willingness to criticize Israel, and found few candidates who would do so.
Exclusive: Mike Bloomberg will “spend whatever it takes” in 2020: Mike Allen, Margaret Talev, Axios, Nov 8, 2019 — Mike Bloomberg is jumping into the Democratic presidential race because he believes that Joe Biden is fading, opening the moderate lane next to Elizabeth Warren, sources close to the former New York mayor tell Axios.
EXCLUSIVE: Lee Smith on ‘The Plot Against the President’: Washington Examiner, Podcast, Oct. 29, 2019 — Investigative journalist Lee Smith’s new book “The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in US History” was promoted by Donald Trump today on Twitter.