Constitutional Crisis or Dem Crisis of Confidence?

The same Beltway braniacs who assured us that the President was in league with Vladimir Putin and sundry other Rȕskī reprobates now claim he has precipitated a constitutional crisis. House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler claims Trump is acting like a “king” by refusing to relitigate the Russia hoax, allow already-interrogated aides to be requestioned, or permit partisan congressional staffers to rummage through his tax and financial records. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concurs that a crisis is at hand: “I do agree with Chairman Nadler because the administration has decided that they’re not going to honor their oath of office.”

Yet, the “get Trump” crowd is obviously growing increasingly frustrated that Nadler and Pelosi have taken no serious action to resolve the dire threat they claim President Trump poses to the republic. The New York Times, for example, published a column by Michelle Goldberg Friday titled, “If This Is a Constitutional Crisis, Act Like It.” Goldberg suggests that contempt votes against administration officials are all very well and good, but they are primarily symbolic and usually lead to protracted court battles that rarely resolve the crises that initially triggered them. Goldberg argues that Pelosi and Nadler should take more radical measures:

Pelosi is a sharp and pragmatic woman … But it is incoherent to argue that Trump constitutes an existential threat to the Constitution, and that Congress should wait to use the Constitution’s primary defense against such a threat.… In the face of an administration that is trying to amass dictatorial powers, Democrats need to bring to bear all the powers of their own. Trump’s outright rejection of congressional authority makes impeachment proceedings necessary, but even impeachment alone is not sufficient.

Note that last bit about impeachment not being “sufficient” to solve the crisis? Goldberg urges Congress to “enforce its own orders, including by sending out the House’s sergeant-at-arms to arrest people.” But even Pelosi isn’t that crazy. She knows only a tiny percentage of the public supports impeaching the President, much less the physical arrest of his Cabinet officials. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that only 17 percent of the voters support ousting Trump, including only 19 percent of Independents. Moreover, the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls shows Trump’s approval rating at its highest level since his inauguration.

But the will of the people means little to Trump’s increasingly irrational antagonists. Former secretary of labor Robert Reich, for example, published a column in the Guardian Saturday that illustrates his inability to think straight about the President: “It’s a constitutional crisis all right.” Having discharged his duty to parrot that canard, Reich explains why it would be futile and politically perilous for the Democrats to impeach Trump. He then says they should do so anyway because “it is the right thing to do.” But there is no consensus, even among liberal legal scholars, that we’re in the midst of a constitutional crisis. In Slate, Fordham’s Jed Shugerman says not:

 Read more at American Spectator

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