It is very likely that the blog entry below will have salty—saltier, saltiest—language, inappropriate for younger readers. You know: readers younger than me. Deal with it.
I taught in the Spring after President Whatshisface™ was elected. I told my class that some students were bothered by my cursing in class. I do so, I realized, when I got excited about a topic—who doesn’t get excited about Descartes’ distinction between objective reality and formal reality?—or frustrated with a class and its lack of response.
One solution was to quit caring. One solution was to chill. One solution was to have a “curse jar” (no, really; I considered it.) One solution—the one I adopted—was to explain to the students that I was trying not to curse in class, and that this had been made exceedingly difficult by having Whatshisface™ elected President of the United States. So I told them I would not discuss Whatshisface™, and would appreciate it if they did not bring him up. They generally cooperated, and I thank them. I think only once—maybe twice—did I spontaneously erupt with “I hate that motherfucker.” Given how many sentences I utter in a given class, and how many classes I’ve taught since Whatshisface™ was elected, that is a very good ratio.
The Republicans in the US Senate—feckless, pusillanimous, spineless, useless, brain-dead, morally bankrupt—are, as of this writing, preparing to vote down hearing John Bolton or any witnesses in the Whatshisface™ impeachment trial. “Trial.” Similarly, they are preparing to reject any further documents be offered. After that, they will vote to acquit.
Some novel arguments—”arguments”—have been offered.
If Whatshisface™ does “X” and it is not a specific violation of a criminal statute, it is not an impeachable offense. If “X” is to blackmail a foreign government by withholding Congressionally-approved military aid (which, by the way, is a violation of a criminal statute, but this seems to be a mere detail, in spite of the illegality of his action as determined by the Government Accountability Office) this is not an impeachable offense, as long as Whatshisface™ regards it as in the “national interest.”
I said the argument was novel. “Novel” here is a euphemism for “remarkably fucking stupid and worthless.” It was offered by this indelible stain on Harvard Law School, also known as “Mr. Underwear”:
A second novel argument was offered by Lamar Alexander. One of the “moderate” Republicans, he thought seeking more information was not relevant, thus allowing Whatshisface™ to get away with rejecting requests for testimony, evidence, witnesses, documentation. What is novel about this argument is that Alexander admitted that Whatshisface™ did indeed do what he had been accused of doing, which was trying to influence (illegally, by the way) the 2020 election. But Alexander—talk about deviant logic—insisted that the issue should be determined by the 2020 election, which is precisely the one Whatshisface™ was trying to rig. (And after clearly having tried to do the same for the 2016 election, as outlined in the apparently largely unread Mueller report.)
Some takeaways from the profoundly shameful behavior demonstrated by Dershowitz, and particularly Senators Alexander, Cruz, Gardner, Graham, McConnell, Paul, Portman,Tillis et al. (Collins [R-ME] is too much of a joke to take seriously; all she can do is frown, act “concerned,” and otherwise be a complete lickspittle and vote with Whatshisface™):
1) Whatshisface™ can call your wife ugly and suggest your father was involved in the assassination of JFK and Ted Cruz—in spite of having called Whatshisface™ a “pathological liar”—has no problem with it
2) Lying about consensual fellatio between adults is worse than blackmailing foreign governments (Ukraine) and requesting that other foreign governments (Russia, China, probably Saudi Arabia and perhaps others) interfere with US elections
3) No one need to call out these Senators for hypocrisy; this assumes they have a moral compass that would give them pause when they say “this is clearly wrong” and some time later insist that same thing is not only not wrong, but good and important and patriotic. Lindsey Graham leads the pack here; his claims about the need to impeach and convict Bill Clinton flatly contradict what he said about the need to impeach and convict Whatshisface™. If Graham really believes that what Clinton did was sufficient to remove him from office, yet what Whatshisface™ did was not, he is considerably stupider or more morally deficient than I can rationally accept. Given little option, I submit he is simply depraved enough to put his party—what is left of the actual Republican party—ahead of not only his country, but of almost any values he may have, and perhaps ahead of the logic we like to attribute to rational agents (this omits Louis Gohmert, of course; my only question about that mouth-breather is “who waters him?”).
4) Nor is there any need to point out that an acquitted Whatshisface™ will have free reign to do pretty much whatever he wants to. The Senators know that; we know that. Given that we have already seen what he has been willing to do, and that he now knows he can do with impunity, it is hard to imagine what worse behavior we will see. But we will not have to imagine it, of course; we will witness it. Experience it. Suffer it.
5) And, finally, don’t think that if a President from the opposing party pulls some of the bullshit Whatshisface™ did that the Republicans won’t try to impeach her. There is an assumption of consistency—just mere consistency—that is completely unwarranted in examining Republicans’ behavior.
Donald Trump makes me hate what my country has become, and that is a very hard thing to say (and a harder thing to accept).
I hate that motherfucker.