The “lock her up” chants are Trump rallies were often scary and always disgusting. But turnabout doesn’t seem like right play: Even if it was meant ironically, and I rather doubt it, I got no joy from the anti-Trump “lock him up” chants at Nationals Park during Game 5 of the World Series.
I think we need a new chant.
And, just in time to celebrate the first day of the impeachment hearings, I’ve got it, presented here as a poster or t-shirt worthy graphic:
Digby says “Barr’s outrageous behavior and the White House attempts to stonewall all forms of oversight are pushing the Democrats toward impeachment, whether they want it or not.”
No word though on whether the strategy to trigger impeachment might be due to a political calculation that it would actually help Trump get re-elected. I don’t actually buy that, but I can see why it would seem like a way out an increasingly tight political box. Hey, it worked for President Clinton, didn’t it?
Some other online comment, Jonathan Chait, on the anti-subpoena strategy, “The first thing to understand about this legal theory is that it is not a legal theory. … Trump’s opposition to congressional oversight appears to be an extension of his business strategy of threatening counterparties with expensive, time-consuming lawsuits in order to shirk his obligations. … [T]he courts might take long enough processing the “arguments” that Trump can keep his scandals bottled up until after the election. Trump’s extreme litigiousness is a natural extension of his general lack of shame.”
And Ian Millhouser at ThinkProgress, “Here’s a pro tip for lawyers: if you are going to ask a court to fundamentally alter the balance of power between the legislative branch and the judiciary, it’s a good idea to accurately describe any Supreme Court cases you rely upon. It’s a bad idea to tell the court that a case that absolutely eviscerates your legal argument is the best thing you have going for you.” That said, after a full-bore takedown of the Trump v. Deutsche Bank case, he ends with this warning, “There is always a risk, no matter how clear the law may be, that this Supreme Court will ignore it.”
Post-Mueller, the Trump Family1 has embarked on a novel litigation strategy: bringing really bad claims. Making terrible legal arguments is nothing new for the Trumps, but generally they’ve made those arguments as defendants, often while defending very amateurish and inept attempts to overturn Obama-era regulations. And almost universally, those lost.
What all these cases have in common is that the legal theories on which they are based are tenuous to non-existent.
What gives? These could simply be Hail Mary passes by the guilty: try this because you have nothing better. Or they could be plays to delay bad news, maybe even run out the clock until the next election with appeals. Or, worst of all, they could be a cynical calculation that some or all of them might find favor before an increasingly stacked judiciary, and a very pro-Trump Supreme Court. Or, why not, it could be all of the above.
All of these are bad answers.
I have decided that from now on I will use the Mafia term while blogging, rather than call it an Administration. [↩]
In the legal sense; in every other sense they’ve been there for quite some time. [↩]