File this under “Here we go again” or—if that file is already full—try “everything old is new again.”
In December 2019 B.C. (that’s “Before COVID” ), in the midst of the Democrats’ furious efforts to impeach President Donald Trump for talking to the president of Ukraine on the telephone, I wrote an article about the Permanent Standing Committee on Impeachment in the House of Representatives.
The new impeachment committee, I noted, was one of the 20 or so standing committees that conduct the serious business of the House.
There is the Judiciary Committee, for example, currently chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), as well as committees on intelligence, the budget, appropriations, veterans affairs, the budget, and (my favorite title) “ways and means.”
I noted that, since 1998, the House had pretty much given up presenting the American people with a budget. Why?
My speculation was that it had to do with transparency.
I hasten to add that by “had to do with,” I don’t mean “out of a desire for” transparency.
On the contrary. I think the House has more or less given up on passing a budget because doing so would “put down in black-and-white (and more to the point, lots of red) just how profligate the House is with your money.”
But be that as it may be. My main point is that the desuetude into which the work of the Budget Committee had fallen had stood behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision to replace it with the Standing Committee on Impeachment.
It promises to be a great time-saver. As I noted, the Standing Committee on Impeachment will almost certainly be moribund on those unfortunate occasions when Republicans happen to be in the majority.
“As a rule,” I observed that “Republicans do not understand or play political hardball as effectively as Democrats. … They dither. They lack the instinct for the jugular.”
But of course, I was just joshing. The Budget Committee, though otiose, hasn’t really been replaced by a Standing Committee on Impeachment. All that was just satire.
Or was it?
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” seems to be the Dems’ motto. They tried impeachment once. It didn’t work. But tomorrow is a new day. And it looks now as if they are gearing up for another run at the prize.
‘Holy Grail’ of Removing Trump
The mechanism will be the House Intelligence Committee, which (at least until Jan. 20, 2021) is presided over by Schiff.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking Republican member of the Intel Committee, cut to the chase in his opening statement the other day, when he noted that their rushed investigation into a whistleblower complaint from the Department of Homeland Security had in effect transformed the Intelligence Committee into the Trump Impeachment Committee.
Nunes gave a spectacular digest of the many, many twists and turns on the Democrats’ search for the “Holy Grail” of removing Trump from the presidency, a quest that has become ever more desperate as the pieces of their plot to rig an election and destroy a presidency are, one by one, revealed to the public.
Remember, it took the Dems exactly 19 minutes after Trump was inaugurated to raise the specter of impeachment. It was then, on Jan. 20, 2017, that The Washington Post announced in a headline, “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”
Indeed, there were calls for Trump’s impeachment even before he was sworn in. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) put it with admirable clarity when he said, in 2017 (reiterating the sentiment in 2018) that “I am concerned that if we do not impeach this president, then he will get reelected.”
In other words, Trump’s real crime was having been elected in the first place.
The point is that Trump has to be impeached, not because of anything he had done or had failed to do but because of who he is, what he represents: an existential threat to string-pullers of our one-and-a-half-party system.
That’s why the Democrats can ride roughshod over the rule of law, to say nothing of precedent and tradition, ruining who knows how many lives, tying up the business of government with preposterous special counsel investigations, House hearings, and the like, while the Republicans mostly vibrate in impotent fury and emerge from the turmoil scot-free.
There are, however, many signs of fissures in this decades-on Democratic dispensation. The pugilistic response of the president himself is one such sign (“Cet animal est très méchant: quand on l’attaque il se defend”—“This animal is very mean: it defends itself when attacked”). Even his temporary status as “hors de combat” because of the CCP virus hasn’t dampened his fighting spirit.
Joining the president are a tiny handful of senators and representatives—Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Matt Gaetz, Lindsey Graham among them—who have been tireless in trying to expose both the deep state effort to destroy the president and, now, the deep state effort to cover it up.
At the head of that class of stalwart truth-tellers is Nunes. Watch his stellar performance on Maria Bartiromo’s show on Oct. 4 for a disturbing précis of the how the intelligence community has colluded with various Democratic actors to repudiate Trump and solidify their own hold on power.
This is an amazing moment. The country faces an existential decision. Do we reaffirm our commitment to individual liberty, limited government, and the rule of law? Or do we give ourselves over to the machinations of a deep state machine eager to pursue its own aggrandizement and our permanent servitude?
I predict the former.
Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “Who Rules? Sovereignty, Nationalism, and the Fate of Freedom in the 21st Century.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.