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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Chuck Schumer, Democrats Must have FOUNDING FATHERS Rolling in Their Graves
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, introduces his fourth amendment as he speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump. AP
Near the end of his inflammatory opening remarks Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer tried his best to scale the rhetorical heights. He declared the moment “deep and solemn” and said, “The eyes of the Founding Fathers are upon us.”
If they’re watching, they’re probably rolling over in their graves. Day One of the Trump impeachment trial couldn’t possibly be what they had in mind.
Yes, it was that bad, as history gave way to histrionics.
It is said that Schumer has brought the raw partisan sensibility of the House to the Senate, and that’s not a compliment. His gratuitously nasty speech illustrated the point and set the tone for the dispiriting day.
He called the rules approved by the GOP majority a “national disgrace” and said of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s claim that the rules create a level playing field, “I’m amazed he could say it with a straight face.”
Schumer was just getting warmed up. He next accused President Trump of “blackmail of a foreign country” and of committing a “crime against democracy itself,” insisting, “I can’t imagine any other president doing this.”
Schumer’s bare-knuckle approach immediately dashed the faintest hope that the proceedings would reflect the gravity of the moment and explain the unprecedented effort to remove a president in an election year.
Instead, Schumer picked up exactly where the House left off, injecting venom into every sentence and inflating his accusations far beyond what is contained in the actual articles of impeachment.
Blackmail? A crime against democracy? His words constitute false advertising because the House charged the president only with “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”
In truth, the only crime against democracy is the Dems’ endless effort to overturn the 2016 election and use the impeachment process to help defeat Trump this year. If Schumer gets his way, he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have more power than the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump three years ago.
Thankfully, the chances of that happening — of Trump being convicted and removed from office — are remote.
The day’s other big development was equally unfortunate and in keeping with the Dems’ incoherent conduct in the House. After rushing through the case in warp speed and saying they had no time to fight contested subpoenas, Pelosi then sat on the approved articles for 33 days before sending them to the Senate.
Even on Tuesday, rather than get on with the actual trial and deal with the question of additional witness and documents later, as Republicans decided, Democrats wanted to have that argument right away. Their effort once again amounted to a stall of the trial they’ve hungered after since Trump’s election.
Rep. Adam Schiff led the witness push — and ran directly into a contradiction of his own making. Saying there was “already overwhelming proof” of Trump’s guilt, he demanded more testimony that he claimed would “flesh out” the case.
Schiff nonetheless demanded the Senate call former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born associate of Rudy Giuliani. Parnas, indicted on a slew of federal charges, has been talking to Dems and their media handmaidens in a bid to cut a deal in exchange for testimony that presumably would damage Trump.As Trump’s attorneys noted, if his guilt is already proven, why is more evidence needed? And why, if you needed more evidence, did you rush in the House to meet an artificial deadline of finishing before Christmas?
Schumer played his role by submitting proposals for voluminous White House and State Department documents. The first ones were “tabled” by straight party-line votes, as McConnell had warned they would be. They could be reconsidered only after both sides make their presentations.
In Trump’s corner, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, making his first major public appearance, proved he was no shrinking violet. He said the demand for more testimony and documents proved the Dems “are not ready to defend” their case as it is.
At one point, he grew increasingly animated, saying, “It’s too much to listen to almost, the hypocrisy of the whole thing.”
He, too, invoked the Founders, saying the case represented “their worst nightmare, an impeachment in an election year.”
To that end, he made the most sensible suggestion of the day, saying: “We should end this ridiculous charade and go have an election.”
America should be so lucky.
On bail fail: Heed the people, pols
That’s what you call an awakening.
The public flip-flop on the New York law that eliminated bail requirements for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies reflects a remarkable and rapid about-face. The findings in a Siena College poll should be a wake-up call to Albany.
Last April, when Democrats and far-left advocates were loudly touting the supposed reform without much opposition, the public favored the idea by 55 to 38 percent.
Now, less than a month after the changes officially took effect, support has fallen to 37 percent while opposition has risen to 49 percent.
The change is happening all over the state and among different groups and parties. The biggest movement involves independents, who went from 60 percent support in April to just 29 percent now, according to Siena.
The reason: Numerous examples across the state showed that repeat criminals were being let go, only to commit more crimes. There was plenty of smart journalism involved, and The Post led the charge by documenting city outrages.