The Case of the Supreme Court: Democrats, the Fake Resistance, Russiagate, and the Unitary Executive

Though it may be painful as a nail in the head, let us rewind to the days of Dubya, which many people point to as the inflection point of American exceptionalism and its claim to having some legitimacy. Dubya’s handlers – namely   Vice President Dick Chaney – made a case for a Strong interpretation of the Unitary Executive doctrine. What does this mean?

This is the literal interpretation of   Article II of the US Constitution, which reads:

 

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The literal interpretation being The President of the United States IS the Executive Branch of the US government.

“Unitary executive” is a code word for a doctrine that favors nearly unlimited executive power. The limited interpretation of this doctrine posits the strong version violates basic tenets of our system of checks and balances, quietly crossing longstanding legal and moral boundaries essential to a democratic society.

Now fast forward from the Constitution days and the Bush regime to today. What does this mean for Trump, and his potential downfall? How do we interpret the doctrine Trump IS the Executive Branch?

Those hoping the special counsel will prosecute the president are engaging in fantasy.

A highly probably interpretation is a sitting president (e.g. Trump) cannot be indicted or convicted of a criminal act. This would seem to preclude any deleterious result  on Trump personally from Mueller’s investigation, though this immunity does not extend to Trump’s minions.

As Trump is synonymous with this borderline personality trait, in which traditional mores, norms, and legal precedents are pushed to their limits as a turnbuckle in pro wrasslin, we may very well find out.

Other concerns are can Trump pardon himself if impeached? Can he pardon witnesses who might testify against him, specifically with the aim of “letting them off the hook” if convicted.

Therefore, this Strong Interpretaion of the Article II, the Unitary Executive is not a trivial pursuit question. Rather, it is integral to the ultimate verdict on Donald Trump so many Americans have been waiting breathlessly for in the never-ending, so called “Russiagate” scandal.

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The ultimate reason Donald Trump tapped Brett Kavanaugh may never be fully known, but if the question appeared on the Big Board at the MGM Grand in Vegas, I’d bet all my worldly possessions on two words: Unitary Executive. See, Trump has no ideology to speak of beyond whatever serves his immediate purposes. His politics are entirely transactional — What do I get out of it? — and with Kavanaugh, Donald Trump gets a breathing “Get Out Of Jail Free” card on the highest court in the land.

Why? Kavanaugh is a devotee of the Unitary Executive theory of government espoused and deployed by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld during the administration of George W. Bush. The theory is their retaliation for the political defenestration of Richard Nixon, which took place during the larval stage of their political careers and was profoundly transformative for both.

Kavanaugh was appointed to the DC Court of Appeals by Bush because, it was widely whispered at the time, of his support for the idea presidents should not be sued, investigated, prosecuted or even mildly ruffled in any legal way during their time in office. “National Security” and all that noise, you see.

“Kavanaugh,” reports NPR’s Nina Totenberg, “wrote an extensive law review article in 2009 that could have implications for the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In that article, he said after seeing firsthand the many difficult duties that a president encounters, he thinks, in retrospect, that presidents should operate free from the threat of civil suits — like the sexual harassment suit that led to Clinton’s impeachment — and presidents also should be free from criminal investigations.”

And there you have it. Why Kavanaugh? Because along with Gorsuch, Thomas, Alito and Roberts, Kavanaugh represents the final inoculation against whatever charges special counsel Robert Mueller is assembling. Trump defies a deposition subpoena? A president cannot be compelled to testify while in office. Collusion with Russia? A president cannot be investigated while in office. Obstruction of justice? A president cannot be prosecuted while in office.

The Unitary Executive theory is airtight in its contra-constitutional concept of an untouchable, all-powerful president. It is the divine right of kings for the 21st century, and in the guise of Brett Kavanaugh and his four conservative compatriots on the high court, it is Donald Trump’s last, best firewall against any legal consequences for his serial misdeeds.

I believe Trump ultimately chose Kavanaugh precisely because he is a Bush-era Unitary Executive man. The final strangeness in all this is that the approval of Kavanaugh will mean the legacy of George W. Bush — the man history has been trying to forget — will be cemented in the law of the land for all time.

Rod Rosenstein can sleep tight tonight. There is no longer any reason for Trump to fire him, because after all the Senate votes are cast, there will no longer be any reason to fire Mueller. The special counsel can roll the rock all the way to the top of the hill. Kavanaugh and his pals will roll it right back down again.

That’s why Kavanaugh was picked. He fits right into Trump’s immediate purposes. I do not know this for a fact, but I know it.

Another serious concern is what if Trump is impeached or removed from office or indicted or convicted or 25th Amendmented and following the pattern set so far, Congress and the Judicial Branch basically does nothing to enforce this? In effect, everyone is so scared of Trump and his Trumpets they simply let him be the authoritarian dictator he so badly wants to be?

 What if nothing happens?

The Democratic party  knows – and now you know – the reason Kavanaugh is on the bench is this: he’ll help get Donald Trump off the hook when the time comes. Yep.

That’s why Kavanaugh won this beauty pageant.

Don’t get excited about the so-called “Resistance” helping us out on this rather serious situation.

Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democratic party are not going to do anything to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The Wall St. folks who pay the Democrats’ bills don’t want them REALLY resisting Trump and his agenda. They’re supposed to pretend… like the guys in WWF wrasslin pretend to smack each other with steel chairs and slam each other into folding tables. Like that.

Don’t believe me? You’ll see… it’ll be a pillow fight. Schumer in PJs doing his nails.

It is just a play. A puppet show for the feebleminded.

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Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

 

 

Mutiny on their Knees

Those who assume there are profound divisions between the Democrats and Republicans on the composition of the Supreme Court or anything else are fooling themselves. On all the critical issues—the strengthening of the state, the implementation of pro-corporate measures, the attack on the social rights of the working class, militarism and war—the two parties agree.

Know what the best part of all of this is?

Trump talked Anthony Kennedy into retiring. Yep. Trump told Kennedy if he retired from the Supreme Court, Trump would put his favorite student – Kavanaugh – on the bench to replace him.

Corruption? No, there’s no corruption here. Why would you say that? They’re all virgins who live in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood…

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They had a connection, one Trump was quick to note in the moments after his first address to Congress in February 2017. As he made his way out of the chamber, Trump paused to chat with  justice Kennedy.

“Say hello to your boy,” Trump said. “Special guy.”

Trump was apparently referring to Justice Kennedy’s son, Justin. The younger Kennedy spent more than a decade at Deutsche Bank, eventually rising to become the bank’s global head of real estate capital markets, and he worked closely with Trump when he was a real estate developer, according to two people with knowledge of his role.

During Kennedy’s tenure, Deutsche Bank became Trump’s most important lender, dispensing well over $1 billion in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago at a time other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of  his troubled business history.

And of course, what would a corrupt back scratching festival be without the big money anti-abortion lobby sharpening their knives over Roe v. Wade?

Meet Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society.   They’re the ones picking up the tab for the parade and after party.

Leo figured out twenty years ago that conservatives had lost the culture war. So they needed to stack the courts. Leo has spent a career shaping the federal judiciary to reflect rigid, conservative religious dogmas:

Those include the notions that human life begins at conception and that homosexuality is immoral. The reason is moral “natural law” is as part of the fabric of the universe as the laws of nature, and it trumps any secular law that humans (or legislatures) might dream up. As developed by St. Thomas Aquinas and a millennium of subsequent philosophers, everything has its “natural” function and its “unnatural” misuse. Food is for nourishment, not gustatory delight; sex is for procreation, not pleasure; sensual enjoyment is luxuria, a sinful diversion of pleasure from its intended purpose of reproduction.

OOHOOPS! WHOOPS! See Chuck go. Sliding, sliding, down the hill. Sledding, sledding, never standing for anything real.

Schumer says, “Don’t look at me!?!”

They will whine that they’ve been steamrolled by Trump and the Republicans, but shed no tears for the Democrats. You can’t be steamrolled if you aren’t even standing in front of the machine that’s about to crush us.

Democrats also to Blame for Kavanaugh

At this point, it may be the only narrative which can save what remains of the shattered dream of American democracy, exceptionalsm, and so on is if people stop being scared of Trump and fight back. Namely the Congress, whose love of money has morphed them from initially incredulous into Trump sycophants.

It could happen. But it won’t. Schumer and Pelosi and Hillary and the gang are not real “Resistance.” This is just a marketing scheme on their part to “win” the 2018 midterm elections. “At Least We’re Not Trump” is the tired campaign slogan they’ve trotted out again. Aaargh!

Hello?!? A reminder: the Democrats lost everything – presidency and seats in Congress – running on the  platform in 2016. It appears highly the Pelosi/ Schumer/ Hillary gang will not make nearly the Blue Wave they arrogantly count on. Their hatred for Hillary  causes Trumpets to respond like Pavlov’s dogs, which is going to motivate many Trumpets to vote against her villainy at the 2018 midterms, including those who otherwise might stay home.

Of course, a real resistance would have been much more successful if it occurred in the beginning of Trump’s regime. Now the shit snowball has grown so much larger and has picked up speed, which may make Trump’s reign effectively invincible at this point. The Bond Villain who spawns endless sequels.

From within Trump’s own White House staff come descriptions of managing him in terms reminiscent of a “toddler.” Typically, the mechanism that ensures cohesion within the executive branch is  the president’s ability to fire people. The most striking feature of the recent statements from within the administration — the reason people feel so free to do what Tillerson did — is they don’t seem to care if Trump fires them. They either don’t think he’ll do it, or they actually don’t mind if he does.

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9 thoughts on “The Case of the Supreme Court: Democrats, the Fake Resistance, Russiagate, and the Unitary Executive

  1. I am not an American, so nobody listens to me. All the better. They listened to Karl Marx, and came up with a strategy to defeat him. But no matter what strategy they come up with now, Capitalism is dying, and consevativism is breathing its final breaths.
    Donald the “Dastard Terrible” (as in enfant terrible) Trump can whine and stomp his feet all he wants, but he is still a two-year old bully, and he won’t make it into his third year.
    Who will stop him? Not Mueller, that’s just fake news. Not the American voters, though they might try. Not the psychophants and Trum-Pets, he could, and might, drop a nuclear bomb on the New York courts, and still they would support him. But the world will stop him, one way or another. His dictator friends will be too busy watching their own asses to care what happens to Dumpy Trumpy, they won’t intercede when the other governments of the world shut him into his own borders and leave him to do as he pleases. His Unitary Execuitive Powers stop at his borders, and if America disappears from the face of the world, sobeit. But when he starts to make enemies out of friends, well, there is a united front that will tell him where to go. And he will have no choice but to go. His sandbox is his, but the world will keep him in it. He can make himself King if he wants, he can be a dictator if he wants, but he will not destroy the world, unless he launches all his nuclear warheads, and if he does that, the whole planet goes up, INCLUDING the USofA. Bye bye.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I listen to you. As you say, because Trump has the ability to blow us all to Kingdom Come, the whole world must pay attention to the Child King. You want to know something really scary?

      Many Americans, including Mike Pence the VP, want the end to come. Armageddon. Rapture. Something something blowing us all to hell with nukes would work for them regardless of what it is called.

      http://www.newsweek.com/trump-will-bring-about-end-worldevangelicals-end-times-779643

      Like

      1. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit. I cannot remember where but I heard a similar statement just a few days ago, some preacher wanting Christ to return in his time. It would be so wonderful if he could meet Christ while alive…
        Wish I could tell him it will never happen. The “rapture” is a fantastical hoax. Doesn’t matter, though, he would never believe me, lol.

        Like

      2. The ironic thing about your preacher wanting Christ to return in his time…

        Jesus told his disciples the apocalypse would happen within their own lifetime, which obviously was some 2000 years ago. Not sure how to explain his mistake…

        “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”

        http://biblehub.com/luke/21-32.htm

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, by reincarnation theory, that generation will probably be here another millenium at least! Or, by my experience, probably another million years or so.

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  2. Religion is what you make of it. What about all those who never had the chance to hear the Gospel? Well, (some would say) the Lord would give them some knowledge through nature or the heavens or (name your poison). So, God makes exceptions? Or not? The Calvinists would say, “Tough ushitski, you aren’t among the chosen.”
    On another subject, I believe Dick Cheney is the most dispicable human being to ever walk the face of the earth. George W. Bush was among the most ill-informed, least qualified, and ridiculous POTUSs that ever “graced” this country. Abraham Lincoln, IMHO, was the worst POTUS who ever served. He destroyed the intent of the U.S. Constitution. He, along with his puppet generals Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, et al, destroyed the Republic our forefathers envisioned and put in place. In it’s place we have the most destructive, imperialistic warmongering nation ever to exist on the face of the earth. And the beat goes on. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m more of a Martin Luther kind of guy than John Calvin. Obviously several different interpretations of these religious dogma.

      We agree on Dick Cheney. Will try to do a piece on the Project for a New American Century, as this document is the key to understanding Cheney and Bush, IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

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