In an amusing recap of the James Hankins family Thanksgiving gathering, Mr. Hankins, a professor at Harvard, announces that the impeachment hearings, despite family members’ lack of details, were front and center on the buffet sideboard.
Only one beloved aunt was willing to declare her full support for President Trump. The rest had more or less been successfully fed the New York Times’ version of events.
Quid Pro Quo a Type of Felony
There was a widespread belief that the phrase quid pro quo was the name of a type of felony. Roughly the same family members believed this who last Thanksgiving had believed “collusion” was a criminal act. None except the family Trumpist had at all considered how the information they possessed had been packaged for their consumption. Four or five of us were willing to admit that the hearings were “too partisan” and unfair, though the overriding concern wasn’t so much devotion to abstract justice as fear that the nation wouldn’t swallow the impeachers’ conclusions.
We discussed what crime might have been committed, and the most popular option was “extortion.” No one present had studied criminal law. Almost everyone thought that Mr. Trump was unpresidential—the epithet “jackass” elicited vigorous nods of agreement—and should be “removed,” like a gravy stain from a baby’s bib, as soon as possible.
Dems Don’t Have a Candidate Who Can Beat Trump
Something approaching rational debate arose only on the question of whether impeachment would benefit the Democrats. No one thought the Democrats had a candidate who could beat Mr. Trump. No one thought the Senate would convict him. Most couldn’t comprehend why the hearings so far had failed to move public opinion. The two most woke family members hoped that Mr. Trump would be damaged enough to allow a more radical Democrat to win, but this was generally dismissed as wishful thinking. The moderate Democrats in the family felt that their party’s efforts would have been better spent on finding a candidate who didn’t want to take away their generous private insurance. No one thought Michael Bloomberg was an appetizing alternative to the current flock of turkeys.
When asked if he is for Trump, the author responded, “Compared to whom?”
Trump certainly has his shortcomings: insulting tweets, Stormy Daniels, an endless revolving cabinet, a burgeoning deficit. These are not good things and irritants to most voters. So whom are voters going to choose? A Democrat nominee who offers with abandon more and more free stuff? Entitlements for all? No accounting details needed?
Colleges are loath to explain why tuition continues to outpace inflation year after year. Oh wait. Democrats have the answer to the mounting student debt problem. The taxpayer needs to pay off student loans.
Who’s Not Paying His Fair Share?
Then we have Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders scolding voters and corporations for not paying their “fair share” in taxes. But exactly who are these slackers who somehow wiggle out of paying their fair share? And just what do Elizabeth and Bernie consider fair?
Constitutional Order vs. Engineered Upheavals
Professor Hankins reminds readers that only one generation of Americans experienced an impeachment proceeding between 1783 and 1973. His generation, he notes in the WSJ, has witnessed three, and he fears a pattern is beginning to form.
One can only hope that the country will eventually learn why regular constitutional order is more productive than engineered political upheavals, or at least that what goes around, comes around. After all, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.