Impeachment, Etc.: What’s Going On?


People keep taking me aside, literally and virtually, to ask me privately what’s going on in Washington, DC, as the violence of January 6 and Big Tech censorship intersect with a frenzied rush to impeachment, during President Trump’s last two weeks in office.

Here’s what I see. But first, fair warning: This may be too pessimistic for your tastes. And the causes I see for hope and optimism are subjects for another day.

Violence Is Violence

The violence at the Capitol seems to have come, perhaps not equally, from both extremes of our political spectrum. The far-right criminals who participated have more in common with the leftist criminals who joined them than they have in common with Trump voters generally. The vast majority of Trump voters doesn’t approve the violence any more than it approved last summer’s much greater violence by the Left.

(Theoretical tangent: I don’t view the political spectrum as a straight line; I see it as circle. The ends — the extremes — curve back around and meet each other. Far-right and far-left radicals are practically indistinguishable; their body counts and even their ideologies are more alike than different.)

I do not defend any of the violence, or even the relatively peaceful crossing of a police line, if that’s all some of the protestors did. The perpetrators should be tried for their actual crimes with due process and without undue delay, based on available evidence, and should be sentenced appropriately if convicted. If nothing else, it would be a nice precedent.

Rather than being newly incited to violence when they showed up for the Trump rally (if they did), at least some of the criminals apparently planned their mayhem well in advance. The Capitol police and leaders on the Hill were warned of the threat days before. Multiple federal agencies offered assistance in advance but were turned away — by the legislative branch, not the executive branch.

What the Impeachment Is Not About

But this is not about the violence itself, deplorable though it was. Prominent Democrats — including the Big Media Acronyms, the social media giants, and some of the biggest donors — don’t hate political violence in itself. They spent last summer winking at it, enabling it, cheering it on, funding it, and calling it speech. If President Trump had won, we’d have seen more violence than we saw on January 6. The Left promised us this during the campaign, and it’s the sort of promise we can trust them to take seriously.

This is not about President Trump’s speech. He told people to go to the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically,” to cheer for “brave senators and congressmen and -women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.”

It’s not about his tweets that day. He urged people to behave themselves and respect law enforcement — and when radicals became violent, he said go home. Granted, President Trump is less articulate than a president should be in such matters — but he’s less articulate than he should be about pretty much everything.

This is not about inciting violence or sedition — actual crimes with specific definitions. If it were, we might be looking at a few lines from two other speakers at the rally, Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump, Jr., instead of obsessing on words President Trump didn’t say but supposedly meant. At least we could argue with straight faces about whether some of their words approached incitement.

Notwithstanding Speaker Pelosi’s despicable participation, this is not about fear or even reasonable concern that President Trump might launch nuclear weapons at some unfortunate nation, as some sort of distraction or temper tantrum in the waning days of his presidency. This nuclear cowboy concern is an aged, exhausted trope in Democrat talking points about Republican presidents and candidates; it’s at least as old as I am. And we’re talking about the one president in recent history who didn’t get us into any new wars.

What the Impeachment Is About

Besides the hatred and anger his enemies have cultivated for years, this impeachment is about buying time, and it’s about distraction, intimidation, and silencing upwards of 75 million people — all to advance a transformative political and cultural agenda that is broadly unpopular, even in a nation increasingly taught to hate itself.

Buying Time

It’s about pressing a useful narrative before the facts come out — and hiding the facts as long as possible. They did this in Ferguson; they’ve done it over and over again since Ferguson. They win three ways, when they do this: (1) Some people will hear only the initial, inflammatory, fake narrative and never hear the facts. (2) Others will eventually hear the facts but reject them, because the original narrative got there first or because they simply prefer it. And (3) they can do their literal or figurative rioting, burning, and looting before truth, common sense, and human decency reassert themselves.


We’ve known for a while, if we paid attention, that the Trump-Russia collusion narrative — fake evidence and all — originated with the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, to distract from her criminally irresponsible handling of classified emails as Secretary of State. A useful question anytime the Democrats — or anyone else — whip the national horse into a lather is this: from what are they trying to distract us?

In the case of the last-minute, second impeachment of President Trump, one possible answer may be the election. Even before Election Day, they told us it had been fair and even pristine. Yet tens of millions of Americans — not just Trump voters — want it investigated. And reams of sworn testimony describe a range of what could charitably be called systemic electoral dysfunction in key states.


If Republicans, especially Senate Republicans, can be intimidated sufficiently, by impeaching the President or simply relabeling dissent as sedition, there will be much less resistance to some fringe appointments to key positions in the Biden administration, and to major parts of the early agenda. It will be far easier in the early weeks to dismantle key structural safeguards against majority tyranny over political minorities — like the filibuster in the US Senate and the motion to recommit in the House. Democrats are good at dismantling safeguards in the name of fairness, democracy, and other happy words. Their to-do list in the early weeks of the Biden administration will dwarf their calculated dismantling of safeguards against election fraud in numerous states before the 2020 election and on and after Election Day.

Democrats also need to intimidate tens of millions of Trump voters into passivity, to dispirit us into thinking there’s no point in trying to clean up our states’ elections or resist the promised dismantling of constitutional safeguards against tyranny. At this point too many bad things happen for too many Democrats — and any number of establishment Republicans — if political opposition remains persistent and widespread.


People who think like traditional Americans — who think individuals, freedom, and our constitutional government still matter; who teach their children a responsible view of US history and teach them to love our founding ideals; who reject, philosophically or instinctively, the bigoted tribalism of critical theory and woke culture — these must be silenced.

If distraction and intimidation don’t work, perhaps the Left can goad these stubborn souls from flyover country into anger and hatred, to the point that some will speak and act foolishly, in ways that discredit themselves and their groups. Then whole demographics can be demonized and deplatformed. The word sedition stands ready be redefined and weaponized as needed. The word racism is already widely deployed in this role, against things which simply are not racism.

Fake Sedition, Fake Unity

Note how prominent Democrats, including the Big Media Acronyms and the Big Tech leviathan, rushed to declare that all Trump voters — all who wonder about the integrity of the election — are as guilty of sedition and violence as the thugs who invaded the Capitol. That’s how they work. That’s how my first grade teacher worked too, and we considered her a tyrant.

As an added benefit, once serious dissent is suppressed, or at least excluded from the bubble, they can claim President Biden has unified us as Americans. It would take a miracle for real unity to break out under his hand; he presided over some of the most divisive political episodes of my lifetime. But this isn’t about real unity. It never was. That was just advertising.

I Have Some Questions

Has it dawned on the somewhat hysterical, somewhat bipartisan Trump-should-resign crowd in Congress and the media that, if President Trump resigns before his term ends, Vice President Pence could pardon him — and really might? President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Nixon for actual crimes, against even greater opposition, and to his own obvious political detriment, for what he saw as the good of the country. We know the current Vice President has a spine; lately he has towered over the merely cartilaginous.

Has anyone noticed that President-elect Biden lately called Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley “Nazis,” and part of “the Big Lie” (a reference to Nazi German propaganda)? Besides undermining unity, is this any further from inciting violence than President Trump’s tweets and speech were last week?

Has President Trump helped raise funds to bail out any of last week’s rioters, as Vice President-elect and then-US Senator Kamala Harris helped this summer to bail out rioters with ugly criminal records and serious charges pending?

Finally, since we’re here, yes, any violence at or against the Capitol or Congress strikes at the foundation of our republic. I feel that keenly. But there’s a hypocritical lack of empathy in the present frenzy.

Many hundreds of small business owners, many of them minorities, lost their businesses to leftist arsonists and thugs over the summer in the name of a supposedly higher, larger cause. Tens of thousands of small business owners were put out of business by lockdowns to which some governors and mayors clung for months after lockdowns proved to do more harm than good. Are we to suppose all these Americans were less attached to their livelihoods than Americans generally are attached to the Capitol?

Were family members of the black, white, and other law enforcement officers who were murdered in the violence last summer less attached to their loved ones than Americans generally are attached to the Capitol?

I’m just sayin’.

David Rodeback - impeachment

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