Saturday, June 29, 2019

White man's lament: Why won't those mean Democrats reach out to me?

By David Bloviator
Political Editor 
with A.J. Liebling, Meta-Content Generator

So 20 Democratic contenders for the 2020 Presidential nomination debated sort of on TV this week, and some of them did well for themselves.  We're much too busy to crown winners and losers (besides what else would Chuck Todd think about at Supercuts?), but we did note a divergence of views as to whom the Democrats should target in their appeal.

Should it be for example voters of color (29,000,000 voters or 13% of the 2016 electorate)?  Should it be young voters 18-34 (65,000,000 or 29%)?  Should it be Hispanic voters (26,700,000 voters or 12%)?

Those masses of voters must have seemed like pretty tempting targets, which might explain why most of the contenders stressed issues likely to appeal to those large and somewhat overlapping groups, like racial justice, climate change, protecting the rights of immigrants, and forgiving student loans.

But what do a bunch of Senators, Congresspersons, Governors, and others with experience in running and winning (or at least in the case of Marianne Williamson sitting under crystals) know?  If you want to know whom the Democrats should be appealing to, the answer is no further away than the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, where a squad of entitled clueless white men will tell you whom Democrats should be reaching out to.

Any guesses?
The key to the White House? You're looking at him!

Wait for it . . .

It's them.  If you could climb up David Brooks's moral mountain you could see that the Democrats miserably failed in their duty to appeal to the key voting bloc for 2020:  David Brooks.

Lest you think that he's just being a tad solipsistic, he provides rock-solid evidence that he's the key demographic to the 2020 election in the form of a Gallup Poll in which 35% of voters describe themselves as moderate.  Since he describes himself as a moderate (why?), he concludes that he speaks for over a third of the electorate.  (This is the kind of syllogistic reasoning that leads him to conclude that all men are Socrates.)

But does he?  He rubbishes Democrats for supporting Medicare for All and attacking Republican plutocracy, although polling other than the two surveys he cherry picks show rather strong majorities for the sorts of policies that Democrats articulated during the debates (other than outsourcing domestic policy to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, which, to be fair, is not such a terrible idea):
  • 82 percent of Americans think wealthy people have too much power and influence in Washington. . .
  • 59 percent of Americans—and 43 percent of Republicans—think corporations make “too much profit.”

  • 82 percent of Americans think economic inequality is a “very big” (48 percent) or “moderately big” (34 percent) problem. Even 69 percent of Republicans share this view.
  • 66 percent of Americans think money and wealth should be distributed more evenly.
  • 72 percent of Americans say it is “extremely” or “very” important,  . .  to reduce poverty. . .
Money in Politics

  • 96 percent of Americans—including 96 percent of Republicans—believe money in politics is to blame for the dysfunction of the U.S. political system.

  • 80 percent of Americans think some corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes. . . .
  • 76 percent believe the wealthiest Americans should pay higher taxes. . . .
  • 87 percent of Americans say it is critical to preserve Social Security, even if it means increasing Social Security taxes paid by wealthy Americans.
  • 67 percent of Americans support lifting the cap to require higher-income workers to pay Social Security taxes on all of their wages.

Workers’ Rights

  • 61 percent of Americans—including 42 percent of Republicans—approve of labor unions.
  • 74 percent of registered voters—including 71 percent of Republicans—support requiring employers to offer paid parental and medical leave.
  • 78 percent of likely voters favor establishing a national fund that offers all workers 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
Health Care
  • 60 percent of Americans believe “it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all
    The Never U Bum Republicans meet to decide
    whom they can stand to vote for.
    Americans have healthcare coverage.”
  • 60 percent of registered voters favor “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.”
  • 58 percent of the public favors replacing Obamacare with “a federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans.”
  • 64 percent of registered+ voters favor their state accepting the Obamacare plan for expanding Medicaid in their state.

  • 63 percent of registered voters—including 47 percent of Republicans—of Americans favor making four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free.
  • 59 percent of Americans favor free early-childhood education.
Climate Change and the Environment

  • 76 percent of voters are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about climate change. . .
  • 59 percent of voters say more needs to be done to address climate change.
  • 65 percent of Americans—including 42 percent of Republicans—say immigrants strengthen the country “because of their hard work and talents.” Just 26 percent say immigrants are a burden “because they take our jobs, housing and health care.”
  • 64 percent of Americans think an increasing number of people from different races, ethnic groups, and nationalities makes the country a better place to live. . . .
  • 76 percent of registered voters—including 69 percent of Republicans—support allowing undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children (Dreamers) to stay in the country. 58 percent think Dreamers should be allowed to stay and become citizens if they meet certain requirements. Another 18 percent think they should be allowed to stay and become legal residents, but not citizens . . . .
Abortion and Women’s Health

  • 58 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
(Source: The American Prospect.)

Now former Harvard Salient writer Ross Douthat attempts to refute these numbers by noting only a minority said yes to every progressive position put to them, from which he concludes, insanely, that a candidate supporting all these positions will lose, because a voter who agrees with the Democratic nominee on only 5 out of 6 positions would rather vote for a crooked lying bigoted rapey Russian stooge who agrees with none of them.  Obviously.

His solution is for Democrats to retreat on some issues (like climate change or protecting vulnerable groups from persecution by religious bigots) to win on others.  There's a great way to inspire the base!  But really nobody gave a toss what Ross said in college and he doesn't seem to be breaking his streak.

Let's revert back to the happily-remarried Perfesser.  In fact he can point to no significant group (off the Op-Ed page) that shares his aversion to social welfare legislation, his lack of interest in remedying America's shameful legacy of racial and sex-based discrimination, his utter indifference to the coming climate catastrophe, and his tendentious belief that the problem of inequality is not the plutocratic 1% but the upper 20% who pay to keep deep thinkers like him in sopprassata, (This of course isn't true, but we can't follow him up and down every f***in' mountain when we have other white men to deal with) while still objecting to the Rapist-in-Chief. 

Turning now to third horse in this Op-Ed troika of overpaid white men whining, let's see what Bret Stephens had to say.  Surprise – he agrees with Dave and Ross!  In fact, he knows that the Democratic Party will be viewed thusly by the great masses who agree him, although in his case he at least identifies those stalwart voters as “Republicans” and not “moderates:”

 . . . a party that makes too many Americans feel like strangers in their own country. A party that puts more of its faith, and invests most of its efforts, in them instead of us.

They speak Spanish. We don’t. They are not U.S. citizens or legal residents. We are. They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t. They pay few or no taxes. We already pay most of those taxes. They willingly got themselves into debt. We’re asked to write it off. They don’t pay the premiums for private health insurance. We’re supposed to give up ours in exchange for some V.A.-type nightmare. They didn’t start enterprises that create employment and drive innovation. We’re expected to join the candidates in demonizing the job-creators, breaking up their businesses and taxing them to the hilt.
So the Democrats will rightly lose because they do not understand the pain of white men tormented by hearing a language other than Spanish as they wait for their latte.  We work in Coolidge Corner and in addition to Spanish we hear from four to six other languages on the street every day yet we soldier on, unaware that such speech constitutes an unforgivable imposition.  In fact we think it makes dreary old Boston seem rather cosmopolitan, like world-class cities where you can hear many languages in the Metro and the Underground.

As the formidable Parker Malloy has pointed out, once you get past the racism, you confront Bret's other fallacy: that his xenophobia and contempt for those who are not white males is broadly popular in the absence of Russian election interference:

In fact, you can find scarcely a soul who believes in the truth and beauty of the Republican platform but nonetheless contemns its beloved exponent, President Tiny Toadstool.  The positions expounded by the three white cowboys of the Op-Ed Range appeal to maybe 0.001% of the electorate.  It's no wonder that the Democratic contenders spent more time trying to appeal to groups representing tens of millions, not just tens, of votes.

They know this, which is why they start to huff and puff and hold their breath, threatening that the right-thinking folks like themselves won't vote for a Democrat who lets immigrants speak their native language on the streetcar.  As Complete National Disgrace David Brooks says: “I could never in a million years vote for Donald Trump. So my question to Democrats is: Will there be a candidate I can vote for?”

The correct responses to this plea are:

1.  We don't give a f***; and

2.  Anyone who votes for anyone other than the Democratic Presidential nominee on Election Day 2020 is acting in a manner that results in the re-election of a Russian-controlled corrupt sex criminal and has therefore permanently forfeited his right to be taken seriously as an ethical, or indeed any other kind of, thinker.

The only good news is that despite such a fate he will still be able to cash his paychecks from The New York Times.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Unity: What is it Good For?

By Nellie Bly
Spy Washington Bureau

A specter is haunting the political discourse of politicians, gasbags, and other favored professions of otherwise unemployable white men: unity.


What is it?  What is good for?

To borrow a few bars from Edwin Starr:  Absolutely nothing.


The public's supposed yearning for unity has propelled the candidacy of the amazingly-lifelike Joe Biden 3.2.72834 to the top of quite a heap.  His campaign kickoff speech stressed that he could and would unify a bitterly divided country.  The contrast with the incumbent, who loves stigmatizing and dividing people almost as much as raping women in department store dressing rooms, could not be starker.

But in a pitch to rich Democratic Wall Street finaglers for pelf, Biden invoked the spirit of unity, entering the Waybac machine to return the time when the Senate was ruled by a oligarchy of white racist Southern Democrats (later to be replaced by Southern Republicans holding better-modulated racist views):

"I’ve been around so long, I worked with James Eastland,” Biden said when he was stumping for Jones two years ago. “Even in the days when I got there, the Democratic Party still had seven or eight old-fashioned Democratic segregationists. You’d get up and you’d argue like the devil with them. Then you’d go down and have lunch or dinner together. The political system worked. We were divided on issues, but the political system worked.”

Those were the days.  It later turned out that Biden had collaborated with loathsome racists like Eastland of Mississippi and Talmadge of Georgia on unifying legislation designed to undercut the use of busing to remedy intentional racial school segregation in violation of Brown v. Board of Education.

The enduring value of collaborating with Senators who “ thought black Americans belonged to an “inferior race” and warned that integration would cause “mongrelization”” has been subject to heated debate then as now.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. thought that choosing unity over justice was nothing but a heartbreaker.  Actually he said it a little more elegantly in his Letter from Birmingham Jail:

Black people, shown here being divisive
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." 

Indeed the entire Civil Rights Movement was an attack on the unity that had frozen into place an unspeakably cruel and unjust system of white racism and segregation since Rutherford B. Hayes stole the Election of 1876.

And if you look back a little further,  consider what happened when unity was prized over . . . pretty much everything else.

When the literal and spiritual ancestors of white Southern bigots so beloved by Joe Biden threatened to destroy the Union rather than permit free territories to become states that banned slavery, they named their price for unity: enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act and extension of slavery to all territories.  In other words, according to James McPherson,  tells us: “Republicans would have to make all the concessions.  Republicans refused to succumb to what they considered blackmail.”  J. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom at 251.

How did that turn out?  600,000 dead later, Abraham Lincoln summed up:

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.  . . .

Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding.

At least they were unified
You don't have to hit the history books to understand that there are things more important than unity.  In our lifetime, in addition to fighting for civil rights despite its supposedly corrosive effect on unity, we marched to end the futile effusion of blood and treasure that was Vietnam.  Yesterday we finally got something resembling health care for all despite Republican whining about how divisive curing the sick was.

Today, our Republic is threatened more severely than at any time since the Civil War by felonious Russian agent President U Bum and his craven Republican lackeys.  We are told that employing the Constitutional remedy of impeachment to remove the criminal President is alas “too divisive.”

But as President Lincoln warned us, the destruction of our Republic is too high a price to pay for “unity.”  And despite Joe Biden's pretty stories of happy times with Strom Thurmond, we're not inclined to wait for a “more convenient season.”

You might even say that in the current crisis, unity is an enemy to all mankind.
As for us, the point of unity blows our mind.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Under Assault at Harvard: the Freedom to Bill Scumbags

By Larry Lowell
Boston-Area College Correspondent

The miserable undergraduates have gotten the hell out of Cambridge so it's time for the Harvard faculty to concentrate on what it does best: feeling sorry for itself.

Today's neediest case: well-known champion of academic freedom and former mouthpiece for a loathsome sex offender Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School.  His sad story of cruel oppression – probably the worst one involving sex crimes since Brett Kavanaugh – has been playing out for most of the last year.

If you have your hankies and violins at the ready, we'll start from the beginning.  To keep the undergraduates from throwing themselves in to the Charles River like that guy from that Faulkner book we never read, Harvard College houses upperclass, um, persons in residential Houses.  You have to live and eat there, with rare exception, and to its credit, the House system gives students a social and support network that doesn't depend on wealth, status, or prep school attended (unlike, for example, Princeton).

The Houses are superintended by what used to be called a House Master but is now a Resident Dean.  The deal is simple: in exchange for rent-free life in accommodations that are just one step down from a mansion, the Dean, who should have some relationship to Harvard University, although, like Sullivan, not one necessarily involving undergrads, is supposed to foster a sense of community and make sure that the little grinders don't collapse over their problem sets.

Also there's plenty of free booze.

Resident Deans, to reduce their workload to just about nil, appoint and rely on a large network of graduate student tutors, who, in exchange for less grand accommodation and free food, actually have to talk to and eat with the kiddos.

Prof. Sullivan wishes to point out that this man
looks nothing like Harvey Weinstein
Sounds like the easiest gig in the world, right?  And it's nearly impossible to f**k up, as generations of alkie housemasters can attest.  So what happened to Professor Sullivan, the now former Master of Winthrop House?

We mentioned that he was a tenured Professor at Harvard Law School.  In addition to trousering about $300 large a year for recycling the same lectures year after year, these worthies are entitled to earn additional pelf by “consulting,” or lending their names and reputations to clients of greater or lesser odiferousness at rates of up to $1,000 an hour.  You may ask why if teaching at Harvard Law School is a full-time job, these guys have the time and effort to aid poor underprivileged clients like Claus von Bulow?

Don't sweat – a tenured Harvard Law Professor is required to do little if any original work to hold down his or her sinecure, so they have plenty of time to consult.

And if you wonder why highly-compensated (at least in comparison to their wretched GSAS colleagues) law professors need to rake in even more bucks from creeps, you haven't priced too many 12-room Queen Annes within walking distance of Langdell lately.

Professor Sullivan, whose specialty is criminal law, had the chance to fill his pockets with money from any number of clients.  The client he chose was Harvey Weinstein.

According to the Boston Globe, it did not go well:
Students began protesting in January when the news broke that Sullivan would be part of Weinstein’s defense team. They argued that Sullivan’s role as a live-in father figure to some 400 students in student housing conflicted with his role defending Weinstein, whose case was a catalyst for the #MeToo movement, and they questioned how he would field future complaints of sexual assault.
Among the exiguous duties of a Resident Dean it turns out is acting as a front-line adjudicator of sexual harassment and assault claims, which can and do exist at Harvard even when they don't involve Emeritus Professors of Government.

Imagine that you are say a sophomore woman in Winthrop House who fought off an assault from some asshole at or after a party.  Imagine too that your Housemaster, er, Resident Dean,  had been quoted at length in court and in the media trivializing the claims of Weinstein's hundreds of credible victims or repeating the loathsome plant-nourisher's ridiculous defense that the skanks were begging for it, which is what his mouthpiece would in fact have to do.

Might you reasonably wonder how sympathetic your Housemaster would be to your complaint?  Especially if your attacker offers up the same crap defenses as Weinstein?  And if you were Harvard and under some obligation to maintain an environment in which victims of sexual violence felt that their College would hear their claims sympathetically, might you wonder if there was a conflict between Sullivan's obligations as Housemaster and his duties to his scumbag client?

You might.

And, after some investigation, Harvard reached that conclusion.  It told Sullivan while he could continue to Profess at The Law School whilst representing guilty sleazebags under the Dershowitz Doctrine, he could not hold a job that required him to assist victims of sexual assault or harassment.

As would be the case with Harvard Professors told they can't have everything they want just because they teach at Harvard, Prof. Sullivan had a well-intellectualized hissy fit:
In his first remarks since he lost the deanship last month, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. said he envisions creating an institution that could work within and beyond Harvard to reform academia and restore reasoned discourse on campuses.

Was Harvard's decision that serving as a Housemaster was fundamentally inconsistent with taking bucks to slime victims of a serial sex offender an assault on reasoned discourse? Is stating for $1,000 an hour that Ashley Judd was “begging for it” really an exercise of academic freedom?

Let's ask an objective source, Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy, who wrote an impassioned defense of Sullivan in The New York Times, although to his credit it began: “Mr. Sullivan is my friend and colleague.”

Oh.  Well, let's hear him out anyway.  Prof. Kennedy ended his column thusly:
Friends of academia should insist that Harvard answer the question: Why is serving as defense counsel for Harvey Weinstein inconsistent with serving as a faculty dean?
Well, we just told you why.  Indeed Prof. Kennedy knows full well why, as he states in his column:
Student opposition to Mr. Sullivan has hinged on the idea of safety — that they would not feel safe confiding in Mr. Sullivan about matters having to do with sexual harassment or assault given his willingness to serve as a lawyer for Mr. Weinstein. Let’s assume the good faith of such declarations (though some are likely mere parroting). Even still, they should not be accepted simply because they represent sincere beliefs or feelings.
How Prof. Kennedy knows the real views of undergraduates he does not teach or otherwise interact with is a mystery, but just remember that if you're a Professor at Harvard Law School, you, in A.J. Liebling's words, need not cite any authority, being it.

There's actually much more to the story involving claims by tutors that Sullivan fucked up the easiest job in the world by alienating and mistreating them, as well as efforts by a buddy of Sullivan's to subpoena The Harvard Crimson in violation of its and our First Amendment rights.

We'll leave those hanging and focus just on Sullivan's claim, made in The New Yorker, that somehow the right of a Harvard Professor to profit from representing a rich asshole is part of their academic freedom:  “But from the vantage point of a professor and administrator, you also have to insure that the university is a space where multiple ideas can exist and that other students aren’t silenced.”

Wait, you say, what does making big bucks moonlighting for sex offenders have to do with academic freedom?  If you don't know the answer, brother, then you didn't go to Harvard.

Wait a minute.  We did.  And using our well-honed research skills (one internet page), we found Harvard's interpretation of what academic freedom means:
All members of the University have the right to press for action on matters of concern by any appropriate means. The University must affirm, assure and protect the rights of its members to organize and join political associations, convene and conduct public meetings, publicly demonstrate and picket in orderly fashion, advocate and publicize opinion by print, sign, and voice.
Do you see in that list the right to bill $1,000 an hour to malign the victims of your client's depredations while at the same time holding yourself out to undergraduates as their advocate and their protector from similar misdeeds?

We don't either.

We do understand that Prof. Sullivan, who continues to hold and get paid for his tenured position at Harvard Law School, feels that he has been unjustly tarred by unfair accusations of powerful persons with evil intentions.

Persons in that position say it feels awful.  Like Harvey Weinstein's victims. 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

News from Zontar: President Takes Credit for Great Civil War Victory

Editors' Note: Every so often the Spy's Deep Space Desk receives a transmission from the planet Zontar in the Remulac galaxy millions of light years away from Earth.  Sometimes the dispatches are delayed for centuries, which only adds to their piquancy.  Although the practices and lives of these strange creatures bear no resemblance to us Earthlings, nevertheless we present some of the news of this distant planet so that we can realize just how protean is life in our Universe and how remarkable [They get the setup already – Ed.]


Hails New National Cemetery
and Trump Golf Resort at
Gettyzburg Battle Site

By Telegraph to The New Zork Times

GETTYZBURG, Penn. – President Donald Z. Trump today dedicated a new war cemetery on the site of the recent Battle of Gettyzburg today, telling the assembled crowd that “thanks to your favorite President, me of course, we are building the most fabulous, greatest, biggest cemetery that people tell me will be the most beautiful in the world.”

The President spent several hours describing the luxury golf resort that would be built adjacent to the cemetery by his real estate development company, the Trump Trust, headed by his children.  “The golfers will have the best views of the cemetery from the course so that they can enjoy the wonderful graves as they play on our championship quality course,” he promised.

Responding to Congressional criticism that it is inappropriate for a private individual to profit from a national cemetery and battle site, he called those critics “stone-cold losers and total disasters.”

The President's spirited defense of his Trust's project cast a shadow over what had been intended as a non-partisan commemoration of the recent battle, in which more than 3,000 Union soldiers died and another 20,000 were wounded, captured or missing.

The President hailed what he termed the “very fine” soldiers on both sides, passing up on what his supporters had hoped would be a clear exposition of Union war aims in the aftermath of the bloody encounter.

Departing from his prepared remarks, the President said, “Imagine what it was like to go into battle that day.  The weather might have been good, but sometimes it can get hot.  Believe me, it can get hot.  Maybe hotter than anyplace else.  That's what a lot of people are saying.”

He attributed the Union Army's success to his efforts to “build the finest military in the world.  No one loves the Union Army more than I do.  All my Generals say that I am the best President ever for the Army.  I hear that all the time.”

Instead of restating the Union's war aims, the President said that he would be willing to talk to Confederate President Robert Z. Lee at any time without preconditions, commenting: “You have to admire President Lee.  He's a strong leader.  Lots of slaves.  And when they step out of line, they get a good whipping.  That's how you build a country.  Hey, it's a tough part of the world.”

After the speech, he said he actually referred to the
President of the Confederacy Jefferson Daviz and any claims to the contrary were “fake news from the failing New Zork Times.

In conclusion, the President predicted that the world will “long remember the words I say here because I have the best words and I am a very stable genius.  No one has better words than me.  A lot of people are thanking me for my good words.”

Those who expected the President to remember the fallen were bitterly disappointed.  Colonel Abraham Zincoln, who led the 44th Illinois Volunteers in bloody battle at Little Zound Top, said to no one in particular, “Can you believe this asshole?”

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Profiles in Courage, revised edition

By Isaiah Thomas
Editorial Board with
Francis X. Morrissey in Boston

Since we aren't invited out to much of anything anymore, other than free lunches at the Chateau in Waltham to learn about the great opportunities just waiting for us in Bitcoins, we were surprised to hear about a recent gala at the Kennedy Library.  We remembered vaguely that they hand out a Profile in Courage Award every year, but we almost choked on our Pop-Tart when we saw this in The Boston Globe:

Say what?

At the risk of agreeing with loathsome reactionary Jeff Jacoby (no link, f*** this guy), we have to ask what she has done to exhibit courage, whether in profile or full-face.

If you hadn't noticed, and since most of you don't read a real newspaper, you may very well haven't, the House of Representatives is now confronting what to do with a corrupt President who has committed by our count 121 impeachable offenses, at least 10 of which were set forth in excruciating detail in the Special Counsel's report.

And how has Madame Speaker responded to this ongoing demolition of our Constitution?  If you guessed by commencing an orderly proceeding involving testimony, evidence, and expert legal advice to determine if impeachment is warranted then you win an award, but not for courage.

Instead, she has slow-walked any effort to open such hearings on the grounds that the 53 spineless hypocritical Republicans in the Senate wouldn't convict anyway.  It's hard to fault her prediction based on facts on the ground today but to quote that Constitutional scholar Yogi Berra, predictions are hard, especially about the future.

Instead of convening an impeachment inquiry that would fail in the Senate, she's proposing legislation that would – you guessed it, fail in the Senate:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is spearheading a new oversight strategy that will include legislative fixes meant to hold Trump accountable for his actions as president that will be rolled out as soon as next week. Democratic aides from several committees met over the Memorial Day recess to discuss legislation that will address “Trump’s abuses and safeguard our democracy from future attacks,” according to a leadership aide.

A number of rationales have been offered by Pelosi and her apologists for doing everything they can to wriggle out of the evident necessity of impeaching a corrupt disloyal obstructor of justice and subverter of our Constitutional order, beyond the fact that the necessary 20 Republican Senators have not yet agreed to convict.

First we are told that the House needs to get “all the facts” before it commences a formal impeachment inquiry, which of course is the vehicle to get all the facts.  The analogue to the criminal justice system is that the House Judiciary Committee acts as a sort of grand jury, pulling together the evidence and making a recommendation.  Now prosecutors don't go to the grand jury until they've got a pretty good idea of where the bodies are buried and who put them there, but in this case the House has a 448-page summary of the evidence to date, at least in the area of obstruction.  (The report doesn't reach other impeachable offenses like violations of the Emoluments Clause and doesn't fully exhume all of the financial and other contacts between U Bum and his Kremlin handlers, all of which could be covered in impeachment hearings).

We are also told that if the Senate won't convict, then U Bum will take his acquittal by the Senate as as an exoneration.  Therefore,  goes the argument, it would be better not even to begin the process by convening hearings because of course U Bum will not spin the Democrats' craven refusal to do so as exoneration.  If that makes sense to you, then I'm happy to give you an award, although not for courage.

Finally, as a variation of these arguments, we are told that impeachment should not be commenced in the absence of a bipartisan consensus, although that didn't stop the 1998 Republican lynch mob from handing Lindsay Graham the rope.

The way to build a broader base of support for impeachment is to take over live TV with riveting testimony, as was done successfully in 1974.  We actually think that U Bum may not wait that long and should his packed Supreme Court not quash the subpoena, will pardon himself and head out for the territories as soon as he is forced to turn over his financial records.

What's really going on of course is that the memory of losing her majority in 2010 is seared in Nancy Pelosi's memory.  She will do whatever it takes to avoid a repeat in 2020, and if that means keeping her fledgling Democrats in purple districts from taking a, um, courageous vote, then it's a small price to pay.

We think that you could protect these delicate flowers by simply beginning hearings led by expert counsel in the Judiciary Committee to review evidence of Presidential misconduct and leave the i-word for a later date.  But you have to make it clear that you are committed to a relentless process of fact gathering.

We suspect that the spectacle of Mueller reciting his report's conclusions, McGahn speaking to U Bum's efforts to fire Mueller, and Li'l Grifter smirkingly taking the Fifth might well move public opinion.  In any case, that's the kind of political risk you have to take if you want to be considered a Profile in Courage.

Now we know that even the named author of Profiles in Courage didn't always live up to the standard he set in areas as diverse as civil rights and Vietnam.  But sometimes he did, like when he told his Joint Chiefs he did not intend to start a nuclear war in Cuba.  Anyone alive in 1962 owes Jack Kennedy a perpetual debt of gratitude.

Speaking of Kennedys and courage, by the way, his grand nephew Joe Kennedy III has made a bit of a name for himself as the Congressman for the Fourth Congressional District in Massachusetts, one of those districts that in Pelosi's demeaning phrase would elect a glass of water if it had a D next to it.

How's his profile in courage?  Sadly, scarcely better than Pelosi's.  His office told the Spy last week that he hasn't addressed impeachment since 2017.  His standard response to constituents could be summarized as homina-homina-homina.

It's beginning to look like there's no need for an updated version of Profiles in Courage, no matter how many nice dinners they throw at the Kennedy Library.