Pundits are saying “Well, the Republicans shouldn’t be saying anything about the what the Democrats are doing due to what Trump did” – equating Trump’s membership on the birther team with what the Democrats are doing now. I always thought the birth certificate thing was stupid but there is a difference.
Trump and the birthers were not claiming the election process from which Obama benefited was illegitimate, they were saying that he was ineligible to hold the office due to the circumstances of his birth. Nothing the birthers did actually delegitimized a constitutionally defined process – if they had been successful and found evidence President Obama, the damage would have been limited to a single person. Obama would have had to resign and Biden would have assumed the office. There is no constitutional provision for a “do over.”
In the case of the 50+ Democrats who are protesting the inauguration, these folks are actually saying, as they did with Bush II in 2000), that the electoral institution was corrupted and therefore the entire process is flawed because the Russians “influenced” the election in favor of Bush.
The former is a minor public irritant caused by a small number of people who simply believed the single individual, Barack Obama, was capable of lying about his birth in a personal quest for the Presidency. The latter is dangerous because it delegitimizes the entire process by which we elect our leadership.
I’m cool with examining what the Russian “influence” really was. I’m sure the Democrats would like to see an international law passed so that international leaders would be banned from commenting on US elections within 60 days of election day as they tried to silence people here in the US for the same period. Hillary’s camp bragged that she was the one more international leaders were endorsing – was that not “influence?”
Of course it was. Were the Wikileaks documents purloined? You bet they were…and many Democrats castigated Trump for talking about them…but as Mark Thiessen pointed out in the Washington Post in July of 2016, in 2010 when the leaks coming from Julian Ass Hinge’s group made the Bush administration look bad, nothing was done.
“When in 2010 WikiLeaks released more than 76,000 secret intelligence documents — exposing “the identities of at least 100 Afghans who were informing on the Taliban, including the names of their villages, family members, the Taliban commanders on whom they were informing, and even GPS coordinates where they could be found,” as I wrote in The Post — nothing was done.”
As is always the case in politics, bad or good are relative concepts resting entirely upon whose ox gets Algored.
For argument’s sake, let’s say you, dear reader, are arranging financing for me to buy a bunch of oil leases. The seller knows they are worthless but keeps it secret. I buy the leases and now find out that they are as dry as Rosie O’Donnell’s vagina. You did nothing wrong in any of your processes – you filed all the forms required by law, got all the proper approvals – both of us depended on the word of the seller. The result of the transaction is bad but does that say anything about your process? Of course it doesn’t. It doesn’t make the legal process of purchasing illegitimate even though the results of the sale are.
I would have no standing to sue you because you didn’t do anything wrong. The seller did.
On the other hand, lets say the leases are primo but you don’t file the paperwork with the proper agencies, you carve a little on the side for yourself and you break confidentiality agreements along the way. I still get the rubles to buy but the process you used to get them from Putin was corrupt. Then the the process is illegitimate but the result is not.
It is the same with the Constitution. We all can agree that there is no (to paraphrase Al Gore) “controlling legal authority” identified in the Constitution to determine eligibility, so how can the election of an ineligible candidate be the fault of a system that has no provision to verify those requirements. However, if the candidate is eligible and a third party corrupts the process to get him elected without his knowledge, then the process is at fault, not the candidate.
Charles Krauthammer noted that this effort is unraveling the threads of one of our constitutional institutions. He noted it was a minor loosening but in my opinion, so many institutions have already been destroyed in the pursuit of social, economic and political advantage, we could be headed to total system failure.
What the Democrats are doing is far worse than any birther movement ever contemplated. The birthers were tugging at the robe of the Statue of Freedom on the top of the U.S.Capitol building, the House Democrats are taking a sledgehammer to the cornerstone.
All I am saying is what the Democrats are doing fits the Gramscian “march through the institutions” model. They may be too stupid to see it because their only motivations are to hurt Trump, they don’t really care about the cost.