How A Snap Impeachment Could Shatter Our Constitutional Balance

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on my concerns over the planned “snap impeachment” this year.  In my view, impeaching on the speech alone would raise serious concerns over the use of impeachment in the future. Many Democrats, including members of Congress, refused to accept Trump as the legitimate president when he was elected and refused to do so as rioting broke out at the inauguration.  Many of the same members have used the same type of rhetoric to “take back the country” and “fight for the country.”  The concern is that this impeachment will not only create precedent for an expedited pathway of “snap impeachments” but allow future Congresses to impeach presidents for actions of their supporters.  The point of this column is to call for greater caution and deliberation before we take this step to consider the basis and implications of this impeachment.  As with the calls to use the 25th Amendment, there are real dangers to any opportunistic or hurried use of this option.  There is also the alternative of a joint and bipartisan condemnation of both houses, which would be both justified and unassailable.

As I have said, there could be evidence to support impeachment on the proposed incitement article but it would have to be found before or after the speech to show an intent to spark rioting or to allow it to continue.  As with the 25th Amendment claim, such evidence would be found from within the White House and through a traditional impeachment inquiry.

Here is the column:

Author Franz Kafka once wrote, “My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.” Congressional Democrats appear close to adopting that Kafkaesque standard into the Constitution as they prepare for a second impeachment of President Trump. In seeking his removal for “incitement,” Democrats would gut not only the impeachment standard but free speech, all in a mad rush to remove Trump just days before the end of his term.

Democrats are seeking to remove Trump on the basis of his speech to supporters before the Jan. 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol. Like many, I condemned that speech as it was still being given, calling it reckless and wrong. I also opposed the challenges to electoral votes in Congress. However, Trump’s speech does not meet the definition of incitement under the U.S. criminal code. Indeed, it would be considered protected speech by the Supreme Court.

When I testified in both the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings, I noted that an article of impeachment does not have to be based on a clear crime but that Congress historically has looked to the criminal code to weigh impeachment offenses. In this current controversy, any such comparison would quickly dispel claims of criminal incitement. Despite widespread, justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or a riot. Rather, he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to express opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to support the challenges being made by some members of Congress. He expressly told his followers “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Such electoral-vote challenges have been made by Democrats in past elections under the Electoral Count Act, and Trump was pressing Republican lawmakers to join the effort on his behalf. He stated: “Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy…And after this, we’re going to walk down – and I’ll be there with you – we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.”

He ended his speech by saying a protest at the Capitol was meant to “try and give our Republicans, the weak ones … the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” Such marches are common — on both federal and state capitols — to protest or to support actions occurring inside.

The governing legal standard for violent speech is found in Brandenburg v. Ohio. As a free speech advocate, I have long criticized that 1969 case and what I consider its dangerously vague standard. However, even Brandenburg would treat Trump’s speech as protected by the First Amendment. Under that case, the government can criminalize speech that is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

There was no call for lawless action by Trump. Instead, there was a call for a protest at the Capitol. Moreover, violence was not imminent; the vast majority of the tens of thousands of protesters present were not violent before the march, and most did not riot inside the Capitol. Like many violent protests we have witnessed over the last four years, including Trump’s 2017 inauguration, the criminal conduct was carried out by a smaller group of instigators. Capitol police knew of the planned march but declined an offer of National Guard personnel because they did not view violence as likely.

Thus, Congress is about to seek the impeachment of a president for a speech that is protected under the First Amendment. It would create precedent for the impeachment of any president who can be blamed for the violent acts of others after the use of reckless or inflammatory language.

What is even more unnerving are the few cases that would support this type of action. The most obvious is the 1918 prosecution of socialist Eugene Debs, who spoke passionately against the draft in World War I and led figures like President Wilson to declare him a “traitor to his country.” Debs was arrested and charged with sedition, the new favorite term of today’s Democratic leaders to denounce Trump and Republican members who challenged the Biden victory.

In 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote for a unanimous bench in one of the most infamous decisions to issue from the Supreme Court. The court dismissed Debs’ free speech rights and held that it was sufficient that his words had the “natural tendency and reasonably probable effect” of deterring people from supporting the war.

That decision was a disgrace — but Democrats are now arguing something even more extreme as the basis for impeachment. Under their theory, any president could be removed for rhetoric deemed to have the “natural tendency” to encourage others to act in a riotous fashion. Even a call for supporters to protest peacefully would not be a defense. It would be as if Debs first denounced the war but also encouraged people to enlist. This standard would allow for a type of vicarious impeachment — attributing conduct of third parties to a president for the purposes of removal.

Democrats are pushing this dangerously vague standard while objecting to their own statements being given incriminating meaning by critics. For example, conservatives have pointed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) calling for people to confront Republican  leaders in restaurants; Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) insisted during 2020’s violent protests that “there needs to be unrest in the streets,” while then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said “protesters should not let up” even as many protests were turning violent. They can all legitimately argue that their rhetoric was not meant to be a call for violence, but this is a standard fraught with subjectivity.

The damage caused by this week’s rioting was enormous — but it will pale in comparison to the damage from a new precedent of a “snap impeachment” for speech protected under the First Amendment. It is the very danger that the Framers sought to avoid in crafting the impeachment standard. In a process meant to require deliberative, not impulsive, judgments, the very reference to a “snap impeachment” is a contradiction in constitutional terms. In this new system, guilt is not to be doubted and innocence is not to be deliberated. It would do to the Constitution what the rioters did to the Capitol: Leave it in tatters.

705 thoughts on “How A Snap Impeachment Could Shatter Our Constitutional Balance”

  1. As a result of the inability of the American People to freely and fairly vote, We The People of the United States hereby formally withdraw our consent and revoke our given authority for the operation of all governments in the United States. The United States of America is hereby dissolved. We The People of the United States of America hereby recognize, declare and acknowledge the dissolution of the United States of America as a result of illegal operation and violation of fundamental operating principles. We The People of the United States of America consequently formally and publicly recognize, declare and acknowledge the United States of America to be legally dissolved, null, and void.

    We The People of the United States hereby formally declare that it is impossible to legally transfer legal authority and legal power via any fraudulent election or any fraudulent operation of any kind anywhere by anyone at any time. We The People of the United States hereby formally declare that all fraudulent elections are null and void beginning at the foundation of the republic. We The People of the United States hereby formally declare that all actions of any kind taken by any fraudulently elected official, and any actions taken by any employee hired by any fraudulently elected official, and any actions taken by any appointee of any fraudulently elected official, were null and void in the past beginning at the founding of the republic, are null and void in the present, and will be null and void in the future.

    Joe Biden is not the President Elect of the United States. Joe Biden is not the President Elect of the United States because no legal authority or legal power was legally transferred by the free will of the People. If Joe Biden attempts to take the Office of the President of the United States he will be doing so without the legal authority of the American People. People are confused about the basic principles of the United States: All authority for anything anywhere anytime comes from the People. No authority is ever given without the free consent of the People, ever. If the People do not freely consent, nothing legal can ever be done, ever. Legal authority does not come from laws or officials: Legal authority comes from the People, at all times for all actions everywhere.

    We The People of the United States of America hereby formally revoke all authority granted to all federal, state, county, and city public offices, and also hereby revoke all authority granted to all officials working at those agencies. All authority for operation for all governments at all levels is hereby revoked. All authority for all employees and all appointees of all governments at all levels is also hereby revoked. We The People of the United States of America hereby formally withdraw our consent for the operation of all federal, state, county, and city governments until such time as free and fair verified paper ballot elections can be held.

    We The People of the United States of America hereby declare the nation to be in a state of war and occupation, and hereby authorize any and all military actions necessary for the defense of the People. We The People of the United States of America hereby formally declare all fraudulently elected officials to be criminal agents and enemy combatants in a state of war, and hereby authorize their immediate removal by force of arms. We The People of the United States of America hereby formally call on our armed forces, our militias, and our armed citizens to immediately take up arms and forcibly eject all fraudulently elected officials, all employees hired by fraudulently elected officials, and all appointees appointed by fraudulently elected officials in all federal, state, county and city governments.

    We The People of the United States hereby formally declare all States to be free of all legal and financial obligations to the hereby-dissolved federal government, and declare all States to be independent and sovereign of the federal government and of each other. We The People of the United States hereby declare all States to be free and independent entities authorized to create their own currencies and defend their own borders as necessary. We The People of the United States hereby declare all legal State residents to be immediately legally deputized and authorized to use any weapons and take any actions necessary to defend themselves against all enemies domestic and foreign.

    We The People of the United States hereby formally revoke all express and implied authority for the operation of all public offices at all levels of government. We The People of the United States hereby formally revoke all authority for federal military personnel in all branches, and hereby mandate all federal military personnel to be transferred to their State’s national guard. We The People of the United States hereby formally revoke all authority for all actions and operations of all federal military personnel everywhere, and hereby formally declare all federal authority for operation of military personnel and conduct of all military actions to be immediately transferred to the States.

    We The People of the United States hereby formally declare all national parks, all national nature reserves, all national military facilities, all military assets, and all federally owned assets whether physical or nonphysical, to immediately be the property of the States in which they are located. We The People of the United States hereby formally declare seizure, ownership, and control of all federally owned assets by the States. We The People of the United States hereby formally declare the immediate confiscation and conversion of all federally owned assets by the States within which the assets are currently located.

    We The People of the United States hereby formally declare any political unit above the level of State to be dissolved. We The People of the United States hereby formally declare all States are authorized to create their own laws, create their own currencies, and create their own armed forces. We The People hereby formally dissolve all federal, national, and international laws, debts, and obligations until such time as a new national government structure can be created to operate with free and fair verified paper ballot elections.

    We The People hereby formally revoke all authority for any use of the US Dollar by any federal entity including the “Federal” Reserve. We The People hereby formally revoke all authority given to the Federal Reserve, and revoke all authority for creating, loaning, transporting, destroying, or doing anything else with US currency by any entity anywhere. We The People formally revoke our authority for anyone anywhere to use US Dollars without our express consent and declare the US Dollar to be a transition currency to be used only until such time as a new national currency is created or until new State currencies are created.

    We The People hereby formally cancel all laws relating to the covid virus, and formally cancel all lockdowns, mask laws and vaccination requirements by anyone anywhere at all levels of government. We formally declare all covid-related medical and travel requirements hereby cancelled and null and void. We also formally declare all people involved in creating, distributing, advertising, governing, or providing covid vaccinations to be suspect of crimes against humanity and against God. We also formally declare all officials and medical providers forcing any medical treatments without patient consent to be enemy combatants in a state of war subject to any military field tribunals and executions necessary to defend the People.

    We The People hereby revoke and cancel all laws governing the use of firearms, PERIOD.

    We The People hereby formally declare all law enforcement officers who attempt to enforce medical treatments without patient consent as being enemy combatants, and therefore subject to any and all actions necessary to defend the People, including immediate field executions as deemed necessary in defense of the People. The People hereby revoke authority given to all federal LEO’s in all federal agencies, and hereby formally declare all federal LEO’s who have not surrendered their weapons and identification to the States to be enemy combatants in a state of war.

    We The People of the United States formally declare war against the Chinese Communist Party, Antifa, and Black Lives Matter. We The People of the United States hereby declare Antifa, Black Lives Matter, all members of the CCP, and all military personnel controlled by the CCP to be enemy combatants in a state of war. We The People of the United States hereby authorize use of any and all actions necessary to defend the People against these combatants including use of strategic and tactical nuclear, biological and chemical weapons inside and outside the United States.

    In summary, the United States of America is hereby dissolved. All authority given to the federal government and to all State, county and city governments is hereby revoked. Fraudulently elected officials are hereby declared as enemy combatants and a state of war is declared to exist inside and outside our States. All State citizens are hereby legally deputized and authorized to use whatever means necessary to defend themselves at all times everywhere. All State borders are hereby declared sovereign and States are hereby authorized to seize and control all federal assets and personnel within their borders. All States are hereby authorized to create their own laws, currencies, and armed forces. All federal laws, regulations, rules, taxes, treaties, contracts, and agreements are hereby null and void. The authority given by the American People to operate the United States federal government is hereby revoked indefinitely until such time as a national government operating with free and fair elections can be built again.

    1. Your opinion is only that. Some Americans agree with you, but most don’t. Biden will be inaugurated as President on Wednesday whether you agree or not.

      1. Biden may be inaugurated. Whether he actually won is widely doubted,
        The stink of that will remain for a long long time.

        I was shocked to discover that more republicans blame Biden for what happened at the capital 2:1 than Trump.

        The left is off in fair dust land. They somehow think thye have a mandate to change the world, when reality is that they are teetering on the edge or much of the country being willing to remove them by force.

        There will be 25.000 soliders guarding Biden’s inauguration.

        There are only two possibilities – Biden is terrified of the american people, or Biden SHOULD be terrified of the american people.
        Neither is good. Bother are possible.

        Regardless, you are living in a bubble. You can not see the actual country. Social media and the MSM has supressed disent, and the truth.
        And you can not see the world as it is. You are pretty much Guaranteed to F’up.

        Have fun.

  2. Our government is irretrievably broken and if not addressed, the country will become more divided and states will soon begin to secede or civil war will come The government cannot be repaired through elections. It can be only repaired through the Constitution, starting with a repeal of the 17th Amendment. “The dust would be blown off the 9th and 10th Amendments.” The American Mind – The Separation

    “The return of self-government to a more local sphere has two benefits: laws that better fit the people they bind, and the invigoration of citizens provided greater powers of self-determination. Nothing creates frustration like the powerlessness of distance from the opaque bureaucracies and legal chambers that direct American’s lives.” The American Mind – The Separation

    “America needs action, not theories. The Separation can be effected with a limited number of amendments to the Constitution: 1) a new amendment circumscribing the federal mandate to conform with the core functions above, 2) adjustment of the 16th Amendment to tie the taxing power to these functions, 3) elimination of the 17th Amendment so the state legislatures again elect Senators and Congressmen, 4) a new amendment formally providing the Supreme Court the power of judicial review but focusing that power on matters related to federal and interstate issues (i.e., the final word on the right to bear arms, free speech and abortion would be in state courts), and 5) a new amendment providing federal term limits.”

    The alternative is states seceding and/or civil conflict that would be Bosnia 2.0.

      1. I most certainly do. The states should send them, pay their salaries and have the ability to reel them in should they no longer of the trust of the people they represent.

      2. Yes,

        The complex construction of congress was deliberate.

        This country is not a democracy.

        The house is elected by direct vote.
        that is all that is necescary.

        There are problems with every mechanism for electing our leaders,
        Part of the genius of our leaders is to use different methods to amplify the strengths of each and diminish the problems.

    1. 1775, you’re welcome to your ideas for change and expressing them publicly, but more BS threats if you don’t get your way is getting old. You and who’s army?

      This is a democracy and we rule by voting and the will of the majority with protection of the rights of citizens, including minorities. You have the privilege of living in the greatest democracy of all time with unmatched freedom and opportunity compared to the hundreds of thousands of years of humans who preceded you, and even the several hundred years of previous Americans. Suck up your imagined grievances. we all have some, and consider what you and we all have that is worth protecting and furthering. You lost an election. I lost the one before. Big deal. See you in 4.

      1. Joe, we are a Representative Republic, not a Democracy, but you are absolutely right that we “rule” by voting. The issue is that, among other problems, in Nevada 42,000 people voted more than one time and in PA, they counted 200,000 more votes than there are registered voters. In GA, we saw 30,000 votes switched from Trump to Biden LIVE on the TV during a news hit. These are indisputable facts.

        Before anyone says something about the courts, these pieces of evidence were never heard in a court, all of the cases being dismissed for lack of standing before making it to a judge.

        Even the Supreme Court ridiculously refused to hear Texas’ case, I think for fear if they had heard the evidence, they would have been obligated to do something about the fraud and they didn’t want to set the precedent of getting involved in a political issue. But if not them, who?

        Having these factual concerns be dismissed out of hand by the only institutions the people have to provide resolution is very dangerous because if a fair and accurate voting system is taken away by fraud, what recourse is there left?

        1. Kip, I am familiar with what you cite – and much more.

          In fact most every problem you claim for one state occured in ALL the key states.

          Worse still the problems are only in 6 cities, 6 counties accross the country.

          Some of what you argue MIGHT have reasonable explanations.

          But contra the left these claims were not “debunked” they were not investigated.
          The courts did not resolve these and many other claims – they ignored them.

          The consequence is an election that people do not trust.

          Democrats created that problem.
          There is no easy fix.

          Further when govenrment is lawless – lawless acts on the part of people become justified.

          This was a very dangerous move on the part of democrats.

          And it was easily avoided.
          Just conduct the election by the law, and allow real meaningful scrutiny.

          The problem is not just that people beleive the results of the election are fraudulent.
          It is that they beleive that their government was complicit in this fraud.

        2. Neither SCOTUS nor any other court gave any serious consideration to any challenge – because even a single rulling partly in Trumps favor would have resulted in nationwide violence from the left.

          Just agreeing to hear the taxes case would have resulted in blood int he streets.

          The actions at the capital were very important.

          Polls are showing almost half of republicans supporting the capital protests.

          That is huge.

          Those on the left had better grasp they have woken a sleeping giant.

          The left is not the only ones who can get their way by force or threat of force.

          1. https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/01/statement.html

            We received a lengthy letter from Dominion’s defamation lawyers explaining why they believe that their client has been the victim of defamatory statements. Having considered the full import of the letter, we have agreed to their request that we publish the following statement:

            American Thinker and contributors Andrea Widburg, R.D. Wedge, Brian Tomlinson, and Peggy Ryan have published pieces on http://www.AmericanThinker.com that falsely accuse US Dominion Inc., Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., and Dominion Voting Systems Corporation (collectively “Dominion”) of conspiring to steal the November 2020 election from Donald Trump. These pieces rely on discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories about Dominion’s supposed ties to Venezuela, fraud on Dominion’s machines that resulted in massive vote switching or weighted votes, and other claims falsely stating that there is credible evidence that Dominion acted fraudulently.

            These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact. Industry experts and public officials alike have confirmed that Dominion conducted itself appropriately and that there is simply no evidence to support these claims.

            It was wrong for us to publish these false statements. We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees. We also apologize to our readers for abandoning 9 journalistic principles and misrepresenting Dominion’s track record and its limited role in tabulating votes for the November 2020 election. We regret this grave error.

            1. That does not mean the American Thinker was wrong in their basic contention. It means they don’t have the resources to defend themselves in court like the Washington Post has. (The release of the Russia hoax documents is revealing that for over 4 years the Washington Post lied on a continuous basis)

              The American Thinker was wrong to overstep their proof. They may not be wrong in each and every statement they made. However, it doesn’t serve the right’s needs to overstep the boundaries that should be common to all. Most conservatives, I think, prefer their news to come from places that separate actual facts from opinion. That is where the American Thinker fouled up. However, at the same time most on the left do not care if their news proves to be right or wrong. Truth is something the left does not value. Winning is.

              Conservatives need to start understanding how the world works, They need to maintain their belief in law and order along with the truth, but at the same time conservatives need to learn to get their hands dirty. The left can be as dirty as sin and that is why in the 20th century outside of war the left killed over 100 million people just to keep power.

              1. The statement means that AT does not have the resources to fight DVS.
                that is all.

                While AT disclaims articles it published – it does not actually provide a factual basis that those stories are wrong.

                BTW I strongly suspect that many elements of those stories are “littlerally” wrong. Just as I strongly suspect, that many of Sydney Powell;s claims are “littlerally” wrong.

                But evidence that is pretty much indisputable demonstrates that there are major problems with DVS systems.

                That they should not be trusted.

                Further if you are going to use computers to count votes – you MUST have some kind of auditing system.

                The standard for elections is not – we will trust a black box until someone is able to prove fraud, and we will deny you the data to do so.

            2. So AT a small conservative publisher that does not have the resources for a protracted legal battle agreed to publish a statement written by DVS as a means of avoiding a lawsuit ?

              Please read the statement carefully – it is actually meaningless. The statement appears to be fixated on claims of links between DVS and Venezuella.
              I have no idea if those are true or not, and really do not care.

              You leftists are always reading everything in existance as broadly as possible.

              You need to learn critical thinking. In return for a vague statement that is close to meaningless – AT is pretty much immune to a DVS lawsuit.

              Do you think that changes any facts at all ?

              The DVS matter is complex – because on the one hand it is likely that many specific claims about DVS are false.

              One the other it is indisputably true that they have an incredibly high ballot rejection rate.
              In the two counties we have data for it was 68-73%.

              When the 68% figure was produced by the plantif expert int he Antrim county lawsuit – which is STILL going on, my reaction was this is BS, that high a rejection rate is completely implausible. There is no reason to use computer based scanning and counting systems if they throw that many ballots into adjudication. If you are going to have to count 68% of ballots essentially by hand – then date published by Fulton County demonstrated that 105K out of 132K ballots were kicked to adjudication.

              This is a MASSIVE failure. No government anywhere should be relying on a system that has 1/10 that adjudication rate.
              It is likely that this SINGLE proven claim is enough for those like Powell to win if they are sued for defamation – even if they are substantialy wrong regarding the facts.

              That is unconscienable. We further had several damning statements by their CEO, demonstrating not merely political bias, but clear intent to incorporate that bias into DVS systems.

              I would note that too is a near impregnable defense in a defamation lawsuit.

              Taking the plantif at their word – even when those words prove false is not defamation.

              Regardless, read this narrowly.

              Last – why are you fixated on the war of words ? What is wrong with learning the facts ?
              Why are you absolutely rigidly opposed to any effort to validate the performance of these systems ?

              The extremely high ballot rejection rate along is excellent reason to ROUTINELY audit computer scanning and counting systems.

              No – just ensuring trust is a reason to ROUTINELY audit computer scanning and counting systems.

              Yet, the left, the media, the states, and the courts have routinely opposed any effort to verify the trustworthyness of these systems.

              I have very serious doubts about claims that DVS systems deliberately alter votes on their own without human intervention.
              Though I will note that claim is not evidence free. We know that in GA atleast the live stream of counts from DVS systems included 10’s of thousands of negative votes. That is not proof, but it is evidence.

              If you want trust in the election results – you have to convince people – with FACTS – not “hearsay” – which BTW is what your post is – tripple hearsay. What else would you call “we have agreed to publish a statement written by a third party about stories written by another third party”

              Does this statement have meaning – absolutely – it means that AT does not want to be part of a defamation lawsuit, and is willing to be publicly embarrassed to avoid a lawsuit that could destroy them even if they win.

              Why is it that you are constantly fixated on what people say – rather than the FACTS ?

              Are you unable to grasp that the statement is NOT a statement of FACT

              1. F…ny s..t from dead enders John Say and S. Meyers.

                Yes please read carefully the statement which includes and ends on:

                “….Industry experts and public officials alike have confirmed that Dominion conducted itself appropriately and that there is simply no evidence to support these claims.

                It was wrong for us to publish these false statements. We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees. We also apologize to our readers for abandoning 9 journalistic principles and misrepresenting Dominion’s track record and its limited role in tabulating votes for the November 2020 election. We regret this grave error..”

                John, when you have any credible evidence to support your crack pot theories on the last election (he just now expresses some doubts about Powell) please, post them here.

                1. You have ranted constantly about purported hearsay claims regarding the election.

                  And yet you are now using hearsay claims to support your own argument.

                  Let go of the hypocracy – is hearsay evidence or isn’t it.

                  Further – why are we supposed to trust the OPPINIONS of industy insiders ?

                  There is a multi-decade long challenge to the OPPINIONS of those “industry insiders.”

                  Just as one should take the claims of the Plantif expert in the Antrim county ONGOING election fraud hearings with a grain of salt.

                  The only reason I now except that his 68% adjudication rate is plausible is because 105K out of 132K ballots in Fulton county were kicked to adjudication.

                  Regardless, learn critical thinking – as you have said nearly every claim of fraud in this election has NOT been proven – especially if the standard is “beyond a reasonable doubt” – which BTW is not the correct standard.

                  Conversely an enormous number of these claims reach the very low criminal bar necescary to start an investigation – and yet there has been almost nothing in the way of investigation.

                  You seem to think everything is black and white – a few things are. Most are not. Not proven is not false. It is not even not plausible.

                  Your industry insiders likely have a valueable contribution to our understanding of what happened. But the odds of their being completely correct are near zero.

                  You are correct that AT’s retraction should cause everyone to reconsider these allegations – particularly the specific allegations addressed in the retraction – the links to Venezeualla and that the DVS systems on their own changed trump votes to Biden votes.

                  You are also correct that SOME weight should be given to the remarks of those in the industry.

                  But you are totally off your gourd if you think either of these things are dispositive.

                  You are also off your gourd if you think that industry insiders and DVS and not acting in their own interests.

                  Enough has already come out that I am not sure that DVS as a company survives this.

                  It is clear – except aparently to you, that whether actual fraud occured – that DVS systems enable fraud by election adjudicators.

                  Let me reiterate – while no one has proven that did occur – atleast not on large scale, it has been indisputably proven that CAN occur.

                  The reason a plurality of people beleive the election was stolen is because the EVIDENCE is clear that it COULD have been stolen.

                  YOU are arguing that we should do nothing until is has been proven that an election WAS stolen.
                  That we should not look into how trustworthy these systems are.

                  And just to be clear – that is exactly what those who you are falsely elevating as “proof” are saying.

                  “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”.

                  I would further note that while much of what was said by many of those working for – even leading DVS is legitimate free speech.

                  At the same time it is perfectly reasonable to believe that people who have openly expressed strong biases – even to the extent of promising to deliver the election for Biden would actually do the things that Sydney Powell has claimed.

                  The facts to which you are willfully blind is that we do not have black and white here – though we have some pretty dark gray.

                  You are trying to pretend that gray is white – it is not.

                  It is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
                  It is also not proof the election was fraud free.

                  Unless you are willing to consider what that latter means – you have no credibility.

                2. I want to further note with respect to your industry insider.

                  I and myriads of others have been fighting these very same industry insiders since 2001.

                  These are the same people that sold hundreds of thousands of computer voting terminals, that had no means to audit, that were black boxes, that there have been thousands of claims that they changed votes and that most of the country has subsequently rejected.

                  In the 2004 election in my precinct there were about a dozen of these terminals, and one scanner for those who insisted on paper ballots.

                  In 2020 in my precinct there were no terminals at all and several scanners.

                  Has anyone ever proven mass deliberate fraud by the voting terminals? NO!
                  Has the country near universally decided the voting terminals are not trustworthy ? Absolutely!.

                  I would note – I have opposed the terminals from the start.
                  But I do not beleive that in the US there is a single proven instance of a voting terminal deliberately altering votes.

                  That is not the problem. The problem is that they are capable of doing so, and there was no means for people to ever know for certain.

                  The most extreme claims against DVS probably did not occur. But they are without any doubt possible.
                  And with election processes as they are, should that ever happen it will not be detected.

                  So we have conducted an election with multiple gapping security holes, and we have no processes and procedures in place to detect or prevent them.

                  I would personally prefer that we did as france does and count all paper ballots by hand.

                  But it is actually possible to use systems like DVS. But we can not trust them with procedures as they are now.
                  That is not speculation – that is a PROVEN fact.

                  Was the outcome of this election changed by fraud ? You are correct – that can not be proven at this time.
                  Could the outcome of this election be changed by fraud ? That has been proven.
                  Will a future elections outcome be determined by fraud ? If we continue without change with near certainty.

                  And your industry experts can say whatever they please – they can not overcome the fact that the process is insecure, and nothing is being done about that.

                  Nor is this problem expecially difficult to fix.

                  In GA one financial industry security export promised that he could review all the ballots of GA and in 24 hours prove conclusively whether specific forms of fraud did or did not occur. And he is right. We have the means to both ascertain the extent of fraud in this election and to easily preclude fraud in future elections.

                  But we not only do not takes those steps, but we – YOU fight tooth and nail to preclude determining whether the election results can be trusted.

                  What you have presented with respect to AT is just a gigantic poor appeal to non-existant authority.

                  You demand proof but you not only do not know the difference between proof and evidence and disproof.
                  But you actively confuse them constantly in ways that are either hypocritical and deliberate or ignorant.

                3. “F…ny s..t from dead enders ”

                  Joe Friday, you reveal yourself to be exactly the person we say you are, Stupid and socially incompetent.

              2. “You need to learn critical thinking.”

                John, Stop, stop and stop. Joe Friday, Anonymous the Stupid, and Paint Chips along with some others have no critical thinking skills what so ever. If they learn critical thinking skills their lives stop and have to be replaced by something other than one of the ism’s such as communism, fascism and nazism. They do not understand freedom. They are a product of arrogance and a bad education.

                1. Everyone here has critical thinking skills. You’re just too hate-filled to admit it, Allan. You are the arrogant one here.

                    1. The post you endorsed was quite obviously wrong.

                      It was no different from saying everyone here is a musician, or everyone here is an athlete.

                      That is wrong. We are not equal. We are only equal in our rights.
                      We are not even equal in our ability to exercise those rights.

                      Nor can we be equal – it is not merely not possible but a very bad idea.

                      We can not make those without a talent have that talent.
                      But we can take a talent away from those who have it.
                      You can break a musicians hands. You can not make them into a rocket scientist.

                      You do not see the world as it actually is.
                      You do not even see it as it possibly could be.

                  1. “Everyone here has critical thinking skills.”
                    Nope.

                    Just as everyone here is not a concert pianist. Nor even can play chopsticks.

                    We are not equal, we were not born with the same abilities, and we did not learn the same skills.

                    Some of us are wise enough to know what we are not good at – I love music and I would love to play an instrument, and Ispent 4 years trying to learn. But I can not. My son played the piano and guitar better after 2 lesson than I did after 2 years each.

                    I do not pretend to have musical ability. Nor do I have a number of other talents.

                    But I am very very good with logic.

                    Maybe your critical thinking skills are just undeveloped.
                    Maybe that is a skill you just do not have. There are certainly other talents you have I do not.
                    But whether your lack of critical thinking is a result of the different mix of talents you were born with or a bad education – you are poor at it.

                    “You’re just too hate-filled to admit it”
                    This is the tiredest, stupidest, most dangerous error that those on the left make constantly.

                    As S.Meyer alluded to, and as evangellicals attempt.
                    Love the sinner, hate the sin.

                    I have seen little evidence of hate today outside the left. Not none, but still not much.

                    Even the few homophobic people I know today – do not hate gay people. They do not want to jail them. They do not want to take their rights.
                    They merely want to not be forced to “love the sinner and love the sin”.

                    I am not trying to censor you – but as we see amble evidence of you and the left are trying to censor me and half the rest of the country.

                    Whether what Big Tech is doing is legal – or should be legal, it is immoral. It is hateful.

                    The font of hate today is from the left.

                    Far too many of those on the left here are inditinguishable from Fred Phelps and rhe WBC – except that they hold different beliefs. Regardless they share a deep hatred for those who do not agree with them and are willing to act on that hatred.

                    1. John, When Anonymous the Stupid blatantly says “Everyone here has critical thinking skills.” he is demonstrating that his critical thinking skills are severely lacking.” For the blog the reason for his lack doesn’t matter. The lack shows up as stupidity. Based on the banal responses he makes he might be stronger in other pursuits and therefore doesn’t recognize his lack in this one. Alternatively he could be equally dull in all his pursuits.

                    2. All of us a prone to try to generalize – sometimes we do so without thinking.

                      I have noted in the past that I often do so DELIBERATELY.

                      If I make a really strong generalization that drops a mountain in the path of a counter argument, that SOMETIMES causes intelligent people to ask – what if he is right ? Or alternately – even if I can find a mountain path through that ‘overgeneralization” – it is still a precarious thread.
                      The over generalization may not be absolutely true but it is true most of the time and that is important.

                      But many of us – sometimes myself do so without thinking.

                      When Anonymous claimed “everyone has critical thinking skills” that was a very stupid ill considered over generalization.

                      It was also a symptom of the failure of his own ideology.

                      One atleast some level he blurted that false utterance because his ideology tells him we are all equal – to be clear the ideology is self contradictory and also tells him that victim classes are superior therefore everyone can not be equal. but that is a tangent.

                      If we are all equal – we all have critical thinking skills. Yet any look at reality demonstrates we are not all equal and that is a good thing.
                      Complex societies require myriads of different people performing myriads of different tasks. We are not all best suited to every task.

                      “John, When Anonymous the Stupid blatantly says “Everyone here has critical thinking skills.” he is demonstrating that his critical thinking skills are severely lacking.”

                      Sbsolutely.

                      “he might be stronger in other pursuits and therefore doesn’t recognize his lack in this one.”
                      Likely true.

                      We are all different. We are not equal. I will openly admit I am not a musician or an athlete – there is no shame in that.

                      The left presumes we are equal and worse that a few somewhat intelligent people who are far worse at critical thinking should be empowered to plan everything for all of us.

                    3. No, John, you’re mistaken that “It was no different from saying everyone here is a musician, or everyone here is an athlete.”

                      Almost all humans have critical thinking skills; the only exception is those with significant intellectual disabilities. It is literally impossible for a person to post comments here if that person entirely lacks critical thinking skills, whereas it’s possible for someone to post comments if they’re not a musician or an athlete. It’s as obvious that everyone who posts here has some critical thinking skills as that everyone who posts here can speak at least one language.

                      People here clearly aren’t equally skilled when it comes to thinking skills, but just as 0.1, 1, and 10 are all greater than zero even though they’re not equal, everyone here has critical thinking skills, even though their critical thinking skills aren’t equal. No one said they’re equal.

                    4. No, John, you’re mistaken that “It was no different from saying everyone here is a musician, or everyone here is an athlete.”

                      “Almost all humans have critical thinking skills”

                      What absolute idiocy.

                      I am hard pressed to think of any human attribute – even things that are not skills that is distributed as you postulate.
                      Maybe there is one – if so I am not aware of it. Regardless it is not critical thinking.

                      Worse for you – while we are not even close to endowed with the same innate ability for critical thinking – our potential to do so is likely distributed on a bell curve. But as with nearly all skills – potential is not the same as realization. Mediocre people can reach above average with a skill with practice, and above average people can be less than mediocre without practice.
                      Modern education is so bad it does not deserve the name education, regardless, critical thinking is not within its domain.

                      “It is literally impossible for a person to post comments here if that person entirely lacks critical thinking skills”
                      I could not ask for better proof that you are wrong than your own post.

                      It takes no critical thinking to post fallacies and hurl insults.
                      It does not even require critical thinking to hurl facts – right or wrong.
                      It does not require critical thinking to look facts up, or to do research.
                      only the first of the above are common from most posters.
                      None of the above are examples of critical thinking.
                      Critical thinking requires finding the actual meaning of facts.
                      It requires the application of logic and decent critical thinking requires getting past the first order effects of what you are analysiing and getting the 2nd and 3rd order ones.

                      “It’s as obvious that everyone who posts here has some critical thinking skills”
                      It is obvious that they do NOT.

                      “that everyone who posts here can speak at least one language.”
                      Straw man, red herring, tangent.

                      “People here clearly aren’t equally skilled when it comes to thinking skills, but just as 0.1, 1, and 10 are all greater than zero even though they’re not equal, everyone here has critical thinking skills, even though their critical thinking skills aren’t equal. No one said they’re equal.”

                      Ludicrously stupid argument. Absolutely everyone has some ability to make music. But the range of difference is several orders of magnitude. Some such as myself are sufficiently bad that my efforts at making music will be painful for all.

                      If you wish to claim that everyone – BTW that would include the mentally incapactitated has some critical thinking ability above zero – fine you have my agreement.

                      I would further note that thinking and critical thinking are related in about the same way as the ability to make music and being a virtuoso are.

                      Regardless, you are correct – every human who can fog a mirror has atleast some miniscule fraction of the critical thinking skills needed to grasp the first order effects of their own propositions.

                      What portion of people have sufficient skills to analyze several orders of the impact of the propositions that they propose to impose on others by force ? Almost none, and most of those who are capable of doing so are wise enough to NOT try to impose their views on others by force.

                      Experiment on yourself – before you try to do so on the nation.

                      In the real world what proportion of problems are best solve by the application of force against others ?

                    5. “I am hard pressed to think of any human attribute – even things that are not skills that is distributed as you postulate.”

                      Your difficulty only illustrates your own weakness, since there are many human attributes that are exhibited by all but those with significant intellectual disability (e.g., the ability to speak a language). You’re exceptionally boring, so I’m not going to bother with the rest of what you wrote, other than to laugh at the internal contradictions.

                    6. Your original argument towards the end devolves into semantic differences.

                      Most human traits or skills distribute on a bell curve

                      You are correct that skills and talents distribute on a log scale – 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, 1000, …

                      Absolutely thinking – intelligence distributes on a bell curve with a log scale.
                      BTW the intellectually incapacitated are on that curve too – an error on your part. There is no cliff you fall off because your IQ is low.

                      Critical is a modifier to thinking. It is a type of threshold. It is the abiltiy to meangfully see more than the first order impacts of something.

                      A critical thinker is like a virtuoso musician – both are are modifiers – constraints on the terms.

                      You are arguing everyone can think – which is true. Everyone can not think critically. Most people can not. they either do not have the skill or they have it but do not have the education and practice.
                      Most people are not virtuoso pianists either.

                    7. “You are arguing everyone can think”

                      John, That he fails to recognize the difference between thinking and critical thinking proves your point.

                    8. If there are internal contradictions to my arguments – point them out.
                      Use your words.

            3. Some critical thinking

              “American Thinker and contributors Andrea Widburg, R.D. Wedge, Brian Tomlinson, and Peggy Ryan have published pieces on http://www.AmericanThinker.com that falsely accuse US Dominion Inc., Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., and Dominion Voting Systems Corporation (collectively “Dominion”) of conspiring to steal the November 2020 election from Donald Trump.”

              Please show me where in these words AT is stating a fact ?
              AT is clearly disowning 4 of its contributors.
              But the AT published statement written by DVS does not even provide evidence to support the disavowal.

              “These pieces rely on discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories about Dominion’s supposed ties to Venezuela, fraud on Dominion’s machines that resulted in massive vote switching or weighted votes, and other claims falsely stating that there is credible evidence that Dominion acted fraudulently.”

              what is a discredited source or a debunked theory – this is a statement of opinion not fact.

              I would not the entire “retraction” is written as a personal attack – not as facts.
              To the extent it addresses any facts – it still does so as oppinions.

              I do not know of DVS’s connections to Venezuela. I do know that there are multiple instances where ballot adjudication rates over 2/3 have been reported. That is not proof of fraud. but it is proof that DVS systems are extremely error prone and are little more than hand counting without oversight. That is pretty damning.

              Remember this statement was written by lawyers.

        3. A representative republic is a subset of the category democracy. We direct vote our representatives into office.

          We are a democracy. This is not difficult

          “de·moc·ra·cy
          /dəˈmäkrəsē/
          Learn to pronounce
          noun
          a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.”

          1. “A representative republic is a subset of the category democracy. We direct vote our representatives into office.”

            We are back to this “because you say so”

            “We are a democracy. This is not difficult”

            Democracy – litterally – people govern.

            Democracy is 51% of the people taking away the rights of the other 49%.
            Thomas Jefferson

            I am not especially interested in this word game with you.

            So lets be clear – 51% of the people – through ANY form of government, may not take away the rights of the rest.
            No matter what you call that.

            If you wish to call the complex republican government that we have that delberately attempted to thwart – the concentration of power ANYWHERE – not in the majority, not in the elites – democracy – that is a word game on your part.

            Regardless, your fixation on the term democracy is NOT some fetish for republican representative govenrment – it is for tyranny by the majority – again whatever you wish to call it.

            You support the direct election of the president, and senators, your goal is not to thwart growing power in government but to enable it.
            That is immoral – whatever you call it.

            Further democracy is a fiction – in any form – including your fetish. it devolves into rule by an ever shrinking elite.

            1. John of course began the word game by mistakenly supporting the idea that we are not a democracy. Now, getting his a.s kicked he doesn’t want to play anymore.

              1. John has tremendous difficulty admitting when he’s wrong, and when he does admit it, he generally passes it off as something unimportant. Only other people’s mistakes are important to John.

                1. “John has tremendous difficulty admitting when he’s wrong, and when he does admit it, he generally passes it off as something unimportant. Only other people’s mistakes are important to John.”

                  Since approximately may I have corrected atleast half a dozen errors I have made on this blog. Most of those were insignificant. I still corrected them.
                  In atleast two cases I corrected the error on my own – I found the error myself and corrected it – no one challenged it.

                  I have corrected atleast 2 errors – both minor on this blog in the past 2 weeks.

                  I do not have any difficulty correcting or admitting error.

                  I do not recall any other poster correcting an error. Not a single other poster.

                  I actually care about my credibility. I go to a fair amount of trouble to avoid error.
                  When I know I have made an actual error – I correct it.

                  That is what one does if they wish to remain credible. If they have integrity.

                  when have you corrected even a small mistake ?

                  1. You have made many more than half a dozen false statements.

                    Here’s an example of me correcting a mistake I made, see the December 7, 2020 at 1:20 PM comment –
                    https://jonathanturley.org/2020/12/06/will-pot-save-the-president-michigan-judge-orders-forensic-investigation-of-roughly-two-dozen-dominion-voting-machines/comment-page-2/

                    And you responded to my comment, so you presumably read it.

                    I’ve seen other people correct their errors too. I guess you don’t recall that because you’re not attentive and didn’t notice, or you have a bad memory.

                    1. I will not make more of an issue of this than I have done previously – but how do we know this is you ?

                      You keep posting as anonymous – everyone who does not provide atleast a pseudonum is labeled anonymous.

                      That is many posters, there is no way to tell them apart.

                      So long as you continue to post as anonymous you can not expect others to trust you when you claim some past post was or was not you.

                      You have no verifiable history. Each post stands on its own.

                    2. Your link does not work for me. And I am not searching every anonymous post in that article.

                      You continue to post as anonymous – which means you have no history.
                      We can guess which anonymous is you. But it is only a guess. There is no means for you to establish any track record of credibility or integrity.

                      There is a right to anonymous speech. Credibility and integrity are earned – and you can not do them as anonymous – that is the price you pay for anonymity.

                      If I did somehow manage to find the post you linked – How would I know it was you ?

                      Regardless, You have likely “corrected” me myriads of times – but not one yet that I recall you being right.

                      If others have corrected errors – good for them. I do not recall seeing any of those.

                      BTW you can not “prove” that I do not correct errors by linking to a post by you.

                  2. John, you clearly don’t have to read each comment. Just do a text search on the time stamp, that’s why I gave it to you.

                    It’s actually irrelevant whether the person who posted the comment is me. It’s proof that you responded to a comment where someone noted they’d made a mistake, despite your claim “I do not recall any other poster correcting an error. Not a single other poster.” That you don’t recall it is only evidence of poor attention or recall on your part.

                    1. “John, you clearly don’t have to read each comment. Just do a text search on the time stamp, that’s why I gave it to you.”

                      I am really not interested. You have neither the credibility nor integrity to make demands of others. I did more of a search than you deserve.

                      And frankly I find those who think their own comments are a source of anything annoying. And it is 10 times as annoying when someone posting anonymously wants to link back to past comment that are purportedly their own.

                      It you wanted a history, you would post under a name.

                      You are not entitled to concurrently disclaim a past, and claim it.

                      “It’s actually irrelevant whether the person who posted the comment is me. It’s proof that you responded to a comment where someone noted they’d made a mistake, despite your claim “I do not recall any other poster correcting an error. Not a single other poster.” That you don’t recall it is only evidence of poor attention or recall on your part.”

                      did you read the actual comment you linked to ? One you claim to have written ?

                      Wow ? Someone confessed to a minor error in specificity – and then went on to contradict themselves in their own purported correction.

                      That you would claim ownership of that post is pretty embarrassing.

                      Regardless, so you have a single example of someone self reporting an error that is barely above a spelling error.

                      I make spelling errors all the time. I do not give a $hit – about my own or others.
                      The only time I have criticised anyone for spelling or grammar errors is when they have been an ass about that to me or others.

                      Is there a single person on the left who has yet admitted error in ANY of their false posts regarding the collusion delusion ?

                      You are proof that few people – especially those on the left are much about fogging glass in their ability to engage in critical thinking.

                    2. LMAO. All you’ve done is further demonstrate how hard it is for you to admit when you’re wrong.

              2. Beat that straw man.

                We are not a democracy.

                You are concurrently claiming that what we are now is, and trying to change what we are now into a democracy.

                That is a dangerous word game.

                The majority does NOT rule. Legitimate government only exists when minorities have the power thwart majority efforts to abridge their rights.

                Democracy is those forms of govenrment where the majority rules and rights are determined by the majority.

                Ultimately democracy is totalitarian.

                But go ahead beat that straw man.

                1. The US is a representative democracy, which is a form of democracy. We’re also a constitutional federal republic.

                  1. Nope,

                    The word democracy does not appear in the constitution.

                    We are not also ….. We are one thing. We are not schitzophrenic.

                    Regardless – your word games have nothing to do with the real issue.

                    The US is not rule by the majority of the people. It is not even rule by the majority of representatives.

                    For the something to be enacted into law, it must have the votes of the majority of the members of the house.
                    The majority of members of the senate – and in many cases super majorities – and the approval of the president.

                    There were all originally elected completely differently to preclude any single group – such as the majority of the people from concentrating power.

                    That is not democracy. That is not even republican government as was previously practiced.

                    The entire point of the complex structure of government was to make democratic rule impossible.

                    The complexity was further intended to prevent bouts of temporary hysteria from resulting in rash decisions.
                    Pretty much the opposite of democracy.

                    It was intended to mute the tendency toward totalitarianism that is core to all forms of democracy.

                    My point is that government is not legitimate merely because it is popular – temporary or otherwise.

                    You do not have to have the support of the entire electorate – but you must have their trust – and you do not.

                2. “[We gave you] a republic, if you can keep it.”

                  – Ben Franklin
                  ___________

                  By definition, intent, design, statute and fundamental law, Franklin’s was a restricted-vote republic which required citizens to be “…free white person(s)…” and voters to be: Male, European, 21 with 50 lbs. Sterling or 50 acres, which resulted in a turnout of 11.6% in the 1788 election of the first President, George Washington.

              3. “Now, getting his a.s kicked”

                Joe Friday, The only as$ you seem able to kick are of the opposite sex and not full grown. Otherwise you need yourself and a few buddies.

              1. I have debated Prof. Volokh before. I have participated on the Volokh Conspiracy blog from very near its start.

            1. I like Volokh.

              But he is wrong.

              We often misuese words – as Volokh notes even our founders did.
              That does not make that misuse correct.

              Democracy litterally means – the people rule.

              I am not BTW arguing that such as thing as a representative democracy can not exist – if can – and some countries may be representative democracies.

              Nor am I specifically fixated on “republic” – though we are one.

              The important reason we are NOT a democracy – is the very reason those on the left claim that we are.

              Because democracies do not have the concept of natural or god given rights. In a democracy rights are the priviledges granted to people by the government, and as priviledges they can be taken away by the will of the people.

              The US has natural rights, constitutional rights, liberty rights, and priviledges and immunities.

              natural rights and liberty rights do not come from government and their infringement by government is severely limited.
              Some privilges – such as the right to vote are created by government and can be more broadly constrained by government.
              I would note there is overlap – Free speech is both a natural right a constitutional right and a right in liberty.

      2. I made no threat, and wish for nothing of what could happen, and that was my point. So relax and look around you. Only the blind do not see the powder keg we sit upon. Yeah, I really want my children to live in the horrors of a civil conflict. Go pearl clutch elsewhere.

        1. Just to be clear. While I make no threat either. I am 62 and I am not going “to take arms against a sea of troubles
          And by opposing end them. ”

          But I have every expectation that others might.

          Force is messy – as with the capital it is hard to do perfectly – we give the left far too much leeway to screw up and expect perfeection from the right.

          Regardless, if the left continues as it is – violence from the right will increase.

          If instead of trying to lock everyone out protests like those at the capital are not resisted by government – there will be plenty of force, but less violence.

          But if legitimate forceful protest is not allowed – if instead of preparing for legitmate protest by the right and providing the opeortunity to assemble, speak and petition government – which WILL effect change, are government seeks to thwart protests – then this will manafest itself otherways – like the OKC bombing.

          Supressing protests on the right is very unwise.

          1. “Supressing protests on the right is very unwise.”

            You are right, John. But how unwise is it when those peaceful people on the right are too worried about getting down in the mud and getting their hands dirty? That leaves the conservative protests to those that tend towards violence, an abhorrent behavior that the left embraces.

            That is why Trump excelled. He didn’t worry about the mud. He kept his eye on the ball. He was not defeated by Marxists. He was not even defeated by the hard left. He was defeated by conservatives who were afraid to get their hands dirty.

            1. I do not think we are in disagreement.

              If you do not restrict protests, but take legitimate steps to preclude violence, you have the greatest chance that over time anger will disapate.
              Though you also have the greatest chance that the protestors will get what they want.

              The more you restrict protests the more you narrow them to an ever smaller echo chamber where only those willing to get their hands the MOST dirty are willing to act.

              At the far extreme – you have McVeigh.

              I am not condoning McVeigh.
              But I am absolutely stating that you either allow the voice of the whole body of those who disagree with you to be heard,
              or the voice you will ultimately hear from is the most violent and extreme voice.
              You disempower the extreme voices by allowing all voices to be heard.

              You do not convert people by silencing them.
              You make them angrier and some of them more violent.

              A major theme in my posts has always been FORCE – violence.

              I have NEVER said that government or individuals may not use FORCE.
              I am not an anarchist.

              Only that the use of force must be justified.

              Force used by government must be justified
              Force used against government must be justified.

              There is no absolute prohibition against the use of force – not force by government, not force by individuals.

              For several days I have been defending the most extreme position – that much of the violence at the capital was justified.

              What I have argued is correct.

              But if you do not agree ? there is ultimately some point at which violence against government is justified.

              We rightly view the french resistance as heroes.

              I was very surprised to find that a large portion of republicans share my position on the capital protests.
              Not a majority – but alot. More than double the 11% necescary to tear down government.

              As the left is increasingly egregious – that number will grow.

              Regardless, though Chris Cuomo was wrong about the justification of BLM/Antifa violence this summer.
              He was absolutely right that there are circumstances where violence is justified.

              It appears that more and more people beleive we are close to that.

              And those on the left are clueless.

              1. “More than double the 11% necescary to tear down government.”

                Talk is cheap and the majority of Republicans have proven that they stand for principle until that principle interferes with something they want.

                1. I am not a republican.

                  Some of the people I support are republicans. Not all. Tulsi Gabbard is excellent on many issues – including securing voting and free speech, and the deep state.

                  I used to find common ground sometimes with Prof. Tribe. I have corresponded with him, heard him speak, read his text on constitutional law, and spoken to him personally. But since Trump was elected he has gone Bat$hit. I also occasionally found common ground with Rober Reich – he is less bat%hit than Tribe – but it is more forgiveable as he is a politician not a constitutional scholar.

                  I frequently agree with the IDW – who are mostly liberals who have no home in todays democratic party.

                  I frequently agree with Glenn Greenwald, and Matt Taibbi, and sometimes Matt Yglesias.

                  Or Derschowitz and Turley.

                  Or ….

                  Many many other democrats and liberals who are not part if the woke left.

                  There are lots of republicans that are asses. There are also some that are good people – but very wrong.

                  1. Tribe wrote a constitutional law textbook used in law schools. From what I understand Tribe has strayed from what he wrote earlier because he has become a hack absent of consistent principles. In the past I would have called him quite brilliant.

                    It would be interesting to look at that textbook to compare what he says now to what he said then. If you look and see something of note let me know with the identifying features for location.

                    Dershowitz is my favorite legal scholar who I have occasionally read for decades. I am close to the polar opposite of Dershowitz politically but not with most of his constitutional interpretations.

                    1. +10.

                      I have not met with Tribe since he became a wingnut.

                      I beleive he had expectations of becoming a supreme court justice. It is even possible had that happened at the right moment he would have been a good one. I have read his ConLaw text – while not originalist – it is quite good. There is not a current left justice that is as intelligent as he is, or as good on actual law and constitution.

                      But he become slowly embittered when Obama did not put him on the court – I beleive there was an actual falling out between them.
                      And he went nuts when Trump was elected. Now he uses his quite able mind to manufacture law to support idiotic efforts to “get Trump”.

                      Something Similar happened to Krugman. There is a huge gulf between Krugman of the 90’s and Krugman later.

                      There is a difference between seeking the truth and trying to fit the world into what you have decided is the truth.

                      This is a huge common failure on the left.

                      Those on the left claim to be the party of science. If that were actually the case I would be on the left.

                      In their time – Locke was on the left, Smith, Mill. throughout history liberalism – individual liberty as a core principle has been more left than right. But starting with the intellects that laid the foundations for the french revolution – the egalitarians have taken ownership of the left.

                      Derschowitz is a liberal in the classic sense. But for his acceptance that it is governments role to care for the less well off, we would be completely in sync. But there is too much egalitarianism in his liberalism.

                      And egalitarianism and liberalism are not compatible.

                      That should be obvious right now.

                      There is a great debate occuring in the country and here as to whether Big Tech can do as it just did.

                      The answer to the question “Can it” is mostly yes.

                      But almost unasked is the more important question of SHOULD IT.
                      and that answer is resoundingly NO.

                      “You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down – [up] man’s old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
                      Reagan.

                      The fact that I support the freedom of Nazi’s to march through the towns of Holocaust survivors does not mean I think they should do so.
                      It does not mean they are good or moral.

                      I support individual liberty even when people make bad – even immoral choices – such as nazi’s marking through Skokie, or Big Tech shutting down parler.

                      This confuses many people here – those on the left can not grasp that supporting another persons liberty is not supporting their views.

                      I do not think anyone should discriminate against black’s or gays. but individual liberty requires that they be allowed to.

                      I can fight for Master Cake’s right to religious (or other) freedom, and still boycott them.

                    2. John, Tribe’s disappointment is the seat he sits in today. AS you say he is (or was) brilliant and the same can be said of Krugman. Both wrote textbooks that disagree with what they say today. Maybe their ego’s grew to such an extent that they felt their expertise could be transferred to everything and therefore their views should reign supreme. We saw that with Chomsky who thought his exceptional linguistic skills could be transferred to politics.

      3. We have listened to the BS threats of the left – if they do not get their way for years.

        Why do you expect the right not to have learned from that ?

        You have 75+M angry people right now – they are very unhappy with you.

        Worse to you – any idea of unity is just to demand capitulation.
        You do not seem to grasp that is not happening.

        You have enough problems with the large number of enemies you have made
        Why do you wish to grow more ?

        You are ranting about what happened at the Capital. Where do you think those on the right learned that from ? YOU!

        I do not expect a civil war – probably, atleast not for now.

        But we are already well into a cold civil war.

        You promised people that if they just got rid of Trump all our anxiety would go away.

        But it will not.

        Trump is not the problem, and never has been

        You are.

        And you are not gone yet.

        Quoting leftists

        Soon – by whatever means necescary.

        Think about it.

      4. Joke Friedbrain is correct.
        _____________________

        “It’s the [military], stupid!”

        – James Carville
        ____________

        Inconceivably, the U.S. military just threw in with Karl Marx.

      5. Joke Friedbrain is wrong.

        1775 has had the privilege of having his 2020 election, Constitution, Bill of Rights and nation stolen.

        It’s been a long process; that of slowly boiling the frog in order that he fails to jump out of the pan in time.

        The entire communistic American welfare state is unconstitutional, including but not limited to, affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, rent control, social services, forced busing, minimum wage, utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, TARP, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Labor, Energy, Obamacare, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Social Security Supplemental Income, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc.

        Article 1, Section 8, provides Congress the power to tax ONLY for “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual or specific welfare, redistribution of wealth or charity. The same article provides Congress the power to regulate ONLY money, the “flow” of commerce and land and naval Forces. Additionally, the 5th Amendment right to private property is not qualified by the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute, allowing Congress no power to “claim or exercise dominion over” private property, the sole exception being the full taking of property under the principle of eminent domain.

        “We gave you a republic, if you can keep it.”

        – Ben Franklin

        Franklin’s was a restricted-vote republic which required citizens to be “…free white person(s)…” and voters generally to be: Male, European, 21 with 50 lbs. Sterling or 50 acres.

        Franklin’s republic was restricted to an 11.6% turnout in the election of 1788, by design.

        A republic is a democracy wherein, through criteria, citizens are “entitled” to vote or not.

        Government exists to provide maximal freedom to individuals while it is severely limited and restricted to merely facilitating that maximal freedom of individuals through the provision of security and infrastructure.

        Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

    2. I expect things to get worse before they get better.

      But they will get better.

      We can either learn from the mistakes of the past, or we can learn from the mistakes of the future.
      We have picker the latter.

      1. “But they will get better.”

        John, you are optimistic things will get better, but for our lifetimes I believe things will continue to go downhill. History and even my own family’s history tells a different story from yours..

        1. I would be shocked if your family history has more conflict than mine.

          Regardless, One thing about things that can not continue to get worse for ever.
          They don’t

          1. The only way for things to get better for the long term, is for more and more people to suffer in the short term. How short will depend on the pace at which the government increases the abuse of our rights. Citizens who never put one thought into the security of their rights will rise out of their ignorance and apathy.

            1. The current situation is incredibly complex.

              The most fundimental question is how close we are to a tipping point.

              The strong and enduring support of Trump’s base – against a constant histrionic assault.
              The fact that basic trust in our institutions is incredibly low.

              Every egregious action by the left destroys that trust further.

              I am NOT opposing the incredibly stupid things the left is doing.

              I do not know when that tipping point is reached. – maybe we are very close. Maybe we still have a way to go.

              But democrats, the media, the left, big tech seem intent on getting their as fast as possible.

              There is no reason to stop them.

              That does not however mean I am going to stop pointing out how stupid what they are up to is.

              1. That does not however mean I am going to stop pointing out how stupid what they are up to is.

                Clearly you’re not and should not. As I told Allan, this fight has many fronts. And different strategies will be needed.

            2. Olly, when Trump was elected the right had the upper hand. Being too polite at the wrong times and being individual too self serving and cowardly, they gave that advantage up.

              “The only way for things to get better for the long term, is for more and more people to suffer in the short term.”

              Without talking about my personal being I have seen first hand what suffering and death looks like. It is not pretty. It is better to get one’s hands dirty.

              1. “I have seen first hand what suffering and death looks like.” —S. Meyer says:January 16, 2021 at 4:11 PM

                Many people have.

                It doesn’t give one the excuse or license to be abusive.

                1. Abusive? Rights. You don’t know what any of these things mean. You are a parasite and a stupid one at that.

                  1. You’re abusive, Allan. Calling someone a “parasite” is abusive. I feel sorry for you that you are so hate-filled and abusive, and I sure hope you control yourself with your wife and kids.

                    1. “You’re abusive”
                      Sometimes – so ?

                      “Calling someone a “parasite” is abusive.”
                      Yes, it may also be true.

                      “I feel sorry for you that you are so hate-filled and abusive”
                      You can not jump from being told things that offend you to hatefilled.

                      They are not the same thing.

                      The owner of master cake does not hate homosexuals. He does not wish to deprive them of anything but the use of his talents to advocate for values he thinks are wrong.

                      He may be wrong – that is not hate.

                      Everything you do not like is not hate.

                      Every accusation of error about you – is not hate.

                      Again – you lack critical thinking skills.

                      I hope you have a talent for sports or music, or plumbing.

                      ” I sure hope you control yourself with your wife and kids.”

                      Why do you presume to know anything about another persons family life from their posts here ?

                      Family values are more strongly held by those on the right than left.
                      Christians adopt at more twice the rate of non-christians.
                      Republicans have 41% more children than democrats.
                      Child abuse rates for republicans are about 5% lower than democrats.

                      These are their values. They need not be yours. but it is stupid to presume that someone is hateful because you disagree with them,
                      or abuses their children because you disagree with them.

                      Again a failure of critical thinking.

                2. Have you been physically abused here ?

                  Each of us DOES have the right to be verbally abusive. Which you are.
                  That is what free speech means. The right to say things that others do not like.

                1. John, everything is temporary. Do you mean temporary like when Hitler took over? How many years do you consider temporary? Temporary was our constitutional republic. The norm is quite a distance from it.

                  1. I have no idea how long or short temporary is at the moment.

                    The disconnect between the left and reality is so guargantuan and the extent to which they have both angered people and concurnetly put themselves in a bubble via supression and censorship invites the possibility that their world could be shattered in an instant.

                    But I am not expecting that. Recently I was listening to Barnes on Viva Frei and he noted several instances in history – even US history like this and noted that they passed VERY FAST – usually within a year or two. The US has faced the same scenarios that resulted in Hitlers or Mousolini’s in other countries and we not only did not go that way we experienced a rapid backlash.

                    Individual liberty is part of American DNA. Less so in the rest of the world. I will cede that the left has fairly effectively indoctrinated us in schools in an effort to bleech out that DNA – and that effort is likely responsible for the extent that the left has drifted outside the norms in their own bubble this time. That has greatly increased the risk of progressing to totalitarianism.

                    But two facotrs work against that – first they have not completely bleeched our DNA , In fact I was shocked to find that studies of the values of incoming college students have found that they have not actually changed all that much over 60 years. What is different is the degree of self censorship as well as what colleges they attend. Shappiro, McEnnany and Cruz all went to harvard law and did incredibly well. They could not occur today.

                    The other factor is immigrantion. People come here from other countries – even $hithole countries because this is the land of oportunity.
                    If we have forgotten, they have not.

                    The US is self selecting for people who value individual liberty. It takes far more to bleech it out of our DNA than elsewhere.

                    I do not want to make specific predications of how the next two years will go disasterously wrong for the left.
                    Only that the odds are incredibly heavily stacked against them.

                    I read just recently that Israel had been moved as an area of responsibility from european command to centcom.
                    Why because time, recent peace deals and Trumpian mideastern diplomacy have united most of the mideast to join with the US and israel to oppose Iran as the major theater threat.

                    You think Biden is going to be able to change this ?

                    Trump has left a mine field for Biden thoughout the federal govenrment.
                    Not be deliberatly planting bouncing betties, but by taking the MESS of US foreign policy over decades and rebuilding a cohesive integrated self consistent whole that is very hard to take apart and trying has consequences.

                    European politicians do not like Trump. But they are quietly happy with US policy changes. Europe must pay more for its own defense. But is in control of its own destiny. They are not likely to give that up.
                    Trump has changed US policy throughout the world in region after region to favor peace, disadvantage tyrants, and create allainces based on shared interests – not tedious negotiations.

                    Regardless, because of the nature of changes in US relations to the world it is very dangerous for Biden to disrupt those.

                    Next the media survives by making money. The hystrionics of the media over the Trump presidency has saved for the moment much media from disaster. The endless AntiTrump narrative as made them a fortune.

                    Much of the media faces a fiscal cliff if they can not attack Trump every night.

                    It is highly likely that the media will return to real investigative reporting of the biden administration out of fiscal necescity.
                    Further Obama was treated with kid gloves as the first black president – Biden will not be.
                    And he is not the first president with dimensia.

                    Regardless, every single thing democrats try to do will make more enemies than friends.

                    Trump was not all that popular – but many of his policies had 80% public support.

                    I have said already that Impeaching Trump again was the stupidest thing that democrats could have done.

                    But in fact almost everything they can do is the stupidest thing they can do.

                    They are going to make more enemies quickly – no matter what they do.

                    1. “Individual liberty is part of American DNA.”

                      John, In a literary way that is true, but it is passed along from one generation to the next based on ideas and actions. In the past individuality was maintained. Today we are rapidly losing that originality and the entire culture is leaning toward move of a group environment where the elites have greater control over our lives. Just look at education, social media, Hollywood and the attempts to destroy or control the family units.

                    2. I do not disagree wit you that is the intent of the left,
                      Nor that to atleast some degree they accomplish that.

                      But not as completely as is needed.

                      I agree that the left inside their bubble is moving towards precisely what you claim.

                      But there very success is also there failure.

                      Over an over here left wing nuts brag that the courts have universally gone against Trump. They see that as good.

                      They fail to grasp that to an enormous number of people that is terrifying. It has undermined trust in the courts.

                      They did not even look into allegations of fraud and clear lawlessness.

                      The left rants about insurrection, sedition and incitement to violence.

                      While that is not what happened at the capital. SO WHAT ?

                      Read the declaration of independence – it is about insurrection, sedition and incitement to violence.

                      Our founders Tarred and feathered government officials, rioted, essentially closed Boston Harbour through political violence, and then shot at soldiers who were coming for their guns.

                      Different people saw different things at the capital protests.

                      But one message that even the left wing nut media can not supress is govenrment scared of its own people.

                      The Biden innaugural is amplifying that.

                      There is already a lack of legitimacy as a result of this election. Men with guns protecting government from citizens protesting is NOT a good message. It is a sign of weakness. Censorship is a sign of weakness. Lawlessness is a sign of weakness.

                    3. John it is not that things aren’t cyclical rather one has to look at the reference point you are using for the curve. When were we at a high or low point? When did that point start to fall or rise? Your reference point might be at the top of the curve so if one thinks about entropy one would guess it would rise or fall to the center. Are we more or less freer than China, Russia, or Cuba. Who is freer than us?

                      Let’s look at the path we have taken. Start at the 60’s, is education better or worse? Then work your way through all the things that determine the overall culture you are looking at. Look at the size of government and how it has become more entrenched in our lives and culture. Look at our individual liberty.

                      When you look these things tell me the path we are taking. We are on the curve of a sine wave.

                      We are the exception now tending toward the rule.

          2. John unless you are talking about family matters instead of government I doubt that. My family comes from more than one continent where communism existed. More family members have been killed than survived. I won’t go into the torture. My closest family member was arrested about 4 times, jailed twice and came to the west smuggling secret documents crossing mine fields in order to get across. There is more love of country in that one person than all the leftists posting on this blog put together.

            1. “There is more love of country in that one person than all the leftists posting on this blog put together.”

              I don’t doubt that this person has a great “love of country”…, but to conclude that “there is more love of country in that one person than in all the leftists posting on this blog put together” is presumptuous, at best. What a ridiculous thing to say.

                1. Anonymous is playing the ridiculous “blame game.” There’s plenty of blame to go around.

                  Some people must have an enemy and they’ll manufacture one, if it suits their purposes.

                  1. There is plenty of blame to go arround. but at this time and increasing over the past 12 years the major threat to the country has been from the left.

                2. Yes, the left has been wrecking this country. Anonymous the Stupid doesn’t know what Nazism or communism is. He doesn’t even know what he stands for. He chooses to remain ignorant and chooses to follow whatever he is told. He doesn’t know his history. He doesn’t understand right from wrong.

              1. Not that presumptuous. Significant portions of the left despise this country. Including those here.

                If you can find nothing but fault with your country. If you seek to radically change it. If you seek to destroy its core values – you hate the country you do not love it.

                If you claim to love a person – and you proceed to try to make them into someone entirely different – you do not love them.

                You love that thing you wish to make them into.

                1. If you claim to love a person – and you proceed to try to make them into someone entirely different – you do not love them.

                  You love that thing you wish to make them into.

                  John,
                  This comment got me thinking about the psychology motivating spousal abuse. While I have no doubt there is a percentage of people that don’t like our form of government and/or share our long-held values of rights, freedom and liberty, it doesn’t seem rational to support a form that would ultimately make everyone subject to abusive government power. So why would they do that?

                  So I read this article from that perspective and I could see an underlying psychology that would lead to such a destructive behavior. It leads me to ask why people that assert they love this country would see themselves as justified using the force of government to infringe the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of their neighbors? Liberals and Conservatives used to disagree on policy without trying to destroy the country, but that’s obviously not the case anymore.
                  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hurt-people-hurt-people/201510/five-reasons-people-abuse-their-partners

                  Why? What is it about conservatism that makes people abandon what used to be commonly understood realities, values and norms? Is this even reconcilable?

            2. I was talking of conflict within the family.
              I grew up the eldest of a family of four. I thought I was pretty close to my siblings. My parents inculcated strong family values.
              I spent 22 years managing the family business trusting my parents and siblings. I got screwed by my father and had to start over on my own in my 50’s. I still ended up responsible for both of my parents as they aged and eventually died – I loved them both despite several issues.
              When my father died – two of my siblings accused me of murdering him and stealing from him – pretty much the opposite was true. I helped him for the last years of his life as he failed cognatively, and but for that help he would have died broke in a home so many people he thought were friends tried to take advantage of him – including two of my siblings – not exactly the same two who made false accusations.

              There was an actual criminal investigation, and an autopsy, that found he died of Pneumonia, but that he would have died shortly of liver disease – which we did not know, and that he was between a rock and a hard place with vascular dimentia and chrones disease. Both of which were treatable – but the treatment for each made the other worse.

              And then there was a holy war over his estate – and that is a story that would make a novel and movie of the week that people would not beleive. Sharyll Attkinson reported on another bitter estate dispute that the same judge thoroughly botched a few years before ours.
              Ours was worse.

              I had the same problem with the judge I had with some here. Most people hate the people who are right when they are wrong.

  3. Hey Congress — how about you move even half as fast at getting $2k stimulus checks out to the American people as you are at moving to get Trump impeached, again? Can you do something useful for a change?

    1. Congress, you can blame Trump all you want, but he was a needed shock to the system, and for that, many of us will be forever grateful. Congress, on the other hand, is utterly corrupt and useless to the American people. Do something other than PROFIT from you “public service” you corrupt, spineless morons. Congress’s approval rating is at 15%. Do they care? Oh hell no. Business as usual. Censure all of Congress!

    2. The Democrats in the House did move as fast. It was McConnell in the Senate who prevented it. Thankfully, he’ll no longer be Senate Majority Leader soon.

    3. Please don’t.

      We need NOTHING from congress.

      Lets just close congress for the next couple of years.
      And the executive while we are at it.

      I pay 1% of my income to government for all my local roads, water, sewer, police, courts – all the necescry things govenrment provides.

      I can do without the rest for a long long time.

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