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“Why are we publishing this man, did we run out of human beings?”

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Did NYT opinion reach rock bottom when it gave a venue for Ken Starr to vouch for the integritude of Bill Barr? No, surely it was when it allowed Bret Stephens to compare someone who mildly criticized him on Twitter to Geobells. How could you top…

Maybe James Bennet felt compelled to publish an op-ed opposing impeachment. But it doesn’t seem too much to ask that it not be an actual war criminal, tenured or not.

Needless to say, the content is also risible:

But we should beware that rushing into an impeachment may do long-term harm to the presidency and our national security.

The Constitution vests the president with the authority to conduct foreign policy and the responsibility to protect the nation’s security. A president, even one who is possibly engaging in wrongdoing, must have confidence in the confidentiality of his communications or he will be unable to perform his constitutional duties and our international relations will fall victim to government by committee.

The framers sought to reverse the failures brought by legislative control over foreign policy. In Article II of the Constitution, they vested “the executive power” in the president, which they understood to include the power over national security and foreign affairs. 

“Of all the cares or concerns of government, the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand,” Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 74.

It is critical that Congress not interfere with critical executive powers, like the power to use extortion to encourage foreign states to ratfuck American elections or the power to arbitrarily detain and torture people.

As for Yoo’s utterly ludicrous idea that a Constitution that carefully decided powers over war and foreign policy between the branches ACTUALLY gave these powers unilaterally to the executive branch, enjoy this Stephen Holmes evisceration.

Bad is this argument is, it’s even worse in the context of his writings of earlier this year:

It’s impeachment or bust. That’s the message sent by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to critics of President Trump. In his release of the Mueller report Thursday, Attorney General William P. Barr only underscored this lesson by finding that the evidence does not support charging the president with obstruction of justice. Whether you agree on the criminal law, it is the right result on the separation of powers. The Constitution itself establishes impeachment, not prosecution, as the answer to a corrupt sitting president.

“Impeachment, not prosecution, is the remedy for a corrupt president. Also, impeachment is never an appropriate remedy for a corrupt [Republican] president.”

On some level, the fact that the Times felt having an actual human rights violator who has never faced any consequences for it and indeed has fully retained his elite status give a bad faith defense of an authoritarian president is grimly appropriate.

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