Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Our ‘Moby Dick’
On Your Right
Anyone read Herman Melville’s classic “Moby Dick?” If not, don’t bother. Just watch the ongoing impeachment circus. It’s basically the same story of destructive obsession leading to madness and catastrophe.
There are many candidates for the role of Ahab: Reps. Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff, certainly. And let’s not forget Chuck Schumer, who has been yammering that “we must have witnesses.” Why? Because the case for impeachment the House brought was fatally weak, slipshod and done in an excess of speed. John Bolton’s testimony and Mick Mulvaney’s is essential, he cries, and is echoed by his Greek chorus of House Democrats and the media. But that testimony was available to the House, provided it was willing to go through the same process past Houses did when seeking testimony from White House officials: subpoena and work the real question of executive privilege out through the courts. They declined. In fact, when White House advisor Charles Kupperman appealed to the court on his own for guidance when subpoenaed, the House immediately withdrew the demand and asked for a moot judgement — not the act of prosecutors confident in their case.
Nor should they be. It now appears that, having lied to the public for the past three years, Democrat leaders are lying to each other. Adam Schiff recently told Gerald Nadler that reports on a conversation putatively involving a meeting between Rudi Giuliani and “Mr. Z” referred to Ukrainian president Zelensky, although his information clearly indicated another Ukrainian official. Perhaps we should just call the party, leaders and all, Ahab.
Because in this case facts matter not, nor accuracy, nor anything other than the mindless pursuit of President Trump “… around Good Hope and around the Horn and around the Norway Maelstrom and around Hell’s flames …” to quote Melville. It’s all Democrats have left.
Democratic Ahab rejects any outcome short of Trump’s removal, telling us that the impeachment process will not be “fair” if the president remains despite their efforts. Sadly, this outlook is our fault. For two decades since 2000, we suffered countless examples of “it’s not fair if we don’t win” from Democrat politicians like Al Gore to Stacey Abrams, and we did nothing to tell them that this brattish behavior, common in 5-year-olds, has no place in America’s politics. Now we see the result. On Tuesday last, Adam Schiff said in his opening statement that the president’s removal could not wait nine months for an election, since the American people could not be counted on to make the proper decision. Nothing in the entire sordid process sums up the Democrat attitude as that does. They have become a party hell-bent on getting their way, whatever the cost — and do not trust citizens to do it. Their intransigence may well cost us the shared values underpinning the Republic.
If Dems get their way, we will live to rue it. Many current Republican officeholders eschewed impeachment as a device to remove a president not to their taste in Obama’s case, but that reticence may not survive this assault. If they succumb, both political parties will agree that the constitution has been covertly rewritten to make the executive branch subject to the whim of the Legislature, and specifically, the more mercurial House — something the Framers of the Constitution specifically rejected when they created the machinery of the Republic.
None of which matters now. The Democrat party and particularly its leaders, having repeatedly pumped up and disappointed with reports of Donald Trump’s political demise over the past four years, are now apparently gripped by a strange sort of blood lust. They are rushing forward with indictments that name no actual crimes toward an outcome whose result they have already rejected in hope of gaining favor from an electorate they see as dull and worthy only of being led. This is not the behavior for which one would hope. And it is infectious. One group will pass it to others until all blindly and ferociously rush toward their own objectives — self-contradictory, nihilistic and dangerous though they may be.
Until the day we hear the Democratic Ahab, locked in mortal struggle with the foe his obsessions have conjured, and beyond all reason, cry out: “From the depths of hell, I strike at thee, for hate’s sake.” Understand that from that moment, we are all doomed.
In the meantime, enjoy your voyage on the Pequod. I’m sure everything will be fine.
Morgan Liddick’s column “On Your Right” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. Liddick spent 27 years working for the U.S. Foreign Service, primarily living abroad. He also spent 12 years teaching U.S. history and Western civilization at community colleges in Colorado and Texas. He lived in Summit County as recently as 2015. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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