According to official media, the House Democrats are finally ready to send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate for a trial. Assuming it actually happens, the trial will be a circus to allow the various crackpots and show ponies to perform for the cable news audiences. Everyone will pretend it is serious until the ratings come in from the polling operations and then the show will close. The only people who think otherwise are the cranks and weirdos on the Left.
That said, the inner party has permitted this charade to happen for more than just theatrical reasons. They have an election show scheduled for this year and that will provide plenty of entertainment. The Iowa Caucuses are a little over two weeks away and the New Hampshire primary is three weeks away. That’s more than enough entertainment to keep people from noticing too much. The question then is why are they bothering with this straight-to-video impeachment show.
Every society has certain codes of conduct that may or may not be formalized in writing, but are accepted by everyone. These codes may be amplified or prioritized by personal codes of conduct, but the general morality is accepted as the public morality. In many cases, it is assumed the morality of one’s society is a universal morality that applies to all times and places, but that is a confusion in terms. Codes of conduct that apply in narrow conditions are different from general social codes.
In the West, public morality says the people should be sovereign and pick representatives the people occupying public offices. The will of the people should be expressed in the law. In the Arab world, public morality is defined by the Koran, not Enlightenment philosophy. Therefore, government should be run by righteous Muslims, according to the rules of Islam. These are different codes of conduct, not expressions of a universal morality, like the prohibition against murder.
In current year America, the ruling class is now fully detached from the society over which it rules, so it has begun to acquire its own moral code. You see this in the Democrat primary where candidates are running around preaching about the plight of transvestites or lecturing on white privilege. To normal people, these are bizarre fetishes that have to salience. Inside the ruling class they have become important moral signifiers, rooted in the common morality of the ruling class.
That brings us back to impeachment. The official narrative says he has been impeached because the political class thinks he violated his oath of office in his dealings with Ukraine. The official alternative narrative is the Democrats did this out of spite over losing the 2016 election. Those are the two sides of the official sandwich regarding impeachment. Within that framing, both sides are expected to scream at one another through the proxy of cable news programs.
Then there is the official outsider view that says this is part of some grand chess strategy over the seditious plot conducted by the security agencies. The inner party is using impeachment to stall the investigation into the that and the many other corrupt projects during the Obama years. While there may be some truth to this, it is clear that Bill Barr is willing and able to cover all of this up on his own. Still, there may be some people in the party who would like the assurance that the caper is properly buried.
There may be another reason why this impeachment thing will not die and that is the evolving morality of the ruling class. They hate Trump, not because of what he does or even what he says. They hate him for who he is and who he represents. He is the rejection of their morality. The Democrats could make a spending deal with him in a heartbeat, but they refuse because to do so would legitimize him and what he represents to them. They simply cannot do that.
If you think about the last four years, the main argument against Trump by all sides of the political class is that he is lacking in character. Maybe the point of entry is his womanizing or his crude statements. The neoconservatives have endlessly lectured on his moral failings. The Israeli first zealot, Ben Shapiro, has repeatedly said he opposes Trump on moral grounds, despite giving the Zionists everything they ask. It turns out that “who they are” is not Trump and what he represents.
The one thing the ruling class gets right is that the American experiment is unique in world history. No society has tried to combine extreme egalitarianism, the blank slate and democracy into a civic religion. Since two legs of that stool are in direct conflict with human nature, that leaves two choices. One is the traditional radical approach of exterminating everything that does not fit the new morality. The other is to redefine one of the legs of the stool to solve the conflict.
What impeachment suggests is the leg in for redefining will be democracy. The new definition of it will be something like Henry Ford’s choice of colors. The people can vote for whomever they like, as long as the candidate comports with the public morality of the ruling class. Rules will evolve to make sure no one like Trump can every gain access to official Washington. The political elite will become a closed system with a unique set of moral codes.
That may be the real point of impeachment. People like Adam Schiff appear to be insane, but he is just one of the berserkers of the emerging new morality. The point is not to remove Trump, but to codify him in such a way that his presence reinforces the new morality. Inside Washington, impeachment is already a moral signifier. The looming impeachment show will give the faithful in the ruling elite a chance to publicly display their virtue to their coreligionists inside the ruling class.
Note: Some have asked why comments end up in moderation. This is the doings of the spam filter I’m using. It is often triggered by epithets, certain links and mysterious word combinations. These messages get flagged as possible spam. Now, in half a dozen years it has blocked over 3.5 million spam messages, so it is trade-off I accept. It means I check the moderation queue once an hour or so. I approve the real comments and trash the spam. Otherwise, there is no moderation.
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