Over at the Claremont Review of Books (thanks to Glenn Reynolds), Michael Anton wrote the following, which mirrors my own What Lies Behind the Trump Impeachment, while the impeachment was still going on:
If we [were] to take the … “publicly voiced” cause at face value, then we may say that the entire Washington establishment, plus most of the country’s elites, [were] trying to remove the president from office on the basis of an anonymous individual’s private opinion of the content of one phone call he heard about second- or possibly even thirdhand.Related: Whistleblower — What Lies Behind the Trump Impeachment
… The loudest railers are precisely those most responsible for, and most involved in, the illicit effort to spy on and sabotage candidate Trump, set him up for a non-crime he didn’t commit, abuse their power to destroy lives, and much else. So, no, they don’t want to know—or, more precisely, they don’t want you to know.
… [One] question President Trump asked the Ukrainian president … regarded a specific instance of a well-known Washington-insider phenomenon. It is a measure of how insouciantly our elites accept and even welcome the immense corruption of our government that they raise not a single eyebrow at the phenomenon that underlay the president’s question: exactly how is it that well-connected Americans with no particular or relevant skill sets can “earn” enormous sums of money for doing, essentially, nothing?We all know how, of course. They’re not, exactly, doing “nothing.” They’re providing access—in some instances directly, in others prospectively.
… Understand this plainly: Trump may well be impeached, ostensibly, for asking about this corrupt arrangement. But no one is ever impeached for engaging in it. Nor can our elites, who almost all benefit from this system one way or another, muster the integrity to do, or even say, anything against it.
… the statute is clear: officials qualify for legal protection if they blow the whistle on activities within their own organizations and relevant to those organizations’ official duties. There is no possible way to interpret this particular “whistle” as consistent with that standard.
… The “whistleblower” was just a tool, witting or not (I’m betting on the former) to get something new going after the ignominious collapse of Russiagate. His usefulness over—indeed, his presence in the drama now counterproductive—we are instructed to forget he ever existed.
… Simply based on what we know so far, the whole thing looks engineered, like those “lawfare” cases in which clever lawyers and activists find sympathetic plaintiffs, carefully choose friendly venues, and file lawsuits not to redress specific, genuine injustices but to force changes in policy—anti-democratically, it goes without saying. … This supposition only gains support from reports of “collusion” (what else can one call it?) between the “whistleblower” and Democratic congressional staff. The parade of witnesses in secret testimony also looks carefully orchestrated.
… It’s both infuriating and amusing to read the intellectual Left, led by the New York Times, pivot from Project 1619—that racist, white supremacist founding!—to founders-as-paragons-of-democratic-integrity, whose wise Constitution reserved impeachment just for such dire but foreseeable emergencies.
… Trump’s intraparty enemies hate him, and wish to be rid of him, precisely because he is not one of them, because he stands for, and represents, something fundamentally different. Getting rid of him is, for them, a way to get back to business as usual. But there is no going back.