Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dershowitz for the Defense

As the political left rises up in anger to indict President Trump for obstruction of justice, or for anything else it can think of, Alan Dershowitz has made the most cogent arguments against the witch hunt. The emeritus Harvard Law Professor is an authority on constitutional law and is not, by any means, a Trump supporter. Thus, I have granted special credence to his viewpoint on this blog.

Guy Benson offered a fuller picture of Dershowitz’s views in a Townhall column. According to the retired professor criminalizing the political opposition is dangerous. To say the least.

Benson reported:

In a string of Sunday evening tweets, he [Dershowitz] went further, arguing that a fixation with criminalizing one's political opposition is dangerous for the republic -- an irony, given Trump opponents' own steadfast belief that it's Trump who's endangering the republic:

1. Some Dems are outdoing each other searching for crim statutes that can be stretched to fit what they w/d like to see as crimes by Trump
— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh)

2. This is dangerous to civil liberties: "show me the man and I will find you the crime."
— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) June 11, 2017

From whence cometh the quotation? Most of you might not remember but it comes to us from Lavrentiy Beria, the head of Stalin’s secret police.

Benson writes:

That "show me the man" quotation is an allusion to a telling, perfectly authoritarian quip from one of Stalin's top associates, describing how someone deemed to be an enemy of the state can always be railroaded, by hook or by crook. Applying that formulation to Trump is hyperbolic, but that's not exactly Dershowitz's point. His point isn't that Trump is necessarily a victim here, but rather that it's an ugly and illiberal form of politics to hastily or impulsively conflate political disagreements with criminal infractions

One is forgiven for thinking that it’s not quite as hyperbolic as Benson graciously suggests. When you watch Senate Democrats, members of the world’s greatest deliberative body, interrogate Trump administration officials and even James Comey, you come away with the impression that they are hell bent on getting Trump, no matter the cost, to themselves or to the republic.


trigger warning said...

SS: "you come away with the impression that they are hell bent on getting Trump, no matter the cost, to themselves or to the republic."

"Impression"? They admit as much publicly.

Webutante said...

Thank you, Stuart. Great post. Sorry, but I think our Republic is going down the tubes because of hopeful imagination masking as reality. Meanwhile Dershowitz is correct for anyone who's willing to engage critical thinking rather than reptilian emotional hysteria.

Sam L. said...

This has been true for some time, well before November 9th. If the GOP decides to play this game, too, the Dems are in for BAD times.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The Democrats and their media allies have met their comeuppance. No other Republican could've beat Hillary Clinton in the last election. Not one. Why? Because not one of them thought to break the rules. To think otherwise is silly. The Democrat-Media alliance was broken because someone -- finally -- chose to take it head-on. That was Donald Trump, and he won. His election is an indictment of the Democrat Party and the Media. After all the money and heavy artillery they threw at Trump, he won. Rather than circling-up and figuring out why this may have come to pass, we instead hear daily about the sinister Russians. It's the biggest bunch of hogwash ever... and that's saying something. All this rent-a-mob rioting, homicidal theater (literally), choreographed outrage and unhinged lunacy is indicative of a deep-seated fear that is devoid of reality. Trump owns these people. That Rachel #%$&ing Maddow is the queen of cable news says everything one needs to know. It's ridiculous, and Dershowitz is trying to put intellectual makeup on the "Network" (1976) political landscape between the Capitol and the Districts. What a farce. Ignorance isn't just bliss, it's wholly entertaining to watch. What happened to Black Lives Matter? Oh yeah... the election is over. I guess those lives don't matter anymore, as shown here: Http://www.heyjackass.com

Ares Olympus said...

Certainly the Left is showing it self at least as bad as Trump supporters would have been, had they won the popular vote but lost the electoral college.

And its not even the Left's problem. Trump is a rightwing problem, and its their job to give Trump sufficient rope to hang himself.

And surprise, surprise, 90% of republicans prefer steady Pence over stooge Trump:
Beyond his base voters, Trump has an even bigger potential problem looming with his base in Congress. While Republican lawmakers won't say it publicly, it's widely known if they could pick between President Pence and President Trump, the Vice President would win 90% of the vote among the GOP.

So we know what will make the Right happy, while we also know President Pence will be just as unpopular as Trump, and even more so, since he won't be slowed down by all the twitter drama.

The Left's best future, outside of the dangerous world of foreign policy and the U.S. collapsing reputation among our democratic allies, is for Trump to remain a distracting showboater through 2018.

Ares Olympus said...

Alan Dershowitz: This is dangerous to civil liberties: "show me the man and I will find you the crime."

This rationalization logic is useful in unlimited contexts, including the firing of James Comey. Of course if you use rationalization, it's best to not change your story.

It's also the ideal path to "bad science": Start with your desired conclusion, and cherry pick data to try to back it up.

OTOH, I had a friend who worked in a prison and he claimed in prison "Everyone says they are innocent", and the reality is most of us get away with a lot of things before we're finally caught, so if you're finally convicted on a technicality, or imperfect evidence, that doesn't make you innocent, it makes you lucky before that one bad break.

Ares Olympus said...

Here's a response to Dershowitz, but still sounds weak so far. I think we have to keep feeding Trump more rope until even the Republicans have had enough.

AesopFan said...

Sam L. said...
This has been true for some time, well before November 9th. If the GOP decides to play this game, too, the Dems are in for BAD times.
June 13, 2017 at 9:50 AM

I have seen this point argued on several blogs these days, sometimes called the "Cold Civil War" and sometimes just back-flash.

This will not end well.