Wednesday, December 18, 2019


As regular readers will know, David French is awful -- a theocrat who not only denounces Roe v. Wade but also Griswold v. Connecticut (not to mention Prince, whom French considers a "decadent voice in a hedonistic culture"), and rants about devil worshipers like a regular Rod Dreher, and is the author of "If One of the Churchgoers in Charleston Had Been Armed," etc. (There's a short list of some of his dumber columns here.) But he also likes to play the reasonable NeverTrumper moderate, which is really the most annoying part of his shtick.

Here's the latest issue of French's newsletter -- it's called The French Press, har, and it's on substack; they let anyone have one, it seems! -- and the title of this edition kind of says it all --
The Necessary, Kabuki-Theater Impeachment
-- but only kind of so let's look at it a bit.
The president of the United States is likely to be impeached today (and may be impeached by the time you read this newsletter), and outside of America’s subculture of political hobbyists, nobody seems to care. 
(No citation given, wonder why.)
It still matters, though, and it’s still important to lay down a marker—even if the nation is replaying 1998, but with the partisan roles reversed. 
Shaking down a foreign head of state for dirt on my political opponents on the one hand, a blowjob on the other -- yeah, pick 'em.
But let’s not focus entirely on the president. Bernie Sanders is surprisingly resilient in the Democratic primary, so it’s time to ask him: Why are so many anti-Semites orbiting his campaign? 
Ugh yeah, in the second stage of this crap-missle French does the whole Noah Rothman-Tiana Lowe bullshit about how Sanders is, well he's not saying an anti-Semite buuuuttt d'jever notice how he's surround by "anti-Semites" (French's word for "Muslims")? But I digress, which is easy, believe me, with someone this nightmarish. Back to his impeachment bosh:
In my adult lifetime, I’ve supported impeaching two presidents—one Democrat and the other Republican. In both circumstances, I knew there was zero chance the president would be convicted. 
And in both cases it had zero chance of affecting his career, so why not?
Yet, in both circumstances, the president was clearly guilty of serious misconduct. Partisanship saved Bill Clinton. Partisanship will save Donald Trump. 
Again, the blowjob-blackmail conundrum! One of French's go-to bits is assuming we've all agreed to some absurd point he then just breezes past.

Then French does several paragraphs about Clinton's Chinese fundraising and Whitewater -- look, he's a lifelong conservative factotum, they drill them on this stuff like Russian ballet students -- and then says,
In context then, the impeachment of Bill Clinton wasn’t just an indictment of his conduct surrounding a single sexual harassment case -- though that conduct was certainly impeachable -- it represented the culmination of a long train of scandals and a declaration by one elected branch of government that this man did not belong in the Oval Office.  
So, see, you oversexed liberals may not think getting his dick sucked was such a big deal, but there was a bunch of other stuff he really deserved to be impeached for, so it was only just. And now French, not at all obsessed with the Clintons, is really just sad as a good patriot that Clinton got away with it because (deep sigh) thanks to him Trump will get away with it too:
Watching Trump today, I’m reminded of the movie Patton. Squinting through binoculars as he watches American forces defeat the Germans in North Africa, Patton memorably says, “Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!”  
There’s Trump, squinting back in political history, declaring “Bill, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!” Trump did read Bill’s book. So did Republicans. So the Trump presidency will survive, even if it shouldn’t, and Republicans may well regret their defense.
If you're wondering what that last huh-what clause is about, the answer is that French is about to pull a fast one, and he wants to make it look related to everything else he's been talking about with a quick last-minute feint so you don't catch on:
Not long ago I had dinner with a Clinton loyalist, someone who stood by his president back in the day. I was amazed when he frankly (and with some emotion) admitted his error.
His name: Favid Dench.
“We could have drawn a line,” he said. “Instead, we helped erase the lines.” That comment has stuck with me ever since. And that’s the choice today—and it’s the choice that Trump will keep giving Republicans. Draw the line? Or erase the lines? 
See, this is why, though JustTheTip Trumpers are the absolute worst, the NeverTrumpers aren't really much better: Their whole moral pose is entirely cost-free. There's nothing brave about it. Because for these guys, it was really the best career move they could make. Trump didn't need Max Boot -- he already had fake intellectual warmongers like Seb Gorka, so of what use was Boot? Similarly, Trump's surrounded by snake-handling, tongue-speaker Christian nutjobs -- what's he need David French for? So naturally French went off and did the wilderness act.

But even in his wilderness, French gives absolutely no evidence that he knows why conservatives flocked to Trump, or that conservatism has anything to do with the problem. Hell, French approves of a lot of stuff Trump does -- tax cuts and Jesus-freak judges? Thumbs up! -- and, much like the JustTheTip guys, mainly focuses on Trump's rude behavior -- like he was Mayor Jimmy Walker, a charming rouĂ© rather than a vicious thug. Go find me a piece where French mourns the immigrant children Trump has locked up and in some cases sold to Christian families -- and I don't mean a Obama-did-it equivocation like his column "Trump Moves to Obama’s Position on Family Detention, Democrats Outraged." Trump's cruelty is only disturbing to French because it makes conservatives look bad, not because of the damage it does to the untermenschen. And French only disapproves of conservatives' embrace of Trump because in his view it means they're acting like liberals -- while really, as the evidence shows, they're acting like conservatives who've found their dreamboat -- more senile than Reagan, more crooked than Nixon, and even more outrageously fake-Christian than George W. Bush. Hell, I wouldn't be shocked if French felt the same way and just couldn't hear to admit it; and maybe that's not entirely careerism -- it could also be self-care.

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