Sunday 16th of May 2021

crucified twice for being trump...


WASHINGTON — Before self-proclaimed members of the far-right group the Proud Boys marched toward the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, they stopped to kneel in the street and prayed in the name of Jesus.

The group, whose participants have espoused misogynistic and anti-immigrant views, prayed for God to bring “reformation and revival.” They gave thanks for “the wonderful nation we’ve all been blessed to be in.” They asked God for the restoration of their “value systems,” and for the “courage and strength to both represent you and represent our culture well.” And they invoked the divine protection for what was to come.

Then they rose. Their leader declared into a bullhorn that the media must “get the hell out of my way.” And then they moved toward the Capitol.

The presence of Christian rituals, symbols and language was unmistakable on Wednesday in Washington. There was a mock campaign banner, “Jesus 2020,” in blue and red; an “Armor of God” patch on a man’s fatigues; a white cross declaring “Trump won” in all capitals. All of this was interspersed with allusions to QAnon conspiracy theories, Confederate flags and anti-Semitic T-shirts.

The blend of cultural references, and the people who brought them, made clear a phenomenon that has been brewing for years now: that the most extreme corners of support for Mr. Trump have become inextricable from some parts of white evangelical power in America. Rather than completely separate strands of support, these groups have become increasingly blended together.

This potent mix of grievance and religious fervor has turbocharged the support among a wide swath of Trump loyalists, many of whom describe themselves as participants in a kind of holy war, according to interviews. And many, who are swimming in falsehoods about the presidential election and now the riot itself, said the aftermath of Wednesday’s event has only fueled a deeper sense of victimhood and being misunderstood.

Lindsay French, 40, an evangelical Christian from Texas, flew to Washington after she had received what she called a “burning bush” sign from God to participate following her pastor urging congregants to “stop the steal.”

“We are fighting good versus evil, dark versus light,” she said, declaring that she was rising up like Queen Esther, the biblical heroine who saved her people from death.

“We are tired of being made out to be these horrible people,” she said, acknowledging there was some violence but insisting on the falsehood that Antifa was behind it.


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It is interesting to note that the NYT says: "on the falsehood that Antifa was behind it". I agree. But by my youthful personal experience in matters of protests, there are always "agents provocateurs" (APs) in any "peaceful protest" or any protest for that matter. These APs are there to make sure protests (of any political persuasion) "turn ugly". These APs are undercover members of the secret services and the FBI like... Been there. These guys have special discreet identification so that the official police officers do not bash them... I have already mentioned these on this site and taken pictures of said in the late 1960s...


From the Christian Science Monitor (spew!*):




As I say in the comment below:  Let's hope that no-one (Pompeo) at the White House launches a last minute war on something, and that the newcomers abstain from war for the eternity to come.


(Spew*? There is nothing scientific about Christianity...)

the view from miranda's verandah...

From Miranda Devine

What a difference a week makes. On Wednesday, we discovered that House Democrats actually support police. They are against mob violence. They believe in law and order. They believe in harsh punishment for rule breakers. They believe in accountability.

They care deeply about civility. They believe words matter. They abhor intemperate rhetoric. They are against coarse language. Fancy that.

They believe in a peaceful transition of power, at least this time, as opposed to 2016. They believe in the Electoral College. They believe in the legitimacy of the people’s vote.

They believe in walls, at least when it comes to protecting their own place of work. They even believe in bringing in the National Guard to quell civil unrest, at least when it comes to preserving their own peace.

They believe in guns, at least when their own safety is at risk.

They revere American history and institutional norms. They honor the Founding Fathers. Hah!

This is what we learned while watching the Democrats in the House impeach President Trump for the second pointless time in 13 months.

We learned that they, almost to a man and a woman, suffer from an acute case of hypocrite-itis.

Where have they been the past four years with these noble ideas that conservatives have been begging them to defend?

Perhaps if Democrats had not normalized and encouraged violence when organized BLM-Antifa mobs began rampaging through our cities, the tragic events of Jan. 6 at the Capitol would not have occurred.

As Republican Rep. Pat Fallon of Texas said Wednesday:

“Last summer the Antifa and BLM riots swept across our country. Businesses were destroyed, cities burned. It was not like the horrible hours we had on January 6. But rather, they went on for weeks and in some cases months. 

“So if there’s any silver lining in this dark cloud, it’s that our friends across the aisle have come to realize that riots are bad. We conservatives have known this all along.”

Perhaps if Democrats had not weaponized the intelligence agencies to spy on Trump’s campaign, perhaps if they had not used the Steele dossier to undermine the legitimacy of his presidency and accuse him of colluding with Russia to rig the 2016 election, perhaps if they had not hobbled his administration with the three-year Mueller investigation, perhaps more Trump voters would have been willing to accept the legitimacy of a Biden presidency.

Perhaps if Dems had not already launched a spiteful partisan impeachment last year, their efforts to highlight the president’s shortcomings would have fallen on fewer deaf ears this time.

As Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said, it took just 19 minutes into Trump’s presidency for the Washington Post to trumpet: “Campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.” 

“And now with just one week left,” Jordan said Wednesday, “they’re still trying.”

Perhaps if Dems had reflected on their own culpability in the attempted assassination of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana by a Bernie Sanders supporter, their sanctimonious lectures Wednesday would be more credible.

“I’ve seen the evil of political violence firsthand and it needs to stop,” Scalise said Wednesday. “But all of us need to be unequivocal calling it out when we see it, not just when it comes from the other side of the aisle.”

Perhaps if Joe Biden had not spent two years muscling up to Trump, with threats like “I’d smack him in the mouth” and “I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,” Biden’s pitch for civility might be more palatable.

Perhaps if Democrats had not spent the last four years calling Trump a dictator, authoritarian, Nazi, Hitler, white supremacist, anti-Semite, bigot, racist, hater, dangerous, demented and insane, then the hyperbole they used against him Wednesday might have been more effective.

The Aesop’s fable of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” comes to mind. Democrats and their media handmaidens have spent four years demonizing Trump, using the most outlandish hyperbole their fevered imaginations could dream up.

So when finally, at the bitter end, when he behaves in a way that angers even his most loyal supporters, there is nowhere left to go in the demonization department.

Hence the absurdity of Wednesday’s rhetoric in the House, as Democrats overreached yet again, traducing the president as a “white supremacist” — or “racist in chief,” as Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan called him.

Instead of impeaching the president, the House could have censured him and gathered a lot more Republican votes.

His refrain since November about having won in a “landslide” was reckless and deluded but it had nothing to do with racism, and his speech at the Ellipse in DC on Jan. 6 explicitly called for the crowd to “peacefully” protest.

How was he to know that the Capitol would not be adequately guarded, and the mob would so easily smash their way inside?

Capitol Police had been left like lambs to the slaughter in part because the cop-hating mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser, wrote to the Department of Justice the day before the protests specifically to reject federal reinforcements.

The flexible morality and selective outrage of the Democrats and their media boosters is so dishonest, it makes your head spin.

Why wasn’t BLM probed like this?

 At a thunderous press conference Tuesday, acting US Attorney for DC Michael Sherwin said law enforcement officials are treating last week’s Capitol riot “like an international counterterrorism investigation. We’re looking at everything — money, travel records. No resource will be unchecked.” 

It is reportedly one of the “most expansive criminal investigations in the history of the Justice Department,” with all 56 FBI field offices involved.

Great, but where was that kind of gravitas when BLM-Antifa rioters locked Seattle police in a building and tried to burn them alive? 

Or when police were attacked with bricks and Molotov cocktails, whole blocks were looted and set ablaze at a cost of billions of dollars, and parts of some US cities were turned into lawless autonomous zones inside which people were murdered? For months.

There now are at least twice as many troops guarding the nation’s capital than the total number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

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Hypocrisy is in the eye of the beholder... Let's hope that no-one (Pompeo) at the White House launches a last minute war on something, and that the newcomers abstain from war for the eternity to come.

the view from charlie...

Only one week left to become a great president...


one week

(published on Wednesday 13th January 2021)


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seeking after the heart of god in a peaceful dustbin...

‘President-elect Biden will seek after the heart of God,’ says pastor who will give benediction at inauguration

The Rev. Silvester Beaman, pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware, who will deliver the benediction at President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony next Wednesday, says he's confident the president-elect will “seek after the heart of God” to lead the country.

“This final blessing over the event is God’s opportunity to cover the nation in grace as we launch the Biden-Harris administration. I personally know that President Biden will seek after the heart of God, it has been his lifestyle over the years. In his toughest moments it has been the light of God’s love that has guided and sustained him,” Beaman said in a statement on Facebook Thursday.

The pastor, who has known the Biden family for nearly 30 years and is a close confidante and friend of the president-elect, hosted Biden at his church in the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd where he met with parishioners and black community leaders to discuss racism and police brutality.

Beaman called his invitation to deliver the benediction at Biden’s inauguration “an extreme honor” and said he believes that Biden, who is Catholic, “will be seeking God’s grace daily.”

“It is an extreme honor and seminal moment to have been asked by President-elect Joseph R. Biden to pronounce the benediction during the 59th Inaugural Celebration in our Nation’s Capital, January 20, 2021,” he said. “There is nothing more strenuous or crucial than being the leader of the free world. Therefore he will be seeking God’s grace daily.”


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I hope that Jo-the-Catholic Biden finds serenity in peace and does not try to force other countries into submission in any ways nor fashions that include the nastiness of US sanction. As well, seeking after the heart of God demands ceasing the sponsorship of terrorists such as Al Qaeda, and the Jews next door, in Syria. May Jo find the heart of god, which is the ability to perform miracles without the use of weapons (please note that money, or the lack of it, is also a weapon). Seeking the heart of god also demands humility... not exceptionalism (despite Jesus being utterly exceptionally better than Superman). Amen. (Gus is a fierce atheist).

omg president...

Joe Biden’s Catholicism

By PAUL COLLINS | On 18 January 2021

With the exception of Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, religion has not been a big deal for recent US presidents who were, at best, nominal Christians. For Joe Biden faith is central to who he is.

The only Catholic president before Biden came from Boston Irish wealth, was a Harvard graduate and his father was US ambassador to the Court of Saint James. In contrast to John F. Kennedy, Joseph Robinette Biden was born lower middle class Irish and partly French Catholic in November 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a small city famous for anthracite mining and heavy industry. The city fell on hard times in the post-World War II period, and when Biden was thirteen the family moved to Wilmington, Delaware, after his father lost his job in Scranton.

There have been lots of successful Catholic politicians in democracies like the US and Australia. Most of them keep their faith private, but Biden is different; he’s right up-front about his Catholicism. ‘It’s foundational to who he is,’ his long-time friend, Senator Chris Coons of Delaware says.

Coons also says that Biden’s stances on social justice, race, refugee and environmental issues are informed by ‘a deeply rooted sense of fairness’ that he learned from his parents and his Catholic formation. He has profoundly assimilated the Christian sense of the importance of the community over individualism, of putting others before self, and he sees politics in the words of Pope Francis ‘as something more noble than posturing, marketing and social spin.’

As well as the Catholic tradition of social justice, his faith is deeply rooted in the church’s spirituality and practice. He attends Mass every Sunday and quite often on weekdays. He prays regularly, often quotes the bible in political speeches and even publicly bursts into popular hymns, as he did in his November 7, 2020 victory speech when he quoted Michael Joncas’ hymn On Eagle’s Wings. ‘In the last days of the campaign,’ he said, ‘I began thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and…I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the…Americans who have lost a loved one through this terrible virus this year.’ He then quoted the first verse:

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord

Who abide in His shadow for life,

Say to the Lord ‘My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!’

And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings

Bear you on the breath of dawn

Make you to shine like the sun

And hold you in the palm of His hand.

It’s this kind of faith that sustained Biden through the death of his first wife Neilia and their thirteen-month-old daughter Naomi, in a car accident in December 1972 and later when his son Joseph (‘Beau’) died from cancer in 2015.

Nowadays when you say someone is a committed ‘Catholic’ in the US (and Australia), you have to be more specific. Biden is a serious post-Vatican II Catholic and it is this that has got him into trouble with conservative (mainly Republican-voting ) Catholics and the majority of the US bishops.

The simple fact is that the US church is deeply divided. Almost all the bishops appointed by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI are conservative and some of them are extreme reactionaries who are openly critical of Pope Francis. While these bishops give lip service to mainstream Catholic moral and social teaching, their focus is primarily on abortion and to a lesser extent on contraception, gay marriage and euthanasia. It also helps as a bishop if you vote Republican. In fact, until recently the US bishops’ conference resembled a local branch of the Republican Party. Pope Francis has appointed better quality bishops with broader perspectives, but the hard-liners still constitute the majority on the episcopal bench.

On abortion and contraception Catholics like Biden – and John Kerry who ran against George W. Bush in 2004 – have had a hard time from many clergy who want to deny them Communion because of their views. Fortunately, Biden’s Wilmington parish priest and the recently appointed Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, have protected Biden from the Communion-denial brigade.

Conservatives accuse Biden of being ‘weak’ on abortion. Early on he was a supporter of the Hyde Amendment which prevented public funds being used for abortion. By 2007 he had moved to say that while he was ‘personally opposed to abortion,’ he couldn’t ‘impose [his] view on the rest of society.’ By 2020 his policy was to codify Roe V Wade by neutralizing state laws that made the right to abortion difficult. He says unequivocally ‘Reproductive rights are a constitutional right’ and ‘every woman should have that right.’ He supports the Affordable Care Act covering contraceptives and, as President, will restore funding to Planned Parenthood.

This is red rag to reactionary bishops. Rather than welcoming the fact that a practising and committed Catholic had been elected US President, the Bishops’ Conference leader, Archbishop José Gomes of Los Angeles, issued a warning that the church was facing ‘a difficult and complex situation…When politicians who profess the Catholic faith support [abortion rights], there are additional problems…It creates confusion among the faithful about what the Catholic Church actually teaches on these questions.’

Despite the bishops’ strictures, according to a 2019 Pew Research survey, 56% of U.S. Catholics said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 42% said it should be illegal. However, two-thirds of regular Mass going Catholics oppose abortion, while 33% said it should be legal.

The problem for Biden and other Catholic politicians is the way in which abortion has been isolated, as though it were the only touchstone for the whole of Catholic morality and belief. For a Catholic in public life like Biden, conscientious decisions on this issue are more complex than for bishops. As President, he is legally and publicly accountable to the electorate where there is clear support for the right to an abortion. Again, according to Pew, ‘currently 61% [of Americans] say abortion should be legal in all or most cases,’ while 38% say it should be illegal.

Clearly, Biden is far more ‘Catholic’ in the true sense of the word – open to others, broad, embracing rather than excluding – than many of the bishops. Mind you, that’s not hard, given the number of ideologues that inhabit the bishops’ bench.

But in the end, Biden as a politician in a democracy has to be able to get things done, above all to rein-in Coronavirus and restore public integrity post-Trump. While goodness, empathy, decency, moral principles, even a deep faith, are important in a leader, in the end, Biden will be judged by his ability to deal with process, compromise, the often-nasty give and take reality of politics, while balancing the difference between religious faith and the secular state.

Given his vast experience, his clear moral compass, his inbred decency and warm humanity, we can be confident that with Joseph Biden a new era is beginning in Washington.



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I am not so confident as Paul Collins... "Given his vast experience, his clear moral compass, his inbred decency and warm humanity, we can be confident that with Joseph Biden a new era is beginning in Washington." is a neat way to finish what is a general warning to Joe...


In his previous incarnations, despite the qualities referred to by Paul Collins, Joe has shown a hypocrisy vacillating between lies and redemption: Typically Catholic... It's likely that his administration will follow the "THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO PROMISED FREEDOM AND DELIVERED DISASTER"...


At this level, I disagree with Helen Andrews who wrote the BOOMER book mentioned in the link...

The disaster she mentions is quite mild compare to previous generations' fucups...



“Baby Boomers (and I confess I am one): prepare to squirm and shake your increasingly arthritic little fists. For here comes essayist Helen Andrews.” – Terry Castle

With two recessions and a botched pandemic under their belt, the Boomers are their children’s favorite punching bag. But is the hatred justified? Is the destruction left in their wake their fault or simply the luck of the generational draw?

In Boomers, essayist Helen Andrews addresses the Boomer legacy with scrupulous fairness and biting wit. Following the model of Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians, she profiles six of the Boomers’ brightest and best. She shows how Steve Jobs tried to liberate everyone’s inner rebel but unleashed our stultifying digital world of social media and the gig economy. How Aaron Sorkin played pied piper to a generation of idealistic wonks. How Camille Paglia corrupted academia while trying to save it. How Jeffrey Sachs, Al Sharpton, and Sonya Sotomayor wanted to empower the oppressed but ended up empowering new oppressors.

Ranging far beyond the usual Beatles and Bill Clinton clichés, Andrews shows how these six Boomers’ effect on the world has been tragically and often ironically contrary to their intentions. She reveals the essence of Boomerness: 

They tried to liberate us, and instead of freedom they left behind chaos.


“Helen Andrews has written the first book to treat the Baby Boomers not just as youthful dreamers but also as ruthless wielders of power, and to account for what their dreams have cost us. A groundbreaking reassessment of the last generation by one of the bravest and best writers of this one.”
—Christopher Caldwell, author of The Age of Entitlement

“Baby boomers (and I confess I am one): prepare to squirm and shake your increasingly arthritic little fists. For here comes essayist Helen Andrews, incendiary new critic of left-wing pieties, youthful scourge of ‘disastrous’ sixties idealism and its legacies, and all-round millennial conservative whippersnapper par excellence. Even when infuriating or wrong—and Andrews can be both—she is irresistibly intelligent, writes like a dream, and asks questions so uncomfortable and fundamental that the bravery, honesty, and moral seriousness of her approach cannot be gainsaid. Boomers—shall we go there?—is an essential book for our woebegotten time. Excuse me, folks, while I kiss the sky.”
—Terry Castle, Walter A. Haas Professor of the Humanities at Stanford University, author of The Professor

Quite fascinating… But as we all know (we all should), every generation before the boomers were full of … sainthood. We also know there are many kinds of boomers. Not all of them were clever like Steve Jobs, money makers like Bill Gates or full pants-down like Bill Clinton. Some were drop-outs and Ninbin, Australia, is still full of them, now with creaky fingers and various lung capacity due to smoking pot. 

The generations before the boomers gave us various occasion to shine with deadly glory, in which war was at the centre of moods. Europe 1870 — world 1914-1918 — world 1939-1945, all due to some bad apples, say like Cecil Rhodes for WW1, according to some controversial “historians”. 

Despite the famous chaos brought in by the Boomer generation, in general, apart from a small proportion, the generations that have followed have seen nothing like world wars, true hunger, or true fascism despite branding Trump a fascist… Nor have these generation experienced much hint of hardship as governments go the easy way and print money in hard times. In the past, the queues at the rations offices would go several miles.

Pompeo, the nasty man, is one of the late boomers, born 30 December 1963, is one of those boomers who have forgotten the hardship of war and want to relaunch a new aggression on someone somewhere. Michael Richard Pompeo is an American politician, diplomat, businessman, and attorney who, since April 2018, has been serving as 70th United States secretary of state. He is a former United States Army officer, Kansas congressman and was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 2017 until April 2018. he’s tried to coax Trump into wars which so far, Trump has avoided. Pompeo's secretariat of state has been a fatberg in a sewer of deceitful big shits.

True, we have not been saved from war by the sanity of the boomers. They have waged their little conflicts in piddly places, where major confrontations with other bullies would be avoided. Clinton destroyed Yugoslavia, Bush-the-Minus destroyed Iraq, on the footsteps of his daddy a decade earlier. Then Obama indulge the Pentagon in destroying Libya and started on Syria until the Russians said niet. Trump followed up with sanctions while wanting to bring back the troops, to the horror of the establishment and the war generals.

What has stopped the insanity and kept the general populace in a state of peace has been the mutual assured destruction of all. A sane view of insanity.

But the following generation from X to z and the millennials got it lucky until the covid-19 pandemic. They have not understood the seriousness of the situation whether created or accidental. These smartPhone generations are basically unaware of the human condition apart from celebs and influencers... There are some good kids who are more awake than others, basically in the same proportions as in previous generations, including those who voted against conscription.


There is hope and the Boomers were not that bad (so far). Note, Biden isn't a Boomer but an older guy...

still popular...

On the final full day of his presidency, President Donald Trump finishes his tenure in the White House with a 51% approval rating among likely U.S. voters, according to a Rasmussen poll.

Moreover, 36% of likely voters “strongly approve” of the job Trump is doing in office, the poll found.


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See also: if the link is not destroyed by the Google mob...


bending the law to lynch trump...

Over the last four years, we have seen an alarming trend of law professors and legal experts discarding constitutional and due process commitments to support theories for the prosecution or impeachment of Donald Trump or his family.  Legal experts who long defended criminal defense rights have suddenly become advocates of the most sweeping interpretations of criminal or constitutional provisions while discarding basic due process  and fairness concerns.   


Even theories that have been clearly rejected by the Supreme Court have been claimed to be valid in columns. No principle seems inviolate when it stands in the way of a Trump prosecution. Yet, the statement of House manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., this week was breathtaking. A former law professor, Raskin declared that the decision of Trump not to testify in the Senate could be cited or used by House managers as an inference of his guilt — a statement that contradicts not just our constitutional principles but centuries of legal writing.


Presidents have historically not testified at impeachment trials.  One reason is that, until now, only sitting presidents have been impeached and presidents balked at the prospect of being examined as head of the Executive Branch by the Legislative Branch. Moreover, it was likely viewed as undignified and frankly too risky.  Indeed, most defense attorneys routinely discourage their clients from testifying in actual criminal cases because the risks outweigh any benefits. Finally, Trump is arguing that this trial is unconstitutional and thus he would be even less likely to depart from tradition and appear as a witness.

Despite the historical precedent for presidents not testifying, Raskin made an extraordinary and chilling declaration on behalf of the House of Representatives.  He wrote in a letter to Trump that “If you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, including the right to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference regarding your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021.”

Raskin justified his position by noting that Trump “denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment.” Thus, he insisted Trump needed to testify or his silence is evidence of guilt. Under this theory, any response other than conceding the allegations would trigger this response and allow the House to use the silence of the accused as an inference of guilt.

The statement conflicts with one of the most precious and revered principles in American law that a refusal to testify should not be used against an accused party.

The statement also highlighted the fact that the House has done nothing to lock in testimony of those who could shed light on Trump’s intent.  After using a “snap impeachment,” the House let weeks pass without any effort to call any of the roughly dozen witnesses who could testify on Trump’s statements and conduct in the White House. Many of those witnesses have already given public interviews.

Of course, the relative passivity of the House simply shows a lack of effort to actually win this case.  The Raskin statement is far more disturbing. The Fifth Amendment embodies this touchstone of American law in declaring that “[n]o person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”  It was a rejection of the type of abuses associated with the infamous Star Chamber in Great Britain. As the Supreme Court declared in 1964, it is the embodiment of “many of our fundamental values and most noble aspirations.”  Murphy v. Waterfront Commission, 378 U.S. 52, 55 (1964).

Central to this right is the added protection that the silence of an accused cannot be used against him in the way suggested by Raskin. There was a time when members of Congress not only respected this rule but fought to amplify it. For example, in 1878, Congress was enacting a law that addressed testimonial rights but expressly stated that the failure of an accused to request to testify “shall not create any presumption against him.”

The Supreme Court has been adamant that the type of inference sought by Raskin is abhorrent and abusive in courts of law. In Griffin v. California, 380 U.S. 609 (1964), the Court reviewed a California rule of evidence which permitted adverse comment on a defendant’s failure to testify.  The California rule sounded strikingly like Raskin’s position and mandated that a defendant’s “failure to explain or to deny by his testimony any evidence or facts in the case against him may be commented upon by the court and by counsel, and may be considered by the court or the jury.”  The Court rejected such references or reliance by prosecutors as unconstitutional.

Later in Carter v. Kentucky, the Supreme Court held that “the privilege to remain silent is of a very different order of importance . ..from the ‘mere etiquette of trials and …the formalities and minutiae of procedure.'” It goes to the most fundamental principles of justice in our legal system.

In the past, when such concerns have been raised, members and pundits have reached for the “anything goes” theory of impeachment. Such principles are dismissed as relevant in the purely “political” process of impeachment. I have long rejected this view. This is not a political exercise. It is a constitutional exercise. These senators do not take the take to act as politicians but to act as constitutional actors in compliance with the standards and procedures laid out for impeachments. It would make this process a mockery if, in claiming to uphold constitutional values, members like Raskin destroy the very foundations of constitutional rights.

Yet, Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe (who has routinely favored any interpretation that disfavors Trump) declared Raskin correct promising to use a decision not to testify as evidence of guilt: “If Mr. Trump declines the chance to clear his name by showing up and explaining under oath why his conduct on January 6 didn’t make him responsible for the lethal insurrection that day, it’ll be on him. He can’t have it both ways.” No, it is on us. The House cannot have it both ways in declaring that it is upholding constitutional values while gutting them.

It is true that this is not a criminal trial. It is a constitutional trial. As such, the Senate should try an accused according to our highest traditions and values.  That includes respecting the right to remain silent and not to have “inferences” drawn from the fact that (like prior presidents) Trump will not be present at the trial or give testimony.


This is not the first time that reason has been left a stranger in our age of rage. There appears no price too great to pay to impeach or prosecute Trump. Now, the House is arguing against one of the very touchstones of our constitutional system and legal experts are silent.  If everything is now politics, this trial is little more than a raw partisanship cloaked in constitutional pretense.


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See also: another case of "muddled intelligence"... in questions arise for holding congress' open day when the members were discussing joe biden becoming president...