Readers ask for my view of the impeachment trial. I had a very good view of the last impeachment trial - from a largely empty Senate press gallery, the US media collectively agreeing from about Day Three or Four that the whole thing was a crashing bore, notwithstanding the oral sex and cigars and "distinguishing characteristics". Not like a phone call to Kiev, is it?
Nevertheless, this time I'm the one disinclined to follow along. The left, being not terribly imaginative, always accuse you of what they're doing themselves. So, in this case, President Trump is charged with interfering with the 2020 election by men who have been interfering with the 2016 and 2020 elections for over three-and-a-half years now. Which is why we have the preposterous spectacle of four Democrat presidential candidates preparing to vote to remove from office the guy they're running against.
This is a joke. I gave up on it when, on the eve of the trial, the laughably named "Government Accountability Office" released its supposedly entirely separate conclusion that Trump had acted "illegally". Aside from the fact that that "finding" is flat out wrong, I wonder whether the permanent bureaucracy ever thinks, "Gee, maybe we should be a little more subtle about putting our Deep State thumbs on the scale."
But no. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? To whom is the "Accountability Office" accountable? Apparently nobody - just as with James Comey's FBI and Rod Rosenstein's DoJ and Lois Lerner's IRS and all the rest. If bureaucrats want to get political, they should do what politicians do and run for office. But why bother if, simply by being a "career public servant", you have a license to obstruct mere elected transients and their "policies"? The permanent state is one reason we have so many permanent problems.
~Given the brazen bogusness of this impeachment, I take a dim view of anything that lends it respectability - such as, for example, defense counsel. I would love to have seen President Trump announce in Davos that he was flying back to represent himself in the Senate trial. Of course, that might result in a solemn and prayerful proceeding in the world's most august body descending into a complete circus.
Hey, works for me.
Actually, it did work for me. When cockwombling Cary Katz and his crappy old CRTV/Blaze TV re-sued me in 2018, I was broke - mainly because he'd refused to pay what Judge Gordon had ordered in the first suit. So I had no choice but to represent myself. As some readers will recall, we kicked the butts of half-a-dozen fancypants bazillion-dollars-per-hour bi-coastal alleged top trial lawyers from Messrs Browne George Ross about as comprehensively as butt can be kicked. Many of you will be familiar with my colleague Andrew Lawton, who was on stage last month in our Christmas show's "Baby, It's Cold Outside" sketch. Andrew's Canadian but happened to be down in the US visiting our corporate HQ that week, and after popping in and out of the courtroom for a couple of days he asked if he could have a go and take a crack at a witness. I said sure, why not? And so Andrew got to practice as an undocumented barrister for an afternoon, and the ludicrous and damaging assertion he extracted from the Blaze marketing honcho was quoted by Mr O'Neill in his stirring summation (page 45, paragraph 34).
No two judicial proceedings are alike, of course. But it helps a pro se defendant if the plaintiff has no case. And, in that respect, Trump is in exactly the same position with Schiff as I was with Katz. Go for it, Mr President - and reduce this pseudo-judicial codswallop to the farce it actually is.
~Meanwhile, back in the real world: Is your little Jimmy set on transitioning into your little Jenny? Help him on her way with the first transgender dolly complete with cute little dress and cute little penis. Has Mattel issued a Hung Barbie yet? Have they stuck a vagina on GI Joe and relabeled him G-spot Joe?
The accelerating madness drags a cowed and quiescent political class along in its wake. A Ukrainian phone call is a "national security threat", but presidential candidates announcing their pronouns isn't a threat to anything. We'll see how that works out.
~In the lethargic one-step-forward-nineteen-steps-back prosecution of various Gitmo detainees, Dr James E Mitchell has been summoned to court to justify his waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others. The New York Times story on this "pre-trial hearing" (the actual trial will begin in 2027... 2043... 2102...) reports that Dr Mitchell was "defiant" and "expressed no regrets or contrition" - as if he is the criminal and refusing to acknowledge to his jihadist victims the wrongs he has committed and the pain he has caused. For a different view of Dr Mitchell and his work, here is my interview with him from three years ago:
~We have some special events planned for this first year of the new Roaring Twenties, including our third annual Mark Steyn Cruise, sailing the Mediterranean with Conrad Black, Michele Bachmann, Douglas Murray and John O'Sullivan among our shipmates. As with most travel and accommodations, the price and the choices are more favorable the earlier you book. If you have any queries, do call or email Cindy, our super-helpful cruise manager: If you're dialing from almost anywhere but Australia (ie, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America), it's 001 (770) 952-1959; if you're calling from North America, it's 1-800-707-1634. Or you can put it in writing here.)
~Members of The Mark Steyn Club are welcome to weigh in with their comments on any of the above. Steyn Club members also enjoy special pricing on over forty products at the Steyn store, including (for those with fond memories of my showstopping number on our New York/Pennsylvania tour last year) our My Sharia Amour gift pack. So, if you've been thinking about signing up, you can find more details about the Club here - and, if you've a chum who'd enjoy our audio fiction, video poetry and much more, don't forget our special Gift Membership, which makes a lovely birthday present. And I'll see Steyn Clubbers back here tomorrow evening, Friday, for a brand new Tale for Our Time.