Fox News Democrat and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz is making the rounds on cable to opine about the House Democrats’ post-Russian collusion hoax investigatory regime. The author of The Case Against Impeaching Trump thinks the all-investigation-all-the-time plan is dangerous for his party, but includes an interesting bit of conjecture with his admonitions. He has absolutely no doubt that if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency Republicans in both the House and Senate—assuming the GOP held them—would have besieged her administration with the same investigatory fervor with which the Democrats are harassing President Trump.
He’s probably right. It is impossible to imagine a scenario, given everything we know about Clinton corruption/collusion and the Deep State plot to take down a president, in which the GOP, defeated in a third straight run for the White House, wouldn’t get busy launching every conceivable probe in response.
It is unlikely that a Republican-controlled Congress would have re-grouped in the ashes of a Trump defeat and played nice. Their base would have demanded, much as the leftist Democrat base is demanding now, that they launch a withering docket-full of investigations. It is safe to assume that ranking House GOPers like Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan would have come after Clinton loaded for bear, and with full justification.
What we have here is the divided adversarial governance of a divided nation, and however much venerable political elites like Mr. Dershowitz may bemoan the fact, they are hard-pressed to see things changing.
It is clear that the run-up to 2020 will be investigation-heavy. If Trump wins that election, a prospect growing more likely with every news cycle, the nation will be subjected to four more years of probes and a relentless quest to find grounds for impeachment. When, presumably, Vice President Pence runs in 2024, and especially if he wins, the Democrats will go to work on him, although it’s hard to imagine anything on likable Mike that will stick.
Flip the script, and assume a Democrat becomes president in 2020. Expect an onslaught of GOP accusations and charges. While it’s hard to imagine anything actionable that we don’t already know about former Vice President Joe Biden, should he run, material is already being meticulously gathered by opposition researchers on announced candidates like Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Senator Elizabeth Warren may have investigation-proofed herself with an ancestry search that shows she has less Native American blood than Fox News host Jessie Watters. Bernie Sanders? His policy proposals are all Trump needs to conjure a disastrous future under socialism. Future Dem hopeful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already in trouble for alleged campaign finance violations, and she can’t even run yet.
The big overarch here is that Congress has become a Thunderdome characterized by warring entities who will accomplish little in the way of actual legislation — and whose approval rating always hovers somewhere over the pits as a result. To one extent or another throughout America’s political history, it has always been thus, but with Donald Trump in office, we’ve got death-blow legal assault strategery 24/7.
One upshot is that the respective bases of the major parties must look to the executive branch, and every conceivable power it holds, to get things done. With a Republican president in office, conservatives of all stripes must assist the executive branch by every means necessary. Conversely, if a Democrat ascends to the presidency, the right must—wait for it—resist, even if resistance means an investigatory regime every bit as relentless as the one the Democrats are deploying against Trump.
Here’s why. Imagine that Ms. Clinton had won. Nunes, Jordan, and their pro-Trump Senate cohorts would undoubtedly have swung into action, but to what avail? With Democrats, the Deep State, and the biased-left media ensconced at the highest level of power, any investigations of alleged prior malfeasance by President Hillary would face more than an uphill battle gaining traction.
If Clinton had won, Robert Mueller would not be a household name, Donald Trump would be back running his empire (or announcing for 2020?), and, from a conservative, constitutional standpoint, the country would be in a lot of trouble. Factor the 2018 midterms going the way they did with Clinton at the helm and add the House to the bulwark of leftist entrenchment, probably insurmountable.
Minority GOP avengers like Nunes and Jordan could investigate all they wanted, but with Clinton in the catbird seat, good luck.
Alan Dershowitz sees a future wherein the operative political mechanism is investigation. Where the goal of each party is primarily to harass, virtually indict, and drag an opposing presidency through legal quagmires that seriously damage an administration’s ability to govern.
As previously stated, to one extent or another it has always been thus. But with Donald Trump in office and coasting toward reelection in 2020, the citizenry must reconcile itself to living in the perdition of a relentless, often stalemated, and discouragingly corrosive political environment.
A country the braintrust over at Roll Call has aptly dubbed investigation nation.
Author’s Note: Immediately upon completing this post I learned that Alan Dershowitz has been accused of involvement in former client Jeffery Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring, an accusation Mr. Dershowitz vehemently denies and vows to expose as unfounded.