15.11.19

DENY COHERENT BELIEFS, GET (FOR BETTER OR WORSE) PRESIDENT TRUMP.

That's riffing off a post from two years ago, where I noted, "Truly, truly, I say unto you, institutions are civilization. They've been deconstructed, and to what end?"  At the time, writers of a more traditionalist bent noted that the use of the trendy new rules by les deplorables was probably not what the self-styled intelligentsia anticipated, and it was going to bite them.
[T]he Charlie Sykes of Prof Scam and Fail U properly could characterize much of what came out of the pro-Trump commentariat as the fallout of postmodern deconstructionism of coherent beliefs. Thus, we might add to the sins of the political class "weaponizing the Executive only to turn it over to Donald Trump" and to the sins cultural class "weaponizing identity politics only to see it picked up by White America" the sins of the academic class "treating truth as a malleable social construction only to see the sledge-hammer wielded by Breitbart and Alex Jones."

But the election did come down to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and principled conservatives could make a case for Mr Trump, crudity and all. For instance, Victor Hanson saw it this way, to Mr Sykes's dismay. "One does not need lectures about conservatism from Edmund Burke when, at the neighborhood school, English becomes a second language, or when one is rammed by a hit-and-run driver illegally in the United States who flees the scene of the accident."
Now comes the impeachment inquiry, and Conor Friedersdorf is going on record as recognizing that deconstruction strays into the incoherent.
The coequal branch of Congress would check the presidency. The House would be lawfully empowered to impeach, and the Senate to conduct a trial. If two-thirds of senators voted to convict, the president would be removed.

That lawful and inherently political process is one of the reasons the United States has an unbroken record of peaceful transitions of power between presidents.

But that civic inheritance is being undermined by allies of President Donald Trump who are making constitutionally illiterate and otherwise wrongheaded arguments in an effort to cast plainly lawful impeachment proceedings as illegitimate.
So far, so standard. But read on.
The Constitution matters. So does the English language. To conserve the integrity of both––a project avowedly conservative writers ought to care about––requires choosing words with more intellectual honesty and care than [classical historian Victor] Hanson shows. Alas, he is not an outlier among Trumpists. Even the House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has called the impeachment inquiry “a calculated coup.”
Mr Friedersdorf concludes, though, by recognizing that you can't deconstruct institutions when it's convenient to do so.
If efforts to oust Trump ever trigger political violence by people who don’t understand the constitutional legitimacy of impeachment and removal, blame for the bloodshed will reside in part with Hanson, [representative Kevin] McCarthy, and all the other pro-Trump commentators who cast a tool the Framers gave us as illegitimate.
Deconstruct institutions at your peril.  Where there are no coherent ideas, there may as well be strongmen, and revolutionary mobs.

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