Washington Post opinion writer bumps into arguments he failed to address in his support for coup attempt

Victor Davis Hanson:

Max Boot recently wrote that my arguments against the impeachment inquiry are prima facie proof of why the Democrats should, in fact, impeach Trump: “If even the great historian Victor Davis Hanson can’t make a single convincing argument against impeachment, I am forced to conclude that no such argument exists.”
In fact, I made 10 such arguments, all of which Boot attempted, but has failed, to refute. In this context, Boot’s intellectual erosion as a historian and analyst is a valuable warning of stage-four Trump Derangement Syndrome. I offer that diagnosis with regret given I once knew and liked Boot. But his commentary over the last three years has become sadly unhinged.

Most recently Boot declared—and then quickly retracted it only in embarrassment after popular outrage—that chief ISIS mass-murdering psychopathic Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not kill himself in cowardly fashion as Trump had described: “The assertion that Baghdadi died as a coward was, in any case, contradicted by the fact that rather than be captured, he blew himself up.”

When Baghdadi was cornered by American forces, he chose to murder three innocent children rather than surrender—consistent with his entire venomous career of ordering the beheading, burning, and mutilating of innocent captives from a safe distance. The murder of defenseless children is cowardly.

No one should know better the horrific crimes of a mass-murdering Josef Stalin than the Russian-born Boot. Stalin’s purges, orchestrated famines, gulags, show trials, liquidation of the officer class, and atrocities during World War II perhaps accounted for over 20 million Russian deaths. So how could Boot write, “I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump”? Twenty million dead souls don’t quite match Boot’s hatred of Trump.

After the former Republican Boot saw Trump elected, by defeating his own particular favored Republican primary candidate, and Hillary Clinton, he seemed a bit embittered: “For the health of our republic, I think we need to destroy the Republican Party.”

Boot lectures ad nauseam the supposedly less enlightened on the same old, same old purported evils of Donald Trump and the alleged compromised conservatives who in November 2016 saw Trump as the only advocate for conservative justices, a secure border, tax reform, greater energy development, and a tougher approach to Chinese mercantilism.

He apparently has no self-awareness that when Trump exits the national scene, Boot’s progressive overseers at the Washington Post will likely have no more need of such useful anti-Trump monotony—and thus no more need for what they see as their one-trick pony.

To his credit, Boot in rare moments of clarity seems aware of his own fixations and at least has confessed such doubts to his readers “But no matter how many columns or sound bites I produce, he remains in office, acting (as Sharpie gate shows) more erratically than ever. Sure, he’s not terribly popular—but he could still be reelected. I am left to ask if all my work has made any difference.”

In fact, all of Boot’s work has not made any difference.

As for his supposed dissection of my 10 reasons why the impeachment inquiry is becoming illegitimate, his refutation has the effect of only strengthening the arguments. Remember, the current impeachment inquiry is not about finding crimes that warrant impeachment, but is rather yet another attempt in a long series to delegitimize the president and render him politically inert: Trump is the target and “crimes” necessary to finish him are invented in each new iteration.
Coups Are Not Coups?

Boot knows that “coup” in current popular discourse describes a “blow” and not necessarily formally a coup d’état of an army storming the White House. In the political sense, a coup is an effort to remove a head of state, illegitimately, and often without the use of the military. That is why the whistleblower’s own lawyer, the anti-Trump zealot, Mark Zaid, has previously referred to collective efforts to remove Trump as “coups”: “#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately” and “#coup has started. As one falls, two more will take their place. #rebellion #impeachment.”

Note Zaid’s conflation of impeachment, rebellion, and coup. Presumably, Boot thinks he is doing his own part to eclipse the need for a 2020 referendum on Trump, when he laments that despite his effort, “he remains in office.” Translated, I think that means Boot regrets that Trump is finishing his elected and constitutionally mandated term.

Since the November 2016 election, the progressive agenda has focused on rendering Trump powerless by means other than defeating him in the 2020 election. The parameters were outlined, for example, by Rosa Brooks in a January 30, 2017, Foreign Policy essay. A mere 10 days after Trump’s inauguration, she could envision not just recourse to impeachment or the 25th Amendment, but an additional possibility of a military coup (e.g., “For the first time in my life, I can imagine plausible scenarios in which senior military officials might simply tell the president: ‘No, sir. We’re not doing that,’ to thunderous applause from the New York Times editorial board.”).

I have no doubt that the “editorial board” would offer thunderous applause for some sort of Trump removal, even “the sooner, the better”—as retired Admiral William McRaven wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed.

Boot claims there “have been many legitimate investigations prompted by the president’s unethical and even illegal conduct.” Well, there certainly have been “bombshell” hysterias designed to subvert or abort his candidacy, his transition, and now his presidency.

But note that if Boot truly believes Trump’s conduct has proved serially illegal and there have been many “legitimate investigations” into his alleged criminal conduct, why then has not a single act resulted in a criminal referral? What is now the fate of all those who swore to us that Trump was a Russian asset, traitor, treasonous, or pervert such as James Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Clapper, John Brennan, and Christopher Steele?
A Nonpartisan Whistleblower?

Concerning my characterization of the whistleblower as a partisan, Boot retorts, “Given that the whistleblower was reportedly a low-level CIA officer assigned to the White House, it’s ludicrous to describe him as a ‘protégé’ of former vice president Biden or a political partisan.”

All that is simply untrue. It is ludicrous not to label him a rank partisan from the information that has so far seeped out.

The whistleblower reportedly accompanied Vice President Joe Biden on at least one Air Force Two visit to Ukraine. He is often described as a protégé of both Brennan and Susan Rice, for whom he worked when she was Obama’s national security advisor. He was an apparent Obama holdover on loan from John Brennan’s CIA to the NSC, only to be let go from the Trump White House for alleged partisan leaking. These contacts apparently explain why even a sympathetic inspector general noted “some indica of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.” The whistleblower’s initial version of the phone call proved not entirely accurate.

Boot should explain to his readers why after both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) boasted that the whistleblower would be integral to their impeachment efforts and certainly would be heard from “very soon,” suddenly there is no interest in having him testify and face cross examination.
There is more.

Max Boot has become a notorious anti-Trumper.  He seems frustrated by his inability to persuade Trump supporters to abandon him.  He has also become sloppy in his handling of facts and reason ignoring evidence that does not support his positions.


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