President Trump reaches deep into the perv barrel for his defense team.
Can a woman be president of the United States?
I’ve covered the men who run the world my whole life. And there have been a lot of screw-ups, from Vietnam to Watergate to Afghanistan to Iraq to pushing the economy off a cliff. There has also been plenty of creepy behavior, culminating in the news that Donald Trump, Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz have joined together in a pervy, hypocritical cabal to argue that Trump did not smirch the Constitution.
So please, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, stop whingeing about sexism and just show how you could wield power like a boss. Ibid: Nancy Pelosi.
When Steve Bannon called Pelosi a “total assassin,” according to the hot new book “A Very Stable Genius,” by Washington Post writers Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig, he meant it as the highest compliment. You won’t find Pelosi keening about gender; she’s too busy taking care of business.
Hillary Clinton did not lose because she was a woman. She faced sexism, of course, just as Barack Obama faced racism. She lost because she ran an entitled, joyless, nose-in-the air campaign and because she didn’t emulate her husband’s ethos of campaign ’til the last dog dies and the last bowling alley closes, and always make it about the voters. She lost because she and her campaign manager, Robby Mook, didn’t listen to Bill Clinton, the world’s leading expert on the white, male, rural vote, when he warned them that there was trouble and offered to help out.
Donald Trump operates from the id, which is fitting because he represents a last-gasp primal scream from working-class Americans threatened by the changes transforming the country. Women are now a majority of the work force and whites are heading toward a minority status. Hollywood cannot cling to its benighted — and self-defeating — desire to stay a white male club forever, despite the fact that women have always made up half the audience.
Trump’s ascent does not make it harder for women to ascend — just the opposite. Look at the throng of women who were outraged enough about Trump to march and run and get elected in 2018.
Once a woman electrifies Democrats the way J.F.K., Bill Clinton and Obama did — and the way Trump does his base — she will win.
Trump is once more doing his part to energize women voters. On Friday, we learned that the president will get help from Starr and Dershowitz for the impeachment trial in the Senate.
The Starr chamber was a shameful period of American history, with the prissy Puritan independent counsel hounding and virtually jailing Monica Lewinsky and producing hundreds of pages of panting, bodice-ripping prose that read more like bad erotica than a federal report, rife with lurid passages about breasts, stains and genitalia. Like the Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale and other Pharisaic Holy Rollers before him, the prosecutor who read the Bible and sang hymns when he jogged became fixated on sex in an unhealthy, warped way.
Even Trump was appalled. “Starr’s a freak,” the bloviating builder told me back in 1999. “I bet he’s got something in his closet.” In other interviews, he called Starr “a lunatic,” “a disaster” and “off his rocker,” and expressed sympathy for Hillary having to stand by her man when he was “being lambasted by this crazy Ken Starr, who is a total wacko.”
Starr, who once clutched his pearls over Bill Clinton’s sexual high jinks, is now going to bat for President “Access Hollywood.” After playing an avenging Javert about foreplay in the Oval, Starr will now do his utmost to prove that a real abuse of power undermining Congress and American foreign policy is piffle.
In 2007, he defended Jeffrey Epstein. By 2016, Starr was being ousted as president of Baptist Baylor University for failing to protect women and looking the other way when football players were accused and sometimes convicted of sexual assaults. In other words, he’s a complete partisan hack who doesn’t give a damn about sexual assault.
And then there’s Dershowitz, whose past clients have included such sterling fellows as Epstein, Claus von Bülow, O.J. Simpson and Harvey Weinstein. How did he miss Ted Bundy? Still, Dershowitz has put himself on the side of an impressive pantheon of villainy in the realm of violence against girls and women.
Virginia Giuffre, Prince Andrew’s accuser, has also claimed that she was offered as a teenager to Dershowitz for sex — a contention that Dershowitz has denied in a countersuit.
On Fox News, Dershowitz has made the case that it is Pelosi who put herself above the law by delaying the delivery of the articles of impeachment. Good luck with that one.
The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan government watchdog, a few days ago deemed that Trump’s slimy Ukraine gambit violated a law. Yet Dershowitz will somehow argue that it doesn’t represent high crimes and misdemeanors.
He tweeted that he’s nonpartisan because he opposed Bill’s impeachment and voted for Hillary, even as he joined up with Bill’s persecutor. Dershowitz said that he is participating “to defend the integrity of the Constitution.”
That assertion may fly in Foxworld. But in the real world, it’s ridiculous. You can bet that Trump and his buddies will continue to turn out the women’s vote.
In a telephone interview, Dean said he would focus on Kavanaugh’s views on executive power and his statements about the case, U.S. v. Nixon, in which the Supreme Court ruled that Nixon had to turn over secretly recorded White House tapes.
Kavanaugh’s view on the case is murky. He said in a 1999 panel discussion that “maybe Nixon was wrongly decided — heresy though it is to say so. Nixon took away the power of the president to control information in the executive branch . . . that was a huge step with implications to this day that most people do no fully appreciate.”
.. Dean also said he would focus on Kavanaugh’s 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, in which the federal appeals court judge wrote that a president is too busy to be distracted by civil suits and criminal investigation while in office. Kavanaugh’s view has come under scrutiny because he played the lead role in laying out the grounds for impeaching President Bill Clinton when he helped write a report to Congress for independent counsel Kenneth Starr.
.. Democrats are expected to question Kavanaugh about whether he believes that President Trump should be subject to investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
.. Democrats have expressed concern that Kavanaugh could be asked to rule on whether Mueller can subpoena Trump and force him to testimony.
.. Republicans announced Thursday that Kavanaugh will be introduced at the hearings by former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, among others, and a number of his former law clerks and others will testify in his favor. Former solicitor general Theodore Olson is also slated to testify for Republicans.
today, with the exception of the current justices and Judge Garland, it is hard to name anyone with judicial credentials as strong as those of Judge Kavanaugh.
.. Several of Judge Kavanaugh’s most important ideas and arguments — such as his powerful defense of presidential authority to oversee federal bureaucrats and his skepticism about newfangled attacks on the property rights of criminal defendants — have found their way into Supreme Court opinions.
.. Except for Judge Garland, no one has sent more of his law clerks to clerk for the justices of the Supreme Court than Judge Kavanaugh has. And his clerks have clerked for justices across the ideological spectrum.
.. This studiousness is especially important for a jurist like Judge Kavanaugh, who prioritizes the Constitution’s original meaning. A judge who seeks merely to follow precedent can simply read previous judicial opinions. But an “originalist” judge — who also cares about what the Constitution meant when its words were ratified in 1788 or when amendments were enacted — cannot do all the historical and conceptual legwork on his or her own.
Judge Kavanaugh seems to appreciate this fact, whereas Justice Antonin Scalia, a fellow originalist, did not read enough history and was especially weak on the history of the Reconstruction amendments and the 20th-century amendments.
.. admirably confessing that some of the views he held 20 years ago as a young lawyer — including his crabbed understandings of the presidency when he was working for the Whitewater independent counsel, Kenneth Starr — were erroneous.
.. they could try to sour the hearings by attacking Judge Kavanaugh and looking to complicate the proceedings whenever possible.
This would be a mistake. Judge Kavanaugh is, again, a superb nominee.
.. pledge either to vote yes for Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation — or, if voting no, to first publicly name at least two clearly better candidates whom a Republican president might realistically have nominated instead (not an easy task).