To be clear, that's "complicity"—as in, you are complicit, anonymous op-ed writer, in propping up a man who, by *your* description, is "detrimental to the health of the republic." 2/
You signal why you are propping him up very clearly here: like other Republican Party apparatchiks, you think there's gold in them hills for your own political benefit. That's clearly how you see your "first duty" here, not to country. 3/
You describe Trump's infirmity as "amorality"—but you have a strange and narrow definition of what that means. For you, Trump is "amoral" because he is not sufficiently "moored" to conservative ideology. He doesn't show enough "affinity" for your ideological worldview. 4/
And he's "anti-trade." The "root of the problem is the president's amorality" ... not least because his "impulses are generally anti-trade." Now there's a weird definition of "amoral." 5/
Eventually, you get around to describing him as "anti-democratic." As a passing afterthought. It's revealing to be so cursory about that after you've fretted at length that what *really* makes him "amoral" is that he's an insufficiently reliable conservative. And anti-trade. 6/
Speaking of "amorality." /7
I mean, don't get you wrong—you think Trump's ascendance to power has been an amazing boon. Just look at all of the amazing goodies you've been able to grab for yourself, your cronies, and GOP donors! Deregulation, tax giveaways—"and more." (Ahem: #TrumpJudges) 8/
One wouldn't know how great the gravy train has been from the "near-ceaseless negative coverage" by the press. Don't get you wrong—you would *never* call the press the "enemy of the people." But you don't exactly disagree, either. You'd just prefer to say it less aggressively. 9/
What seems to bother you most is that you think Trump is constantly placing all of the conservative good fortune he gives you at risk—you've grabbed all your goodies "despite" Trump, not because of him. And you seem to know that your time is running out. 10/
You wanted—and convinced yourself you were getting—someone "with enough working digits to handle a pen." Someone who would give you a blank check and blindly sign off on your agenda (and that of your donors) to the maximum extent—legitimacy be damned. 10/…
Instead, you got a man who is "impetuous, adversarial, petty and"—evidently the worst "amoral" sin of all for you and your agenda—"ineffective." (One of these things is not like the others.) 11/
In other words, you got the man that anyone who has been paying even passing attention already knew Donald Trump to be. Who could have possibly predicted? Shocked, shocked, etc. 12/
Of *course* it's not "cold comfort"—it's not comfort at all. You're not "unsung heroes." You're mostly partisan hangers-on, clinging tightly to grab as many conservative goodies you can. You're palpably proud of your power grab and would keep grabbing if you could. 13/
Your discussion of "early whispers within the cabinet" of invoking the 25th Amendment—which requires a "declaration that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office"—is revealing for what it says, but also for what it doesn't say. 14/
By your account, the reason why the cabinet hasn't invoked the 25th Amendment is *not* because that wouldn't be justified on the merits, but because it doesn't want to precipitate a "constitutional crisis." Please. 15/
For one thing, it's perfectly obvious that that the constitutional crisis here is President Donald J. Trump. That's long been plain for everyone to see—but it's also crystal clear by your *own* account. 16/
For another thing, on what theory is the "two-track presidency" to which you are actively contributing constitutionally and democratically legitimate? Spoiler: it's NOT. You, too, are the constitutional crisis. 17/
To take just one important example of the long-term crisis to which your two-trackiness has contributed, all the #TrumpJudges you've helped install using this "two-track" power now have larger clouds over their heads—an ongoing crisis for the rest of their days as judges. 18/
Aside: what makes your arrogation of "two-track" presidential power legitimate—Originalism? A rambling explanation by Giuliani on Hannity? The supposed "presumption of regularity" that Solicitor General Noel Francisco urged SCOTUS to honor in the Muslim ban case? 19/
On your own account, the 25th Amendment is a legitimate constitutional process to follow here. Unlike your "two-track presidency," the 25th Amendment *is* a constitutional process. It is, after all, the 25th Amendment TO THE CONSTITUTION. 20/
If its invocation is justified on the merits—and leave everyone else's opinions aside, *you* are the one saying that it is—surely there would be cross-party consensus in support of its invocation, right? Right? 21/
When you say that invoking the 25th Amendment might create a "constitutional crisis," I think what you really have in mind is that it would create a *political* crisis for the Republican Party. But those are not necessarily the same thing. 23/
It's revealing that you urge people to "reach across the aisle." It's a fine sentiment, but has precisely nothing to do with Trump's fitness to serve. It's especially rich given the toxic Republican Party politics that gave us Trump—to which you've evidently contributed. 24/
What you *really* seem to want most is to deflect from your own complicity—to have no one hold you accountable for the choices you've made in contributing to the Trump debacle. 25/
To protect all of your ill-gotten goodies from political fallout. (“Rise above politics,” you conveniently insist.) And to get a soft, consequence-free landing—for yourself, when you eventually reveal your identity, and for the rest of Trump’s enablers. 26/
No thank you. If you think Trump is "detrimental to the health of our republic," then step up and do something about it, rather than cowardly continuing to ride your two-track gravy train, wringing your hands like @JeffFlake for effect, and laughably calling it "resistance." 27/
There would be political fallout from coming forward to actually do something, but that reckoning needs to happen one way or another. And eventually will. 28/
I will grant you this: you and your fellow Trump enablers are indeed trying to do what's "right" and steer the administration in a "right direction"—a very, very far right direction. Democratic legitimacy be damned, and to your enduring shame. 29/

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More from @kalhan

Oct 7, 2018
Former @YaleLawSch Dean Robert Post: Kavanaugh's installation into the Supreme Court is an "American tragedy"
"With calculation and skill, Kavanaugh stoked the fires of partisan rage and male entitlement."
"If we expect judges to reach conclusions based solely on reliable evidence, Kavanaugh’s savage and bitter attack demonstrated exactly the opposite sensibility."
Read 4 tweets
Oct 7, 2018
This article loses its nerve right from its headline: this debacle is not just a blow to the Supreme Court's "image," but to its *legitimacy*.
A 5-4 right-wing majority—installed mostly by minority popular vote presidents, in the face of solid progressive majorities throttled using illegitimate means—does not "perfectly reflect" anything. To the contrary, it is a starkly imperfect reflection of where we are politically.
Partial credit to @adamliptak for this shade at the end of the piece, but it's far too mild in relation to the actual scale of the Court's legitimacy crisis.
Read 8 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
Self-serving talk is cheap. If @JeffFlake uses this nonsense to take cover he deserves all the ridicule that he will inevitably receive.
To quote Brett Kavanaugh himself, “I understand the passions of the moment, but ... your words have meaning.”
Read 10 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
Pleased to join so many colleagues in signing this letter.
"We have differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh. But we are united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that [he] did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court"
Over 900 signatories and counting, from over 150 law schools, as of this morning.
Read 5 tweets

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