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Thursday, June 20, 2019
A Federalist 57 Website
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

A Populist President in the Spirit of Federalist Paper No. 57

 

June 5, 2019 --

It looks as if Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky will continue in real life to be the forceful and populist president of Ukraine that he portrayed in the television series "Servant of the People. In his inaugural address he implied criticism of Kiev governments for having failed to make the people of the secessionist, eastern provinces of the Donbas, Donetsk and Luhansk, feel like Ukrainians. He cited a quote from Ronald Reagan, and referred to Israel as a guide to emulate. And a week after taking office, he indicated that he will risk Russian displeasure by exploring the possibility of ties to the European Union and NATO.

In his address, Mr. Zelensky declared "Our first task is to end fire in the Donbas." This armed conflict continues to fester between the Kiev government and the Donbas, which established independent republics in the east. This conflict is the result of the February 2014 Maidan revolution that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych who had declined to sign a loan agreement with the European Union. Protests and rioting erupted, followed by the secession of Donetsk and Luhansk. The western part of the country seeks ties to the west and the Donbas, has traditionally looked east to Russia. Mr. Yanukovych fled Ukraine for Russia, and, last January, was tried in absentia, in the Ukraine, convicted of treason and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment

Last week it was announced that Mr. Zelensky will make his first foreign trip, as president, to Brussels, to meet with the president of the European Union, Donald Tusk, and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. A meeting between Mr. Zelensky and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is also planned. These meetings,are not likely to please Russian President Vladimir Putin, but should ease concerns of observers that President Zelensky would buckle under to Russian pressure.

Calling, in his inaugural address, for dialogue, Mr. Zelensky said the first step towards dialogue should be the release of all Ukrainian prisoners of war. He went on to say that the "next challenge is to return the lost territories'" and obvious reference to the Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, as well as Donbas.

As examples for Ukrainians to follow, Mr. Zelensky cited the champion national soccer team of Iceland which included a "dentist, a film director, a pilot, a student and a cleaner," and succeeded "despite nobody believing in them." He went on to cite the examples of "the Israelis in defending their rightful land, the Japanese in terms of technology, the Swiss in terms of knowing how to exist happily with each other despite any differences."

He called on "all the Ukrainians in the world" to bring their "knowledge, experience, and mental values" back to Ukraine, "to do the impossible by uniting together." He acknowledged that Ukraine, "apart from the war," had many problems, including "shocking tariffs, humiliating salaries and pensions, painful prices, the absence of job opportunities...." He then alluded to President Ronald Reagan's observation, "The government is not here to solve all our problems, the government is the problem."

President Zelensky went on to say that his election "only proves that the citizens are tired of the experienced politicians who over the past 28 years created a country of opportunities, -- opportunities to steal, bribe and loot. " He called for a country "[w]here everybody is equal before the law and where the rules of the game are honest and transparent, that are the same for everyone" He added that people who want to serve the nation need to take office.

He went on to make this very populist request: "And please, I really don't want you to hang my portraits on your office walls. Because a president is not an icon and not an idol. A president is not a portrait. Hang pictures of your children. And before you make any decision, look into their eyes." Quite remarkable.

To further indicate that he will be a strong president, before concluding his remarks. Mr. Zelensky announced that he was dissolving parliament. He then closed his address by referring to his fictional presidency: "Dear nation, throughout my life, I've been trying to do everything for Ukrainians to smile. I felt with my heart that it wasn't just my job, it was my mission. In the next five years, I will do everything so that you, Ukrainians, don't cry. Thank you."

For LPR, the President Zelensky's inaugural address was very much in the spirit of Federalist No. 57, filled with "that communion of interest, and sympathy of sentiments" that bind the people and "The Servants of the People."

 

 

Red Line

The New York Times lead story, May 30, 2019 (headline):

BREAKING SILENCE,
MUELLER DECLINES
ABSOLVE TRUMP

LPR comment: Where in law must one prove innocence?

The Special Counsel and Impeachment

June 5, 2019 --

The New York Times, May 30, reported that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, in a ten-minute statement to the media "pointedly refused to
exonerate Mr.. Trump." Others have suggested that exoneration was not the responsibility of the special counsel. His guidelines, after all, were, in part, to
investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump...."

According to the lead editorial in The Wall Street Journal, May 30, "...Mr. Mueller's analysis of the obstruction evidence in his own report makes clear that no investigation was obstructed."
On the other hand, Democratic candidates for president responded to the Mueller statement by calling for impeachment proceedings, with Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg joining seven other candidates, including Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, who had earlier called for impeachment.

The Democrats demanding impeachment now apparently want such proceedings to move on one track, while the 2020 presidential campaign moves on a parallel track. Impeachment proceedings could also provide a convenient diversion from disclosure of conduct by the Hillary Clinton campaign, aided by the intelligence community, to try to block the election of Donald Trump and failing that, to seek to force his removal as president. Is there a planto have impeachment proceedings along with Democratic presidential nomination debates?

The New York Times May 30 report pointed out that Mr. Mueller, in his May 29 statement, "did not accuse the president of a crime" but he "refused to exonerate Mr. Trump" This prompts the thought that exoneration was not Mr. Mueller's responsibility. The Times account suggested that the president's backers and his adversaries have taken what they wanted to from Mr. Mueller's comments, as they have from his report.

This points up the political nature of the controversy. Indeed, it is fair to say that had the Democrats not won their House majority in the 2018 elections, there would be no talk of impeachment. It is generally conceded that even if the House voted to impeach, the Senate, with its Republican majority, would not convict and remove the president from office. And what could be more political than than conclusion.

The Wall Street Journal suggested in its May 30 editorial that to the extent that Mr., Mueller, in his statement, did not end Democrat talk if impeachment, his remarks may have been revenge at the president for having criticized the investigation.

For the Resistance, criticism from the president rises to the level of obstruction; apparently there is no need for direct action. In the eyes for radical Democrats like Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the president "subverts the United States Constitution every single day." The fact that he is president is, apparently proof of guilt, for the radicals.

Law Professor Alan Dereshowitz takes a more nuanced view, arguing in The Hill, May 23, 2019 that courts should look for "the real reasons behind the issuance of subpoenas" and balance the interests of Congress with individual rights, He thought that the judge who upheld the congressional subpoena to an accounting firm retained by the president had provided "an open invitation for abuse of power."

Stated differently, the Founding Fathers, in establishing a tripartite government based on separation of powers, sought to protect the country against an Imperial Congress as well as an Imperial President. A Congress with dictatorial power -- backed by a near-monolithic media -- is far more a threat to American liberty than president who dares to hold views on policy at odds with the radicals.

The response to the Mueller statement of May 29, in a way, reflects that law of politics that holds, "it all depends whose ox is gored." Clearly, the Resistance intends the political goring of the president. In Federalist No. 48, Madison advised that against the legislative ambition, the people ought to indulge all of their jealousy and exhaust all their precautions." The radical Democrats, prodded by the anti-Trump near-monolithic media, can be expected to try to draw the people into what Madison called the legislative "vortex."

LPR believes It is the responsibility of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to withstand the radicals.

LPR hopes that the people will not permit the radicals from diverting attention from the truth of the origins of Russiagate, including the Steele dossier, by an impeachment inquiry that would likely move in parallel with the political conventions this summer.

Thus far, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is said to be holding off the push to inpeach, fearing such a move will be counter-productive. One argument put forward, incredibly, is that the president would like to be impeached to solidify his base.

Not stated, at least not thus far, is the observation, how does impeachment and removal from office help the if it gives the country President Mike Pence.

 

Red Line

A letter to The New York Times, not printed:

June 5, 2019 --

This is to disagree with Michelle Cottle's "Editorial Observer, " May 23. President Trump's statement, yesterday, on why he could not discuss infrastructure with Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer, was hardly the "tirade" that Ms. Cottle said it was, much less a "tantrum"; it was delivered, as I heard it, in a calm, measured, dispassionate tone. The likely "'proximate cause'" of the president's decision not to go forward with the meeting with the
Democratic leaders was indeed the speaker's earlier accusation that the president '''is engaged in a cover-up up.'" But rather than "outrage," Mr. Trump's tone in explaining his decision seemed one of sadness.

Nearly three years ago, New York Times media correspondent Jim Rutenberg set forth new rules for covering then candidate-Trump: down with objectivity, the subjective view of the reporter above all. Ms. Cottle's discussion of the Trump response to the newly empowered House Democrats' investigatory zeal makes it clear that the Rutenberg rules for covering Donald J. Trump remain very much in effect. The invidious nature of these rules, has, alas, a bill of attainder quality for its singularity of purpose, not unlike the bill just approved by the New York legislature that would allow the president's state tax returns to be handed over to Congress.

 
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Red Line

June 14 - Flag Day

June 5, 2019 --

Old Glory was adopted as our flag on June 14, 1777. Long may she wave.

 

From the LPR Archives - 2006 -- Flag at Winsted Road Mobil in Torrington, CT

From the LPR Archives - 2007 -- Old Glory seen here flying outside Yankee Stadium …

 
"A vote that represents free will is never wasted"
-- David Zukerman
 

Red Line

Who would have thought?.....

June 5, 2019 --

....that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would require an election reset, this September. Previously, a conference had been scheduled in Bahrein including Israel and Arab states to encourage prosperity among Palestinians.Thus far the conference will go on as scheduled, but without the Palestinians. Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization wrote, in a May 22 New York Times op-ed : "There will be no economic prosperity in Palestine without the end of the occupation." He went on to say, "What the Trump administration is seeking is not a peace agreement but a Palestinian declaration of surrender." Mr. Erekat went on to accuse the Trump administration of damaging the cause of peace, and called for recognition of "the state of Palestine and holding Israel accountable for its violations international law."

LPR wonders if it is the the PLO secretary general who seeks Israel's surrender.

LPR also wonders how long it will take Rep. Tlaib to add to grounds for impeachment the charge that President Trump is damaging the cause of Middle East peace.

The issue preventing formation of a government is the matter of making the ultraorthodox subject to the military draft. The Wall Street Journal noted, May 30, that Prime Minister Netanyahu has strong relationships with world leaders, including President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, but is unable to bring the religious right and the secular right together to form a government. At least 61 member are needed for a governing majority in the 120-member Knesset.

 
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June 5, 2019 --

Hillary Clinton, at Hunger College, quoted in The New York Times, May 30, 2019:

"'We are witnessing an assault on the rule of law and the foundations of our democracy.'" LPR comment: Sounds like Ms. Clinton is projecting the radical mindset on her enemies.

From "the Resistance" ...

Former CIA Director John Brennan, quoted in Real Clear Politics, May 1, 2019:

"'... I’m still waiting for the Republicans to realize that the Trump ship is a sinking one. '" LPR comment: how devoutly Mr. Brennan wishes for impeachment -- to obscure his own misdeeds?

LPR calls on Congressional Republicans ...

...to rally round the president and note that there is no evidence that President Trump is guilty of a crime, nor of an impeachable offense, and that, quoting Prof Alan Dershowitz, in the Hill, May 30, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III let "himself be used [by Democrats] for...partisan advantage.

Concerning Adam Schiff ...

Is it at all possible that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff got elected to Congress because some voters thought they were voting for the "Adam Schiff" who was the New York district attorney on the tv series Law and Order? This "Schiff" was, of course, played by the marvelous Steven Hill who passed away in 2016 at the age of 94.

 

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