In an opinion piece published Friday in The Daily Beast, columnist Michael Tomasky allowed his intense distaste for President Donald Trump to cloud his judgement and forget both U.S. and world history.
According to the headline, "There’s no right to jail a president in the Constitution because the Founders never imagined a crook like Trump."
Tomasky argues that the Founders “never considered the question of whether a president should face legal jeopardy.”
Then he offers his reasoning.
“The man they all knew would be the first president was also the guy presiding over the convention, who also happened to be a man of genuinely unusual personal integrity. They thought, or hoped, that every president would at least try to emulate George Washington. They didn’t contemplate [President] Donald Trump.”
But the Founders had to have known that not all future chief executives would be a Washington, Jefferson, or Madison. In fact, Tomasky even acknowledges that the Constitutional Convention delegates “were pretty clear about impeachment.”
Nonetheless he concludes “the only reason they didn’t make plans for a Trump is that they couldn’t even conceive of a Trump. In a sane world, that should provide all the more reason to hold him to political or, yes, legal account. In the world we actually live in, I fear it will be another excuse to do nothing.”
Tomasky is selling the Founders short. They knew all too well what tyrannical leaders were like — the memory of such leaders had to have been etched into their memory. They were the very reason for America’s existence.
The first English settlers to North America, the Pilgrim Fathers, fled England to escape religious persecution under then-King James VI and I (VI as king of Scotland, I as king of England and Ireland).
They originally settled in the Netherlands before making their journey to arrive in what’s now modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts.
150 years later, the colonists didn’t seek independence from England because they thought King George III was a swell guy. They did so because England imposed heavy taxes on them while refusing American representation in Parliament.
And to escape England’s stranglehold, the colonists fought a bloody, 8-year war against a formidable, battle-proven enemy, knowing full-well that failure would mean being hung for treason.
Jeff B., co-host of National Review Online’s “Political Beats” may have said it best.
“The Founding Fathers imagined people far, far, worse than Trump,” he tweeted. “They imagined James II. They imagined Bloody Mary. They imagined Caligula and Nero, ffs. This is one of the stupidest, most ahistorical divorced-from-actual-reality takes I've yet seen written about the Founders.”
History is replete with other examples of barbaric, tyrannical leaders: Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler, and Genghis Khan come to mind. The notion of a benevolent dictator was the exception; despotism was the rule.
And once the revolution was won the delegates went to work.
On the issue of presidential term of office, Tomasky gripes that the proposal of Virginia delegate Dr. James McClurg wasn’t approved. It would have made the president’s term conditional on his “good behavior.”
“Who can look at Donald Trump and with a straight face call his ‘good behavior’?” Tomasky asks. Instead, he sadly observers, the Founders settled on impeachment.
Adding “good behavior” as a condition for remaining in office wouldn’t have changed a thing. That’s already a condition for members of the federal judiciary.
Article III of the Constitution provides “the Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour ...”
And when judges no longer engage in “good Behaviour” they’re removed by precisely the same impeachment process and using the same “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard as is the president.
Accordingly, Tomasky loses on that one also.
He can probably be forgiven on the “good behavior” issue; his belief that the Founders couldn’t conceive of a despotic ruler, however, is ludicrous.
Although Jeff B. calls the commentary “the stupidest, most ahistorical divorced-from-actual-reality takes” he’d ever seen about the Founders, Tomasky is presumably neither stupid nor uneducated.
His judgement has been clouded by a condition popularly referred to as Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS.
The left was first infected with it on the evening of Nov. 8, 2016, when Trump defeated his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in a race everyone thought was her’s.
And it’s only gotten worse over time.
The president can be accused of a lot of things — but criminal behavior isn’t among them. It’s time for everyone infected with TDS to move on and accept that Trump is here until at least Jan 20, 2021 — and probably for four years beyond.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports - Click Here.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.