Published December 18, 2019
By Dr. Gavin Clarkson, Esq. (Choctaw)
Americans from all backgrounds understand the principle of fairness. Indian Country has experienced plenty of unfairness and has certainly learned that elections have consequences. After hard-fought tribal elections, unfortunately, the losing side sometimes refuses to concede and works to undermine the winning side until the next election. A similar self-defeating pattern now rears its ugly head at the national level.
Many of my Indian Country colleagues were shocked that Hillary didn’t win in 2016, and cognitive dissonance prevented many from admitting she was a fundamentally flawed candidate, tragically grasping at straws to make themselves feel better.
“Hillary won the popular vote,” they said. True, but so what? Presidents have always been chosen in state-by-state contests rather than raw national votes. A counter-argument can be made to exclude California’s results from popular vote analyses because its jungle primary suppresses general election turnout.
Such analytical gymnastics should be irrelevant. According to the rules in place before 2016, Hillary lost and Trump won. Game over. Move on. Oh, wait … “MoveOn” only applies to Democrat presidents facing impeachment.
But impeachment was on leftist lips long before Trump was even elected, and comrades in the Deep State were busy developing “insurance policies” and other schemes. Democracy was already dying in darkness. As FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith so aptly texted, “Viva la Resistance!” When the house flipped in 2018, the radical left again over-promised and under-delivered. Remember Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s “we’re going to impeach the motherf***er” battle cry?
The Russia hoax was well underway, but it fizzled. Rep. Adam Schiff hysterically hyperventilated that he had proof Trump was a Russian agent, but he didn’t. MSNBC and CNN convinced nightly audiences “the walls” were “closing in” on Trump, but they weren’t. Despite being an overused term, “Nothingburger” still best describes Mueller’s massive waste of time and taxpayer resources.
Enter the purported whistleblower and the July phone call with the Ukranian president. The transcript speaks for itself, yet myopic partisans only see what supports their own narratives. Seemingly lost in the commotion are the following facts: 1) Hunter Biden’s blatantly trading on his father’s name for massive personal benefit (personally witnessed by a friend of mine in Ukraine); 2) Joe Biden threatened to withhold aid unless Ukraine fired a prosecutor pursuing his son’s company; and 3) Democrat operative Alexandra Chalupa solicited dirt from the Ukrainians to help Hillary.
Hunter Biden is also connected to a tribal finance securities fraud case alongside his fellow Burisma board member and business partner Devon Archer. One victim is a friend of mine, and The Wall Street Journal covered his testimony that the Biden name was tossed around to lend credibility to the fraudulent scheme. Archer was convicted (overturned on a technicality; now before the 2nd Circuit), and I’m sure Indian Country would like to know the full level of Hunter Biden’s involvement. But that information doesn’t advance the impeachment narrative, so it will likely remain ignored.
Willing to excuse both Bidens because the elder Biden is Democrat candidate, House leadership proceeded with impeachment, however, Rep. Nadler’s ineptitude displayed in the Mueller hearings prompted Speaker Pelosi and Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan to change battlefields. Lujan endorsed impeachment immediately after Schiff secretly learned about the purported whistleblower. Shiff then gained control over the so-called “impeachment inquiry” despite the Judiciary Committee’s well-established impeachment jurisdiction. A truckload of Depends evidently cannot stop the Intelligence Committee chairman from leaking, so did Schiff tip off Lujan in an actual quid pro quo?
Apparently, “Bendido” sold out on impeachment prematurely, as Schiff’s patently unfair process 1) reduced public support for impeachment, 2) improved Trump’s approval ratings, and 3) united Republicans squarely behind the president. Shiff’s “parody” transcript reading and farcical denial he knew the whistleblower’s identity further destroyed any shred of credibility with independent voters in critical swing states.
The impeachment scheme cooked up by Pelosi, Lujan, and Schiff went totally off the rails, and I personally witnessed the very same Jerry Nadler who said the Clinton impeachment was “undoing a national election” continue the charade in the Judiciary Committee.
In 1998, then-Senator Biden said, “The American people don’t think they made a mistake in electing [the President] and we in Congress had better [convince the American people] that our decision to impeach him was based upon principle and not politics.”
That same year, Rep. Pelosi claimed Republicans were “paralyzed by hatred.” In March of this year, now-Speaker Pelosi said, “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country.”
Assistant Speaker Lujan falsely claims that Democrats can “walk and chew gum at the same time,” yet the USMCA and prescription drug price reform are still languishing behind impeachment in their frozen chamber. Despite having a more than adequate majority to work with, Pelosi and Lujan have passed little meaningful legislation to benefit the average American, much less Indian Country. Lujan and then-candidate Deb Haaland supported the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act in 2018 when Democrats were in the minority. Why don’t we see their names on the bipartisan list of co-sponsors of H.R.779 in the current session, and why hasn’t Assistant Speaker Lujan publicly advocated for its passage again? Perhaps their pandering achieved its purpose of flipping the House and is now no longer necessary.
Although the House will impeach President Trump even after the “Schiff show,” the Senate will not convict or remove him because this disgraceful impeachment charade has been nothing more than a partisan witch hunt. Fairness is a core requirement of American democracy. It is patently unfair for the Democrats to impeach the President for complaining about corruption.
As my old Harvard law professor (and liberal Democrat) Alan Dershowitz always says, “The primary test for whether an argument is principled or partisan is ‘the-shoe-on-the-other-foot’ test.” In the quest to impeach President Trump, if it were not for double-standards, the radical left would have no standards at all.
Dr. Gavin Clarkson served in the Trump administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development and is a former Associate Professor in the College of Business at New Mexico State University. A cum laude graduate of the Harvard Law School where he was president of the Native American Law Students Association, Dr. Clarkson was the first tribal member to earn a doctorate from the Harvard Business School.