Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Sanctimonious Toad

Charles P. Pierce on the appearance of Ken Starr in defense of Trump:

On November 28, 1998, a lawyer named Samuel Dash quit his job. Dash was a heavy hitter. 25 years earlier, he had been the majority counsel on the Senate Watergate Committee under Sam Ervin. But he couldn’t possibly continue because he thought he was being complicit in an act of constitutional heresy. From the AP:

You have violated your obligations under the independent counsel statute and have unlawfully intruded on the power of impeachment…I resign for a fundamental reason…Against my strong advice, you decided to depart from your usual professional decision-making by accepting the invitation of the House Judiciary Committee to appear … and serve as an aggressive advocate for the proposition that the evidence … demonstrates that the president committed impeachable offenses.

Dash directed his resignation at Kenneth Starr, who then was the independent counsel charged with rummaging through President Bill Clinton’s entire life. Along the way, as Dash knew, Starr’s runaway prosecution force, which included a young and lubriciously minded lawyer named Brett Kavanaugh, had demolished the lives of dozens of people, in Arkansas and in Washington. And Dash knew Starr’s investigation for the kangaroo stampede that it was, and Dash would have none of it.

You have no right or authority under the law, as independent counsel, to advocate for a particular position on the evidence before the Judiciary Committee or to argue that the evidence in your referral is strong enough to justify a decision by the committee to recommend impeachment.

All of which became relevant again when Ken Starr appeared on Monday on behalf of El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, arguing in a lengthy episode of what can only be called constitutional psychedelia that the House of Representatives had run a renegade investigation of a president* acting within the lawful powers of his office. I think the world went all purple and green amphibians when Starr—Ken Fcking Starr, the legendary bed-sniffing yahoo—had the audacity to put the name of the late Peter Rodino in his mouth. It’s a wonder his teeth didn’t burst into flames.

Speaking in the condescending tones of a Baptist preacher who you know has bondage gear stashed in a steamer trunk somewhere, Starr presumed to lecture the Senate on the parameters of its constitutional duties. It was altogether remarkable to hear the author of a soft-core-porn-novella of an impeachment report wax sententiously, and in cathedral tones, about being in “democracy’s ultimate court.” It was altogether remarkable to hear a guy who lost his job at Baylor University after he oversaw a period where the school’s athletics department was plagued by sexual-assault allegations lecture a chamber full of lawyers about how precious due process is.

If a more sanctimonious toad than Kenneth Starr ever has crawled through American politics, I’m hard-pressed to know who it was. He got up in front of the Senate chamber and had the webfooted gall to say this.

Impeachment is hell, or at least, presidential impeachment is hell. Those of us who lived through the Clinton impeachment, members of this body well understand that a presidential impeachment is tantamount to domestic war…It’s filled with acrimony and it divides the country like nothing else. Those of us who lived through the Clinton impeachment understand that in a deep and personal way.

The same Ken Starr who once insisted that this was the only way democracy could be saved from a dangerous president.

According to Ms. Lewinsky, the president touched her breasts and genitalia, which means his conduct met the Jones definition of sexual relations even under his theory. On these matters, the evidence of the president’s perjury cannot be presented without specific, explicit and possibly offensive descriptions of sexual encounters.

The same guy.

Newspaper taxis appeared on the shore…

Funeral arrangements for Irony are pending.

One bark on “Sanctimonious Toad

  1. Beautiful. I wish you could send this to be reprinted in the so-called major news outlets and Adam Schiff as well.

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