Monday, January 13, 2020

Forgive And Forget

Well, this was a damn (with apologies to One Million Moms) good retort:
Currently, polls indicate that against President Trump, Joe Biden would be the strongest candidate, followed by Sanders, then Warren, and Buttigieg. And nationwide polls of likely Democratic primary voters show Biden in first, followed by Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg.

That is not a coincidence. When a candidate looks like his is most likely to be nominated for a position, his/her place in surveys in a general election rise.

But it's impossible to determine  whether Bernard Sanders would defeat Donald J. Trump nor whether he would be the strongest candidate the Democratic Party could nominate. Nonetheless, it's clear that the President should hope and pray the Democratic candidate not be Elizabeth Warren.

Joe Biden, promoting bipartisanship for the 883rd time- in only the last year- has told MSNBC's Joy Ann Reid "I know you're one of the ones who thinks it's naïve to think we have to work together. The fact of the matter is, if we can't get a consensus, nothing happens except the abuse of power by the executive. Zero."

He expects that consensus because "The thing that will fundamentally change things is with Donald Trump out of the White House. Not a joke You will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends."

In November, Pete Buttigieg, promoting bipartisanship only for the 683rd time, remarked "my campaign is about inclusion.... ’m reaching out to progressives. I’m reaching out to moderates. But I also know that there are a lot of what I like to call future former Republicans out there." 

The now-former mayor of the medium-sized city of South Bend, Indiana, still fairly new to national politics, has an excuse. The former US Senator and vice-president to Barack Obama does not. Neither does the individual currently Biden's main rival, who when asked by The New York Times about "the pardoning process" in a "discussion" conducted on December 3, 2019

I think many of the military leaders, past and present, were disgusted by that action. The United States, as a nation, we have historically held certain values: that we don’t torture, we don’t humiliate. We fight wars when necessary, but we have a standard of conduct. And when Trump pardons people who’ve been convicted of crimes, he sends a message to the whole U.S. military and to the world, so that our troops get captured in a war, God forbid, and they’re going to be tortured. And our enemies say, “Hey, what’s the problem? It’s exactly what you do. You set the standard. If you could do it, we can do it.”

So we’ve got to be a little bit better than that. And I support those people in the military who themselves understand that that is not what this country should be about.

Queried about the criteria for pardoning someone, the Vermont senator added

Well, I think in terms of war crimes, in terms of behavior of troops, there are standards that we have held for a long time, which are I would support. I mean it’s not for me to be judging every case, that we have a process that does that. But there are international standards and standards that this country has upheld and when there are individuals in the military who violate those standards, they should be punished, not pardoned.

One of Bernard's rivals should ask "if our soldiers who have committed crimes or betrayed the American people are punished and not pardoned, how about their Commander-in-Chief who obstructs Congress, obstructs justice, abuses his power, and attempts to bribe a foreign country so he can win an election?" (He did that as President, not as commander-in-chief, but never mind.)

Three paragraphs, thirteen sentences, approximately 190 words and Senator Sanders couldn't, or wouldn't, suggest that if he is elected, the gangster he would have unseated should be prosecuted and if convicted, serve his sentence. There must be no clemency, no pardon, nothing but the rule of the law and the quaint notion that no one is immune to the demands of the law.

By contrast, as early as ten months ago Elizabeth Warren maintained

Congress should make it clear that Presidents can be indicted for criminal activity, including obstruction of justice. And when I’m President, I’ll appoint Justice Department officials who will reverse flawed policies so no President is shielded from criminal accountability.

Now, was that so hard? It is for Joe Biden and Pete Buttiegieg. But it should not be for Bernard Sanders, and for some reason it has been.  For a guy who has a reputation as a straight-shooter, it certainly is a mystery. Hopefully- given that he may get the nomination- he's not afraid of whatever President Trump might do or say to him if he implies that if the former is elected, the latter may end up in a yellow jumpsuit.

Alternatively, it may be fine that he is intimidated. Otherwise, he may simply believe that Donald J.Trump should get a free ride out of town than face a jury composed of the peers he is constantly betraying.

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