A long-time circus tradition is to send in the clowns to divert audience attention from a tragic event, such as the fall of an aerial artist or the lion tamer being mauled. The term was popularized by a song entitled “Send in the Clowns.”
We now have a political example of that tradition in the form of the House Judiciary Committee hearings with New York Democrat Jerry Nadler serving as ringmaster. Seeing the disaster of having investigative hearings without any eyewitnesses to testify, Nadler is sending in the clowns – the first of whom is convicted Watergate obstructionist John Dean.
Granted, Dean may be the only witness they can produce at the moment. That is because their demands for relevant witnesses – Attorney General William Barr, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former White House Counsel Don McGahn and White House staffer Hope Hicks – are being handled by the federal courts, which have to determine the issue and extent of Executive Privilege.
We have to keep in mind that just because members of Congress want to interrogate an Executive Branch individual or secure documents — and they may even issue subpoenas for that purpose — it does not … repeat not … mean that they have a constitutional right to compel the desired individuals or obtain the desired documents. This has been a battle between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch since shortly after the ink dried on the 1789 Constitution. And it is always up to the federal court to render a judgment.
Rather than wait for the courts to rule, the Democrat leaders in the House are hell-bent on having a dog-and-pony-show for the sole political purpose of trying to build public animosity toward President Trump.
Recognizing their obvious scheme, I initially thought that the unfortunate helicopter crash in New York City had trumped their publicity-seeking scheme. And indeed, the crash that took the life of the pilot dominated news coverage on all the cable networks – news coverage that would have otherwise been devoted to the hearing. The Nadler hearing was relegated to a few snippets in later news reports.
After researching as much of the Dean testimony as I could, I realized that the helicopter crash had saved Democrats from a huge embarrassment. While Dean was not expected to provide a lot of meaningful content, Chairman Nadler most assuredly did not expect his opening hearing to be such a fiasco … such a farce … such a flop.
Thanks to the lack of gavel-to-gavel coverage, the left-wing newsies were able to surgically snip a moment here and a moment there that could be spun into something seemingly supportive of their preordained anti-Trump narratives.
Dean inadvertently sabotaged the hearing at the very beginning when he proclaimed that he was “not a fact witness.” In other words, he could offer NOTHING factually related to the stated purpose of the hearings. Wasn’t the purpose to get at the facts?
Dean’s entire reason for being before the committee was to make some sort of nebulous connection between the prospect of an impeachment hearing against President Trump and the impeachment process that caused President Nixon to resign. Beyond the fact that the word “impeachment” hung over both hearings – one a real impeachment hearing and the other a hearing pretending to be an impeachment hearing – there were no meaningful comparisons to be made.
The entire purpose was to use this clownish production to divert attention from the Democrats failure to make a persuasive impeachable case. Oh, I know they say it is all there in the Mueller Report, but Mueller’s maybe yes/maybe no conclusion is far from impeachable evidence – and methinks the Democrats know it. Ergo the sideshow.
Republicans on the Judiciary Committee turned the Dean nothing burger into minced meat. In case people did not know or recall, they pointed out that Dean was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison for his role in obstructing justice way back in 1973. He was covering up a REAL crime – breaking into the Democrat headquarters. Those who did the deed were also sent up the river, as they say. Deans’ sentence was reduced to “time served” – which was four months in a federal safe house.
Republicans noted that this was the second time – Michael Cohen being the first – that Democrats brought in people to testify whose major crime was perjury … lying to Congress. Republican Committee members were able to further destroy Dean’s credibility as an objective observer by noting that he had issued more than 900 tweets – all critical of Trump.
With very low anticipation at the front end and a shameful result at that back end, you would think that Democrats would slink away from the cameras until they could change the subject. Not so. When CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked California Congressman and Democrat presidential candidate Eric Swalwell to rate Dean’s performance on a scale of one-to-ten – with ten being the highest rating – Swalwell gave it an 11. Yep! The presidential candidate who is striving to reach one percent in the polls was not doing his own credibility any good with such a ridiculous spin on reality. But that is how these Democrats are these days.
Maybe Nadler will tap Swalwell as the next witness in this Capitol Hill charade. I can almost hear Nadler singing this refrain from the aforementioned song.
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want
Sorry, my dear!
But where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here
So, there ‘tis.