Trump & The Post: Whose Side Is Mitt On?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If there is a more anti-Trump organ in the American establishment than The Washington Post, it does not readily come to mind.

Hence, in choosing to send his op-ed attack on President Donald Trump to the Post, Mitt Romney was collaborating with an adversary of his party and his president.

And he knew it, and the Post rewarded his collusion.

“The president has not risen to the mantle of his office,” said Romney; in “qualities of character” Trump’s “shortfall has been most glaring.”

Our leaders must “inspire and unite us,” not “promote tribalism,” wrote Romney. We must defend the “free press.”

All music to Post ears.

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As senator, Romney promised, “I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant.”

Sounds like a litany of media slanders against Trump, some of which, seven years ago, were lodged against a GOP presidential nominee whose name was Mitt Romney.

Thursday, the Post paid Romney in its special currency, with a Page 1 photo and headline about having discovered “a new voice of resistance.”

But Romney had not exactly pledged his life, fortune and sacred honor to dethrone the tyrant. Rather he declared, “I look forward to working on these priorities … with Mitch McConnell.”

A day later, The New York Times, perhaps miffed it had not been the beneficiary of Romney’s dump on Trump, dumped all over him:

“Romney Cools Fiery Tone After Trump Allies Assail Him,” ran the headline. A CNN interview, wrote the Times, found Romney “repeatedly declining to escalate his attacks on the president and explaining that he would only speak out against Mr. Trump on issues of ‘great significance.'”

Does Romney not see presidential character as an issue of “great significance”? The Washington Times said Romney appeared to be auditioning for the role of Jeff Flake in the new Senate.

Though the Romney screenplay seemed to fizzle after the early negative reviews, the episode is revelatory.

Clearly Romney senses Trump is in trouble, and may not survive, or may not run, and there may be an opening for him. He seems to want to be properly positioned with the anti-Trumpers and never-Trumpers, should that happen.

Yet, in seeing Trump as besieged, Romney is not wrong.

With loss of the House and resignation of his defense secretary, the president had a rough year’s end. Now the expectations of his enemies and the hopes of this hostile city for his fall are greater than ever.

Blood is in the water. If Trump seeks re-election, he will be challenged in the primaries. And as presidents from Truman to LBJ, to Carter, Ford and Bush 41 discovered, these can prove problematic.

Looking over to the other side of the aisle, however, that party, too, has problems. The more hot-headed of the House majority have already said they will introduce articles of impeachment against the president.

And when the militant members are rewarded by major media with favorable coverage and commentary, this will induce others to join in, in anticipation of the same media rewards.

An impeachment battle thus seems inevitable.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic leadership may see this rush to impeachment as a strategic blunder. But they will be unable to contain or control what will by spring resemble a mob.

Today, unelected media, not elected politicians, decide what gets attention. For our media, President Trump is the issue, as he was in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and removing him from the presidency the strategic goal.

But beyond the issue of Trump, 2019 looks to be a rough year for America. The deficit will reach a trillion dollars. National debt is near $22 trillion. The budget is out of balance. No consensus exists in Congress on how to deal with it.

If sanctions are not first lifted on North Korea, there will be no nuclear deal, and the probability grows that “Little Rocket Man” will begin anew to test his missiles and nuclear warheads.

With U.S. troops pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan, the day is coming, and soon, when we must face up to and act upon these facts:

America lost both wars. Afghanistan will fall to the Taliban from whom we took it in 2003, and Bashar Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are, for the near-term, dominant in Syria.

As for our Kurdish allies, they will have to turn to Assad and offer to give him the Syrian lands they captured from ISIS, in return for the Syrian regime’s protection from the Turks.

And as for Russia and China, our great adversaries, our foreign policy elite succeeded in this century in undoing the best work of Nixon and Reagan.

Where those presidents split China from Russia and ensured that Beijing and Moscow would have better relations with us than with each other, our elite revels in that it has alienated both China and Russia — and united both against us.

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2020: Year of the Democrats? Maybe Not

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Democrats are optimistic as 2019 begins, it is understandable.

Their victory on Nov. 6, adding 40 seats and taking control of the House of Representatives, was impressive. And with the party’s total vote far exceeding the GOP total, in places it became a rout.

In the six New England states, Republicans no longer hold a single House seat. Susan Collins of Maine is the last GOP senator.

In California, Democrats took the governorship, every state office, 45 of 53 House seats and both houses of the legislature by more than 2-to-1. In the Goldwater-Nixon-Reagan Golden State bastion of Orange County, no GOP congressman survived.

Does this rejection of the GOP in 2018 portend the defeat of Donald Trump in 2020, assuming he is still in office then?

Not necessarily.

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For consider. Nancy Pelosi may want to close out her career as speaker with solid achievements, but she could face a rebellion in her party, which is looking to confront and not compromise with Trump.

The national debt may be surging, but Capitol Hill progressives will be demanding “Medicare-for-all” and free college tuition. Trump-haters will be issuing reams of subpoenas and clamoring for impeachment.

Other Democrats, seeing the indulgent attention their colleagues are getting from the media, will join in. Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee may have to accommodate the sans-culottes.

Is this what America voted for?

By the Ides of March, a dozen Democrats may have declared for president. But looking over the field, no prospective candidate seems terribly formidable, and the strongest, unlike Barack Obama in 2008, are too old to set the base afire.

According to a USA Today poll, 59 percent of Democrats say they would be “excited” about “someone entirely new” leading the party in 2020. Only 11 percent say they would prefer a familiar face.

Yet, who did these same Democrats view most favorably? Joe Biden, a 76-year-old white male first elected to the Senate when Richard Nixon was president.

Biden polls better than any of his rivals, with 53 percent of all Democrats saying they would be “excited” about his candidacy, and only 24 percent saying he ought not run a third time for president.

The candidate who comes closest to Biden in exciting the base is 77-year-old Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. Bernie’s problem?

Almost as many Democrats believe he should not run again as would be excited about having him as nominee.

As for Elizabeth Warren, the USA Poll must be depressing news. Twenty-nine percent of Democrats would be excited about her candidacy, but 33 percent believe the 69-year-old Massachusetts Senator should not run.

Beto O’Rourke, the three-term Congressman from Texas who put a scare into Sen. Ted Cruz in November is less well-known than Bernie or Biden. But those excited about an O’Rourke run outnumber those who think he should not run.

Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, both African-American, are less well-known but have more Democrats excited about their running than are opposed to it.

However, as Harris is from California and Booker from New Jersey, both blue states that Democrats are almost certain to carry in 2020, and both are from a minority that already votes 90 percent Democratic, even their appeal as vice presidential nominees would not seem to equal that of O’Rourke or Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who won re-election while his state was going Republican.

Yet, Brown, too, at 66, is eligible for Medicare.

A Biden-Brown ticket would present problems for the GOP. But could a Democratic Party that ceaselessly celebrates its racial and ethnic diversity and appeal to women and millennials get away with nominating a ticket of two white males on Social Security?

Other problems are becoming acute within the Democrats’ coalition of blacks, gays, Asians, Hispanics, women and LGBT, fraying the seams of the party.

After Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan praised the Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory, and declared Jews to be the enemy in a speech last February, the Women’s March movement has splintered.

Asian-Americans who vote Democratic nationally are growing bitter over diversity policies in the Ivy League and elite schools that admit black and Hispanic students over Asian students with far higher test scores.

The BDS movement (boycott, divest, sanctions), targeted against Israel, is angering Jewish Democrats while gaining support on campuses.

Elizabeth Warren opposes BDS, but also opposes efforts to punish those who champion BDS. “I think the boycott of Israel is wrong,” said Warren at a town hall meeting, but added that “outlawing protected free speech activity violates our basic constitutional rights.”

In identity politics, loyalty to race, ethnic group and gender often trump the claims of party. The diversity Democrats celebrate is one day going to pull their party apart, as the social, cultural and racial revolutions of the 1960s pulled apart the party of FDR and LBJ.

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Has Bloomberg Begun the Battle for 2020?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Did former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg just take a page out of the playbook of Sen. Ed Muskie from half a century ago?

In his first off-year election in 1970, President Richard Nixon ran a tough attack campaign to hold the 52 House seats the GOP had added in ’66 and ’68, and to pick up a few more seats in the Senate.

The issue: law and order. The targets: the “radical liberals.”

In that campaign’s final hours, Muskie delivered a statesmanlike address from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, excoriating the “unprecedented volume” of “name-calling” and “deceptions” from the “highest offices in the land.”

Nixon picked up a pair of Senate seats, but Democrats gained a dozen House seats, and the press scored it as a victory for Muskie, who was vaulted into the lead position for the 1972 Democratic nomination.

In the final days of this election, Bloomberg just invested $5 million to air, twice nationally, a two-minute ad for the Democratic Party that features Bloomberg himself denouncing the “fear-mongering,” and “shouting and hysterics” coming out of Washington.
Continue reading “Has Bloomberg Begun the Battle for 2020?”

Time for Trump to Cut the Prince Loose?

Time for Trump to Cut the Prince Loose?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Was the assassination of JFK by Lee Harvey Oswald still getting as much media coverage three weeks after his death as it did that first week after Nov. 22, 1963? Not as I recall.

Yet, three weeks after his murder, Jamal Khashoggi, who was not a U.S. citizen, was not killed by an American, and died not on U.S. soil but in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, consumes our elite press.

The top two stories in Monday’s Washington Post were about the Khashoggi affair. A third, inside, carried the headline, “Trump, who prizes strength, may look weak in hesitance to punish Saudis.”

On Sunday, the Post put three Khashoggi stories on Page 1. The Post’s lead editorial bashed Trump for his equivocal stance on the killing.

Two of the four columns on the op-ed page demanded that the Saudis rid themselves of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the prime suspect in ordering the execution.

Page 1 of the Outlook section offered an analysis titled, “The Saudis knew they could get away with it. We always let them.”

Page 1 of the Metro section featured a story about the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Virginia that began thus:

“Corey A. Stewart’s impulse to use provocative and evidence-free slurs reached new heights Friday when the Republican nominee for Senate disparaged slain Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi…

“Stewart appears to be moving in lockstep with extremist Republicans and conservative commentators engaging in a whisper campaign to smear Khashoggi and insulate Trump from global rebuke.”

This was presented as a news story.

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Inside the Business section of Sunday’s Post was a major story, “More CEOs quietly withdraw from Saudi conference.” Featured was a photo of JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, who had canceled his appearance.

On the top half of the front page of the Sunday New York Times were three stories about Khashoggi, as were the two top stories on Monday.

The Times’ lead editorial Monday called for a U.N. investigation, a cutoff in U.S. arms sales to Riyadh and a signal to the royal house that we regard their crown prince as “toxic.”

Why is our prestige press consumed by the murder of a Saudi dissident not one in a thousand Americans had ever heard of?

Answer: Khashoggi had become a contributing columnist to the Post. He was a journalist, an untouchable. The Post and U.S. media are going to teach the House of Saud a lesson: You don’t mess with the American press!

Moreover, the preplanned murder implicating the crown prince, with 15 Saudi security agents and an autopsy expert with a bone saw lying in wait at the consulate to kill Khashoggi, carve him up, and flee back to Riyadh the same day, is a terrific story.

Still, what ought not be overlooked here is the political agenda of our establishment media in driving this story as hard as they have for the last three weeks.

Our Beltway elite can smell the blood in the water. They sense that Khashoggi’s murder can be used to discredit the Trump presidency, expose the amorality of his foreign policy and sever his ties to patriotic elements of his Middle American constituency.

How so?

First, there are those close personal ties between Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, son of the King, and Jared Kushner, son-in-law of the president of the United States.

Second, there are the past commercial connections between builder Donald Trump, who sold a floor of a Trump building and a yacht to the Saudis when he was in financial straits.

Third, there is the strategic connection. The first foreign trip of the Trump presidency was, at Kushner’s urging, to Riyadh to meet the king, and the president has sought to tighten U.S. ties to the Saudis ever since.

Fourth, Trump has celebrated U.S. sales arms to the Saudis as a job-building benefit to America and a way to keep the Saudis as strategic partners in a Mideast coalition against Iran.

Fifth, the leaders of the two wings of Trump’s party in the Senate, anti-interventionist Rand Paul and interventionist Lindsey Graham, are already demanding sanctions on Riyadh and an ostracizing of the prince.

As story after story comes out of Riyadh about what happened in that consulate on Oct. 2, each less convincing than the last, the coalition of forces, here and abroad, pressing for sanctions on Saudi Arabia and dumping the prince, grows.

The time may be right for President Trump to cease leading from behind, to step out front, and to say that, while he withheld judgment to give the Saudis every benefit of the doubt, he now believes that the weight of the evidence points conclusively to a plot to kill Jamal Khashoggi.

Hence, he is terminating U.S. military aid for the war in Yemen that Crown Prince Mohammed has been conducting for three years. Win-win.

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Are Republicans Born Wimps?

Are Republicans Born Wimps?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Republican leaders are “a bunch of wimps,” said Jerry Falwell Jr.

Conservatives and Christians need to stop electing “nice guys.”

“The US needs street fighters like Donald Trump at every level of government because the liberal fascists Dems are playing for keeps.”

So tweeted the son and namesake of the founder of the Moral Majority, and he has here a self-evident point.

Thursday, 11 GOP senators on the judiciary committee freely forfeited to a female prosecutor their right to cross-examine Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The Republicans feared that televised images of 11 white men, sharply questioning the credibility of Ford’s claim to be a victim of Kavanaugh’s sexual assault, would be politically lethal.

So, while the Republicans mutely abstained from challenging her, Ford was treated by the Democrats as the reincarnation of Joan of Arc, though not a single witness has corroborated her story.

Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake caved to Democratic demands for another weeklong FBI investigation of the judge. The Republicans, egg visible on their faces, endorsed their colleague’s capitulation.

Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham had been the Republican lion of the hearing, indicting Democrats for the moral atrocity they had deceitfully and dishonorably perpetrated against the judge.

By Friday, our Cicero was reaching out in collegiality to the same senators he was castigating 24 hours before.

Falwell’s point: Democrats fight savagely and for keeps, while Republicans — street-fighter Trump excepted — are wimps, often bewailing any loss of camaraderie with their colleagues across the aisle.

As my late friend Sam Francis said in the title of his book, many Republicans are perfectly content with being “Beautiful Losers.”

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Yet the stakes here are immense. Consider how the Supreme Court has remade the America we grew up in.

Since World War II, the court has de-Christianized all public schools and the public life of a land Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman called a “Christian nation.” It has established secularism as our state religion.

Despite civil right laws declaring race discrimination illegal, the court has given its blessing to affirmative action, deliberate discrimination in favor of peoples of color against white men in the name of diversity and equality.

The court has declared that what were once crimes, abortion and homosexuality, are now constitutional rights all Americans must respect.

These changes were not legislated democratically, but imposed dictatorially by the high court. While a Senate confirmation of Kavanaugh would not reverse these mandated changes, it might halt any further imposition of this radical social revolution by unelected judges.

But while the Democratic left, understanding the stakes, is fighting bare-fisted, Republicans are sparring with 14-ounce gloves and seeking to observe Marquess of Queensberry Rules.

In other ways as well America has been remade.

Not only has Christianity, and all its symbols and expressions of faith and belief, been removed, but also a purge is underway of monuments and statues of the explorers, colonists and statesmen who, believing in the superiority of their religion, culture and civilization, set out to create the county we inherited.

And William Frey, resident demographer at the Brookings Institution, writes about how America is being changed — without the consent of the people.

“Since 2000, the white population under the age of 18 has shrunk by seven million, and declines are projected among white 20-somethings and 30-somethings over the next two decades and beyond. This is … a trend that is not likely to change despite Mr. Trump’s wish for more immigrants from Norway.

“The likely source of future gains among the nation’s population of children, teenagers and young working adults is minorities — Hispanics, Asians, blacks and others.”

When we are all minorities, and all behave as minorities, making our separate demands upon the country, what then holds America together?

In Federalist 2, John Jay famously wrote:

“Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people — a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion … very similar in their manners and customs…

“This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.”

Yet, each decade, less and less are we descended from the same ancestors. Less and less do we speak the same language, profess the same religion, share the same manners, customs, traditions, history, heroes and holidays.

Does America look today like the “band of brethren united to each other” of which Jay wrote, and we seemed to be as late as 1960?

Or does not the acrimony attendant to the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh suggest that we have already become a land “split into a number of unsocial, jealous and alien sovereignties.”

With all our new diversity, whatever became of our unity?

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Dress Rehearsal for Impeachment

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was approved on an 11-10 party-line vote Friday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Yet his confirmation is not assured.

Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, has demanded and gotten as the price of his vote on the floor, a weeklong delay. And the GOP Senate has agreed to Democrat demands for a new FBI investigation of all credible charges of sexual abuse against the judge.

Astonishing. With a quarter century in public service, Kavanaugh has undergone six FBI field investigations. They turned up nothing like the charges of sexual misconduct leveled against him these last two weeks.

In his 30 hours of public testimony before the judiciary committee prior to Thursday, no senator had raised an issue of a sexual misconduct.

But if Brett Kavanaugh is elevated to the Supreme Court, it will be because, in his final appearance, he tore up the script assigned to him. He set aside his judicial demeanor to fight for his good name with the passion and righteous rage of the innocent and good man he believes himself to be.

He turned an inquisition into his character and conduct as a teenager into a blazing indictment of the Democratic minority for what they were doing to his reputation and his family.

Rather than play the role of penitent, Kavanaugh did what Clarence Thomas did 30 years before. He attacked the character, conduct and motives of his Democratic accusers.

And did the judge not speak the truth? With few exceptions, all four dozen Senate Democrats are determined to defeat him, even if that requires them to destroy him.

They rejected Brett Kavanaugh the day he was nominated.

Why? Because the judge is a conservative and a Catholic, hence an unreliable vote to sustain Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that discovered hidden in the Constitution a woman’s right to abort her unborn child.

The verdict on the judge came down in the hearts and minds of his enemies the moment that he was named. They had him convicted, before they met him. And once his fate was decided, the only remaining issues were where to find the dirt to bury him with, and how to make it look like they had given Kavanaugh a fair hearing.

Contrast how Kavanaugh, who has served his country with distinction for decades, was treated Thursday, and how Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was treated.

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Ford was greeted with courtly courtesy by Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley. No Republican senator asked her a question. Rachel Mitchell, a prosecutor of sex crimes brought in from Arizona, quizzed her as though she were a 15-year-old girl who had just been attacked, not a 51-year-old woman whose uncorroborated accusations were designed not only to defeat a Supreme Court nomination but to destroy the career, family and future of a federal judge.

After each five-minutes of polite questioning by Mitchell, Democratic senators took turns lauding Ford’s courage, bravery and heroism in agreeing to appear.

Ford’s testimony as to what she says happened in 1982 did seem credible and compelling. Yet, to allow her accusation of attempted rape to stand without tough and thorough cross-examination, given the stakes involved, was a dereliction of Senate duty.

Consider. Ford does not recall how she got to the party where the alleged assault took place. She does not know where the party was held. She does now recall how she got home.

None of the other four she said were at the party recall being there. Her best friend, whom she apparently left behind as the lone woman in a house with a pair of drunken rapists, does not recall any such party. Nor does she recall ever having met Kavanaugh.

Consider the other charges leveled against Kavanaugh in the last two weeks: Exposing himself in the face of a freshman girl in a dorm at Yale. Participating in a series of at least 10 parties in high school where planned gang rapes of drunken and drugged women were a regular feature, with the boys lining up outside bedrooms.

In six FBI background investigations of Kavanaugh, interviewing countless friends and contemporaries from high school days, none of this wild and criminal misconduct of the early ’80s was mentioned.

“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, “I hope that the American people will see through this charade.”

They had best do so. For what is being done to Kavanaugh is, if Democrats take control of Congress in November, a harbinger of what is to come. The assault on Kavanaugh, converting a man known for his integrity into a youthful Jack the Ripper in 10 days, is the playbook for what is planned for Trump.

The Kavanaugh lynching is a dress rehearsal for the impeachment of Donald Trump. And the best way to fight impeachment is the way the judge fought Thursday.

In defending yourself, go after your malevolent accusers as well.

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The Huge Stakes of Thursday’s Confrontations

The Huge Stakes of Thursday's Confrontations

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Thursday is shaping up to be the Trump presidency’s “Gunfight at O.K. Corral.”

That day, the fates of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and much else, may be decided.

The New York Times report that Rosenstein, sarcastically or seriously in May 2017, talked of wearing a wire into the Oval Office to entrap the president, suggests that his survival into the new year is improbable.

Whether Thursday is the day President Donald Trump drops the hammer is unknown.

But if he does, the recapture by Trump of a Justice Department he believes he lost as his term began may be at hand. Comparisons to President Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre may not be overdone.

The Times report that Rosenstein also talked of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump suggests that Sen. Lindsey Graham had more than a small point on “Fox News Sunday”: “There’s a bureaucratic coup going on at the Department of Justice and the FBI, and somebody needs to look at it.”

Indeed, they do. And it is inexplicable that a special prosecutor has not been named. For while the matter assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller, to investigate any Trump collusion with Russia in hacking the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC, is serious, a far graver matter has gotten far less attention.

To wit, did an anti-Trump cabal inside the Department of Justice and the FBI conspire to block Trump’s election, and having failed, plot to bring down his presidency in a “deep state” coup d’etat?

Rosenstein’s discussion of wearing a wire into the Oval Office lends credence to that charge, but there is much more to it.

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The story begins with the hiring by the Clinton campaign, though its law firm cutout, in June 2016, of the dirt-divers of Fusion GPS.

Fusion swiftly hired retired British spy and Trump hater Christopher Steele, who contacted his old sources in the Russian intel community for dirt to help sink a U.S. presidential candidate.

What his Russian friends provided was passed on by Steele to his paymaster at GPS, his contact in the Justice Department, No. 3 man Bruce Ohr, and to the FBI, which was also paying the British spy.

The FBI then used the dirt Steele unearthed, much of it false, to persuade a FISA court to issue a warrant to wiretap Trump aide Carter Page. The warrant was renewed three times, the last with the approval of Trump’s own deputy attorney general, Rosenstein.

Regrettably, Trump, at the request of two allies — the Brits almost surely one of them — has put a hold on his recent decision to declassify all relevant documents inside the Justice Department and FBI.

Yet, as The Wall Street Journal wrote Monday, “As for the allies, sometimes U.S. democratic accountability has to take precedence over the potential embarrassment of British intelligence.”

Thursday’s meeting between Trump and Rosenstein will coincide with the Judiciary Committee’s hearing into the charge by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that, as a 15-year-old, she was sexually assaulted by 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

This weekend brought fresh charges, from a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh, Deborah Ramirez, that at a drunken party in their freshman year, Kavanaugh exposed himself.

Kavanaugh has fired off a letter to Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, chairman and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, calling the accusations “smears, pure and simple.”

Kavanaugh continued: “I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.”

What is at stake in Thursday’s appearance by Kavanaugh and Ford is huge. A successful defense of his good name could mean Kavanaugh’s swift elevation to the high court, a historic victory for the GOP’s judicial philosophy, and the culmination of a decades-long campaign dating back to the Earl Warren era of the Supreme Court.

As for the judge himself, the issue is not just his behavior as a teenager and university student, but his credibility and honor as a man.

He has asked friends and allies to trust and believe him when he says that he is a victim of a character assassination steeped that is rooted in ideology and lies.

Thus far, no credible individual has come forward to corroborate the charges against him when he was at Georgetown Prep or at Yale. And almost all who knew him testify to his character.

We are often told that the moment we are in has historic significance and will be long remembered. Yet, how many can still recall what the “resister” in the Trump White House or Cabinet wrote in his or her anonymous op-ed in The New York Times?

How Kavanaugh conducts himself Thursday, however, and whether he is elevated to the court, could decide the fate of constitutional conservatism and the Republican Congress in 2018.

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