An Optimistic Spin for the Green and Gold

After Green Bay’s victory over the Seahawks Seahawks this past Sunday, Quarterback Aaron Rodgers alluded to the obvious: not even all Packer fans have been that confident of the team’s ability or prospects this season. I would agree; I’ve been one of the dubious. Even last Sunday’s victory — eked out at home over a depleted Seattle squad – did little to dispel the notion that this season, Green Bay has been as lucky as good. We Packer fans know championship-caliber quality, and the general consensus is that the team – despite a creditable season from Mr. Rodgers and outstanding seasons from Wideout Davante Adams, Running Back Aaron Jones, Edge Rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, and Cornerback Jaire Alexander — is not that good. We have also been acutely aware that if the team progressed in the playoffs, another match with the San Francisco 49ers – who drubbed the Pack in Week 12 – was a probable obstacle to returning to the Super Bowl. Mr. Rodgers himself seemed to waffle a bit after the Seahawks game when asked about the Packers’ prospects against the Niners this Sunday.

I would voice this small note of optimism: given their rout by San Francisco during the regular season, the Packers know what won’t work. For instance, the coaching staff cannot have any doubt that Green Bay’s normal offensive line alignment, which has held up reasonably well against most opponents this season, is not a match for a voracious Niner defensive rush. Winners don’t think about past routs; losers reflect. I would place more than a small wager that whenever Coach Matt LaFleur and his staff and Mr. Rodgers would awaken in the middle of the night since the San Francisco defeat, in addition to considering that week’s opponent, they would ponder: Knowing what we now know, what would we have done differently against the 49ers? I would suspect even in the midst of preparing for the Seahawks, the Packer coaching staff used part of its playoff bye week to lay initial plans for the 49ers.

To defeat San Francisco, the Packers will have to get lucky – perhaps through the recovery of a couple of turnovers deep in Niner territory converted into touchdowns during the first half. They will have to come up with new schemes to slow down the San Francisco pass rush – perhaps double tight end sets, a lot of fullback sets – and/or try something that the Niners will not have schemed for, such as placing Wideout Allen Lazard (big; good blocker; a receiver that can’t be credibly covered by a Niner linebacker) at fullback, or perhaps even a T-formation. They will need new schemes that will isolate Mr. Adams one-on-one against Niner Cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon or Emmanuel Moseley [i.e., the Niner cornerback that isn’t Richard Sherman ;)] – perhaps perusing old Packer playbooks for plays former Head Coach Mike Holmgren designed to get Wideout Sterling Sharpe in the open during the days that the entire NFL, including the vendors chucking peanuts in the stands, knew that Mr. Sharpe was Green Bay’s only genuine offensive threat. They will need to decide whether Safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage have jelled sufficiently to cover San Francisco tight end George Kittle, who had by far the better of the matchup in the team’s first meeting – and if not, what to do about it. (Our old friend, Cornerback Tramon Williams, has played safety; is he a better cover option against Mr. Kittle?)

Much has been made of Mr. LaFleur being the first Packer coach – amidst extremely august company, including St. Vincent Lombardi – to make the playoffs in his first year. I would submit that this Sunday is the first true test of his coaching acumen. Packer fans with longer memories well recall Green Bay’s visit to San Francisco in early 1996, when the Packers, then considered merely upstarts coached by Mr. Holmgren and quarterbacked by a young Brett Favre, confronted the intimidating San Francisco 49ers quarterbacked by Steve Young, who in the preceding 15 years led by Joe Montana (who remains the best all-around QB I’ve ever seen, notwithstanding the respect appropriately due Tom Brady) and Mr. Young, had won five Super Bowls. That day, the Niners may have been looking past the Packers to the Dallas Cowboys. The tone of the game was set early by a fumble recovery/TD by Cornerback Craig Newsome, but the outcome was decided in part by three long passes from Mr. Favre to Tight End Keith Jackson, who had had a hallowed career but had been little used by the Packers during the regular season; the Niners hadn’t schemed for Mr. Jackson. Defensive Coordinator Fritz Schumer and his staff installed a dozen new defensive formations for the game, which completely disrupted the Niners’ storied precision passing routes. Packer backers’ reaction starting the game was resignation, then successively followed by pleased surprise, stunned disbelief, and finally … euphoria. At the time, the outcome was considered “shocking”; I would submit that in the Favre-Rodgers Era, the win ranks in significance only behind the team’s two Super Bowl victories.

Given the period Mr. LaFleur and his staff have had to think about the 49ers, it’s time to see whether they are, indeed, able to devise something new. French novelist Honoré de Balzac is said to have observed, “Behind every great fortune there is a crime.” I would suggest that the bottom of every renowned coaching career, there is an early unexpected win. While no victory this weekend will equal that long-ago Packer victory over the Niners that completed the team’s transition from disrespected doormat to bona fide powerhouse, Green Bay’s game plan Sunday will enable us to begin to assess whether Mr. LaFleur might someday be able to claim a place beside his legendary innovator-predecessors, Messrs. Lombardi and Holmgren. Win or lose, we will still have better memories of this season that we had any reason to expect when it began.

Impeachment Impressions; Guidance for the Speaker from the Lord … and Kenny Rogers: Part II

If one intends to review this post, but has not yet read Part I (which is immediately below), I would start there 😉

A number of commentators have opined that the reason that Ms. Pelosi has delayed in forwarding the House’s Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for adjudication is that she believes it places pressure on Sen. McConnell and his Senate Republican Leadership to hold a meaningful impeachment trial; others have suggested that the delay is strengthening the case for the President’s removal by allowing time for the unearthing of additional evidence by House investigators and the occurrence of events such as former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s recent indication that he will testify if subpoenaed by the Senate. I would suggest that for reasons practical, political, and – to me the most important — Constitutional, she should forward the Articles to the Senate without further delay.

The practical first: everyone in this country that cares to know already understands the essential – and undisputed – aspects of the Trump Administration’s efforts to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to secure domestic political advantage for Mr. Trump. Everyone in this country – undoubtedly down to the junior member of the Senate maintenance crew – likewise knows that Mr. Trump is going to be acquitted in the Senate. I am confident that Ms. Pelosi is not so naïve as to believe that any additional testimony is going to change the outcome. Will sworn testimony by Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney be any more incriminating to the President than Mr. Mulvaney’s blurted admission of the quid pro quo from the White House podium? Will sworn testimony by Mr. Bolton, confirming Fiona Hill’s testimony that he referred to the Administration’s Ukrainian-related efforts as a “drug deal” and credible media accounts that he urged Mr. Trump to release the Ukrainian aid, have any probative impact upon a decisive number of Republican Senators judging the Articles? To ask the questions is to answer them.

As the Lord said in a more celestial context: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15.

Ms. Pelosi must recognize that everyone who has ears to hear … has already heard. She should move ahead.

As to the political: if the Articles are going to fail in the Senate, how best to paint the outcome for the November election? It would arguably seem that the more rigorous the Senate trial appears, the more credibly the President and his supporters will be able to claim, following his inevitable acquittal, that the Democrats’ entire initiative was a “Witch Hunt.” If they are going to lose anyway, I would suggest that the more the Senate proceedings seem a kangaroo court, the easier it will be for Democrats to label the President’s inevitable acquittal a whitewash and vulnerable swing state Republican Senators as mere party lackeys. Delay can be as politically dangerous to the Democrats as to the Republicans; I note that since the recent strike on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Sen. McConnell has sought to invoke Americans’ patriotic spirit by calling Mr. Trump “the Commander in Chief” while discussing the upcoming impeachment proceedings.

I am confident that Ms. Pelosi and her Leadership team, along with the rest of us of a certain vintage, well recall the legendary advice of Kenny Rogers’ Gambler:

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run…

It’s time for Ms. Pelosi to fold ‘em … and walk away.

Finally, the Constitutional: Anyone who reads these pages is well aware of the extremely low regard I have for Sen. McConnell. Of all the patently partisan things that the Senate Majority Leader has perpetrated, to me his failure to schedule confirmation hearings on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court was a despicable dereliction of his duty. The Constitution’s drafters obviously believed that the Senate would act in good faith in performing its various responsibilities, and didn’t consider it necessary to prescribe a time limit for the Senate to commence deliberations on a President’s nominees. Mr. McConnell should have promptly scheduled confirmation hearings on Judge Garland even if it was preordained that the Republican-controlled Senate would ultimately reject the nomination. He didn’t because he wished to enable Republican Senators to avoid embarrassing, blatantly-partisan votes. He failed in his constitutional duty. I would suggest that by the same token, now that the House has approved two Articles of Impeachment against a President – the weightiest of the House’s Constitutional responsibilities – it is incumbent upon Ms. Pelosi to promptly forward the Articles to the Senate. Whether or not the President is acquitted in the Senate, by commencing impeachment proceedings, House Democrats did what they (and I) felt they were constitutionally obligated to do. Even if there is some gap in the Constitution’s provisions that arguably enables House Leadership to delay in forwarding the Articles to the Senate, they should nonetheless do what Senate Republicans failed to do with regard to Judge Garland’s nomination: respect the spirit, as well as the letter, of the process that the drafters created.

A postscript to an earlier post: not long ago in a note related to impeachment, I quoted one of the founding fathers of modern conservative thought, Edmund Burke, referring to him as an “Englishman.” Only after it was published did I recall that although Mr. Burke represented the English city of Bristol while in Parliament, he was in fact born in Dublin, and should thus should have been described as Anglo-Irish. I can but offer a sheepish apology to the sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle that follow these pages who, given the warm and forgiving hearts for which our people are known, kindly chose not to take me to task ;). I also apologize to any reviewer of this note who finds the lyrics of The Gambler embedded in his/her mind for the rest of the day …

Impeachment Impressions; Guidance for the Speaker from the Lord … and Kenny Rogers: Part I

At the time this is posted, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic Leadership Team are yet to forward to the Senate the two Articles of Impeachment against President Trump passed by the House in December. Reports indicate that she has been holding the Articles in an attempt to pressure Republican Senate Majority Leader, U.S. KY Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Mr. McConnell’s Republican Leadership Team, to conduct a meaningful trial of the Articles in the Senate. As the parties bandy back and forth regarding the framework of the upcoming procedure, several impressions emerge:

The President and his supporters persist in calling impeachment a “coup” – short for coup d’etat. It isn’t. My trusty American Heritage Dictionary defines the term – originally French for “stroke of state,” as, “A sudden stroke of state policy involving deliberate violation of constitutional forms by a group of persons in authority [Emphasis added].” By my count, the Constitution refers to impeachment proceedings in five places: Article I, Sections 2 and 3; Article II, Sections 2 and 4; and Article III, Section 2. Whether or not one believes that the President’s imposition upon a vulnerable and reliant foreign ally for assistance against a domestic political rival constituted an offense sufficient to warrant his removal from office under Article II, Section 4, the House impeachment proceedings, which followed the Constitution’s outlines, have in no way constituted a “coup” (nor did the House’s 1998 impeachment of President Clinton). Even though the President’s acolytes are willing to ignore his flouting of his constitutional constraints, I wish that they would at least have the grace not to misrepresent the meaning of a commonly-used English term [even if it is originally French ;)].

The President and his supporters persist in claiming that the impeachment proceedings are intended to “reverse the result of the 2016 election,” “take away the votes of 63 million people,” etc., etc. Again, no matter what one thinks of the weight and merits of the charges against Mr. Trump, this is poppycock [or, as former Vice President Joe Biden might say: malarkey ;)]. By providing for the concept of impeachment in the Constitution, the Founders contemplated that duly-elected officials might behave sufficiently inappropriately to justify their removals from office. If Mr. Trump is removed following the Senate impeachment trial, his successor will not be the 2016 Democratic Party Presidential nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; obviously, it will be Vice President Mike Pence. The 63 million people whose votes the Republicans claim would be forfeited if the Senate convicts Mr. Trump voted for Mr. Pence, too; presumably they believed that Mr. Pence would represent them well if, for whatever reason, Mr. Trump could no longer continue as President.

Putting aside these unfounded oratory flailings by the President and his cohort, to me their most insidious claim is their insinuation that those that support Mr. Trump’s removal from office “don’t like” the President’s supporters. In an October, 2019, piece entitled, “Impeaching Trump Voters,” conservative Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn wrote, in part, the following:

“So why the rush [to proceed with impeachment]? Maybe … there’s an itch to punish Trump voters for what they did in 2016. In other words, it isn’t enough that Mr. Trump be defeated. His whole presidency must be delegitimized, along with the people who voted him in. … [I]t doesn’t seem to occur to Democrats that the president’s supporters stick with him in part because they appreciate that the Trump hatred is directed at them as well. [Emphasis Added].”

During the House impeachment proceedings, U.S. OH Rep. Jim Jordan said the following:

“It’s not just … [the Democrats] don’t like the President. … They don’t like us. They don’t like the 63 million people who voted for this President. All of us in flyover country. All of us common folk in Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Texas — they don’t like us. … That’s what this is about. They don’t like the President. They don’t like the President’s supporters. And they don’t like us so much that they’re willing to weaponize the government. … Going after 63 million people and the guy we put in the White House. …”

Claims such as those leveled by Messrs. McGurn and Jordan are malignant calumny designed to exploit Trump supporters for Republican political advantage. Since there is no indication that Russia manipulated actual 2016 presidential vote totals and Special Counsel Robert Mueller found insufficient evidence to show that the 2016 Trump Campaign conspired with the Russian Government to elect Mr. Trump, I consider Mr. Trump to have validly won the presidency under our Constitution’s Electoral College framework. He – not unlike U.S. VT Sen. Bernie Sanders — provided a voice for millions of well-intended people who for decades have felt impugned and ignored by the comfortable elites of both parties. Mr. Jordan alluded to Trump supporters in my own state of Wisconsin; from our own travels, I would add to his list well-intended Trump supporters we have met in Utah, Missouri, and Alaska. One can have affection and affinity for well-intended Trump supporters and still believe that the President should be removed because he exploited the power of the presidency for his own personal advantage (as noted earlier in these pages, reading the Call Manuscript — as the President urged — was enough for me). Mr. Trump’s defenders are seeking to distract and incite his followers specifically because no substantive defense can be mounted regarding the President’s actions. Their behavior is execrable.

And we haven’t even gotten to the Lord or Mr. Rogers. That in Part II of this note.

On 2020

As we enter 2020, it is perhaps easy to be discouraged at the manner in which our national comity appears to be unraveling, the governmental systems that have sustained us are arguably misfiring, and the world around us is seemingly fragmenting. While the problems we face need to be addressed, they pale in comparison to those that our nation has overcome in darker times. I truly believe what Ronald Reagan proclaimed: that we remain the last best hope of man on earth. The coming year provides us with a chance to make adjustments – while recognizing that no changes are sustainable that fail to take into account the rightful values of any segment of our people. 2020 will inevitably be a year of turmoil for our nation, but also one of opportunity. On a personal level, today we are honored to attend the wedding of good friends starting life anew. There is no greater expression of hope in the future than a loving couple’s exchange of wedding vows.

Happy New Year.

On the December Democratic Debate

Prelude: In a little-noted Gospel passage, the Lord once remarked that doing one’s share in order to maintain marital harmony during the Holiday Season supersedes any urge one has to enter blog posts; I wisely followed His guidance  ;). Except for the italicized postscript, the following was primarily composed on the night of the debate.

Clearly, having only seven candidates on the stage made for a livelier, more interesting, more substantive exchange among the participants. I would suggest that three gained advantage; three lost ground; and one was present. In reverse order:

Businessman Tom Steyer was present. Mr. Steyer made a solid presentation, is likeable enough, and is clearly hankering to take on President Trump … but I didn’t see the springboard in his performance necessary to propel him to the nomination.

Two of the three losing ground: U.S. VT Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. MA Sen. Elizabeth Warren. They lost ground because … they were themselves (full disclosure: although I find his ideas too radical, I really enjoy Sen. Sanders; as any reader of these pages is aware, I don’t find Sen. Warren nearly as appealing). They clung to Medicare for All and predictably repeated their assertion that the nation needs Big Change; Ms. Warren specifically repeated her assertion that the party needs to draw a sharp contrast with Mr. Trump. While one admires their sincerity, the impression persists that the agenda that they seek to place before the American people is prohibitively expensive, has no chance of Congressional passage, and will be fatal campaign fodder for Republicans in a year in which Democrats are generally more interested in winning than in specific policy directions.

The unexpected loser of ground: South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg. In an extended and testy exchange with Sen. Warren about finances and fundraising, both scored off the other if you listened to the substance, but Ms. Warren’s “Wine Cave Fundraiser” appellation for Mr. Buttigieg is the memory that lingers. U.S. MN Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s pointed reference to Mr. Buttigieg’s loss in his one Indiana statewide race and her implication that a South Bend mayoralty was insufficient background for the presidency also scored. The Mayor seemed a bit off-balance in his responses. This year’s Democratic Shiny New Toy seemed to take on a bit of tarnish.

Two clear gainers: Ms. Klobuchar and Businessman Andrew Yang. Ms. Klobuchar, despite a slow campaign start, has persevered and I would suggest that she may have scored well enough to stage an impressive showing in the Iowa caucuses, a must for her campaign’s viability. Even more, she unquestionably laid a very solid case for the party’s Vice Presidential nomination if she can’t secure the top spot. I would venture that Mr. Yang has no chance to win the Democratic presidential nomination, but he’s hung around long enough and done well enough [his adherents apparently refer to themselves as, “The Yang Gang :)], that from at least one perspective he’s beginning to look like an appealing choice for the Democratic Vice Presidential nomination.

The clear winner: former Vice President Joe Biden. In past debates, I have said that I thought Mr. Biden won by not losing; in this most recent debate, he arguably won outright (at worst, he tied for best performance with Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Yang). He was disciplined and decisive in the majority of his responses; he seemed in command. He looked like the nominee. He sounded like the nominee. Most importantly, he looked and sounded like he was ready for Donald Trump. His allusion to the Republicans’ attacks on his son and himself was deft. In his closing, he sounded like he was wishing Americans Happy Holidays and thanking the PBS team on behalf of the Democratic Party, not just for himself. My mother used to say, “One Swallow doesn’t make a Summer,” and Mr. Biden had best be ready to render a similar performance in the mid-January debate; but this performance seems likely to have quieted some supporters’ doubts and solidified or enhanced his lead during the next month – a critical period in which any candidate will arguably need to make a strong run prior to the Iowa Caucuses.

In a CNN post-debate interview, Sen. Klobuchar indicated that in a meeting she had attended just prior to the debate, she had urged Senate Democratic Leadership to negotiate with Senate Republican Leadership for a thorough impeachment trial in the Senate that would include testimony from as-yet-unheard senior Trump Administration officials. Her comments made me reflect ;). Given my political junkie reading over the years, I am certain that if either John Kennedy or Bill Clinton was serving in the Senate today (Mr. Clinton obviously never served in the Senate), poised as Ms. Klobuchar is to launch an Iowa campaign blitz that would make or break his presidential campaign, he would urge Senate Democratic Leadership to forego a rigorous impeachment trial; each would readily justify skimping on a hallowed constitutional process by rationalizing that the country would be better off with him in the White House than by miring him in a lengthy proceeding seemingly destined to yield an inevitable result in which he would ultimately cast a meaningless vote. Ms. Klobuchar’s desire for the Senate to conduct a meaningful constitutional procedure without regard to the potential consequences for her candidacy underscores why she’d make a fine president … and why she perhaps won’t secure the nomination.

On they march.

Postscript: While the prevailing liberal punditry is apparently to the effect that Mayor Buttigieg got the better of his back-and-forth with Sen. Warren, I remain skeptical; if my assessment has validity, the ultimate beneficiary of the exchange ironically might not be Sen. Warren, but Sen. Klobuchar. There are a number of followers of these pages that know Iowa much better than I, but I don’t think they have many Wine Caves in the Hawkeye State, and the viability of both Ms. Klobuchar’s and Mr. Buttigieg’s campaigns seemingly depend in large part on their showing in the Iowa Caucuses.

Hope your Holidays have thus far been all that you wished for.

Hanukkah … and Happy Holidays

I would suggest that anyone with a center-left disposition read The Point of It All, an anthology of conservative Washington Post Columnist Charles Krauthammer’s works that he assembled prior to his death from cancer at age 68 in 2018. Until I read the collection, most of my exposure to Mr. Krauthammer was as a Fox News commentator, and in that venue he had seemed to me too doctrinaire in his criticism of liberal positions; in reading his compilation, I came to recognize how brilliant and eloquent he was.

The 2019 days of Hanukkah observance began yesterday. In December, 2004, Mr. Krauthammer, Jewish, raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, wrote a column entitled, “Just Leave Christmas Alone.” In that piece, he stated, in part, as follows:

“… I’ve got nothing against Hanukkah, although I am constantly amused – and gratified – by how American culture has gone out of its way to inflate the importance of Hanukkah, easily the least important of Judaism’s seven holidays, into a giant event replete with cards, presents and public commemorations as a creative way to give Jews their Christmas equivalent.

Some Americans get angry at parents who want to ban carols because they tremble that their kids might feel ‘different’ and ‘uncomfortable’ should they, God forbid, hear Christian music sung at their school. I feel pity. What kind of fragile religious identity have they bequeathed their children that it should be threatened by exposure to carols?

I’m struck by the fact that you almost never find Orthodox Jews complaining about a Christmas crèche in the public square. That is because their children, steeped in the richness of their own religious tradition, know who they are and are not threatened by Christians celebrating their religion in public.

To insist that the overwhelming majority of this country stifle its religious impulses in public so that minorities can feel ‘comfortable’ not only understandably enrages the majority but commits two sins. The first is profound ungenerosity toward a majority of fellow citizens who have shown such generosity of spirit toward minority religions.

The second is the sin of incomprehension – a failure to appreciate the uniqueness of the communal American religious experience …. [T]he United States does not merely allow minority religions to exist at its sufferance. It celebrates and welcomes and honors them.”

That said, in his last months, Mr. Krauthammer became sharply critical of President Trump, writing in July, 2017:

“[Mr. Trump’s comparisons between the activities of the United States and a Vladimir Putin-led Russia] was “[m]oral equivalence so shocking, emanating from the elected leader of the United States, [that it should] … not … be ignored ….

The demagoguery of 2016 did carry the day. … That the traditional left-right political divide of the last two centuries is increasingly being surpassed by the nationalist-globalist and authoritarian-democratic divide is disturbing and potentially ominous.”

Given what has transpired in the two and half years since he wrote the quoted passages regarding Mr. Trump, I suspect that Mr. Krauthammer would understand why I say: I agree that the politically correct should quit hyperventilating about public celebrations of Christmas. At the same time, the American “generosity of spirit toward minority religions” of which he wrote in 2004 seems to be both explicitly and impliedly under greater siege now than at any previous point in either his or my lifetime. Therefore, while he fittingly concluded his long-ago column about Hanukkah with the words, “Merry Christmas. To All.”, I — as a practicing (although manifestly flawed) Roman Catholic – today find myself most comfortable wishing my fellow citizens … Happy Holidays.

Which Party Will Be Conservative Today?

Today, a majority of the members of the House of Representatives is expected to pass at least one Article of Impeachment against President Trump related to a series of events that includes a call in which the President of the United States asked the leader of a dependent and vulnerable foreign ally to investigate another American, one of his electoral rivals. It is anticipated that the vast majority of the Representatives affiliated with the Democratic Party – the party of progressives, liberals, socialists, and other unreliables — will vote for the Articles. It is further anticipated that not one House member affiliated with the Republican Party – the party of avowed conservatives, proclaimed strict constructionists, and staunch defenders of the cultural mores that have made America great — will support the Articles.

The Englishman Edmund Burke is considered one of the founding fathers of modern conservative thought – a philosophy which embraces social order and the belief that reliance upon traditional institutions, community, and customs is the best way for a society to advance itself. In 1790, Mr. Burke wrote in Reflections on the Revolution in France:

“[T]he steady maxims of faith, justice, and fixed fundamental policy are perfectly intelligible and perfectly binding upon those who exercise any authority, under any name or under any title, in the state. …. [T]he House of Commons cannot renounce its share of authority. The engagement and pact of society, which generally goes by the name of the constitution, forbids such invasion and such surrender. The constituent parts of a state are obliged to hold their public faith with each other and with all those who derive any serious interest under their entanglements … Otherwise competence and power would soon be confounded and no law be left but the will of a prevailing force.”

Addressing his constituents in the city of Bristol, Mr. Burke once declared:

“[A representative’s] unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

No one can be so naïve as to believe that if Mr. Trump was a Democrat, the Democratic Representatives would be so steadfastly voting to impeach him. Even so, since the substance of the interactions between Mr. Trump, his cohort, and Ukrainian officials is undisputed, if the House vote unfolds today as anticipated, which party, according to Mr. Burke’s precepts, should be considered the more conservative?