Presidents’ Day Questions for Ralph Hancock

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res]

Ralph Hancock, a political theorist at Brigham Young University, is a fairly notorious figure in certain tiny Mormon slivers of the internet. I never took a class from him when I was a student at BYU, but I’ve interacted with him, in person and online, dozens of times over the decades; we’re friendly, if not necessarily close friends. Recently, Hancock made waves with a piece he published in the Deseret News, arguing, in reference to the recent impeachment vote, that Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, who voted, along with every other Republican save one, to find President Trump not guilty of the impeachment charges, had acted like a true statesman; Mitt Romney, the only Republican senator who voted to convict Trump, had not. This is a position I disagree with, as I’ve made clear already. So this President’s Day, I’d like to pose some questions for Ralph–not with any illusion that anyone’s mind will be changed by voicing such questions, but because I honestly want to understand just what it is he’s claiming about American statesmanship circa 2020, and why.

Ralph’s short piece spends most of its length setting up a philosophical argument regarding the place and the nature of partisanship in our odd political moment, in which we (or, depending on what kind of right-wing or left-wing critique of American voting practices you prefer, “we” in scare quotes) govern ourselves through a pluralistic democratic arrangement wherein certain civic republican ideals and standards are nonetheless at least ritually given a place (the senators taking an oath to judge impartially, and not in accordance with political pressures, during an impeachment trial, for example). Ralph thinks Romney’s speech explaining his impeachment vote demonstrates a poor understanding of the place of partisanship today, thus making his appeals to conscience and ethical and religious principles an annoying distraction. (He’s made this argument similar to this about Romney before, charging him with failing to recognize that the “foundation” of civic virtues like “decency” and “civility”–which Romney condemned Trump for lacking, as he obviously does–are more “vulgar” virtues like “courage and loyalty,” which Trump, in Ralph’s view, has plenty of.) The key paragraph in this section, I think, is this one:

To take political responsibility is to reckon with the inevitable fact of partisanship. Anyone really interested in making a difference for the better for our country must recognize the need to have political friends and to beware of enemies. To recognize the reality of allies and adversaries is not to debase political action but simply to reckon with the actual partisan situation. The question is whether Sen. Romney has frivolously spent his political capital (in Utah, especially) or wisely traded it in order to make some powerful new friends in the national political arena….[I]t is hard not to question the otherworldly “profile in courage” of a political gesture that results in immediate celebrity among the great and powerful, if not among the more vulgar in Washington or in Utah.

I’d like to understand whether Ralph, who has insisted multiple times over the years that he is a strong advocate for “original constitutionalism,” sees this as a necessary correction to Madison’s (I agree flawed, but important and admirable all the same) claim that a properly constituted “extended republic” could effectively sideline the problem of parties (or “factions,” as he put it), or whether he actually does hold with Madison, and instead simply believes that “reality of…the actual partisan situation” today requires fighting fire with fire. I’d love to learn it was the former, and thus be able to count Ralph, whatever our other political disagreements, as an advocate for pushing our system in a parliamentary direction wherein partisan divides are treated more honestly and responsibly. My suspicion, however, is that it’s the latter, in which case the long theoretical case he makes in the first four paragraphs seems like so much throat-clearing.

Either way, the meat of condemnation of Romney’s vote, and his praise of Lee’s, comes immediately after this:

Senator Lee deftly framed his decision in the context of the larger partisan conflict over the design and purpose of our constitutional republic. For decades…progressives have worked to overcome the limitations of federalism and the separation of powers by transferring more and more power to unelected “experts” forming a virtual fourth branch of government, the bureaucracy. Trump’s alleged constitutional offense, from the standpoint of progressive or “living” constitutionalism, consists precisely in overriding the authority of expert bodies or the prevailing “inter-agency consensus.” Lee is a frank partisan of the original Constitution and a critique of its progressive reinterpretation. True solicitude for the constitution thus dictates, he concludes, not righteous indignation at the president’s use of executive power, but the defense of his Article II powers against the increasing arrogance of the fourth branch.

I would really like to understand better some of the assumptions Ralph is making here–assumptions which operate, I should note, without ever mentioning any details of the allegations about President Trump made in the articles of impeachment, thus obliging readers of Ralph’s column to assume that the truth or falsehood of those allegations is irrelevant. Leaving entirely aside larger historical and theoretical debates over constitutional interpretation and the definition of “progressivism” being used here, the crucial leap I see here is the idea that the “experts” who expressed the “inter-agency consensus” against Trump’s bribing or threatening or pushing of President Zelensky (presumably this is a reference to the testimony of Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Lt. Col. Alexander Vidman, and multiple others), actually constitute a unified body that seeks to operate as a “fourth branch of government,” outside of the will of the executive or legislative branches That these individuals and others were actually operating within the reach of the executive branch–hence Trump’s ability to fire them–complicates this assumption somewhat, especially in light of the centrality which Ralph grants to partisanship as a necessity of proper statesmanship.

While it is true that conservative stereotype of the progressive interpretation of the U.S. Constitution has involved the progressive empowerment of various agencies, boards, and other institutions within the executive branch, I have never heard it said that President Woodrow Wilson or other progressive bogeymen of the conservative imagination were empowering such agencies in order to limit presidential discretion by way of “expert consensus.” On the contrary, the conservative knock against them has long been that these agencies and experts centralized power in the office of the presidency. So in what way, exactly, can executive appointees hypothetically undermining the actions of a president via expressing their critical judgment against him in impeachment testimony be understood as following through on a progressive agenda to centralize power?

I think I can imagine one way, but only one. If Ralph is a complete adherent to the theory of presidential power laid out by Attorney General William Barr, then presidential power must be understood as something that belongs not to the executive branch, but to a single person, wholly and entirely. The executive branch, under this (I think frankly ahistorical, and others agree) interpretation, then the people around the president must be understood as his partisan tools, nothing more or less. Thus, any Republican appointee of President Trump who dissents from or really is just in any way critical of Trump’s actions has failed to follow their partisan role within the constitutional structure of the executive branch, and must be understood as acting independently, in alignment with those progressive forces, hiding behind their civil service protections, acting as an unelected, undemocratic force.

If this is correct, then Ralph is arguing–or at least as best as I can construct the argument–that if ours is to be a responsible constitutional democracy, it must firmly resist any kind of intra-party dissent within the executive branch, because absolute partisan unity is central to the executive (that is, the President of the United States) governing–including, I suppose, making phone calls–the way he or she chooses to, and giving the presidency wide freedom in what they choose to do holds off or at least hampers the development of an elite body of undemocratic, unelected others. Hence, Lee is acting a statesman in voting in support of the president, and Romney, invoking an “impartial” ideal to justify his vote against the president which fails to reckon with the necessity of an executive being free from push-back from his own partisan tools, is not. Have I got this right, Ralph?

I think there are huge historical and theoretical problems with this, and I say that as someone who is entirely willing to dump on Madison, praise parliamentarianism, and join in rolling my eyes at obviously partisan individuals and organizations cloaking what they do in civic republican language. But that’s not what Ralph has done here; I think he’s made a different kind argument, one that I would really like to understand better, because not only does it not seem to fit the “original constitutionalism” Ralph has so long praised, but it doesn’t even seem to entirely fit the conservative complaint against progressivism which so many adherents of “original constitutionalism” have long put forward. Yes, I know; Occam’s Razor suggests that Ralph doesn’t actually believe any of this; that’s it’s all motivated reasoning, same as my response, and that his column and my response here is all just so many pointless words tossed around. But noentheless I’d love to be humored, at least a little bit. Ideally I’d love to hear from Ralph himself, but if anyone would like to explain to me what I’ve misunderstood about his claims, I can’t think of a better way to honor Presidents’ Day than to argue about it all.

Comments

  1. Michael LeFevre says:

    It seems to me (a self educated, poor, dumb, Mormon boy) that if the idea that the appointees in the executive branch are just “tools” of the presidential will, and that partisanship extends to the politicians in Congress of the same party, then there is no reason to send those congressional politicians back to Washington. They may as well stay home, (a loose term for Utah politicians) here in Utah, going to business openings, taking tea with sycophants, and kissing donor’s behinds to build up their “War Chest” (for God knows what purpose) rather than using tax dollars to travel back and forth to DC. Excuse the long sentence. No matter your philosophy about partisanship and loyalty, no US citizen is above the law and those charged with protecting and making the laws should be the first to defend that principle.

  2. Arguing for partisanship is bad. Arguing for partisanship for the scenario where the US Constitution explicitly lays out when it should not apply, is especially bad.
    The current state of US elections, where winner takes all, is creating a whiplash that’s shaking the foundations of our society. Turning governing into a partisan team sport, is bad.
    The “fourth branch of government” isn’t beaurocrats who are religious about following the guidelines and laws laid out by Congress, it’s the free press who can keep powerful individuals in check. Civil servants who are oversighted by Congress aren’t a fourth branch, but a functioning of two co-equal branches.
    Trump defenders truly want a monarchy.
    I was watching “A Man for all Seasons” last week, and I don’t believe that it’s ever been more relevant in American society. It really felt like Henry VIII’s character was modeled after Donald Trump, but I know that’s impossible.
    I would believe that Ralph Hancock was sincere if you could somehow trick him into some super realistic Artificial Reality, make him think that either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton were being impeached and see what his arguments are then.

  3. Stephen Hardy says:

    I have such a hard time with most everyone’s methodology. I’m not sure how to escape this: Brother Hancock really likes Senator Lee (for many reasons but importantly because Lee and Hancock are constitutional originalists) and so he argues backwards from his support and admiration of Lee, eventually finding that Lee has perfect, valid, and correct principles. Brother Hancock would bristle at this, I’m sure.

    We see this very plainly among Trump supporters. And we see it in in Pelosi, Clinton, and Obama supporters. We end up exactly where we want to end up while we convince ourselves that we trod an independent path to get there.

  4. josh harrison says:

    If Mr. Hancock thinks so highly of political parties, it must drive him crazy that both parties have lost control of the nomination process. There was a piece about this very topic in the Wall Street Journal Sat. The Republican party resisted Trump up until it had no choice given that he won the nomination. And even after the election, many party insiders do not support him. Meanwhile, the leading candidate for the Democrats is not even a Democrat…Mr. Sanders is a declared socialist.

    I think Mr. Hancock has it backwards if he believes that politicians should be loyal to the parties. From what I can see, it’s the parties who are required to be loyal to the candidates, even when the candidates differ from the party platform. We have a populist president who will be running against a socialist.

  5. your food allergy is fake says:

    “Lee is a frank partisan of the original Constitution and a critique of its progressive reinterpretation. True solicitude for the constitution thus dictates, he concludes, not righteous indignation at the president’s use of executive power, but the defense of his Article II powers against the increasing arrogance of the fourth branch.”

    Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, not by an increasingly arrogant “fourth branch” aka deep state.

  6. Kevin Christensen says:

    The Hancock line you quote is rather telling in the way he frames, and tellingly re-frames, the question as a way of evading the real issue for Romney and Lee:
    “The question is whether Sen. Romney has frivolously spent his political capital (in Utah, especially) or wisely traded it in order to make some powerful new friends in the national political arena…”
    I watched the speech and there was nothing frivolous about it. He was dead serious. And he was not trading for anything. Rather, he determined that what was at stake was his own conscience, and that he would not trade that for anything. He recognized that by standing up and speaking out in futile gesture, our notoriously petty and vindictive leader of the free world would dump on him. And who was it who asked, “What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world…”

  7. I agree with Kevin. That section is what stuck out the most to me in an alarming way: Hancock has reached his conclusion first, and then tried to fill in the justifications. What powerful new friends are going to align with Romney? The Dems won’t have him, though they like him more now, they’re still not going to support him as a Republican. The Republicans have cast him out of their tribe…tell me where is the great power he was reaching for with this action? The cynicism that Romney couldn’t possibly have been motivated by moral principles feels like a projection to me. Hancock knows he is abandoning arguing for moral principles in his own argument, so he can’t allow Romney to have them-it must be part of a bigger plot or because he’s “frivolous” (and anyone who watched that speech would find that adjective laughable in describing it.)
    The assumption is more based in what Hancock needs to be true about Romney to feel justified in his argument, than an honest assessment of the situation. Nowhere in there does he ever entertain the idea that maybe Romney was actually worried about the constitution too, or just plain following the law.

  8. I also agree with Kevin.

  9. Joe Friday says:

    Here are the questions that have never been answered: What pressure was put on Zelensky to honor Trump’s request, how was that pressure applied and who communicated it?

    If the answer to this question is “The phone call” then we have a serious problem. For one, the phone call was so benign that Adam Schiff had to fabricate a version of the phone call to sell his idea that it was coercive. Two, there is no witness or testimony to indicate there was any follow up from Trump to Zelensky to communicate that Trump expected Zelensky to understand there would be no aid without a Biden investigation.

    All the testimony given never answers the question of who and how Zelensky was pressured.

    Isn’t that rather important?

    If one alleges a bribery, doesn’t it need to be shown that a bribe was offered? Yet no evidence exists and the person alleged to have been bribed – Zelensky – denies ever being pressured! I understand in his latest comments Zelensky refers to the Trump impeachment as a “soap opera”. No hint at all of being pressured.

    For all the hype about Bolton’s book, the leaks never have him claiming pressure was put on Zelensky. The leaks support the idea that Trump wanted answers to the questions he raised in the phone call. They never substantiate there was pressure or coercion to obtain answers.

    Romney voted to convict because he decided evidence wasn’t necessary. That is amazing. That is stunning. That is revelatory of Romney’s mindset. I don’t think it is a decision that Romney will be able to defend as more information about Ukraine is revealed.

  10. Joe the republicans except Romney, disn’t want to know. Why?

    In Australia Romney is seen as the only Republican with enough moral backbone to stand against Trump, who demands pledges of loyalty and appearently gets them.

  11. Joe Friday says:

    Geof,

    The Democrats, had they conducted a proper impeachment, could have obtained testimony from whomever they desired. They balked. Who to ultimately blame for the lack of witnesses is a political matter and there has been plenty of finger pointing. However, if the evidence to convict is never presented the principled position is to not convict. That is, or used to be, the American standard of Justice.

  12. Kevin Christensen says:

    Regarding the evidence both of presidential misbehavior and obstruction, it exists and I have read the reports and watched the testimony.
    https://intelligence.house.gov/report/

    It is notable that all of the witnesses who honored legal subpoenas and testified did so in defiance of the President’s obstructive instructions. When the Democrats went to the courts, the courts said, if the witnesses won’t come, your recourse is to impeach. During the impeachment, the President’s defenders said, if you want compel witnesses that have not honored legal subpoenas, you must go through the courts. That is a Catch 22. And what is at issue here is the survival of democracy. And of course, claiming that Zelensky, at war with Russia, dependent on American aid for survival, dealing with a President who publicly trusts Putin more than his own intelligence agencies (remember Helsinki), and notoriously impulsive, vain, and vindictive, sure, no pressure.

    When Vindman testified, idealistically, that in America, you can speak the truth without fear, Zelensky, could have simply decided to wait and see. And when Trump had Vindman and his uninvolved twin brother escorted from the White House after Republican senators voted for acquittal, what lesson is there in that for diplomatic relations? Or, what lesson about Trump’s mindset could one have previously gained from Comey being fired via TV, and McCabe being fired hours before his pension kicked in? Trump is petty and vindictive and shows the compulsion, not just to retaliate, but to humiliate. No pressure, right? No penalty for speaking the truth to power, and 14,000 Ukrainians dead more dying? No pressure.

    Even Romney, in voting against the Obstruction point thought that Democrats should have spent longer fighting the Obstruction in the courts. Trump’s actions were more obstructive than any President in history. But doesn’t count unless he does it more and for longer? But of course, if the issue is all about Partisanship, about being loyal to the team, then conscience and morality and legality and truth become tertiary issues. In the Atlantic article about his decision, Romney reported that many Republican colleagues pressured him to vote with the team. He did not report anyone offering persuasive evidence that the President was innocent and that the Democratic case was empty or inconclusive.

  13. I’ve been reading Ralph for years. What we must understand is that Ralph is, first and foremost, a Republican apologist. In other words, he draws a conclusion first (any Republican position, even those Trump tosses about like so much pig slop, is correct), and then he searches for a philosophical argument to support that conclusion. This is why so many of Ralph’s editorials read like a game of mental Twister. He’s trying hard to come up with arguments to support the insupportable. We see the same thing from Mormon apologist (and apologists of every stripe), because this is how apologetics works. It always gets the cart before the horse. Sound scholarship, on the other hand, looks at all the evidence available and then draws conclusions, let them fall where they may.

  14. Hmmm…Looks like Hancock skews the definitions of Statesperson and politician to make a point. Mike Lee is a politician who likes to mascarade as a “statesperson” because it gets him elected. Romney just did his best Jimmy Stewart impression from “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” — Statesperson. Blurring the lines here is nothing less than gaslighting and dishonest. The DNews has former Lee staff members on the editorial board. It makes me question whether this was a political machine piece more than an objective exercise. Being someone who can google the difference between a statesperson and politician makes me think so.
    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statesman

  15. “What we must understand is that Ralph is, first and foremost, a Republican apologist.”

    This is false.

  16. Ralph is consistent in his original constitutionalism in that he seems to be essentially arguing that by voting for impeachment, Romney is, in effect, furthering the erosion of the separation of powers envisioned in the Constitution. That is, Congress is using members of the “fourth branch,” people who should have at least a professional loyalty to the office of president (who is, like it or not, their elected boss), as a bludgeon against him in a series of investigations designed to undermine his credibility and authority. In this way, Ralph seems to be arguing that Congress (Article I) is *colluding* with sympathetic insiders within the Executive (Article II) in a way that is inhibiting the executive’s ability to perform his constitutional functions and prerogatives. Lee (and Alexander, Collins, etc.) recognizes this reality, i.e. that while Trump acted carelessly/foolishly, this is a dangerous road to go down as there is virtually no limit to Congress’s ability to use this tactic against their presidential opponents. Ralph seems to me to be arguing that by focusing only on the perceived indecency of Trump’s behavior, Romney is ignoring larger, mroe fundamental issues at stake.

    Yes, but what about illegal actions taken by the president? Well, impeachment is largely a political, rather than legal, proceeding, and as a result, is often in the eye of the beholder. “Obstruction of Congress” or “abuse of power” are not, for instance, so clearly defined as, say, perjury. And what of the fact that national foreign policy is largely based on the notion of quid pro quo (to wit: Biden’s own comments as VP that foreign aid would be withheld from Ukraine if it did not fire the then-prosecutor)? Must we give aid with no strings attached? Is that a precedent followed by prior administrations? And what about Fast and Furious, what about IRS targeting of conservative groups? What about [insert any number of perceived, likely vaguely defined, presidential improprieties that one party in Congress doesn’t like)?

    Romney is a decent and good person, I believe, to his core. But Ralph and others can be forgiven for not viewing him as a model of consistency and virtue. In political terms, he is a waffler of the highest order, reinventing significant aspects of his political philosophy from Massachusetts, to Republican Party nominee, to Utah. Many who are praising him now, were vilifying him before for the very same reasons. There is also very public bad blood between Romney and Trump since the campaign and into the presidency (see: Romney as a prominent Trump critic to potential Secretary of State, back to critic) that could justify at least an arguable claim of less pure motivations. I don’t know Romney’s motives; I’ll assume the best. But doubters are on relatively reasonable or safe ground here.

    To your comment:

    “I think I can imagine one way, but only one. If Ralph is a complete adherent to the theory of presidential power laid out by Attorney General William Barr, then presidential power must be understood as something that belongs not to the executive branch, but to a single person, wholly and entirely. The executive branch, under this (I think frankly ahistorical, and others agree) interpretation, then the people around the president must be understood as his partisan tools, nothing more or less.”

    I’m confused by this, or more specifically, why you’re confused by this or setting it out as a strange or controversial view. Article II starts with this: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”

    It vests executive power in the president, not to the “executive branch” or an administrative state or some other such body of people. It does belong to the person, the elected person. No unelected government official, no matter how tenured, no matter how expert, has vested executive authority. They serve at the will or pleasure of the president. Cabinet members are appointed by the president and are, therefore his “partisan tools,” as you say. Same with department heads, same with their subordinates, and on down the line. But somehow during the Trump era, the view has grown up that executive branch officers are supposed to serve as a check against their elected boss on matters of judgment and policy, in addition to Congress and the courts.

  17. Tanner says

    people who should have at least a professional loyalty to the office of president

    And I find that line of reasoning to be very dangerous. Their professional loyalty is to the Constitution. Any loyalty to the President creates a monarch, and that’s not what we want.

  18. Tanner? Say someone worked in the Treasury Department for the IRS as an Appeals Officer during a particular President’s term. Must said someone’s professional loyalty as an Appeals Officer require him/her to vote to re-elect particular President? Or say said Appeals Officer has an assigned case involving billions of dollars of alleged additional tax upon someone or some entity, proposed by investigating Revenue Agents, but the President wants said someone or some entity absolved of all of the additional billions. Must said Appeals Officer show professional loyalty to particular President by conceding all or some of the additional billions?

  19. “Their professional loyalty is to the Constitution.” Yes, agreed, but that Constitution vests authority in an elected president, whom they work for. They need not like or have voted for the president, but they should still respect the office (the “professional loyalty” I’m referring to) and it’s prerogatives.

    “Any loyalty to the President creates a monarch.” Any loyalty creates this? Did loyalty to Obama create a monarchy? Or Bush, Clinton? Would it have been inappropriate, dangerous even, for civil servants under those administrations to respect their elected authority?

    “Must said someone’s professional loyalty as an Appeals Officer require him/her to vote to re-elect particular President?” That person is free to vote for whomever he/she prefers. As noted above, the professional loyalty pertains to the office, and by extension to the person who temporarily occupies it while he/she occupies it. There will be people in every administration who do not personally like or support their elected leader.

    “Must said Appeals Officer show professional loyalty to particular President by conceding all or some of the additional billions?” I’d advise the officer to follow the law, as this is a legal, rather than a policy or otherwise discretionary matter.

  20. your food allergy is fake says:

    Tanner,
    Do you think “professional loyalty” is violated by a staffer who reports what he perceives as corruption to Congress? Can one accept the interpretation that the entire executive branch are appendages to Trump while also allowing for such reports of perceived corruption? That is all I see happening here. There is no fourth branch involvement here outside the above. Again, the House impeached Trump, not the fourth branch, because it concluded Trump’s behavior was corrupt. Romney is not unreasonable to agree, and Lee is also free to disagree.

  21. Hancock’s argument is part of a long-standing complaint on the extreme right about the growth of the administrative state. The rise of administrative departments in government has facilitated enormous economic growth and social connectedness around the world. It has also created a complex bureaucracy that some people don’t like. The extreme right has demonized the administrative state for a long time with complaints about “socialism” other such bogeymen. Most recently, this has evolved into complaints about the “deep state.” In constitutional discourse, like Hancock’s piece, they often complain about this in terms of textual and originalist analysis of the Constitution.

    These complaints almost always fail to mention some vital things. First, there is a large body of law that regulates the administrative state. People in the so-called “fourth branch” are not running amok at their own discretion. Administrative departments are bound by laws and rule-making procedures that are designed to narrow that discretion and—this is crucial—protect the rights of people who are affected by government action. Action by administrative departments is generally slow and cumbersome. That can sometimes be frustrating, but it’s by design. It’s to prevent individuals from using government power to trample on people.

    Second, purely textual or purely originalist constitutional analysis fails to account for the accrued wisdom of constitutional norms. There are lots of things that we have learned how to do under the constitution that are not written in it. We do these things because we have learned that these things are necessary to protect constitutional principles. The constraints on presidential action that Tanner seems to be complaining about are one example of these constitutional norms. As Russell’s original post says, the idea that the president should be unconstrained is ahistorical. That means that even if the constitutional text doesn’t say so, we’ve figured out that the president has to be constrained in some ways by certain settled practices, in order to avoid putting the president, in effect, above the law. One can argue that constitutional norms ought to change, but it won’t do to ignore the reasons for the development of those norms. Simply pointing to the text of the constitution is not a sufficient argument. And Tanner is just wrong to claim that we have suddenly started, during the Trump administration, to expect executive branch officials to constrain the president in certain ways. Those norms are not new. What is new is Trump’s assumption that he can ride roughshod over those constraints.

  22. Joe Friday says:

    Kevin,

    Your reply is quite interesting. Are you aware that McCabe lied, under oath, to the FBI? Are you aware Comey lied and leaked and signed off on bogus warrants? As for Vindman, his boss is Trump.and the military chain of command is exact. Vindman offered nothing substantive in his testimony other than he criticized his boss.

    You wrote many words only to agree with my post – no evidence was ever presented to substantiate the essential claim of the Democrats partisan impeachment. Yet Romney didn’t need evidence to convict! That ought to be very instructive about Romney’s moral compass.

  23. If the law says “when your boss does something corrupt, report them.” You should report them. That’s what happened here. Loyalty to a boss means little, loyalty to the law means a lot.

  24. “… is a fairly notorious figure in certain tiny Mormon slivers of the internet.”

    A stark contrast to the widely influential blog By Common Consent.