Judge Ken Starr elucidated the concept of intellectual incoherence during an interview with Mark Levin some weeks ago. That phrase has not gotten the visibility that it should have in the context of this impeachment farce. Here is how he defined the phrase:
We call it intellectual incoherence or just, hey, you’re flat wrong. You’re so inconsistent out of one side of your mouth, you’re saying X, and the other side you’re saying Y, you can’t be right both times.
In short, the Democrats can’t have it both ways; they can’t expect to carry the day when they make opposing and contradictory arguments on the same topic. Here are a few examples of how the Democrats in this trial – and elsewhere – demonstrate that they are intellectually incoherent.
1. The evidence is overwhelming and uncontroverted, but more witnesses are needed. The House managers have claimed from before they even voted on the articles of impeachment that the evidence is “overwhelming and uncontroverted” that the President committed impeachable offenses under the Constitution. They claimed that dozens of times while presenting their “case” in the Senate. Yet, there has been a constant drumbeat from Democrat senators and the House managers throughout the Senate trial demanding more witnesses and documents. They can’t have it both ways.
From Thursday’s Q&A session, Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin exposed the Democrats’ intellectual incoherence on this topic as follows:
The House managers have consistently said, over and over again. Before they came here, they said they had an overwhelming case. It was already buttoned down; they didn’t need anything else. They said when they got here that it was proven. Every single allegation; every line in each article of impeachment they said, “Proven, proven, proven.” We don’t think that that’s true, but that’s their words; that’s what they’re telling you – that they had sufficient evidence to make their case. They said, “proven, sufficient, uncontested, and overwhelming” at least 68 times in the proceedings on the floor here. Manager Nadler told us just today that they think they’ve not only proved it beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond ANY doubt, because of the evidence that they’ve already put out in front of you. We don’t think that’s true. We think we’ve demonstrated it’s not. But the point is that the House managers had already put on a substantial amount of testimony from witnesses through their clips of prior depositions or hearings testimony. They’ve already presented to you a large portion of the most relevant documents from those 28,000 (that they ceremoniously delivered to the Senate). You’ve heard from the witnesses; you’ve seen where their testimony conflicts. You can see which is the better or more persuasive version of the facts. You’ve been able to see what it is that they have in the record that they say is overwhelming – already ready to go to trial. And this proceeding, therefore, has already had a lot of the earmarks of a trial. Don’t be taken in by the idea that we can’t have a trial here … that you can’t have a valid proceeding unless they bring someone in here to testify live. Because it wouldn’t be just one person if you started to go down that route. Because they wouldn’t be presenting a case that has been prepared in hearings below, it’s opening up discovery for an entirely new case, and there would have to be depositions and witnesses on both sides. And there’s no need to do that if they really believe what they’re telling you that it’s already overwhelming, it’s already proven. There is no need to go on to anything else when you’ve already seen so much, and the House managers had their chance to prepare their case. I would also make the point … what is the precedent set if this chamber has to become the investigatory body for impeachments that were not prepared properly in the House.
You can’t have it both ways, Democrats. That is intellectually incoherent.
2. Fair trial versus mistrial. The Democrats have been caterwauling and demanding a “fair trial” since before the Senate trial began. At virtually every press interview, Senate Democrats and House managers have repeated the blarney about how they are so concerned that the American people will not be afforded the opportunity to witness a fair trial, and that the end result will be a cover-up. Meanwhile, the House managers display conduct that is clearly at odds with any semblance of a fair trial, as follows. Patrick Philbin previously destroyed the Democrats’ allegations of criminal conduct by the President, some of which were reported in this article. However, the House managers went far beyond the boundaries of what was contained in their own articles of impeachment, with Adam Schiff claiming that the President was guilty of “bribery and extortion.” In addition, Jerry Nadler stated on Thursday that bribery is an impeachable offense and is somehow contained within the vague “abuse of power” article of impeachment (even though the word is not used in the article). He further claimed that the House manager’s presentation “clearly established the elements of bribery and abuse of power and were proven beyond “any doubt.” Philbin pointed out on Wednesday that if any prosecutor went beyond the charged crimes in an indictment that was issued by pursuing additional uncharged crimes during the trial, the presiding judge would immediately declare a mistrial. Furthermore, withholding evidence could also result in a mistrial being declared and, of course, the Democrats have withheld the transcript of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community for that very reason, as Rep. John Ratcliffe has remarked in public interviews several times over the past month.
Demanding a fair trial while delivering conduct warranting a mistrial? That is intellectually incoherent, Democrats.
3. Concern for the integrity of elections versus their own actions. The House managers have repeatedly bleated their grave concern for the damage that President Trump allegedly would do (a future crime”) to the integrity of US elections. Philbin pointed out the Democrats’ intellectual incoherency on this topic by commenting that the Democrats themselves are meddling in the “integrity of the election” by delaying the delivery of the impeachment articles to the Senate and seeking to drag out the Senate trial which will interfere with the Democrats’ OWN selection process of their presidential candidate by denying the ability of several sitting senators to campaign in early caucus and primary states. A chaser here is that the real threat to the “integrity of elections” is voter fraud, and every elected Democrat is against strong voter identification procedures that would greatly reduce that fraud.
Methinks they protest too much on the subject of election integrity. That is intellectually incoherent, Democrats.
The Democrats’ conduct during this trial makes it clear that everything they are doing is for political gain since they know they have no prayer of obtaining a conviction that will remove the President from office. And they are ready, willing, and able to lie with straight faces even when their case is systematically being destroyed by the President’s legal team.
That, in a sense, is intellectually incoherent, too.