Definition of scorched-earth
1: relating to or being a military policy involving deliberate and usually widespread destruction of property and resources (such as housing and factories) so that an invading enemy cannot use them
2: directed toward victory or supremacy at all costs : RUTHLESSscorched-earth rhetoric
The term “scorched earth” conjures up images of an adversary that would rather burn its own crops and raze its own cities than see them fall into enemy hands. It implies desperation and ruthlessness. We see images of Russian armies retreating across a frozen landscape in front of Napoleon’s advancing troops setting fire to the landscape as they go.
Or of Democrats, defeated at the polls, willing to burn a nation and its institutions to the ground rather than suffer the indignity of accepting Donald Trump as President.
Whether or not what has transpired over the last three years was the result of a deliberate conspiracy is I suppose something on which reasonable men and women can disagree. I am convinced personally that the evidence will ultimately prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that well before the summer of 2016 and the initiation of Crossfire Hurricane, powerful men and women inside our government were working very hard, and outside the law, to sabotage now President Trump’s candidacy. I can understand, however, how others may not yet be willing to accept that conclusion.
Here are some things, however, on which all rational people can agree. Inspector General Horowitz’s investigation found numerous alarming and extralegal actions by FBI agents involved in Crossfire Hurricane. The investigation found no evidence whatsoever, however, to substantiate the myriad accusations leveled against Donald Trump by his Democratic opponents and their allies in the media. To the contrary, in fact, the investigation found what the Crossfire Hurricane investigators found – mountains of exculpatory evidence demonstrating that every accusation made against the President was false and without any good faith basis.
We can also agree, I think, that the two year long, multi-million dollar Mueller investigation ended in much the same place. There was never any good faith basis on which to make any of the charges trotted out against the President. No one ever had a legitimate reason to accuse Trump or his campaign personnel of working with the Russians. Trump did not win because of electoral fraud. He beat Hillary Clinton in a free and fair election, and every person in the Democratic Party who has attacked President Trump knew that to be true. They knew the accusations they were making were bald-faced lies.
And, yet, not only did Democratic lawmakers repeat endlessly absurd charges against Donald Trump month after month and year after year, but they then doubled down on the smear tactics used against the President in making mad, mind-bogglingly bizarre charges against Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings, attacking the reputation of a dedicated public servant and subjecting his family to incredible pain and humiliation all for one purpose. Political advantage.
No rational person in either party ever thought that Justice Kavanaugh, who has lived his life in the public eye without scandal or reproach, was really a serial rapist. Not even the Democrats who made the charges believed that. It did not matter. Sacrificing truth and the integrity of the Supreme Court confirmation process for partisan advantage was an easy trade for a party dedicated to winning at any cost.
And, now having failed to hang the President on the basis of Russian collusion fairy tales or to prevent Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation on the basis of sick, pornographic stories of gang rape, the Democrats have simply doubled down on the same strategy. More lies, this time about Ukraine and political pressure have been trotted out. Any semblance of due process has been discarded.
The absence of any factual basis on which to prove collusion with Russia on the part of the President or to prove criminal sexual behavior on the part of Justice Kavanaugh proved a fatal weakness for the Democrats. So, this time around facts will not be necessary. A Democratic majority in the House, acting as prosecutor, judge and jury will ensure the result. The President will be impeached.
In the near term, the impeachment of the President will accomplish nothing. He will not be removed from office by the Senate. The method in which he was impeached may even result in political gain for the White House.
In the long term, however, what we are witnessing will do and already has done a great deal of damage. We have always had a healthy partisan debate in Washington. Political battles have been hard fought, and politics has never been a game for the thin-skinned or the weak of heart.
What we are now seeing, however, is a fundamental change in the nature of the “game” and way in which it is played. Truth may always have been malleable. It is now irrelevant. The law may always have been stretched. It is now disregarded entirely. The only thing that matters is victory. Winning at all costs and using any method necessary.
President Trump is in the White House. His Democratic opponents refuse to accept that or accommodate themselves to it in any fashion. They will burn the nation and its institutions to the ground if need be to remove him from office, and it is we, the American people, who will be left standing on the scorched earth that policy creates.