Word of the day: JEJUNE.
If this were a spelling bee, the inevitable question would be, “Can you use it in a sentence, please?” Fortunately, Attorney General Bill Barr did just that in his recent interview with FOX News’ Bill Hemmer:
“It’s a very unusual situation to have opposition research like that,” Barr said, “especially one that on its face had a number of clear mistakes and a somewhat JEJUNE analysis.”
And if this were a spelling bee, the next inevitable question would be, “May I have a definition, please?” And here is the definition, from Merriam-Webster:
JE-JUNE (adj.) 1. devoid of significance or interest: DULL 2, juvenile, puerile
I suppose now we’ll need a definition of “puerile.” PU-ER-ILE (adj.) 1. juvenile 2) childish, silly
Unfortunately, the ridiculous Christopher Steele “dossier” SHOULD have been devoid of significance or interest, but it wasn’t. So when Barr spoke of the analysis of it as “jejune,” he must have been thinking of definition #2, juvenile or puerile. The fantasy of Trump in a Moscow hotel, hiring prostitutes –- when he knew Russian authorities were watching every move he made –- to do some nasty things on a bed he assumed Obama had slept in is about the most puerile story imaginable. And anyone who takes such idiocy seriously without even bothering to fact-check the “number of clear mistakes,” such as the reference to a Russia embassy in Miami when none exists, is being childish.
And the FBI didn’t bother. So we’ve had three years of this...what’s the word, puerility? Try silliness, childishness. Even when State Department official Kathleen Kavalec informed the FBI of Steele’s inappropriate contact with her, which should have sparked a look into his political biases, mistakes, and other problems as a witness, if not discrediting him outright, they went right on and used him as a source for their FISA spying application. Why? Because they really, really wanted to SPY on the Trump campaign. Any other conclusion is jejune.
In Barr’s words, “And to use that [the Steele “dossier”] to conduct counterintelligence against an American political campaign is a strange –- would be strange development.”
The Huckabee team has been referring to the never-ending Trump investigations as an attempt at a “bloodless coup” for a long time. A growing pile of evidence supports our opinion. The screaming going on now about “Impeachment!!! Impeachment!!!” without specifics about what to impeach him over are just the latest incarnation of the coup. Reasonable people can disagree about the advisability or appropriateness of Bill Clinton’s impeachment, as opposed to perhaps a sanction, but at least we know he broke the law. He sat right there in front of God and everybody and lied his fanny off while under oath. It was a big deal. He lost his law license for a time over it. Whether you think it was right to ask him about his sex life in a civil lawsuit about his sex life is beside the point. He lied under oath while he was President of the United States.
Contrast this with the current situation. Democrats seem to think the President serves at the pleasure of Congress, when the writers of the Constitution clearly did not mean that. Literally for years now, his political opponents have been trying to find charges that would somehow justify an impeachment, throwing around the word “treason” with such abandon that nobody seems to know or care what it means.
That is, of course, until someone uses it to describe what certain members of the FBI were up to. Then it’s time for the smelling salts. Liz Cheney made news on Sunday when she said on ABC News This Week that the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page “sound an awful lot like a coup” and could even be treason.
“I think what is really crucial to remember here is that you had Strzok and Page who were in charge of launching this investigation and they were saying things like ‘we must stop this President, we need an insurance policy against this President,’” she said.
“In my view, when you have people that are in the highest echelons of the law enforcement of this nation saying things like that, that sounds an awful lot like a coup –- and it could well be treason and we need to know more,” she added.
On Shannon Bream’s Sunday show, former DOJ counsel Jamil Jaffer said, “The FBI’s doing the right things to get these problems taken care of. I think that when you go down the road of calling it a ‘coup’ or treason, that’s what happens in tin-pot dictatorships; that’s not what we do here in America; that’s not what the FBI and Justice Department’s about. They’re investigating themselves. The Congress is doing the investigations. We should see what comes out of those, rather than using those very strong words.”
Note the tape-loop reasoning: Coups happen in tin-pot dictatorships –- America is not a tin-pot dictatorship –- Therefore, this wasn’t a coup. Listen, nobody said coups can happen ONLY in tin-pot dictatorships. A republic is always at risk of being turned INTO a tin-pot dictatorship, and it can happen with breathtaking speed. A bureaucratic fiefdom, given enough power, has the potential to turn into its own tin-pot dictatorship, with the power to change history. I always hesitate to bring up Nazi Germany, but go back and look at how Hitler consolidated power in the 1930s.
Bream went on to point out what Charlie Kirk said in a tweet: “Imagine text messages about Hillary Clinton, written by leading FBI agents saying: ‘She won’t win. We’ll stop it.’ Or talking about an ‘Insurance Policy’ with the Deputy Director of the FBI. It would be treason! Why do Democrats think Strzok and Page should get away with it?”
Kirk is right --- If they had texted this way about Hillary Clinton, The New York Times would have run screaming headlines, and, yes, they would have used that word: “TREASON IN FBI!”
So before we criticize Liz Cheney for using the T-word when it’s already been used to death, let’s go first to the U.S. Constitution, then once again to the dictionary. What is treason, really?
At the Conservative Media website, they point out that what Strzok and Page did was not technically treason as defined in the Constitution. In Article III, Section 3, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”
(Hmm...what about a President who sends planeloads of secret money to a country that chants “Death to America?” Discuss amongst yourselves; pardon the digression.)
To quote Conservative Media further, “Over the last several years, politicians and political commentators have been using the word ‘treason’ with increasing frequency. The casual use of a word that describes a very specific and severe crime can only lead to the erosion and corruption of the word’s true meaning in the minds of the American people.”
Note that CNN and MSNBC are Exhibits A and B for this behavior. Also, in fairness to Liz Cheney, she did not say Strzok and Page’s activities WERE treason. She said they “could well be” and that we need to “find out more.” That we do.
Moving to the dictionary, here’s the Merriam-Webster definition of “treason”:
TREA-SON (noun) 1. the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which one owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family. 2. the betrayal of a trust: TREACHERY
Other synonyms besides treachery include: backstabbing, betrayal, disloyalty, double-cross, perfidy, and some others that are actually much milder.
So what appears to be going on with the word “treason” is a move away from the constitutional definition and towards the broader dictionary definition. It appears that Strzok and Page and others in the Obama bureaucracy were involved in treasonous activity on SOME level; we just need to “know more,” as Cheney said, to be able to determine exactly what level that is.
To not acknowledge that is just to be jejune.