February 28, 2018

"Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off immigrants about ICE raid and isn’t sorry she did."

WaPo reports.
[S]he explained that her decision to tip off immigrants stemmed from a deep disagreement with immigration enforcement under the Trump administration and a resistance to the administration’s enforcement efforts....

“I consider myself a law-abiding citizen. I consider myself a believer in an American democracy that moves towards a more just society. And I definitely consider myself part of the resistance,” she said....

“I’ve lived in Oakland my whole life, and Oakland has always been a center of social justice,” Schaaf said. “In Oakland, the level of activism is so high that anyone in a position of governmental authority is going to be questioned and challenged, and I celebrate that. It’s part of our democracy that people speak truth to power, and in Oakland, that is a particularly time-honored tradition.”...

Schaaf has said that she consulted her legal counsel before deciding to act. Because she obtained the information from unofficial sources rather than through formal government channels, she doesn’t believe she obstructed justice or violated any law by speaking up....
Of course, it's a basic precept of American constitutional law that the federal government cannot force state and local government to participate in the enforcement of federal law. That's something that's hated by left-wingers except for when they love it and loved by right-wingers except for when they hate it.

196 comments:

SDaly said...

There's a big difference between not enforcing federal law and obstructing justice.

damikesc said...

Yeah, this seems to cross the line of "not assisting" to outright harboring and obstruction.

Curious George said...

"Of course, it's a basic precept of American constitutional law that the federal government cannot force state and local government to participate in the enforcement of federal law."

That's fine. But she broke the law. She aided and abetted a criminal act.

BDNYC said...

This is not about so-called commandeering, though. It’s not like the feds asked her to do something and she refused.

David Begley said...

She’s a Confederate. Might as well raise the Stars and Bars over Oakland.

Curious George said...

"“I consider myself a law-abiding citizen."

You're not.

sparrow said...

I'd liked to to see her charged with obstruction.

Curious George said...

"Libby." Perfect.

Roy Jacobsen said...

A "law-abiding citizen" if we're talking about the law that exists in her head.

David Begley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Begley said...

And every single Confederate soldier and politician considered themselves to be law-abiding.

roadgeek said...

I've read speculation that the Justice Department wants to prosecute officials like Schaaf for obstruction, but are planning to wait until Trump's second term, for whatever reason. I don't know why they'd want to wait.

Earnest Prole said...

The Right now hates States' Rights, and the Left is out and proud with its John C. Calhoun bromance. Absolute Trump corrupts absolutely.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Left has trouble with the concept called "The Rule of Law"

To understand the California Left, you have to understand that they affirmatively want illegal immigrants here. They like the illegal votes, they like the increased government spending on welfare benefits, they like the social disruption, and they like the cheap labor.

Also, Mayor Schaaf let the Raiders move to Las Vegas - so we really dislike her and think ICE should deport her. But that's a separate issue.



Humperdink said...

Selectively obeying laws is a path the Dems may not want to traverse. The other side is taking notes.

AJ Lynch said...

Libs seem to get what they want...courts ruled a few years ago that a state .Arizona, could not help enforce immigration laws and now it is agreed the feds can't force states to comply.

Tim in Vermont said...

She believes in democracy as long as the people vote in a way she approves. She doesn’t believe in any other kind of democracy, apparently, that may have a different idea of “social justice” than she does. There’s lots of kinds of justice. For interest, on could take the interests of law abiding American citizens into account in such calculations, for instance, low income Black Americans who are forced to compete with illegal immigrants for unskilled work. Easing their economic pain is justice. Abetting foreigners who come here illegally and undermine our labor protections and overwhelm our hospitals? I am not sure that is justice, because what about the other billions of people who are in terrible straits right now that we aren’t helping that can’t get across our border?

Rob McLean said...

“I consider myself a law-abiding citizen. I consider myself a believer in an American democracy that moves towards a more just society. And I definitely consider myself part of the resistance,”

One of these things is not like the other.

Ann Althouse said...

"There's a big difference between not enforcing federal law and obstructing justice."

You say "big difference" as if it's obvious where the line is.

Do you want to live in a system that's quick to say obstruction of justice?

As I quoted in the post: "Schaaf has said that she consulted her legal counsel before deciding to act. Because she obtained the information from unofficial sources rather than through formal government channels, she doesn’t believe she obstructed justice or violated any law by speaking up."

That is, she's quite aware that there is a limit and it's called obstruction of justice.

Meanwhile, Trump haters also want to be quick to say obstruction of justice.

The important thing is that we should be able to see where the line is and the line shouldn't move depending on whether you like or don't like what the person is doing.

Tim in Vermont said...

The Right now hates States’ Rights,

We are talking about active interference with the Federal Govt here, but don’t let the facts get in the way of a good rhetorical riff!

Is it your opinion that the Feds had no right to interfere with what the states were doing at Fort Sumpter, for example? Once you corrupt the language enough that to actively resist is the same as to not aid, you can make any argument. It’s like calling writing checks to people who don’t actually work a “tax cut” The idea is to destroy the word for an important concept.

Ann Althouse said...

"Selectively obeying laws is a path the Dems may not want to traverse."

She claims she's within the law. She's not claiming civil disobedience... which, by the way, is something of a noble tradition in the United States (which began with a revolution).

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

How are her actions obstruction of Justice. If I see a drunk driving roadblock and I put out a warning on Twitter am guilty of obstruction.

The police need to understand they work for us and are not our superiors.

Earnest Prole said...

Like former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, Libby Schaaf believes in enforcing federal law that she happens to agree with.

Bay Area Guy said...

Here's another tidbit about Oakland:

In 1980, blacks made up 46% of Oakland.

Now, it's only 27%

Why is that?

Two reasons:
(1) influx of illegal Hispanic immigrants, cause outflux of legal black citizens. Cheap labor competing against itself.
(2) ridiculous high property values in SF, causing influx of white liberal hippies (like Mayor Schaaf) to move across Bay to Oakland.

Why are leftists so mean to blacks?

Unknown said...

I think what she did is similar to flashing lights to warn people of a speed trap. Except that I don’t do advertise it on tv afterwards.

Tim in Vermont said...

Because she obtained the information from unofficial sources rather than through formal government channels, she doesn’t believe she obstructed justice or violated any law by speaking up.”

So she laundered the information. Great! She’s off the hook! I would be interested in what kind of universe it is where this information was able to pass into her hands without somebody breaking some law. Maybe it has to do with that article Insty posted yesterday about two way communication within a particle, or whatever it was.

Tim in Vermont said...

Rather, the information was laundered for her.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

Libby is no different than the little kids drug dealer lookouts who would scream "5-0" when we turned the corner into the block...funny, she just verified all the adjectives we would use in describing a certain type of feral politician...

Tim in Vermont said...

n 1980, blacks made up 46% of Oakland.

Now, it's only 27%

Why is that?


Because blacks are so loyal to the Democratic Party that their lives don’t actually matter. They should read The Art of the Deal. If you are not willing to walk away, nobody is going to give you a good deal.

J. Farmer said...

The problem, unfortunately, is much worse than just "Dems." Schaaf is not far off-center form the immigration consensus of the uni-party (i.e. DNC-GOP INC.). America is doomed, folks. Long-term emigration remains the best plan (admittedly an ironic solution for immigration restrictionist), but plan on Eastern Europe or perhaps some East Asian enclaves. Singapore is currently at the top of my list. These are the pockets of nations in the world that combine relatively high standards of living without believing that this obligates them to import the third world and commit national suicide.

Molly said...

I know this is stupidly naive, but: I have a hope that the fact that Trump is now using Obama era interpretations of executive power and administrative rule making will cause Democrats and Obama supporters to re-think their enthusiasm for these interpretations. I think this idea took off during the last years of Clinton when Podesta was chief of staff and argued/implemented the approach that while Congress was in opposing hands, and it was difficult impossible to achieve legislative "success" it was still possible to implement desired policies through executive orders, administrative rule making, and "prosecutorial discretion". I know there is plenty of "tu quoque -ism" to go around -- all Presidents and their staffs fundamentally wish for absolute power. But there is a teeny-tiny minority that looks to the Constitution as a useful useable framework for governing.

Tim in Vermont said...

There was an issue of National Lampoon in the seventies where poor whites and poor blacks joined together in a rebellion against the elite. Of course sensibilities were different then, so it was actually very funny. Trump could be the guy to lead such a movement. Don King should have been his vice president.

Tim in Vermont said...

I think this idea took off during the last years of Clinton when Podesta was chief of staff and argued/implemented the approach that while Congress was in opposing hands, and it was difficult impossible to achieve legislative "success" it was still possible to implement desired policies through executive orders, administrative rule making, and "prosecutorial discretion". I know there is plenty of “tu quoque -ism" to go around -- all Presidents and their staffs fundamentally wish for absolute power.

Trump’s ending of DACA is based on the fact that it is a “pen and phone” law. He did the same with parts of Obamacare. “Laws” that spent money without congressional authorization. As John McCain said “Welcome to the party, pal!” (OK, it was the McCain from Die Hard...)

Tim in Vermont said...

I don’t think you can find any examples other than Obama of presidents who “made laws” that spent serious money with just their pen and their phone.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I found her statement way more annoying than her actions. So many emotional words. It just exhausted me reading it.

One last thought. I wouldn't put it past ICE to intentionally leak the information that a large enforcement action was coming. The fear of being deported is the best deterrent. It's much better keeping tens of thousands of illegals nervous and fearful than rounding up a few in a quiet enforcement action.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

The federal government can't force states and local governments to enforce federal laws, but Congress can use the funding tool or weapon to achieve compliance?

On the touchy subject of Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by Trump for a contempt of court conviction. I gather it is at least possible that Arpaio decided federal agencies were not enforcing existing federal immigration law, so it was up to him to do so. (It's another matter if he thought there should be a different federal law). Is this to some degree parallel to sanctuary cities?

AllenS said...

Ann Althouse said...
She claims she's within the law.

What statute would that be? "She claims" does not mean that she is.

gspencer said...

California Constitution - CONS

ARTICLE XX MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS [SEC. 1 - SEC. 23](Article 20 adopted 1879)


SEC. 3. Members of the Legislature, and all public officers and employees, executive, legislative, and judicial, except such inferior officers and employees as may be by law exempted, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation:

“I, ___________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.

“And I do further swear (or affirm) that I do not advocate, nor am I a member of any party or organization, political or otherwise, that now advocates the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means; that within the five years immediately preceding the taking of this oath (or affirmation) I have not been a member of any party or organization, political or otherwise, that advocated the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means except as follows:

_____ (If no affiliations, write in the words “No Exceptions”) _____

and that during such time as I hold the office of _____ (name of office) _____

I will not advocate nor become a member of any party or organization, political or otherwise, that advocates the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means.”

Earnest Prole said...

What statute would that be? "She claims" does not mean that she is.

Nulla poena sine lege (Latin for "no penalty without a law") is a legal principle, requiring that one cannot be punished for doing something that is not prohibited by law.

AllenS said...

Thank you, gspencer.

Tim in Vermont said...

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion;

It’s not like Sheriff Joe didn’t have a point. California has all but lost its “republican form of government.”

Michael K said...

“In Oakland, the level of activism is so high that anyone in a position of governmental authority is going to be questioned and challenged,

The level of activism is especially high around liquor stores and one is well advised to stay off the street after dark to avoid activists.

Kevin said...

Schaaf has said that she consulted her legal counsel before deciding to act.

So she made sure her ass was covered before she acted.

If it's the right thing to do, then you do it and take the consequences. I'm so tired of people preaching to me that they've taken some serious stand which puts them in no jeopardy at all.

It's like making sure the fire hoses and police dogs weren't going to be used before deciding to attend the civil rights march.

grackle said...

On sanctuary cities and sanctuary states: I wouldn’t care if it were the case that the illegals would stay strictly in those sanctuaries AND not be allowed to vote. But inevitably they’ll be voting. That’s what the SJWs want from them – their votes. And they’ll be leaking out into the rest of the nation. It’s unavoidable. Maybe we should build a big, beautiful wall around California.

Kevin said...

The Right now hates States’ Rights

No, the right hates being lectured for 8 years that states rights were a dog whistle for racism, only to have the very same people say they're not when they decide to use them.

As a country we either believe in them or not. We don't go back and forth depending on which party is in power.

traditionalguy said...

Trump may be right about removing ICE Agents from this half Mexican Territory.The US Navy and Marines should keep their Navy bases like they do in Cuba, and let the rest of Mexifornia be governed by Gangs and Drug Cartels, as is done now in Mexico.

Tim in Vermont said...

The Constitution is like cricket. Look at the “Underarm Bowling Incident” for an example of play that just wasn’t cricket! Without a general agreement on values and honest respect for the views of our fellow citizens, the Constitution just doesn’t work. She declared her lack of respect for her fellow citizens when she arrogated to herself the right to define “social justice” and under what conditions the views of her fellow Americans were to be respected.

James Pawlak said...


She openly solicited others to commit Federal crimes. That is, in itself, a Federal crime.

Tim in Vermont said...

Schaaf has said that she consulted her legal counsel before deciding to act.

I think I heard this lawyer joke here: “How does a lawyer sleep at night? First he lies on one side, then he lies on the other.”

Earnest Prole said...

As a country we either believe in them or not. We don't go back and forth depending on which party is in power.

Your friends here apparently didn't get the memo.

SDaly said...

It's really not that difficult a line to draw in this case, Althouse. Warning someone that they are about to be arrested, so they better leave, is in a different category than simply refusing to arrest him yourself.

Bob Boyd said...

She's just serving her voters.

Kevin said...

“When I use states rights,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make states rights mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ann Althouse said...
She claims she's within the law.

AllenS said...
What statute would that be? "She claims" does not mean that she is.

Something is within the law as long as there is not a law prohibiting it. So the question is not what statute is she within, but what statute is she violating?

And that is a question for those saying she broke the law. Did she obstruct justices? What is the exact wording of that law? Do the ICE actions she was warning about fall into the category of things it is illegal to obstruct? Do her actions fall within the definition of obstruction used in the law?

I don't know. I suspect most people commenting on this also don't know.

Bob Boyd said...

If you flash your brights to warn somebody that there is a speed trap ahead is that illegal in California? I bet it is.

Kevin said...

I don't know. I suspect most people commenting on this also don't know.

I think most people are commenting on whether as a public official she took an oath to uphold the law.

And whether that oath means anything.

Jersey Fled said...

Didn't I read about a restaurant somewhere? There was a rumor that ICE would be coming by to check on the status of their workers on a certain day. The illegals didn't show up for work. They all got fired. They were replaced by African Americans.

Sounds like a good plan to me.

Ignorance is Bliss said...


Obstruction of justice:

Obstruction of justice is defined in the omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. § 1503, which provides that "whoever . . . . corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be (guilty of an offense)." Persons are charged under this statute based on allegations that a defendant intended to intefere with an official proceeding, by doing things such as destroying evidence, or intefering with the duties of jurors or court officers.

A person obstructs justice when they have a specific intent to obstruct or interfere with a judicial proceeding. For a person to be convicted of obstructing justice, they must not only have the specific intent to obstruct the proceeding, but the person must know (1) that a proceeding was actually pending at the time; and (2) there must be a nexus between the defendant’s endeavor to obstruct justice and the proceeding, and the defendant must have knowledge of this nexus.

§ 1503 applies only to federal judicial proceedings. Under § 1505, however, a defendant can be convicted of obstruction of justice by obstructing a pending proceeding before Congress or a federal agency. A pending proceeding could include an informal investigation by an executive agency.


It doesn't sound like what she did falls under obstruction of justice. I'm not saying she did not violate some other law; I'm open to suggestions as to what law that was.

The Drill SGT said...

Bay Area Guy said...
o understand the California Left, you have to understand that they affirmatively want illegal immigrants here. They like the illegal votes, they like the increased government spending on welfare benefits, they like the social disruption, and they like the cheap labor.


FWIW, CA has 8% of the US population and 35% of the people on welfare and 25% of the homeless.

- Born in Chico

Jersey Fled said...

If nothing else she violated the law of the jungle. Oakland is essentially a debtor nation that sends far less money to the federal government than it gets back. If I were the king of the federal government, I would start each day with plan to screw Oakland in a hundred small ways. Then Libby would find out exactly where on the food chain she actually lies.

The Drill SGT said...

When she made that announcement, she put ICE agents at risk to alerted felons.

What the ICE should do is release false rumors in sanctuary localities. This will keep the illegal communities in a state of agitation, then numbness.

At that point, raid.

Kevin said...

They like the illegal votes, they like the increased government spending on welfare benefits, they like the social disruption, and they like the cheap labor.

The goal is to get so many Mexicans to arrive that even the Mexicans have Mexican workers doing all the housework.

George Grady said...

Because she obtained the information from unofficial sources rather than through formal government channels, she doesn’t believe she obstructed justice or violated any law by speaking up....

Well, then, it seems that ICE just has to make sure that she is officially informed next time. Then, by her own admission, she won't be able to say anything without obstructing justice.

Hagar said...

Nulla poena sine lege (Latin for "no penalty without a law") is a legal principle, requiring that one cannot be punished for doing something that is not prohibited by law.

That is Latin law. The U.S. Constitution is based on the Common Law as it stood in 1765.

SDaly said...

Here is the law

8 U.S. Code § 1324

(A) Any person who—

(iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;

(iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law; or

(v)
(I) engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or

(II) aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts,

shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B).

"Shielding from detection" has been found to include warning illegal aliens of the presence of immigration agentx.

Hagar said...

It is called sedition.

SDaly said...

There is no requirement in the statute that person guilty of shielding must receive information about the government's actions from an official source.

The Drill SGT said...

8 USC 1324:

Harboring -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who -- knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.

The Drill SGT said...

Daly won :(

SDaly said...

She did not receive "legal advice" she is betting that she is safe from prosecution by the threat of riots.

David Begley said...

"Schaaf has said that she consulted her legal counsel before deciding to act."

CYA. Let's see the opinion letter from the lawyer. Noted constitutional law scholars Jefferson David and John C. Calhoun (Yale) are surely cited as authorities.

Tim in Vermont said...

Your friends here apparently didn’t get the memo.

Is it inconceivable to you that you have a less than perfect understanding of our position? I notice that you don’t engage in any way that might increase your understanding, or acknowledge any arguments made, in order to refute them in some way. You just “Reject first! Ask rhetorical questions later!”

The Drill SGT said...

Kevin said...
They like the illegal votes,


you skip the part about having Congressional seats apportioned on population not citizens. Thus CA has Congressional seats (D) built on the backs of illegals

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Snitches get stitches.

Etienne said...

"...the federal government cannot force state and local government to participate..."

Unless they receive money. In which case the feds can end payments.

A lot of Interstate Highway bills are basically mafia deals where you can't afford to say no.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Thanks to those who provided the text for the Harboring statutes. It certainly looks like she at least aided people who were shielding the illegal immigrants from detection.

Mac McConnell said...

Meanwhile ICE arrest 150+ illegals in Oakland despite Libby's announcement.

MadisonMan said...

It doesn't bother me too much that she did this. There are too many laws on the books.

What's insufferable is the virtue signalling that followed the act. If you're going to skirt the edges of the law, it's best to do it with fewer bullhorn announcements.

David Begley said...

Correction. Jefferson Davis; not David. He was the president of the CSA.

Bad Lieutenant said...

J. Farmer said...
The problem, unfortunately, is much worse than just "Dems." Schaaf is not far off-center form the immigration consensus of the uni-party (i.e. DNC-GOP INC.). America is doomed, folks. Long-term emigration remains the best plan (admittedly an ironic solution for immigration restrictionist), but plan on Eastern Europe or perhaps some East Asian enclaves. Singapore is currently at the top of my list. These are the pockets of nations in the world that combine relatively high standards of living without believing that this obligates them to import the third world and commit national suicide.

2/28/18, 7:06 AM


I can't even...How do you imagine the 'nice' characteristics of Singapore or Hungary will be affected by the doom of America? About a month later, you can look forward to a Chinese internment camp or a Russian internment camp. I guess China, it's warmer, probably.

Plus what do you have to offer Singapore? Aren't they picky (irony)? Are you wealthy or offer services that are in demand there? Your clients are their canees.

Now, I'm not by any means saying don't go...

Balfegor said...

Popped in to look for the obligatory reference to Massive Resistance! Disappointed!

There's a difference between not enforcing Federal law (or cooperating in its enforcement, e.g. through detainers, or giving the federal government heads up when you ID someone in violation of federal law) and pledging MASSIVE RESISTANCE and actively working to frustrate federal law enforcement.

MountainMan said...

J. Farmer said: "Singapore is currently at the top of my list."

Mine, too. I have been there a few times on business. No city here in the US can compare to it. Safe, clean, modern. Limited government. World's best infrastructure, public education system, airport, airline. Great health care at a reasonable cost. One of the great shopping cities in the world. Beautiful parks. Our company finally had to stop sending US ex-pats there for work assignments because we had such a hard time getting them to come home. Only place in the world we ever sent employees that they liked living there better than here. You do have to be able to put up with the heat and humidity.

However, getting permanent residence there or citizenship is very difficult. You must put up some cash (about $1.8M USD) to start a business or put into a private investment fund supporting Singapore businesses plus have a minimum 3-year track record in a successful business for them to let you stay. If you are not there to contribute they don't want you. A lot different from here.

Michael McClain said...

Its not obstruction of justice when the LibCong do it.

Balfegor said...

Re: Bad Lieutenant:

About a month later, you can look forward to a Chinese internment camp or a Russian internment camp. I guess China, it's warmer, probably.

Why would you expect an internment camp? I mean, they don't even put Uighurs in internment camps. They just put them under the most comprehensive surveillance regime the world has ever seen.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

AA: Do you want to live in a system that's quick to say obstruction of justice?

As I quoted in the post: "Schaaf has said that she consulted her legal counsel before deciding to act. Because she obtained the information from unofficial sources rather than through formal government channels, she doesn’t believe she obstructed justice or violated any law by speaking up."

That is, she's quite aware that there is a limit and it's called obstruction of justice.

Meanwhile, Trump haters also want to be quick to say obstruction of justice.

The important thing is that we should be able to see where the line is and the line shouldn't move depending on whether you like or don't like what the person is doing.

[...]

She claims she's within the law. She's not claiming civil disobedience... which, by the way, is something of a noble tradition in the United States (which began with a revolution).


That's all very prettily put, but the fact is that modern mass illegal immigration will make (is making, has made in some places) such intramural legal analysis, and "noble American traditions", irrelevant.

The "grass roots" right, and some portion of the left, understands this. The rank-and-file left is oblivious. The establishment uniparty, right and left, is not oblivious; it prefers a "Mexicanized" civic order to that anachronistic Anglo-American rule-of-law, laws-not-men, deadwhitemen mumbo-jumbo you're invoking. I don't know if Schaaf is oblivious or an astute political operator, but I don't think governing in California has anything to do with American legal/civic tradition these days. (Though its political culture has points of similarity with Chicago tradition.)

mockturtle said...

Note that 'I consider myself..' ≠ 'I am..'

The Cracker Emcee Classic said...

“What the ICE should do is release false rumors in sanctuary localities. This will keep the illegal communities in a state of agitation, then numbness.”

Isn’t that the point of any law enforcement? Not to stop the behavior but to warn those misbehaving of possible consequences? How many habitual speeders ever get a ticket?
It seems to me that she actually served Trump’s purposes here by putting the rumor of a fox in the henhouse. I doubt ICE had the personnel or resources in that time and place to arrest more than 150 people. She made no practical impact on enforcement but did amplify the fear that enforcement could bring among the miscreants.

Oso Negro said...

Oakland wouldn't let Marines coming home from Iraq into the passenger terminal back in 2007. Fuck them.

Roughcoat said...

The Civil War settled the issue: the states belong the nation not vice-versa. The states do have rights but only in the framework of their being part of the nation. They have limited sovereignty but they are neither autonomous nor independent. That's why the nation is called the "United States" not the "States United." Sanctuary cities should be punished. It would be a different matter if what they do only affects the cities themselves but in fact what they do affects all of us. What affects all of us falls into the realm of federal government and federal governance. I don't have a vote in those cities but I do have the federal government. This is not an argument for big government, rather it's an argument for a properly function federal government of a constitutional republic. The issue of illegal immigration and illegal aliens is for me the number one issue of our times. It is on this issue that the concept and practice of rule of law will either thrive or founder. If the left wins on this issue American citizenship will become meaningless and America will cease to exist.

Fabi said...

Substitute "illegals" with "mafia" and see if you appreciate her actions.

Ann Althouse said...

"'The claims she's within the law." What statute would that be?"

In a free country, you don't need a statute to be within the law. You need a law that makes you outside of the law. If it's not forbidden, it is permitted.

So it's up to you to say what law she's violating.

She observes that there is something called "obstruction of justice" that might be pointed to, but she got legal advice and believes that what she did is not a violation of that law.

Unless you can point to something she IS violating, then she is not outside the law.

Moreover, some statutes are unconstitutional. And I am pointing you to the anti-commandeering doctrine, which is constitutional law. State and local government is separate from the federal government and its separate functioning is a structural protection of liberty. The key opinion on the subject was written by the conservative's darling, Antonin Scalia.

Jason said...

If the cops got ambushed and one was killed, could she be prosecuted as an accessory to murder?

I know we've put kids in jail for decades because they happened to be waiting outside of a convenience store in a car and didn't even know there was a robbery going on inside.

Seems like she'd have at least that level of culpability.

chickelit said...

Jerry Brown is the ultimate Oakland political insider. Jerry Brown is irreversibly committed to increasing illegal immigration in California by whatever means necessary. I'm not aware of Brown's animus towards Trump (Brown keeps a relatively low profile out here) but I gather that Brown despises Trump.

Rusty said...

Althouse @ 9:01.

What about aiding and abetting a criminal? Is that a crime?

Matthew Blaine said...

Libby Schaaf, like every good Democrat, aids and abets human trafficking.

chickelit said...

BTW, I applaud the efforts of those outside of California to resist that State's efforts to subvert the rule of law in the rest of the nation. I know that sounds riven, but the letter and spirit of current elected D- leadership here is anti-US.

Bob Boyd said...

"And I am pointing you to the anti-commandeering doctrine, which is constitutional law. State and local government is separate from the federal government and its separate functioning is a structural protection of liberty."

So is the mayor protected by her status as a part of local government whereas a private citizen who did the same thing would be subject to federal prosecution for say Harboring or Obstruction?

Roughcoat said...

The left's stance on illegal immigration devalues American citizenship and what it means to be an American. In doing so it devalues America entire.

Mike Sylwester said...

This is why Trump will be re-elected in 2020.

Kyzernick said...

Hey Althouse . . .

8 USC 1324

Read it and weep.

Fabi said...

"...she got legal advice and believes that what she did is not a violation of that law."

Isn't that special!

narayanan said...

Make Immigration to be a State matter and not Federal.

After all they have to be in a State somewhere if they are in the United States which is merely a legal Construction.

Immigrants also should not have path to citizenship only residency.

Similarly for citizenship - all birthright citizenship depends on birth in some State.

Fabi said...

Kyzernick for the win. Subject to the opinion of that judge in Hawai'i.

chickelit said...

California Democrats recently anointed Kevin De Leon as their chosen candidate to replace Dianne Feinstein in te US Senate. De Leon openly mocks the rule of law regarding citizenship. link

SDaly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SDaly said...

Get off your anti-commandeering hobby-horse, this is not remotely an anti-commandeering issue. Your attempt to enlist Scalia as support for the mayor's actions is laughable.

The mayor knowingly took affirmative steps to protect illegal aliens from a government enforcement action. "Some laws are unconstitutional" is irrelevant. If you are making the argument that the anti-harboring statute is unconstitutional, have at it.

Tim in Vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim in Vermont said...

If you are making the argument that the anti-harboring statute is unconstitutional, have at it.

“Love Wins!” It’s right there in a penumbra!

chickelit said...

You can't fool us, Althouse. You're either for Jerry Brown's open borders policy and trains to nowhere or you're against them.

Chris N said...

What would Julia do?

Matthew Sablan said...

Isn't it worse if she's got spies feeding her intelligence on ICE actions than if she used public/government information?

Tim in Vermont said...

People hate having it pointed out that they are wrong when they know they are right.

buster said...

@ Hagar at 8:06:

"Nulla poena sine lege" is inherent in the idea of due process of law. Another way of stating the principle is "Rule of law, not men."

Big Mike said...

So it's up to you to say what law she's violating.

We already told you: obstruction of justice. Trump can’t fire Comey the Crapweasel but she can put ICE agents’ lives at risk? Would you feel that way if one of your sons worked for ICE?

We can also try failure to register as an agent of a for government (Mexico).

Matthew Sablan said...

Trump got legal advice too that firing Comey wasn't illegal, yet I imagine the left isn't going to let him off the hook for that.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Because she obtained the information from unofficial sources rather than through formal government channels, she doesn’t believe she obstructed justice or violated any law by speaking up."

-- I think the only rational thing to do then is for ICE to strip her and everyone she works with of all access to any secret, classified or confidential information. Her entire staff is untrustworthy, and she is herself.

Unknown said...

I wonder if anyone checked with Kim Davis about defying the law as a public official? Ann, care to comment? You were all for jailing her, as I recall. Now that the left is defying the law, suddenly it's all rainbows and kittens?

--Vance

Matthew Sablan said...

At this point, California's government has decided to make it more dangerous for law enforcement to do its job.

As far as I'm concerned, they can solve their problems on their own then.

Big Mike said...

Just send in federal agents to go over the city’s books regarding money received from federal grants. Schaaf is a Democrat; it’s impossible that she has properly spent the money Oakland has received. In the meantime cut off funding for any grants where you can plausibly claim that the money was misspent until the matter has been resolved in court and use every legal trick to slow-walk the matter through the judiciary. Bankrupt her, personally, and bankrupt her shithole of a city.

It’s what Democrats would do if the parties were reversed.

mandrewa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earnest Prole said...

Nothing the left allegedly believes is heartfelt except for the conformity thing.

My side has principles. The other side has ideology.

mandrewa said...

I don't think this is a symmetric issue. I don't think it's true that this is something loved by right-wingers except for when they hate it. Of course I can speak only for myself. In my case, I love the Constitution as it was written, with a few exceptions, and in particular I love the idea of having significantly different policies in the different states and with states given the leeway to be different and in fact given the power to do wrong things (otherwise there can be no real difference) and are held together by a federal government with limited powers and only those powers explicitly given by the Constitution.

It probably goes without saying that I would love to be in a country where California had the right to ignore what the rest of the country wanted to do on immigration if this was true on all issues where the issue isn't specified as part of the federal government's domain. The reality is that the federal government micromanages states at almost every level and insists on conformity on virtually every issue.

Conformity in my view is the heart of what it means to be left-wing. And in fact I don't thing people on the left actually have any other principles. Everything can change on a dime and I believe I've actually seen it happen. Nothing the left allegedly believes is heartfelt except for the conformity thing.

So what we actually have is a situation where 99% of what the federal government requires states to do is unconstitutional. And in some tiny percentage of that, maybe 0.1%, the left feels the states, not the federal government, should have the power.

It is literally true this is "something hated by left-wingers except for when the love it" and even if it were also true that it was "loved by right-wingers except for when the hate it," this wouldn't be a symmetric situation at all. Because it does matter that it's practiced 99% in one direction.

But I do acknowledge that there is a strong human tendency to want to have your cake and eat it, and that people are hypocritical as a general rule.

Earnest Prole said...

California Democrats recently anointed Kevin De Leon as their chosen candidate to replace Dianne Feinstein in te US Senate.

California Democrats recently chose to endorse neither Feinstein nor De Leon for the California Senate.

mockturtle said...

Mandrewa, your point is well taken. But the fundamental corollary to states acting independently of federal law is that they may forfeit federal support.

mandrewa said...

Earnest Prole said, My side has principles. The other side has ideology.

It easy to make fun of what I'm saying. And in part it deserves to be made fun of. We are all people and we have a lot in common. Careful of what you say, because if you make a persuasive case that someone is terrible, it might be yourself you're describing.

On the other hand, can you make an argument on an issue that is not a stereotype? That's not the right word, but it's somewhere in the ball park, but I mean something that's been repeated a million times and is kind of simple. Now I know you can do that. In fact you probably don't find that hard to do. But you are not left-wing. You make take left-wing positions sometimes, or what, for the decade, is claimed to be left-wing.

Does that make any sense? Do you see the point I'm trying to make?

walter said...

"It’s part of our democracy that people speak truth to power,"
Well..the truth about the matter is...

JAORE said...

"...she got legal advice and believes that what she did is not a violation of that law."

Interesting sentence.

Imagine (though I don't believe it) that the legal advice was, "Hell yes it's illegal. You'll go to jail for 100 years!"

And the mayor responded, "Well I believe it is not a violation of law".

The statement remains true. I had a boss that spoke like that as a way to mislead. Fooled a lot of people.


Yancey Ward said...

I would like to know about these "unofficial sources" are. If they exist at all, I suspect that they are not unofficial- that Schaaf was informed officially as a part of law enforcement cooperation. I note she didn't really describe them.

n.n said...

Placing emigrants before citizens and immigrants.

Balfegor said...

Re: Bob Boyd & Kyzernick:

In regards to 8 USC 1324, let's talk through exactly which provision is triggered here. First, she's not acting with regard to any specific illegal alien, just trying to tip criminals off to law enforcement. The argument, I would guess, is that this would fall under (a)(1)(A)(iii) ("conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection") or (a)(1)(A)(v)(II) (aids and abets). But the predicate for (a)(1)(A)(iii) is that she be "knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law." Is a generalised knowledge that there are criminals in her city sufficient? That seems like a bit of a stretch.

In general, tip-offs about imminent law enforcement raids seems like a situation that would occur quite frequently outside the illegal immigration context, e.g. drug deals and other instances of illegal conduct. The one instance I can find in about five minutes of googling involves a Chicago policeman passing information about an upcoming raid to a specific individual (a high-school friend). I suspect there are a bunch of other cases like this. Anyhow, that may be why the mayor -- despite her official position -- felt comfortable that she was not engaging in obstruction, provided she could establish a non-official provenance for the information.

Re: JAORE:

Imagine (though I don't believe it) that the legal advice was, "Hell yes it's illegal. You'll go to jail for 100 years!"

And the mayor responded, "Well I believe it is not a violation of law".


My favourite example of this (from Yes, Minister, of course).

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

I can't even...How do you imagine the 'nice' characteristics of Singapore or Hungary will be affected by the doom of America? About a month later, you can look forward to a Chinese internment camp or a Russian internment camp. I guess China, it's warmer, probably.

I honestly have no clue how the second sentence follows from the first. Perhaps you can expound. If your notion is that absent the US, Russia and China will start invading countries and conquering, then I'd say you have an extremely jaundiced view of how the international system works. The US cannot do much to curb Russia or Chinese aggression right now because of the nuclear threat. What did we do when the Soviets invaded Hungary in 1958 or Czechoslovakia in 1968? Nothing. How about when China invaded Vietnam in 1979? Nothing. Because there was nothing we could do, unless you think guaranteeing national sovereignty is worth risking nuclear holocaust.

What I mean by "doom" is not that the state will cease to exist or no longer have a functioning economy. What I mean is that America as a nation will no longer exist as a single entity. European and Jewish whites along with East Asians will likely form a technocratic elite and most of the resources will redound to their benefit. We can probably expect something like the ethnic challenges of Yugoslavia with Brazilian-level income inequality.

Plus what do you have to offer Singapore? Aren't they picky (irony)? Are you wealthy or offer services that are in demand there?

I have lived and worked in Singapore previously. And while I consider it gauche to talk about money, suffice to say I have the resources to emigrate there if I wish.

Earnest Prole said...

In regards to 8 USC 1324, let's talk through exactly which provision is triggered here. First, she's not acting with regard to any specific illegal alien, just trying to tip criminals off to law enforcement.

It could plausibly be argued she was telling criminals to leave town. What's more law-and-order than that? It's practically the Old West.

Hagar said...

If it's not forbidden, it is permitted.
Not quite; it depends on interpretation. This is also why I am absolutely against the mindless repetition of "a government of laws, not of men" as an ideal.

F. ex., last week I read an article by some lawyer who was quite beside himself saying you cannot ban "bump stocks" on the basis that they turn semi-automatic firing weapons into "automatic firing" because automatic firing is defined in the 1935 legislation and "bump stocks" do not do exactly that, but merely allow semi-automatic weapons to simulate "full auto."
Quite right when narrowly interpreted, but they still represent an intentional attempt to make an end run around the intent of the 1935 legislation, and the BATF should never have issued a ruling clearing them for production and sale.

Tim in Vermont said...

My side has principles. The other side has ideology

Well, there is one side here that refuses to engage in discussion of ideas, and another side that floods the comment threads begging for discussion of ideas, and all they get in return are little rhetorical epigrams that dodge discussion.

J. Farmer said...

Politics often has little to do with principle and a lot to do with tribalism and identity. Take America's view of Russia. Back in 2012, when Romney made his ridiculous "Russia is our number one geopolitical foe" remark, a majority of Republican's favored an aggressive approach towards Russia and criticized the Obama administration's "reset" with Russia. Meanwhile, Democrats supported improved relations and rapprochement with Russia. Flash forward to 2017, and the trends have completely reversed.

Hagar said...

OTOH we have such laws as the Sherman anti trust act, which some lawyers say is so loosely written that it essentially says that if the Attorney General of the U.S. say you are in violation of the act, you are, and the Supreme Court should have thrown it out on the grounds of vagueness, but it was popular at the time.

Earnest Prole said...

another side that floods the comment threads begging for discussion of ideas

Fair enough. Assuming you haven’t given up on States’ Rights entirely, give us your criteria for when federal authority may legitimately be resisted by state and local officials, with extra credit for appending a list of historical examples.

mockturtle said...

Per Balfegor: My favourite example of this (from Yes, Minister, of course).

Comey may have used that as an FBI training film.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

J. Farmer said...

Flash forward to 2017, and the trends have completely reversed.

Do you actually know any Republicans? Have you ever spoken to any? Have you ever listened to any?

Those that I talk to still say that Russia is at or near the top of the geo-political foes list. ( Maybe China has passed them. ) But we scoff at the Democrats now running around with their ass on fire over Russia engaging in the same type of fucking-with-the-enemy operations that they always have.

I mean really, does anyone think that the Russians weren't doing all they could to promote anti-war protests during the G. W. Bush presidency? Including during the lead-up to the 2008 elections?

Ann Althouse said...

Quote the language in 1324 that you think she violated and cite the specific facts that you would use to charge her with the crime.

Then explain to me why you want to live in a country where law works like that. Would you apply that across the board or is it just a special revenge fantasy for your enemies?

Rabel said...

Robert Mueller's favorite statute, 923. 18 U.S.C. § 371—Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, could easily be applied to the Mayor and her informant.

D.E. Cloutier said...

Re: "Singapore is currently at the top of my list."

I'm an American. (In the 1600s, a couple of my ancestors traveled to the New World to work for Samuel de Champlain.)

Singapore has been my second home for 35 years. I have no complaints.

Big Mike said...

Then explain to me why you want to live in a country where law works like that.

As far as I am concerned, Althouse, from January 2009 until January 2017, we already did.

Bob said...

Madison Man said,

"What's insufferable is the virtue signalling that followed the act."

Yep. Schaaf got her information from "unofficial sources". Who are those sources, and how did they get such information? Are those sources guilty of obstruction under the USC code cited by several commenters?

Did Schaaf have a duty to report their actions? Or could she have told them, "Fine. YOU warn the targeted folks"? As things stand, it's just grandstanding after the fact to show how "progressive" and compassionate she is. Sounds almost like the whole thing was premeditated.

Michael K said...

" Flash forward to 2017, and the trends have completely reversed."

You seem to assume that Democrats do not work on a completely tactical basis.

They have not had ideology since Carter, It is all getting elected. What ever it takes.

You would do well to read Jay Cost's "Spoiled Rotten"

Ignorance is Bliss said...

8 U.S. Code § 1324

(A) Any person who—

(iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;

(iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law; or

(v)
(I) engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or

(II) aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts,

shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B).


I don't have any facts to show that any of the illegal immigrants in fact made any attempt to conceal their existence in response to her warning. If any did, then she was aiding that action and (if evidence can be found to back this up ) should be charged accordingly.

It seems to me far more likely than not that at least some responded to her warning.

J. Farmer said...

@Ignorance Is Bliss:

Do you actually know any Republicans? Have you ever spoken to any? Have you ever listened to any?

Quite a few, and that's completely beside the point. My family, friends, and acquaintances are not a representative sample of the country. And even if the answer was zero, it still has nothing to do with the argument.

Those that I talk to still say that Russia is at or near the top of the geo-political foes list.

"Compared with 2013, the last time this question was asked, greater shares in both parties volunteer Russia as posing the greatest danger to the U.S. – but nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans now say this (39% vs. 21%)."
-Share of Democrats calling Russia ‘greatest danger’ to U.S. is at its highest since end of Cold War

"In addition, while Democrats say that Trump is being too friendly toward Russia (68 percent), only 15 percent of Republicans agree (ABC News/Washington Post). Republicans are more likely to say that Trump has about the right attitude toward Russia (75 percent vs. 11 percent Democrats).

...

Moreover, in 2014 and 2015 CCS surveys, Republicans consistently felt more threat from Russia than Democrats, and were more likely to favor taking military actions to defend Ukraine from Russia."
-Republicans used to fear Russians. Here’s what they think now.

"A poll conducted by YouGov shows that sentiment among Republicans toward Russian President Vladimir Putin has become significantly more positive (or at least significantly less negative) than it was just a couple of years ago."
-Partisan Tribalism and Attitudes Toward Russia

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

You seem to assume that Democrats do not work on a completely tactical basis.

How does that explain Republicans similarly changing their views towards Russia in the opposite direction?

Balfegor said...

Re: Ann Althouse:

Then explain to me why you want to live in a country where law works like that. Would you apply that across the board or is it just a special revenge fantasy for your enemies?

I don't think this statute is a good fit, but I will say that prosecutors are quite creative in how they apply the conspiracy statutes (often to circumvent statutes of limitation), and a creative lawyer could probably gin up some chain of reasoning whereby there was an agreement and an affirmative step. To some extent, we already live in a country where law enforcement works like that, particularly when most cases are resolved through the plea bargaining process.

That said, I don't like it -- there are a lot of things about law enforcement in this country I don't like, starting with no-knock raids -- and it's representative of a broad trend towards encouraging and rewarding creativity and flexibility in legal reasoning on the part of prosecutors and regulatory officials, which leaves them with more subjective discretion in rulemaking, enforcement, and adjudication than I think they ought to have. Of course, I work as a defense lawyer, so I suppose it's unsurprising I would say that.

Anyhow, that trend dovetails in an unfortunate way with the interests of elected officials, who would love to make unelected bureaucrats responsible for everything, and avoid responsibility for any noxious or unpopular decisions by making those bureaucrats "independent" rather than answerable to elected officials who in turn have to answer to voters. Making bureaucratic agencies independent sounds like a "good government" type reform -- like an independent judiciary -- but in a democracy, it's mostly just a way to smudge it all over so elected officials can't be held accountable.

Birkel said...

YouGov didn't make their internals available (that I found from following Smug's links -- and for which I had no interest in searching beyond the links) and the shift in Republican attitudes may or may not have been within the margin or error. But those links didn't prove the point Smug believes they did.

Further, YouGov has been particularly untrustworthy in its polling.

However, that poll does show that Democrats changed their tune as soon as it was politically useful. That supports Michael K's point about political tactic.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Mark said...

it's a basic precept of American constitutional law that the federal government cannot force state and local government to participate in the enforcement of federal law

It's also a basic precept of American constitutional law that state and local government cannot frustrate or interfere in the enforcement of federal law.

Meanwhile, there is nothing that requires state and local law enforcement to have access to the federal NCIC database and related data of previous convictions, outstanding warrants, fingerprints, DNA, etc.

Birkel said...

I would hope that the mayor is not prosecuted. She committed an act of speech. There is no evidence she took an affirmative act - beyond mere speech - in furtherance of any conspiracy.

In the same way, Trump joking about the Russians releasing the E-mails from Hillary's illegal server was just speech. There is no evidence he did anything more than talk.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

However, that poll does show that Democrats changed their tune as soon as it was politically useful.

So the poll is accurate about Democrats but wrong about Republicans? Gotcha.

Never mind that the shift in opinion among Democrats and Republicans towards Russia is replicated not just in YouGov, Pew, ABC News, and CCS surveys. And here is another from Gallup:

"A major reason for the overall rise in Putin's favorable rating this year is Republicans' more positive views of the Russian leader, from 12% in 2015 to 32% today."

Birkel said...

No, Smug. The shift in Democrats was so large that I take it to be well outside the margin or error and statistically significant at a rather high confidence level.

That's not inconsistent at all.

Smug gets in the way, sometimes, when Smug decides to smug.

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

I have been consistent in my views of Putin. He is a corrupt thug capable of non-bankrupting corruption. He can shear the sheep without making mutton.

I think the Russian people are kept poorer by his leadership than they would be if they could maintain free and fair markets. I don't believe that is actually an option on the table. Some problems lack solutions.

Michael K said...

"How does that explain Republicans similarly changing their views towards Russia in the opposite direction?"

I don't think most Republicans have changed,

I do think there has been some recognition that Putin has played a weak hand well.

Russia has been a strategic rival since 1945 and before with the exception of the War. The pro Soviet sentiment was always from the left. At least since Wilson and 1917.

The Democrats have shifted wildly. In 1932 Roosevelt was the first to recognize the Soviets and through the 1930s there were lots of Fellow Travelers.

During the War, Republicans supported Lend Lease but once the War was over, the GOP got interested in Soviet spies, which were furiously defended by Democrats.

The "Hollywood Ten" are still heroes to Democrats.

There was some brief optimism of the sort in Tom Clancy novels that we could become allies but Reagan approved a sabotage of the gas pipeline and we supported Afghan jihadis, probably not the best strategy,

Carter was the one who scolded those who were still worried about Communism, until the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.

Bill Clinton used the "Peace Dividend" to disarm us.

Bush made a stupid comment about looking into Putin's eyes but there was nothing like the enthusiasm on the left.

I would call your thesis "Unproven."


Ignorance is Bliss said...

J. Farmer-

Thanks for the links confirming exactly what I was saying.

To sum up: The Democrats, for wildly partisan reasons, completely reversed their position on Russia. The Republican slightly softened theirs, with Russia still topping their list of geo-political foes.

Balfegor said...

Re: Russia, the point Republicans should be making is that the Trump administration is actually taking a harder line against Russia in hard-power terms -- smacking them around in Syria, sending weapons to the Ukraine. They're not engaging in the same bug-eyed moralistic harangues (maybe I'm just ignoring Nikki Haley?) and they're not pushing sanctions (which I think are ineffective anyhow), but you could say we've switched from talking loudly with a tiny stick to speaking softly and wielding a . . well, not a big stick yet, but maybe a medium-sized stick.

JaimeRoberto said...

I'm not too worked up about this. Letting illegals know that immigration laws are being enforced helps with the self-deportation.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

No, Smug. The shift in Democrats was so large that I take it to be well outside the margin or error and statistically significant at a rather high confidence level.

I'll repeat, "A major reason for the overall rise in Putin's favorable rating this year is Republicans' more positive views of the Russian leader, from 12% in 2015 to 32% today."

A nearly threefold increase (20%) is well outside the margin of error.

@Ignorance Is Bliss:

The Republican slightly softened theirs, with Russia still topping their list of geo-political foes.

No, only about one-fifth of Republicans identify Russia as such. From the link: "Opinion is more divided among Republicans and Republican leaners. About a quarter (27%) say North Korea poses the greatest danger to the U.S., and another two-in-ten each cite Russia (21%) and Iran (18%)."

In 2015, slightly more than 1 in 10 Republicans had a favorable view of Putin, and now it is about 1 in 3. Perhaps you can call that "slightly softened," but I wouldn't. And what principles do you imagine were involved in that change of assessment?

As I said, politics is much more tribal than it is principled. An example in the opposite direction would be the disappearance from the public stage of the antiwar movement as soon as Obama became president, even though he largely doubled down on most Bush era war on terror policies.

SDaly said...

Birkel -

Speech, by itself, is often an actual crime. It is ridiculous to say she only committed an act of speech. Tipping off illegal aliens that immigration officials were nearby has been, standing alone, sufficient for prosecution.

Balfegor said...

Re: Ignorance is Bliss:

I don't have any facts to show that any of the illegal immigrants in fact made any attempt to conceal their existence in response to her warning. If any did, then she was aiding that action and (if evidence can be found to back this up ) should be charged accordingly.

Let's stipulate that we assume you've proven the underlying crime (concealing, etc.). I don't know what specific mens rea (mental state) is required to be proved for aiding and abetting under this statute, but it's probably something close to knowledge that the act would aid in the crime. And then the question, again, would be whether a generalised non-specific knowledge that there are criminals in her city who would act on her warning is specific to sustain a conviction. I feel like that would still be a stretch -- I think you need more specificity than "well, there are probably criminals out there and they'll hear my warning and act on it."

This is all kind of angels on the head of a pin, though, because practically speaking if you put this in front of a jury in California, you'd probably get some kind of jury nullification. At least a hung jury. And unlike "sanctuary city"-style Neo-Confederate nullification, I actually support jury nullification.

Birkel said...

SDaly:
Conspiracy requires an affirmative act in furtherance of the conspiracy. No evidence of that has been produced.

If you don't like the view of a classical liberal, such as myself, who is now mislabeled a conservative, I'm afraid I won't be able to help you.

....

Smug:
When I respond to one of your links and respond, you should restrain yourself to the link you provided when criticizing my response.

When you introduce another link and criticize my response to the first link based on the second link, you are dishonest in your criticism.

Do try to be honest if you cannot control the Smug.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

When I respond to one of your links and respond, you should restrain yourself to the link you provided when criticizing my response.

When you introduce another link and criticize my response to the first link based on the second link, you are dishonest in your criticism.


Your argument was: "Further, YouGov has been particularly untrustworthy in its polling."

My response was: "Never mind that the shift in opinion among Democrats and Republicans towards Russia is replicated not just in YouGov, Pew, ABC News, and CCS surveys. And here is another from Gallup:"

Please explain what was "dishonest" in that response.

SDaly said...

Birkel -

I never mentioned conspiracy. I can, by myself, violate the law purely through speech, and so can you. (And so can the Mayor of Oakland.)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I think you need more specificity than "well, there are probably criminals out there and they'll hear my warning and act on it.

She describes her action as tipping off immigrants, that seems like more than enough to determine that her action had the specific intent of aiding in the harboring of illegal immigrants, even if she did not know which specific individuals she was aiding.

But I do agree that jury nullification ( at least to the point of a hung jury ) is the likely result. I don't support this. Disagreeing with immigration law does not justify actively helping people to break the law.

Char Char Binks said...

Would a private citizen acting as a lookout, warning illegal aliens of La Migra, be a law-abiding citizen?

SDaly said...

I wouldn't necessarily count on jury nullification. Federal courts draw jurors from a much larger geographic area than state courts.

Birkel said...

Smug,
I responded to information from YouGov and criticized YouGov.
You responded with different polls and stated that my response to the YouGov poll was somehow incorrect based on different polls.

That is dishonest.

I don't expect honesty from you.
We're square.

Smug is a lifestyle choice.

Birkel said...

SDaly:

Your picayune point is acknowledged.
Do you feel better now that you typed your bromide?

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

Smug,
I responded to information from YouGov and criticized YouGov.
You responded with different polls and stated that my response to the YouGov poll was somehow incorrect based on different polls.


No, I did not respond "with different polls." The polls I mentioned (i.e. YouGov, Pew, ABC News, and CCS) were in the original links I provided, and your response was to criticize YouGov. I pointed out that even if you completely ignore YouGov, several other polls show the same shift. And I gave another link to another poll that corroborated the same findings as the previous. And for good measure, here is another Pew research poll from November 2017 for percent who say Russia's "power and influence" are a major threat to the well-being of the United States. It was 63% for Democrats and 38% for Republicans. In 2015, it was 50% for Democrats and 58% for Republicans.

So, Birkel, perhaps you can explain what do you think I have gotten wrong. Do you not believe that attitudes towards Russia/Putin have change among Democrats and Republicans? If you do believe it has, and if I accept your premise that the shift in Democratic attitudes is pure opportunistic tribalism (which I do), then why not accept the simple explanation that the shift in attitudes among Republicans is similarly tribal and opportunistic? If you don't believe that about Republicans, why not?

Humperdink said...

Hump said: ""Selectively obeying laws is a path the Dems may not want to traverse."

AA responded: "She claims she's within the law. She's not claiming civil disobedience... "

I thought the feds could indict a ham sandwich.

Oso Negro said...

@JFarmer- the current Republican administration loves Russians so much we killed a couple hundred of them in Syria a few weeks ago. By all accounts it was a massacre.

J. Farmer said...

@Oso Negro:

@JFarmer- the current Republican administration loves Russians so much we killed a couple hundred of them in Syria a few weeks ago. By all accounts it was a massacre.

That is a completely different question. I think the administration's Russia policy is idiotic. I never trusted Trump on foreign policy, which he has largely outsourced to "the generals," whose advice I think he is far too fond.

Nonetheless, that is a separate question than the one I addressed, which was the large swing in opinions among rank-and-file members of our two political parties in their attitudes towards Russia. I think I gave ample evidence for its existence. So you can either (a) deny that such a shift in opinion has occurred or (b) accept it and try to explain it. Which do you prefer?

DavidD said...

So when does Paul McCartney release Give California Back to the Mexicans?

Bad Lieutenant said...

If your notion is that absent the US, Russia and China will start invading countries and conquering, then I'd say you have an extremely jaundiced view of how the international system works.

Jaundiced? I'M jaundiced?

That's a great quip about the incredulous stare, but really now, arguments on the level of "the moon is made of green cheese" deserve an incredulous stare. It's too much work otherwise to take you down to the bare metal. What the hell do you think they're doing now, while we're still here? Ask a Ukrainian, a Georgian, or amybody with interests in the South China Sea if, "absent the US, Russia and China will start invading countries and conquering."

You're so smart, and then you're so bloody stupid. You see, you resist personal inquiry, but it's gotta be some personal factors that make you deny the reality that surely you must see.

But if you're fine with it, just say so; it would be much more interesting to talk with an open Russian or Chinese patriot who'd frankly say, Yes, we want to take X, we're right, and we're going to win, here's why.

Jaundiced. Let-the-wogs-kill-each-other-it's-nothing-to-me says I'm jaundiced.

[incredulous stare]

Birkel said...

Smug:
As stated above, I responded to one thing. Your attempt to make that mean more than it does is dishonest. It's ok. I never expected more from Smug.

"That is a completely different question."

Can you define precisely when narrowly interpreting a comment is appropriate and when it is not? So far I have discerned the answer to be:
1) When Smug types a thing, the narrowest possible interpretation is appropriate,
2) When anybody not afflicted with terminal smug types a thing the broadest possible interpretation is appropriate.

Cruel things are done to logic by smug, Smug.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

That's a great quip about the incredulous stare, but really now, arguments on the level of "the moon is made of green cheese" deserve an incredulous stare.

Except my statement does not amount to an incredulous stare, since I then continued on by arguing why I think your notion is incorrect. You did not actually address any of my arguments. You, in fact, made the incredulous stare argue by simply declaring that my argument was too ridiculous to consider. But if you recall, I wrote immediately after the words you quoted:

"The US cannot do much to curb Russia or Chinese aggression right now because of the nuclear threat. What did we do when the Soviets invaded Hungary in 1958 or Czechoslovakia in 1968? Nothing. How about when China invaded Vietnam in 1979? Nothing. Because there was nothing we could do, unless you think guaranteeing national sovereignty is worth risking nuclear holocaust."

What about this statement is wrong? And to your notion of "while we're still here," I'll again repeat myself:

"What I mean by "doom" is not that the state will cease to exist or no longer have a functioning economy." By doomed, it is not that "we" will not still be here; it's just that what "we" means will be completely transmogrified.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

As stated above, I responded to one thing. Your attempt to make that mean more than it does is dishonest. It's ok. I never expected more from Smug.

Speaking of dishonesty, let's just recap what you actually wrote. In your first reply to me, you said

"But those links didn't prove the point Smug believes they did.

Further, YouGov has been particularly untrustworthy in its polling."

Except my point was that there have been major shifts in attitudes among members of political parties in their views of Russia (i.e. Dems have become more negative, Reps more positive) and the best explanation for this phenomenon was tribal partisanship.

You then write: "You responded with different polls and stated that my response to the YouGov poll was somehow incorrect based on different polls."

Except the polls I referenced were in the original links I provided, which you claimed "didn't prove the point" I was trying to make and which you apparently didn't read. I conceded that even if you completely discount the YouGov poll, my point still stands.

Can you define precisely when narrowly interpreting a comment is appropriate and when it is not?

Another commenter pointed out that current administration's actions towards Russia are not favorable. That has nothing to do with what I was saying, which was about Republican party members' views towards Russia. I pointed that out. If you think that represented "cruel things...done to logic," then there really is not much I can do for you.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I beg your pardon if I was unclear. I did not accuse you of giving me an incredulous stare. I explained that an incredulous stare was the very best that I could do for you, as a proper and fitting response to the incredible.

I did go a little further and remind you of current aggressions by these nations, with the US at its current level of power; to draw the inference that they would do more if we let them is, I think, patently obvious.

As for Hungary and Czechoslovakia in the 50s and 60s, that would have been difficult. China posed no CONUS nuclear threat in 1979, but maybe you don't remember that we had just finished having a war in Vietnam? I'm not sure why you think we would have gone then to defend them. That would be like trying to separate the sides in the Iran-Iraq War. In any case Vietnam didn't need our help.

I also believe that implied in your concept of American Doom is our disappearance as an actor on the world stage. No?

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

I did go a little further and remind you of current aggressions by these nations, with the US at its current level of power; to draw the inference that they would do more if we let them is, I think, patently obvious.

Not only is it not "obvious," it is not even probable. It is first incorrect to believe that the only thing preventing Russian and Chinese aggression is fear of an American response. So, for example, China could invade Vietnam tomorrow, and there is nothing we can really do about it. Similarly, there was nothing China could do when we invaded Iraq or Libya. There was nothing Russia could do when we bombed Serbia. These are fairly conservative powers that are stakeholders in a stable international system. There is little appetite among either the Russian or Chinese populations for overseas military adventurism. In fact, one of the most consistent observations made by the Chinese is how foolish and wasteful they believe Americans have been on their reliance on expensive military interventions, while China has pursued a more traditionally mercantilist policy.

I also believe that implied in your concept of American Doom is our disappearance as an actor on the world stage. No?

No, first of all the notion that America is doomed is a lament, not a description of what I want to happen, only what I think will happen. And as I said in my first reply to you, "What I mean by 'doom' is not that the state will cease to exist or no longer have a functioning economy. What I mean is that America as a nation will no longer exist as a single entity."

You're essentially making the Madeline Albright indispensable nation argument. I think that is a total folk myth trotted out mostly to justify US interventionism and aggression. In other words, when we invade sovereign countries, overthrow their leaders, destroy their infrastructure, and get their people killed, it's okay because we're the "indispensable nation." When other countries do it, it is because they are evil and cruel and maniacal. You also ignore the fact that neither Russia nor China has the kind of military capable of significant power projection much beyond its current borders. You also ignore that both countries face enormous internal problems that will likely consume a lot of energy and attention over the years.

So, yes, I do judge your notion that absent the US, the entire world will be a Russian or Chinese concentration camp not only jaundiced but hysterical.

Birkel said...

So you maintain that Smug makes specifically narrow points and that everybody else makes comments that must be interpreted broadly.

You must win every argument when you define things so smugly.

Smug gives smug a bad name even though nobody likes smug at the start.

Birkel said...

"So, yes, I do judge your notion that absent the US, the entire world will be a Russian or Chinese concentration camp not only jaundiced but hysterical."

The entire world is the broadest interpretation available.

Smug wins by the presu!tion of smug, by Smug.

Unknown said...

NEW RULES!!!!!

Whatever they try, double down on it...

The chains are off now.

Rusty said...

OK J.
How many aircraft carriers do we need?

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

Smug wins by the presu!tion of smug, by Smug.

My apologies, Birkel. I imagine if I had the same kind of shitty life you have and was raised by the shitty mother and father you had, perhaps I would not be so smug. Oh well, I guess I'll have to somehow find the strength to carry on even though an anonymous internet douche thinks I'm smug. I decided once a while back to ignore you and not engage, since you were mostly just an attention-starved little twerp. Not sticking to that decision was a mistake I am rectifying henceforth.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

OK J.
How many aircraft carriers do we need?


You have asked me this question before, and I answered it. I have told you I am for reducing the Pentagon by, at minimum, half. Given that formula, that would leave the US with about 6 carriers if you count the USS John Kennedy, though it is not currently commissioned.

But Rusty, imagine for a minute that tomorrow every US aircraft carrier disappeared. What do you imagine would happen? Would the US come under attack by foreign powers? Would your civil liberties evaporate? Your economic freedom? What in your life do you hold dear that you believe would be in jeopardy if not for aircraft carriers?

Bad Lieutenant said...

There was nothing Russia could do when we bombed Serbia.

Except sell them weapons, give them intel, and land at Pristina airport in 1999 and nearly cause WW3.

So, yes, I do judge your notion that absent the US, the entire world will be a Russian or Chinese concentration camp not only jaundiced but hysterical.

And I judge your distortion of my position to be dishonest. One adjective will do, though I could throw in self-serving and tendentious. But the corrupt nature of some of your tactics, like your frequent reliance on strawmen, vitiates my desire, and I presume others', to engage you forthrightly. I say dishonest because I pay you the compliment of presuming you're not that stupid. When did I say concentration camp or entire world? China isn't going to gas 5.6 million sings. But a potential enemy alien like you would get special attention because the Chinese aren't stupid and they wouldn't believe you when you said you had no loyalty to the United States.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Precisely. Thank you. Obviously they would start with their respective near abroad, as would the caliphate which farmer denies. The real Sparks will come when these circles intersect.

Rusty said...

That's not what I asked, J.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

That's not what I asked, J.

At 5:07AM, you wrote: "How many aircraft carriers do we need?"

At 7:45AM, I wrote: "You have asked me this question before, and I answered it. I have told you I am for reducing the Pentagon by, at minimum, half. Given that formula, that would leave the US with about 6 carriers..."

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

p.s. I am more than happy to answer your inquiries. How about extending me the same courtesy? So I'll repeat:

"But Rusty, imagine for a minute that tomorrow every US aircraft carrier disappeared. What do you imagine would happen? Would the US come under attack by foreign powers? Would your civil liberties evaporate? Your economic freedom? What in your life do you hold dear that you believe would be in jeopardy if not for aircraft carriers?"

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

When did I say concentration camp or entire world?

"Entire world" was a hyperbolic rhetorical flourish on my part. I'll retract. As for the latter, you said internment camp, which is merely a euphemism for a concentration camp. People avoid the latter usage because of its association with the Final Solution, but there is nothing about concentration camps that ipso facto imply genocide. The real first modern use of concentration camps was by the British during the Boer War.

But a potential enemy alien like you would get special attention because the Chinese aren't stupid and they wouldn't believe you when you said you had no loyalty to the United States.

Simple question. Why isn't China invading Southeast Asia right now? If they are itching to do it, what is stopping them. Do they believe that the US will risk a nuclear exchange with China to protect the sovereignty of Laos? I don't. If China invaded Laos tomorrow, would you advocate going to war with China? Is it your contention that the only thing keeping China from invading all its neighbors is fear of a war with America?

Rusty said...

Wher would these carriers be stationed?