Call it Jerrold Nadler’s war. The congressman who would lead the impeachment of President Trump if the Democrats gain control of the House in November is likening Russia’s interference with the American election to Pearl Harbor. He reckons the indictments that were handed up Friday against 13 Russians are “absolute proof” that we were attacked. “Imagine if FDR had denied that the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and didn’t react,” the solon said. “That’s the equivalent.”
Chris Hayes, the MSNBC host to whom Mr. Nadler made this declaration, reacted with newspapermanly incredulity.
“It’s a bit of a different thing,” he offered.
“No it’s not,” Mr. Nadler promptly snapped.
“They didn’t kill anyone,” Mr. Hayes protested.
“They didn’t kill anyone but they’re destroying our democratic process,” the congressman caviled.
Mr. Hayes is no dummy.
“Do you really think it’s on par?” he pressed.
“Not in the amount of violence, but in the seriousness, it is very much on par,” insisted Mr. Nadler.
What strikes about this interview is the contrast between how Mr. Nadler is reacting to this Pearl Harbor and the way President Roosevelt — and the Congress — reacted to the actual Pearl Harbor. The Japanese launched that attack at 7:41 a.m. on December 7, 1941. Our president at the time, Franklin Roosevelt, went to Congress on December 8 and asked for a declaration of war.
This newspaper is not a mind-reader. So we don’t know what — or whether — Mr. Nadler is thinking. At least Mr. Hayes finally gets Mr. Nadler to suggest that we should impose “very heavy sanctions” and “make sure the Russians are hurt in some very serious economic way.”
“So you think the deterrence so far has been insufficient?” Mr. Hayes inquires.
“Very much insufficient,” says Mr. Nadler.
“What would it look like for it to be sufficient?”
Here Mr. Nadler declares himself not an expert in cyber security, but “maybe things should happen in Russia.”
Now there’s a leader. Imagine if Franklin Delano Roosevelt had appeared before Congress and, after declaring December 7 to be a date that shall live in infamy, allowed as how he wasn’t himself an expert in naval and aerial warfare but “maybe things should happen in Japan.”
The New York Sun is not suggesting that Mr. Nadler lacks for standing. We have already stated our view of the special prosecution under way — that at such time as the President Trump becomes the target, the constitutional thing for him to do is to relieve the special prosecutor of further duties, seal his offices, and hand the key to the very House Judiciary Committee on which Mr. Nadler serves.
It handles impeachments. We’re not for impeachment. Then again, too, neither are we for a war with the Russ. We are for a speedy prosecution. What the Russkies did was outrageous. A Pearl Harbor, though, it’s not. Come the real thing, FDR didn’t even bother with an investigation. He convened a Joint Session the first day after the attack and asked the House and Senate for a declaration of war. They gave it to him within an hour.