The Impeachment of President Trump

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Quantum Quack, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Now you agree that there is war? (I have started a new thread about this war.)
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Anybody who worries about Trump's ongoing attempts to get a war going.
    It's another effect of Reagan's ascendancy. Trump is just the latest Republican President.
    Nope. Obama had nothing to do with the Iraq War, either phase.
    And every other US President, especially the Republican ones since Reagan.
    But the Republicans (including Trump of course) have long wanted war with Iran for other reasons - the oil, of course, and then there's this:
    and another slightly different slant on the same basic situation:
    You and your ever-changing, ever-silly "deep state".
    Trump is a Republican president. Like every other modern Republican president, he wants to make war as an ally of Israel and against Iran. He was elected by a constituency - the fundies in the Republican voting base - that took his implicit promises to make war in the Middle East as an ally of Israel seriously. Trump took office with war in mind (lots of money in war contracting, which means lots of bribes and so forth for Trump) and Iran has been the preferred target of the Republicans since 1979. (When W invaded Iraq, he had planned to occupy the country in a few months and then use it as a base for attacking Iran.),
    Putin isn't that stupid.
    Neither is Clinton.

    Almost nobody in the US - certainly not Clinton - would use nuclear weapons against Iran, except Trump. Trump likes the idea. It's one of the first things he did when he took office - explore the idea of using nuclear weapons. Remember when he set off that huge chemical bomb - a new one, the biggest the US has - on some caves in Afghanistan? That was almost the first thing he did as President. He started boosting the bombs and rockets from his first week in office
    and he's been dropping them ever since: Killing people with rockets and dropping bombs on them is something he likes to do, the bigger the better.

    And accidents will happen.
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  5. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    I would accept that it was not unreasonable to assume that Clinton would not have realized their promises and forgotten about the no-fly zone.
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  7. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    The Iraq war was stupid and a crime too. But it was not the greatest political error. This was the combination of Obama's anti-Chines turn to Asia in combination with his anti-Russian escalation, in particular, in the Ukraine. This was forcing them into a strategic alliance.
    The links appear quite irrelevant. Whatever, a war with Iran is certainly not in American interest. As I explained here, has now a chance to avoid the war, which seemed inevitable after the murder of Suleimani. In fact, the chance is quite good, because the Dems are more anti-Russian than pro-Israel, thus, they will argue against a war, and Pelosi already does. And the Rep warmongers are not strong enough to fight Trump over this.
    In a similar situation like this, say, with the US shooting a Russian plane in their "no-fly zone", Putin would have reacted in a similar harsh way. (My personal guess is that Putin played a role in the actual outcome, and his travelling to Assad was part of the negotiations about this behind the scenes.)
    Let's hope you are right. Whatever, the possibility of this has to be considered too by everybody ready to fight the US.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The need of authoritarians to blame their doings on Obama, Clinton, and Jewish people is not exactly new. But while Israel might talk tough about war with Iran, tying them into Obama-Clinton conspiracism is run of the mill anti-Semitism in the States, these days. And where Israel, Judaism, and anti-Semitism all intersect in this has to do with a faction of American Christianists, evangelical nationalists known to scholars as Dominionists, and within those an idea known as premillenial dispensationalsm.

    It's a pretty straightforward line: They would seem to be trying to bring about the Apocalypse. The blunt assessment also turns out to be the punch line; as Bill Maher once put it, "Because when Jesus comes back down, the Jews have a job to do, which is to die." And that attitude runs through the heart of GOP Christianism; it's part of what Trump pushes.° Secretary of State Pompeo is a dispensationalist.

    So, yes, there is a question of war "as an ally of Israel and against Iran", but the hook is that any Israeli sacrifice given along the way is for Christian triumph and the extermination of Jews. It's a strange, grotesque disaster, but premillennial dispensationalism is a necessary consideration at any strategic intersection of the GOP and Israel.

    Sure, it sounds like a joke, but it's not.

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    ° Hey, remember that weird bit with saying "One", and, "Two", instead of "First", and "Second", for the names of the books of the Bible? It's actually not nearly as big a deal as people made it out to be, but here's the problem: You don't say One and Two in front of that crowd, but First and Second. But Republicans are such gaslights who ignore so much of what people who disagree with them say they never stopped to make that appeal. And the Christians who are just fine with One and Two? They were generally smart enough to just stay the hell out of it. (Say what we will about news media in that episode, but it would be an obscure question compared to everything else they pass over.)
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Because we could all use some speculation, right about now.

    So, last night, Brian Williams asked Andrea Mitchell for an assessment, and she gave it, that Trump's gathering last night, amid the Iran crisis, was the worst national security team she had seen.

    Today, msnbc hosts have been asking about the White House's briefing of Congress, and what stands out is that while Democrats are doing their usual routine, Sen. Mike Lee's (R-UT) hallway press statement shredded the administration, called the briefing the worst he had ever seen.

    Thus, the obvious question: Did Senate Republicans just find their excuse to roll on Donald Trump in his impeachment trial?

    I mean, sure, we aren't really expecting that, but how deeply does this cynicism run? Do Republicans really want to sign on to such infamy? Compared to the prospect that they really are preparing to surrender the Republic itself, Sen. Lee's condemnation offered a moment to pause and wonder at the possibility that this will be enough to convince Republicans to dump Trump and try to recover before November.
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    give it a few days...
    Trump simply can not help himself, stumbling from one self created crisis to the next , dragging everyone with him.. In the end Trump will probably impeach himself...
  11. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    No, they obstructed themselves, by refusing to enforce, and in many cases even issue, their own subpoenas. Too bad you believe what they tell you, instead of looking up the facts for yourself.
    Deficits are lowered by both increased revenue and decreased spending. The sequester lowered spending by 10%, while increased revenue (over 2012) decreased the deficit by another 320 billion. Too bad we have to add deficits to the long list of things you don't understand.
  12. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    No, just ignoring your leftist fantasies.
    No, you're still woefully, and seemingly willfully, ignorant of the trend that was well underway long before any change in the Democrats. You continue to just make up bullshit that's not in a cited source, without any support other than your own arm-waving.
    Just a little comprehension would tell you that I was responding to the immediately preceding "every US election since 1980". Way to dishonestly cut what I quoted down to fit your little straw man. Not that I expect better from you.
    No, anti-Semites hate Jews and thus portray Zionism as a negative, just as you did. Their racism doesn't make them inherently ignorant of Jews who don't support Zionism. So your straw man about anti-Semitism seems to be how you justify your own. You're not as bad because you simply don't equate the two, right? So, you're just not a completely ignorant anti-Semite? Okay.
    Obvious extreme, absolute leftism.
    Again, then simply cite ANY credible economist using it. Cite a "leftist" source, if you want. Just quit repeating bullshit you patently refute to support.
    Yet the economy took off, with the longest period of economic growth in all of US history, record low unemployment, and historically low minority unemployment, just by Republicans taking over. You can spin things any way you like, but no one believes you when you ignore reality. Democrats made poor gains because Democrats have lousy economic polices.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No, it didn't.
    Krugman, Stiglitz, Piketty, off hand. Couple of Nobels in there, and nobody who bought the Supply Side charade (or any other aspect of Reaganomics) - credible enough for you?
    Or you could read up in one of the links I provided you. Starting from your apparent knowledge base, I recommend Wikipedia - and send them a few bucks, you owe them.
    Says the guy who doesn't know how employment rates work, or who uses them and why.
    You mean "yes", of course. You just got the direction of implication backwards again.

    Notice that the word "thus" applies to anti-Semites only, and only because - as I noted for you (you seemed unaware of this) - they treat Judaism and Zionism as equivalent.
    It does not apply to those who draw no such equivalence - they might hate Jews and love Zionism, hate Zionism and love Jews, etc - and examples of all these are met frequently. Many things are true of Zionists that are not true of Jews in general, in the real world, and millions of people disapprove (or approve) of Zionism for reasons that have nothing to do with Judaism or Jews. (As do all the Jewish people I happen to know, btw).
    "Hate" is of course the wingnut term for all disapproval, the Republican media feed label for all hostile motive - the Rep feed parrots use it routinely here, and very few other people use it at all. (You will even see Rep parrots refer to anti-Zionist Jews as "self-hating").
    It does make them draw an equivalence between Zionism and Judaism - that's where you got the word "thus".
    - - - -
    Comedy gold.
    Spending was not lowered. (the only negative slope was in the immediate aftermath of the Second Republican Crash in 2008, an artifact of the Crash).
    No originally Democratic Party economic policies have been adopted by the US since 1980. Reaganomics has never been repealed or revoked - hence the stagnation of the US economy, the growing economic inequality, and the increasing debt load, since that time.

    And so the attempt to deflect all attention from Trump's behavior in office toward the cloud of bs generated by the rightwing corporate propaganda establishment (by now, twenty five years after Limbaugh captured the flag, the Republican propaganda operations are an institution, an establishment) has a lot of muscle behind it.
  14. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    You're in denial about reality.
    Cite actual sources. Don't just rattle off some names and then blame me if I can't find any of your preferred arguments for using "employment rate".
    So you think all 15 year olds should be employed? And that no one over 64 should? And those in prison or disabled? And that working only one hour a week counts as employed? And all those correlate with the general health of the economy?

    Look, just because you live in a Democrat-run area with an anemic local economy doesn't mean everyone does.
    You sure like to imagine what you think people mean a lot.
    You say a lot of unsupported crap. Care to support that claim?
    So you supposedly love Jews but hate Zionism? You think Jews shouldn't have their own nation? And what does that imply you want to happen to the current Jewish residents in Israel? "Live" in a Muslim nation? Refugees to the western countries?
    Yes, the reality is pretty humorous. Enforcing Congressional subpoenas falls on Congress to bring suits in court. Not only did House Democrats refuse to bring suit, they actually didn't even bother to issue some intended subpoenas once the targets said they were seeking legal advise. Look it up, quit being spoon fed bullshit by bubble-dwellers.
    Spending, as a percentage of GDP, was lowered.
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    All that love/hate bs is your contribution, not mine.
    Says the guy who has no idea what the employment rate is or is used for.
    You asked for the names of credible economists who sometimes use the employment rate in their analyses, I handed you three very easily found and read examples I didn't have to look up.
    You don't learn anything when other people do your homework, and I don't learn anything at all dealing with wingnut bs. At your level of ignorance, Wiki makes a reasonable place to start - plenty of citations on Wiki. Good luck.
    Not necessarily. Congress has access to coercion - armed agents of enforcement - should it choose to avail itself of them.
    You posted your error in plain English right here.
    Spending, as an amount of money, was raised.
    Also: The trendline shows no inflection due to the sequester. The sequester had no visible effect on government spending as a whole.

    Meanwhile, the increase in GDP was partly fictional (the misleading nature of the GDP, as a statistic, is famous among credible economists; you will have no trouble informing yourself) and when not fictional entirely relegated to increasing the wealth of the already wealthy and the prosperity of Chinese et al businessmen. Most of the US economy stagnated, or even fell, just as it had been doing since Reaganomics first took hold.

    Which is why the supposedly booming economy has not moved many voters to switch their support to Trump or any other Republican: the economy is not booming for them. It hasn't even caught up to pre-Crash levels. Increased prices and corporate profits are not their idea of a boom.

    When Nixon was forced out by threat of impeachment, 37% of the US public favored impeachment. Trump is apparently the first President in history to face a majority of the US population favoring their impeachment.
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Just to add,
    NPR published an article that said job creation was currently the lowest since 2011...
  17. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    Says the guy who can't make a single, coherent argument for it himself.
    Since you patently refuse to make substantive supporting arguments for your own claims, I settled for anything I could get out you, which wasn't much.
    But virtually every expert I've ever discussed this with believes that one reason the employment rate has declined since 1999 is that old people are a larger share of the population today than they were 17 years ago. The main reason the CBO expects the employment rate to fall in the future is that this aging process is set to continue. This means the "full employment" level of employment is simply lower than it was in the past.
    I've said the same thing, but you've just refused to address it.
    Not against another co-equal branch of government. The Sergeant at Arms only has authority over security and congressmen.
    The only error is you ignorantly saying something completely different and trying to conflate the two.
    Sequester was never meant to be a deviation from the trend line, only to slow/ delay the increase.
    Just keep telling yourself that.
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So you can, when cornered, do an ordinary keyword search in a matter unfamiliar to you. Next step - learn something.

    First thing to learn: That's one reason.

    As you will discover from reading the "credible economists" you have not yet read, there are others, and they are increasingly important as we approach the next Republican economic disaster.

    One other major reason is the specific and disproportionate loss of good jobs formerly held by middle aged and older white men - especially in manufacturing and heavy industry generally, where job losses not only continue but have been exacerbated by current Federal policies (in health insurance, foreign trade, taxes, etc).

    Another is the replacement of welfare in many forms (unemployment compensation, educational benefits, veteran's benefits, food stamps and the like, SS retirement at 65, etc) by disability claims - given the wholly inadequate US health care system, a very high proportion of older white men with jobs in manufacturing and the like are living and working with chronic and untreated injuries, diseases, etc. They often find it easy to qualify for SS disability - much easier than obtaining new employment. But disability - unlike the former welfare - is essentially permanent. So they leave the work force, but are not counted as "unemployed".

    And so forth.
    - - -
    In impeachment proceedings they appear to - the matter has not been tested in the Courts.
    Now you have fallen into incoherence.
    A slowing or delay is exactly what a "deviation from the trend line" would record. There has been no slowing or delay, as the lack of deviation from the trend line shows.
    You had no idea what the employment rate was used for, until now. You still don't, actually - but at least you have some idea what it is.
    Increased prices and increased corporate profits on top of stagnant takehome pay and manufacturing layoffs are not most people's idea of a boom.

    Just the other day the local news reported that United Health's profits were way up in the last business quarter. Several billions up. They had already rewarded their CEO with a handsome raise and other perks - he takes down somewhere in the nine digits per year, and pays less than 20% of that in total taxes. The week that news broke, I had the opportunity of overhearing a conversation between a PA, a hospital financial rep, and a cancer patient regarding the doc's recommended change in a no longer working chemotherapy regime - the conversation was long and complicated, about how to get an insurance company to cover the new drugs involved, which it had refused to do, and how to handle the situation (pain, certainly, and perhaps quicker death) if the refusal stood.

    That's not very many people's idea of a booming economy - regardless of how approving Wall Street and the GDP hypnotized are of larger profits for insurance corporations, or increased employment in the field of dealing with insurance company paperwork.

    People, like chickens, stay hypnotized for only so long.
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    There are a couple things about this assessment worth noting:

    The entirety of the surprisingly short White House argument is online … and I think it's fair to say it is not an impressive document. Paul Waldman joked, "[It] reads as though it was written by a ninth-grader who saw an episode of Law & Order and learned just enough legal terms to throw them around incorrectly."

    But while it's true that most of the missive was familiar palaver, there was one element worth dwelling on.

    At the top of the document's second full page, the president's lawyers argued that the first article of impeachment approved by the House "fails on its face to state an impeachable offense." It's a curious argument: the first article of impeachment charges Trump with abusing the powers of his office. By the White House's latest reasoning, that's not something a president can or should be impeached for having done.


    The latter point is striking, and for those accustomed to the ways of superficial political back-and-forthing it becomes difficult to chain this one to an anchor, not for any lack of line or even boat, but because there is such a plethora of anchors littering the sound like detritus, we can choose, "Oh, let's go with that one," and someone else can say—

    「Which one? I can't tell which one you mean? Sure, you say you're pointing to it on the map but I'm looking all around and I just can't see what you're pointing at. You say it's the fourth one from the left, but which fourth and what is left?」

    —pretty much whatever comes to mind. For instance, it's one thing to recall decades of GOP and conservative complaint how Democrats and socialists and liberals and radicals were all corrupt, and our point that Republicans are describing themselves. No, really, here are a few examples. These days, all a conservative need do is pretend ignorance.

    But think back on Republican complaints that government just doesn't work, or that Democrats and liberals and socialists and radicals are all just corrupt. Turns out those conservaties were describing themselves. On corruption and dysfunction, what can anyone say when the argument requires that abuse of office is not an impeachable offense?

    And wait for conservatives to pretend they don't recall those days, or Reaganesque sentimment about nine words they used to quote like scripture.

    But it's true, the logical consequences of Donald Trump's argument include that abusing public office is not grounds for removal, and is not even impeachable.

    So … what was all that about Obama's Watergate, over the years? And and the chatter about impeaching Obama? Think of it this way: What is impeachable? Say what we will about Bill Clinton's predatory behavior, but that was not a sincere impeachment, because very few actually wanted to set the standard of removing a president for (¡ahem!) lying about an extramarital affair; the point was to exploit the alleged victims anew in order to embarrass political opponents, and then just get on with the extramarital affairs and sexual harrassment and sexual assaults. That's why they didn't remove him from office, and instead negotiated a censure, so they could put it on his political record forever.

    For anyone not in the GOP who played along, there was always a pretense that this was necessary, but society didn't enforced it through the intervening period.

    Nonetheless, illegal drug deals in order to arm terrorists one has an appearance of owing a favor for having manipulated their geopolitics in order to affect an American election isn't an impeachable offense. Lying about extramarital affairs is. Lying about national security in order to trigger a war isn't an impeachable offense. Impeachment arguments against Obama included a racist conspiracy theory, attending both science and law in his administration's regard for transgender, and incoherent wailing about Benghazi that never matched the facts. Toward that end, Minority Leader McCarthy's (R-CA23) remarks in the debate to transmit the Articles were a perfect example: As he denounced the House's efforts, his remark about impeaching Trump forever reminds of the Clinton censure, and his general denunciation of the House investigation sounded more like a description of the Issa/Gowdy investigations and McCarthy's own boast that the whole point was to harm political opponents. One Republican member of Congress even suggested Obama argued to be impeached simply because Republicans didn't like the president's political agenda. Senators Kyl (R-AZ) and Coburn (R-OK) suggested impeaching Obama about immigration policy, in 2012 and 2013 respectively, and the latter's plays into a stupid bit when Speaker Boehner demanded Congress have a role in executive matters regarding immigration, saw the REpublican bill fail because his own caucus turned on him, publicly told President Obama to use his executive power, and then sued to stop that executive action.

    Compared to any of that, President Trump's defense argues that abuse of power is not itself an impeachable act:

    The first Article fails on its face to state an impeachable offense. It alleges no crimes at all, let alone "high Crimes and Misdemeanors," as required by the Constitution. In fact, it alleges no violation of law whatsoever. House Democrats' "abuse of power" claim would do lasting damage to the separation of powers under the Constitution.

    (Sekulow and Cipollone↱)

    The next paragraph leads with the assertion, "The first Article also fails on the facts …", and the key word, there, is, "also". That is, the second paragraph argues that, "President Trump has not in any way 'abused the powers of the Presidency'". Given the evidence against Trump, we can easily see why the attorneys led with pretending the refusal to faithfully execute the laws in order to extort a bribe isn't an impeachable offense.


    The Waldman joke, though, that the Trump defense, "reads as though it was written by a ninth-grader who saw an episode of Law & Order and learned just enough legal terms to throw them around incorrectly", stands out for its own reasons.

    One point is to remember that Jay Sekulow is an attorney who made his fame playing word games in advancement of Christian supremacism. So let us be clear about, say, the Gay Fray and other right-wing culture wars: They were always like that; there is always something fundamentally amiss about these arguments, and the desperation of just wanting to get their way has increased significantly over the years. But that manner of balbutive is part of Sekulow's notoriety.

    Cipiollone, a longtime Republican who worked for Attorney General Barr in 1992-93, is not unfamiliar with such rhetoric, and recently sent a letter to Congress on behalf of President Trump in which he asserted the House has no authority to conduct an impeachment inquiry. As Benen notes of Cipollone:

    One of the few things the legal defense team was willing to put in writing was a strange, eight-page screed in October—it was, oddly enough, longer than the document it submitted over the weekend—that even some conservatives described as "bananas" and a "barely-lawyered temper tantrum."

    Yes really. In October, Benen↱ observed:

    The full text of the eight-page letter is online here (pdf), and even by the standards of Trump World, this one's a doozy. I'm a little surprised a White House counsel agreed to put his name on it, since it's likely to do lasting harm to Cipollone's reputation as a legal professional.

    Indeed, it's difficult to see the letter as even presenting a legal argument. In practice, it's as if the president threw a tantrum; the White House legal team jotted down some of his poorly articulated rage; and shameless Republican attorneys tried to put a legal-ish veneer on Trump's rant.

    Gregg Nunziata, who served as legal counsel and a senior policy adviser to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), described Cipollone's letter as "bananas" and a "barely-lawyered temper tantrum." Nunziata added that "no member of Congress," regardless of party or ideology, "should accept it" ....

    .... Reactions from the legal community were brutal. George Conway wrote, "I cannot fathom how any self-respecting member of the bar could affix his name to this letter. It's pure hackery, and it disgraces the profession." Former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal called the White House's letter "inane," adding, "You don't get to block impeachment just because you don't like it." Law professor Ryan Goodman, former special counsel at the Pentagon, described Cipollone's letter as "a professional embarrassment."

    It is also worth pointing out the bit about a conference call with reporters, in which, "a senior administration official argued that before officials on Team Trump would agree to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, the president and his aides would require a 'full halt' to the process." That is to say, "after Congress stops the impeachment inquiry, Trump will consider cooperating with the impeachment inquiry".

    Childish isn't the right word. Juvenilia still makes it sound like we're picking on kids. But it also reminds of what has become everyday political discourse. Honestly, there isn't much new about it, at this point; the Trump administration reads and behaves like a petulant internet argument.

  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    And, yes, that includes Sciforums.

    There are a couple related posts I still owe people; one is about a seemingly uninformed pretense regarding the Chief Justice, and the point that even most Americans wouldn't know to fill in, right there, is that this is how it's gone in every presidential impeachment; that is, it's an old standard, and hoping nobody remembers this is how it goes since the first time we hauled in a president for impeachment isn't much of an argument. Another is about fake news, and I just need to compress the thing for length, but consider:

    • Posting [fake news], one justifies the post by pointing to a fake-news metric that says the fake news provider is generally accurate reporting. But if we check with the fake news provider, that outlet declares itself commentary. Meanwhile, a prestigious journalism review, in covering fake news, reminds that certain metrics—explicitly including the one offered to justify posting the fake news—have no reliable criteria, and are part of the problem.​

    This is worth mentioning, because if you want to know where the Sekulow-Cipollone defense of Donald Trump will play, it's an audience who relies on commentary bloggers, even the sort authoring, on average, over eight posts a day, every day, for eight years, to provide news.


    On consequences: Once upon a time, people argued over the idea of negative advertising, and if we suggest some notion of things always having been that way, what we usually mean is that it was on fire, already, when we lay down. From sensational fearmongering on to ethically dubious personal attacks and escalating into incomprehensible vice, the market response has been to verbally reject such advertising while behaviorally affirming and rewarding it. It is also true that some, or, rather, I, find the pattern discouraging in the context that ostensible liberals ought to be able to see the problem with playing along. To the other, if they lose because they don't fight back hard enough, they get blamed. Additionally, ostensibly well-intended people like liberals are supposed to be generally don't do that kind of thing very well; Democratic negative advertising, over the years, has always been flaccid, inept, and generally embarrassing. Well, okay, LBJ and Daisy nailed it, but that was fearmongering, and, perhaps, a legitimate first. And, well, he was an old-school conservative Democrat. Sigh.

    I was discouraged, recently, by the obvious demonstration, when a liberalish group made a point of running a fake-news Facebook advert about McConnell supporting impeachment. That is, I get it, and, sure, it was inevitable that someone would, but I still think it's a bad idea because market history suggests that protest action will be recorded instead as endorsement.

    And here we're just talking about the kind of advertising dumbassery, including demon sheep and dumping old folks off cliffs, that we've bawled and whined about, and then affirmed at the ballot box, for over thirty years, at least.

    What of the proposition that presidential abuse of power, to have "abused the powers of the Presidency", isn't an impeachable offense?

    There's an old joke, dating back to Nixon, about presidents hiding behind considerations of future presidents. I honestly don't know about Ford and Carter, but it was part of Reagan's justification, came up under Poppy Bush, is included in Clinton's answer to scandal, present in Dubya's running dribble of excuses, and even, at some point, arose in Obama's rhetoric, that one is, thinking of future presidents when making controversial decisions to resist Congress or traditions of Office and Beltway. I don't remember the messed-up formulation, but it's in the Trump administration's defense.

    What would it mean to the nation, the constitutionally-promised Republic, if Republicans sign their names to the infamy of endorsing the misconduct of President Trump and his administration? The question of what Senate Republicans will do in coming days hinges largely on abject disbelief that they would actually surrender the Republic, that way. And there it is, the last remaining hope that Senate Republicans will convict President Trump.

    So maybe we should think about what we consider impeachable, and what it means if such behavior in office, and obstruction of Congress, is not impeachable. You know, like, maybe we should think about future presidents.

    To wit: Think about the Clintons, for a moment.

    Part of what drives their negative numbers is resentment of how well and precisely they can play the game. That is, we might pitch fits about certain results, but they know how to do things by the letter. Comparatively, yes, we got the opposite of that when nigh on sixty-three million Americans rejected deft competence, instead favoring supremacism and incompetency.

    But remember, to the one, how generally awful Democratic negative advertising has been over the years. And, yes, think about what happens when one of those future Democratic presidents does what the Senate has said is acceptable.

    And then, to the other, consider the next Clintons, the next sheep-vested wolves so nearly perfect in their execution that it requires make-believe to stop them. We'll only catch them behaving as Congress has said is acceptable by accident, while chasing conspiracist rabbits under pretense of being fair. And then we'll pretend like we've never seen anything of the sort, before. And when the dust clears, what the impeached and removed president will have done was legally and properly followed law enforcement leads that included a political opponent.

    That is to say, there is a legal way to be crooked, and that can be a pretty stiff psychomoral indictment, but, well, we do have the Clintons, and it turns out that what we mean by crooked, in their case, is to be as rabidly self-interested as so many other Americans. For effall sake, they know how to parse and follow and exploit the law.

    The Trump administration is, by comparison, no proper comparison at all; what has happened in the Ukraine debacle is so lowball and amateur it should never have happened at all. (Yes, we were warned; the Mueller papers coming through Buzzfeed describe an absurd clown cabal, and, well, we all lived through the period, so, yeah.)

    To the one, proverbial good guys don't play certain kinds of dirty. To the other, there are no good guys, as such; Beltway and state house politics are matters of compromise, function, and priority.

    With negative advertising and outside spending, it is possible to be damned if you do and damned if you don't. Democrats who don't fight hard enough deserve to lose, says the next-day conventional wisdom, because they didn't fight hard enough. Democrats who fight hard deserve to lose, says the next-day conventional wisdom, because they're no better than Republicans. And, to be certain, it sucks, but, yeah, that's kind of the way it goes. Oh, hey, look at all the dysfunction, and the supremacist violence, and, yeah, actually, that was part of the compromise, function, and priority of why Democrats always seem so damn ineffectual. This rightist bacchanal of wreckage and corruption is part of what they were trying to hold off. So, yes, it seemed easy enough to convince a candidate to go negative, or find ways to synergize with the outside groups they're not supposed to coordinate with.

    But this?

    Think about how good the Clintons actually are at what they do. We need to distort actual history and sacrifice Beltway and law enforcement custom, i.e., misrepresent reality, in order to actually bust them. And then think about how preternaturally, even devilishly, brilliant the Clintons are in the conspiracist horror stories traded among fearful, self-proclaimed enemies.

    And then give Senate imprimatur to the Trump defense—the proposition that presidential abuse of power, to have "abused the powers of the Presidency", isn't an impeachable offense—and then put that range of conduct in the hands of an otherwise competent president and administration capable of properly attending their schemes to enlist foreign disruption of our elections such as impeachment acquittal says the Senate finds acceptable.

    Given how terrified rightists are of the Clintons, perhaps they should take a few minutes to think about future presidents according to the Sekulow-Cipollone defense that abusing the powers of the office of the presidency is not an impeachable offense.


    Perhaps the rest of us ought to be terrified at the idea of where this shitshow doesn't bomb. Obama wasn't actually wrong in considering bitter sentiment clinging to guns or religion; the problem, of course, is that the people who behaved as such didn't like the description. And if was (¡ahem!) merely idiot supremacist brutes running amok in the streets, that would be one thing. The halls of power are infected with this malady, which itself has run epidemic among traditionalist communities. These are the people who said losing in court meant someone canceled democracy. These are the folks who mutter about their Second Amendment solutions. They are the patriots who turned on the Army because a black man was president, such that a state even dispatched its own milita, suddenly fearful of routine exercises. They've been waving their rifles and bawling to have their country back, for years. We've already heard threats of violent reprisal against impeachment conviction.

    And, in truth, acquittal seems a greater threat.

    Will Republicans sign their names to such infamy?

    Quantum Quack likes this.
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Notes on #256-257↑

    116th Congress. Resolution Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors. 10 December 2019. 20 January 2020.

    Benen, Steve. "Team Trump: Presidents can't be impeached for abuses of power". msnbc. 20 January 2020. 20 January 2020.

    —————. "White House: Impeachment process is 'unconstitutional,' 'illegitimate'". msnbc. 9 October 2019. 20 January 2020.

    Sekulow, Jay and Pat Cipollone. Answer of Donald J. Trump. 18 January 2020. 20 January 2020.

    See Also:

    Cipollone, Pat. Letter to the Speaker of the House, et al. 8 October 2019. 20 January 2020.
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    It came up, last week, in discussion of witnesses and Senate rules regarding impeachment:

    [If] there are ties at this trial about witnesses or anything else, the chief justice may break them.

    And I don't mean may in theory, or may as a parlor game, fan fiction for Senate nerds. I mean may, in the sense that it's happened before, and it can happen again.

    In the earliest presidential trial, the one closest to the founding era, when this whole set of rules was first created, the chief justice presiding over President Johnson's trial determined he could break ties.

    And then he did twice. And that's not just some old story in history.

    You know those Senate rules we keep hearing about? They have a section on historical precedents, where the Senate's own impeachment rules note the chief justice has voted in the case of a tie. It was contested at the time.

    And the Senate then held a vote on whether a chief justice could vote in the tie-breakers. And they backed him up, this, again, from the Senate's own rules history section.

    The senators—quote—"turned down each attempt to prevent the chief justice from voting in tie-breakers."

    So if any vote dead-ends at 50/50, there's historical precedent for Roberts to break the tie.

    Now, in terms of substance, if the vote is a standard request for relevant witnesses, a judge would normally grant that. And Roberts might break the tie in favor of these witnesses against Trump.


    Do you ever weary of being wrong?

    I mean, this one was easy enough: Let it go; it will come up, eventually.

    What was it I said? Oh, there it is↗: He doesn't actually know what he's on about. It's one thing to repeat whatever bullshit runs 'round the right wing, but our neighbor hasn't the grasp of the basic civics.

    And it applies here. Hell, I wouldn't have known where to look in the Senate rules, but lawyers do, and your flat claim defies basic understandings of civics. So it was easy enough to let it go until the subject came up.

    And here's a piece of advice, derived from this, and also that other thread↗: Stop trying to overstate yourself. In this bit with Senate rules, you were just too anxious to strike a pose. In your bizarre bit about how to form a particular possessive, look: I learned s-apostrophe as a child, from a teacher, without reference to any style guide, and I've used it all my life, and have gotten away with it the entire time; but I never, ever, ever would have claimed it the proper rule. I was taught that it was acceptable, nothing more; as it was a deviation, and I was in elementary school, of course I adopted the deviation. But that's the thing, I've always known I was taking customary license.

    Watching you dig holes for yourself is weirdly not funny.


    Melber, Ari. The Beat with Ari Melber. msnbc. 16 January 2020. 21 January 2020.
  23. Beaconator Registered Senior Member

    The fact still remains Trump has not uttered one prejudicial remark in all of his legal life.

    Which includes being sued "and suing" more times by (and to) prejudicial "land-owners" who are against equal rights (which he believes) in than than the amount of women any man has slept with.

    You wonder why he has so much money?

    Its because corrupt individuals against equality have sued him (or his constituents) and lost countless amounts of time...

    And that is the biggest American secret to date.

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