Elizabeth Warren Goes There

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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31 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    I don’t have a favorite of the D’s and i haven’t kept up with all her proposals. But i really like that Warren is going hard on pushing policies and, here, being bold. She isn’t lighting up the polls which could be for a few reasons one of which, sadly to me, is that people really don’t care enough about policy. But high five for her going out strong and thoughtful and with substance. The House should be holding hearings looking at impeachment. Norm Ornstein, yes i know he is another flaming super uber liberal type ( heavy sarcasm mode) has a good twitter thread on how they should be working towards that.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    This is it. That’s one heck of a gamble. High risk, high reward.

    It will either push her to the front of the pack and turn this into a situation where Warren is the leader that everyone else follows (remember when Trump said something, every other Republican candidate was asked if they agreed or not? This is that level of gameplay).

    Now if the House does not play ball (see, for example, Pelosi and Hoyer’s apparent read of the situation as of last week or so), then this turns into a play where Warren calls for something and the House doesn’t do it. Or, if impeachment does not “work”*, then this turns into a play where Warren called for something that didn’t work.

    But it’s a bold play. It’s the right play. This is make-or-break time.

    *By “work”, I don’t necessarily mean “Trump Gets Impeached And Found Guilty And Is Frogmarched Out Of The White House”. It might also mean “Trump Gets Impeached And The Senate Doesn’t Find Him Guilty But This Causes The Country To Turn Against Republicans A Little More So Republicans Lose Even More Senate Seats And More House Seats And Maybe Even The Election.”Report

  3. Avatar Philip H says:

    She’s got a great card here. From here, regardless of what the house does, she can remind everyone about McConnel’s toadism; she can remind everyone that she’s the one who persists and she can finally challenge democratic senate leadership to actually lead.

    Half of me wants to see trump have to deal with four years of a unified congress not of his own party. It would definitely cause conflict with his base.Report

  4. Avatar George Turner says:

    I’d support her efforts. Mark Penn, Clinton’s pollster who advised him during the impeachment proceedings, says that if the Democrats go for impeachment it will take their party ten years to recover. Can that be a bad thing?

    Mark Penn’s article at The HillReport

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to George Turner says:

      Mark Penn

      I figuratively laughed out loud.

      I literally snorted derisively.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

      As Ken Starr pointed out yesterday, with Clinton they had 11 charges of provable crimes. There was no question that Bill Clinton obstructed justice, destroyed evidence, committed perjury, and did so in a case that was before a court (Jones v Clinton), so obstruction met the bar for 18 U.S.C. 1512. Aside from impeachment, he had to pay a huge settlement and got disbarred. Yet the public felt that the impeachment was mostly political, and support swung in his favor. It dramatically boosted his popularity.

      In this case, law enforcement has decided not to charged Trump with any criminal acts, and the majority of the public already agrees that he’s the victim of a political witch hunt. Based on prior experience, an unjustified impeachment proceeding would likely guarantee that he’ll win in a landslide in 2020.

      It would also mean that his lawyers would get to put reams of Obama officials on the stand during the trial, asking them why they violated so many federal laws and rules of criminal procedure, why they coordinated with a domestic political campaign, and why they coordinated with Russian intelligence agents to target a US Presidential campaign.

      Most of the accusers are already under investigation for their actions, and now with the Mueller report out of the way, Barr is going to proceed with cases against them. DoJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz is due to release his report on them next month, and then things will get even more interesting.

      Was Obama aware that US intelligence agencies were spying on a US political campaign, and did he order them to do so? Did he order Samantha Powers and others to unlawfully disseminate unredacted US intelligence information to target a political opponent? Did he order Comey to ignore clear violations of US law to favor a political candidate, and to violate DoJ guidelines? Did Virginia Governor and Clinton fixer Terry McCauliffe funnel money to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s wife in an attempt to influence his decisions in the Clinton investigation? Trump has already asked that very question, tweeting:

      “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?”

      There’s enough dirt there for six more years of investigations, hearings, and trials. Much of it is going to happen anyway, but an impeachment proceeding will bring even greater scrutiny to the actions of Obama Administrations officials who launched the fake collusion narrative.

      This is probably why Nancy Pelosi said impeachment is off the table, and I don’t think she’d be above removing Nadler and Schiff from their committee positions to avoid the oncoming train wreck.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

        and I don’t think she’d be above removing Nadler and Schiff from their committee positions to avoid the oncoming train wreck.

        Now *THIS* is an interesting marker.

        I will keep my eyes open for this. Do we have a date for the point where we say “okay, if she hasn’t done it by now, she won’t do it”?Report

  5. Avatar aaron david says:

    Wow, this stinks of desperation.

    Then again, this might be a trial balloon for impeachment. If she doesn’t rise, the idea is a dud. Wonder who whispered in her ear?Report

  6. Avatar InMD says:

    I find Warren infinitely frustrating. Her ‘Two Income Trap’ is a legit thesis and exactly the kind of platform that if delivered well could be really compelling. She’s just bad at politics. Pelosi and Hoyer know how weak the case is for impeachment. They are mercenary career politicians and understand that the MSNBC view of the issue has long since departed from this planet.

    Warren is setting herself up for another public failure.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to InMD says:

      I agree that the case for impeachment is weak RIGHT NOW. But the case for continued investigation in the House is pretty strong.

      Impeachment is a high-stakes maneuver as the righties learned wrt to Clinton. If you’re going to shoot at the king you better not miss.Report

      • Avatar KenB in reply to Road Scholar says:

        The difficulty is that any findings of a Dem-controlled House-initiated investigation will be vulnerable to being written off as politics. It’s hard to imagine what that would turn up that would be so clear and convicting that the GOP Senate would actually remove Trump; absent the prospect of actual removal, the whole thing becomes just political calculation. Arguably the Clinton impeachment stuff was effective for the GOP in that it hurt Gore’s campaign in the next election (probably worked out better for them than letting Gore take over for Clinton earlier would have).Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to KenB says:

          On the other hand if all that ever matters is the politics of things then doesn’t that mean corruption or law or public interest is irrelevant. I’d say the parties have spent far to much time over the last decades only caring about how to read the politics and acting only on that instead of trying to do what is right. People, plenty of them, in both major parties have overlooked or explained away plenty of sleaze based on politics.

          To add on, it is very easy and motivated thinking to push “politics” as a reason to do X. Politics is hard to read and there are short, medium and long term politics. What might make sense in this news cycle is shite over years. What is good politics is also really hard to read and requires knowing how everything will play in an often ephemeral public opinion.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to KenB says:

          If I were the Trump family (including the President), I’d probably be more worried about what the SDNY federal court or the NY state courts were going to find. The Trump Foundation episode suggests that the family is… careless about the details of handling money appropriately. A friend in a position to know tells me that any large real estate developer in the NYC/NJ area is at least technically guilty of money laundering simply because there’s so much dirty money sloshing around they can’t avoid it all. If it turns out the Trump Organization has done a billion dollars worth of money laundering — for whomever — then impeachment is in order.Report

        • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to KenB says:

          The difficulty is that any findings of a Dem-controlled House-initiated investigation will be vulnerable to being written off as politics.

          If it’s just going over the exact same ground as the Mueller investigation I agree.

          It’s hard to imagine what that would turn up that would be so clear and convicting that the GOP Senate would actually remove Trump[.]

          I can think of at least one avenue that’s potentially productive. Trump held at least one meeting with Putin where he kicked out the official State Dept. note taker, leaving only the interpreter, whose notes were confiscated/destroyed. Like a lot of stuff, this isn’t a crime but it’s highly unusual and definitely against protocol. Notes of high level meeting such as this are an important part of our foreign relations institutional memory. It’s important for the successor to Trump to know what was discussed/agreed to in such a meeting. In light of the collusion-y stuff it’s potentially very interesting. Or not. Testimony from the interpreter could be illuminating.

          … absent the prospect of actual removal, the whole thing becomes just political calculation.

          Yes. And deciding NOT to impeach will also be the result of a political calculation. It’s politics all the way down.

          Arguably the Clinton impeachment stuff was effective for the GOP in that it hurt Gore’s campaign in the next election (probably worked out better for them than letting Gore take over for Clinton earlier would have).

          My recollection is fuzzy wrt to how much the Clinton scandal stuff played into that election other than Gore trying to distance himself from it. Seems like that would have been even harder to pull off if he was running as the sitting successor to a removed Clinton. But you may be right, idk. The conventional wisdom is that the whole Whitewater/Travelgate/Blue Dress investigatory nightmare was more damaging to the Reps overall given that Clinton’s approval numbers rose in response to it all.

          Pelosi’s pretty savvy and she knows this history.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to KenB says:

          The difficulty is that any findings of a Dem-controlled House-initiated investigation will be vulnerable to being written off as politics.

          Which is why Dems should impeach. Failing to do so constitutes tacit acceptance on *their* part that norms and laws can be conveniently violated for political purposes. In this case the logic is crystal clear: Dems failure to impeach signals that they *also* place politics above principle, a message that will end up getting Trump re-elected.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater says:

            Of course, the signal will also be purely political, because the Senate wouldn’t impeach if Trump ate a live baby on TV, and the only actual way to enforce those principles is defeating Trump electorally.

            Failed impeachment is a wet noodle slap.

            If it helps politically, it’s a defense of Constitutional principles.

            If it hurts politically, it’s a betrayal of those same principles.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy says:

              Of course, the signal will also be purely political, because the Senate wouldn’t impeach

              Well, not *purely* political, since Mueller found 10 areas of obstruction which he thought Congress should pursue.

              Also, Dems basing their reasoning on fact that the Senate won't find Trump guilty makes them complicit in those otherwise impeachable violations of law.

              Dem's play to not lose, GOP plays to win. Failing to impeach is playing to not lose. IMO anyway 🙂

              Adding: viewing a failed impeachment as a “wet noodle slap” is exactly why Dems suck at politics. In my view, forcing Senate GOPers to vote against impeachment is a political opportunity with very little downside risk and high reward, if played correctly.*

              *And honestly, I have very little faith that the perpetually incompetent Dem Leader would play it very well, but the upside gain is still there.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater says:

                Ok let’s put it slightly differently: the practical consequences of a failed impeachment are a wet noodle slap.

                The political consequences may well be what you say they are. In which case that’s a good argument for inpeachment.

                However, if the Dems go in to be all symbolic about the rule of law and Trump benefits for whatever reason, they’re actually putting preening above the good of the country.

                Impunity is Trump remaining in office, and accountability is Trump being removed from office. The procedural details are much less important.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to pillsy says:

                Even if Democrats somehow impeached him and the Senate convicted, he’d still win in 2020 and be right back in there.

                Double jeopardy would probably prevent impeaching him on the same charges.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                I’m glad to know the forefront of Trumpian legal thinking is that he can’t be impeached twice on the crimes. Trumpets really need to get ahead of that kind of possibility.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak says:

                And we are! Strangely enough, though impeachment is the process for removing a President, it doesn’t mean the President can’t be re-elected.

                Lack of prior impeachment is not mentioned as a requirement for office in Article 2, section 1, paragraph 5.

                But Congress might, in a fit of madness, impeach him again, which would give us Trump 45, Pence 46, Trump 47, and Pence 48. That means they each would get on twice as many dollar coins as any other President except Grover Cleveland, who also gets two coins for serving non-consecutive terms.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                Well today is 420 day, so that explains your comment.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Stillwater says:

            Stillwater stated this exactly correctly.Report

  7. Sen. Warren’s week for policy statements. While she was in Utah, she came out strongly for restoring the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. The increasingly-urban Mountain West is steadily changing its mind about the purpose of federally-owned lands. This is no doubt aimed as well at Colorado (where Cory Gardner looks increasingly at risk despite a huge out-of-state campaign money haul in the first quarter) and at Arizona (where Martha McSally has to run again).Report

  8. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I think there is a connection between the corrosive BDSI “everyone is corrupt” attitude and the “everything is a horserace” cult of the savvy sophistry.

    Political sophistry as is practiced by Politico and Axios has this very thinly veiled contempt for democracy and the idea of a sovereign citizenry who control their government.

    Nothing is every evaluated in terms of being true or untrue, good or bad, but merely as to how the theater of it plays and how it can manipulate the audience.
    The audience is assumed to be a pack of fools, led by the savvy man behind the curtain.

    So like Huckabee Sanders can blithely admit to lying frequently, but the sophists are more interested in how effective the lie is, instead of it being a lie.

    I think people can sense this attitude. I think it breeds the idea that there really is no difference between parties or candidates other than personality, sort of like a reality show.

    Which is a very long preamble to saying I think it is astonishingly refreshing to see a candidate boldly speak the truth instead of constant equivocation and focus group hedging.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      I’m not sure why you’d say that about Elizabeth Warren, who was a Republican until it was more advantageous for her at Harvard to be a Democrat. As she told George Stephanopoulos, “I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets.” She studies bankruptcy and commerce law, and despite what positions she takes, might really not differ much from Steve Forbes or Dick Cheney on economic questions.

      A problem people have with many politicians is that for many, we’re not sure what they actually believe because much of what they say might be a play to their apparent base or some particular group they’re trying to win over, whether they actually agree with the group’s goals or not. Think of all the Wall Street minded Republican politicians down South whose whole persona was Jesus, guns, and stopping abortion, but who really just think about trade imbalances, the NASDAQ, and getting re-elected. Some of them seem so bold because they don’t have any principles to compromise.Report

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