From the Hill to the Rose Garden & Back Again: A Drama in 4 Acts

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 and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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68 Responses

  1. Philip H says:

    The thing about the Democrats impeachment calculations that I disagree with is that it needs to be the last resort and after measured incremental investigative approaches. A lot of people support the President because he gives the APPEARANCE of fighting the Washington DC political establishment, which those same supporters are convinced wants to screw said supporters more then help them. You hear it in the “He a fighter” remarks.

    Which I believe means that legalistic, incremental investigations are not the way to answer back. You don’t negotiate with the school yard bully over lunch money – you either hit him or go get someone in authority to hit him.

    Sure, Impeachment by the House doesn’t automatically guarantee conviction, but it does guarantee getting all the documents and testimony the President is trying to hide out in the open. It means the President himself has to go under oath in the well of the Senate on live TV, and while all publicity is allegedly good publicity, the reality is this guy won’t be able to hold it together (not unlike Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men). which might be the best way to rest control back form the kleptocrats who currently try to wield it.

    Yes, it prevents the Democrats from running next year on infrastructure, or healthcare or voting rights, but hey, they might get to run on saving America from itself!Report

  2. Chip Daniels says:

    I get the sense that Pelosi knows how to handle Trump in a way that few others in Washington do except maybe Warren.

    I am optimistic that we may be seeing the limits of his reality show schtick.Report

    • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      From your lips to God(ess?)’s ears. I have, myself, been generally quite pleased with Pelosi’s handling of Trump so far. I would hate to be in her seat on this impeachment question. It’s a tough call with a lot of strong arguments in both directions.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
    It were done quickly: if the assassination
    Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
    With his surcease success; that but this blow
    Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
    But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
    We’ld jump the life to come. But in these cases
    We still have judgment here; that we but teach
    Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
    To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
    Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice
    To our own lips. He’s here in double trust;
    First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
    Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
    Who should against his murderer shut the door,
    Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
    Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
    So clear in his great office, that his virtues
    Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
    The deep damnation of his taking-off;
    And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
    Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim, horsed
    Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
    Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
    That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
    To prick the sides of my intent, but only
    Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself
    And falls on the other.

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    I share a bit of Chip’s optimism but not all of it. I think part of what Pelosi wants to do with her comments on Trump not being worth impeachment is to show he is a nothing and hope the people go along.

    I don’t think it is working. Trump is obstructing because he has something to hide (I.e. Russian interference, he is dirt broke, illegal business deals, the pee tape) and because the GOP is autocratic and doesn’t see Democrats as legitimate.

    This can’t go on without creating an Imperial Presidency that completely erodes checks and balances. Possibly reduces Congress to a rump organization. But impeachment still does not poll well and the leaders seem scared of that.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I agree with this, in that the GOP is also watching and taking notes on what they can get away with and what they can’t.

      There are about a thousand minor Republican candidates, elected officials, campaign organizers, fundraisers and various interest groups studying this assiduously, learning and planning for next time.

      If we can’t stop them here, as stupid and clumsy as they are, we will have no hope when it comes to the ones who are smarter and more cunning.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      But impeachment still does not poll well and the leaders seem scared of that.

      Agreed. On the other hand, 58% (+/-) of Americans believe Trump obstructed justice, yet Pelosi seems disinclined to even consider opening an impeachment inquiry let alone discuss filing articles. Ironically, Pelosi is slow rolling discussion of impeachment for the same reasons Barr is slow rolling compliance with Congressional requests: they’re both trying to run out the clock on impeachment in advance of the 2020 election, both perceiving it as a risk to their sides prospects/agendas. Strange bedfellows, no?Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:

        I would say that a slow burn of hearings until 2020 might be good for the Democrats. Or timing the vote to impeach as a closely to November 2020 as possible.Report

        • Philip h in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          If the Democrats are going to play games with Impeachment, I’d come down on the side of return the articles early next spring, forcing the Senate to try over the summer – right in the thick of campaign season. Then hit EVERY SENATE Republican up for reelection with relentless ads asking pointedly if they are willing to uphold the Constitution or if they are sacrificing their patriotic duty to hold power. Done well it would tip the balance there, show Democrats as willing to fight too (Which I think is still a major unlearned lesson of 2016) and quite probably force Trump to resign, throwing his party in disarray as he HATES to loose, and being tried by the senate will be him loosing bigly (in his mind anyway).Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Philip h says:

            I don’t understand where this “Dems don’t fight” meme comes from.

            …relentless ads asking pointedly if they are willing to uphold the Constitution

            There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents a vile scoundrel from holding office. You’re also assuming guilt, that you can prove guilt, and that this won’t look like a witch hunt.

            In terms of crimes we’ve got Trump cheating on his wife, accepting less than $2k of anti-HRC information from the Russians (which might mean a wiki look up), and toying with firing Mueller. Trump’s reasoning could make that last either legal or illegal and I don’t want to step inside his head.

            These are not strong cards. Expecting the rest of the country to rally behind “because Trump” and that surge will save the day seems like a good way to lose the next election.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Trump is obstructing because he has something to hide (I.e. Russian interference, he is dirt broke, illegal business deals, the pee tape)

      While Russian interference is proven we’ve just had a ton of investigation and found no Americans cooperated. What we’ve got on the table is sex, lies, racism, and obstruction on an investigation into deeds that Trump apparently didn’t do. That last is basically his instinct to misuse power and ignorance on what is “appropriate”.

      My general conclusion is he shouldn’t be President and never should have been elected… but we knew that while he was running. Impeachment will be more about “fixing a botched election where the wrong person won” than “Trump the criminal”.

      Adding fuel to the reality show will probably be playing into his hands unless you’ve got something that he should be arrested over. Something a lot more serious than sneaking a meeting with the AG on the tarmac a few hours before she’s going to announce whether or not your wife has a future.

      Excuse me, I meant something a lot more serious than obstructing an investigation when you’re innocent of the underlying issue and might legitimately view the investigation as a Democrat plot to undo the election.

      He acts guilty as hell so maybe you start the court hearings and something new breaks loose, but him acting guilty as hell is also nothing new and impeachment without anything other than “we know he has something to hide” is a very high risk move.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

        No one cooperated, except for all the times they eagerly cooperated.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          If you think he should be impeached because of Russia, then the Mueller report is a problem because it doesn’t affirm that he did… which puts the impeachment into “because Trump” territory.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

            The report explicitly affirms that his campaign knew about and welcomed Russian interference and that this was a matter for Congress to take up using their impeachment power.

            And at the end of the day, removing Trump because he is failing to discharge his duties is exactly what the Constitution provides.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              The parties disagree whether he’s discharging his duties. That strongly implies this will be seen (correctly?) as a partisan witch hunt.

              To be fair, because it’s Trump, I suspect if you turn over enough rocks with enough resources you’ll find he really is guilty of something.

              However that seems both risky and like an abuse of the system.Report

  5. Aaron David says:

    I would actually put money down on Pelosi watching the polls like a hawk, trying everything to discern which way the wind is blowing.

    It isn’t blowing impeachment yet.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Aaron David says:

      Nixon’s approval rating was in the 60s prior to the start of the Watergate hearings and dropped to 24 % the day he resigned.

      Support for impeachment was 19% at the start of the Watergate hearings rose to 57% the day he resigned.

    • Stillwater in reply to Aaron David says:

      Nixon’s approval rating was in the 60s prior to the start of the Watergate hearings and dropped to 24 % the day he resigned.

      Support for impeachment was 19% at the start of the Watergate hearings rose to 57% the day he resigned.

      • Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

        Watergate turned out to have Nixon at the center committing crimes.
        Monicagate turned out to have Clinton at the center, guilty of lying about his sex life under oath.

        With Russiagate we’re walking into it knowing that Mueller concluded that Russia was at the center, no Americans were involved, and that Trump might have tried to shut down the Mueller probe for illegal reasons as opposed to legal reasons.

        Stripped of emotion, I’d put Trump’s impeachment as the weakest case of the three.Report

        • greginak in reply to Dark Matter says:

          Ohh wrong. Mueller directly said peeps in Trump’s campaign were receptive to some of the offers from the Russians. So American’s were very much involved. Hell we knew that before the report came out so this is like epic wrong.

          He also said there was successful obstruction of what happened by his campaign so we don’t know all that happened due to the successful obstruction. He also described 11 or so instances of Trump attempting to/obstructing the Mueller investigation.

          What Trump is accused of is far far worse then Clinton lying about sex and being a general sleezebag. Not even close. Nixon at least wasn’t in cahoots with a foreign government so high five for Nixon’s corpse.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to greginak says:

            “Receptive” is an effort to lower the bar of criminality to fit the crime. Let’s just quote:

            Conspiracy or coordination
            To establish whether a crime was committed by members of the Trump campaign with regard to Russian interference, investigators “applied the framework of conspiracy law”, and not the concept of “collusion”, because collusion “is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law.”[112][113] They also investigated if members of the Trump campaign “coordinated” with Russia, using the definition of “coordination” as having “an agreement – tacit or express – between the Trump campaign and the Russian government on election interference.” Investigators further elaborated that merely having “two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests” was not enough to establish coordination.[114][115]

            The investigation found there were numerous contacts between Trump campaign advisors and individuals affiliated with the Russian government, before and after the election, but the evidence was insufficient to show an illegal conspiracy.[116] The New York Times estimated as many as 140 contacts between “Mr. Trump and his associates and Russian nationals and WikiLeaks or their intermediaries” in the report.[117]

            The special counsel identified two methods the Russian government tried to communicate with the Trump campaign. “The investigation identified two different forms of connections between the IRA and members of the Trump Campaign. […] First, on multiple occasions, members and surrogates of the Trump Campaign promoted – typically by linking, retweeting, or similar methods of reposting – pro-Trump or anti-Clinton content published by the IRA through IRA-controlled social media accounts. Additionally, in a few instances, IRA employees represented themselves as U.S. persons to communicate with members of the Trump Campaign in an effort to seek assistance and coordination on IRA-organized political rallies inside the United States”, the report states.[105]

            Secondly, the report details a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016. The intent of the meeting was to exchange “dirt” on the Clinton campaign. There was speculation that Trump Jr. told his father. However, the special counsel could not find any evidence that he did.[105] The office declined to pursue charges for two reasons: the office “did not obtain admissible evidence” that would meet the burden of proof principle beyond a reasonable doubt that the campaign officials acted with general knowledge about the illegality of their conduct; secondly, the office expected difficulty in valuing the promised information that “exceeded the threshold for a criminal violation” of $2,000 for a criminal violation and $25,000 for a felony punishment.[118]


    • Stillwater in reply to Aaron David says:

      Btw, in one sense I totally agree with your take about watching the polls here: I think it was Cummings who mentioned that part of the decision to not impeach *now* is that doing so may jeopardize several House Dem’s re-election prospects, a view which ultimately rests on (local) polling.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Aaron David says:

      I’m kinda with @Stillwater here… polls aren’t going to indicate the impeachable moment. On the other hand, I agree with Dark above (below?) that Collusion/Conspiracy was the key and where the Watergate comparison fails.

      But then if I can piss off everyone, the fall back to Obstruction is possible, but only if handled as part of a larger movement against the Unitary Executive and Executive Power in general… that is, it has to be less TRUMP!1!! specific and a political assertion of Congressional power that will re-set our much talked about “norms” and bind future presidents, even Democratic ones. Still a tough slog given the underlying Collusion case just isn’t there (pace true believers). But that’s the path to impeachment and there’s enough there as long as the goal is a reduction in Presidential power and not the simple destruction of Trump and his party.

      Perhaps impossibly difficult, but that’s my take: you Impeach a President, you prosecute a man. Confusing the two is understandable, but not excusable.

      This new pivot to “cover-up” won’t hunt… a two-year Special Counsel investigation followed by the release of the lightly redacted report is a cover-up? Even if you’re mad a Barr for “spinning” the initial release and losing some news cycles… talking cover-up is – and help me see what I’m missing here – dumb. If we’re double pivoting *off* of Collusion/Obstruction and *on to* some new crime Emoluments/Bribery as the thing being covered-up, then maybe I think I understand? But if that’s the case then tying it to Mueller/Barr et al. isn’t helping anyone.

      A mini-post on how to lose friends and dissuade people.Report

      • Aaron David in reply to Marchmaine says:

        I agree with this 99%.

        The one proviso that is holding me back is… I didn’t say that polls determine the impeachable moment. I only said that is what Pelosi was waiting for. In other words, she is trying to, in your wonderful phrasing, impeach the man, not the position.

        And to further your point, the D’s needed to pick a line and stick with it. Following the wind to tac back and forth, trying anything to see if it will stick only comes across as the witchhunt it is being accused of.Report

  6. North says:

    Fascinating that he blew up the infrastructure conversation over the matter. Conventional wisdom suggests he and the GOP would reap far more credit than the Dems for getting something substantive done while he’s in office. I think there’s more truth than politics to what Schumer said: Trumps people looked at the numbers and said “We can’t do this without putting it all on the credit card, raising taxes or cutting pet Republican spending priorities” and rather than make that tough call on their proposal they went with the excuse of the investigations.Report

    • George Turner in reply to North says:

      Why on Earth would Trump cooperate on anything with people who are trying to overthrow him in a coup put in motion by the Obama Administration?Report

      • North in reply to George Turner says:

        Heh, loosen the tinfoil hat. If Obama had wanted to defeat Trump all he’d had to have done was muzzle Comey for a month before the election. Obama’s hands off-edness (along with Hillary’s own assorted errors and failings) gave the election to Trump. Obama certainly didn’t engineer any coup against Trump.

        As to why Trump would want to get something substantive done beyond tax cuts for rich people and trade wars that fish his own supporters? I think that question sort of answers itself.Report

        • George Turner in reply to North says:

          The leadership of Obama’s DoJ and intelligence agencies, along with the State Department, certainly did. Is it likely that all the agencies started planting fake evidence, lying to courts, and leaking classified information for the same purpose at the same time without centralized coordination? I would say not.

          Comey only held his pre-election press conference because the Weiner laptop scandal had started to break on page one and he had to address it. The FBI knew the whole collusion narrative was fake a week before they even sought the FISA warrants, as the dossier contained too much obvious nonsense like the part about the Russians running a vast election rigging operation out of their Miami consulate.Report

          • North in reply to George Turner says:

            Comey didn’t have to do squat. Just because Giulianis’ minions in FBI drag were leaking, as they were constantly leaking, didn’t mean Comey had to go out and make that announcement. Giulianis’ leakers leaking produced stories on the back page of the Post and Fox News. Comey making an announcement was national news and blows apart any deranged conspiracy theory of planting fake evidence, lying to the courts etc… If the Obama admin had been plotting some vast evil coup against Trump then Comey would never have said anything.

            Comey said something because he wanted to cover his ass and because he believed, like most everyone else, that HRC had it in the bag and that his breaking decades of policy and precedent and dropping that bombshell (which turned out, remember, to be absolutely nothing) on the eve of the election wouldn’t make a difference. Employees of administrations planning big nefarious schemes to unseat Trump don’t do that kind of crap.Report

      • bookdragon in reply to George Turner says:

        Because he works for us, the American people, and having a snit is no excuse for refusing to do that work.

        But apparently he’s not even up Bill Clinton’s standards. Bill didn’t go on strike because the nasty GOP was asking embarrassing questions about him covering up an affair.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to George Turner says:

        George, Trump really is an idiot.

        Anyone in Washington knows that everyone in Washington is at that very moment attempting to steal their power, voice, job, and clothes off their back and that’s just navigating who pays for lunch.

        Honestly, these episodes are the episodes of a man unhinged. It does the right no benefit to defend bad politics… if Trump cannot deliver on a “better” Obama care, The Wall, and Infrastructure… pivoting to “but the democrats” is the definition of weakness. Even if you think some of Trumps breaks from the GOP consensus are good, he doesn’t have the smarts, ability or coalition to pull them off. Let Trump go.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Marchmaine says:

          100% spot on.

          I’d add that people who traffic in DEEP STATE conspiracy theories generally fail to understand how the federal government works, how sieve like it is regarding planning and information, and what the character of its civil servants is as well. We may not always get it right in everyone’s eyes, but that’s not the function of some deep cover conspiracy to supplant actual democracy.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Marchmaine says:

          G Gordon Liddy was shocked to find out that bugging campaign opponents is actually a normal function of the FBI, at least according to Comey.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to George Turner says:

            And if that’s true, we’ll keep bugging all campaign opponents… which means Trump is bugging campaign opponents… and his successor will bug campaign opponents.

            Let Trump Go… he isn’t delivering on what he promised, he can’t deliver on what he promised because first you have to build a movement, then a coalition, then supporting institutions, and finally politics. Trump can’t deliver, the trust is misplaced and it will slow down or pervert any meaningful change you may have wanted. Let him go.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

            Trump was shocked to discover that actually, a normal function of the FBI and intelligence service is investigating suspected foreign agents attempting to subvert our democracy.Report

            • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              That’s not remotely what happened.

              Even if the FBI had reasons to suspect foreign attempts at penetrating a campaign, (as opposed to the FBI paying $10 million to plant fake evidence to frame the candidate, which is what actually happened), the FBI is required by federal rules of procedure to tell the candidate about the attempts.

              They are not allowed to keep the candidate in the dark while bugging them and planting spies, while knowingly lying to the intelligence court to maintain what looks like a plausible case that would support such spying. All of that is illegal. Nixon was being impeached for far, far less. He never planted a single spy. He never lied to an intelligence court. He never got an FBI agent to do anything. He never colluded with the CIA to leak falsely planted evidence to implicate the Democrat candidate to the press. He didn’t purposefully unredact the names of Democrats that appeared in NSA sweeps and leak that to the press.

              In this case, those in the Obama Administration did all of that.

              The person who planted the false evidence was working for both the Hillary campaign and the FBI. The FBI knew his information was fabricated and false. For example, it said that the Russian operation was being run out of their consulate in Miami. There is no Russian consulate in Miami. I have the phone numbers for all five Russian consulates, along with their working hours and contact information, and Miami isn’t one of them.

              A lot was made out of Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump tower. The Russian went to Trump tower directly from a meeting with the head of Fusion GPS. When the meeting was over she went directly to a dinner with the head of Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS was the firm hired by the Hillary campaign and was working with the FBI to frame Trump. Their name pops up over and over because they’d hired the wife of Bruce Ohr, a bigwig at the FBI who was forced to resign, and Ohr’s wife was pushing the fake Steele dossier.

              At least half the country knows all about this. There’s a constant stream of information flowing from FOIA requests from organizations like Judicial Watch, and Clapper, Brennan, and Comey are now in a circular firing squad, trying to evade serious prison time by blaming each other for pushing the fake intelligence.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                Oh, its entrapment now?

                “Your honor, the police KNEW I was planning to rob the bank, and they deliberately let me walk in the door with a shotgun!”Report

              • Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

                Ah, so we’re back to the Steele Dossier and the FISA warrants huh? Yeah half the country knows the cherry picked and inflammatory half truths Judicial Watch is peddling, but most of that is opinion based on skimpy facts and even skimpier reporting. Frankly, is you want to convince us there was a conspiracy, you need better sourcing.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Philip H says:

                The sourcing is going to be provided by the Attorney General Barr, the DoJ Inspector General’s investigation under Michael Horowitz, prosecutor Ron Durham, who the AG appointed as prosecutor to lead a third parallel investigation, and the ongoing investigation led by John Huber.

                Those “truths” are described as “cherry picked” by the same people who spent two years telling you Trump was a Russian agent and that he was going to be frogmarched out of the White House that week, a line they repeated every week for about 100 straight weeks, apparently without their viewers catching on.

                But then there were people back in ’73 who kept insisting that there wasn’t any evidence that Nixon’s people had done anything wrong.Report

              • Doctor Jay in reply to George Turner says:

                Well George, let’s suppose this “coup attempt” thing drags along with tantalizing hints, but little substance for the next year. Or maybe longer. What then? At what point do you start to wonder if they in fact, have anything to go on at all?

                I mean, I’ve been wrong about at least one thing like this and it died hard, that’s for sure. I find it important to think in advance how far I’m willing to take things on faith from people.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Doctor Jay says:

                This evening Trump told Barr to declassify everything related to the intelligence agencies actions during the 2016 campaign.

                We’ll soon get to read all the formerly classified information that the agencies and the Democrats were so desperate to keep hidden. 🙂

                Trump has been playing the long game, waiting patiently for Mueller to finish his report, and now it’s time to burn down the city with fire. ^_^Report

              • greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                Cool. So we’ll be seeing the unredacted Mueller report then. High fives. And all the intell it was based on. Two words. Nif Ty.

                QQQQ forever!!!!Report

              • George Turner in reply to greginak says:

                House Democrats on Nadler’s committee have been able to see the unredacted Mueller report for weeks now, but they never bothered to go look at it. That’s because the unredacted portions are useless for advancing their agenda, as opposed to convincing people who aren’t very bright that Trump must be hiding something, despite having given Mueller millions of documents and telling his staff to reveal absolutely anything. Amazingly, people fell for it! (Though I’m sure you didn’t).

                My housemate, who has been both a prosecutor and defense attorney, and who is a Democrat, says Trump’s stance would tell him that his client has nothing to hide, and he’s had thousands of clients as a PD.

                Basically, Trump has no fear because he hasn’t done anything wrong, and he knows it.

                In contrast, Democrats are running scared and freaking out and the intel chiefs are pointing fingers at each other because when people like you found out what they actually did, most of them might get not only thrown out of office, but thrown in jail.

                Trump has just gone for the nuclear option, “Let everyone know everything!” He couldn’t do that until the Mueller investigation has run its course because he would’ve been accused of “subverting justice” or whatever charges they’d throw at him.

                Mueller knew going in that there was no Russian collusion, but he milked it for two years so Democrats could take the House. But eventually he had to submit his report, and that done, Trump is unchained.

                Trump just ordered the heads of 15 intelligence agencies to turn over everything. Unlike the usual Washington politician, Trump doesn’t seem to care if everyone in Congress is sent to prison.

                I like that attitude. Openness. Accountability. Justice. It’s going to be fun watching his opponents oppose that with every fiber of their being as it becomes apparent that they were lying to you, to me, and to everyone else.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to greginak says:

                This is one of those things I don’t understand… there’s the Mueller report, and there’s the Mueller report available to authorized members of congress.

                Do we think there’s something hidden in the redacted parts? I’m not hearing that. Amash didn’t say, hey… the good bits are in the parts you can’t read.

                This is what confuses me about current D messaging? Is there a cover-up in the Redactions? Even the redactions are open to some congressional leaders… and when I read chunks of the report, most of the redactions are for active crimes/investigations… so not something buried in a memory hole. I don’t get the redaction fetish.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Marchmaine says:

          if Trump cannot deliver on a “better” Obama care, The Wall, and Infrastructure…

          I’m very good with him failing to enact massive boondoggles.

          pivoting to “but the democrats” is the definition of weakness.

          I listened to Obama’s followers claim “it’s the GOP” for years and he’s still thought by his followers to be a political genius who was cursed with an intransitive opposition.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Dark Matter says:

            1. Ok…?
            2. Not sure this moves me. I suppose if your plan is to elect someone who is so incompetent that they can’t possibly do anything as perhaps suggested in #1, then that’s some real strategic voting. I tip my cap at your brinksmanship.

            Regarding the tu quoque for Obama, I’m on record stating that Obama was a bottom third President qua President. Not simply because I wasn’t aligned with his priorities (I wasn’t) but because he wasn’t very good at using the Presidency to capitalize on his personal popularity, and drive elections to fuel his platform.

            Its a similar (but differently applied) critique that I have of Trump… Obama didn’t build a governing movement, he capitalized on an ad hoc coalition to propel himself into the Presidency. Impressive on a personal front, but not so much on a political front.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to North says:

      Might not be an excuse. It’s easy to picture Trump blowing up negotiations because he’s angry or at a disadvantage.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

        This is very true. He’s apparently notorious for doing this in real estate deals when he thinks he’s being played, and or if he thinks the opposing party is looking down at him. So in that sense he’s consistent. That said, I’d also posit that his advisers can’t find a way to pay for this that doesn’t further blow up the deficit and that means bad economic news heading into the summer and fall while his campaign is ramping up further. His handlers will no doubt have counseled against that.Report

      • North in reply to Dark Matter says:

        Oh I agree, it’s quite in character and it’s not an excuse.Report

  7. Doctor Jay says:

    I study jujitsu. To get the best throw you need good timing. Often that means letting uke (the other person) come in further with their attack before responding. I think that’s what’s going on. Let’s get to the point where Trump defies the Supreme Court. He’ll do it too. Is that a good look for him? Is that a good headline?

    Let’s also remember how well Pelosi handled Trump during the shutdown last January. He doesn’t have any cute demeaning names for her, does he?

    “We think the President of the United States is engaged in a a cover-up.”

    It’s simple, it’s punchy, it’s easy to remember and easy to see why its important. You don’t have to agree to understand why they are doing the stuff they are doing.Report

    • bookdragon in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      And Trump throwing a tantrum has not been a good look.

      Yes, I think Pelosi has his number and gets into his head better than anyone. After he walked out to his pre-staged hissy fit (a move he obviously planned, since they had flyers and posters already printed), Pelosi told the press this:

      “for some reason, maybe it was a lack of confidence on his part” Trump couldn’t deal on infrastructure “In any event, I pray for the president of the United States,” she adds

      I read that, especially the last bit, and my reaction was “wow, that’s one step away from ‘bless his heart’…” (which if you’ve ever lived in the south is the verbal equivalent of a stiletto between the ribs)Report

  8. DensityDuck says:

    Boy, that sure was a powerful statement by Speaker Pelosi. Kind of a shame that it fucked the infrastructure bill, but, y’know, I’m sure people whose water mains have rusted into low-pressure conduits will sleep better knowing that she believes the President may be engaged in a coverup regarding congressional testimony over an investigation that was completed a month ago. “But there were unresolved issues,” you say, and I ask you: what difference, at this point, does it make?Report