Public Impeachment Hearings Begin


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

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129 Responses

  1. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    “When you surround an army, leave an outlet free”
    -The Art of War, chapter 7

    “Impeach the President, not Trump; and for the love of God, don’t try to impeach the Republican Party”

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    That thing that I keep saying about “three groups of people”? Impeachment will fire up your base, sure. Impeachment will fire up your opponent’s base as well. Let’s call that a wash.

    You get someone grandstanding and, suddenly, you’ve got a problem with the swinging third group.

    Make this persuasive to the third group even if it costs some enthusiasm on the part of your own base. If you pick up two swing votes, that’s worth more than three partisan votes. WIN THE SWING VOTE.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

      When you look at the results of the past two elections, and see the swing of suburban voters from red to blue, don’t you think that indicates that maybe the Dems are in fact winning the swing vote?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        This would require Jaybird to give credit to Democrats. And my dear ol’ Chip, giving credit to team Blue is just something that is never done.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          For every Republican boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still eight o’clock on that November evening in 2016, the MAGA brigades are in position loosened to break out and deal the final defeat to liberalism and Trump himself with his long wispy combover grabbing a woman’s pussy in one hand probably and his a bucket of KFC in the other looking up the Fox News waiting for Hannity to give the word and it’s all right there, the moment of victory when liberals lie weeping and prostrate and mass waves of tiki torch bearing young white property owning Christian men march to resume their rightful place at the top of the hierarchy…Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Well, the last election went well for the Democrats.

        The one before that? Opinions differ.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

          The last election was a few days ago. The one before that in 2018 went pretty well too.

          As I said right here, it is easy to read too much into a few data points and caution is always warranted, but…

          Is there any indication, any at all, that the trends are moving in the other direction?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Oh, I was only counting the “real” ones.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

              You mean like the one where Democrats took control of the House and made these hearings possible? Or the one where Virginia received a totally blue state government and the Republican Party lost counties that they held since the Civil War?

              Oh real elections are the ones where Democrats lose, got it. Everything else is “fake elections.”

              Q signs, Jaybird, Q signs.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                I meant the 2018 and 2016 elections.

                There are a lot of reasons to be excited about 2018. There was a blue wave that exceeded the change that a mere regression to the mean would have predicted.

                There are a lot of reasons to look at 2016 and ask “what did we screw up?”, though, and, as far as I can tell, the Democrats haven’t done a particularly good job of asking that.

                Colorado recently moved from Caucuses to being Yet Another State in Super Tuesday so I won’t be able to give my feelings about what the caucuses mean this year…

                But I see a lot of reliance on being Morally Right rather than on actually looking at stuff and asking hard questions.

                Which doesn’t strike me as a winning formula.

                But, hey. Maybe being Morally Right is enough this time.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      Delaware County has not voted Democratic since the Civil War and now:

  3. Avatar Philip H says:

    I love how the Democrats used lawyers today, and Republicans used politicians.Report

  4. Avatar George Turner says:

    Well, yesterday apparently didn’t go well for Democrats, with even CNN admitting that the Democrats didn’t have anything new and didn’t move the needle. I don’t think they even have an impeachment hearing story up on their front page. The only story at ABC was a mention of Nancy’s ridiculous claim that Trump is guilty of “bribery.” Maybe next week, in a desperate bid for attention, she’ll up the charge to murder. This is definitely not like Watergate, and I doubt networks will waste much more air time on it. About the only notable thing from yesterday’s testimony was Schiff’s claim that he didn’t know who the whistle blower was. Not even Democrats believe him. It just reinforces the belief that Schiff is a congenital liar.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

      All the networks intend to cover today’s hearing, so once again you are reading the room incorrectly. And frankly, there was new evidence (which CNN reported across multiple stories) about a staffer why listened to Sondland’s call with Trump as referenced by Taylor and Kent. That’s first hand, and said staffer has indicated he will testify once subpoena’ed.

      As to Schiff lying and Democrats believing he’s lying – citations please.Report

  5. Avatar North says:

    I’m pretty content, so far, with how the hearings have gone. The Democratic Congressfolk have been sober, serious and matter of fact. The witnesses have been effective, clear and concise. The GOP has been utterly flailing so far in their own questions and babbled conspiracy theories. I don’t know if this will sway the Senate on impeachment but it seems like the best shot to do so and even if it doesn’t; this is the contrast I’d like the party to try with.

    Also, I look at what the GOP has devolved into, think about all the arguments and all the earnest republicans I’ve argued with in the last couple decades and struggle not to smirk. I think this basically makes me the retroactive winner of most of those debates. This is what they’ve come down to, this is what they’ve become on national TV.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to North says:

      So you really think you can extort somebody without letting them know about it? How does that even work? Has any criminal, in the entire history of crime, ever even tried it? I mean, if that’s true, you could be extorting me right now by not sending me something expensive from Amazon, cleverly not telling me that you weren’t sending me anything so that I have no idea that something is afoot. Thus, not knowing that something is afoot, I will… what, exactly?

      I nearly laughed out loud when one of the ambassadors claimed that someone (party 2) told him the overheard someone else (party 3) tell some (party 4) that Trump (party 5) was more concerned about getting Biden than investigating the 2016 election. What is that? Third or fourth hand hearsay about the inner workings in the mind of someone they’ve never met? And workings which are irrelevant and perhaps unknowable, concerning a crime that doesn’t even exist as a statute, unless, when nobody was looking, we’ve made it illegal for the government to encourage law enforcement to investigate crime.

      I mean, how dumb do they think John Q Public is? They’re placing some heavy bets on “extremely dumb”, and a lot of independents might even feel highly insulted.

      Meanwhile, John Solomon keeps uncovering financial documents showing Burisma was paying off the Biden and Kerry families – foreign bank transactions, State Department letters, etc. That’s probably why Nancy is suddenly calling Trump’s actions “bribery”.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to George Turner says:


        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Aaron David says:

          That didn’t format quite right for me, but it clicked through just fine. 🙂

          I’m wondering if the Democrats on the committee are tailoring their performing for college kids who’ve never even watched “Judge Judy”, or to foreigners who are completely unfamiliar with how American law works, or even to people who don’t know how logic works. Threatening the Ukrainian President with a cutoff of $1 billion in US aid if he doesn’t stop investigations into the locus of Ukrainian corruption, one perhaps involving Biden, Kerry, and others, is perfectly okay. But not threatening the Ukrainian President, and urging him to investigate such corruption and their interference in US elections, as required by a treaty signed by Bill Clinton, is somehow impeachable.

          The only Senate Republican who would possibly vote to remove Trump is Mitt Romney, whose close campaign adviser is sitting on the board of Burisma, possibly indicating that the previous government of Ukraine was buying off the leadership of both US parties.

          In any event, the Ushanka show just made a video on high level corruption in the former Soviet Union. It’s pretty interesting and touches on some of the reasons Ukraine would be so corrupt. Important posts such as sheriff, judge, or being a top party official were for sale for a lot of money, with published price lists in one Republic. The reason someone would buy such a post is that it’s a business investment. Someone who bought a job as a “corruption investigator” would then make a nice income off kickbacks and bribes. It’s law enforcement as a shakedown operation.

          Amusingly, crime seems to be the only part of a socialist economy that actually works. He relates how one major store owner in Moscow had a vast web of contacts who bought and sold illegally. He didn’t think anyone would touch him because top party officials relied on his store, but Andropov had him shot anyway. There were about 15,000 people involved in his operation, which merely moved products efficiently from producers to customers based on market supply and demand.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

        Uh huh, such a cloud of words to obfuscate the simple facts. A parade of witnesses are testifying that Trump extorted Ukraine to dig up dirt on BIden. They have knocked down the various GOP protestations methodically; Trump did hold up the aid, the Ukrainians were aware he was holding it up, the Ukrainians were informed that it was being held up, they were told exactly what they needed to do to unfreeze the aid; he only unfroze the aid when congress got wind of it and he got busted in the act. We have this from witnesses in sworn testimony in front of Congress.

        Meanwhile the right always have new reports and bombshell revelations about Democratic perfidy that endlessly recede into the future. Any moment now the tables shall turn. Any moment now we’ll see that it was Nancy and Hillary and Elvis and Bigfoot pulling the strings of the Deep State from their secret lair. The report will come out tomorrow: Tomorrow, tomorrow, it’ll all come down tomorrow, it’s always a day away.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

          And the President was stupid enough to write it all down in the phone memo and urge all Americans to read it and his chief of staff was stupid enough to go on tee vee to declare that yes, there was quid pro quo and Sondland was stupid enough to talk about it on a cell phone while being overheard by every intelligence service in Europe.

          These are not bright guys, and things got out of hand…Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to North says:

          Just a couple weeks ago there was some SHOCKING report coming out that would devastate D’s and put the entire cabal in jail.

          And even more goofily, John Solomon, has been getting info from Rudy’s two indicted pals and his lawyers are digenova and toensing, two trump partisan mouth pieces. Degenova went all Soros controls the fbi and the state dept last night. So yeah, john solomon, really solid source there.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to North says:

          It’s physically impossible to extort someone without their knowledge. The testimony established that the Ukrainians weren’t aware of the holdup until after Politico ran a story on it, months later. They never had to do anything to unfreeze the aid, and the aid was unfrozen without actions on their part. The President of Ukraine himself has said he was under absolutely no pressure to investigate anything. In contrast, there is sworn testimony that the previous president of Ukraine felt incredible pressure from Joe BIden. He was actually extorted, viciously and forcefully, and Joe Biden is on video bragging about it.

          So we’re back to that “physically impossible” problem. Republicans could have accused Obama of murdering Michelle, and called a ream of witnesses who would testify that they saw the claim written on the bathroom wall of a DC Greyhound bus station. Democrats would have pointed out that Michelle is obviously not dead because she’s watching the hearings. Republicans could have said “Irrelevant! We have testimony from someone who peed at the Greyhound station that clearly indicates she was murdered!”

          Of course “extortion” has been tossed aside today, just like “quid pro quo” was. Nancy’s new claim is that Trump bribed the President of Ukraine. I’m sure that will come as a surprise to the President of Ukraine, who is probably wondering where his bag of money is. Perhaps the new angle is that since holding up the aid, without the Ukrainians knowledge, isn’t going to fly as “extortion”, then delivering the aid surely counts as bribery. The shampeachment is a sad, sad spectacle.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

            Except that none of that is true George; Croft and Cooper both testified under oath that the Ukrainians were well aware that Trump had frozen aid and that they were being instructed about what they had to do to unfreeze the aid (make up shit about Biden and announce it publicly). It was so stark that Ambassador Sondland had to revise his testimony lest he get busted on perjury.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to North says:

              That’s ridiculous. Cooper testified that she heard rumors that some Ukranians may have been aware of the hold up.

              From Politico’s coverage:

              Trump abruptly withheld nearly $400 million in military aid sometime in early July, and word spread through the administration in subsequent weeks. Though several witnesses told lawmakers that Ukrainians likely didn’t discover the hold until late August — after a POLITICO report revealed it — Cooper said she began to register concerns days or weeks earlier.

              Some, she said, arose from the defense industry that was awaiting the distribution of funds — including at least one call Cooper received from the Chamber of Commerce.

              “So before the kind of press broke on it, we were hearing that there were signs of concern,” Cooper said.

              The Politico story broke long, long after the phone call, so rumors about “days or weeks earlier” doesn’t even amount to evidence of something that wouldn’t even be illegal or improper if you could establish that it actually happened, which you can’t.

              Croft didn’t even have that much. Her testimony was about the firing of the previous ambassador and stuff to do with the other end (Mulvaney, etc) of the holdup on the weapons.

              And remember, it’s normal practice to withhold US aid and weapons until the receiving country jumps through a bunch of hoops. We withheld Central American aid until they took measures to reduce illegal immigration, and nobody batted an eye.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

                Both their testimonies and the prior documents show the Ukrainians were aware of the aid being help up. *shrugs* I’m sure the GOP could maybe make a counter arguement if they’d call some relevant witnesses but all they keep asking for is to expose the whistle blower and get Hunter Biden up on the stand for some reason. Odd that.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to North says:

                The Democrats don’t have any actual witnesses. The people you mentioned testified that there may have been rumors that people in the Ukrainian defense industry (one of whom sponsors big dollar fundraisers for Schiff), may have been aware of the hold up.

                A witness would be a Ukrainian on the stand testifying that they were aware of the hold up.

                That’s not going to happen because Republicans aren’t allowed to call Ukrainian witnesses, or really any witnesses that would help their case, because unlike an actual inquiry, this is a Soviet or North Korean style show trial.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

                Well technically this is just a grand jury hearing which you know perfectly well. All this complaint about the procedure is such pap; first the GOP whines about the private hearings, not they whine about the public hearings.

                The formal trial will be held in the Senate and no doubt Moscow Mitch will call any witnesses he can think of to help cast Trump in a better light. And probably plenty who’ll just obscure the matter which serves his purpose just as well.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to North says:

                First R witness will be Rudy in fake glasses and mustache.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

                It’s almost like the talking points went out:
                No firsthand knowledge is GOP rallying cry in defense of Trump on impeachment

                But whats this-
                “The strategy, however, is extremely risky for the president and the GOP. While it is true that the diplomats testified that they were told by others that Trump pressured Ukraine, a witness with firsthand information — Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was on the Trump call — is scheduled to testify next week. And former national security adviser John Bolton also could talk to investigators.
                Additionally, if Republicans were so concerned about secondhand accounts, Democrats say, they should allow Trump associates who do have firsthand information — acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, for example — to testify, rather than blocking them. The White House has no plan, however, to do that, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly.”

                Womp womp.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to North says:

                Well, Trump is absolutely loving impeachment. He says he’d really kind of like it to stop, but Republican Senators keep telling him to keep it going because their poll numbers are going through the roof. 🙂

                He’s having so much fun with it tonight in an arena in Louisiana that it might become his signature issue that he’ll ride to a landslide.

                Meanwhile Mitch is having fun with the idea of keeping Booker, Klobuchar, Sanders, Harris, and Warren stuck in DC so they can’t go out and campaign much of anywhere outside the beltway. He can drag the Senate trial out as long as he wants, and unlike other Senate business, Senators are the jury and can’t opt out of attending. Trump of course never has to show up, so he can campaign all over the country, every single day, all day long.

                This is what happens when you let stupid people run your party.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

                Yeah, cause Trump campaigning that far out from the elections when there isn’t even a nominee yet is gonna make a Yuge difference. Heheh. No doubt the GOP Senate is just delighted about their upcoming trial and will want to drag it out as close to election day as possible.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to North says:

                Probably so, especially if all the evidence is about Joe Biden. You see, one of Trump’s major defenses is that it was critically important to investigate the horrendous corruption going on between the DNC, including Kerry and Biden, and Ukrainian officials.

                One Ukrainian MP says billions in US aid was kicked back to Biden, Kerry, Hillary, and others. There are also allegations that Burisma was being used as a slush fund to pay for CIA operations around the world, which would explain why a top former US counter-terrorism officer, who was one of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy advisers, is sitting on the board of Burisma. Trump will get to pound that message every day, in front of giant arenas, while any likely Democrat nominees other than Biden or Buttigieg have to sit in the Senate in silence.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

                Uh huh, yet another damning report for Biden and the Dems which will come out tomorrow, always tomorrow. Like cold fushion it steadily hovers just on the horizon.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    So the general feeling at this point is that things are moving along swimmingly?Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

      My own feeling is it’s going about as well as one could have any reason to hope for but that it remains unlikely the GOP in the Senate will vote to remove Trump. But at least the Dems are making their case clearly and levelly.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

        I’m seeing different opinions on the inquiry but I don’t know how much of a bubble I’m in.

        And, of course, this tweet (and the *AMAZING* replies to it):

        But, again, I don’t know if I’m in a bubble or not.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

          Ah, well the Dems are doomed as usual then; all is normal. I’m glad, if they’re doomed, that they’re at least behaving like a sensible level headed group of legislators. If ya gotta go down at least go down dignified.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

            It’s possible to do a thing well.

            It’s possible to do a thing poorly.

            I don’t yet know which is which for what’s going on here.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

              Not enough fireworks. No really they should have had actual fireworks and showgirls with sparklers. Without sizzle no one cares about the steak.

              Or maybe navel gazing about what is the One True Narrative is bull squat and one of the reason the major networks suck and blow. At least Fox is presenting a chosen and well honed narrative.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                So I’ll put Greg down for “swimmingly”?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m going with, “This is good news for John McCain.”Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh god no. The show is a snoozer. So boring. No sex, just people talking.

                Now the substance is terrible for trump but how is that relevant.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                Well, *MY* definition of going swimmingly has to do with two things:

                The Senate
                That “Three Groups Of Voters” thing

                “Does this hearing look like it’s going to result in Trump getting removed from office?” is pretty much the question I have with regards to the first one.

                “Does this hearing look like it’s going to result in Trump being less likely to be re-elected?” is my interests in regards to the second one.

                And those are the lenses through which I look at the impeachment inquiry.

                I’m withholding judgment at this point on both questions.

                But I’m seeing more tweets like the ones I showed already than ones about how awesome the democrats are doing and how well they are making their case to the American people.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I view it through the lens of “Do the defenses of Trump make his followers look increasingly like unhinged loons who can’t keep their lies straight?”Report

              • Indeed. Prediction for the defense in the Senate trial: (1) most of the laws don’t apply because they infringe on the President’s unlimited ability to conduct foreign policy on his/her own; (2) no announcements were made or investigations started.

                They are playing for a half-dozen states that matter for the EC, and a somewhat different half-dozen that matter for control of the Senate. Doesn’t matter if every single person in California calls bullsh*t. No Senate seats up in California this cycle, and 40M to none in the popular vote is still only 55 EC votes.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                A serious question: Was your opinion of Trump’s followers prior to this week that they were unhinged loons who *COULD* keep their lies straight?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                If you have seen the tweet from NBC have you also seen all the critiisms of it? I’ve seen plenty along the lines of the things i said. It’s all about the sizzle and nothing about substance. It’s all about diving the narrative instead of reporting what actually happened.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

                As much as people are snarking about the lack of “pizzazz” (Alexandra Petri tweeted something about ordering some pizzazz from Domino’s) that sort of theater critic covereage is itself a symptom of the problem.

                Instead of engaged citizens trying to determine whether we should urge our elected Representatives to allow this man to continue to hold office, the discussion of “how this looks” tends to be that of passive peasants watching a feud between the noble houses.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What’s sort of ironic is that complaining about the MSM is almost universal. When we agree pointing out this kind of thing, that the press is creating narratives and not reporting or treating issues like entertainment what do we get…crickets. Substance free “reporting” that both sides everything and focuses on theater criticisms is one of the biggest issues with the media.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                I believe that I mentioned the responses to the tweet I brought up when I brought it up.

                It’s all about the sizzle and nothing about substance. It’s all about diving the narrative instead of reporting what actually happened.

                Yes. This is why I find it surprising to have been tweeted out by a “real” news journalism outlet.

                I mean, I could see National Review saying something like that and snorting and dismissing it.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                Why would it be surprising? The “real” places have be obsessed with “the narrative” and horse race coverage for years. It’s an old complaint lots of us have about them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                Because you’d think that MSNBC would be better at noticing how this is, here, let me copy and paste this, “the defenses of Trump make his followers look increasingly like unhinged loons who can’t keep their lies straight.”Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                MSNBC? Beats me what they would notice, i haven’t watched them in like 10 years.

                Regarding your quote, Ben Shapiro said yesterday trump can’t form the intent and coherence to form to bribe. Basically to mentally incompetent to be corrupt. Digenova says Soros controls State and oversees FBI and trying to take Ukraine and here georgie says this is all JUST GREAT for trump. Apparently there is no evidence at all of anything less then perfect in what trump did except for the people on the right who said it was really inappropriate but not impeachable. So, um….yeahReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                Why, yes. I suppose the ways of journalists are opaque to us. They will cover what they will cover and they will ignore what they will ignore. They’re kind of like the gods in the old stories.

                As for the rest of your comment, I’m guessing that you’re probably looking at the impeachment inquiry so far and are pretty pleased, huh?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                And you wonder why people think you are just trolling most of the time. Is there any substance to your comment? What do you think about the evidence presented regarding impeachment? Come on down with us and tell us what you see in the evidence. Are any criticisms of the press that you don’t share valid? Does the actual substance in front of us matter at all or is all just narratives to be divined. Do you have anything but endless questioning to lead us all to wisdom.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                I didn’t watch the proceedings.

                I just watched the reactions to the proceedings.

                I said what I thought about it. I showed links to vaguely mainstream lefty tweets that expressed disappointment with how stuff was going.

                Instead of cheerleading (like we might find in a comment section), I mean.

                Even here, when I say “here’s what I saw”, I get “you’re a troll” rather than “hey, I watched the proceedings and, you know what, I think that Trump’s ship is sunk” or even “uh, yeah, those people are right”.

                Instead of talking about what I saw, I’m seeing comments that talk about me personally.

                Like the comments are reading Peter Pan and it’s my turn to say “I believe in fairies!” to get the story to keep going.

                I don’t believe in fairies, Greg. I’m just looking out on the twitters and seeing that this isn’t quite working out as well as we had all hoped.

                Can I take your resistance to saying that you’re pleased with how the impeachment is going to say that you share my concerns but, god damn it, you want me to say that I believe in fairies first?

                Sorry, Greg. I don’t.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                The reason you get comments about you personally is that when you say “this isn’t quite working out” you’re assuming the detached Ventriloquist Voice of the pundit, who assumes he has an accurate view of the voice of the people.

                Which is the stuff that most of us mock, where people like Chris Cilizza or Mark Halperin assure us in the most solemn tones how this is good news for John McCain.

                We mock it as the Ventriloquist Voice because in almost every case it is a way of presenting one’s own opinions disguised as the divined Voice of The People.

                For example, you make the claim that the proceedings are “not working out” and offer not any sort of solid evidence, but random tweets as if they were chicken entrails or the voice of the oracle.

                You get comments about you because you make the conversation about you, by assuming a authoritative voice that isn’t believable.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “We mock it as the Ventriloquist Voice because in almost every case it is a way of presenting one’s own opinions disguised as the divined Voice of The People.”

                I don’t think Jaybird has ever suggested that he’s presenting anything other than his own opinions.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’m pretty sure that I come out and say stuff like “I’m seeing the following” rather than using the passive voice.

                Then I try to link to the things that I’m seeing.

                For what it’s worth, I’ve given arguments that get stuff like “you’re wrong and here’s why” responses and “let’s talk about you personally” responses.

                For what it’s worth, I find “you’re wrong and here’s why” responses much more compelling than “let’s talk about you personally” responses.

                Here’s why:
                I see “let’s talk about you personally” responses as attempts to use social shaming to get me to change my mind about the things that I’ve seen.

                Then I ask myself “why in the hell would someone use social shaming to get me to change my mind instead of giving me better information?”

                And my tentative conclusion is that they don’t have better information and they want me to change my mind and social shaming is the only tool they have.

                For the record, this is *NOT* sufficient to get me to conclude that I must be right. But it sure as hell ain’t sufficient to get me to conclude that the stuff I’ve noticed ain’t there.

                Due to some of the weirdnesses of my childhood, I’m all too familiar with the use of social shaming tools to get me to stop pointing out that I’m noticing things.

                Because, seriously, if I point to something that isn’t true, it strikes me as being a much more devastating criticism to point out that it isn’t true.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to Jaybird says:

                Because numerous people, including Chip, Saul, greg, and other have tried the “give better information” thing to you for years and it’s never actually struck, because you immediately go back to your “I’m just asking questions, and if you criticize me, I’ll immediately imply this is why Trump won” shtick.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jesse says:

                Let’s be fair, Jesse, he has more shticks than that.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jesse says:

                when the better information you offer is “YOUR A DORK STOP POASTING” that’s not exactly an encouragement to change the plan.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse says:

                Jesse, I admit: the whole “I kinda think that Trump might win this thing” that I had going on for a while there in 2016 sort of messed up how I read “you’re a jerk!” responses to my observations.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well yeah, “what I’m seeing” refers, not to your opinions of the events, but your impression of what other people are thinking about the events.

                And we can’t help but notice that in almost every case, What People Are Thinking is delivered as dark ominous signs, foreboding indications that the Democrats are losing the sophistry battle.

                Which is utterly transparent as a camouflage for your own disdain for the Democrats because by every metric- election results, polls, voter registration- the Democrats are doing quite well.

                And in any case, the posture of indifferent theater critic is itself a declaration that none of this really matters.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well, when analyzing politics, “reading the room” is a key skill. Plenty of pundits will assert things like “people can’t possibly believe that!” or “those people won’t really vote against their interests,” convinced that all reasonable people must really share the pundit’s views on things. It is not so, and sometimes it’s more accurate to just sit back, detached, and just let yourself see what people are saying and tweeting and report it, as if you’re going to place a big bet on which way the crowd goes.

                You can write that up in the same detached way you used to gain some insights into the shifting sands of public opinion (here’s the mood I’m noticing). Or you can follow up on particular and surprising shifts in voter opinions and write a penetrating piece on why overweight white retired men in Ohio voted the way they did, skipping all the little signals that made you look at them in the first place.

                But key to it is not projecting your opinion on what the crowd should feel, or how they should be reacting, but observing them to see how they seem to be reacting. “Oh, the crowd is in an ugly mood here tonight, Chip. A lot of people down front are cheering, but the folks in the upper decks look like they’re fed, up, bored, and thinking about bolting to try to beat the traffic jam in the parking lot.”

                Of course the big flaw, and one that’s currently all too common, especially among Democrats, is basing all your observations on your Twitter feed. Those are the super-fans with season tickets sitting in the expensive seats, and might not be at all representative of the overall crowd in the stadium, much less the home audience.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                And yet I think that “well, here is what *I* am seeing” with links to analysis would be an excellent retort.

                Then we could do the thing where we said stuff like “MSNBC? Fake news!” and you could point out how much more insightful your sources are.

                Rather than pointing out to me that my perspective is my perspective and I only have it because of where I am standing, which is where bad people stand, don’t you know.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Why do you think

                “I am seeing that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with Chip Daniels, as demonstrated by this random tweet and my intuition”

                is an excellent retort?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Why would I think that it would be an excellent retort?

                Well, I’m comparing it to “let me talk about you, personally”.

                If I were comparing it to something else, it could well be a crappy one.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                If I say, “Here is what I am seeing”, I am making myself and my ability to “read the room” the central issue.

                That’s why when a prosecutor puts Dr So&So on the stand to give us his objective opinion, it is essential to interrogate him personally about his skills, his biases, his conflicts of interest that might make his opinions subjective, instead of detached objectivity.

                If you don’t want people to do that, then just say, “Hey, here’s what I think” rather than “Here’s what other people are thinking”.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                Umm Your stuff you saw was two tweets. One of the tweets was an example of a thing some people have been loudly criticizing for at least a many years. Claiming we are yelling “fake news” is very much not listening to what we are saying. So what if it is MSNBC, how is that relevant. Does that make it good or somehow not a valid example of the “MSM” being crappy.

                It does not seem like you are listening at all. Just going meta meta and convoluted statements about what everybody is seeing.

                And none of it every has to do with the substance of what is coming out today which is Stone being convicted and more testimony.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                So what if it is MSNBC, how is that relevant

                I see it as relevant because my assumption is that MSNBC is tilted to the left (like, even past the average baseline of the media).

                As I said above, if National Review said that sort of thing, we could snort and dismiss it.

                And none of it every has to do with the substance of what is coming out today which is Stone being convicted and more testimony.

                Oooh, there’s substance? Tell me more! Tell me how this substance gives you knowledge that my perspective prevents me from seeing!

                How does Roger Stone’s conviction impact Trump?

                There was new testimony? Does the testimony contain damning information?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                So what if MSNBC is leftie. That does not mean they are above biases, certainly those that affect the dreaded MSM. In fact they have many of the same foibles. Everything doesn’t boil down to R vs L bias.

                It’s not like this is a new criticism and I’m you’ve actually read liberals criticizing the MSM for this kind of stuff.

                Substance: Great, now we are back to the trolling stuff. Strong work. It’s not hard to find out what is going on. But why should any substance matter.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                So what if MSNBC is leftie.

                It’s the difference between a Cubs fan saying “Man, the Yankees sucked yesterday!” and a Yankees fan saying “Man, the Yankees sucked yesterday!”

                When the Cubs fan says it, what do you know about yesterday’s game? I submit: very little. Maybe they won, maybe they lost. When the Yankees fan says it? Odds are, that means that the Yankees lost. (Possibility exists that the game went into extra innings and the Yanks won, but they didn’t win easily and they should have, of course.)

                Anyway, if you know why I’d wave it away when National Review said it but took it seriously when MSNBC said it, that’s why.

                (Now *MY* take is that the MSNBC folks thrive on clicks and ratings and they *WANT* Pizzazz when Pizzazz is the *LAST* thing that a fan of the impeachment should want. The very media itself is working at cross-purposes.)

                Substance: Great, now we are back to the trolling stuff. Strong work. It’s not hard to find out what is going on. But why should any substance matter.

                Substance is what provides the tea that provides the tea leaves.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Substance is what provides the tea that provides the tea leaves.

                So in this analogy is substance a retail outlet or is it the supply chain?Report

  7. Avatar George Turner says:

    I just saw (via investigative reporter Sara Carter) that Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Home Security and Government Affairs committee, will subpoena Joe and Hunter Biden, Adam Schiff, and the Whistleblower. If Schiff refuses to name or produce the Whistleblower, Johnson will just subpoena a guy named Eric Ciaramella. That should prove interesting. I hope they don’t perjure themselves too much, but I doubt they can avoid it.Report

  8. Avatar pillsy says:

    So Trump intimidated a witness before the House Intel Committee while she was testifying via Twitter.

    I’m glad someone is taking steps to liven these hearings up.

    Also, in related witness tampering news, Roger Stone has been convicted of all charges.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to pillsy says:

      The Roger Stone thing is great news. If simply lying to Congress can result in a potential 50 year sentence, and juries are returning convictions, then there’s a long list of Obama officials (Comey, Brennan, Clapper, etc) who might be having indigestion right now.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner says:

        You really got this Baghdad George thing down pat. Granted it’s a bit “X (Trump crony convicted/ crazy pants tweet, scandal of the week, etc) this is great news because ( roll 20 sided die for reason)” But still it takes dedication.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak says:

          I never cared for Roger Stone, though his dedication and loyalty rivaled G. Gordon Liddy’s. I mean, who the heck gets a giant Richard Nixon tattoo across their whole back, even among folks in federal prison?

          One of the key problems in Washington is that nobody goes to jail for anything, no matter how heinous and illegal. The toughest punishment any of Obama’s people got was “paid sabbatical.” We’ve been having a whole lot of that behavior, the result of Republicans and Democrats deciding that, in the interests of decorum and civility, they will never pursue criminal charges against members of the other party because it will end up with almost all of them in prison as they weaponize legal actions.

          But when there’s no punishment for wildly illegal transgressions, the bureaucrats and representatives feel free to engage in wire tapping, illegal surveillance, election rigging, perjury, misuse of classified information, destruction of evidence, witness tampering, fraud, bribery, and embezzlement, which they’ve been doing freely and blatantly. Handing down a lot of 50-year federal prison sentences will help put the kibosh on such behavior, but not nearly as much as sending about a hundred more officials to prison.

          The public should not fear its government, the government should fear the public.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner says:

            I imagine they can fill an entire wing of a federal pen with trump cronies who both fear the gov and the public.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak says:

              Trump can just pardon them. ^_^

              But right now he needs Stone as an issue to illustrate the double standard that he’ll be fixing as Barr and Durham send Roger Stone lots of new cell mates. Basically, the tacit intra-party agreement about not filling prisons with politicians and other officials is null and void.

              What’s even more amusing is that the result of Mueller’s entire charade was a conviction of Roger Stone, but not for Russian collusion, conspiracy, or any illegal activities related to Trump or the Trump campaign, but for texting smack and then telling Congress that he hadn’t been texting smack.

              It illustrates the size of the nothing burger that Democrats are holding, while freeing Trump to bring vengeance down upon them – in a court of law. 🙂

              As another hilarious example of this, today the Washington Post reports that Democrats abandoned “quid pro quo” for “bribery” as the charge because they focus grouped it. ROFL!

              That’s possibly the most legally incompetent thing I’ve ever heard of in my life. A prosecutor starting court proceedings and then asking a picked focus group of everyday people what criminal charges “resonate” with them. What a complete and utter farce, even by clown show standards. They have no idea if Trump is guilty of anything in particular, just that he makes them angry.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

                Your position still has two fundamental intellectual flaws – First, regardless of its procedural similarities, Iipeachement is NOT a criminal or civil prosecution. its a political act. So using political data to inform decisions is entirely appropriate.

                And Second, even Mr. Trump’s own State Department IG couldn’t find any illegality in Sec. Clinton’s email handling, after Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee failed to find any illegality in Sec. Clinton’s handling of Benghazi or her emails during Mr. Obama’s tenure. Ditto Mr. Comey. That tells me that Mr. Stone’s conviciton (following Mr. Manafort & Mr. Gates; and alongside Mr. Cohen and Gen. Flynn’s guilty pleas) shows there’s actually something worth going after.

                And bluntly, until Republicans make sure Ollie North is locked up for his crimes, you have zero moral legs to stand on.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                The Oracle of Delphi was consulted, and told Donald Trump:
                “Launching a war against Ukrainian corruption will result in the destruction of a major American political party and long prison terms for many of its members.”Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You’re really on fire these days Chip.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

        Roger Stone was never a loyal Party member.

        If you look at pictures, he is just a blurry spot next to Trump.
        No, not that blurry spot, the other one.

        No, I mean the other blurry spot, over there.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Idle thoughts: The Impeachment Hearings are Zero-Sum. (Possibility: They might be negative sum, but there ain’t a win-win here. For simplicity, I’ll assume Zero-Sum.)

    The more that the impeachment hearings look like a circus, the more to the benefit of Trump/detriment of Democrats that is.

    Trump is very good at making things look like circuses.

    The Democrats benefit from a short impeachment inquiry. Trump benefits from a long and drawn-out process in the House.

    I don’t know who benefits more from a two-hour vote in the Senate dismissing the charges (which is my current assumption as to what the Senate is going to do).

    Assuming zero-sum, of course.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      The proceedings not having “pizzazz” is to the benefit of Democrats. The more that it is a dry and dull proceeding, the better.


      There are only two sides watching. These match up fairly well with the first two of the three sets of voters. The third set of voters is not watching the impeachment proceedings and not paying attention to them. They’re more interested in the football game and Frozen II and making rent and all sorts of “everyday life” stuff.

      These guys not paying attention means that they have a small prejudice toward the status quo. It’s a small prejudice, and can be overcome, but that’s the starting point.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird says:

        I disagree. There are two holes the Dems have to climb out of; is this partisan and is this worthwhile. The second hole is what is being referred to as pizzazz, and that means do the witnesses who are called have actual proof of a crime being committed. And the first hole refers to the Dems overcoming the perception that this is just one party with sour grapes about the elections, both three years ago and the one upcoming.

        So far, we have hearsay. Which will not help get anyone who is not Team Blue get on board. And that leads (again) to the question of getting out of the partisan hole. Which they are failing miserably at. If they had something that could easily show a crime or impeachable offense had occurred then you wouldn’t lead with a game of telephone. Which is what we have seen so far.

        No, you want to let the other party (the R’s) make ass’s of themselves by being allowed to ask any and all questions. Play the line out like fishing. But that is what you do in a solid case. Take time with it, let it build, but you have to set the hook at the very beginning. But they didn’t set that hook, they made the R’s look good by playing weird procedural games, and so on.

        But you are right about the three groups of voters. And as we live in the age of television and youtube, how would you get the third group to watch and pay attention? With pizzazz.

        Remember, the medium is the message.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

          This is partially why i keep harping on the news talking, or not talking, about substance. You don’t’ see to have an actual clue about what the testimony so far has been. Various high level people have been directly saying ” the prez wants investigations into biden in exchange for weapons.” That is bad, to use a technical legal term. The “hearsay” line is pure obfustcation from the right.

          Yes, yes, i know i’m one of those dreaded partisans and you are are free from that.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

            Notice how there is no one, anywhere outside of Infowars or Gateway Pundit, who actually says unequivocally that Trump DIDN’T pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, in an explicit exchange for military aid?

            No one will say that, clearly and on the record.

            Instead there is a lot of chaff and dark mutterings about bias and “Hey look over there!”Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              The Ukrainian President and Ukrainian Foreign Minister have come out and said exactly that, explicitly and on the record.

              It’s pretty hard to make a case when the very powerful “victim” flatly denies that they were wronged in any way. It can be done, but it’s quite difficult and requires establishing a convincing reason why they’d deny it, such as not wanting to get fired or not wanting to commit suicide like Epstein.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

            Then give me a quote. Show me some pizzazz. Because, I gotta be honest here, I have seen nothing that shows Trump did something bad. Oh, sure, there are, as you put it people saying “the prez wants investigations into Biden in exchange for weapons.” But no one is showing me that he actually did that. And as Jaybird says, if MSNBC is saying it ain’t there, it just ain’t.

            And you do this every time Greg. Never do you show a bright line that has been crossed, but you show SINnuendo and inSINuation and anything else that gets team blues heart pumping. In other words, you show me what you want to hear, not what was said. I will say it again, because it is really easy to do if there is something, anything, there. Show me that line.

            Because if there was anything of substance, the left would be shouting it from the rooftops. And with the media and the love for Trump they have, we would be hearing it 24/7.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

              Impeachment witness provides firsthand account of hearing Trump demand ‘investigation’ of Bidens by Ukraine


              “David Holmes, a career diplomat, told lawmakers Friday that he overheard a phone call in Kyiv between President Trump and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, during which Trump pressed for updates on the Ukrainians’ willingness to conduct an “investigation,” a day after Trump had asked Ukraine’s president to launch a probe into former vice president Joe Biden and his son.”Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                David Holmes, a career diplomat, told lawmakers Friday that he overheard a phone call in Kyiv between President Trump and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, during which Trump pressed for updates on the Ukrainians’ willingness to conduct an “investigation,” a day after Trump had asked Ukraine’s president to launch a probe into former vice president Joe Biden and his son.

                Details of the July 26 conversation were disclosed by Holmes to impeachment investigators, according to people who have read his opening statement and requested anonymity to describe its contents.

                Holmes said at the conclusion of the call, Sondland told him and other aides present that Trump does not “give a s — t” about Ukraine and was primarily interested in the “Biden investigation” that was being pushed by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Guiliani.

                emphisis added

                Again, a game of telephone. He heard a phone call, in which the matter was not discussed as you are claiming. You guys are wishcasting a crime.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

                Yes, a telephone.

                A device used by Trump to press Sondland on whether Ukraine would open an investigation.

                A conversation heard clearly by Holmes, since Trump spoke so loudly.

                A personal witness who heard those words spoken by the President.

                That Trump repeatedly asked if Ukraine would open an investigation into his political rival.

                I know that you don’t find this convincing, but since we are playing this game of “What does Mr. and Mrs. Real America think” I am pretty confident that Mr. and Mrs. America understand what was said and what it means.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:


                Yep, nothing.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Wasn’t that the phone call that Sondland took in a crowded restaurant? Poof. There goes that line of argument, because nobody clearly overhears both ends of someone else’s phone conversation in a restaurant, and surely no diplomat says “Let me put you on speaker phone in this room full of foreign spies.”

                The second problem is that Holmes impression of Sondland’s impression of Trump’s priorities is virtually worthless in a court proceeding.

                “So my buddy Clint was talkin’ to Jerome on the phone, and then he hung up and he says to me that he thought Jerome was more interested in that one chick, Monica, than how the dance team was doin’.”

                Was the witness’s impression of Clint’s impression correct? Was Clint’s description of the call correct? Did Jerome actually express his priorities to Clint, or was this just an inference Clinton made, never even have met Jerome before, possibly based on nothing, or possibly based on Jerome’s own and different priorities? If any link in that chain is broken, the whole thing falls apart, and there’s no way to ascertain the truth of the prosecution’s narrative.

                Third, it’s perfectly valid for Trump to place a higher priority on Joe Biden’s corruption than anything about Ukraine’s well being. Trump isn’t president of the Ukraine, a country in the middle of nowhere with a per-capita GDP of about $5K and riddled with endemic corruption. He need give zero fishes about how it does. Biden, on the other hand, is running for the President of the United States and there are indications that he is as corrupt and possibly compromised as the day is long, and Trump needs those indications investigated. That is actually important.

                All the game of telephone might establish, at best, is that Trump cares more about the United States than he cares about Ukraine. How is that even questioned, much less portrayed as an impeachable offense? Obama illegally unleashed the FBI, CIA, and the State Department on Trump just to destroy his candidacy and Democrats didn’t even blink.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

              Then you have never listened to anything i’ve said. FFS sake i know this will trigger you but the sporking Mueller Report directly said Trump tried to obstruct justice and was even somewhat successful.

              From the Mueller report: “The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”


              “the President engaged in a second phase of conduct, involving public attacks on the investigation, non-public efforts to control it, and efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation.”

              And this is just picking low hanging fruit. There are few other easy things to find, but this is a start.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

                And neither quote shows any actions to actually interfere with the investigation. We don’t know what was supposedly done, as we are given nothing substantial to look at, would be actual things the president is not allowed to do in the normal course of his duties and powers.

                They give no fact of doing X to get result Y. No example of what was done that would be illegal. They are just opinions, not actual instances of fact. IE, nothing illegal was shown. No crimes were committed.

                Just the opinions of the report writer.

                But, please, show me some more “low hanging fruit.” I love some good wishcasting. It’s like reading Harry Potter.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

                LOL…. i knew the response would be something like that. You wants quotes, then you just ignore them. Those were the MR conclusions, summarizing the evidence they found and that means nothing. The entire report is on line. You have to read it though but you have already made your biases known. Is it worth my time to put out more quotes so you can ignore them.

                Here’s a freebee.

                Trump tried to have Mueller fired to end the investigation.

                “[On the weekend of June 14, 2017] the President called McGhan and directed him to have the Special Counsel removed because of asserted conflicts of interest. McGahn did not carry out the instruction for fear of being seen as triggering another Saturday Night Massacre and instead prepared to resign. McGahn ultimately did not quit and the President did not follow up with McGahn on his request to have the Special Counsel removed.”

                On Saturday, June 17, 2017, the President called McGahn and directed him to have the Special Counsel removed…On the first call, McGahn recalled that the President said something like, “You gotta do this. You gotta call Rod.”

                When the President called McGahn a second time to follow up on the order to call the Department of Justice, McGahn recalled that the President was more direct, saying something like, “Call Rod, tell Rod that Mueller has conflicts of interests and can’t be the Special Counsel.” McGahn recalled the President telling him “Mueller has to go” and “Call me back when you do it.”

                McGahn decided he had to resign…he then drove to the office to pack his belongings and submit his resignation letter.”Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak says:

                And none of that was something a competent prosecutor would ever try to drag into court. It’s okay for Trump to get upset an attempted coup d’tat. It’s okay for targets of investigations to vent. It happens in most cases.

                It’s was also completely legal for the President to sack Mueller if he thought Mueller was going off the rails, because Mueller would simply be replaced and the investigation would proceed, just as would happen if Mueller had committed suicide with a bed sheet.

                What you’re quoting is a report from lawyers who were on the same type of fishing expedition as Schiff. If you quoted from Schiff’s inevitable report you’d have all kinds of quotes that clearly say the President did all sorts of heinous things, which are simply a narrative he made up.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                So disappointing. I know you are going to find some crazy pants trump flavored kook aid defense, but this, it lacks something. It’s got no pizazz, no flair……Come on if your going to go all in with crazy….go Krazee!!!!Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak says:

                Well, sorry to disappoint, but Nancy and Schumer looked at the Mueller report and threw up their hands because they didn’t think there was anything in it they could proceed with. It was a big nothing burger, made worse when they had Mueller testify about it.

                The fundamental problem Democrats face is that, unbelievable as it may seem to you, Trump is way more honest and aboveboard than his predecessor. Even if he were a scheming crook by inclination, the whole “resistance” movement assures that all his actions will pass any review.

                It all comes back to the Democratic leadership being dumb as a box of rocks. If you want to catch a criminal in the act, you don’t go around bragging about how many informants you’ve planted in his midst. You don’t let him know that his calls are tapped by releasing excerpts. You don’t have whistleblowers talk about his classified conversations with foreign leaders. You don’t let him know that half the people around him are working for the Deep State to undermine him. There is probably no mentally stable criminal in American history who would even jay walk under those circumstances.

                By constantly screaming that they’re going to get him, and have spies and traitors planted in his inner circle, Democrats have made sure that he will never do anything that they could nail him for. Since there’s nothing they can nail him for, they desperately keep trying to make stuff up, such as we see in the impeachment inquiry where they try to redefine all the legal words and focus-group test charges to see which sounds best, which means none of the charges will have any real relevance to anything Trump actually did.

                As Judge Jeanine asked yesterday, are they crazy? Why yes, they are, and vast swaths of low-information Americans will take Judge Jeanine’s opinion as gospel. Combine those with the women who were horribly upset by the way Schiff kept telling Elise Stefanik to shut up, and those who are furious that a pivotal episode of “Days of Our Lives” got pre-empted by this clown show, and you can kiss the 2020 election goodbye, even in the suburbs, even among white college-educated women.

                And then there’s the question of what black Americans think of kangaroo courts where the prosecutors hurl charges at a wall, don’t allow the accused to put up any defense at all, and try to railroad people they don’t like, just as they do under Joe Biden’s “Lock ’em all up forever!” crime law. Heck, perhaps some will think the Democrats are going after Trump because he keeps issuing pardons and commutations to blacks who were slapped with ridiculous jail sentences for trivial offenses.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

                Huh, Trump thought about firing someone, and then didn’t. That doesn’t even rise to the level of my first wife, who wrote down(!) about killing me in my sleep!

                Holy Cow, that is the crime of the century! I mean, that right there should be an impeachable offense, with a penalty of hanging, a man looking for the limits of the powers of his position. I mean, it’s almost positively Hitlerian! Almost!Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

                Watching the tap dancing and evading is just epic. It’s not just the poor reading comprehension, though that is strong work. on your part. It’s the certainty that nothing will ever been enough even when people state directly a crime is being committed. Even when it’s directly stated he obstructed that isn’t good enough. It’s not like you can’t hate dem’s the way you do but still see trump for what he is. But why go halfway and just go full lickspittle for trump. At least there are “real” libertarians out there who manage to have eyes open..Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

                From WaPo
                “Sondland discussed sensitive matter with Trump on phone from Kyiv restaurant as waiters circled”


                And Trump spoke so loudly that Sondland held the phone away from his ear, allowing Holmes (and probably a couple waiters) to hear.

                And, we presume, every intelligence agency in the world was also listening to the President of United States on the unsecured cell phone.

                “China, if you’re listening, we hope you will release the audio of that phone call from Kyiv…”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

                At this point, on this blog, the tap dancing defenses of Trump are somewhat comical.

                But the real danger is in that old adage, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

                In order to be a faithful Trump follower, one now needs to believe a staggering number of absurdities.
                All manner of bizarre conspiracy theories baldfaced lies are just part of what his fans have to accept and fix in their heads so as to keep the faith.

                Liberal democracy doesn’t handle cults well.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

                I would love to say watching Dems try to hang an innocent man is surprising, but then I remember the South before civil rights…

                Yeah, a Libertarian who believes in removing bullshit crimes with no evidence is shocking.


  10. Avatar George Turner says:

    Weekend news isn’t looking good for the impeachers. I say this because I’m having trouble finding any Sunday news articles on impeachment. SNL, which usually mocks Trump every week, mocked the hearings. When you’ve lost SNL..

    And there are new polls out. According to Rassmussen Reports:

    “When they write or talk about the impeachment effort, are most reporters trying to help impeach President Trump or block his impeachment? Or are most reporters simply interested in reporting the news in an unbiased manner?”:

    “Help impeach President Trump”: 53%
    “Block his impeachment”: 8%
    Report “news in an unbiased an unbiased manner”: 32%

    But, 53% of black voters and 60% of other minorities, compared to 51% of whites, said reporters are trying to get Trump rather than report the news fairly.

    That should set off alarm bells. And then Adam Schiff telling Elise Stefanik to shut up, and the many reporters hurling sexist abuse at her for asking penetrating questions, is going to do damage with women.

    Since the hearings began, Trump’s approval numbers have jumped to 50%, up four points. He’s now got higher approval numbers than Obama did at this point. He’s loving it.

    Nancy is flailing around desperately, having abandoned “quid pro quo” because polling showed that people were confused by Latin words. Plus, Republicans have already morphed it into “kid pro quo” and applied it to the Bidens. So her new charge is bribery.

    Asked by a confused reporter, “So what was the bribe here?” she responded: “The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into elections. That’s bribery.”

    No, that is not remotely correct. She’s going to lose the Hispanic vote because they know what bribery actually is, as do many tourists who vacation south of the border.

    When you strike at a king, you’d best not miss. She missed. If they had any evidence of an actual crime they’d have led with it. She’s claiming that what Trump did was far worse than Nixon, but she doesn’t even have a burglary or even some breaking and entering. She’s just got a phone call that Trump proudly describes as “perfect!”

    All this has to be causing some grave concerns among the party ranks, because as this continues to fizzle, misfire, or even boomerang, 2020 moves further out of reach, with a large potential to negatively impact down-ticket races. The big question is whether she’ll go ahead an hold a vote or not.Report