About Last Night: Impeachment Edition

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Andrew Donaldson

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

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  1. Avatar michaeljdavis24
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    says:

    The Democrats could just keep impeaching him for things. In January they could begin holding hearings on emoluments clause violations. Force the senate to hold multiple trials, all the way to Election Day. Report

  2. Avatar Philip H
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    says:

    Its simple really – McConnell has said he won’t actually hold a trial in that he wasn’t going to allow the presentation of witnesses and evidence. Basically he was going to have the House managers read their articles and report and then have the Presidents team read a rebuttal and then vote. Nothing remotely fair or trial-like in that approach, no matter what the Senate has the power to do in this situation.

    So Pelosi – as much a shrewd tactician as McConnell – has called the Republican bluff about the process, and essentially demanded the Senate deliver the process Republicans claim wasn’t granted them or the President in the House. Its fairly brilliant, and it also helps McConnell with a little problem now being reported on that he doesn’t have the 51 votes he needs for a rules package that follows his path.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
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      says:

      Over the weekend, my colleague the Democratic Leader began asking the Senate to break from precedent, break with the unanimous template from 1999, and begin choreographing the middle of a potential trial before we’ve even heard opening arguments.

      In 1999, all 100 senators agreed on a simple pre-trial resolution that set up a briefing, opening arguments, senators’ questions, and a vote on a motion to dismiss. Senators reserved all other questions, such as witnesses, until the trial was underway. That was the unanimous bipartisan precedent from 1999. Put first things first, lay the bipartisan groundwork, and leave mid-trial questions to the middle of the trial.

      I have hoped, and still hope, that the Democratic Leader and I can sit down and reproduce that unanimous bipartisan agreement this time. His decision to try to angrily negotiate through the press is unfortunate. But no amount of bluster will change the simple fact that we already have a unanimous… bipartisan… precedent. [emphasis in original]

      If 100 senators thought this approach was good enough for President Clinton, it ought to be good enough for President Trump.

      -Mitch McConnell

      So, it seems what was good for the D’s a scant few years ago is no longer good for our hyper-partisan Dem rodeo?Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Aaron David
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        says:

        One of the things that drives me absolutely crazy about Congress is that because of the role precedents play, no one (except possibly the Parliamentarians) knows what the procedural rules actually are. The Parliamentarians keep track, but they don’t publish the precedents or answer questions except from leadership. The current best estimates are that there are >10,000 precedents just in the Senate.

        This is something that the Senate Parliamentarian could have told us weeks ago: don’t pay attention to the written rules, here’s the precedent that determines the actual required procedure.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Michael Cain
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          says:

          Part of the problem, at least in my eyes, is that those rules can change due to political vagaries. Which is what Schumer is trying to do, and McC stopping.

          And that is OK, as the Senate sets its own rules. But, at this point, McC has the upper hand. Schumer was elected just before the Clinton trial and is part of that unanimous vote. Mitch is right to hold that over his head.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
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        says:

        Well that’s because McConnell has already settled the witnesses and evidence question – he thinks -by saying he won’t allow them. Not that he will wait but he won’t go there. SO democrats are rightfully looking for avenues to challenge that predisposition.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Aaron David
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        says:

        So, it seems what was good for the D’s a scant few years ago is no longer good for our hyper-partisan Dem rodeo?

        Um…_has_ the Senate agreed to a ‘simple pre-trial resolution that set up a briefing, opening arguments, senators’ questions, and a vote on a motion to dismiss’?

        I certainly haven’t heard that. When did this happen?

        Guys, we’re long past the point where we should assume that what people say are true, and we clearly need to go check these things.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    A funny thing got tweeted by the Warshington Post team that quickly got deleted.

    Here’s the tweet that references the tweet that got deleted:

    Twitter being twitter, the responses to the tweet are filled with screenshots of the original tweet.Report

  4. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    So I guess my predictions of a vote in April (with a split Democrat bloc) and only a single article are toast, but I’m still holding out for “no vote in the Senate”…Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      Yeah, and (see my response to Aaron David’s comment above) if we all had known the relevant precedent on Senate procedure earlier, many/most of us would have made different predictions.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      From the horse’s mouth:

      I don’t know if this is a good play or not. It is beyond my ken.Report

      • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        I’ll stick to my statement that since nothing is happening till after the holiday break anyway this is just churning the waters for a few weeksReport

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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          says:

          If they send the articles over today, the Senate votes on it before lunch and we’re back to talking about Star Wars by Christmas Eve.

          If they hold the articles too long, it becomes a political stunt. (And those voting numbers? We teeter too close to it looking like a political stunt already.)

          I’m not sure what the right play is.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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          says:

          It does give Mitch a great out. She didn’t send it over in a timely manner, so we are going to process it just as timely a mannerReport

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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          says:

          I’m curious to see how the details of this delay shake out. The Constitution says “The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” It also says “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

          The vote was taken and the House impeached, using their sole power. Indeed, the Democrats went on wild celebrations that Trump had been “impeached”. One could argue that their power ended right there, because they created an impeachment, and now that impeachment is the Senate’s baby regardless of ceremonial actions. They likely don’t have the power to withdraw or withhold. I’m sure McConnell, procedural master that he is, is weighing what options he could use to further humiliate Nancy.

          Precedent says that the House must deliver the articles of impeachment and present them at the bar of the Senate. For all I know Devin Nunes could wander over on his lunch break and toss the articles on the desk and say “Here, have fun with it, Mitch.”Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            Once Article were approved in the House Mr. Trump was impeached, just as Mr. Clinton was.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Philip H
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              says:

              If he is impeached, then the Senate is in charge of the trial and Nancy can’t do a thing about it. She is, perhaps, obstructing Congress and violating her Constitutional duties. The question is what McConnell will do about it, if anything.

              One possible read is that if she won’t deliver the articles of impeachment, it’s not an impeachment because impeachments are delivered to the Senate, unlike silly campaign stunts which this obviously was. Another question, given that this was just a campaign stunt, is whether the FEC would rule that Democrats are on the hook for all the costs of this campaign stunt. Another read is that the stunt entirely benefited Trump, hugely, and thus the Democrats shouldn’t be billed.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                That doesn’t sound right. The Senate can conduct the impeachment trail however it wants, but the House can impeach however it wants.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                And the House did. There job is done. Now there exists a big stack of documents called “articles of impeachment” and those are taken up by the Senate. As Lindsey Graham said today, Nancy isn’t in charge of both houses of Congress. She can’t tell the Senate how to conduct the trial, just as Mitch McConnell couldn’t tell her how to conduct impeachment hearings.

                All she’s done is shoot herself, and her party, in the foot again. She told all the Democrats that impeachment would be huge. She’s been promising impeachment for three years. Now she’s produced an impeachment and it’s absolutely meaningless.

                Little girl: “Mommy, what’s ‘impeachment’ mean?”
                Mother: “Not a fishing thing, dear. Not a fishing thing.”Report

  5. Avatar JoeSal
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    says:

    It’s been a good year for anarchy, and next year looks to start with a bang.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    This may seem like a snarky question but I’m asking it seriously:

    Can the Senate do something like reconciliation? Like, they’ve got a bill on a bench somewhere gathering dust and they can just take it, rewrite it, make it identical to the articles of impeachment, and then vote on those?

    Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      That won’t pass muster because the House is granted the sole power of Impeachment. Anything called “impeachment” must come from the House.

      That said, I’m still not sure Devin Nunes can’t just drop off a copy of the House’s articles in the Senate and say “It’s been delivered.” How normal spending bills are handled might be a guide, and in that regard I don’t recall the Senate having to wait on the House to hand walk a bill over to the Senate in a special ceremony before the Senate takes it up. But precedents from previous impeachments might be controlling, and the previous ones were no doubt pompous procedural affairs.

      But from McConnell’s major slam of Pelosi this morning, he’s probably quite content to keep rubbing her face in it, knowing that her move is guaranteeing Trump’s re-election, and quite possibly the turn-over of the House in 2020.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        That said, I’m still not sure Devin Nunes can’t just drop off a copy of the House’s articles in the Senate and say “It’s been delivered.”

        I’d be willing to bet that there’s an official process involving paper and signatures for formally transferring the resolution from the House to the Senate. One of the signatures is almost certainly the Speaker’s.

        In my state legislature, there is one official paper copy of each bill and/or resolution that physically moves from place to place along with responsibility for it. That copy accumulates committee reports and amendments as it goes. This despite the fact that we have a complete bill tracking software system that everyone uses for everything except the physical possession thing. From time to time the official copy goes missing. There are a painful number of steps and attestations necessary to recreate the official copy. A bill hasn’t officially transferred from, eg, the House to the Senate here until the official paper copy has been physically moved.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain
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          says:

          So, what you’re saying, is for example, declaring bankruptcy isn’t just standing in your office and shouting:

          “I …DECLARE…BANKRUPTCYYY!”

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-m3RtoguAQReport

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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          says:

          This is a magnificent opportunity for mischief.

          “I delivered the articles.”

          I’m trying to imagine the argument that follows and what would have to be relied upon and what would have to be waved away and we’ll see a lot of people drop today’s favorite argument and run over and pick up the argument that their opponent dropped a couple seconds ago (when they ran over to do the same).Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            You — and George, upstream — seem to assume that Congress hasn’t spent the last two centuries plus closing off all the ways that members can cheat the transfer of responsibility process. If the Colorado General Assembly is smart enough to put in place procedures that make use of verifiable physical tokens, chain of custody receipts, etc, etc, then Congress is smart enough to do those things too. (I’d love to hear from someone with experience about Congress’s versions.)Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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              says:

              Hey, I’m not saying that I see a loophole that will allow the Senate to vote on the *ACTUAL* articles.

              But we’ve got a lot of people who are wondering why Trump is still president even though he’s been impeached out there.

              It wouldn’t be *THAT* hard to turn the discussion to “why the articles haven’t been delivered from the House to the Senate even though a member of the House delivered some copies of the articles to the Senate.”Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Cain
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          says:

          So School House Rock was right when the rolled up paper sang “I’m just a Bill.” He had a unique identity and can’t be replaced by a clone. O_OReport

          • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            That’s my opinion, for whatever that’s worth.

            Also that after more than two centuries, Congress has worked out a process for transferring unique object X from House to Senate that precludes Rep. Nunes coming in and successfully saying, “My delivery of the articles without the approval of the Speaker counts.”Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Michael Cain
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              says:

              I would say that without a specific line in the constitution or an actual law, what we had was a norm. And while Burt might long for those to come back, they have steadily been falling away on both sides of the aisle.

              And without laws, then it is perfectly reasonable for Nunes to walk it over, assuming he has access.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Reconciliation bypasses self-imposed congressional rules and processes. As impeachment is specifically in Constitution you would have to say no. Then again rules are rather malleable things these days so who knows…Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      As I understand it, either house of Congress can censure a member of the executive branch at any time.Report

  7. Avatar Burt Likko
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    says:

    The voters will stop caring about procedure once the result is reached. If they ever cared at all.

    If the Senate can simply refuse to hold a confirmation hearing of a nominee to the Supreme Court, then the House may transmit approved articles of impeachment to the Senate at its pleasure rather than in compliance with the norm of immediacy. Certainly the norm would be for the articles to be transmitted immediately, but it’s very clear that norms don’t matter as much now as they did five years ago.

    We now know, adherence to norms is for suckers. Debate amongst yourselves who started it; it isn’t important. But I promise, whatever side of the aisle you’re on, you’re going to miss those norms some day.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Burt Likko
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      says:

      Until the realignment is complete, the rules and not the norms are what will carry the day. Indeed, it is why we have these rules and laws. Once the realignment is finished, the norm will be whatever the new paradigm wants it to be.

      Thus it ever was.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Aaron David
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        says:

        If the GOP wins hugely in 2020 because impeachment buoyed their support, their poll numbers, and their fundraising, the new norm is going to be that the Speaker of the House and her handlers deliver the articles of impeachment wearing symbolic suicide vests, to commemorate the most boneheaded political move in modern history.

        It seems like it was just yesterday that Democrats were explaining that they had to rush impeachment because Donald Trump was such a dire threat to the Constitution. Yes, that was yesterday. Today? Eh, whenever they can work it into their schedule. Maybe March or April, if she doesn’t have to cancel a dentist appointment.Report

      • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Aaron David
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        says:

        There was a rule about not punking the FISA court, and look how that worked out.Report

  8. Avatar Dark Matter
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    says:

    I don’t see why the Senate should care about this. If Nancy wants to sit on the impeachment then she can, and they can ignore her and do actual work (which to be fair appears to be happening).

    When she gets tired of holding her breath she will give it to them and then they’ll hold a quick vote. No Big.

    She has no leverage here. What is she going to do, not finish the impeachment process so Trump is never actually impeached?Report

  9. Avatar DavidTC
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    says:

    Guys…it’s all you all have forgotten Trump exists as an entity. That this isn’t just between the two parts of Congress!

    The long Pelosi holds on to these, the angrier the actual Trump entity gets. This, in turn, results in him making really dumb decision.

    Everyone remember when he released, of his volition, the call under discussion? How fundamentally stupid that was? If he hadn’t done that, it could have taken forever to get it, and, on top of that, it would be classified, so the entire population would be sorta guessing at what it said. But he released it, like a complete dumbass.

    And the public talking about how McConnell isn’t going to give him a real trial because everyone knows he’s guilty will not make him happy. At some point, he’s going to start demanding that the Senate hold a trial to prove him innocent. An actual trial, where he gets to come in and produces evidence, with witnesses, etc, not five minutes of McConnell just gaveling past it.

    Because he has literally no grasp on reality, and thinks he can win ‘in court’ because…well, because he’s always managed to…well, okay, he’s lost a lot of court cases, but he’s forced settlements on a lot of them, and in the back of his mind, he ‘wins’ in court.

    Note I am not saying that the Republicans will convict even after this, I suspect that regardless of what evidence comes out in the trial, they won’t. But it will make them, and him, look a lot worse for it. Hell, I’m not even sure _this_ is the stupid thing he’s going to do…he might do something else equally stupid.

    All I know is making Trump feel defensive and impotent is, honestly, the best possible way to defeat him.Report

    • Avatar KenB in reply to DavidTC
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      says:

      Let us taunt him! He may become so cross that he will make a mistake!

      I mean, I guess it’s not guaranteed not to work… but I don’t see any reason to think this will accomplish anything helpful.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to KenB
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        says:

        I mean, I guess it’s not guaranteed not to work… but I don’t see any reason to think this will accomplish anything helpful.

        You mean, besides the fact last time people made accusations against Trump, he released the ‘perfect’ conversation that is one of things that lead to his impeachment? I’m…fairly certain I literally made that example in my post.

        Trump is an impulsive idiot who understands almost nothing, and refuses to listen to any outside advice, and half the people who are advising him are also stupid.

        So, yes, taunting him is actually a very good way to fight him.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          The problem with lowering yourself into the slime pit to fight him is your rep is worth something and he doesn’t care about his. We’ve seen that again and again. He’s used to be covered in shit.

          It’s the whole “beware the left handed swordsman” problem. Everything is wrong when you fight him but he’s used to it.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
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            says:

            See now, I would think that in a republican democracy, the fact that one of our major parties nominates someone that they themselves call “shit”, in actually The Problem.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Nah. He’s going to make Mount Rushmore so much nicer, so much nicer.

              He is the people’s champion, elected to take on the Beltway bureaucrats, the fake media, and the arrogant and self-serving elites who enrich themselves at our expense. Of course they’re going to fight him with everything they’ve got because they don’t want to lose their unearned and unjustified privileges and powers.

              He was elected because he’s crass, he’s often bullheaded, and he fights. Instead of rolling over because some CNN columnist said bad things about him, he metaphorically punches them in the face.

              That distinguished him from the Republican field. Plenty of candidates claimed they’d work to help our interests, blah blah blah, and would lead because they were a leader who can lead, but then they’d gasp, blink, and often apologize if a pundit said a harsh word about them.

              But Trump isn’t the problem, he was the solution. The solution to what, you ask? The solution to the problem that many moderates and conservatives felt they were under a sustained assault from the media and the elites, one aimed at silencing their voices, destroying their families, closing their businesses, eliminating their cars, taking away their guns, banning them from the Internet, flooding their neighborhoods with refugees, destroying their culture, eliminating their churches, and empowering their enemies. They had to make an existential choice: Fight back or be destroyed.

              Trump, who probably has far more grass-roots contact with workers than the other posh country-club candidates, sensed this. He would go out on stage and say what the crowd was thinking, things all the other candidates were afraid to say. It was liberating and empowering, and he’s still at it, filling entire sports arenas night after night and talking, off the cuff, for hours at each event, to raucous cheers and laughter.

              Not having anyone who can remotely match him, Nancy went for Trump impeachment attempt #7, based on what Schiff said his insider CIA source had told him about what he’d heard from someone else who’d overheard something. The initial claims, the ones Nancy used to decide on impeachment, were not remotely born out by the transcript of the call, which Trump immediately released, a move she obviously hadn’t expected.

              She and Schiff and the rest of the Democrats likely assumed that the whistleblowers tale was true, and that Trump would fight tooth and nail to keep the damning transcript classified, setting up a real fight. Oopsie. Deranged and bitter Democrats lied to each other, as usual, and they couldn’t stop the train before it ran off the tracks, boosting Trump’s polls to new highs, energizing his base, causing moderates to side with Team Trump, and even causing one House Democrat to change parties.

              And now things are set up for Act II: Revenge of the Senate, and she’s balking because she knows things have already peaked for her side, the train is already off the tracks, and the rest is going to be the train careening into the ravine.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              I personally have not voted for him yet so there’s that.

              However I worry more about rose colored glasses than I do excessive realism.Report

        • Avatar KenB in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          What has his impeachment done for anyone? As far as anyone can tell, no minds were changed, there’s no evidence it’s hurt his re-election chances, and the only reason we’re even talking about this whole “don’t deliver it to the Senate” strategy is that there’s a fear that the outcome of his certain acquittal there will end up making this whole process a net benefit to him. Which I assume was Pelosi’s fear all along and the reason she didn’t move forward with impeachment earlier, until this Ukraine thing basically forced her hand. I doubt she agrees with your assessment that this was some kind of achievement, however she talks about it in public.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to KenB
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            says:

            Do *you* think Trump should be impeached for extorting Ukraine for political favors?

            Pelosi’s calculus (IMO) was *never* that impeaching Trump would backfire and help him get re-elected. It was that Red-district Dems would lose their seats thereby reducing Speaker Pelosi to Minority Leader. (The same reasoning applies to McConnell as well: if he feels the GOP Senate majority hinges on allowing marginal GOP Senators to defect, he’ll let them.)

            And Pelosi holding the articles is actually very good politics right now since it ties McConnell’s hands, doesn’t allow Trump to gain an “exoneration” victory, and in a practical sense keeps the investigations open and ongoing. In just the last couple days we’ve learned that Russian mobster Firtash paid Parnas to pay Giuliani and that the hold on Ukraine aid came 90 minutes after Trump’s “perfect” call with Zelensky. Your view is that none of that matters. But do *you* think Trump should be impeached for extorting Ukraine for personal favors?Report

            • Avatar KenB in reply to Stillwater
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              says:

              I think his conduct was entirely impeachable, and if the politics were different, I would be happy to see him removed from office for it. But “should” is a stupid word — the politics matter. And I think that you and many on the left are trying to make lemonade out of the political lemons — there’s been no obvious political benefit to any of the investigations so far, so to me it seems foolishly optimistic to expect that to be different in the next few months.

              But even more than that, this whole “impeach but don’t send to the Senate” thing looks dodgy and political rather than principled, to those who aren’t already in the anti-Trump corner. I don’t think folks on the left are doing a very good job trying to get out of your own heads and into the head of the typical voter you need to convince.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to KenB
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                says:

                Well, politics is hard. Or so I’ve heard.

                Good to know that you think he should be impeached. Less good to hear you talk about lemonade and the “head of the typical voter”. Is that a person (Typical Voter) you have lots of experience with? More than Democrats do?Report

              • Avatar KenB in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I’m going to bed, find someone else to pick a fight with.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to KenB
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                says:

                Wait, I have more questions.

                Do *you* view Pelosi holding the articles as dodgy and political? I assume you’re aware that McConnell said not only that he’s not an impartial juror but that he’s going to coordinate the “defense” in the Senate with Trump’s counsel. He said he’d make the process political. So you must be aware of the basic facts that Pelosi is holding the articles in order to ensure that the process *isn’t* political. So surely *you* don’t think holding those articles is dodgy, right?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                We have been hearing from Team Blue for months, even on this forum, how Impeachment is a Political process and Trump doesn’t have to be guilty of committing a actual crime and doesn’t get the usual rights to defend himself.

                It’s very weird to now hear that it’s not supposed to be a political process and it should be “impartial”.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                LOL.

                That is some serious industrial lipstick you are trying to put on that pig. Dems found zero laws were broken; the articles of impeachment containing no criminal malfeasance, showing that it was all political. She couldn’t get any Rep. to cross over, giving her zero leverage with that party. Now she wants a “fair” trial in the senate?

                No, she is trying to put the best spin on a shit situation. She knows that as soon as those papers hit Cocaine Mitch’s desk he runs the show. And that means calling in Senators that are currently campaigning for president and forcing them to be in Washington for the possibly the remaining duration. What else are they gonna do, resign?

                No, she is trying to bury it. Let’s see if her caucus lets her.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                Aaron, she – like everyone else in the country – knows that the GOP Senators are going to vote acquit. What she objects to is McConnell coordinating with WH counsel by not calling certain specific witnesses. If she’s smart, she’ll hold the articles in the House until next November if McConnell doesn’t relent on those requests. As you like to say, if nothing in the constitution or courts requires her to send them to the Senate then it’s a breakable norm, and politics is a bare knuckle fight. Can’t win if you don’t play the game, right?

                Add: My tentative guess here on time frames is that Pelosi, being a Dem, will eventually cave on this in part because Dems are terrible at politics. But the longer she does, the more pressure is imposed on GOP Senators to defect from McConnell and demand Dem witnesses be allowed to testify.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                So, she objects to the Senate playing the same game the House played? No, she was lead to believe (and I am being as charitable as possible with the holiday spirit) that this wouldn’t have been the joke that it was. If anyone had crossed the line to make this non-partisan it might, might>/i> have worked. But in the end, two people went the other way, giving Republicans the bipartisan win.

                If she holds them until next Nov. than Mitchy McC can do the same, claiming she held them until the election simply for political gamesmanship. Which is what it will look like. I don’t think she is stupid, she just didn’t hold the winning hand, ever.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                “she just didn’t hold the winning hand, ever”

                Oh! Well that’s a different argument than you usually make. If the Dems have the losing hand – always! – then it doesn’t matter whether she holds the articles or not. The outcome is pre-ordained. So why care either way?Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I wish that I could agree with you but I’m increasingly convinced Pelosi has simply been pushed by a part of her coalition and a clueless media to do something against her better judgment and now is stuck managing it. I see no incentive for anyone on the GOP side to defect and suspect the Trump wing would love nothing more than to campaign on this situation. Any excuse to avoid meat and potatoes issues.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD
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                says:

                I think the idea that Pelosi could have *not* opened the impeachment inquiry is naive, myself. A blockade on her part would have led to rebellion in the caucus and a challenge to her role as leader. Pelosi, in my opinion, is doing magnificently well with (as Aaron said) a bad hand, but that hand has nothing specifically to do with impeachment and (IMO) everything to do with the electorate’s tepid, weak support of the Democratic party. The cracks opened during the Obama presidency and widened during the 2016 primary and the foundations of the party have turned to sand.

                Re: GOP defectors, I think that chapter isn’t written yet, but Pelosi’s playing a longer game over the outcome of GOP Sens re-election prospects.

                But look, I’m perfectly willing to concede that the Dems are behind the eightball politically right now, and I’ve never pretended or expressed otherwise. There are all sorts of things to criticize the party for. But one thing I push back on – as in this thread – is that obvious fact being dressed up in a fancy analysis that Dems are screwing the pooch by impeaching Trump, or that their messaging and strategy fails to connect with the “typical voter”. I mean, it’s obvious from a peresual of the polls that Dems haven’t changed the minds of “the typical voter”. So that’s not an analysis, it’s a data point. The bigger problem – one which no one has an answer to – is what Dems need to do to connect with those voters since (again obviously) you play the game of politics to win.

                So IMO all the handwringing about the Dems impeaching Trump (and Pelosi trying to bury the articles, and all that nonsense) fundamentally misses the problem Dems are in right now, which is that the electorate doesn’t like the party very much. And it’s only *given that fact* that clever analyses of the relative merits of impeachment vs. not gain any traction.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                So IMO all the handwringing about the Dems impeaching Trump (and Pelosi trying to bury the articles, and all that nonsense) fundamentally misses the problem Dems are in right now, which is that the electorate doesn’t like the party very much.

                And it fundamentally misses the fact that elections aren’t won by some hypothetical swing voter or some centrist who somehow hasn’t made up their mind. Elections are won by which side can get their people to show up, or the other side not to show up.

                Impeachment is widely popular with the Democratic voter. That was the thing Democratic voters wanted that the party wasn’t doing. Well, now they are.

                Impeachment, especially with the Republican voting against removal, will result in more Democratic votes cast in total. There’s no question there. The only question is whether it will also result in more Republican votes.

                And I understand how the Republicans are trying to frame this, and that they think the frame as ‘all out war’ will help.

                But the problem with that frame is that the Republican have literally, for decades, invented scandal after scandal about Democrats, and in fact won the last election based on an invented scandal! So it’s really interesting how suddenly they really are sure this will help _them_. No.

                That’s not how scandals work. People sometimes get angry at the side investigating the scandal _in the moment_, but…this is going to be over by the election. In fact…the Democrats are sorta done with the things that anyone can use to justify anger at. The impeachment part is over.

                Meanwhile, Trump has just gotten more and more tainted by all this. The whole Republican party has gotten tainted. They’ll get more tainted by dismissing the impeachment…or even more if Trump gets angry and makes them hold a real trial.

                Anger fades, dirt doesn’t. Just ask Hillary Clinton.

                And we’ve had three years of off elections showing how tainted Trump and the Republicans already are.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                Impeachment, especially with the Republican voting against removal, will result in more Democratic votes cast in total.

                “Vote Against The Other Guy” does do a good job of fighting inner malaise but it has nothing on “Vote For My Guy”.

                One thing I look for is “who is having more ‘fun’ cheering on their own team?”

                Not booing the other guy, mind. Cheering their own.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Weren’t you the guy telling us that a lot of people voted for Trump only because the Other Guy was so awful?

                In fact, isn’t that what a lot of conservatives on this very blog are saying right now, about 2020?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I was the one telling you that there were multiple dynamics and, indeed, the 2016 election was overdetermined. One of the reasons is that not only was Clinton an awful candidate, the people in charge of being able to tell that Clinton was an awful candidate cannot bring themselves to say that Clinton was an awful candidate and, indeed, argue against it when others bring it up.

                If you interpreted that as “people voted for Trump because Clinton was so awful”, I imagine that’s on me for communicating poorly.

                I wouldn’t argue that that’s why people voted *FOR* Trump. It’s just why Michigan and Pennsylvania democrats were insufficiently motivated to GOTV.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                “Hillary was uniquely awful” would seem by its very own internal logic, to hold no explanatory power for 2020.

                Are all the Democratic uniquely and singularly awful? Why are they not crushing him?

                Even with Hillary nowhere to be seen, Trump commands somewhere around 40% of American voters loyalty.

                My fellow Democrats celebrate the fact that most of the major candidates are leading him in the polls, but the sobering fact for me is that the lead isn’t a landslide.

                Even after everything, even after being offered dozens of alternative candidates both Republican and Democrat, something like 98% of Republicans and 35% of all voters, choose Trump.

                Something tells me this is less about Hillary and more about the state of America.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                “Hillary was uniquely awful” would seem by its very own internal logic, to hold no explanatory power for 2020. Are all the Democratic uniquely and singularly awful? Why are they not crushing him?

                It’s difficult to “crush him” based on… Trump’s sex life, Russia fixing the election, Trump owning hotels, Trump being Hitler, and so forth.

                Add to that two of your three big dogs running on Venezuela’s economy’s policies and I wonder if the Dems really want the office.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Even in the Trumpists’ own telling of things, the economic policy differences between the parties is largely irrelevant.

                And where they do mention it, their rhetoric of the “Populist Man of the People” against the elites sounds, um…very Venezuelan.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Yeah, it’s very strange (to me) to see an individual who is ostensibly opposed to command-control economic policies worry about Democratic candidates pipe dreams while ignoring Trump $36 billion bailout to farmers who lost money due to Trump’s command-control economic policies.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                ignoring Trump $36 billion bailout to farmers who lost money due to Trump’s command-control economic policies.

                Suggested Trade Wars are why I didn’t vote for him.

                However if I have to choose between $36 billion set on fire and multiple Trillions, the choice is easy.

                worry about Democratic candidates pipe dreams

                Giving the Dems a “mandate” for those dreams seems like a really bad idea.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                People warned me that if I voted for Hillary in 2016, America would have trillion dollar deficits.

                I gotta admit- They were right.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                The GOP could nominate a lawn chair and it would command 40% of the vote. (Probably more like 42-43%.) Same is true of the Dems as well. The election swings on about 15% of the electorate in about 10 or so states. This is one reason why some Never Trumpers (like Tom Nichols) think Dems should nominate a candidate (eg., Klobuchar) based on how well they’d perform in those particular states. Jaybird has also argued this wrt Biden fwiw.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                The GOP could nominate a lawn chair and it would command 40% of the vote. (Probably more like 42-43%.) Same is true of the Dems as well.

                Well, never let it be said that I’m a knee-jerk partisan. I’ll vote for the lawn chair regardless of which party nominates it.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Brandon Berg
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                says:

                FWIW John Kerry was probably as close to a lawn chair as we are going to get, and he pulled a 48, so I think you are being to harsh on the lawn chairs here…Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                says:

                Clint Eastwood actually debated a chair…and lost.

                So yeah, chairs are getting a bad rap here.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                fair point, though I’d quibble with the definition of debate there…Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                says:

                One of them invoked the steely, stoic calm and indifference for which it is famous.

                The other one ranted at an imaginary black man like Grandpa at Thanksgiving.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                chairs are the ultimate stoics, tbhReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                “Hillary was uniquely awful” would seem by its very own internal logic, to hold no explanatory power for 2020.

                But it’s not only that Hillary was bad.

                Here, let me say what I said again: “One of the reasons is that not only was Clinton an awful candidate, the people in charge of being able to tell that Clinton was an awful candidate cannot bring themselves to say that Clinton was an awful candidate and, indeed, argue against it when others bring it up.”

                Do you see how it’s a couple of things there?

                I mean, my argument is not that Trump won because of X.

                My argument is that Trump won because of W, X, Y, and Z.

                And, for some reason, that always results in people saying “BUT OTHER CANDIDATES X! AND THEY WON!!!!”

                Okay. Fine. But the reason Trump won and Clinton lost isn’t because of one thing. It was a perfect storm of multiple things but, if I had to pick one of the things, it’d be the apparent inability to tell whether any mistakes were made in 2016 that don’t take the form “we failed to appreciate how evil our opposition is”.

                Anyway, back to your question:

                Are all the Democratic uniquely and singularly awful? Why are they not crushing him?

                They are each interestingly bad in ways that the other ones are not.

                My fellow Democrats celebrate the fact that most of the major candidates are leading him in the polls, but the sobering fact for me is that the lead isn’t a landslide.

                Did you see this? This came out last month.

                My argument (that drives my Republican co-workers nuts) is that Biden beats Trump in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania and that means that Biden wins the election in 2020.

                And that’s why, I argue, that Biden is the dangerous one because he can beat Trump in the three states that matter even if California and New York are less than thrilled with him and even if twitter is less excited about Biden than whatever the flavor of the day is over there.

                Something tells me this is less about Hillary and more about the state of America.

                See? There it is.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                This is a good comment. One thing Democrats fail to take seriously is that Trump and his team *take Biden seriously*. The Dem logic seems to something like “oh well, that’s because Biden’s the front runner. If it was someone else Trump would be hyperfocused on that person, too, and in head to heads every top candidate beats Trump.”

                But Trump is (ahem, coughcough) *smart enough* to understand that the elections doesn’t swing on the popular vote. It will swing, as it did last time, on a handful of districts in a handful of states which Biden has the best chance to win.

                Dems are just phenomenally ignorant of the inner workings of electoral politics, seems to me. Trump isn’t.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                But this theory merely expands it to every single politician in America who is not named “Trump”;

                Why do all the Dems fail to crush him?
                They are all each uniquely bad candidates in their own way;

                Why do all other Republicans fail to crush him?
                They are all each uniquely bad candidates in their own way;

                You’re assuming Trump is the Un-Candidate, the “None of the Above” candidate.

                Except, all the evidence points against that.

                His supporters, really, really like him, exactly as he is, precisely because of what he is.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Chip, the argument isn’t whether Trump is a decent man or a good politician but who has the best chance to beat him.

                I wish I could remember Marchmaine’s comment about this dynamic because it perfectly captured the current moment in Dem politics, something like lefty Dems want to beat Trump but they also feel so tantalizingly close to being able to implement their preferred policies that they’ll trade the one for the possibility of the other.

                That’s where we are right now in the Dem party, seems to me. Biden and Buttigieg are boring because they lack the imagination required to both beat Trump *and* socialize the entirety of our healthcare system 100 days after inaugration.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                (Trump slaughters Buttigieg. Like, and it ain’t even close.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Why do all the Dems fail to crush him?

                I didn’t say that all of the Dems fail to crush him.

                I said that I thought that Biden would beat him. Scroll up. It’s right there.

                You’re assuming Trump is the Un-Candidate, the “None of the Above” candidate.

                No, I’m assuming that the bottom dynamic is not “Which of these Elitist Technocrats do you want catering to the middle class?”

                I’m assuming that the bottom dynamic is “Do you want the Populist or the Technocrat?”

                Biden is the closest to a Populist up there (and primarily because he has Populist Charisma rather than Populist Policies to push).

                And you can see how the technocrats hold him in contempt because of that.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                The facts are saying that no one crushes Trump.
                No Democrat, no Republican, no one anywhere is able to crush him in a Reagan/Carter landslide. This is a fact borne out by polling.

                So it seems obvious that Trump isn’t the “least bad” candidate, the one people turn to reluctantly after exploring other options.
                The American people have seen all the other options, and divided themselves into Trump or Not Trump factions.

                It seems that there is a very large plurality of Americans who really, really like exactly what he has to offer, and won’t settle for anything else.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                It seems that there is a very large plurality of Americans who really, really like exactly what he has to offer, and won’t settle for anything else.

                There’s a lot to like. Full Employment. No wars. Expanding economy, income, and stock market.

                That’s worth putting up with him banging porn stars, putting his subconscious unfiltered on twitter, being very crass and unpolished, and even trying to have corrupt dems investigated for corruption.

                It’s also possible the Dems rallying cry of “eat the rich” doesn’t work well in the context of the evil rich making too many jobs and so forth. Biden has had to tack pretty far to the Left to get the nod… maybe so far it’s a problem.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                “Full Employment. No wars. Expanding economy, income, and stock market.”

                In other words, the Obama economy.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                We did quite a bit of fighting while President Obama was in office, Chip. Just folks didn’t notice as much. Granted he inherited some but also sanctioned other, new places to blow stuff up in.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                says:

                Good thing all those wars are over now!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Also too, I don’t think terms like “populist” or “technocrat” have any explanatory power in our current political moment.

                They don’t explain who is on what side, and they don’t predict voting behavior. They’re really just aesthetic signals, like a guy droppin’ his gs to illustrate how much he understands regular folk.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                The facts are saying that no one crushes Trump.

                True, but Biden beats him in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

                Which means that he wins the election.

                Even if CA and NY are depressed to the point where Biden only wins those states 52-48.

                They’re really just aesthetic signals

                Indeed they are.

                You probably are wondering how morally twisted and ugly a soul would have to be to find Trump more appealing than Clinton.

                I’m not sure that I have the skill to explain it to you.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Can you explain how morally twisted and ugly a soul would have to be to find Trump more appealing than literally any other politician, Democrat or Republican, in America?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I’m not sure that I have the skill to explain it to you.Report

              • Avatar Ozzzy! in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                If ‘Chip/you’ was replaced with your projection of a ‘Biden polling voter’, what would you talk about with them JB?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Ozzzy!
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                says:

                Football, maybe? Superhero movies, probably.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                You’re confirming my priors too much and seeing as how this is the internet I have to quibble. I think the fact that she couldn’t avoid opening the inquiry is illustrative of the wider problem and what keeps the support so tepid.

                Now I’m a really bad partisan and my brand of liberaltarianism probably makes me a conservative in most western countries but like it or not I’m team blue here. However it seems pretty obvious to me that Dems punch below their weight by consistently emphasizing the most divisive parts of their platform and de-emphasizing that which could legitimately catch.

                And it doesn’t even seem like their opponents in the GOP are particularly masterful of the dark arts. Like look at George up there going all Poe’s Law about how some dude whose only accomplishment in office is cutting taxes on bazillionaires is somehow a hero to the working man.

                And yet here we go off in a direction doubling down on the disconnect, repeating obviously false mantras that have become a sort of Soviet fiction, and prioritizing an outdated playbook over situational ball.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD
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                says:

                I agree 100%. Dems are notoriously bad at politics, and that reputation was deservedly earned when the electorate actually liked the party. Apart from McConnell, who is an evil genius, but the GOP isn’t winning right now because they’re masterful tacticians. It’s because the institutional deadweight of the Dem party finally ran it down, crushing the tenuous and often contradictory links binding the coalition.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Agreed with everything except the “avoid meat and potatoes issues”. That normally means things like income and employment and those are great.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Eh they’re doing great only in a very superficial way that ignores just how precarious a lot of peoples situations actually are. Nothing has been done to really sure up regular people against another 2008-style situation or curb the cost disease issues keeping a hand firmly on the head of middle class households.

                Downturns are inevitable and at some point we’ll have one where the middle class is hit so hard it doesn’t stand back up. If you think our politics are in crisis now just wait until that happens.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                the articles of impeachment containing no criminal malfeasance

                Uh, no. The main thing he did is not framed as a crime, because the president has extremely wide latitude as to legal behavior. But using government resources for, and I quote, ‘personal political benefit’, would indeed be an actual crime if anyone did it.

                The entire point of not including the president under those laws is that _the president cannot be found guilty of those things_, and instead must be impeached.

                Pointing out the articles of impeachment don’t say the president broke the law because the laws were built in such a way as to not include the president because he can’t be found guilty of breaking the law is extremely silly.

                And, of course, the articles of impeachment _do_ actually accuse him of breaking the law in several places. For example ‘In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Exectuvie Branch agencies…’ and ‘President Trump — acting both directly and indirectly though his agents within and outside the United States Government — corruptly solicited the Government of Ukraine…’

                Both of those are asserting criminal actions in a general sense. They are not specifically citing a specific criminal status, because, again, that’s not how it works with the president.

                But be assured that the government saying someone did something ‘without lawful cause’ or ‘corruptly’ is, in fact, asserting criminal actions.

                She couldn’t get any Rep. to cross over, giving her zero leverage with that party.

                *Justin Amash quits party in disgust at Trump’s behavior and argues he should have been impeached over the behavior found in the Mueller report, and then votes for this impeachment*

                Republicans: No Republicans voted for this! The one who already quit in disgust doesn’t count!Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                Trump used the power of the Presidency to extort Ukraine for personal political favors. That’s a crime. It’s also an act identified in the Constitution as subject to impeachment.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                It’s also an act identified in the Constitution as subject to impeachment.

                Quote?

                Trump used the power of the Presidency to extort Ukraine for personal political favors.

                I’d be fine with impeaching him on this except it’s extremely hard for me to picture the Dems being cool with impeaching a President HRC the moment she took office based on her history of doing this.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                My copy-paste functionality has abandoned me but “Bribery” is the word you’re looking for. You’ll find it in the section on impeachment and removal.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                {{bangs table}} “Nowhere in the constitution does it say “extorting Ukraine” is impeachable!!” lolReport

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                But using government resources for, and I quote, ‘personal political benefit’, would indeed be an actual crime if anyone did it.

                That fails the laugh test because virtually every official act a politician makes accrues them a personal political benefit, or is design to (sometimes they misread their constituents). That’s why they vote the way they do. Q: Why did Obama and the Democrats pass the ACA? A: Because they thought it fill their campaign coffers and would make them shoe-ins for re-election. Is that now impeachable?

                If a governor or AG thinks a politician is in bed with the mob, they should investigate it. That could benefit them politically, but it also benefits the public because it helps prevent a mobster from running the government.

                Biden is on camera bragging how he threatened to withhold a billion (with a ‘B”) US aid dollars (which is our money, not his) from Ukraine if they didn’t stop an investigation into the wildly corrupt company (according to every law-enforcement agency out there) that was paying his son millions of dollars for a no-show job.

                US aid money was plonked into the bank (PrivatBank) owned by the mobster who most say runs Burisma. Then the billion dollars disappeared from the bank. It’s just gone, and Latvian anti-corruption authorities flagged a suspicious $16 million dollar money transfer from Belize and the UK that landed in Hunter Biden’s bank account, and Latvia notified Ukrainian law enforcement. So BIden got on the phone again with the President of Ukraine and wouldn’t you know, the investigator got fired.

                Some of the Ukrainians involved say they couldn’t come over and tell Americans about what was going on because Ambassador Yovonivitch wouldn’t give them visas so they could come to the US. She’s also been accused by their top prosecutor of having a “do not investigate” list of people involved in this mess that he wasn’t supposed to look into.

                Is it impeachable to ask Ukraine to look into all that? Democrats say yes, that it should be illegal to look into Democrat corruption. Well, if that’s the hill they want to die on, good riddance.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                George, you are living in a totally different universe than everyone else, and thus you actually need to provide cites for this stuff, because many of us have literally never heard any of it, and…you have been known to repeat random conspiracy theories.

                Like, the ‘do not investigate’ list, which was a claim that was retracted by the person who made it, and no evidence has shown up to support it.

                So please link to something, _anything_, that supports what you say.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                And that’s what’s scary. You haven’t heard any of it and yet the Internet is overflowing with news articles about all this, some of it coming from reporter John Solomon who used to work at The Hill

                Just the other day I linked a video interview of the Ukrainian prosecutor (not the fired one, but his replacement) who waved official papers whiy he told about how Ambassador Yovonitch told him who not to investigate (and he rattled off some of the names).

                Have you seen a single interview with a Ukrainian? If not, don’t you think it’s a little strange that no major network reporters have even bothered to fly over to Europe and interview politicians on the other end of these events?

                This is a common tactic on the left. During the inquiry they’d constantly dismiss the “debunked conspiracy theory” without anyone being able to point to any “debunking”. They say there’s no evidence but do everything they can to make sure no evidence is made known. For example, Ukrainian officials allege that Ambassador Yovonovitch wouldn’t issue them visas to come to the US,. yet the media has zero interest in seeing if that is true. They don’t even want anyone made aware of the allegations.

                There might also be a problem with search filtering, such as by Google, whereby Republicans might be seeing tons of information on all these events and Democrats might not be getting a whiff of it. All this would get into deep questions about media bias and their attempts to be gatekeepers, which is best left as another topic.

                But rest assured, the information you might not be getting will be coming out in the Seante trial, perhaps like a flood or perhaps like a constant “drip drip” like we had during the early stages of Watergate. Nancy desperately doesn’t want that to happen, which is why she’s trying to rig the Senate hearings, too.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Oh, I get it. It’s another conspiracy theory fromJohn Solomon, who has literally just been writing whatever Lev Parnas and Rudy Giuliani have been telling him to write.

                John Solomon was actually discredited as a journalist long before Trump came along. He’s _always_ been someone who write scandals into places where they didn’t exist.

                In addition to a bunch of scandals that I’m sure you still believe, he’s also the person who decided to write a John Edwards story about a him selling some real estate, a way that suggested it was inappropriate, and…it wasn’t. I don’t mean there’s some disagreement there, I mean anyone looking at the facts of the story say ‘Um…huh?’ John Edwards sold a house for basically what increased property values said it was worth, plus a little more that could easily be from documented renovations. There could, hypothetically, be some sort of scandal there, but not in the facts John Solomon provided…but Solomon sure implied there was one.

                That’s the sort of reporting John Solomon does. Also…why did you called him ‘reporter John Solomon’? He’s a contributor to Fox News, not a reporter.

                And while he ‘officially’ left The Hill to start his own media venture, which he doesn’t appear to have happened, it appears The Hill was getting very dissatisfied with him and his ability to write unbiased, and a controversy about his interaction with the advertising side.

                This is why they rebranded him as a ‘opinion contributor’ over a year ago, and no long a ‘reporter’. And…then quietly was allowed to just wander off, and…no longer works for them.

                So John Solomon hasn’t officially been a reporter for over a year…including all those when he wrote all those pieces about Ukraine you point at. Fox News kept _calling_ him a reporter for The Hill, but according to The Hill, he wasn’t.

                ‘Officially opinion guy John Solomon’ is not really a very useful source.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Wait. You can’t see Dems impeaching Hillary based on her history of using the power of the Presidency to extort foreign countries?

                Am I reading that right? Or am I supposed to use the principle of charity to interpret it as something less absurd?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                You can’t see Dems impeaching Hillary based on her history of using the power of the Presidency to extort foreign countries?

                Yes. You’d do the same ethical backflips for this that you already do for her selling pardons. IMHO she was further over the line then than Trump is now.

                If you’re not willing to even consider that exchanging a pardon for a million dollar campaign donation and pardoning unreformed terrorists for a bump in HRC’s district is a problem, then we’d see a very different narrative if HRC had pulled what Trump had.

                It wouldn’t be “extortion” it would be “politics as normal”, or “her opponent is clearly corrupt and it’s in the national interest to look into it”, or “it’s not provably illegal”, or “no quid pro quo”.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Dark, do *you* think Trump should be impeached for using the powers of the Presidency to extort Ukraine for personal political favors?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Dark, do *you* think Trump should be impeached for using the powers of the Presidency to extort Ukraine for personal political favors?

                I think there are all sorts of reasons why Trump shouldn’t be President and we can add that to the list.

                I also think this impeachment effort is much more about the Dems pandering to their base than it is about Presidential misuse of power. I see no evidence the Dems would care about this issue, or children in cages, or many others that they pretend to care about, if it were a Dem President doing it.

                If I have to go with a binary answer that answer is “no”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Accepting corruption as a tool to fight the imaginary oppression of your enemies is the Platonic ideal of Trumpism.

                Courtesy the WaPo:

                “[Evangelicals’] fear comes from an inverted golden rule: Expect from others what you would do unto them. White evangelical Protestants express low levels of tolerance for atheists, which leads them to expect intolerance from atheists in return. That perception surely bolsters their support for Trump. They believe their freedom depends on keeping Trump and his party in power.”

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/12/23/white-evangelicals-fear-atheists-democrats-would-strip-away-their-rights-why/Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t especially care what the evangelicals think.

                The part that concerns me is the vast difference in expected ethics if we do this. A member of Team Blue can expect a total pass for something like selling pardons, but Team Red can’t suggest the investigation of Blue’s obvious corruption if it’s in their personal benefit?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Can you imagine what we imagine you would do, and therefore what we must do in order to combat what we imagine you will do?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Can you imagine what we imagine you would do, and therefore what we must do in order to combat what we imagine you will do?

                I don’t need to imagine, you’re pretty open about it.

                Every GOP President, if elected, will set up Nazism and death camps.

                The words that best describe this fear are “self serving”. Waitbutwhy describes it as “political Disney Land”. It’s really informative.

                https://waitbutwhy.com/2019/12/political-disney-world.htmlReport

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                The “extortion” line fell apart as ridiculous nonsense. President Zelensky of Ukraine says he was under no pressure at all, and he didn’t even know the aid was delayed. Thus there could have been no attempt at extortion, because an extortionist must let the victim know about what’s going on, as Joe Biden did when he directly threatened the previous Ukrainian president, who told others he was under extreme pressure from Biden, as documented in affidavits presented in court.

                Investigating what the Democrats, including Biden, were doing in Ukraine to rig the 2016 US election and enrich themselves is likewise not a “personal political favor.” It’s mandated by treaty.

                The other article is “obstruction of Congress”. The Supreme Court has ruled, countless times, that obstructing Congress is part of the President’s job. Indeed, that’s why he has a veto.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                you’d do the same ethical backflips for this that you already do for her selling pardons

                Dark, Hillary has never held an office with pardoning power. Seriously, dude. What the fuck are you talking about? The stream of consciousness bullshit you’re writing sounds like the deranged ramblings of Alex Jones.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Hillary has never held an office with pardoning power.

                Assuming you don’t know about Marc Rich. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton_pardon_controversy (Although this link has been more informative in the past). His former wife was a serious donner to HRC when she needed the money.

                If we discount the money HRC was given, the pardon was done for no reason, was exceptionally unusual, and against normal SOP. Similarly if we discount the pardon there doesn’t seem to be any reason for the ex-wife to donate money to HRC. People as far to the Left as Jimmy Carter have said there clearly was a link between the money HRC’s campaign got and the pardon.

                Assuming you do know about Marc, there you go. An ethical backflip that insists there’s no link between the pardon HRC’s husband gave Marc and the serious money campaign-to-elect-HRC was given. Because the people involved didn’t have a signed contract and we lack telepathy, we can’t prove quid pro quo, so the ethical standard here is “not provably illegal in a court of law”.

                For Trump you have an extremely different standard of proof and desired outcome. With HRC, money and gov favors changed hands, HRC’s election was seriously influenced, so everyone involved got what they wanted. With Trump, he never got what he wanted, and the aid headed for Ukraine showed up on time. He did some puffery, it was ignored, and that’s if we assume investigating an obviously corrupt “job” should be off limits.

                So yes, I think team Blue would look the other way if HRC had gotten caught doing something like this. I think what she accomplished was further over the line than what he attempted. If we want to talk about “foreign countries” then we can start talking about HRC’s “charity”, which foreign groups it was in bed with, and how that money dried up the moment she lost her political influence.Report

  10. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    This is one of those things that strikes me as a mistake. Your supporters can make this argument… but you can’t.

    Report

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