It’s Not Just About A Speech: Impeachment and President Trump

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Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He is on Twitter, blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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  1. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Point of order – assuming the House passes their impeachement articles today he will in fact be impeached before he leaves office. He may not be removed, but he will be impeached.Report

  2. Avatar Em Carpenter
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    says:

    Great piece Mike.Report

  3. Avatar gabriel conroy
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    says:

    I haven’t been reading most of the other posts or the comment threads, but has anyone mentioned the recently bruited idea that Congress might deem Trump to have engaged in insurrection in the 14th amendment sense. From what I heard (i.e., from some op-ed I read on the internet), that might be one way to get around the awkward question of whether the Senate can try an impeachment against someone who has already left office.

    ETA: by the way, I really liked this post and agree with almost every word of it.Report

  4. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    You want to know why all these “conspiracy theories” stay around? It’s because, in the grand scheme, the right thinks that the left has it out for them. And that’s not such a crazy thought. Here’s a few recent examples:

    1) All the deplatforming of folks on the right
    2) Michael Beller saying that Homeland Security should take all the kids from republicans and put them in “re-education” camps.
    3) When shiitty people like Pedro Pascal doxxes Ted Cruz

    That took 5 mins of internet searching. I can also assert that someone I know personally has said similar things to me. Is everyone on the left like this? Nope, but there’s just enough of them for people on the other side to be concerned. The left DOES have a history of killing millions of people.

    Does this make it “ok” for folks on the right to do the same thing to the left? Nope. Does it justify what happened in the Capital? Nope. Both sides need to step back-but that’s not gonna happen. Two tribes. Not gonna change. So, how to fix it?Report

    • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Damon
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      says:

      I actually kind of agree with that comment, at least as far as it goes. (That said, I don’t know how one “doxxes” a public figure, but I haven’t followed the story and am maybe missing something?) Just because they’re all out to get you doesn’t mean you’re not paranoid.

      I think, though, the following three things:

      1. We need to settle on what is right and wrong and pursue what is right.

      2. Things are happening very fast, and it seems we have only a little time to figure some things out. There’s credible (for certain definitions of “credible,” but credible nonetheless) auguries of further violent disruption of the transition process. Additionally, I think an impeachment trial against Trump after he leaves office is probably a bad idea.

      3. Maybe things are happening too fast and we need to think about process, both due process and what I’ll call, for lack of a better term, “prudential process.” Process is very important, and I fear that in joining the call for impeachment, or a 25th amendment solution, or a 14th amendment solution, I am joining up in something too precipitous to be called “justice,” or whatever word one chooses. We, or I, ought to at least keep one foot in the “let’s do this deliberately camp and not go overboard.” At the same time, per my thoughts #1 and #2, I do think we need to act, and act quickly.

      I’m not directly addressing your point about what feeds conspiracy theories. But I think that perspective, too, deserves consideration.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to gabriel conroy
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        says:

        “Additionally, I think an impeachment trial against Trump after he leaves office is probably a bad idea.”

        You think it is a bad idea because you think it is WRONG to impeach him? Or you fear the repercussions of doing so? If it is the latter, than I suggest you need to revisit your own Point #1.Report

        • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Kazzy
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          says:

          I should have said “might be a bad idea.” I’m undecided–and I’m certainly not a constitutional scholar–but I’m inclined to believe that impeachment was designed, and should only be used for, removing a sitting officer. I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise, though.

          But for the most part, I fear the repercussions. One possible repercussion is, it could make Trump into a right wing martyr. A second possible repercussion, it might not succeed in invalidating any future attempts by him to run for president.

          But you’re right. If I truly believe in my point #1, then the repercussions should be balanced against what is right.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to gabriel conroy
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        says:

        The unfortunate answer is we have to find a way to be better people. Avoiding these things takes trust and the only path to that is deferred gratification. Right now our culture is one of instant gratification and our politics reflect that. Why not say something crazy for short term gain and adoration? Well… this situation is why. But will we remember that next time it counts?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Damon
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      says:

      How does that compare to…
      1.) Republican efforts to disenfranchise People of Color?
      2.) Republican calls to “take our country back”?
      3.) Republican support for abusive police tactics and the officers who employ them?
      4.) The creation of a Platform (Parler) that caters to ONLY right-wing views?
      5.) The proliferation of and continued radicalization of right-wing media?

      The right NEEDS conspiracy theories to convince themselves of left-wing bogeyman because the evidence to support the theory is tissue paper thin.

      The left need only read the front page news to see the very real attempts of the right-wing to pursue their agenda above everything else (including things like human rights, democracy, etc.).Report

      • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        I had to look Michael Beller up. (Turns out there’s a sports guy of the same name better known than the PBS in-house lawyer.) Who here knew who he was in December 2020? And he was, for all practical purposes, fired for his irresponsible barroom talk, probably representing a pathetic attempt to get laid. I suppose some people would consider this an example of cancel culture.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to CJColucci
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          says:

          It is only cancel culture when the libs do it, don’t you understand how this works? Cons are always right and meant to rule by God’s own divine nature; liberals are always wrong. When conservatives do not have a leg to stand on, they start talking about how liberals are pulling the country apart and how terrible is that.

          Fuck this shit.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        I’m not saying that the right is guilt free. They own their own crap. And each of the examples you cite can and has been done on the left except for the “take our country back” and Parler. Right wing media came about as a response to the left wing media bias. I was there and I remember it. Besides, the right wing is now saying that Fox (who I’m assuming you’re referring by right wing media) is now “cucked” and isn’t right wing anymore. I wouldn’t know, I don’t watch it.

        Parler: I don’t understand why you think that’s a problem. When people complain about being removed from twitter, etc. the left and many on the right, say to stop bitching about section 230 and go get your own platform.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Damon
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          says:

          They are perfectly free to seek alternate platforms. They are free to whine like scared daises when their “speech” on any platform is shut down – but they are not free from that shutting down as a consequence of that speech.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Damon
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          says:

          “Parler: I don’t understand why you think that’s a problem. When people complain about being removed from twitter, etc. the left and many on the right, say to stop bitching about section 230 and go get your own platform.”

          A problem? No. Do your thing.

          But Twitter and Parler are not analogous. Not even close. Twitter is open to all but has shut down certain folks who they find violate their rules. Are they perhaps biased against right wingers? Maybe. I haven’t looked closely. Based on the higher profile bans, they do seem more targeted at right wingers.
          Parler was explicitly developed for ONLY the right-wing. That isn’t nearly the same thing. Even if it was in response to Twitter’s behavior.

          You are blaming every bad behavior by the right on the left. Bullspit. Fox is worse than MSNBC and it isn’t even close. Right-wing talk radio goes back decades.

          Where did Democrats try to curtail the voting rights of white people? Or conservatives? Or, well, anyone?

          And acting like “Take our country back” rhetoric — much of which was spouted by the unprecedented attack on the Capitol — is no big thing is, well, bullspit.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        Damon listed reasons that the right might think the left has it out for them. I assume that Kazzy’s list is supposed to be a corresponding tally of things that would make the left think the right has it out for them. Numbers 1 and 3 are the most negative interpretations of policies that are intellectually consistent with equality under law. Number 2 is a slogan that both the right and left have used. Numbers 4 and 5 aren’t generally intended to be exclusive (as in non-inclusive). I’m sure that Parler would welcome people across the political spectrum.

        Each of these items would be worth a long discussion, but collectively they don’t accomplish what Kazzy appears to have intended. Maybe I’m misunderstanding his intentions, though.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Pinky
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          says:

          Republican politicians have gone on record saying they don’t want certain folks to vote because they know they will lose elections if they do. That isn’t about equality. That is about excluding certain groups from the process because it threatens their power.

          The idea that there is only one side that is “out to get” the other is unsupported by facts. And the idea that the left has been worse at it than the right is also unsupported by facts.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Pinky
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          says:

          Point 1: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/30/trump-republican-party-voting-reform-coronavirus
          Point 2: Please point to examples of Democrats adopting “Take our country back” rhetoric.
          Point 3: Sadly, some Democratic leaders have also supported police but there is a pretty disparate response from the left and the right when it comes to police abuse, particularly recently. This is not limited to politicians but in fact is even more strongly the case among members of the populace.
          Point 4: Now we’re talking in circles. If Parler is okay, then Twitter is okay. If Twitter is not okay, then Parler is not okay. At the very least.

          If my intent was not accomplished, than neither was Damon’s.

          Obviously, there is hostility between the right and left, with both sides guilty of their contributions to it. But to say that conspiracy theories among the right — especially the conspiracy theories they have engaged in (QAnon, election stealing, etc.) — because of what Damon listed there is, frankly, nonsense. Unless you want us to think of conservatives and Republicans as toddlers who cannot handle the truth, who cannot handle disappointment, who cannot handle not getting their way, and who are justified in tantruming when asked to do any of those, Damon doesn’t make an argument; he makes excuses.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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            says:

            From Democrats.org:

            Together, we are the Democratic Party.
            We are fighting for a better, fairer, and brighter future for every American: rolling up our sleeves, empowering grassroots voters, and organizing everywhere to take our country back.

            Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              I stand corrected. But… do I get to refuse Democratic accountability because GOPers did it first?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                While I’m sure that refusing Democratic accountability will be pretty big in 2022, 2021 is going to be graded on a curve and the Democrats will be able to get away with a *LOT* just by pointing at Trump.

                “See? Look! We’re walking and chewing gum at the same time!”
                “Um… basic competence? You want a cookie?”
                “Compared to the last guy?”
                “Fine. Is Chips Ahoy okay?”Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            I remember “take it back” being a big slogan in 2008. Carville and Begala wrote a book by that name, and I’m pretty sure there was another book with the same name, also from the leftward perspective, that came out around the same time. The progressive Campaign for America’s Future held annual “Take Back America” conferences during the Bush II years.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            “Point 4: Now we’re talking in circles. If Parler is okay, then Twitter is okay. If Twitter is not okay, then Parler is not okay. At the very least.”

            You cited Parler as not being ok, and presumably you think that Twitter is ok.
            (If not, please clarify.) So there’s no talking in circles here. I think the difference between Twitter and Parler has to do with size and influence. Now, I don’t use Twitter, and I can’t imagine that it’s going to exist in ten years, so I don’t think about it much. But it, YouTube, Facebook, and the others have at times moved in tandem in a way that raises collusion concerns. I don’t care about Twitter’s beliefs, but only its practices.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Pinky
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              says:

              I will walk back point 2. I don’t recall those slogans but was younger and less politically engaged at that time.

              Re: Parler and Twitter, this is why I think we’re talking in circles. Damon cited Twitter banning certain right-wing individuals as justifying right-wing conspiracy theories. I pointed out that, to the extent Twitter is a left-wing only space (it isn’t), Parler exists and is much more of a right-wing only space than Twitter is. So if Twitter justifies right-wing conspiracy theories than Parler would just as reasonably justify left-wing conspiracy theories. And/or its existence ought to undermine the narrative that folks on the right are being excluded from society because, well, they aren’t. If they were, Parler wouldn’t exist. My mentioning Parler is a COUNTERPOINT to Damon’s Twitter point.

              Intentional or not, you did that thing where you pretended like Damon’s post never existed and I was merely asserting my statement, rather than countering his own. You have to read my comment in response to his. So, again, the notion that the right is being uniquely excluded by the left and therefore is uniquely justified in their behavior is simply unsupported by the facts.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Actually, I tried my best to understand your post in terms of Damon’s. I discussed that fact. I normally don’t give an account of what led from one post to another, but I did in that case. I also said straight up that I wasn’t sure how your comment was to be understood.

                Take your point 4. Damon listed “all the deplatforming of folks on the right” as one of the reasons that the right can get afraid of the left. You presumably responded with “the creation of a Platform (Parler) that caters to ONLY right-wing views”. Does that mean:

                – “you’re afraid of the left, but the left is afraid of the right because of platforms like Parler”
                – “you’re complaining about a platform that allows the full range of conversation, but Parler doesn’t allow the full range of conversation”
                – “you’re complaining about your voices being silenced, but the existence of Parler proves that they’re not”

                or something else? My response to each possible meaning is going to be different. To the first one, I might say that Parler isn’t anything to be afraid of; to the second, I might say that Twitter doesn’t allow the full range of conversation and Parler does; to the third, I might say that Parler’s just barely surviving. But each of those points probably wouldn’t have much meaning if you meant one of the other interpretations.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Damon’s point was:
                “ You want to know why all these “conspiracy theories” stay around? It’s because, in the grand scheme, the right thinks that the left has it out for them. And that’s not such a crazy thought.”

                It’s “not so crazy” for the R to think the L is out to get them for the listed reasons. I offered counter examples equivalent to or worse than Damon’s. So… either both sides are out to get each other so neither should feel uniquely targeted OR this is all now the status quo.

                It takes a warped perception of reality —a reality where conservatives hold structural advantages despite being a numerical minority, a reality where FNC exists, a reality where conservatives dominate talk radio, a reality where Parler exists, a reality where the GOP admitted to targetting POC for voting restrictions to increase their odds of winning — for the right to claim the left is out to get them.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Thanks for clarifying.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Damon listed three specific things that have happened recently. You responded with five general things: two of them your interpretation of policy debate, one which you retracted, and two which can’t be characterized as attacks of any kind.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                That’s your take. As pointed out, his claim of “doxxing” was posting his public comment number. So… two points? One arguably a nutpick. So… 1.5?

                Again, the notion that Republicans are justified in their behavior because of Democratic bad behavior is unsupported by reality.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                No, Damon didn’t say the behaviour is justified, and he didn’t give excuses. Neither did I.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                The issue isn’t “justified”.
                The issue is “encouraged”.

                Like if I break the rules and give one child a cookie, I’m probably going to end up giving a cookie to all of them.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Who broke the rules? Twitter? The NPR person? The doxxer who didn’t actually dox anyone?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Who broke the rules?

                In the previous example, that would be me by handing out cookies to a children that shouldn’t have one.

                If you mean “encouraged how and by who?”

                How about the people who riot and burn stuff after some cop kills someone?

                They are showcasing what is acceptable and expected behaviour if enough people are unhappy.

                Then after that we have people claim this violence isn’t really theirs and anyway their unhappiness is justified and/or “you need to understand” about the violence.

                So the solution to this unhappiness (and by implication the way stuff stops burning) is fix “systemic racism” (whatever that means), i.e. do what the people burning stuff want.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                So…

                One kid throws a tantrum because they haven’t been fed dinner in a week.
                The other kid throws a tantrum because they went from daily desserts to every-other-day desserts.

                We should treat both kids and their grievances identically, correct?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                One kid throws a tantrum because they haven’t been fed dinner in a week.
                The other kid throws a tantrum because they went from daily desserts to every-other-day desserts.

                You’re spinning things so that your preferred side is just, and therefore their violence is just, while the other side is not. If violence is ok (only from your side of course), then how about stealing elections? Still ok? Your side is just so the rules don’t apply, right?

                Further we should expect that the group you just described as having “daily desserts” is probably not the upper 1% of society.

                I’m fine with describing what happened as a “tantrum”, but we’ve been seeing a lot of them over the last year or two. I have lots of kids. Encourage and tolerate tantrums from one child and you’re teaching all the others how the system really works.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Well, yes. I have a perspective. And you (and everyone else) is fully entitled to their own perspective.

                I’m a teacher. Of young children! Dealing with tantrums is my jam. A phrase I often offer parents when they look at concerning behavior is “understandable but not acceptable.”

                So… the violence we saw over the summer was NOT acceptable. Full stop. But was it understandable? I would say yes. The anger that led to the violence was understandable. The violence was not acceptable. But what caused it was understandable.

                I look at the events of January 6th and I would not consider them to be “understandable but not acceptable.” I do not think the anger is understandable. I recognize that it is *REAL*… but it is rooted in blatant and obvious falsehoods.

                Someone said it elsewhere (I think Katherine?) and I will paraphrase it in a way that saps it of much of it’s power but here goes…

                If BLM and associated movements from this summer had their primary concerns addressed, it would not harm the folks who stormed the Capitol.
                If the folks who stormed the Capitol had their primary concerns addressed, it would actively harm a great number of people.
                That alone puts their positions in vastly different categories.

                Let me amend my earlier example:
                Toddler 1 tantrums because he didn’t get dinner.
                Toddler 2 tantrums because he didn’t get to eat Toddler 1’s dinner.
                Should we really consider the roots of their tantrums the same? Should we not feed Toddler 1 because we didn’t like how he voiced his anger?

                If all you see is the tantrum, you’re missing the majority of the picture.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                But if you cater to, or even just ignore, Toddler 1’s tantrum, you’ve encouraged Toddler 2 to have a tantrum as well.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Police officers cause harm to people because we are unwilling to force them to face the consequences of bad actions. It’s to the point where officers KNOW that they are probably going to get away with it.

                You are a teacher, you have to understand how this group dynamic works. Just because the group is adults doesn’t mean the dynamic still isn’t in play.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                I’m not quite sure I follow.
                1.) I think police officers should be held accountable for the unjustified harm they cause to others. I realize “unjustified” is doing a lot of work there, but suffice it to say I agree fully that we need to change the dynamic you describe above.
                2.) I think the folks who committed acts of violence during this summer’s protests should be held accountable.
                3.) I think the folks who committed acts of violence on January 6th should be held accountable.

                That said, because I think the motivations underlying the violence in #2 are legitimate, I think they should also be addressed. NOT because some people committed acts of violence in pursuit of them. But BECAUSE they ARE legitimate.

                I don’t know how we begin to address the motivations underlying the violence in #3. Do we hang Mike Pence? Should Congress have not certified the election results? Should we install Trump as President for 4 more years?

                We can give the folks in Group #2 what they want and it would make society BETTER.
                If we give the folks in Group #3 what they want, it would destroy our society.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                (Sorry, I didn’t see the first comment before the one about police officers.)

                Yes, catering to one tantrum could encourage tantruming in the other child. And you wish adults would function differently than toddlers but, sadly, they often do not.

                At the same time though, refusing to feed Toddler #1 BECAUSE they tantrumed isn’t the right course of action either.

                The tactic I encourage for young children is Affirmation/Correction/Alternatives.

                “I understand you are mad you didn’t get what you wanted. I’d be mad, too! But it’s not okay to hit when you are mad. Instead, you can tell me you are mad.”
                Then, depending on what they are mad about, you can choose to address the matter or not.

                The “injustice” of the matter is independent of the way in which they expressed it.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        3.) Republican support for abusive police tactics and the officers who employ them?

        Abusive police is almost entirely a “local” (as opposed to state or federal) level thing.
        Those local areas are typically Solid Blue areas, often where there are no GOP officials.

        Trying to blame the GOP for abusive police is like trying to blame me for someone else’s marriage. It’s somewhere between a distraction and a deliberate way to avoid responsibility.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Dark Matter
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          says:

          Yes and no. The big conflagrations tend to happen in large solidly blue cities. However there are plenty of towns in the deep red sticks with SWAT teams they have no need for kicking in doors over nothing. The driver for reutilization of military equipment is very much federal. States and localities follow the lead of the federal government and federal courts in enacting their criminal justice policies. Republicans have had their hands in all of that, even if it’s as a rep of a suburban district in a state legislature. It isn’t like it’s unheard of for someone in the burbs to run against the dysfunction of the big city where their constituents commute.

          If anything it has been a bipartisan effort. The idea that these things would he materially different in the big cities if Republicans were in charge strikes me as pretty dubious. Maybe they hate police unions just as much as teachers unions but I don’t see much evidence of that.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
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          says:

          I’m talking more about the public comments. If you were a Black man and heard how conservatives talked about recent high profile incidents of police shootings of Black men, would it be reasonable to conclude that conservatives were “out to get you”?Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Damon
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      says:

      There are parts of the left that are, shall we say, a bit unhinged over anyone to the right of them. IMHO the sane part of the left is often far too willing to engage in, “Well, you have to understand” rhetoric in defense of it.

      That said, conspiracy theories involving massive election fraud, pedophilia, pederasty, etc. are not the logical place to go. I can understand folks on the right feeling under attack, I can not understand clinging to conspiracy theories, and I won’t excuse it (just like I won’t excuse lefties who need to seriously chill the feck out).

      Too many folks are unhinged right now, and we seem to be running out of hinge pins…Report

    • Avatar Michael Siegel in reply to Damon
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      says:

      Pedro Pascal did not “dox” Ted Cruz. He gave out the public number for Ted’s Texas office, which you can find on the Congressional website.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Damon
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      says:

      The assertion being made here by Damon is that the behavior by the right is somewhat understandable, given the behavior of the left.
      In other words, that this is a symmetrical battle.

      But it really isn’t. It isn’t about this set of words or gotcha quotes, its about the entire stance of the two parties.

      Meaning, in looking at the behavior of the Trumpist/ Tea Party faction over the years, its entirely reasonable to conclude that they consider themselves as the only legitimate holders of power in America, engaged in an eliminationist battle to the death. In taking view of all their behaviors, their stated goals, the price they willingly pay versus the ones they fight to the death for, it becomes obvious that they are unwilling to live as co-equal citizens with the liberals.

      This isn’t just “politics as usual” where one side tries to gain advantageous policy, or that seeks to shape society in one way or another.

      In normal politics, the other side has the option of joining in the majority; An opponent of lower taxes can accept them, or find a compromise.

      What’s going on with the Trumpists is ethnic tribal warfare, a Flight 93 existential struggle. Their opponents- roughly speaking, nonwhite people, non-Christians, feminists, gays and trans- are just plain lesser people, who have no legitimate claim to be in power over the Trumpists, ever in any circumstance.

      All the claimed excesses we hear about, the endless Quillette and IDW wailing about the oppression of the liberals- never amounts to anything more than tough politics or individual acts of cruelty.

      There is no eliminationist mentality on the left, where the rural white people are unworthy of ever holding power, where the sight of a straight Christian man reading to children in a library is, by itself, an outrage.

      This is why the behavior of the Trumpists is not “understandable”, because there is no injustice being inflicted upon them.

      The most maximalist claim on the left is that the Trumpist must be forced to live in peace and share power with the liberals.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        “The most maximalist claim on the left is that the Trumpist must be forced to live in peace and share power with the liberals.”

        And the reeducation camps. Don’t forget about those. But mostly, living in peace. And government-funded abortions.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        “There is no eliminationist mentality on the left, where the rural white people are unworthy of ever holding power, where the sight of a straight Christian man reading to children in a library is, by itself, an outrage.”

        making the rounds today: “Southern states are not red states, they are suppressed states, which means the only way that our country’s going to heal is through the actual liberation of southern states.” – AOCReport

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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          says:

          I’m happy to trade quips and quotes, but I’d rather you just level with me.

          Is this something you actually believe? That you are going to be an oppressed class, come the liberal takeover?

          Because this never sounds convincing, when conservatives list the stuff Damon did.
          It always sounds like huffing and puffing and melodramatic posturing.

          Like trying to spin the straw of loss of privilege into the gold of genuine oppression.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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            says:

            This is a pretty complicated question. First of all, I wouldn’t say an “oppressed class”, because I don’t think of whiteness as a class. And I don’t run a business, so it doesn’t affect me if government prioritizes different races than mine. But the conservative is always looking at how things change, and what Biden described is an introduction of race discrimination into federal policy. I don’t think there’s meaningful systemic racism now, because our legal system is mostly color-blind. But this is a step away from color-blindedness, and to a conservative, that’s significant.

            I note the blurring of distinction between “right-wing” and “white” in your comments. Damon wasn’t writing about color, but you introduced that in your analysis. The conservative seeks laws that are race-neutral. The liberal seeks laws that are far more race-conscious for now, in the hope of getting to a point of race equity.

            As I said, the conservative looks at how things change, which is a comparison against the past, whereas the liberal compares things against the idealized future. I could point out that your comments don’t sound convincing, but where’s the benefit in that? Actually, let me do just that: you’ve said a few times that the whites / right-wingers are behind the past year’s violence without presenting any proof, and that sounds as unconvincing as the Q crowd saying that Antifa attacked the Capitol. To me, some dude on a computer who doesn’t actually know you (although I think you have good will), why should I believe one over another? The question shouldn’t be whether any of us sound convincing.

            My point with the AOC quote is that the things you offhand treat as caricatures of your side can actually be found on your side. I don’t care if one NPR worker talks about reeducation camps, but I care that NPR is so far to the left that a conservative was willing to bet that he could find an NPR worker who would say that kind of thing, and he did. Research, hypothesis, test, analysis.

            One of the values of looking backwards is remembering the things we were told would never happen. Men in women’s bathrooms. You say it’s a small thing, but I remember those conversations. Suing gun manufacturers. That was a standard reductio ad absurdum about our courts used to make policy, until it wasn’t. Being forced to bake gay wedding cakes started out as a slippery slope argument. When Alex Jones was booted off the major social media platforms, we were told that he was a unique case.

            This comment is getting a bit long, but I hope it communicated something.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              I don’t think there’s meaningful systemic racism now, because our legal system is mostly color-blind.

              Thats laughable.

              African-American adults are 5.9 times as likely to be incarcerated than whites and Hispanics are 3.1 times as likely … The United States in effect operates two distinct criminal justice systems: one for wealthy people and another for poor people and people of color.

              https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/color-of-justice-racial-and-ethnic-disparity-in-state-prisons/

              https://www.prisonpolicy.org/graphs/raceinc.html

              One of the values of looking backwards is remembering the things we were told would never happen. Men in women’s bathrooms.

              Nice bigoted slap at transgender women there sir.

              Suing gun manufacturers. That was a standard reductio ad absurdum about our courts used to make policy, until it wasn’t.

              And how many of those manufacturers are now out of business as a result? How many fewer guns are in circulation as a result?

              When Alex Jones was booted off the major social media platforms, we were told that he was a unique case.

              And had Republican politicians, Donald Trump, and Parlar actually learned anything from that incident he would have remained a unique case. But clearly the modern conservative movement doesn’t want to learn that lesson. Or the one about how private companies can do what they want for basically any reason, including denying baking services because of gender identity or sexual orientation.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky: I don’t think there’s meaningful systemic racism now, because our legal system is mostly color-blind.

                Phillip H: Thats laughable. African-American adults are 5.9 times as likely to be incarcerated than whites and Hispanics are 3.1 times as likely

                African-American adults are also something like 4 times more likely to be victimized by crime. Seriously crime ridden African-American communities crank up law enforcement and create the numbers you’re quoting.

                Calling this “systemic racism” implies we can just tell the legal system to back off and it will be fine. However already very high victimization rates will likely increase.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Never mind “will likely”. We’re seeing it play out in the crime rates right now.Report

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

                Calling this “systemic racism” implies we can just tell the legal system to back off and it will be fine.

                That’s not what “systemic racism” means.

                Systemic racism increases rates of victimization.Report

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

                Systemic racism increases rates of victimization.

                This is simply pointing to the outcomes and insisting as a matter of faith that the cause must be racism. “Racism”, by definition, means “treating people different because of their race”.

                If the underlying cause is sub-culture that has very high levels of violence, crime, unwed motherhood, and so forth, then it’s unclear what we should do.

                If the crime rates are different because of culture, then treating people the same results in very different arrest rates, victimisation rates, or both.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              what Biden described is an introduction of race discrimination into federal policy

              Yes, that. You can have equality of outcome or you can have equality of opportunity, but you can’t have both.

              That’s a trite phrase but it means we should expect nasty and/or ethically unacceptable side effects from this sort of thing.Report

              • Avatar Bill Blake in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                You can’t have either, because neither really means anything. Other than destruction, that is. What you *can* have is equality before the law, something in short supply in this nation.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Bill Blake
                Ignored
                says:

                I think of equality of opportunity as synonymous with equality before the law. They both mean, essentially, no home-town refs. Statistical oddities in outcomes can warn you that there’s inequality in opportunity, just like odd voting patterns can be a sign of fraud, but if you investigate them and don’t find an institutional problem, you have to accept the differences.Report

              • Avatar Bill Blake in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Unfortunately, a lot of people think “equality of opportunity” means that, e.g., everyone should have access to the same kind education, regardless of means. Which notion has all the problems of equality of outcome. Anyway, that’s why I distinguish between equality of opportunity and equality before the law.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Bill Blake
                Ignored
                says:

                a lot of people think “equality of opportunity” means that, e.g., everyone should have access to the same kind education, regardless of means.

                The big determining factor is probably more “parental involvement and competence” than “means”.

                And we have no clue what to do about that other than pretend it’s not an issue.Report

              • Avatar Bill Blake in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                You’ll get no argument from me on your first point.

                As for your second, that’s a hammer vs nail issue–those who think that their preferred social outcomes can be obtained by controlling society have a bad habit of ignoring facts that run counter to their theories. It never occurs to them (publicly, anyway), that things can have private causes that are not amenable to social controls.

                The fact that reality keeps rubbing their faces in that doesn’t seem to matter.Report

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

                You can have equality of outcome or you can have equality of opportunity, but you can’t have both.

                We should probably have a separate post on this issue, Since we are straying far afield from the topic.

                But I will toss out that I believe this to be a false dichotomy.Report

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

                RE: Separate Post
                I’m in favor.

                RE: False Dichotomy.

                How so? IMHO; If I had a reality editor, the single worse thing I could do to my high functioning daughters is air-brush me out of the picture about 12 years ago.

                No “me” means no 2nd driver and no bread winner. That means no 1st Robotics and no athletics.

                So run 100 experiments with me staying in the picture 72 times, and compare the results to 100 experiments with me staying in the picture 15 times.

                Is the expected outcome for my girls in both of those sets the same?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              Pinky, would it be fair to summarize your comment to say that no, you don’t believe that you will be the victim of oppression in a liberal world, but that the liberal policies will result in adverse outcomes?

              The reason I summarize it this way is to compare your viewpoint to the Flight 93 type existential dread that Trumpists feel.

              Your viewpoint is what used to be called “conventional Republicanism”, or what would nowadays be called a Lincoln Project Republicanism.

              Which is to get to my original point, which was to refute Damon’s assertion that the Trumpist viewpoint is understandable.

              Your viewpoint is understandable, and debatable. Theirs isn’t.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                There are two difficult phrases in that proposed summary of my thoughts, “oppression” and “liberal world”.

                I don’t think we’d agree on what oppression means. I can’t call myself oppressed with a straight face (my great-grandparents might be watching), nor can I imagine I’ll be oppressed over the next 4 years. I’m not in a position where I need government favor, and I’m not stupid enough to trust it, so I’ll be fine. Thinking about my great-grandparents, I’d laugh at the idea that anyone in the US has been oppressed in my lifetime, outside of some weird migrant sex slave thing. As an American, I’m proud of the country that took in my grandparents after their parents were killed, and didn’t tread them any differently than anyone else, back when they wouldn’t have been lumped in with the whites. I don’t want to lose that. And we won’t lose all of that or even much of it in four years. I can say with confidence that, based on the ideology you’ve expressed in your comments, millions of lives will be markedly worse in 100 years if we followed your course. There’s an element of the Hypocratic Oath in conservatism, and I don’t need to call something oppressive to condemn it for making things worse.

                Secondly, what do you mean by “liberal world”? There are too many possible meanings for me to take a shot at it.Report

              • Avatar Bill Blake in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Sex workers, I think, can make a good claim to being oppressed in America. just to give a single example.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                For the purposes of this discussion, lets say “liberal world” is a world where people like Kamala Harris and AOC are the power players.

                Current states like California, Oregon, Hawaii where the Democrats are in charge would be a good example.

                If you want to make the claim that no one has been oppressed in your lifetime, then this is a flat refutation of Damon’s point that the Trumpists fears are understandable.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Not if you think the nature of the country is going to change substantially in the next four years. And I wouldn’t make the assumption that every Trump supporter agrees with me about recent oppression.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                What “nature of the country changing” would make their behavior understandable?Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I hate how often I’ve been getting that Site Unavailable message when I submit a comment. I didn’t think the first one got through and posted the same idea five minutes later. But I think both are pretty clear. I didn’t say that the nature of the country was changing, but that they think that it’s changing. They think the country is on an accelerating decline.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                And there’s your problem. They are construing racial and gender broadening as decline. They are construing greater voter participation by minorities as decline.

                And economically they are all so scared of being called poor – because that’s apparently somehow a moral failing – that they will allow billionaires to misdirect them to believe that market driven changes in the economy are a liberal conspiracy to take something form them – instead of extreme profit taking by those same billionaires. They are willing to accept misdirection to the wrong villains. And owning the libs doesn’t actually solve any of those things for them.

                All of that is a pity, but not ultimately a condition liberals created nor a condition liberals have to solve. Even though we try to.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                No, everything you just said is wrong. That’s the projection or mental image or whatever you have of them, but it’s not their thinking. And these guys talk a lot, so you should be able to find out what they’re thinking pretty easily.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                We always hear this, that they are wildly insanely angry over the nation’s decline, so much so that they are willing to pick up arms and kill the Vice President, and yet, this anger is totally in no way at all related to race and gender but is about, um, taxes, the budget deficit and ethics in gaming journalism, yeah, that’s the ticket.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Weird, it’s like you always hear something and ignore it and pretend it’s about race. What’s up with that?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip thinks a lot about race, so he assumes everyone thinks a lot about race.
                And everybody is motivated by racial issues.
                And everything has racism at it’s core.

                Hammer, nail…Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                You have to play Six Degrees of Separation to make this past election about race, but people do that. “They say they care about this, but they really don’t. They say they care about that, and they always have, but they really care about it because it has something to do with this other thing, which has something to do with race, which is what they really care about.” I mean, the biggest arguments are on social media, where you can’t even tell what race anyone is.

                People may not know this, but even Christians tell jokes about the preacher who turns everything into a condemnation of homosexuality.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, it isn’t JUST race.
                Its also misogyny and Christian cultural hegemony.

                But race connects them all.

                Fred Clark at Slacktivist has done a good job at revealing the way racism has steered the theology of white evangelicals, echoing Lee Atwater’s confession about the code-speak behind the Southern Strategy.

                And the MRA types have themselves demonstrated how racial panic and sexual insecurity is intertwined with panic over changing male role models.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Only if they agree with my position on oppression. Alternately, they could agree with that but believe that the next four years will be a radical departure.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        “What’s going on with the Trumpists is ethnic tribal warfare”

        Biden, two days ago: “Our priority will be Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American owned small businesses, women-owned businesses, and finally having equal access to resources needed to reopen and rebuild.”Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          Biden is also giving vaccine priority to those over 65 and with respiratory ailments.

          For much the same reason.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            The weird thing is that by loosening the rules, fewer vaccines end up in the trash.

            What’s the goal?Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Mississippi loosened up the rules and instantly ran out of vaccine. Presumably this means people who are members of the “more restrictive” group will need to wait until… mid-February according to the news.

              https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/534160-mississippi-runs-out-of-coronavirus-vaccine-as-state-expands-eligibilityReport

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Yep. And the local media are lit up with people raging against the governor for that decision.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Is running out of vaccines a bad thing? We’re not trying to ration them to get through the winter—vaccinating a million people today better than vaccinating 25,000 people each day for the next 40 days.

                I understand that people who didn’t get the vaccination are upset about that, but this is a zero-sum game. There were only ever going to be so many people vaccinated before the next shipment. Wasting doses, or even just delaying vaccinations, is negative-sum.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                RE: Is running out of vaccines a bad thing?

                Probably.

                There are three groups of people.
                1) People at serious risk of dying from the virus.
                2) People at serious risk of contracting+transmitting the virus.
                3) Everyone else.

                The WSJ had an article suggesting if we focused on #1 we could shut down the disease with 10% coverage.

                I don’t know what “loosening” means, but if it means vaccinating #3 at the expense of #1 and #2, then that’s probably a problem.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The alternative, in practice, doesn’t seem to be “making sure that the #1s and #2s get vaccinated instead” but “throw the unused shots out”.

                I can easily appreciate the intuition to say “we should prioritize making sure the right people get vaccinated!”

                But it is better to get it into the arm of a #3 than to get it into the trash. And it’s not close.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Surely you mean the WSJ article said that focusing on #2 could shut the disease down with 10% coverage? Anyway, based on the Hill article you linked, it sounds like the loosening of restrictions was extending vaccination to #1, which implies that the original plan was to stick to #2.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Blacks suffer from biological deficiencies that make them less able to run businesses?Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            He is but it’s worth mentioning that the CDC’s initial guidance prioritized racial considerations over saving the most lives. And that was under the Trump administration. I think it’s fair to wonder whether there would have been a correction to sanity if the timelines were a bit later.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Damon
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s actually worth people noting just how _nothing_ this list is. We have, in order:

      1. Deplatforming by large companies, not ‘the left’.

      2. A comment by Michael Beller, a random lawyer at PBS, which notably is not any sort of political organization.

      3. Another random person, this one famous, suggested calling Ted Cruz at his actual office number on his website. Also showing a huge amount of people literally don’t understand what doxing is.

      These are the three complaints that Damon could come up the top of his head, about why the right thinks the left is after them.

      Literally none of these involve the actions of politicians, or non-politician that could conceivably be considered any sort of political leader in any manner, except possibly the vague complaint of ‘deplatforming’.

      Hell, one of them is not even anything slightly objectionable. A famous person doesn’t like something a politician is doing and urges people to contact them through the established channels. This is the level of ‘threat’ the right is seeing?

      I don’t doubt the right thinks these things are ‘threats’…the right-wing news media is beaming it into their heads 24/7. I just wanted to point out how laughable these complaints ACTUALLY ARE.

      Let’s check in with what the left is seeing…uh, wait. Let’s see what the left was facing _before_ all this. January 5th.

      1. The Metropolitan Republican Club,a 100 year-old institute for Republicans in Manhattan and pretty well respected…invited the Proud Boys to speak, which are apparently a known dangerous armed militia which I know nothing about what they will do in the future because it is January 5th, 2021.

      Speaking of the Proud Boys, Mario Diaz-Balart and Devin Nunes have posed for pictures with them. Trump tells an armed militia called the Proud Boys to ‘Stand by’, almost as if he has use for them later. Weird. I know it’s easy to say ‘These guys aren’t really a threat’ because it’s January 5th, 2021, but they sorta _look_ like a threat, and it’s weird a bunch of unhinged lunatics managed to associate so closely with, again, elected Republicans.

      2. Trump calls on crowds to be rough with protestors. Trump is the person that Republicans elected president.

      3. Steve King defended white nationalists so much he literally got kicked out of the Republican party, which would seem to be a credit for them, but it’s weird his racism went unnoticed for so long. Well, it didn’t people called him out for years, it just took him straight-up refusing to back down from the _terms_ ‘white nationalist’ and ‘white supremacist’…he didn’t even get kicked out for for saying the quiet parts out loud, which he’d been doing for years, but for repeatedly doing it, on camera, when questioned about it.

      You will notice that every single one of those things involves an actual elected Republican politician, or more than one. Not literal randos that right-wing bullshit factories have decided are ‘the left’.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        “Literally none of these involve the actions of politicians, or non-politician that could conceivably be considered any sort of political leader in any manner, except possibly the vague complaint of ‘deplatforming’.”

        True. But upthread politician’s comments have already been posted-AOC specifically. There’s more, I just didn’t bother posting them. I read them. Here’s one.

        https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/squad-newcomer-expel-house-republicans-fought-biden-win

        I’m sure I could dig up more. I find it curious that your point basically is “it’s all in the right’s head, when it’s clear that it’s not. Specifically the deplatforming. Yes, it’s companies…companies that are owned / operated by those on the left and have a history of demonetization and “mischief” with contributors that are on the right. There is literally years of examples. They may not be politicians but since when has that been the threshold? I said “the left” not Democrat politicians. Seems you’re trying to constrain my points to that category. I never stated it that way.

        Right media came about due to the monopolization big media companies by left ward thinking media folks and it’s biases are obvious. Right media is popular in the thinly populated “fly over” lands. You know, that place that all the liberals on the coast consider horrible backwater of hicks and where there is no culture.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Damon
          Ignored
          says:

          True. But upthread politician’s comments have already been posted-AOC specifically. There’s more, I just didn’t bother posting them. I read them. Here’s one.

          Oh, so now we’re counting stuff _after_ the insurgency? I was working off the premise you were trying to justify the behavior of the right _before_ that.

          If we are counting that, uh…I don’t know what to say at that point. You realize that the reason she is calling for them to be removed from Congress is that they are promoting the Big Lie?

          The Big Lie being that there was anything wrong with the election. That’s a lie, it’s been settled repeatedly, and people in politics repeating lies like that, over and over, are how you get Nazis.

          I don’t mean that metaphorically. That sort of talk is, literally, how fascists rise to power, asserting that things have been ‘stolen’ from them by traitors within their own society.

          That sort of talk has to be shut down…but we do have first amendment protections in this country, and people can say whatever they want.

          But Congress does not have to allow them to, and should not allow them to, stand in Congress while doing that. Especially since that specific Big Lie resulted in _people coming to murder Congress_.

          That’s also why, incidentally, people are now deplatforming them.

          I assumed you were complaining about deplatforming _before_ that point. But maybe not. So I guess I have to ask: Do you think it’s unreasonable for ‘the left’ to work to deplatform people literally plotting to overthrow the government on those platforms? (Not that it’s really ‘the left’ doing this, it’s corporations freaking out they’re getting linked to a coup attempt.)

          Incidentally, people should read this thread:
          https://twitter.com/LiteraryMouse/status/1347873482550468609

          Right media came about due to the monopolization big media companies by left ward thinking media folks and it’s biases are obvious. Right media is popular in the thinly populated “fly over” lands. You know, that place that all the liberals on the coast consider horrible backwater of hicks and where there is no culture.

          No, right-wing media came about because there was a huge amount of money _telling_ people that. Telling people lies, in fact.

          And at this point, you’ve just sort devolved into general grievances about how the right has _stereotyped_ what the left think about them.

          ‘Has it out for them’. That was your original wording. It’s not even concerns about actual things happening, just vague ‘Oooh, they don’t like us’. Now with vague handways that the left doesn’t respect ‘fly over’ people.

          Chip Daniels is right. There have been decades (Longer, actually.) of threatening behavior and actual violence towards minorities and ‘communists’ and anyone who threatens the conservative power structure (Note my use of ‘conservative’, not ‘Republican’.) Trump merely started saying the quiet parts out loud.

          Lynching, voter suppression, police brutality. One side has used their power to viciously and violently attack the other side, for basically all of American history. That is the left’s complaint, that the police basically exist to maintain white supremency.

          This is complete bullshit as equivalence.

          And now the other side is whining about not having a platform because ‘the left has it out for them’ Except for the fact…they _did_. They actually did. They were all over Facebook, for example. And they had the shithole of Parler because they kept getting kicked off Twitter for bigoted behavior.

          And then they used that to plot to overthrow the government because either they didn’t like the new government, or they had fallen for the Big Lie.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    I could be way off, but I have to imagine that every hallway in Congress and most if not all of the perimeter has security cameras. And I also imagine that the phone calls and/or radio chatter from that day is recorded somewhere. Again, I could be wrong but that is my hunch. And it seems perfectly reasonable that NONE of that has been released to the public.

    If I am right about that — a decent sized if — then my hope would be that the appropriate body conducts a full and complete investigation as to what went down that day and that appropriate paths to justice are followed accordingly. If Trump really did refuse to send in support, I imagine we will be able to find that out definitively. And if we do find that out and that is prosecutable in any way, shape, or form, I hope that they pursue it. I realize the scope of this article intentionally avoided the specific events of January 6th and rightfully so. We still know very little about what actually went down. But I do think we have the means to find out more and I hope the appropriate bodies explore those to their fullest. To me, intentional action or inaction that allowed the assault and the very real threat it posed to continue may have been the worst thing Trump did related to the attack.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Phone meta data, yeah. IIRC, all the major carriers have a batch of mini-cells covering the Capitol because of the load. So they know if your phone was there (even if you didn’t make or receive calls, unless you had the device completely powered off), if calls were made/received, the numbers of the to/from parties, duration, etc. The actual audio content, probably not. Text content is considerably less protected.

      People get unpleasant surprises all the time regarding how much meta data their carrier has about them. Ditto for other companies if you have inadvertently turned on some features of, for example, Google Maps.

      I wrote intracompany white papers back in the mid-1990s about how the internet and the rise of portable smart devices eventually meant the end of most of personal privacy.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        You can still maintain personal privacy, but you have to be very intentional about it, whereas before it was mostly a given.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        To clarify, I’m talking about the calls (phone, radio, or otherwise) that bounced around among Congress people, the White House, the various LEOs, etc.

        If Pence called people in the WH and was rebuffed, I have to imagine that is recorded somewhere or at least evidence of the calls themselves exist. If the cops were calling for backup and was rebuffed, would that be recorded? If the NG folks were on the radio trying to figure out what their orders were and being told by whomever to stand back, would that be recorded?

        Again, I could be WAY OFF on what official documentation (e.g., documentation by the government itself) exists so I’d be curious to hear from folks more in the know.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          I know in the Navy, all such communications, if not recorded, would be logged (what was asked, what was answered). I assume the NG has similar protocols in place.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            Thanks. That is what I’m looking for… trying to better understand what the various government groups involved are likely to have in terms of documentation of the events. And, again, I don’t expect those to be made public any time soon. They need to be properly preserved to support a thorough investigation, though I do hope they are eventually made public (at least the ones which reasonably could be without compromising any sort of confidential or security-related matters… for reals though, not just the way the government often tries to claim anything that is inconvenient for them needs to remain hidden).Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              Again, I only have my service to go on, but such logs were legal documents, and as such, they had to be maintained, and altering or destroying them was/is a serious crime.

              I suspect that the various police agencies, if requests were made across official lines of communication (radio to dispatch, etc.), a recording exists. Not sure about cell phones/Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Oscar,

                Totally cool if you don’t want to get into this, but I have a question for you based on your military experience.

                At times, my mind goes to a worst case scenario where there is, essentially, dissension in the ranks. I imagine a line of NG troops in front of the Capitol and a line of armed protestors facing off with them. What if one of those NG troops turns his weapon on his fellow troops? Were you given any sort of training if god forbid something like that happens?

                To be clear, I’m not predicting it will happen or anticipating it happen or wanting it to happen. It just seems like it isn’t impossible that it could happen and I wonder/worry about what happens afterward.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                This speaks to the nature of training. If you are poorly trained, that kind of dissension can be bad, and would mess up the unit something fierce. A well trained unit would drop the traitor in the ranks and get back to the battle.

                One of the things officers and senior enlisted are constantly watching for is the potential for someone to flip like that. They watch for it in and out of combat, especially out of combat (better to spot it during training than in combat). But a soldier who turns on his unit in battle would, at the very least, be taken out by an officer or senior enlisted the moment they turned on their own.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Phone meta data, yeah. IIRC, all the major carriers have a batch of mini-cells covering the Capitol because of the load.

        I heard something slightly different…that this network was in fact operated by the US government itself, which would imply they don’t even need to ask anyone else for records.

        I don’t know which of those is correct, but there is a very local network.Report

  6. Avatar InMD
    Ignored
    says:

    I think this is right Mike. There’s a lot of focus on what can and can’t be criminally prosecuted and not enough on other ways to draw lines. Siccing your dogs on another branch of government seems like a pretty fair one to reinforce, though it misses some of the underlying problems and escalations mentioned by Damon and gabriel above.

    That’s the whole thing about self-government though. We’re perfectly allowed to destroy ourselves if we chose to do so.Report

  7. Avatar Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    The success of the impeachment depends upon the framing of it such that Trump is being impeached for attempting to subvert an election including but not limited to the GA call and the riot during the certification.

    Stay away from defining ‘crimes’ and other lawyerly pursuits… else we’re defining ‘incite’ vs. ‘conspire’ vs. ‘sedition’ vs. ‘insurrection’ (vs. ‘obstruction’) it’s not necessary, and ultimately you’ll lose just enough support to make it feasible to wiggle out of the big picture into using ‘it wasn’t actually sedition’ to vote no.

    A quick skim of the actual articles shows that this is the main thrust and I think they are solid… I might have suggested that they add a nod to the due legal process that the Trump campaign was afforded to bring to light any substantial fraud … which confirms fair recourse and access to the courts which have reviewed and rejected their claims.

    But in the end… the bi-partisan take is the subversion of elections broadly construed… Let Republican Senators vote on upholding the election process, and don’t make it about legal definition splitting.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Basic rule of impeachment: if you can explain the wrongdoing in a single sentence you’re in the right place. If it takes weeks of hearings and hours of breathless cable news reporting you’re off track.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Right… you impeach on the principle. Period.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        I like this. Keep it narrow. Heck, keep it laser focused.

        There is always the temptation to indulge in “and another thing!”

        Going for the laundry list would be a disservice to everybody. (Though, I’ll grant, it feels cathartic to steam clean your beefs.)Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          “I bring you the Impeach Donald Trump And Also Help The Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Other Stuff And Make Houses Better And Adjust The Price Of Everything So It’s Reasonable Like It Used To Be And Also Pollution Is Banned Act!”Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Thinking back to the previous impeachment, I remembered thinking something to the effect of “this won’t work”.

    Looking at this impeachment, I am thinking “this might work”.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      The prior impeachement failed because it kept tp one event as a stand in for a pattern. this one highlights a pattern culminating in one event and does so cleanly.

      Presentation matters.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        I think it failed because nothing alleged was a clear break the glass event. There are interesting academic questions about where the line is between executive discretion and self serving political moves. Same is true for obstruction of justice versus legitimately defending oneself from pretty nakedly partisan allegations of impropriety. These and things like them are addressed in the normal electoral process.

        Sending your frothing mob of whackjobs up the hill in hopes they can disrupt certification of an election you lost on the other hand? Totally different ballgame.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m not enough of a Senate fanboi to know all the senators… but the magic number is 17 and from what I’ve seen there are about 7 probable, 6 leaning, and 7 possible R Senators.

      Which to my sales brain means the next step is framing it so that the 13 leaning/possible senators can defend a non-Trump principle that they can campaign on in the next cycle. Which would mean in practice that they can defend both a better voting process, reduced fraud, *and* the remove of Trump for subverting the election.

      For bonus points I’d look at 2024 hopefuls and offer them a “proxy” vote/truce … that is, if they deliver a ‘possible’ in their faction, we’ll give them a gentleman’s agreement not to push their ‘No’ vote in the election… but that requires all sorts of machinations/trust that I’m not sure exists.

      To paraphrase Sun Tzu… don’t cut off their hope of escape.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Marchmaine
        Ignored
        says:

        I’d be surprised if there are factions in that sense, where a particular senator can persuade a colleague on the basis of personal support for a presidential run.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah, not in the sense of lackey/subordinate… purely in the self-interest sense. We know there are folks with ambitions that Trump is blocking… the question is aligning enough of those with promises of future advancement in the event that they can knock him out.

          I take your point that there mightn’t be enough of that or sufficient trust or maybe there’s too many folks who want the deed but not the vote… but I guaranty that the calculations/discussions are happening.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah, if there was a magic button the Senators could press that said “Trump is impeached and removed but you voted against removal” then Trump would be impeached and removed with every GOP Senator riding that button.

            Since that button doesn’t exist, I expect McConnell will try and make the whole issue vanish once Trump is out of office and, if removal comes to a vote, the GOP will mostly vote not to remove. For most of the GOP Senators there’s not a lot of upside to voting to remove- the base will pillory them and for Trump haters the GOP is caked in Trump already and this vote won’t rehabilitate them.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Okay. Flashing back to last year.

    Trump’s Legal team post here.
    Dennis Sanders had an impeachment-adjacent post here.
    Impeachment Day One.
    Impeachment Day Two.
    Impeachment Day Six (I don’t think we had a post about days 3, 4, or 5).
    Impeachment End Game.
    The State of the Union.
    The Last Day of Impeachment.

    That impeachment felt like a stunt.

    This impeachment does not.Report

  10. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s not necessarily conflicting information.

    I think it’s an issue of “if we don’t have the votes then we’re not going to have a second impeachment” mixed with “we don’t have the votes”.Report

  11. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Schilling
      Ignored
      says:

      funny (and yet not) how allegedly principled people are now fearful of voting base don those principles because for four years they have supported a President who has pee’d on those principles. Its as if they didn’t think this through.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        I pointed this out on Twitter but someone legitimately did shoot a bunch of Republican congress members at a charity baseball game, so it’s not entirely unreasonable to imagine that a weirdo might come after them and actually get there.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          I think we need to takes the threats to elected officials seriously. They can’t be handwaved away.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah but the difference is this time the people making the threats against Steve Scalise, and other Republicans, are people Steve Scalise views as his supporters. And he doesn’t want to anger them by telling them he’s been lying to them for four years, and the outgoing president is lying to them now.Report

  12. Avatar PD Shaw
    Ignored
    says:

    The only previous experience of a Senate impeachment trial after someone left office resulted in an acquittal because a sufficient number of Senators believed they lacked jurisdiction.

    William Belknap was Secretary of War in the Grant administration accused of taking kickbacks for contracts to supply Western military trading posts. When Belknap learned of his impending impeachment, he rushed to the White House with his resignation, which Grant accepted. The House was outraged that Grant had apparently removed him from their grasp and impeached him anyway.

    At the impeachment trial, a motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction over a former official was debated for weeks, resulting in 37 votes for jurisdiction and 29 votes against and 7 not voting. The result was disputed in meaning. The majority deemed jurisdiction a procedural issue in which the majority controls, while Belknap’s attorneys declared victory because more than one-third of Senators denied jurisdiction. The trial proceeded over this protest while the Belknap’s attorneys maintained throughout that jurisdictional defects can be raised at any time. The ultimate verdict was 37 guilty and 25 not guilty, with the latter consisting of 23 voting not guilty for want of jurisdiction.

    Mostly this shows that each Senator is individually both juror and judge, which is as true today. And these events aren’t binding precedent, but if the past offers any indication, it is a serious issue that can preclude conviction.Report

    • Avatar Bill Blake in reply to PD Shaw
      Ignored
      says:

      Belknap resigned before he was impeached, which is a critical point. Because he wasn’t in office when the impeachment was returned, the impeachment–and thus the trial–was invalid. The Senate got it right.

      This is much the same as in criminal proceedings; when there is a statute of limitations, the prosecution must be initiated before the statute of limitations runs, else there will be no jurisdiction for the trial.

      Anyway, because Trump was impeached while in office, Belknap isn’t really relevant. (No case is precedential, because precedent doesn’t count here.)Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Bill Blake
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, the reason to look to _historical_ precedent is to get an expectancy of what might be likely to happen in the future, its certainly not legally binding. In different circumstances, serious arguments made with 44% believing the Senate lacked jurisdiction (including one Democrat). Certainly some or most might have been attracted to a vote that allowed them to duck the issue, but that’s not new. My point is this is something that should be expected, whether or not anyone should agree with it.

        The argument was not analogous to a statute of limitations, it was lack of subject matter jurisdiction, which was why the minority of Senators revisited the issue when giving their judgment. The majority’s primary point is that the Senate is not a court of law, so such judicial doctrines don’t apply.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to PD Shaw
          Ignored
          says:

          If I recall, there are officially two votes (in the modern usage)? Convict and Disqualification?

          On the one hand, it would seem Disqualify requires Conviction (which results in removal).

          Question, can the Conviction vote be reframed as a pro-forma to vote on disqualification? Or am I incorrect in assuming Conviction must precede Disqualification vote?

          Of course it would be odd if it didn’t, as you could theoretically disqualify someone without convicting?… unless that person had already rendered the removal irrelevant by virtue of his actions or expiration of term. Which would be the point that the Presiding Judge and Majority leader would have to settle… no?Report

          • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            The Constitution refers to conviction and judgment. I think Andrew Johnson and Belknap both had a two step process — the Senate Rules required an order of acquittal to be entered in the absence of two-thirds to convict on any article and proceed to judgment otherwise. I think the Senate standing rules are similar today. As a practical matter this seems necessary because typically multiple articles of impeachment are presented. Senators may have different opinions on what to do next based upon the nature of any conviction(s).

            The Senate can promulgate any procedural rules it wants to try the case. I’m not sure significantly different rules are likely to exist in a 50-50 Senate with Roberts presiding instead of Pence/Harris.Report

        • Avatar Bill Blake in reply to PD Shaw
          Ignored
          says:

          Then why bring up Belknap at all? It’s not historical precedent for the current situation, because Trump’s impeachment happened while he was in office.

          If your point is merely that wretches like Trump will bring up any nonsense they can in order to dodge the consequences of their actions, then yeah, but also, so what?

          As for the legal argument, note that the Constitution says that impeachments are of certain members of the government, but that trials are of the impeachment–meaning that once an impeachment has happened, a trial is required, even if the person ceases to be a member of the government. (Nor is such a trial moot, as one possible result is barring the ex-official from further office.) So, as far as the Constitution is concerned, the contrary argument is noise.

          Agreed, that won’t stop Republicans from evading their constitutional duties, throwing up the fake argument, but the argument is still fake and should be acknowledged as such.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    “What does voting to Impeach look like in the current year?”, you may wonder.

    It looks like this:

    Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    It is now a “Pocket Impeachment”.

    Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      He’s trying to save the RNCs fundraising network. and allow his caucus to become the minority so they can whine about being oppressed. He plays a long game.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      “It is a fact.”

      Weird. Prior to Trump’s first impeachment, no impeachment had ever been shorter than 37 days. That was a fact. And yet, Trump’s first impeachment took just 21 days.

      It is almost as if the length of an impeachment trial IS a decision he has control over.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        You start doing things quickly, people might start asking “hey, could you do this other thing quickly?”

        And next thing you know, expectations go from doing one or two big things a year to doing big things on demand.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          And that would be…bad?Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          It’s not a matter of doing things on demand.

          It’s a matter of McConnell lying.

          From Wiki:
          “On January 20, McConnell presented a resolution providing procedures for the trial, subject to approval by a simple majority vote. The resolution provided the White House counsel and House impeachment managers 24 hours each over two days to make opening statements, beginning at 1:00 p.m. each day. The next day, the resolution was amended to extend opening statements to three days.[80] Opening statements will be followed by 16 hours of questions and answers, followed by four hours of debate and a vote on whether to consider witnesses or new information. Minority leader Schumer criticized the resolution as a “national disgrace” because it did not automatically include evidence from the House inquiry and rushed the trial, while the White House was pleased with the proposal.”

          SHOULD we impeachment happen in less than 21 days? I dunno.
          COULD it? Yes. Who decides? Mitch McConnell is chief among those positioned to.

          So, no, it is not a fact and yes it is a decision he is making.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah? He’s trying to do three things at once and the one skill that he seems to have mastered is the art of the stonewall.

            When he comes back, he’ll be minority leader.

            Perhaps Biden and the Democratic House/Senate will be able to get more stuff done and much more quickly.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              You’re… missing my point. Or ignoring it? I can’t tell.

              My point is that McConnell is outright lying when he says the length of time allotted for an impeachment trial is not something he has any decision making power over. Because it is, in fact, something he has quite a bit of control over.

              Do you agree or disagree that McConnell’s statement misrepresents how the timing of an impeachment trial is determined?Report

        • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          For the record, Amy Barret was confirmed in 8 working days by the Senate to a lifetime appointment. Where there’s a will…Report

  15. Avatar jacobdean
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    says:

    If a website wants to cater to the supposed center these days, it must put up with racist comments because otherwise it’s too lefty
    and unwelcoming to the right.Report

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