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  #51  
Old 07-08-2019, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Looks like Barr and Trump are going to just ignore the Supreme Court ruling, issue an executive order putting the question on the census, and dare the American public to give a shit.

https://thehill.com/homenews/adminis...tion-to-census
We've disagreed on the when and how of impeachment, but if they go through with this, I'll disagree a lot less.

This is not just a constitutional crisis, but a political crisis - one that could replay over and over again for years to come. Doubts over legitimacy of the census will inevitably lead to doubts over the legitimacy of elections. Not that the specter of political illegitimacy has stopped Republicans before, but this would represent a president essentially dressing up judicial nullification, which is constitutionally invalid, as a legitimate function of the Executive Branch. This is where the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan.
  #52  
Old 07-08-2019, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Looks like Barr and Trump are going to just ignore the Supreme Court ruling, issue an executive order putting the question on the census, and dare the American public to give a shit.

https://thehill.com/homenews/adminis...tion-to-census
At the very least this should raise questions about impeaching Barr.

I'm less opposed to impeaching Barr than Trump, because having the Senate vote to acquit him (as it is likely to do) will be less harmful than will having the Senate vote to acquit Trump. Acquitting Trump cuts off for all practical purposes any chance of holding hearings and investigation of Trump. How can you investigate a guy who's been declared innocent of wrongdoing?

And for the purpose of the 2020 election, the House needs to keep investigations and hearings of Trump on the front burner, pretty much continuously. (There's no shortage of justifications for so doing!) Impeach-then-acquit Trump, and all that comes to a screeching halt. Gloriously-Vindicated Trump sails to victory on November 3.

Public-opinion-wise, the impeachment-and-acquittal of Trump will be a disaster for all who hope to get rid of Trump as soon as possible. The impeachment-and-acquittal of Barr----not so much. And it will serve the get-Republicans-on-the-record goal admirably. Get them on the record supporting this subversion of the Constitution. Get them on the record saying it's perfectly fine to ignore the Supreme Court!

Get them on the record.
  #53  
Old 07-08-2019, 06:07 PM
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Have a read through this article, and note how the numbers change after Articles of Impeachment went forward. Also note that Nixon's popularity among Republicans didn't begin to drop until after those articles. ...
The WaPo article contains some serious errors in reasoning.

Embedded in calls to "impeach now" are many assumptions that are extremely shaky.

The main one has to do with beliefs about the mass of voters. It's a natural human failing to assume that 'most people are basically like me,' and in this context the false beliefs include:
  • 'most people are paying as much attention to the current political scene as I am'
  • 'most people react to events of the day as I do'
  • 'most people value the same things I do, and would be as horrified when a president defies a court ruling, instead of being indifferent, or even cheering that defiance'
  • 'most people are as capable of interpreting and understanding the abstractions of political positions and actions as I am'
  • 'most people who see a President defy a court ruling will interpret that just the way that I do, taking the news of the day and translating it into the conclusion that he is acting like a king--they won't interpret it any other way, such as 'boring political stuff that means nothing to my daily life'---they'll interpret it exactly as I do'
  • 'most people are as conversant with the offenses committed by this Administration as I am'
  • 'most people are as certain that those offenses must be punished as I am'

...and so on.

In this specific case we see equally-unsupported assumptions such as:
  • despite the fact that this isn't the 1970s---a time with no Internet and only four channels and no video games (and on and on)---people will be paying the same amount of attention to Congressional impeachment proceedings as people did in the 1970s, and
  • the major networks and news channels will give full coverage to Congressional impeachment proceedings
  • most Americans will watch, and will come to the conclusion that Trump must be removed

All these assumptions have one thing in common: they are highly unlikely to be true.

Additional problems with the 'impeach now' argument rest on the fallacious reasoning that "correlation is causation." Of course it is not. The Greg Sargent piece (in the Washington Post---I like to warn readers that they are dealing with a fire-walled site, rather than surprising them with a blind link) states, on the topic of changes in independents' views on impeaching Nixon:

Quote:
the jump in July 1974 came after the House Judiciary Committee launched impeachment hearings in May 1974, and the subsequent jump in August 1974 came after the Committee approved articles of impeachment in July of that year.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...=.14aa83b82f3d

The argument-from-authority Sargent offers is that Historian Julian Zelizer is the author of this claim, though Sargent is round-about enough in his language to create plausible deniability (should Zelizer protest).

(Sargent’s sophistical talents were noticed by more than one commenter: as one said, “Carefully left out: Republicans controlled neither the House nor the Senate at the time of Watergate.” As another noted, Sargent’s polling-based argument falls apart in that other recent historical precedent for impeaching a president: “Missing from this piece is the breakdown of polling results prior, during and after the Clinton impeachment.” [Comments on same page as the article.])




But let’s look at the argument. Sargent claims that the change in independents’ views on Nixon, from 18% in favor of impeachment in June 1973, to 47% in favor of removal in July 1974, to 55% in favor of removal* in August 1974, resulted from one and only one cause: House action. Specifically, the launch of impeachment hearings (May 1974) and the House committee approval of articles of impeachment in July 1974. That’s all it took to effect a substantial change in public opinion---according to Sargent.

In reality, the House actions were not the only factor affecting public opinion. Here are a few of the other relevant events and revelations that influenced views on Nixon:

JUNE 22-25 1973: 18% of independents support impeaching Nixon (per Gallup poll)
JULY 16 1973: existence of WH tapes revealed; they are subpoenaed by District Court Judge John Sirica
MARCH 1 1974: Indictments are handed down for Mitchell, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and four others
APRIL 30 1974: 1,200+ pages of edited transcripts of Nixon tapes are released
MAY 9 1974: House Judiciary Committee launches impeachment hearings.
JULY 24 1974: Supreme Court rules Nixon must hand over the original, unedited tapes he’s been concealing.
JULY 27-30 1974: House Committee on the Judiciary approves 3 articles of impeachment
AUGUST 5 1974: The “Smoking Gun”: transcripts of 6-23-72 conversations showing Nixon involved in the cover-up.
AUGUST 2-5 1974: 55% of independents now support impeaching Nixon (per Gallup poll)**

Sargent, conveniently for his argument, neglects to mention any of these factors shaping the evolution of Americans’ thinking about Nixon and impeachment. Sargent asserts that House action was all it took. That this argument is fallacious seems obvious.

A fairly-constructed argument would mention all the other factors impacting public opinion. And that, of course, would destroy the claim that all we need now to get a majority of independents (if not Americans) behind impeachment, is for the House to start an official inquiry.

The facts simply do not support that view.



*The relevant question in the Gallup poll, as cited in the Sargent article, changed from “should be impeached” (June1973) to “actions serious enough to warrant being removed” by July and August 1974.

**Timeline is partially taken from https://www.history.com/topics/water...timeline-nixon

Last edited by Sherrerd; 07-08-2019 at 06:10 PM.
  #54  
Old 07-08-2019, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
Public-opinion-wise, the impeachment-and-acquittal of Trump will be a disaster for all who hope to get rid of Trump as soon as possible. The impeachment-and-acquittal of Barr----not so much. And it will serve the get-Republicans-on-the-record goal admirably. Get them on the record supporting this subversion of the Constitution. Get them on the record saying it's perfectly fine to ignore the Supreme Court!

Get them on the record.
There will be no impeachment of Barr without impeachment of Trump first because the Republicans are in on the gag -- gagging and duck taping lady liberty's mouth shut.

No, if they proceed with this, then there has to be an impeachment because this is laying the foundation to use the census to undermine our republican form of government. There is no choice. Not censure, but impeachment. Yes, it could still fail, but the case that has to be made is that the Republicans are trying to deny voters in all states fair representation in their national government. This could even conceivably backfire in typically red states such as Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Sure, the assumption is that it won't, but it could, and this is something that should be pointed out. Besides that, make it known that Republicans are trying to assert that the president, whose approval ratings are rarely above 45% and underwater in key swing states, is claiming to be this all-powerful institution that can decide which laws he will or will not follow.

I resisted the idea of impeachment over Mueller and Russia because people didn't generally understand it, and we'd already had a 2-year investigation into the matter that Mueller himself never conclusively attempted to resolve. This is different - like way different. It does not matter a damn whether the Democrats succeed in getting him impeached. Saying "Fuck you" to separation of powers is much, much easier for the general public to understand and the Republicans will look mighty goddamn corrupt trying to defend it. By all means make them defend it. Make them defend on record the position that the Trump can decide whether or not he wishes to adhere to the rulings of the Court majority - a majority picked by Republican presidents and Republican Senates. In doing so the Senate would also be essentially giving away all the power it has to oppose Trump on trade, on foreign policy, and on anything else they occasionally disagree because they realize he's occasionally that unhinged.
  #55  
Old 07-08-2019, 06:42 PM
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... Saying "Fuck you" to separation of powers is much, much easier for the general public to understand ....
What's your basis for believing this?
  #56  
Old 07-08-2019, 08:20 PM
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What's your basis for believing this?
It's admittedly an assumption and not necessarily proven fact, but I think it's fair to say that it's easier to understand that an executive order that goes against a court ruling that was just issued, that is deliberately defying a court ruling. The strategy of appealing directly to the Supreme Court while Trump rolls out the executive order makes that part obvious -- skipping the lower courts so that they can't issue injunctions and orders to cease and desist.

Whether people actually care that the president violates the Constitution...well on that front I can't make any bets, unfortunately. We've tolerated an awful lot lately.

Regardless, though, I don't see any point in gaming out chess moves if Trump's plan is to simply take his hand and swat our chess pieces off the board, which is what this latest move is an attempt to do. This is the clearest indication yet that he has absolutely no intentions of leaving office in January of 2021, regardless of the outcome. This is the clearest indication yet that driving Trump from power may require more than just defeating him in the election. This is the clearest indication yet that the American form of democracy is in grave condition.
  #57  
Old 07-08-2019, 11:52 PM
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Speaking of saying "fuck you" to the separation of powers:
Quote:
Attorney General William Barr said Monday that he believes the Trump administration can legally add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, though the Supreme Court ruled against its inclusion last month.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said he has been in regular contact with President Trump about the question, which the president is determined to see featured on the decennial survey.

“I agree with him that the Supreme Court decision was wrong,” Barr told the AP. The attorney general added that he thinks there is “an opportunity potentially to cure the lack of clarity that was the problem and we might as well take a shot at doing that.”
  #58  
Old 07-09-2019, 11:12 AM
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At the very least this should raise questions about impeaching Barr.
If Trump issues the order, what law will Barr have broken?
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  #59  
Old 07-09-2019, 11:18 AM
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Impeachment doesn't have to have anything to do with the law.
  #60  
Old 07-09-2019, 11:47 AM
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Impeachment doesn't have to have anything to do with the law.
But he must still be charged with something, so I'll rephrase. What could Barr be charged with?
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  #61  
Old 07-09-2019, 11:51 AM
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I think they should impeach him for being a lying bastard.
  #62  
Old 07-09-2019, 05:36 PM
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But he must still be charged with something, so I'll rephrase. What could Barr be charged with?
A decision to defy a Supreme Court decision would be a crystal-clear violation of the oath of office Barr took: to defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

That Barr did, in fact, take that oath of office:
https://www.npr.org/2019/02/14/69475...torney-general

That violation of that oath is, in fact, a violation of the U.S. Code (and thus constitutes "breaking the law"):
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/3331
  #63  
Old 07-09-2019, 05:46 PM
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A decision to defy a Supreme Court decision would be a crystal-clear violation of the oath of office Barr took: to defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
But AIUI, any order to include the question would come from Trump, not Barr. If you want to impeach Trump for it, Iím all in.
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  #64  
Old 07-09-2019, 05:55 PM
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This guy, "we've been considering all the options", is directing the fucking show:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9icNOCVrvjk

That's "we've been", not "The so-called president has".

Last edited by bobot; 07-09-2019 at 05:56 PM.
  #65  
Old 07-09-2019, 05:59 PM
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Today the AP ran a photo that is my new favorite William Barr picture.
  #66  
Old 07-09-2019, 07:38 PM
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But AIUI, any order to include the question would come from Trump, not Barr. If you want to impeach Trump for it, Iím all in.
The House could probably turn contempt of Congress into an impeachment if they wanted, but why would they want to waste their time on Barr?
  #67  
Old 07-09-2019, 09:12 PM
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Just so we're all clear here, what we're stumbling into is what we call constitutional departmentalism, a theory in which each branch ignores generally establish boundaries of each branch's domain and power and instead finds ways to bend the Constitution for its own purposes and functions. One could almost spin that into an academic debate, except for the fact that when only one branch maintains control of multiple national police forces and detention centers, maintains a department of "defense" with its own militia and detention centers of their own, and an intelligence apparatus, it's hard to see how other branches remain..."co-equal".
  #68  
Old 07-09-2019, 09:17 PM
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Just so we're all clear here, what we're stumbling into is what we call constitutional departmentalism, a theory in which each branch ignores generally establish boundaries of each branch's domain and power and instead finds ways to bend the Constitution for its own purposes and functions.
How are the legislative and judicial branches ignoring their established boundaries?
  #69  
Old 07-09-2019, 10:22 PM
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This cracked me up:
Quote:
The Justice Department can’t replace nine lawyers so late in the dispute over whether to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census without explaining why they are doing so, a judge said Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman, who earlier this year ruled against adding the citizenship question, put the brakes on the government’s plans a day after he was given a three-paragraph notification by the Justice Department along with a prediction that the replacement of lawyers won’t “cause any disruption in this matter.”

“Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons,’ for the substitution of counsel,” Furman wrote, noting that the most immediate deadline for government lawyers to submit written arguments in the case is only three days away.

The judge said local rules for federal courts in New York City require that any attorney requesting to leave a case provide satisfactory reasons for withdrawing. The judge must then decide what impact a lawyer’s withdrawal will have on the timing of court proceedings.

He called the Justice Department’s request “patently deficient,” except for two lawyers who have left the department or the civil division which is handling the case.
Quote:
Furman said the urgency to resolve legal claims and the need for efficient judicial proceedings was an important consideration in rejecting a replacement of lawyers.

He said the Justice Department had insisted that the speedy resolution of lawsuits against adding the question was “a matter of great private and public importance.”

“If anything, that urgency — and the need for efficient judicial proceedings — has only grown since that time,” Furman said.

Furman said the government could re-submit its request to replace attorneys only with a sworn statement by each lawyer explaining satisfactory reasons to withdraw so late. He said he’ll require new attorneys to promise personnel changes will not slow the case.
"We need a decision RIGHT NOW! Time is of the essence! Unless it's a decision we don't like; then we'll need more time to come up with a new plan!"



Lying to a federal judge about time constraints can't be a good idea, can it?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-09-2019 at 10:22 PM.
  #70  
Old 07-09-2019, 10:25 PM
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How are the legislative and judicial branches ignoring their established boundaries?
They're not; it's the executive branch that is, and it only takes one branch with unequal power and that doesn't play fair to invite a crisis. And not just a Constitutional crisis, but a political crisis. If Trump can get away with a) ignoring Court rulings, and b) ignoring Court rulings that allow him to corrupt a decennial census upon which our republican form of government is based, he ends the constitution and the American state as we know it.

I'm more than just a little alarmed because it's clear that there are no headlines about this and no analysis dedicated to this in the mainstream press, or even here for that matter. Most people in this country don't understand how democracy works, and how it can fail...despite living in a..."democracy"
  #71  
Old 07-09-2019, 10:31 PM
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This cracked me up:"We need a decision RIGHT NOW! Time is of the essence! Unless it's a decision we don't like; then we'll need more time to come up with a new plan!"



Lying to a federal judge about time constraints can't be a good idea, can it?
It doesn't matter, Bo.

What I suspect "Attorney General" Barr and the entire administration is going to sell is a novel interpretation of what the Constitution and what American constitutional legal theory that undergirds it"really" means. You can already see it in Barr's statements

Quote:
Barr said he didnít have details on why the attorneys didnít want to continue, but ďas far as I know, they donít think we are legally wrong

Barr said he has been in regular contact with Trump over the issue of the citizenship question. ďI agree with him that the Supreme Court decision was wrong,Ē the attorney general said. He said he believes there is ďan opportunity potentially to cure the lack of clarity that was the problem and we might as well take a shot at doing that
Anyone who believes that I am chicken little and that I am being alarmist is just whistling in the dark.

My friends, you're having a nightmare. But unfortunately, this nightmare...is real.
  #72  
Old 07-10-2019, 07:07 AM
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Let me give you a scenario post-2020:

Let's say the citizenship question is added to the census in open defiance of the Court's ruling - not an extended legal contest that otherwise temporarily delays the census publication and adheres to the rules, but printing it with a census question in open defiance of the decision. Democrats would, I hope, contest that somehow. But even if the House Democrats' spine crumbled, we would presumably have legal challenges and lawsuits filed to impose injunctions on the census.

At minimum, what we would have is a pretty fouled-up census, a flawed census. And a flawed census would potentially - I think likely - cause political and legal controversy over the legitimacy of the census and of apportionment not just for 2021 but for the years that follow.

Democrats would have the more compelling legal and political arguments, of course. Perhaps they regain control of the government in 2021 and order a new census citing the fact that the old census was invalid since it defied the Court. Republicans, however, would simply cry foul and that this new census is invalid and that the 2020 census is the real one, which would pave the way for challenges to election after election after election. They would double-down on claims that Democrats are trying to steal their democracy from them. Fox News and the right wing Twitter and Youtube-o-sphere would be running up the nation's electric bills with constant propaganda chatter and how something needs to be done to save their republic. I wouldn't be surprised to see an armed paramilitary wing of the Republican party begin campaigns of terror.
  #73  
Old 07-11-2019, 03:03 PM
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Looks like they're finally dropping it.
  #74  
Old 07-11-2019, 03:04 PM
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I saw this movie last week. Trump said it was fake news.
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