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Old 04-19-2019, 06:08 PM
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Impeachment proceedings...will they happen?


So, in the news this week were a few Democrats, the most prominent being Elizabeth Warren it seems, saying they plan to call for impeachment proceedings to begin. My question to 'dopers is...do you think this will happen? WILL the House call for impeachment proceedings to start? She says she is basing this on her reading of the (redacted?) Mueller report, saying essentially (for some reason I can't cut and paste, but here is the link) that the evidence is clear, both for obstruction as well as compliance with the original Russian attack by Trump and his team.

So...think anything will come from this? I know there are other threads on this in various forums, but this seems to be more breaking news, so thought I'd start a new one. If the Mods think it's better to fold this into one of the existing ones, I'm good with that, or even close it with a link to the others.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:11 PM
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I lean toward thinking they should and won't happen. "Should" because the evidence points in the direction of our president, if not actively participating in conspiracy to undermine democracy, at least cheering the conspiracy on; and "won't" because Pelosi thinks impeachment wouldn't be politically advantageous.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:18 PM
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I lean toward thinking they should and won't happen. "Should" because the evidence points in the direction of our president, if not actively participating in conspiracy to undermine democracy, at least cheering the conspiracy on; and "won't" because Pelosi thinks impeachment wouldn't be politically advantageous.
But why? Why does Pelosi think that? Presumably she actually has as much if not more info on this as Warren does, right? If there really is stuff in there, it seems this is the time to strike...no?
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:47 PM
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But why? Why does Pelosi think that? Presumably she actually has as much if not more info on this as Warren does, right? If there really is stuff in there, it seems this is the time to strike...no?
...its strategy.

Its a strategy that I, for the longest time, agreed with. The best way to get rid of Trump would be to "vote him out" at the next elections. Put all your resources towards that goal. Impeachment would be a waste of time and resources. It would probably result in impeachment, but Trump would still be there in 2020, so why bother?

Part of the reason I changed my mind on this is because of people like Sarah Kendzior. She lays out the case for impeachment here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Kendzior
"Impeachment is not a snap of the fingers producing an instant result. It is a process of hearings in which officials present evidence of crimes and deliberate in a public forum, removed from media bias."

"Americans these days tend to exist in information silos, but hearings, from Comey to Cohen, have brought our country together to bear witness. Hearings give the public information long withheld from them and shift expectations of accountability."

...

"Pelosi doesn't seem to see herself as in it together with us. She sees herself as above it. She sees Trump as a partisan matter, not an urgent public threat. She does not understand that we are already divided as a nation, and that truth and transparency are the salve."

"Pelosi is replicating the mistakes made by the Obama administration (and by the FBI and James Comey) when they withheld the truth about Trump and Russia from the American public due to their fear of seeming 'divisive' or angering Mitch McConnell."

"The GOP has been hijacked by a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government. This is not a secret."

...

"It is critical that the stakes are made clear. Refusal to impeach sends the message that the situation cannot possibly be that dire – it if were, the Democrats would move to impeach, right?"

...

"So what is the point of the House impeaching Trump? An informed public is a powerful public, and hearings are the best way of informing the people on what the White House has done."
Full tweet-storm here:

https://twitter.com/sarahkendzior/st...40348918095872

So I've changed my mind.

Impeach the motherfucker.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:05 PM
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Even though the Senate almost certainly won't convict, we should still impeach. The fact that they won't do the right thing is no excuse for us to not do the right thing.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:14 PM
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I'm of the opinion that we should do whatever minimizes the chance of Donald being in office at 12:01pm 1/20/21. I think there are sound arguments to be made each way. The impeachment hearings in the House would bring up all the dirt that our unethical AG tried to sweep under the rug. We all know that Donald would declare himself a victim, but that's his standard M.O. It would galvanize the Republican base but we all know Republicans ALWAYS vote, no matter what. But it might invigorate the Democratic base after the certain acquittal in the Senate. My theory is that Democrats only vote when motivated, and acquittal would motivate them. But every day we talk about impeachment, we aren't talking about health care or student debt or global warming. My bottom line: damned if I know.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:30 PM
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Even though the Senate almost certainly won't convict, we should still impeach. The fact that they won't do the right thing is no excuse for us to not do the right thing.
There’s right and wrong and politics. Trump did wrong, it would be right to impeach him, but it would not be good politics. The Dems should hold hearings, get ALL of the testimony out that would accompany an impeachment trial, fully holding that Democles sword above his head, all the way through the campaign and election, let the “radicals” call for his head, allow the “wise” elders to play the fair-minded cautious card, and vote the mother-fucker out in 2020.

Chances are just as good or better that way, and it’d be better for the nation.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:35 PM
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No, he won't be convicted and it will end up being Bill Clinton 1999 all over again.

What I'd like to see is Democrats introduce a resolution to censure Trump. It has no binding authority, but I'd like to know if there's any Republican with enough stones to say, "Mr. President, you did some bad things."
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:46 PM
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Even though the Senate almost certainly won't convict, we should still impeach. The fact that they won't do the right thing is no excuse for us to not do the right thing.
This.

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Originally Posted by Oly View Post
The Dems should hold hearings, get ALL of the testimony out that would accompany an impeachment trial, fully holding that Democles sword above his head, all the way through the campaign and election, let the “radicals” call for his head, allow the “wise” elders to play the fair-minded cautious card, and vote the mother-fucker out in 2020.
There are no refs. There are very few 'median voters' anymore to be won over by cautious responsibility. All that happens when the "wise" elders play the caution card, is it causes people to lose faith in the party, lose faith that they'll ever do anything worthwhile.

Many people have said that the national Democratic Party has a kind of learned helplessness: they always find a reason not to take a stand, to act decisively. I keep waiting for the Scared Rabbit Party to finally have its 'Bigwig stands his ground'* moment, and you'd think the 2018 midterms would have stiffened their spines, but no.

The point has already been made many times in the past day and a half that no, all the other hearings don't add up to a set of impeachment hearings. Those other hearings won't break through the clutter: Congress has hearings all the time. Nobody will watch them instead of whatever else they're doing. They'll hear about them through whatever filter their usual media apply to them. That would not be the case with impeachment hearings. For once we'd all be watching the same thing, be living in the same reality.

*Watership Down reference. If you don't get it, don't worry.
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:03 PM
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No, he won't be convicted and it will end up being Bill Clinton 1999 all over again.

What I'd like to see is Democrats introduce a resolution to censure Trump. It has no binding authority, but I'd like to know if there's any Republican with enough stones to say, "Mr. President, you did some bad things."
Someone on MSNBC tonight said, in making the case for impeachment, is that if the Dems do not start proceedings, it says what Bill did was worse than what Trump did. And it really stuck with me and I'm going to have to chew on that for a few days.

I agree they should at least attempt to censure AND to hold all the public hearings they can. There shouldn't be a quiet week from now until Nov 2020. Pick off the little fish one by one.

But *will* they do these things? I don't have faith that they will do those things, much less impeachment proceedings. I don't know personally if impeachment is the way to go when it's almost inevitably going to get no success in the Senate, but again, if they don't do anything, they're letting him get away with his actions.
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:27 PM
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But why? Why does Pelosi think that? Presumably she actually has as much if not more info on this as Warren does, right? If there really is stuff in there, it seems this is the time to strike...no?
I suspect because, given the impossibility of conviction in the Senate, it would give Republicans the opportunity to cast it in the light of nothing more than groundless Dem vindictiveness. This would remain true even if Mueller testifies that he fully and explicitly intended to leave the final decision to Congress. No evidence at this point could change that situation, because, in case you hadn't noticed, most Republicans and all Trump supporters don't give a shit about evidence.

Pelosi is not wrong in setting her sights on the 2020 election, and using the available evidence to undermine the Orange Peril to the maximum extent possible in the public mind.
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:50 PM
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...Impeachment would be a waste of time and resources. It would probably result in impeachment, but Trump would still be there in 2020, so why bother?

Part of the reason I changed my mind on this is because of people like Sarah Kendzior. She lays out the case for impeachment here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Kendzior
"Impeachment is not a snap of the fingers producing an instant result. It is a process of hearings in which officials present evidence of crimes and deliberate in a public forum, removed from media bias."

"Americans these days tend to exist in information silos, but hearings, from Comey to Cohen, have brought our country together to bear witness. Hearings give the public information long withheld from them and shift expectations of accountability."

... "So what is the point of the House impeaching Trump? An informed public is a powerful public, and hearings are the best way of informing the people on what the White House has done."
Full tweet-storm here:
https://twitter.com/sarahkendzior/st...40348918095872
Emphasis mine.

The idea that "hearings...have brought our country together to bear witness. Hearings give the public information ...and shift expectations of accountability" sounds very reasonable---not to mention stirring---until you remember what happened just seven short months ago.

A major set of hearings was held; it was watched by millions. Many looked at the subject of the hearings--Brett Kavanaugh--and saw a clearly-unfit candidate for the position he'd been nominated to fill. There was no question that the hearings gave "the public information" about Kavanaugh and his fitness.

But did Kavanaugh, subsequently, face "accountability" for his character and history?

Well, no. He now sits on the Supreme Court. The hearings, as revelatory as they were, did not lead to accountability for Kavanaugh.

The second hit I got, by the way, for a search of "Kavanaugh hearings" (I'd wanted to confirm the timeframe), is this:

Quote:
...That’s what makes a new report by PerryUndem, a nonpartisan public opinion research firm based in Washington, D.C., so fascinating. The firm conducted a wide-ranging survey of 1,319 registered voters in late December. They asked: What did watching Ford and Kavanaugh’s conflicted testimonies drum up for people watching? Whom did they believe? Did they think differently about women in power, or about women who speak out about sexual assault?

...PerryUndem’s data suggests that the Kavanaugh hearing made Republican men more sexist and less likely to believe women who say they were assaulted. In a 2017 survey the group conducted focusing on #MeToo, 80 percent of Republican men said they were now more likely to believe women making accusations. After Kavanaugh, that number has sunk by 21 points.

The Kavanaugh hearing was also more likely to make Republican men think sexism is exaggerated in our society: In 2017, 47 percent of Republican men agreed that “most women interpret innocent remarks or acts as being sexist.” A year later, after Kavanaugh, the number jumped to 68 percent. And the number of Republican men who agree that sexism is a problem in our society went down.
https://www.thecut.com/2019/04/new-s...americans.html

The article details some positive results for Democrats, too (after all, Dems famously won many seats in the November midterms).

But the idea that impeachment hearings are highly likely to win hearts and minds over to the idea that Trump should be removed from office, seems wildly optimistic. Such hearings are just as likely to build sympathy for Trump (as happened both with Kavanaugh and with Bill Clinton before him).

It would be foolish to assume that indulging our understandable wish to see Trump called to account in this way, will have the result of removing Trump from power.

It is far more likely to end with Trump triumphant---vindicated by the Senate vote and propelled into re-election by a genuine popular-vote win.

I can think of few possibilities more horrifying.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:03 PM
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This.

There are no refs. There are very few 'median voters' anymore to be won over by cautious responsibility.
There are few, that is true. But they make the difference.

You are right: No one will pay much attention to congressional hearings. An impeachment trial is a congressional hearing, so no one will pay much attention to it either. The Tribes have already spoken. What matters, what makes an impression on the namby pamby middle grounders that decide our presidential elections, is tone. And a better tone is set with due consideration for but ultimate foregoance of impeachment.

Point taken that you want to keep the fickle element of the party faithful on board. That’s why you let those calling for the nuclear option to have full throat. Along with that, I think the sit-outer purists have learned a lesson painful enough that (wishful thinking?) they won’t sit out again.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:05 PM
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Even though the Senate almost certainly won't convict, we should still impeach. The fact that they won't do the right thing is no excuse for us to not do the right thing.
This. Hearings shouldn't take but a week (I know it will take much longer, but fuck him. Have a vote in the morning, impeach the stupid fuck and get back to business)
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:08 PM
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But the idea that impeachment hearings are highly likely to win hearts and minds over to the idea that Trump should be removed from office, seems wildly optimistic. Such hearings are just as likely to build sympathy for Trump (as happened both with Kavanaugh and with Bill Clinton before him).
The thing is, with Kavanaugh, there was a counternarrative of "Where's the evidence?" With Clinton, there was a counternarrative of, "We're not impeaching someone over lying about a blowjob."

This case is qualitatively different from either of those. We can't look to them for guidance.

If impeachment is not called for in this case, we may as well amend the constitution to remove it as a remedy, because it'll never be called for.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:12 PM
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Right and wrong? What are we, six?

Barring absolute evidence of an indisputable crime, impeachment is a political process. The Senate will not convict, rendering it useless. Worse than useless. As a political process it's deadly poison. Ralph Waldo Emerson — "When you strike at a king, you must kill him."

The Democratic Party is moving into a year-long internal battle for a 2020 candidate. That candidate has to defeat Trump. Impeachment will not remove Trump, so the election has to.

You're saying you want to take all the attention away from the primaries and move it to a show trial that guaranteed to fail? Obama already warned Dems of a circular firing squad. Listen to him.

And Pelosi. She knows what I'm talking about. She was never my choice to lead the party, but she seems to be the only adult in the room these days. She understands how fatal a failed impeachment would be and she's desperately sitting on the idiots who want to destroy the 2020 candidate.

Dems should have one and only one thought in their heads for the next 18 months: the defeat of Trump in the 2020 election. Stop playing games.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:17 PM
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But did Kavanaugh, subsequently, face "accountability" for his character and history?
...of course not. Because the process is fundamentally broken. Because America is entirely fucked up. The Supreme Court process is absolute madness. A partisan job for life? Who the fuck came up with that idea?


Quote:
But the idea that impeachment hearings are highly likely to win hearts and minds over to the idea that Trump should be removed from office, seems wildly optimistic. Such hearings are just as likely to build sympathy for Trump (as happened both with Kavanaugh and with Bill Clinton before him).
You've missed the point. It isn't about "hearts and minds." That is phrasing that Kendzior specifically does not use. Its about:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendzior
"So what is the point of the House impeaching Trump? An informed public is a powerful public, and hearings are the best way of informing the people on what the White House has done."
Quote:
It would be foolish to assume that indulging our understandable wish to see Trump called to account in this way, will have the result of removing Trump from power.
It isn't about "indulging wishes." I was perfectly fine with not impeaching Trump, because many people had made the argument that "impeaching wouldn't help." Since the release of the report I've been convinced otherwise. It isn't about a desire to see "Trump held to account in this way." Its that impeachment is entirely the appropriate response to the damning evidence provided by Mueller. If ever there was a case for impeachment then this would be it.

Quote:
It is far more likely to end with Trump triumphant---vindicated by the Senate vote and propelled into re-election by a genuine popular-vote win.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendzior
"Autocrats and wannabe autocrats live by their brands. A symbolic vote of impeachment by the House, sending the world the message that the United States still stands for the rule of law, damages the Trump brand."
Kendzior predicted the rise of Trump. She's an expert on authoritarian leaders, how they get their power and how they stay in power. So if I have to make a judgement call on the "likely-hood of impeachment causing Trump to be triumphant" I'll side with the expert on authoritarian leaders and not the random person on the internet.

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I can think of few possibilities more horrifying.
Then perhaps you should start listening to the experts.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:00 PM
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If you believe in Kendzior because you believe that "hearings are the best way of informing the people on what the White House has done" then why bother with an impeachment process? The House will be holding hearings on Trump every week from now until next November. All the information that even the most avid partisan (or swayable undecided) could ever want will come out.

It just won't be called impeachment.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:20 PM
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If you believe in Kendzior because you believe that "hearings are the best way of informing the people on what the White House has done" then why bother with an impeachment process? The House will be holding hearings on Trump every week from now until next November. All the information that even the most avid partisan (or swayable undecided) could ever want will come out.

It just won't be called impeachment.
Impeachment gets Republicans to take a stand regarding the president in a way that hearings don't. I strongly suspect that some Republicans--Romney, I'm looking at you--will vote in favor of impeachment, and good for them.

Those that defend the president's behavior? Let them run on that record.

Bear in mind that the revelations aren't over. There are over a dozen cases referred to other jurisdictions. If the ball gets rolling now, it's gonna pick up more shit along the way.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:25 PM
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If you believe in Kendzior because you believe that "hearings are the best way of informing the people on what the White House has done"
...I believe in Kendzior because, like her, I believe that the "GOP has been hijacked by a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government". I also believe that there are very few "good options" available. I think that if in her opinion impeachment is the best option available out of all the bad options then it would be silly to simply dismiss her opinion out of hand. I was on the side of "not impeach" until very recently. But I kept an open mind.

Quote:
then why bother with an impeachment process?
Why have an impeachment process if you are not going to bother with an impeachment process?

Quote:
The House will be holding hearings on Trump every week from now until next November. All the information that even the most avid partisan (or swayable undecided) could ever want will come out.
Can you forward me the schedule for these hearings?

Can you guarantee that these hearings won't get lost in the news cycle? We've just had two high profile hearings, does anybody remember what they were? The GOP and the Trump administration know how to dominate news cycles. They know how to disrupt the cycle, how to feed the "outrage machine" while pushing the "bad" news off the front page. Its why Jussie Smollett is still in the news right now but Trumps real estate deals in NY barely lasted a day. Its why Barr preempted the release of the Mueller report with his 4-page memo: to set the narrative and to limit the damage.

This is a full-scale propaganda war. I cannot begin to contemplate the best way to fight this war. That's why I will listen to the experts. That's why I'm willing to change my mind. You have to disrupt their patterns. Stop accepting the abdication of normal process. Everything in the Mueller Report suggests that impeachment is the appropriate remedy. Choosing not to do that on the gamble that "impeaching might make things worse" is a huge mistake in my, most humblest of opinions.

Quote:
It just won't be called impeachment.
And this thing that "won't be called impeachment" won't make nearly the impact on the public consciousness that impeachment will do.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:56 AM
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Ironically, it's Lindsey Graham who said best why Trump should be impeached - although he said it when he was trying to get Bill Clinton impeached.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:55 AM
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Impeachment gets Republicans to take a stand regarding the president in a way that hearings don't. I strongly suspect that some Republicans--Romney, I'm looking at you--will vote in favor of impeachment, and good for them.

Those that defend the president's behavior? Let them run on that record.
I'm not sure that would happen. There might not be a Senate trial even given impeachment.

There's a chance the Supreme Court would force a trial, but there's also a chance they would bow out by declaring it a political matter.
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:10 AM
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There's a chance the Supreme Court would force a trial, but there's also a chance they would bow out by declaring it a political matter.
Even if the Supreme Court did the former, that would still be relatively meaningless, since you can't hold a senator in contempt of court for their official duties.

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Old 04-20-2019, 07:48 AM
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I'm of the opinion that we should do whatever minimizes the chance of Donald being in office at 12:01pm 1/20/21. I think there are sound arguments to be made each way. The impeachment hearings in the House would bring up all the dirt that our unethical AG tried to sweep under the rug. We all know that Donald would declare himself a victim, but that's his standard M.O. It would galvanize the Republican base but we all know Republicans ALWAYS vote, no matter what. But it might invigorate the Democratic base after the certain acquittal in the Senate. My theory is that Democrats only vote when motivated, and acquittal would motivate them. But every day we talk about impeachment, we aren't talking about health care or student debt or global warming. My bottom line: damned if I know.
Given the current "crop" of Republicans impeachment would be a comPLETE waste of time and resources. I'm in total agreement with what is in bold, above, and to that end I would prefer that Dems put ALL their effort into making that happen short of impeaching the Molester-in-Chief.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:54 AM
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Right and wrong? What are we, six?

Barring absolute evidence of an indisputable crime, impeachment is a political process. The Senate will not convict, rendering it useless. Worse than useless. As a political process it's deadly poison. Ralph Waldo Emerson — "When you strike at a king, you must kill him."

The Democratic Party is moving into a year-long internal battle for a 2020 candidate. That candidate has to defeat Trump. Impeachment will not remove Trump, so the election has to.

You're saying you want to take all the attention away from the primaries and move it to a show trial that guaranteed to fail? Obama already warned Dems of a circular firing squad. Listen to him.

And Pelosi. She knows what I'm talking about. She was never my choice to lead the party, but she seems to be the only adult in the room these days. She understands how fatal a failed impeachment would be and she's desperately sitting on the idiots who want to destroy the 2020 candidate.

Dems should have one and only one thought in their heads for the next 18 months: the defeat of Trump in the 2020 election. Stop playing games.
Why not? After all, according to The absolutely corrupt-to-the-core Turtle (once upon a time): "Uh-uh-uh-our goal is to make President Obama ah one-term president."
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:57 AM
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Not only that, but democrats don't win win punishment and negatives on their mind.

Two polls I heard yesterday, one from an NBC News pollster and one I saw on CNN. Among independents - which we desperately need to win in 2020 - Russia/Mueller came in between 8th and 10th in terms of importance towards 2020 vote. In the CNN one it was testing at 1%.

We need to have a party vision that looks forward. Talk about health care, shrinking family structure, income inequality. For GOD's sake talk about large corporations paying no taxes. Make the case that the republican party - not just Trump - has been lying to the people and making their lives harder. Then have a vision and a candidate who can sell that they care about these issues and have a plan to ease people's burdens.

Focusing on impeachment will only rile up our opponent's base and turn off ours. Negative politics does nothing but reduce voter turnout in a time when we need to boost it in the face of efforts to disenfranchise our voters. Let's not waste the opportunity.

Remember, just because you are passionate about something doesn't mean everyone else in the country is.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:05 AM
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There are few, that is true. But they make the difference.
Bullshit. Turnout makes the difference. The winning strategy for the Dems is to give their more marginal voters a reason to show up.
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You are right: No one will pay much attention to congressional hearings. An impeachment trial is a congressional hearing, so no one will pay much attention to it either.
Nice conflation, but no. In 1974, people paid attention to the House Judiciary Committee debates over impeachment. And back then, people were no more likely to pay attention to normal House hearings than they are today.
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The Tribes have already spoken. What matters, what makes an impression on the namby pamby middle grounders that decide our presidential elections, is tone.
Again, no: they don't decide our elections.
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And a better tone is set with due consideration for but ultimate foregoance of impeachment.
People like it when you stand for something. Wishy-washy never sells well.
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Point taken that you want to keep the fickle element of the party faithful on board. That’s why you let those calling for the nuclear option to have full throat.
No, we want to end the filibuster because we've already seen how well things work with it in place. If 41 Republicans can block pretty much everything, even when the Dems have both houses of Congress and the Presidency, then we don't have a meaningful democracy. It's that simple. And that's a matter of dire importance, given global warming.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:10 AM
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Depends, can we also annul his fake marriage to Melanie and send that golddigger back home?
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:27 AM
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I hope the Democrats are smart enough to push positive messages, not impeachment. If they do go after the criminal Administration I hope they go after low-hanging fruit like Kushner, or Junior, or criminal Wilbur Ross. They can hold hearings on Trump crimes without actually pushing for impeachment.

Wasting time with impeachment will understandably infuriate many swing voters.

What's the point of impeachment anway? Would Pence really be an improvement?

And anyway, I don't think the Senate would convict. Maybe I'm wrong about that though; at least 14 GOP Senators are on record as voting to convict Presidents accused of obstruction, e.g.:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch McConnell, Senator of Kentucky
Following his deposition, the president had to decide what to do with his loyal secretary.... And, again, the undisputed evidence shows that the president took the path of lies and deceit.

I am completely and utterly perplexed by those who argue that perjury and obstruction of justice are not high crimes and misdemeanors.

Senate floor, 12 February 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Grassley, Senator of Iowa
It is clear to me that the president committed serious crimes when he coached his secretary, Betty Currie, and when he misled his aides ... These actions weren't just outrageous and morally wrong. They were also illegal. They were a direct assault on the integrity of the judicial process.

Statement, 12 February 1999
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Originally Posted by Lindsey Graham, now Senator of South Carolina, then Representative
[N]obody because of their position in society has the right to cheat and to get somebody to lie for them, even as the president. That means we're not a nation of men or kings. We're a nation of laws, and that's what this case has always been about to me # He turned the judicial system upside down, every way but loose. He sent his friends to lie for him. He lied for himself.

Speaking on the Senate floor while a House impeachment manager, 8 February 1999
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:36 AM
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Sure, that's clever septimus. But not one can seriously expect McConnell, Grassley and Graham to vote to impeach a republican president with the approval ratings among the republican party that Trump has. He's still floating in the 80s.
  #31  
Old 04-20-2019, 09:01 AM
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But why? Why does Pelosi think that? Presumably she actually has as much if not more info on this as Warren does, right? If there really is stuff in there, it seems this is the time to strike...no?
Because it has almost no chance of actually removing him from office unless he is deeply unpopular, and if he is that unpopular we are better off with him to run against than giving the GOP the chance to pretend the adults are back in charge. There seems to be very little benefit in impeaching him, almost zero chance of removing him from office even if he impeached, and a significant chance that it would just fire up his base and demoralize ours right near election time. There's an election in a year and a half, keep investigating him, keep bringing to light his criminal and incompetent behavior then crush the entire GOP in 2020, not just him. That would be the smart thing to do.
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:07 AM
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Pelosi's stated reason so far for keeping impeachment off the table is that it can't look like a purely partisan exercise. Absent any significant reaction from Republicans, which I don't expect, then she will still have that reason to hold onto. She also gave herself a little wiggle room by saying we have to see what's in the Mueller report.

I reject the comparison to the Bill Clinton situation and the notion that Trump would somehow get a boost in popularity. Clinton had been re-elected by 8.5% over Dole and got 56% of the votes between the two.

I agree that impeachment hearings today would have less penetration than in 98-99 and 73-74. But if the tribes are essentially baked in, there is nothing to be lost by reminding Dems and independents constantly between now and 2020 how vile Trump is. The 2020 candidate isn't going to emerge for another year.

Mueller has handed them their articles of impeachment on a silver platter.

There's no reason Dem candidates can't talk about issues while the House does its thing.

What if they don't impeach him now, and he wins? Pelosi will end up being like Robby Mook.

My view is that impeachment looking like a partisan issue is not a good enough excuse in light of the Mueller report. And I don't buy that it would hurt Dems in the presidential contest in 2020.
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:51 AM
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It doesn’t do anything to point out hypocrisy by digging up quotes from the past, or even the present. They don’t care.

If impeachment is not successful it would be a disaster. And it won’t, just won’t be successful. Not with the current Republican senate. Senators don’t care about what the nation thinks. It’s not 1974. They only care about getting a majority of voters in their states to vote for them. There are enough states with big enough Republican majority electorates to keep enough Republican senators on board. And Impeachment fails.
  #34  
Old 04-20-2019, 10:32 AM
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I agree that impeachment hearings today would have less penetration than in 98-99 and 73-74. But if the tribes are essentially baked in, there is nothing to be lost by reminding Dems and independents constantly between now and 2020 how vile Trump is. The 2020 candidate isn't going to emerge for another year.
Nothing to be lost? How about the 2020 election? As multiple people have said, the route to winning is for the Democrats to present a positive vision for the future. Do not simply attack Trump for being Trump. He has an uncanny 89% approval rating among Republicans in the latest Gallop poll. Independents are at 39% and Democrats 6%. You know what's also uncanny? In the first week of his presidency the numbers were 89;42;13. Two years of Trump being Trump and nothing has changed, except that the new president honeymoon for Democrats wore off quickly. (They were down to 8% the next week.)

What will be perceived as a partisan attack on Trump - and trumpeted as such by Fox News and Breitbart and all the right-wing media - will not change minds. It will harden the opposition, allow them to raise enormous amounts of money, and boost turnout.

The way to win the election is to give voters a positive candidate who stands for a better America that they can buy into. People have shown they want candidates who offer solutions to our current problems. They want to break out of the political back and forth. The majority of Democrats are not posting about politics on social media. Most of all, they want to find a candidate they really like and can get behind.

That means that the media focus has to be on how wonderful the candidates are. Another round of impeachment hearings takes that focus completely away because the coverage will be 24/7. It is not too early to swing the focus away from Trump. Most of the names in the ring are unfamiliar and need time to develop their national personalities. I want to hear nothing but how great these people are for the next year. I want to see them have town halls on Fox News, like Sanders did. I want huge cheering crowds to appear on television screens and facebook videos daily. I want to see the Democrats positive, sunny, smiling, confident, in rosy hues. I want to see Trump's head explode in frustration.

And I want to be positive, sunny, smiling, confident, and triumphant on November 4, 2020.
  #35  
Old 04-20-2019, 11:14 AM
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Depends, can we also annul his fake marriage to Melanie and send that golddigger back home?
Thank you for that. Those who tout her as "intelligent" and "beautiful" I just want to throttle.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:35 AM
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An impeachment threat is a great fundraising technique, I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received over the past couple of days. But, the House isn’t going to do it. Pelosi was around to see the debacle of the Clinton impeachment and how the Republicans were punished in 1998.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:43 AM
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Nothing to be lost? How about the 2020 election? As multiple people have said, the route to winning is for the Democrats to present a positive vision for the future. Do not simply attack Trump for being Trump. He has an uncanny 89% approval rating among Republicans in the latest Gallop poll. Independents are at 39% and Democrats 6%. You know what's also uncanny? In the first week of his presidency the numbers were 89;42;13. Two years of Trump being Trump and nothing has changed, except that the new president honeymoon for Democrats wore off quickly. (They were down to 8% the next week.)

What will be perceived as a partisan attack on Trump - and trumpeted as such by Fox News and Breitbart and all the right-wing media - will not change minds. It will harden the opposition, allow them to raise enormous amounts of money, and boost turnout.

The way to win the election is to give voters a positive candidate who stands for a better America that they can buy into. People have shown they want candidates who offer solutions to our current problems. They want to break out of the political back and forth. The majority of Democrats are not posting about politics on social media. Most of all, they want to find a candidate they really like and can get behind.

That means that the media focus has to be on how wonderful the candidates are. Another round of impeachment hearings takes that focus completely away because the coverage will be 24/7. It is not too early to swing the focus away from Trump. Most of the names in the ring are unfamiliar and need time to develop their national personalities. I want to hear nothing but how great these people are for the next year. I want to see them have town halls on Fox News, like Sanders did. I want huge cheering crowds to appear on television screens and facebook videos daily. I want to see the Democrats positive, sunny, smiling, confident, in rosy hues. I want to see Trump's head explode in frustration.

And I want to be positive, sunny, smiling, confident, and triumphant on November 4, 2020.
I didn't say impeaching Trump in the House would win the election. I said it won't lose it.

The 2020 candidates can be everything you say you want, while the House Judiciary does its duty. That's what I said.

I think you are overestimating the effectiveness of sunny platitudes delivered by candidates that don't have the talent. They taste like cold oatmeal to me. You may also be overestimating the level of discontent in the country as a whole other than with Trump himself. Obama had a solid lead in 2008; the economic meltdown in September clinched it, but the tremors had already been going on for a year at that point.

People who are still saying impeachment will be a failure because the Senate won't convict are missing the purposes of doing it:

1. To call (at least) all of the U.S. persons cited in the Mueller report, read aloud verbatim the parts of the Mueller report that derive from their testimony, and ask them "Is this accurate?"

2. To uphold their duty to sanction a president in the face of overwhelming evidence of misconduct
  #38  
Old 04-20-2019, 11:44 AM
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Exapno, I think your perspective assumes no changes from 2016. I could not disagree more, based on returns in 2018 for the mid-term election. The landscape has changed a lot, and 2018 tells us that.

Democrats will be foolish to play 2020 like it was 2016. Many people voted for Trump because 1) he was an unknown, untested quantity; 2) he had a lot of people bamboozled into believing he was what he portrayed himself as in his Apprentice incarnation; 3) they weren't that dialed in to day-to-day politics and were restless for a change. Now they know what their vote got them, and they're pretty alarmed. We now know he's a lying, petty, malevolent, incompetent Russian-compromised boob. That is going to make a difference to a number of people in 2020. And Trump didn't win by a landslide-like margin.

Sure, he has an 89% approval rating among Republicans -- a party that has shrunk notably since 2016. Fewer people now identify as Republicans. What the 89% approval rating reflects is a high approval rating among the nut jobs who haven't seen through the Emperor Has No Clothes act and never will, irrespective of actual facts. They are beyond our reach.

Yes, Democrats must continue to talk about real solutions to the big problems we face. Democratic candidates must focus on these issues more than impeachment. But the Democratic party as a whole would ignore the corruption of the Trump administration at its peril. You can't assume moral high ground if you're afraid to talk about it. Many voters like binary choices, and there is no more fundamental binary choice than between right and wrong. That's what got them to the polls in 2018. We need to keep those voters.

The impeachment process takes a long time. It can be slow-walked. If House Dems are smart, they will conduct impeachment proceedings in a way that makes it too late for the matter to reach a vote in the Senate. "Gosh, we just couldn't get it done in time -- voters will have to cast the ultimate vote!" Can you think of a better reality tv show than that? Face it. Few citizens will read a 450-page report. But they will be glued to their tee vees for the Impeachment Proceedings Reality Show. That's one thing that hasn't changed since Watergate. Personally, I will appreciate the poetic justice.
  #39  
Old 04-20-2019, 11:58 AM
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Democrats will be foolish to play 2020 like it was 2016. Many people voted for Trump because 1) he was an unknown, untested quantity; 2) he had a lot of people bamboozled into believing he was what he portrayed himself as in his Apprentice incarnation; 3) they weren't that dialed in to day-to-day politics and were restless for a change. Now they know what their vote got them, and they're pretty alarmed. We now know he's a lying, petty, malevolent, incompetent Russian-compromised boob. That is going to make a difference to a number of people in 2020. And Trump didn't win by a landslide-like margin.
I'd like to believe this is true, and it might be. What concerns me is that his approval numbers haven't really changed much since the beginning. Like the man himself, his approval numbers seem to be impervious to facts. I think one of the reasons for this is the tremendous influence of right-wing media like Fox News. The way they're shilling for him is just mind-boggling. While legitimate media have been commenting on the many, many damaging aspects of the Mueller report, for instance, Fox has either been reporting fantastical Trumpian interpretations of it or meta-reporting on how "the left" is reporting on it!
  #40  
Old 04-20-2019, 12:03 PM
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Right and wrong? What are we, six?

Barring absolute evidence of an indisputable crime, impeachment is a political process. The Senate will not convict, rendering it useless. Worse than useless. As a political process it's deadly poison. Ralph Waldo Emerson — "When you strike at a king, you must kill him."

The Democratic Party is moving into a year-long internal battle for a 2020 candidate. That candidate has to defeat Trump. Impeachment will not remove Trump, so the election has to.

You're saying you want to take all the attention away from the primaries and move it to a show trial that guaranteed to fail? Obama already warned Dems of a circular firing squad. Listen to him.

And Pelosi. She knows what I'm talking about. She was never my choice to lead the party, but she seems to be the only adult in the room these days. She understands how fatal a failed impeachment would be and she's desperately sitting on the idiots who want to destroy the 2020 candidate.

Dems should have one and only one thought in their heads for the next 18 months: the defeat of Trump in the 2020 election. Stop playing games.
I agree with all of this and I think impeachment will be counterproductive towards the goal of a Trump defeat in 2020. However, I think there are too many democrats in the House that want it that will make it inevitable. Random representative cares more about how tough they look to their base at home in their 2020 election than what is best for an overall strategy for the party. Pelosi can only hold it off for so long.

Last edited by Loach; 04-20-2019 at 12:03 PM.
  #41  
Old 04-20-2019, 12:03 PM
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The impeachment process takes a long time. It can be slow-walked. If House Dems are smart, they will conduct impeachment proceedings in a way that makes it too late for the matter to reach a vote in the Senate. "Gosh, we just couldn't get it done in time -- voters will have to cast the ultimate vote!" Can you think of a better reality tv show than that? Face it. Few citizens will read a 450-page report. But they will be glued to their tee vees for the Impeachment Proceedings Reality Show. That's one thing that hasn't changed since Watergate. Personally, I will appreciate the poetic justice.
That might be getting a little cute with it.

I think Nadler should spend a few months on whatever it is he wants to do. Even if the House were to get the unredacted report, I don't think there's much they can use, except very obliquely. Classified material, no, HOM no, because probably they won't have been adjudicated in time, PP probably they can use, grand jury material, I dunno.

The unredacted stuff, for all intents and purposes, is FACTS.
  #42  
Old 04-20-2019, 12:08 PM
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Not only that, but democrats don't win win punishment and negatives on their mind.

Two polls I heard yesterday, one from an NBC News pollster and one I saw on CNN. Among independents - which we desperately need to win in 2020 - Russia/Mueller came in between 8th and 10th in terms of importance towards 2020 vote. In the CNN one it was testing at 1%.

We need to have a party vision that looks forward. Talk about health care, shrinking family structure, income inequality. For GOD's sake talk about large corporations paying no taxes. Make the case that the republican party - not just Trump - has been lying to the people and making their lives harder. Then have a vision and a candidate who can sell that they care about these issues and have a plan to ease people's burdens.

Focusing on impeachment will only rile up our opponent's base and turn off ours. Negative politics does nothing but reduce voter turnout in a time when we need to boost it in the face of efforts to disenfranchise our voters. Let's not waste the opportunity.

Remember, just because you are passionate about something doesn't mean everyone else in the country is.
I really find myself agreeing with this. If I think about it myself, I don't give a shit about Trump. Yeah, he's done bad blah blah blah blah *tunes out.* That's pretty much my reaction whenever I hear anything about what Trump has done. I just don't care enough to be outraged. I'm already opposed to him, there's nothing he or the Republicans will do to get me NOT to be opposed to him/them (there are things they could do, but not things they will) so...I'm not interested in all the details.

What I am a lot more interested in is plans and positive thinking/working toward the future. I want to know what the Democratic party is doing to make the future better, I want to hear that they're actually trying to retake not just the damned presidency, but the senate and state houses and governors. I want to hear massive campaigns in THAT direction, not about how horrible Trump is or whatever. Trump is so far past the line of being horrible that there's zero point in measuring just how far past that line he is. I want to hear that the Democrats have stopped ignoring races that are iffy, hell, that they've stopped ignoring races they can't win. I want every single office in this country to be contested vigorously, even in the heart of red state red counties and I want to hear that it's happening. Because you don't fucking win by not trying, you have to try, even when it's hopeless, because that's the only thing that will give hope for the future.
  #43  
Old 04-20-2019, 12:19 PM
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No, he won't be convicted and it will end up being Bill Clinton 1999 all over again.

What I'd like to see is Democrats introduce a resolution to censure Trump. It has no binding authority, but I'd like to know if there's any Republican with enough stones to say, "Mr. President, you did some bad things."
Let's say the do: then what? The resolution has no binding authority. Alternatively, let's say they don't: then what?

Impeaching Trump may or may not be good politickin', but it would be good governance. Trump and the GOP have rendered your country completely untrustworthy; they've shown they're willing to toss out international agreements on a whim, and you've shown you're willing to elect such capricious ignoramuses. From now on, any treaties, pacts, or agreements any country has with the US best be written in pencil. If you want to keep your status in the world, best ditch Trump.

And dissolve the Republican party while you're at it. They are both unable and unwilling to govern. But first lose the Cheeto.
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:34 PM
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Let's say the do: then what? The resolution has no binding authority. Alternatively, let's say they don't: then what?

Impeaching Trump may or may not be good politickin', but it would be good governance. Trump and the GOP have rendered your country completely untrustworthy; they've shown they're willing to toss out international agreements on a whim, and you've shown you're willing to elect such capricious ignoramuses. From now on, any treaties, pacts, or agreements any country has with the US best be written in pencil. If you want to keep your status in the world, best ditch Trump.

And dissolve the Republican party while you're at it. They are both unable and unwilling to govern. But first lose the Cheeto.
But impeaching him won’t remove him.
  #45  
Old 04-20-2019, 12:41 PM
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What comes out in the public hearings might cost him the election though. Besides, it's Congress' job. If Trump has done something to merit impeachment, odd as that may sound, he should be impeached.
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:09 PM
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That might be getting a little cute with it.

<snip>
Ok, so you focused on the part of my post that was cynical and more realpolitik. Does the rest of it have any merit?

Do you believe the Republicans are just going to let this issue die? I don't. They're already mounting their counter-narrative. The one where there is some alternate reality basis to investigate the investigators and lock up Hillary Clinton. They rode that bullshit horse to victory once, and they're hoping -- with some foreign assistance -- they can do it again.

If Democrats fail to utilize the roadmap given to them by Mueller for impeachment and focus solely on policy, then who controls the narrative around Trump's corruption? Doesn't it look like the Dems are ceding the point, that Trump did nothing wrong? And it's important to mention that Hillary Clinton tried to focus mostly on policy, too.

I think that for Democrats to ignore impeaching the most impeachable president ever to hold the office is constitutionally wrong and would be stupid. Merrick Garland stupid. No, it won't succeed. But if Dems don't give the public a counterpoint of factual information to what Republicans will flog relentlessly between now and November 3, 2020, then they will be giving Republicans a gift on a scale that neither the Republicans, Putin or MBS dared dream was possible.

ETA: I missed reading your Post #37 and see we substantially agree. Apologies. My post is directed to those who think dropping the effort is a better path.

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Old 04-20-2019, 01:25 PM
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Ok, so you focused on the part of my post that was cynical and more realpolitik. Does the rest of it have any merit?

Do you believe the Republicans are just going to let this issue die? I don't. They're already mounting their counter-narrative. The one where there is some alternate reality basis to investigate the investigators and lock up Hillary Clinton. They rode that bullshit horse to victory once, and they're hoping -- with some foreign assistance -- they can do it again.

If Democrats fail to utilize the roadmap given to them by Mueller for impeachment and focus solely on policy, then who controls the narrative around Trump's corruption? Doesn't it look like the Dems are ceding the point, that Trump did nothing wrong? And it's important to mention that Hillary Clinton tried to focus mostly on policy, too.

I think that for Democrats to ignore impeaching the most impeachable president ever to hold the office is constitutionally wrong and would be stupid. Merrick Garland stupid. No, it won't succeed. But if Dems don't give the public a counterpoint of factual information to what Republicans will flog relentlessly between now and November 3, 2020, then they will be giving Republicans a gift on a scale that neither the Republicans, Putin or MBS dared dream was possible.

ETA: I missed reading your Post #37 and see we substantially agree. Apologies. My post is directed to those who think dropping the effort is a better path.
Just for the record, yeah I agree with everything else you said.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:42 PM
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What comes out in the public hearings might cost him the election though. Besides, it's Congress' job. If Trump has done something to merit impeachment, odd as that may sound, he should be impeached.
You think something will come out in the hearings that didn’t come out in 2+ years of investigation?

Since the constitution is vague about impeachment it is not reasonable to assign a bright line to what triggers the proceedings. It’s not reasonable to proceed with impeachment and ignore the other political and practical concerns. Number 1 of which is to win in 2020 since the impeachment will not lead to conviction and expulsion.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:47 PM
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Yes I do. Couldn't say what though, because it hasn't come out in the investigations. I'm not fond of the idea that Congress shouldn't do its job as a piece of the government for political reasons, just like I wouldn't be fond of Congress doing its job (impeaching when there's clearly no call for it) solely because it would benefit them to do so come election time.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:21 PM
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Right and wrong? What are we, six?

Barring absolute evidence of an indisputable crime, impeachment is a political process. The Senate will not convict, rendering it useless. Worse than useless. As a political process it's deadly poison.
Yes, it's a political process. And I think the politics are clear: to wimp out is for Dems to lose the way they've always lost - by people left wondering whether they stand for anything.
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The Democratic Party is moving into a year-long internal battle for a 2020 candidate. That candidate has to defeat Trump. Impeachment will not remove Trump, so the election has to.

You're saying you want to take all the attention away from the primaries and move it to a show trial that guaranteed to fail? Obama already warned Dems of a circular firing squad. Listen to him.
You know how long it was between when the House passed its resolution in 1974, authorizing the Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment investigation, and when the Committee voted on articles of impeachment?

Five months and twenty-four days.

Add another month for the entire House to debate, and we could still have this thing done by November, however it turns out. Three months before Iowa. It would not have to overshadow a single primary or caucus.

FWIW, you've gotta know that the last thing Mitch McConnell wants is an impeachment trial in the Senate, so there won't be one.
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And Pelosi. She knows what I'm talking about. She was never my choice to lead the party, but she seems to be the only adult in the room these days. She understands how fatal a failed impeachment would be and she's desperately sitting on the idiots who want to destroy the 2020 candidate.
I don't get it. Why would a 'failed' impeachment hurt the Dems? It didn't hurt George W. Bush, did it?

You get a chance to put together the case of how Trump has violated the law and betrayed his country, on national TV. That's gonna help his re-elect chances? I don't think so.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson — "When you strike at a king, you must kill him."
Where are the graves of Mitt Romney and John Kerry?
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