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  #151  
Old 04-23-2019, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
We could ask Eric Holder about how much jailtime "conceivably" amounted to. Or just read the words of Jay Carney:



source
Well, that's depressing, but it doesn't alter the basic point that the Democrats are already doing everything they reasonably can to investigate Trump, and Trump is stretching the limits of his authority to the breaking point in order to obstruct said investigations. Bringing articles of impeachment isn't going to in any way affect his ability to do so.
  #152  
Old 04-23-2019, 01:30 PM
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Here's the actual question the article is relating:

As you may know, the first step toward removing a president from office is
impeachment. Do you believe Congress should or should not begin impeachment
proceedings to remove President Trump from office?

Yes, Congress should begin impeachment proceedings 34%
No, Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings 48%
Don’t know / No opinion 18%
So what they didn't ask was, should Congress begin hearings to determine withether the President has committed impeachable offenses?

That's the relevant question.

I will also note that the Morning Consult poll from the week before the Mueller Report release had Trump's favorable-unfavorable at 42-52, and their poll since then has it at 39-57. Their sample sizes were 2205 and 1992, respectively, so their MOEs were down around 2%.

IOW (dog bites man!), bad news about a politician hurts his favorable-unfavorable ratings. Hearings to determine whether the President has committed impeachable offenses would be FULL of bad news about Trump, and none of it would be the everyday kind. It would be a Greatest Hits compilation.

Seems like it would make people be less positive about Trump, regardless of what they currently think about impeachment. Who knows, it might even change their minds about that.
  #153  
Old 04-23-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
Here's the actual question the article is relating:

As you may know, the first step toward removing a president from office is
impeachment. Do you believe Congress should or should not begin impeachment
proceedings to remove President Trump from office?

Yes, Congress should begin impeachment proceedings 34%
No, Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings 48%
Don’t know / No opinion 18%
Read any of the redacted version of the report (Registered Voters):
Yes 28%
No 65%
Don't Know (lol) 8%

I'd agree you gotta get "in favor" comfortably over 50%. Heavy lift, not impossible.

Last edited by UnwittingAmericans; 04-23-2019 at 02:05 PM.
  #154  
Old 04-23-2019, 05:34 PM
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They need to get the "Trump should be impeached" number much closer to the Trump disapproval number than it appears to be right now.
The telltale sign will be when prominent members of the Republican party are in fear for their political life. It's one thing if Susan Collins says "I'm concerned" about Trump's rhetoric and deeds, but if suddenly senators like Mitch McConnell and Tom Tillis suddenly retire because they fear losing, then that would be the unmistakable sign that it's time to get Marine 1 ready.

Last edited by asahi; 04-23-2019 at 05:39 PM.
  #155  
Old 04-23-2019, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by UnwittingAmericans View Post
Read any of the redacted version of the report (Registered Voters):
Yes 28%
No 65%
Don't Know (lol) 8%

I'd agree you gotta get "in favor" comfortably over 50%. Heavy lift, not impossible.
Which underscores what I said earlier in this thread (or maybe somewhere else), which is that people are going to get the information they seek out through their own filters. I'm a left partisan, and I happen to believe strongly that my version of the truth is more valid, but I already know from experience: good luck convincing Fox News binge watchers and Russian bot fodder. The voters in the middle don't know what to think, so they'll vote (or not) according to what's in their bank account, or what they perceive as their economic future.

When people say "It's the economy stupid," it doesn't mean that voters analyze the Federal Reserve data like Paul Krugman. Economics isn't just about numbers. It's about their optimism for the future, and it's about whether voters believe they're going to be able to have an income in 6 months. It's about whether they believe they'll be just as likely to go out to movies and a dinner date without stressing out over weekly paychecks and bills. If voters believe that things are improving, then it doesn't matter how much of a shithead Trump is - they already know that anyway. They do not care.

In the end, what most of the world outside the realm of the Dope will tell you is this: "Donald Trump can fuck up someone else's life all he wants, just as long as he doesn't fuck up mine."
  #156  
Old 04-23-2019, 08:03 PM
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Bernie gets it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Sanders
If for the next year, year-and-a-half, going right into the heart of the election, all that the Congress is talking about is impeaching Trump and Trump, Trump, Trump, and Mueller, Mueller, Mueller, and we're not talking about health care, we're not talking about raising the minimum wage to a living wage, we're not talking about combating climate change, we're not talking about sexism and racism and homophobia, and all of the issues that concern ordinary Americans, what I worry about is that works to Trump's advantage.
As the linked article points out, it's not the position calculated to endear him to his base, but it is the right position.
  #157  
Old 04-23-2019, 08:08 PM
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Bernie gets it.



As the linked article points out, it's not the position calculated to endear him to his base, but it is the right position.
I completely agree, and as someone who's been skeptical of Bernie over the years, I have to say that I think he gets it. I think he's spot on accurate here.
  #158  
Old 04-23-2019, 08:26 PM
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So what they didn't ask was, should Congress begin hearings to determine withether the President has committed impeachable offenses?

That's the relevant question.
Oh, the important question of whether Congress should maybe start subpoenaing Trump staff and his financial records? Maybe run a full investigation or two? That stuff they're already doing?

The question of this thread is whether starting impeachment proceedings would be a good idea. Unless you get a lot more of the public on board the answer is obviously no. Continuing to snap at Trump's heels is also obviously a decent way to get more dirt and sway public opinion.

But ignoring the obvious mood of the country against impeachment is not Congress' job. Don't tell me they have a duty to follow your sense of justice.
  #159  
Old 04-23-2019, 08:40 PM
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Bernie gets it.

As the linked article points out, it's not the position calculated to endear him to his base, but it is the right position.
...it absolutely endears him to his base. You support his position, do you not?

This is the same Bernie who said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie
“There are people who are very big into diversity but whose views end up being not particularly sympathetic to working people, whether they’re white or black or Latino,” he said. “My main belief is that we need to bring together a coalition of people—of black and white and Latino and Asian-American and Native-American—around a progressive agenda which is prepared to take on an extraordinarily powerful ruling class in this country. That is my view. Many of my opponents do not hold that view, and they think that all that we need is people who are candidates who are black or white, who are black or Latino or woman or gay, regardless of what they stand for, that the end result is diversity.”
https://www.gq.com/story/bernie-sand...ished-business

We've been waiting for Bernie to start talking about " sexism and racism and homophobia." And we are still waiting. He just doesn't appear to understand "what diversity is all about" and he will probably never understand.

Talking about impeachment is no fucking excuse for not talking about other issues. What a fucking joke.
  #160  
Old 04-23-2019, 08:58 PM
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Talking about impeachment is no fucking excuse for not talking about other issues. What a fucking joke.
Your righteousness is the joke. Unless you have some plan for completely changing how news coverage happens, impeachment will flood out other issues. That's frigging reality, not a joke. Grow up.
  #161  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:06 PM
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(play by play announcer) Ooh, he hits him with a "grow up", that could be devastating. Lets see how his opponent reacts to that.
  #162  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:07 PM
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Your righteousness is the joke. Unless you have some plan for completely changing how news coverage happens, impeachment will flood out other issues. That's frigging reality, not a joke. Grow up.
...LOL. How is impeachment going to "flood out" an issue that Bernie is not even talking about? How does that work?

I know exactly how "news coverage happens." "How news coverage happens" should not be a consideration on whether or not the Dems should start impeachment proceedings.
  #163  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:12 PM
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...LOL. How is impeachment going to "flood out" an issue that Bernie is not even talking about? How does that work?

I know exactly how "news coverage happens." "How news coverage happens" should not be a consideration on whether or not the Dems should start impeachment proceedings.
Oh, you lol'd? I must be wrong then.

How news coverage happens is rather obviously a consideration. Not much point talking politics with someone who denies that. The world isn't going to be in the room when Banquet Bear's fav congressman is talking, he needs news coverage.

Last edited by CarnalK; 04-23-2019 at 09:15 PM.
  #164  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:12 PM
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Yeah, Og Forbid they defend the idea as The Right Thing to Do as opposed to winning another election where they sit and basically strategize how to win elections.
They might believe the Right Thing to Do is to get Trump out of office.

Those arguing on the "IMPEACH NOW" side may believe that Impeaching Now will have results such as:
  • Trump realizing--being unable to escape the awareness--that the American People reject him and all his works
  • Trump voters realizing that Impeachment means that they should feel shame
  • Other voters gaining a new respect for the noble and virtuous Democrats

This is all fantasy.

Trump will not realize any such thing. He and his fans "know" that impeachment is a purely partisan exercise by Haters. He will feel no twinge of recognition that he and his ways are being rejected; his fans will feel no twinge of shame.



Aside from that: I haven't seen anyone arguing that impeachment should be taken off the table. It should NOT be taken off the table.

But as several of us have said, Democrats should level with the American people: There is extensive evidence that this president has committed wrongdoing that is fully impeachable, according to the Constitution. But the sad truth is that because he has protectors in the Senate, Republicans who will not do their duty to look at the evidence fairly, impeachment will be a waste of the time and resources we could be putting into working to improve our economy, our security, and our lives.

When that changes, we will move to impeach. But we won't put on a show with a foregone conclusion. We will investigate the president's wrongdoing fully and publicly, while continuing to work for your interests.




As a side note: Democrats will have to fight to obtain documents and materials needed to perform those investigations. Filing articles of impeachment now would remove one of their most powerful arguments for being granted access to those documents and materials: the need for full information in making the decision on whether or not to impeach.

If they've already impeached, they've increased the chance that the courts will say 'you clearly don't need those documents because you've already made your decision.'
  #165  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:26 PM
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I must be wrong then.
...yep.

Quote:
How news coverage happens is rather obviously a consideration.
It shouldn't be. You don't decide not to "prosecute an alleged murderer" just because that alleged murderer is a popular movie star that everybody loves. Fox News is literally bending over backwards to tell the stories that the President of the United States wants to hear. Just think about that for a minute. If Fox News frames stories to please the President, and if you choose not to impeach because of the way Fox News might frame the story, aren't you doing exactly what the President wants? Why are you letting them control what you do?

You can't game this system. The system games you. You are being played.

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Not much point talking politics with someone who denies that.
You are free to stop replying to me.
  #166  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:27 PM
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Those arguing on the "IMPEACH NOW" side may believe that Impeaching Now will have results such as:
  • Trump realizing--being unable to escape the awareness--that the American People reject him and all his works
  • Trump voters realizing that Impeachment means that they should feel shame
  • Other voters gaining a new respect for the noble and virtuous Democrats

This is all fantasy.
...nope. This is a strawman.
  #167  
Old 04-23-2019, 09:56 PM
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It shouldn't be. You don't decide not to "prosecute an alleged murderer" just because that alleged murderer is a popular movie star that everybody loves. Fox News is literally bending over backwards to tell the stories that the President of the United States wants to hear. Just think about that for a minute. If Fox News frames stories to please the President, and if you choose not to impeach because of the way Fox News might frame the story, aren't you doing exactly what the President wants? Why are you letting them control what you do?.
The only problem is that Trump isn't a murderer and impeachment isn't a criminal trial. There will be no randomly selected jury. There is no innocent until proven guilty. It's a political process and if the public isn't on board, it's simply not going to happen. That's kinda democracy.
  #168  
Old 04-23-2019, 10:10 PM
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The only problem is that Trump isn't a murderer and impeachment isn't a criminal trial.
...that doesn't matter. Prosecutors should make decisions based on the facts in front of them. And the House should make decisions based on the facts in front of them. They shouldn't be swayed because of how the media will frame the story: because some media are de-facto propaganda outlets for the Trump regime, and other media outlets are busy "chasing clicks" and have left ethics and morality at the door.

Quote:
There will be no randomly selected jury. There is no innocent until proven guilty. It's a political process and if the public isn't on board, it's simply not going to happen. That's kinda democracy.
"Getting the public on board" is as meaningless a metric as "considering news coverage." That isn't kinda what democracy is. We don't hold referendum on every single decision made by the people we elect to represent us.
  #169  
Old 04-23-2019, 11:06 PM
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...it absolutely endears him to his base. You support his position, do you not?

This is the same Bernie who said this:



https://www.gq.com/story/bernie-sand...ished-business

We've been waiting for Bernie to start talking about " sexism and racism and homophobia." And we are still waiting. He just doesn't appear to understand "what diversity is all about" and he will probably never understand.

Talking about impeachment is no fucking excuse for not talking about other issues. What a fucking joke.
How dare you accuse a man who organized civil rights marches in Chicago in 1962 of not understanding racism. That’s disgusting.
  #170  
Old 04-23-2019, 11:07 PM
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I haven’t seen polls, but my guess is the majority of Bernie supporters are inclined more to your view than mine.
  #171  
Old 04-23-2019, 11:41 PM
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They might believe the Right Thing to Do is to get Trump out of office.

Those arguing on the "IMPEACH NOW" side may believe that Impeaching Now will have results such as:
  • Trump realizing--being unable to escape the awareness--that the American People reject him and all his works
  • Trump voters realizing that Impeachment means that they should feel shame
  • Other voters gaining a new respect for the noble and virtuous Democrats

This is all fantasy.
No one I know thinks this. I do think it's important to respect the rule of law, which means upholding the rule of law. Mueller maintained his integrity through this horrendous process by doing just that. I think he wants Congress to do the same.

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<snip>

Aside from that: I haven't seen anyone arguing that impeachment should be taken off the table. It should NOT be taken off the table.

But as several of us have said, Democrats should level with the American people: There is extensive evidence that this president has committed wrongdoing that is fully impeachable, according to the Constitution. But the sad truth is that because he has protectors in the Senate, Republicans who will not do their duty to look at the evidence fairly, impeachment will be a waste of the time and resources we could be putting into working to improve our economy, our security, and our lives.

When that changes, we will move to impeach. But we won't put on a show with a foregone conclusion. We will investigate the president's wrongdoing fully and publicly, while continuing to work for your interests.
You've already said more words than most Americans will listen to. Honestly, I think we're talking past each other. My view is, if you believe impeachable offenses have already occurred, then you proceed with impeachment hearings. You can call them "oversight" hearings if you prefer, but the goal is to educate the public. I really don't care what the proceedings are called. I already said earlier in this thread that I felt slow-walking the process was the Democrats' best option. Personally, I think Trump is shit-scared of impeachment proceedings. It's why he's pretending to welcome them.

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As a side note: Democrats will have to fight to obtain documents and materials needed to perform those investigations. Filing articles of impeachment now would remove one of their most powerful arguments for being granted access to those documents and materials: the need for full information in making the decision on whether or not to impeach.

If they've already impeached, they've increased the chance that the courts will say 'you clearly don't need those documents because you've already made your decision.'
Courts don't work that way. They are not in charge of Congress, and they generally avoid speculating about any purpose for which Congress may or may not make their request. The sole issue before the courts is, is there a legal basis to grant the request? And in these matters before this Congress, I assure you, there is a solid basis in law for them to have all that they are requesting. Congress is not subordinate to the courts. They're not Oliver Twist: "Please, sir, can I have some more?"

As for Dems having to fight to obtain that to which they are lawfully entitled because a president is unlawfully attempting to block their access to it, and for a corrupt purpose, no less (obstruction of justice)... your perspective on this only demonstrates how far we have already strayed from the custom and practice of being a nation of laws that operates under co-equal branches of government. It will not get better because Democrats wring their hands and wonder whether to term their Congressional oversight hearings as "impeachment" or "oversight."

I respect Pelosi and she mostly has her caucus onboard with her approach. I hope like hell it goes as she wants it to. I did appreciate a comment I heard tonight about it, something to the effect of, well, if she's playing rope-a-dope, she couldn't have found a better dope. No disagreement there.
  #172  
Old 04-23-2019, 11:48 PM
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...that doesn't matter. Prosecutors should make decisions based on the facts in front of them. And the House should make decisions based on the facts in front of them. They shouldn't be swayed because of how the media will frame the story: because some media are de-facto propaganda outlets for the Trump regime, and other media outlets are busy "chasing clicks" and have left ethics and morality at the door.



"Getting the public on board" is as meaningless a metric as "considering news coverage." That isn't kinda what democracy is. We don't hold referendum on every single decision made by the people we elect to represent us.
No one will is holding a referendum but what world do you live in where politicians would ignore their own percieved political interests AND public opinion?

Pelosi is giving most of what you want, continued public investigation, but not miring herself in an unpopular and doomed endeavor.

Last edited by CarnalK; 04-23-2019 at 11:52 PM.
  #173  
Old 04-23-2019, 11:53 PM
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How dare you accuse a man who organized civil rights marches in Chicago in 1962 of not understanding racism. That’s disgusting.
...yes, HOW DARE I!!!

And how DARE you read what I said, and claim I said something I didn't! I didn't say "he doesn't understand racism." I said "He just doesn't appear to understand "what diversity is all about" and he will probably never understand." Having said that I don't think he really understand racism either, but I didn't say that before, so perhaps you should have held off your righteous indignations until I actually said it. You were a bit premature.

And I don't give a fuck that he organized marches in 1962. I respect him for that. But its 2019. Its a different world now. And if Bernie is going to be complaining about "identity politics" and strawmanning arguments in favour of diversity then perhaps he isn't the expert on "race and diversity" that we need to be hearing from right now.

Whats disgusting is getting a lecture from Bernie about not talking about "sexism and racism and homophobia" when these things he has done nothing recently but pay lip service to these three topics. How dare I? How dare he. How dare he use marginalised people as a shield. How dare he use marginalised people as a defense for not being in favour of impeachment.

I would love for Bernie to come to the table. I would love to have Bernie starting to listen, to start to amplify the voices of marginalised people. But he could start doing that now. Why isn't he doing it now? And if the Dems don't impeach, will anything change?
  #174  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:04 AM
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Well, this has been an interesting discussion, at least. It’s been a refreshing change for me to be the guy telling others that they are irresponsibly pursuing an ideologically purist agenda without considering political realities!
  #175  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:23 AM
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...yes, HOW DARE I!!!

And how DARE you read what I said, and claim I said something I didn't! I didn't say "he doesn't understand racism." I said "He just doesn't appear to understand "what diversity is all about" and he will probably never understand." Having said that I don't think he really understand racism either, but I didn't say that before, so perhaps you should have held off your righteous indignations until I actually said it. You were a bit premature.

And I don't give a fuck that he organized marches in 1962. I respect him for that. But its 2019. Its a different world now. And if Bernie is going to be complaining about "identity politics" and strawmanning arguments in favour of diversity then perhaps he isn't the expert on "race and diversity" that we need to be hearing from right now.

Whats disgusting is getting a lecture from Bernie about not talking about "sexism and racism and homophobia" when these things he has done nothing recently but pay lip service to these three topics. How dare I? How dare he. How dare he use marginalised people as a shield. How dare he use marginalised people as a defense for not being in favour of impeachment.

I would love for Bernie to come to the table. I would love to have Bernie starting to listen, to start to amplify the voices of marginalised people. But he could start doing that now. Why isn't he doing it now? And if the Dems don't impeach, will anything change?
Bernie has been fighting for marginalized people since before you were born. You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. All you do is keep repeating tired Clintonista talking points from 2016 like a retarded parrot.

Things will change when we get the Republicans out of the White House, which won’t happen until January 2020, whether the House impeaches him or not. You should be focused on getting Trump out of office, not meeting some purity pony standard of self-defeating righteousness. But what do you care, you’re not even an American. This is all a fucking point-scoring game to you. But over here, real people are suffering every day at the hands of the GOP oligarchs. We want him gone, and we don’t care about your pompous, ignorant lectures about our “duty” to make meaningless gestures, even if it means losing the last chance to save our democracy.
  #176  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:59 AM
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No one will is holding a referendum but what world do you live in where politicians would ignore their own percieved political interests AND public opinion?
...I live in a world where I think that the decision to impeach should not be a partisan decision. Choosing not to initiate impeachment based on their political interests of the Dems is about as partisan as you can get.

Quote:
Pelosi is giving most of what you want, continued public investigation, but not miring herself in an unpopular and doomed endeavor.
You don't actually understand what I want. I respect Pelosi. Before the report came out I agreed with her. But its entirely fair to rethink that calculus once the report got made public.
  #177  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:10 AM
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...I live in a world where I think that the decision to impeach should not be a partisan decision. Choosing not to initiate impeachment based on their political interests of the Dems is about as partisan as you can get.



You don't actually understand what I want. I respect Pelosi. Before the report came out I agreed with her. But its entirely fair to rethink that calculus once the report got made public.
It's not purely partisan to respect public opinion. The country doesn't want an impeachment, the smartest politician in the room thinks it's a bad idea, get it through your head that it's a bad move.
  #178  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:30 AM
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Bernie has been fighting for marginalized people since before you were born. You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. All you do is keep repeating tired Clintonista talking points from 2016 like a retarded parrot.
..."Clintonista talking points?" "Retarded parrots?"

I speak my own mind thank-you-very-much. I give as much of a fuck about Clinton than I do about Sanders.

Quote:
Things will change when we get the Republicans out of the White House, which won’t happen until January 2020, whether the House impeaches him or not. You should be focused on getting Trump out of office, not meeting some purity pony standard of self-defeating righteousness. But what do you care, you’re not even an American. This is all a fucking point-scoring game to you. But over here, real people are suffering every day at the hands of the GOP oligarchs. We want him gone, and we don’t care about your pompous, ignorant lectures about our “duty” to make meaningless gestures, even if it means losing the last chance to save our democracy.
I'm glad you got all of that off your chest. It has nothing to do with anything I've said in this thread, but I hope you feel better after saying it.

I'm as concerned as you are about the sake of your democracy. Which is why I changed my mind. Every expert on authoritarianism that I've listened too are in favour of impeachment. This isn't about point scoring or "purity pony standards of self-defeating righteousness" or whatever other label you want to use on me.

There is nothing stopping Bernie talking about other things. He's the front-runner, he can set the conversation regardless of what the House decides to do. He has made a ridiculous argument and your inability or unwillingness to defend it says it all.

I'm not going to be as arrogant as many here and try and predict the outcome of either impeaching or not impeaching. But like it or not either decision is a gamble. Its a coin-toss. I've dived pretty deep into how the alt-right & co have controlled the messaging. I've seen it evolve from #endfathersday to goobergate to what we saw in 2016 to what its evolved into today. And you guys simply don't understand how it all works. And I don't think it will end up the way you think it will end up.
  #179  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:43 AM
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I'm not going to be as arrogant as many here and try and predict the outcome of either impeaching or not impeaching.
How extremely convenient for you, to be able to ignore consequences. But assessing the outcome is how intelligent adults decide on actions. If you have no prediction on how your plan will work and you're in disagreement with the people actually involved, does not a shred of humility shadow your righteousness?

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  #180  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:45 AM
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It's not purely partisan to respect public opinion.
...it is purely partisan if the decision to not impeach is made in order to secure votes at the next election. It is purely partisan if the decision not to impeach is based on how the Dems think the media will frame that decision.

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The country doesn't want an impeachment, the smartest politician in the room thinks it's a bad idea, get it through your head that it's a bad move.
The smartest expert on authoritarianism I know thinks impeachment is the best and most appropriate move to make. Elizabeth Warren sat down after the Mueller Report was released, read it cover-to-cover, and when she finished reading she hopped on twitter and said she supported impeachment. Get it through your head: some very smart people disagree with Pelosi. And that's okay. Get it through your head: we are in Great Debates, and we are having a robust debate. You can't just declare "Pelosi" and expect me to grant you victory.
  #181  
Old 04-24-2019, 02:03 AM
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I didn't "declare Pelosi". I said she was the smartest politician in the room and her moves agree with public opinion. That has a lot more weight than your unnamed authoritarianism expert.
  #182  
Old 04-24-2019, 02:07 AM
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Thanks, I do feel better now.

I’m not sure how I am “unable or unwilling” to defend Bernie’s argument (actually the argument I had formulated on my own before he offered his opinion, but he said it better). I thought I had been defending that all thread.

Let me spell it out:

1) our main priority needs to be ensuring the defeat of Trump in 2020, because

2) getting him out of office before then isn’t realistically possible.

3) winning the 2020 election is more likely if we focus on bread and butter issues rather than on Trump’s personal awfulness.

Which of those do you disagree with? IMO reasonable people may disagree on #3, but not on the first two.

Impeachment is both a legal and a political process. And contrary to your assertion, I don’t believe that even in straight-up criminal law, anyone argues that prosecutors have an ethical obligation to charge anyone they believe to be guilty, regardless of the likelihood of obtaining a conviction.

Much as I hate Trump, Obama was right; elections have consequences. Presidents shouldn’t be impeached unless a large majority of the public supports the impeachment, and that condition hasn’t been met.

Bill Clinton lied under oath. Did Congress have a duty to impeach him? IMO, no, because he lied to a corrupt prosecutor conducting a partisan witch hunt about something which was unrelated to his Presidential duties and had no relevance to the matter which the partisan witch hunter was supposed to be investigating. It was a crime, but not a significant enough one to justify overturning an election result. The majority of the people agreed with me, and the system worked in that case; the outcome which most people wanted occurred.

Your argument appears to be that Congress is ethically obligated to impeach Trump if there is compelling evidence that he committed a serious crime. With that in mind, did you support the Clinton impeachment, and if not, what do you see as the relevant differences?
  #183  
Old 04-24-2019, 02:49 AM
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Read any of the redacted version of the report (Registered Voters):
Yes 28%
No 65%
Don't Know (lol) 8%

I'd agree you gotta get "in favor" comfortably over 50%. Heavy lift, not impossible.
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Which underscores what I said earlier in this thread (or maybe somewhere else), which is that people are going to get the information they seek out through their own filters. I'm a left partisan, and I happen to believe strongly that my version of the truth is more valid, but I already know from experience: good luck convincing Fox News binge watchers and Russian bot fodder. The voters in the middle don't know what to think, so they'll vote (or not) according to what's in their bank account, or what they perceive as their economic future.

When people say "It's the economy stupid," it doesn't mean that voters analyze the Federal Reserve data like Paul Krugman. Economics isn't just about numbers. It's about their optimism for the future, and it's about whether voters believe they're going to be able to have an income in 6 months. It's about whether they believe they'll be just as likely to go out to movies and a dinner date without stressing out over weekly paychecks and bills. If voters believe that things are improving, then it doesn't matter how much of a shithead Trump is - they already know that anyway. They do not care.

In the end, what most of the world outside the realm of the Dope will tell you is this: "Donald Trump can fuck up someone else's life all he wants, just as long as he doesn't fuck up mine."
I don't disagree about the effect of the overall economy.

The reason I posted that polling data point was:

1. Only 28% have read any of the report. And that number struck me as being WAY too high - have 1 out of every 4 people you know read any of the report? I think it's actually probably closer to 1/10th that.

2. So, Congress, read the report to 'em, it's both clinical and lurid at the same time. Everybody has a TV in their pocket now, right?

If doing that doesn't move the number, then it's a harder decision for sure. And a pretty ominous situation.
  #184  
Old 04-24-2019, 03:05 AM
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3) winning the 2020 election is more likely if we focus on bread and butter issues rather than on Trump’s personal awfulness.
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Which of those do you disagree with? IMO reasonable people may disagree on #3, but not on the first two.
...no you can't frame it like this. Lets put it this way:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me
Let me spell it out:

1) our main priority needs to be ensuring the defeat of Trump in 2020, because

2) getting him out of office before then isn’t realistically possible.

3) winning the 2020 election is more likely if we focus on bread and butter issues as well as impeachment.

Which of those do you disagree with? IMO reasonable people may disagree on #3, but not on the first two.
The first two things you said aren't in support of your argument. They are things that I think everybody in this thread would accept no matter what side of the debate you are on. As you can see by simply changing number 3 I instantly re-contextualize 1 and 2.

So that only leaves us with number 3. And if you believe that number 3 to be true, then I'm going to ask you to prove it. What metric have you used to determine "likelihood?" What empirical evidence did you use to determine that that focusing on "bread and butter issues" is more likely to result in Trump being defeated? Why have you conflated "impeachment" with focusing on "Trump’s personal awfulness?"

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Impeachment is both a legal and a political process. And contrary to your assertion, I don’t believe that even in straight-up criminal law, anyone argues that prosecutors have an ethical obligation to charge anyone they believe to be guilty, regardless of the likelihood of obtaining a conviction.
I haven't asserted this.

Quote:
Much as I hate Trump, Obama was right; elections have consequences.
Yeah they do.

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Presidents shouldn’t be impeached unless a large majority of the public supports the impeachment, and that condition hasn’t been met.
Can you point out where this is spelled out in the articles of impeachment? No seriously, where does it say this? This isn't a condition as far as I'm aware. And if it were a condition how exactly would you go about assigning metrics and determining support?

The President would start campaigning on "don't impeach me." He'd make quite the song and dance about it. Fox news would join the campaign trail. "Text "DON'T IMPEACH to our hotline, number down below." If you relied on "public opinion polls" then they would game the polls. You would turn the impeachment process into a popularity contest. I can't imagine any circumstances where what you suggest would be a good idea. The idea quite frankly terrifies me.

This is not a decision you can outsource to public polling. Either you hold a referendum or you allow the people you elected to represent you to do their jobs. Elections have consequences.

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Bill Clinton lied under oath. Did Congress have a duty to impeach him? IMO, no, because he lied to a corrupt prosecutor conducting a partisan witch hunt about something which was unrelated to his Presidential duties and had no relevance to the matter which the partisan witch hunter was supposed to be investigating. It was a crime, but not a significant enough one to justify overturning an election result. The majority of the people agreed with me, and the system worked in that case; the outcome which most people wanted occurred.
Why are we talking about Bill Clinton?


Quote:
Your argument appears to be that Congress is ethically obligated to impeach Trump if there is compelling evidence that he committed a serious crime.
What is it, do you think, impeachment exists for?

Quote:
With that in mind, did you support the Clinton impeachment, and if not, what do you see as the relevant differences?
Why are we talking about Bill Clinton? Despite your assertions about me being a "Clintonista" I really don't give a fuck about Bill Clinton. I honestly don't know enough about the case to give you an informed answer. And it doesn't have anything to do with anything I've said. Just another distraction.
  #185  
Old 04-24-2019, 03:44 AM
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I didn't "declare Pelosi". I said she was the smartest politician in the room and her moves agree with public opinion. That has a lot more weight than your unnamed authoritarianism expert.
...I named them and quoted from them in my very first post in this thread. Sarah Kendzior. And IMHO I'd put much more weight into her opinion than Pelosi's partisan opinion, even though I respect Pelosi's position.
  #186  
Old 04-24-2019, 06:17 AM
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It shouldn't be. You don't decide not to "prosecute an alleged murderer" just because that alleged murderer is a popular movie star that everybody loves. Fox News is literally bending over backwards to tell the stories that the President of the United States wants to hear. Just think about that for a minute. If Fox News frames stories to please the President, and if you choose not to impeach because of the way Fox News might frame the story, aren't you doing exactly what the President wants? Why are you letting them control what you do?
But prosecutors are always making the decision to prosecute or not based not only on evidence but on whether they think there is enough evidence to convince a jury that this individual committed a crime. That's one reason why Bill Cosby got away with his rapes all these years. As early as 2005 a prosecutor in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania considered criminal charges based on a complaint but ultimately decided that he didn't have what it took to convince a jury of this superstar's guilt, and don't think for a moment that his celebrity wasn't a factor - it almost certainly was.

Moreover, with impeachment, we're not talking necessarily about a group of 12 men and women considering infractions of the law; the jury in this case is the millions and millions of voters who participate in our democratic system, warts and all. If the prosecution in this case wants to prosecute Donald Trump, then their calculus is one of whether or not they believe there is enough evidence to persuade tens of millions of voters, including many of whom who voted for or once supported Trump even tacitly, that he needs to be removed from office. Impeachment does not exist as a mechanism to remove a politician any and every time they potentially break a law. It exists in cases where there is overwhelming evidence that a strong majority of citizens in this country can agree to varying degrees that the president is simply unfit for office and needs to be removed. We may get to that point, but we're not there yet, and I don't think we're anywhere near there.

I don't see the value in initiating impeachment in the House when almost everyone knows it won't go anywhere in the Senate. All we would accomplish is hyper-partisanship. It's not even clear at this point of Mitch McConnell would even fulfill his Constitutional obligations to take up the trial portion of the impeachment. In short, it would be a waste of time.

But as others have already said, the investigations themselves absolutely should continue. Keep putting the facts out there. Keep letting people see the evidence not only about what Mueller saw with respect to Russian interference but also with regard to Trump's finances. Let people get to the truth about the person who won the presidency by less than a hundred thousand total votes. And let them contextualize whatever is revealed with their perception of the overall state of their country and their perceptions about how he's contributing to their collective well being. And then talk about issues, and provide real alternatives that voters can embrace. That's how we win.

Last edited by asahi; 04-24-2019 at 06:18 AM.
  #187  
Old 04-24-2019, 06:39 AM
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Those of you who think the media will _ever_ focus on health care, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, combating climate change, sexism and racism and homophobia, haven't been paying attention to the media since 2015 that can't get enough of Trump's craziness. And with good reason. But Trump's ability to say something or do something outrageous and shift the media focus to him will not change between now and November 2020.

I think Democrats are ignoring a huge swath of 2018 voters who were inspired by Trump to vote for the D. If they turn out to be insipid cowards, I doubt think turnout for the Ds will be so great. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, you won't fool me again!
  #188  
Old 04-24-2019, 07:54 AM
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Impeachment is both a legal and a political process.
Nope, political only. There certainly was, however, an effort by the Republicans during their Clinton vendetta, in an attempt at vindicating it, to get the view accepted that it's just how the criminal system works for Presidents, and some (like you) believe it now; alas, the Constitution says otherwise. Article 1, Section 3: "... the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgement and Punishment, according to Law."

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  #189  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:38 AM
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But prosecutors are always making the decision to prosecute or not based not only on evidence but on whether they think there is enough evidence to convince a jury that this individual committed a crime. That's one reason why Bill Cosby got away with his rapes all these years. As early as 2005 a prosecutor in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania considered criminal charges based on a complaint but ultimately decided that he didn't have what it took to convince a jury of this superstar's guilt, and don't think for a moment that his celebrity wasn't a factor - it almost certainly was.
...my friend If they didn't prosecute back in 2005 because they didn't think they could convince a jury then they were as wrong as Abelino Reyna when they allowed Jacob Walter Anderson to cop a plea. Of course they can choose not to impeach. They are almost certainly very likely not going to impeach.

Quote:
Moreover, with impeachment, we're not talking necessarily about a group of 12 men and women considering infractions of the law; the jury in this case is the millions and millions of voters who participate in our democratic system, warts and all. If the prosecution in this case wants to prosecute Donald Trump, then their calculus is one of whether or not they believe there is enough evidence to persuade tens of millions of voters, including many of whom who voted for or once supported Trump even tacitly, that he needs to be removed from office.
No that isn't the point. As I quoted in my first post in this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Kendzior
"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?"
The situation is this dire. Most Americans are still living in a fantasy land where Trump is going to get voted out and everything will go back to normal. But that isn't where we are at. We are in uncharted territory. Chaos. We are in the nightmare scenario that Steve Bannon envisioned. The Trump regime is a crime syndicate. They are openly committing crimes and they are getting away with it. I talked about this a couple of years ago. Federal departments are being purged. Who is running FEMA? Who is running the Department of Homeland Security? Who is running the FDA? Who is the UN Ambassador? Its a rudderless ship. And that instability is leading to chaos.

In a normal world nobody would be questioning impeachment here. And that is why I support impeachment going ahead. Because we have to slow things down. We need to use everything within our power to bring things back to normal. Slow the pace. Disrupt. We all said we can't normalise this regime. Yet here we are, not even three years later, shrugging our shoulders. Impeachment is an entirely normal and appropriate remedy to use here. So lets use it.

Quote:
Impeachment does not exist as a mechanism to remove a politician any and every time they potentially break a law. It exists in cases where there is overwhelming evidence that a strong majority of citizens in this country can agree to varying degrees that the president is simply unfit for office and needs to be removed.
No that isn't what impeachment is. There is no mechanism for the majority of the citizens to cast a vote on whether or not to impeach.

Quote:
We may get to that point, but we're not there yet, and I don't think we're anywhere near there.
We can't get there. Its an impossible standard and its a standard that is not required to be attained. This simply isn't how it works.

Quote:
I don't see the value in initiating impeachment in the House when almost everyone knows it won't go anywhere in the Senate. All we would accomplish is hyper-partisanship. It's not even clear at this point of Mitch McConnell would even fulfill his Constitutional obligations to take up the trial portion of the impeachment. In short, it would be a waste of time.
We are in a state of hyper partisanship now. One side has declared all-out-war. Mitch McConnell said a few days ago "If I'm still the majority leader of the Senate after next year, none of those things are going to pass the Senate," the Kentucky Republican told a small crowd during an event in his home state Monday. "They won't even be voted on. So think of me as the Grim Reaper: the guy who is going to make sure that socialism doesn't land on the president's desk."


That's where we are at. We've got one side declaring that they are going to reject any progressive legislation out of hand and we've got the other side too scared to even talk about impeaching because people might think they are being too "hyper-partisan."

This is exactly what they want you to do. McConnell is laughing his fucking head off.

Quote:
But as others have already said, the investigations themselves absolutely should continue. Keep putting the facts out there. Keep letting people see the evidence not only about what Mueller saw with respect to Russian interference but also with regard to Trump's finances. Let people get to the truth about the person who won the presidency by less than a hundred thousand total votes. And let them contextualize whatever is revealed with their perception of the overall state of their country and their perceptions about how he's contributing to their collective well being.
When David A. Fahrenthold broke this story last month about how Trump and Trump businesses were inflating their worth he lamented on twitter "All day long, this story has been just baaarely out-performing another Post story, about a Notre Dame student's mom who objects to women wearing leggings."

Do you really think a few oversight hearings will have the same impact as the House bringing impeachment proceedings? That the eventual revelation of Trumps financials will help people contextualise something more than "HOW DARE THAT WOMAN WEAR LEGGINGS TO CHURCH!!?"

Quote:
And then talk about issues, and provide real alternatives that voters can embrace.
We can talk about the issues now. Wanna talk about student loans? Only Warren wants to have that conversation, and if you look at the GD thread on it its a great big dumpster fire. What other issue do you want to talk about? The New Green Deal? Are you going to get a better reception from the Republicans if you don't impeach than if you do?

I don't get what difference impeachment will make. The same conversations will play out exactly the same way. The Republicans will continue their dominance over the news cycle. They will continue to set the agenda. Impeachment won't change this.

Dem candidates are already putting forward alternatives that voters can either embrace or reject. Nothing needs to change here. Warren is the only candidate (I'm aware of) that has called for impeachment. She is also continuing to release new policy ideas and she is continuing to push her agenda. And there is no reason why that would change if they decided to impeach.

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That's how we win.
To borrow from the Washington Post: this is how democracy dies.
  #190  
Old 04-24-2019, 10:29 AM
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Oh, the important question of whether Congress should maybe start subpoenaing Trump staff and his financial records? Maybe run a full investigation or two? That stuff they're already doing?
Oh, FFS. Here's the summary of H.Res. 803, February 6, 1974:
Quote:
Authorizes the House Committee on the Judiciary to investigate fully and completely whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to impeach President Richard M. Nixon.

States that the Committee may require, by subpoena, interrogatory, or otherwise, the furnishing of such information as it deems necessary to such an investigation. Provides that such authority may be exercised by the chairman and the ranking minority member acting jointly or by the committee acting as a whole or by subcommittee.

Stipulates that any funds made available to the Committee on the Judiciary may be expended for the purpose of carrying out the investigation.
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The question of this thread is whether starting impeachment proceedings would be a good idea. Unless you get a lot more of the public on board the answer is obviously no.
You apparently are more expert than I am at questionnaire design, that's all I can say.

But I would appeal to your superior knowledge to suggest that that question is going to be read by many respondents as, "should we start impeaching Trump?" rather than "should we start figuring out whether we should?"

I would answer the first question in the negative, myself. And I'm pretty pro-impeachment, as I think you've noticed. So I'd say we don't know public opinion on the second question. If you think we do, that's your problem.
  #191  
Old 04-24-2019, 10:42 AM
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Polling has consistently shown (to my endless frustration) that the hoi polloi don't really care that much about the Russia story. They want to focus on healthcare and other typical political issues, which forces strategic Democrats to act like this is a normal time and that Trump is a normal Republican opponent. But this headline on the front page of the Fargo Forum (the city and region's daily newspaper of record) made me wonder if this is the angle that could change that somewhat. As I say in the tweet, the smart money is always to bet "no", but I still think it's interesting--particularly because we normally hear mainly about Russians as online trolls, not as Americans-style flesh-and-blood spies as is the case here.

One thing I really have no sense of is whether this is a flukey story that happened to occur in this news market, or if there is stuff like this going on across the country (or, more to the point, in battleground states).

ETA: Click the image to see it zoomed out a bit, including the mentions of the NRA and Trump.
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  #192  
Old 04-24-2019, 10:46 AM
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I'm in support of impeachment because it's the moral thing to do. "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" is the standard, and it has been met. Plain. Pure. Simple.

I don't care that it's hard. What trial is ever easy?

I don't care that there is "an election around the corner". There's a fuckin' election every 2 damned years. Let these hearings be the background noise for 2020.

I don't care that it's not 100% supported by 100% of Americans. Unlike Trump, Nixon was actually popular - he won 1972 in a 49 state landslide with 60% of the vote, for Chrissakes. Trump is no Nixon.

It's time to get to work, ladies and gentlemen: Get off the pot and support the Constitution and stop worrying about how "hard" this is, how it "plays in Peoria". It's time to go all-in and demand that this shit will not stand. Because to demand otherwise is to say to the world, and to future Presidents, that the corruption we've seen, corruption not even Mueller-related, since 1.20.2017 (and before) is just fine with you.

Well, it's not right with me. And I sure as fuck don't need some goddamned poll to tell me when it's time to do the right thing.

And if we should lose this fight, we will die knowing that we fought it. But if one sits it out, they will die knowing they didn't take a stand when it was needed.

This Mueller shit isn't even half of it, but it's the best road map we have. Let's use it, and now.

#Impeach.

Last edited by JohnT; 04-24-2019 at 10:49 AM.
  #193  
Old 04-24-2019, 10:48 AM
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If only there had been a blowjob involved ...
  #194  
Old 04-24-2019, 10:54 AM
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Oh, FFS. Here's the summary of H.Res. 803, February 6, 1974:
You apparently are more expert than I am at questionnaire design, that's all I can say.

But I would appeal to your superior knowledge to suggest that that question is going to be read by many respondents as, "should we start impeaching Trump?" rather than "should we start figuring out whether we should?"

I would answer the first question in the negative, myself. And I'm pretty pro-impeachment, as I think you've noticed. So I'd say we don't know public opinion on the second question. If you think we do, that's your problem.
I can only guess your lack of cites shows that you can't find a pollster who has asked your perfect question? Interesting.
  #195  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:02 AM
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Interesting article on how Trump's refusal to cooperate with Congress is making impeachment likelier.
  #196  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:14 AM
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I can only guess your lack of cites shows that you can't find a pollster who has asked your perfect question? Interesting.
I haven't made a claim, so I don't need a cite.

This is kinda Doper 101 stuff, you know.
  #197  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:18 AM
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Yeah, you're just flat out denying that "should we start impeachment?" is the right question to ask about whether we should start impeachment. We should ask some question that mysteriously no professional pollster has apparently asked. How could you cite such nonsense?
  #198  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:20 AM
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This bickering is getting super-tiring even for an Elections thread, y'all.
  #199  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:31 AM
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Look, RTFirefly says we don't know jackshit about how impeachment would affect the election so we might as well impeach. I pointed out that we do have jackshit, polling shows its not a popular move. Now he's dancing around trying to say that's meaningless. In fact, both of you made generic "depends" comments without reading my cite. Sorry I got dragged into bickering over nonsense.

Last edited by CarnalK; 04-24-2019 at 11:33 AM.
  #200  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:37 AM
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The problem with declining to open an impeachment investigation is only partly what Trump's already done. The other part is what he'll do if the Dems just sit there and do nothing. Which we're already starting to see.

1. He and his people are talking about investigating those who investigated him. He's got the Federal government apparatus, and a pliant AG, at his disposal.

2. He's told one witness to not comply with a Congressional subpoena, without bothering to give any grounds for it. Any reason to think he won't just turn that into a wholesale refusal to comply with Congressional requests?

3. He's suing Rep. Elijah Cummings for having the temerity to investigate him. Sure, such a suit is frivolous, but it's going to require more of Cummings' attention than Trump's.

4. He will continue to degrade and weaken whole swaths of the U.S. government, reducing the government's ability to carry out its responsibilities for years after Trump leaves office. And he's got pliant Cabinet secretaries, confirmed or acting, pretty much across the board now.

The House can...hold hearings. Trump will likely refuse to allow anyone to testify, even after they're subpoenaed. The House can hold the witnesses in contempt of Congress. And Congress enforces this...how? (It's a question that actually came up during the Bush years, in 2007-2008. There didn't appear to be a good answer at the time.) Unless they come up with evidence that Don Jr. or Ivanka or Jared has committed crimes, that's not much of a cudgel.

One can debate just how much of a cudgel an impeachment proceeding amounts to. But the threat of one was clearly enough to give Trump a fair amount of anxiety, given his tweets over the weekend. That's better than nothing. The more he feels he's on the defensive, the less effective he'll be at making things worse for the nation. That's enough reason for me.
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