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  #201  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:38 AM
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Impeachment wasn't popular when it was started with Nixon. 44% was in favor of the Watergate proceedings when they started, the closest poll to now which I can find (sorry if more recent ones have been cited - my bad) shows that 40% supported Trump's impeachment back in November, 2018.

We have already reached pre-Watergate levels of support for the idea prior to the Report being released. Meanwhile, Trump's support has dropped five percent since the Mueller Report was released.

We already have the poll guidance people need. Go ahead and impeach the motherfucker.

Last edited by JohnT; 04-24-2019 at 11:40 AM.
  #202  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:49 AM
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Impeachment wasn't popular when it was started with Nixon. 44% was in favor of the Watergate proceedings when they started [...]
I'm struggling to see how you could have thought that's a fair way to frame it. The polling I cited was 34% for, 48% against. The article you just cited notes:
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Meanwhile, an NBC News poll showed, for the first time, that a thin plurality of citizens supported impeaching Nixon ó with 44% in favor and 43% against.
  #203  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:56 AM
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Though I agree with your conclusion, this is a five-point drop in one poll.

It's been just six days since the Mueller Report was released; there haven't been many good polls since. And per 538's average, Trump's approval-disapproval has gone from 42-53 a week ago, to 41.4 - 53.4 now. Right direction, but not a very big change so far.

And if the Mueller Report is allowed to disappear from the news, that may be all we get.
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This bickering is getting super-tiring even for an Elections thread, y'all.
Yeah, you're right.
  #204  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:05 PM
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I'm struggling to see how you could have thought that's a fair way to frame it. The polling I cited was 34% for, 48% against. The article you just cited notes:
When one looks to popularity contests in order to determine what their personal moral path to take should be, "fairness" is an odd concept to toss out there as a defense of ones position.

Regardless of the point you're trying to make (which seems to buttress my "we should do it because it's right, not because it's popular" argument, but whatever), it's quite obvious that the historic popularity of Richard Nixon in 1972 was not, nor should have been, an impediment to his 1974 impeachment, though it may have appeared so at the time, to some observers.

The same goes for today. Or we should just give up on the country.

Last edited by JohnT; 04-24-2019 at 12:06 PM.
  #205  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:17 PM
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Good news! I sure don't want that orange-haired turd thinking that he is completely above the law. I want him to rot in jail!
  #206  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:23 PM
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On the subject of polls and impeachment, the questions and results are all over the place. Take these two polls from March, both by pollsters of good reputation, with decent sample sizes.

Suffolk University, March 13-17: "From your own point of view, do you think the House of Representatives should seriously consider impeaching President Trump?" Yes: 28%, No: 62%

Monmouth University, March 1-4: "Do you think President Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency, or not?" Yes: 42%, No: 54%

Two fairly contemporaneous polls, and one finds only 28% support for the House "seriously consider[ing] impeaching President Trump," while the other finds 42% support for his "be[ing] impeached and compelled to leave the presidency." Whoa, dudes! 42% for removal, but only 28% for the House seriously considering the possibility.

That's a pretty huge sampling error, like four standard deviations' worth. What this really shows, IMHO, is that there's a lot we don't know about how people are interpreting these variations on this question.
  #207  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:31 PM
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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?
Turns out, Trump had just said "We're fighting all the subpoenas."

Didn't have to be The Amazing Kreskin to see that one coming, though.
  #208  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:41 PM
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...no you can't frame it like this. Lets put it this way:



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 "Trumpís personal awfulness?"



I haven't asserted this.



Yeah they do.



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.



Why are we talking about Bill Clinton?




What is it, do you think, impeachment exists for?



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.
First off, I'd like to apologize for flying off the handle last night. It was a cheap shot to reference your non-American status. (Do you happen to know anyone in the NZ immigration bureau, by the way? Asking for a friend..)

All available polling data indicate that the public aren't in favor of impeachment, and there are lots of other issues people care about more. Sure, it's theoretically possible that this could change if the Dems actively promote it. I don't think it's likely, but that's just my opinion. Like I said, reasonable people may differ here.

My reference to criminal prosecution was in regard to your statement that

Quote:
"You don't decide not to "prosecute an alleged murderer" just because that alleged murderer is a popular movie star that everybody loves."
Well, actually, yeah, if you're a smart prosecutor you might very well do that. You prosecute people you can get convicted, not people who you personally think committed crimes or people you just don't like. How sympathetic the defendant is going to be in front of a jury is one of the factors you consider, if you're any good at your job at all.

Perhaps I misinterpreted you. This is my impression or your argument, please point out where I am wrong:

1) Trump has indisputably committed serious crimes, in addition to being generally intellectually and morally unfit for office.

2) Therefore, it is Congress' ethical duty to impeach him, even if the likely outcome of that impeachment is that Trump wins re-election.

The Bill Clinton references were intended to point out that, by that standard of "any President who breaks any law must be impeached", Clinton also deserved to be impeached. Since that conclusion is ludicrous, the standard must be flawed.

But if I was mistaken in thinking that you held to that standard, then never mind.

The idea that the President shouldn't be impeached without overwhelming public support is both an elementary principle of democracy and a Constitutional reality; you're not going to get 67 votes in the Senate for anything that only 50.1% of the public want. If you find it "terrifying" that an impeachment should be reduced to a "popularity contest", wait until you find out how we pick Presidents in the first place!

So, to answer your question, impeachment is for removing Presidents who the large majority of people find so odious that their continuing to hold office until the next scheduled election is intolerable. We're not there right now; it's to the eternal shame of the nation that we aren't, but it's the reality and we must face it.
  #209  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:48 PM
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Forgot to add: you admit you don't know much about the Clinton impeachment, so I assume you don't remember Watergate either, which is what makes it possible for you to believe wrongly that it would be possible to focus on bread and butter issues as well as impeachment. You can't walk and sprint at the same time.

Last edited by Thing Fish; 04-24-2019 at 12:48 PM.
  #210  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:53 PM
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Forgot to add: you admit you don't know much about the Clinton impeachment, so I assume you don't remember Watergate either, which is what makes it possible for you to believe wrongly that it would be possible to focus on bread and butter issues as well as impeachment. You can't walk and sprint at the same time.
There are 235 House Dems, so it's possible to split the work. They can let the Judiciary Committee handle the impeachment investigation, and let the rest of Congress deal with everything else.
  #211  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:00 PM
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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."
Don't try to tell me what I believe, especially when you can't even make clear what you think that is. Are you asserting that the DoJ policy against indicting Presidents is unconstitutional?

I simply meant that impeachment is political in the sense that it can pretty much by definition only happen to unpopular Presidents. It is also legal in the sense that, although the Constitution doesn't require any finding of criminal wrongdoing in order to impeach, it has always been understood in practice that such a finding is politically necessary. That's why in the two cases of blatantly partisan impeachment efforts in American history (Johnson and Clinton) figleaves of legal pretext had to be used to justify the vote.
  #212  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:05 PM
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Whereas here, as with Nixon, is an entire grove of ready-to-be-harvested fig trees.

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  #213  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:06 PM
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You claimed impeachment is partly a legal matter. It isn't. The problem is not mine.
  #214  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:21 PM
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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.
Wait. You don't think we should start impeaching Trump? Yet you're "pretty pro-impeachment". You seem to get into a lot of argument that involve you defining words differently than most people.

I don't think anyone here denies that we should start figuring out...well, I don't think anyone here has any doubt about whether we should impeach him, and we all agree that every effort should be made to bring yet more evidence into the light in order to convince those who don't currently agree with us. We don't need to look at polls to justify those efforts, the 2018 election results are all the polls we need.

The only disagreement appears to be about the political wisdom of branding these efforts in the short term as "figuring out whether to impeach" or as multiple cases of "figuring out whether he did (insert obviously impeachable offense here)"
  #215  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:23 PM
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You claimed impeachment is partly a legal matter. It isn't. The problem is not mine.
So this is just nitpicking pedantry based on the fact that the Constitution doesn't actually require a finding of criminal wrongdoing for impeachment? Is that it?
  #216  
Old 04-24-2019, 03:58 PM
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Which may very well be what Donald Trump wants after all. Trump is probably terrified at the thought of endless congressional hearings on live television -- that is how you get to impeachment if we ever get there. But I bet hardly a damn person knows much about the Mueller report itself. They don't know the names. They don't know the faces. They don't know which way is up or down with that report. If progressives and critics of Trump thought they were disappointed already, then they're going to be monumentally disappointed when they impeach and nothing happens.

Meanwhile, going straight to impeachment right now is probably going to do nothing other than lead us straight into tribal warfare, and I've got news for you all: that is something Donald John Trump does pretty fucking well. And I'll tell you something else: he can be a lot more tribal and a lot more bellicose. A lot more. He can go deep down into the sewer with this, and given the fact that he is fighting for his political, economic, and personal survival, and that of his family, he will know few boundaries. There will be few rules.

He could start a race war. And he absolutely would if he felt it would keep him out of jail.
  #217  
Old 04-24-2019, 04:16 PM
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First off, I'd like to apologize for flying off the handle last night.
...all good

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It was a cheap shot to reference your non-American status. (Do you happen to know anyone in the NZ immigration bureau, by the way? Asking for a friend..)
We've been lucky. At the last election we very nearly elected someone who was dumber than Trump. His party got more votes: but we have proportional representation here. And the party that held the balance of power decided to give that power to the "moderate left". So we've been one of the few countries to fight against the rise of what I call the "authoritarian trend." But that only happened because of the electoral system we adopted, and because the party that held the balance of power decided to "reject a modified status quo" and thought that "capitalism needed to "regain its human face". It could have been so very very different.

Quote:
All available polling data indicate that the public aren't in favor of impeachment, and there are lots of other issues people care about more. Sure, it's theoretically possible that this could change if the Dems actively promote it. I don't think it's likely, but that's just my opinion. Like I said, reasonable people may differ here.
My position is that this doesn't matter. It simply isn't relevant.

Quote:
My reference to criminal prosecution was in regard to your statement that

Well, actually, yeah, if you're a smart prosecutor you might very well do that. You prosecute people you can get convicted, not people who you personally think committed crimes or people you just don't like. How sympathetic the defendant is going to be in front of a jury is one of the factors you consider, if you're any good at your job at all.
This is absolutely horrific. Its no wonder 80% of victims of rape and sexual assault never report their assault to police. There is nothing "smart" about not prosecuting an alleged murderer because he is somebody everybody loves. Thats a failure of the system.

But that's beside the point. It was an analogy. Nothing more.

Quote:
Perhaps I misinterpreted you. This is my impression or your argument, please point out where I am wrong:

1) Trump has indisputably committed serious crimes, in addition to being generally intellectually and morally unfit for office.

2) Therefore, it is Congress' ethical duty to impeach him, even if the likely outcome of that impeachment is that Trump wins re-election.
The bolded is the part that you don't understand.

I asked before: how are you determining likelihood? What metric are you using?

I hold the position that we can't determine "likelihood." The situation right now is just too chaotic and too fluid for anyone to be able to predict what the impact of impeachment will be. The news cycle can be as short as only a few hours. Things are so dynamic. Can you even tell me some of the things that happened last week? Do you remember when Sean Spicer wore an over-size suit? Didn't that feel like 15 years ago? We can't know what will happen in 2020. We barely can remember what happened yesterday. As I said before: you are trying to play 3D chess with someone who is snookering you.

If I summarised the position you hold as this: "Congress shouldn't impeach, even if the more likely outcome of not impeaching would be that Trump wins re-election" wouldn't you think that would be a disingenuous statement?

I don't accept that impeachment would make it more likely that Trump will win. My gut feeling is that it will be more likely that Trump will loose. But I can't quantify that "gut feeling", so I haven't centred my arguments around this.

So my position is that "the likelihood of Trump getting re-elected" is not a metric we should be using in determining whether or not to impeach. Congress should instead just do their jobs.

Quote:
The Bill Clinton references were intended to point out that, by that standard of "any President who breaks any law must be impeached", Clinton also deserved to be impeached. Since that conclusion is ludicrous, the standard must be flawed.
Well that isn't my standard.

Quote:
But if I was mistaken in thinking that you held to that standard, then never mind.
Okay then.

Quote:
The idea that the President shouldn't be impeached without overwhelming public support is both an elementary principle of democracy and a Constitutional reality; you're not going to get 67 votes in the Senate for anything that only 50.1% of the public want. If you find it "terrifying" that an impeachment should be reduced to a "popularity contest", wait until you find out how we pick Presidents in the first place!
I know how you pick your Presidents. Its entirely fucked up. But you don't need "overwhelming public support" to impeach. There is no mechanism for this. It isn't how the system works.

Quote:
So, to answer your question, impeachment is for removing Presidents who the large majority of people find so odious that their continuing to hold office until the next scheduled election is intolerable. We're not there right now; it's to the eternal shame of the nation that we aren't, but it's the reality and we must face it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
Impeachment in the United States is the process by which the lower house of a legislature brings charges against a civil officer of government for crimes alleged to have been committed, analogous to the bringing of an indictment by a grand jury. At the federal level, this is at the discretion of the House of Representatives. Most impeachments have concerned alleged crimes committed while in office, though there have been a few cases in which officials have been impeached and subsequently convicted for crimes committed prior to taking office. The impeached official remains in office until a trial is held. That trial, and their removal from office if convicted, is separate from the act of impeachment itself.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeac..._United_States

Quote:
Americans often equate impeachment with the removal of a president or other federal officials from office for committing a crime.

But thatís technically incorrect.

Impeachment is nothing more than the approval of formal charges against a president, vice president or other federal officeholder who stands accused of committing a crime. Itís like an indictment in a criminal proceeding.

Once an officeholder is impeached by the House of Representatives, a trial is held by the Senate to determine whether the accused is guilty of the charges. If a guilty verdict is returned, only then can the accused be removed from office.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...rd/3560396002/

This isn't about "removal from office." Its about "bringing the indictment."
  #218  
Old 04-24-2019, 04:38 PM
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OK. I do think it is possible to make reasonable inferences about the likely consequences of the various options, but obviously the situation is highly unpredictable and volatile. If I agreed that there was no way to predict the likely political implications of impeachment, then sure, let's have the default choice be doing the right thing.

The only "mechanism" which insures impeachment can't happen without overwhelming public support is the requirement for a 2/3 majority in the Senate. Impeachment isn't a special case, just an example of the general principle that democratic governments tend not to do things that are unpopular with voters, especially when supermajorities are necessary to do them.

Americans routinely use the word "impeachment" as shorthand for "impeachment by the House of Representatives, followed by conviction by the Senate and removal from office". So yes, given the Democratic House majority, it is quite possible that Trump could be impeached in the narrow technical sense of the term. But the Republican Senate makes it effectively impossible for him to be impeached in the broader, and more commonly encountered in ordinary conversation, sense of the word. And of course impeachment is about removal from office, just like a criminal indictment is about sending someone to jail. It's only one step in the process, but there's no reason to take it unless you hope to see that process through to its conclusion.
  #219  
Old 04-24-2019, 04:40 PM
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There are 235 House Dems, so it's possible to split the work. They can let the Judiciary Committee handle the impeachment investigation, and let the rest of Congress deal with everything else.
It's not about having enough congresspeople to do the procedural work. There's constant work on 100s of issues going on all the time in Congress.

It's about public messaging and political capital. If impeachment is going on, believe me all other news coverage will be dropped and the country will be breathlessly watching every move. Any positive policies or messaging about anything else will be lost in the furor, and the public perception will be that Congress cares more about impeachment then "solving real peoples' problems" or whatever.

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  #220  
Old 04-24-2019, 04:45 PM
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Which may very well be what Donald Trump wants after all. Trump is probably terrified at the thought of endless congressional hearings on live television -- that is how you get to impeachment if we ever get there. But I bet hardly a damn person knows much about the Mueller report itself. They don't know the names. They don't know the faces. They don't know which way is up or down with that report. If progressives and critics of Trump thought they were disappointed already, then they're going to be monumentally disappointed when they impeach and nothing happens.

Meanwhile, going straight to impeachment right now is probably going to do nothing other than lead us straight into tribal warfare, and I've got news for you all: that is something Donald John Trump does pretty fucking well. And I'll tell you something else: he can be a lot more tribal and a lot more bellicose. A lot more. He can go deep down into the sewer with this, and given the fact that he is fighting for his political, economic, and personal survival, and that of his family, he will know few boundaries. There will be few rules.

He could start a race war. And he absolutely would if he felt it would keep him out of jail.
All true. Unfortunately, he'll have about the same reaction to the prospect of losing re-election and no longer being able to obstruct investigations into his shenanigans. So not impeaching just kicks that can down the road until next year.
  #221  
Old 04-24-2019, 04:54 PM
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I don't support going for impeachment right now. But if he outright defies subpoenas and court orders? Then sure. And I think at that point you might actually have a chance in the Senate to remove him. Republicans aren't going to want a Democratic president to be able to thumb his or her nose at them with impunity.
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  #222  
Old 04-24-2019, 05:37 PM
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"Waiting for the elections" is only consistent with a belief that the elections will be safe from interference, both foreign and GOP.

How many here feel that way?

Asahi, you spent the greater part of four years telling us that elections can be rigged... and now your solution is "whoa, wait, let's not do this thing, let's have the voters (and pollsters) decide"?

Fuck, guys, this isn't that difficult: call your reps and Senators and say the situation, and yourself, calls for impeachment proceedings to begin. Don't wait. Lead.

This is the crunch time: Do you carve out a path back to law and order, or take the path of least resistance?

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  #223  
Old 04-24-2019, 05:41 PM
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Oh, my god. I'm so stupid!! I can't believe it took me this long to figure out Pelosi's strategy, and why. I owe Banquet Bear a debt of gratitude for jarring my memory with his Post #217, even if it does mean having to admit publicly what a dolt I am.

I have viewed the impeachment process primarily through long-ago hazy memories of Watergate. I admit I didn't pay much attention during Clinton's impeachment process because I thought it was so dumb.

I remembered impeachment hearings during Watergate. But I hadn't remembered or appreciated the fact that those hearings were held in the Senate. And I didn't work out up to this point that the House can merely vote to bring charges/to impeach -- not to hold impeachment hearings. (!!!) That is the sole purview of the Senate. All Pelosi can do is conduct "oversight" hearings.

So Pelosi proposes to conduct those "oversight" hearings so the House won't lose control over the investigative process into Trump's illegal activities to the Senate and McConnell. She knows what will happen to the hearings in the impeachment/removal process if it is moved to the Senate.

I am suddenly a big supporter of "oversight" hearings. For a long, long time. Don't vote to impeach until the evidence is out before the American people, and FFS, don't let McConnell get control over it.

No wonder Trump is trying so hard to get the House to vote to impeach ASAP.

Apologies if I am the last person in this thread to work this out. Yeesh, what a dumb ass!

Last edited by Aspenglow; 04-24-2019 at 05:42 PM.
  #224  
Old 04-24-2019, 05:49 PM
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Also, ceding the terms of the Mueller topic to Trump by not holding hearings and not controlling the news cycle is a weak strategy, designed by losers.

It will be an issue in 2020 (which is just 7 months away). The question is, who do the Democrats want to do the framing: them or Trump?

Last edited by JohnT; 04-24-2019 at 05:50 PM.
  #225  
Old 04-24-2019, 07:22 PM
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"Waiting for the elections" is only consistent with a belief that the elections will be safe from interference, both foreign and GOP.

How many here feel that way?

Asahi, you spent the greater part of four years telling us that elections can be rigged... and now your solution is "whoa, wait, let's not do this thing, let's have the voters (and pollsters) decide"?

Fuck, guys, this isn't that difficult: call your reps and Senators and say the situation, and yourself, calls for impeachment proceedings to begin. Don't wait. Lead.

This is the crunch time: Do you carve out a path back to law and order, or take the path of least resistance?
I don't disagree with your passion, my good man. But I am going to assume for the moment that the United States will continue to operate democratically, and constitutionally. And if it does, then we have to reckon with the truth, which is that it's the people collectively who consent to the social contract. And according to the rules of our contract, we have an impeachment process that, like it or not, depends a lot on the popular mood. We're not saying never prosecute, but like a good prosecutor, you don't go to trial unless you're ready to win. Period.

But JohnT, since you mentioned, I will tell you that if elections are in fact ultimately rigged, my solution is this: hit the fucking streets in mass protest. Peaceful protest, but hit the fucking streets. We refuse to be governed. I'm not saying nothing can be done to stop Trump and his oligarchs, but if the democratic option is taken away and we are left with an illegitimate government, then that is our option - our only realistic option to restoring a credible government that works for the people. That is what the colour revolutions in Europe taught us. That is what some of the Arab Spring taught us, what Algeria has taught us, what Tunisia taught us. I think the problem with America is that there are people across the world living in completely authoritarian regimes who have a better and more realistic appraisal of what freedom means than those of us who live in one of the world's oldest democracies.

People have assumed that I've called for violence - absolutely not. That would be the worst fucking mistake a democracy-loving people could make, because it would send the message that "democrats" defend "liberty" with violence. That is not what democrats do (the people, not the political party), nor is that what libertarians of any stripe do. People who truly love being free are willing to risk everything to be so, while not giving into the occasional temptation to debase themselves, because they know it effectively makes them terrorists.
  #226  
Old 04-24-2019, 07:32 PM
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All true. Unfortunately, he'll have about the same reaction to the prospect of losing re-election and no longer being able to obstruct investigations into his shenanigans. So not impeaching just kicks that can down the road until next year.
After posting in response to JohnT and reflecting on my posts the last few years, I realized something: I think a lot of my critics have thought I'm nutso because they've viewed my "predictions" within the context of the conventions of our political system. I don't like to use the term "predictions" because it makes me out to be some sort of Nostradamus, which I am not and never purported to be. But I think people have assumed that the rule of law, the US Code, the Constitution, and that even ordinary politics would stop Trump's assault on the rule of law. And while Trump may or may not succeed, one thing is already clear: Trump is going to assault not just conventional norms, but the entire political system, and our Constitution.

I recognized early on that Trump didn't give a shit about the rules. More importantly, neither did the political party that helped get him elected, and that's the difference maker. Trump by himself is nobody, but his party, and his political backers are authoritarians, and if it means that they have to destroy democracy to protect their wealth, if it means they have to destroy the rule of law and all of the institutions in place to protect their wealth, they absolutely will. This is their moment. There is no going back. They will either succeed in transforming us from a democracy to an dysfunctional democratic oligarchy, or they will probably die trying. They just can't help themselves. I can't make specific predictions about who will go to jail, who will win or lose which election - I can't predict the weather. But I can tell you that the general political climate is changing in ways that will uproot us, and we will have to find some way to deal with it. There is no going back to normal. We will probably have to find new ways to define who we are us a country, as a people.
  #227  
Old 04-24-2019, 07:54 PM
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On the contrary, you are brilliant!


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... I can't believe it took me this long to figure out Pelosi's strategy, and why. I owe Banquet Bear a debt of gratitude for jarring my memory with his Post #217, even if it does mean having to admit publicly what a dolt I am.

I have viewed the impeachment process primarily through long-ago hazy memories of Watergate. I admit I didn't pay much attention during Clinton's impeachment process because I thought it was so dumb.

I remembered impeachment hearings during Watergate. But I hadn't remembered or appreciated the fact that those hearings were held in the Senate. And I didn't work out up to this point that the House can merely vote to bring charges/to impeach -- not to hold impeachment hearings. (!!!) That is the sole purview of the Senate. All Pelosi can do is conduct "oversight" hearings.

So Pelosi proposes to conduct those "oversight" hearings so the House won't lose control over the investigative process into Trump's illegal activities to the Senate and McConnell. She knows what will happen to the hearings in the impeachment/removal process if it is moved to the Senate.

I am suddenly a big supporter of "oversight" hearings. For a long, long time. Don't vote to impeach until the evidence is out before the American people, and FFS, don't let McConnell get control over it.

No wonder Trump is trying so hard to get the House to vote to impeach ASAP. ...
As far as I can tell you are the FIRST person in this thread to spell this out. And, yes, it's an absolutely crucial component of the decision to refrain from Immediate Impeachment. (So, THANK YOU!!!!!)

I don't know that the House would be prohibited from continuing to perform oversight hearings if impeachment occurred and therefore Impeachment Hearings began in the Senate------but certainly there would be massive pressure on the House to refrain from anything relating to the Mueller report and oversight of Trump's conduct and record.

And as you point out, the Senate hearings-----controlled by Mitch 'Dictator's Best Friend' McConnell, would be basically love-letters to Trump, with a few Democratic Senators grumbling around the edges.

So, yes: this particular reason for holding off an impeachment vote is massively, vitally, imperatively important. It should immediately be broadcast far and wide.

There is no counter-argument. There really isn't.

Last edited by Sherrerd; 04-24-2019 at 07:58 PM. Reason: removed some of the completely-unwarranted self-criticism
  #228  
Old 04-24-2019, 07:55 PM
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As far as I can tell you are the FIRST person in this thread to spell this out.
Not trying to be a smart-ass but no, not really.

I said it in post #186:

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.
But I think most of us have already known this, honestly. It's not news.

Last edited by asahi; 04-24-2019 at 07:58 PM.
  #229  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:05 PM
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Not trying to be a smart-ass but no, not really.
I said it in post #186:
But I think most of us have already known this, honestly. It's not news.
Well, I don't think you spelled it out as explicitly as Aspenglow did; many would take

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.
...to refer to the vote in the Senate, rather than to hearings that might be conducted in the Senate.

But, meh. A blue ribbon for you, too!

Point is: while many of us HAVE discussed the fact that acquittal in the Senate will be a lovely gift that Impeach-Now Democrats would be giving Trump, there hasn't been much about the fact that McConnell would sabotage hearings into Trump's wrongdoing, while the House Dems stood by, realizing they'd given up their chance to present the Mueller findings to the American people.

But I guess some lefty activists would be all happy that the Dems were 'courageous' and 'had done their duty.' Nice for them.

Last edited by Sherrerd; 04-24-2019 at 08:05 PM. Reason: extra e
  #230  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:13 PM
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The reason Clinton's impeachment backfired on the Republicans is that he was a popular president. His transgression was laughably trivial, and was unrelated to the original subject of investigation (Real estate fraud investigation became lying about a blowjob).

Trump is not a popular president. His disapproval ratings are below Nixon's were when Nixon was impeached. And the matters Trump is accused of are serious, not the least of which are his obvious efforts to obstruct the investigation of the same.

True, the circled-wagon Senate we have at the moment will not convict. But after a summer of brutal hearings, a LOT of dirt will get aired. This will put pressure on a lot of Senators to decide whether they want to go into 2020 with a weakened Trump or a relatively untarnished Pence. When a few of them start defecting, they could start peeling off in a hurry.

No doubt it's a risk for the Democrats. It could blow up in their faces. But letting Trump slide without impeachment is guaranteed to blow up in their faces. And really, as a country, we need this process. We need all Trump's laundry hung out in a forum where he can't run crying to SCOTUS, where all his lawyering-up does not matter, where stonewalling has consequences, where the American people can see all the nasty shenanigans he's been hiding, where his terrified lackeys now have some cover to start spilling their guts.

Impeachment needs to happen. Might be a risk, but it needs to happen.

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  #231  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:15 PM
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Point is: while many of us HAVE discussed the fact that acquittal in the Senate will be a lovely gift that Impeach-Now Democrats would be giving Trump, there hasn't been much about the fact that McConnell would sabotage hearings into Trump's wrongdoing, while the House Dems stood by, realizing they'd given up their chance to present the Mueller findings to the American people.
Again, this is the same Mitch McConnell who didn't even hold hearings for Merrick Garland. What makes you think he would even consider taking up impeachment to begin with? Because the Constitution says he must? BWAHAHAHAHA!

"The American people clearly don't want impeachment?"

Oh yeah? Why do you say that?!

"Because we have a Senate majority, and barring an economic collapse, we'll hold a senate majority in 2021 - and quite possibly a bigger one. So suck on that!"

And even if he's somehow pressured into doing a trial, it would probably be over and done with fast. He can basically write the rules of the senate so that it's over in a flash.

This is what I've been saying all along.

Last edited by asahi; 04-24-2019 at 08:16 PM.
  #232  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:21 PM
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Trump is not a popular president. His disapproval ratings are below Nixon's were when Nixon was impeached. And the matters Trump is accused of are serious, not the least of which are his obvious efforts to obstruct the investigation of the same.
Your mistake is in comparing 1972 to 2019, which isn't valid.

Compare 2019 to, say, I don't know, 1930 Germany. We're fractious. We're polarized. We're splintered. This is nothing like the 1970s when there were 2 big tent parties that controlled political factions.

I just want to remind you: Trump had historically low favorability ratings for a major presidential candidate -- and he won. His favorability rating was lower than Hillary Clinton's, and he beat her. He won. He won with favorability ratings not much lower than his job approval ratings. We live in polarized times. It doesn't matter until his approval ratings go down to like 20% -- then it might matter. But that won't happen unless there's an economic collapse. This is what I've been saying all along and you all apparently not been listening.
  #233  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:30 PM
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Again, this is the same Mitch McConnell who didn't even hold hearings for Merrick Garland. What makes you think he would even consider taking up impeachment to begin with? Because the Constitution says he must? BWAHAHAHAHA!
...And even if he's somehow pressured into doing a trial, it would probably be over and done with fast. He can basically write the rules of the senate so that it's over in a flash.
This is what I've been saying all along.
That's true. You have been saying McConnell might simply decline to respond to a House resolution of impeachment. He might ignore it, or he might put on fake 'hearings' then call for that vote of acquittal. Either way: Trump wins.

But I still say Aspenglow put into perspective the fact that Pelosi is wisely making sure that hearings DO occur and that they are thorough and devastating for Trump. And the only way she can do that is to hold off on impeaching until those hearings have happened (and saturated the consciousness of as many Americans as possible.)



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...True, the circled-wagon Senate we have at the moment will not convict. But after a summer of brutal hearings, a LOT of dirt will get aired. This will put pressure on a lot of Senators ...
Uh, no. If impeachment happens, hearings will happen in the Senate (not the House)---if they happen at all. They will be under the control of Mitch McConnell, who will make sure that they are, er, NOT brutal.

They will be hymns of praise to Trump.

That's the result if Dems impeach now: no fair hearings. No informative hearings. No 'brutal' hearings.
  #234  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:34 PM
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My heavens, Trump and Mnuchin's response to the tax records already tells us their response to the oversight function of Congress: We do not think this is a legitimate function of the House as long as these requests are made without a true legislative purpose.

Who are you going to interview? What documents will you be able to produce if these bastards were shredding and deleting on Mueller?

So, if the Trump admin... as it is already doing... impedes this function of Congress including telling witnesses to ignore subpoenas, how then could these requests be seen as having this "legislative purpose"?

Bueller? Bueller?

That's right: Impeachment, as outlined in the United States Constitution.

Last edited by JohnT; 04-24-2019 at 08:38 PM.
  #235  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:38 PM
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Wait. You don't think we should start impeaching Trump? Yet you're "pretty pro-impeachment". You seem to get into a lot of argument that involve you defining words differently than most people.
OK, let's try this: I am absolutely convinced that any reasonable investigation into whether Trump has committed impeachable offenses will come up with an answer in the affirmative. And once having come up with that answer, the next step will obviously be to impeach him.

So yeah, I usually compact it to "impeach the motherfucker" as did Rep. Tliab a few months back.

But in terms of what the House should do right now, the answer is: authorize the investigation into whether Trump's committed impeachable offenses. Impeachment comes after that, and removal from office comes after that, three steps ahead of where we are now. Should we jump straight to the last step? Absofuckinglutely NOT.
  #236  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:40 PM
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That's true. You have been saying McConnell might simply decline to respond to a House resolution of impeachment. He might ignore it, or he might put on fake 'hearings' then call for that vote of acquittal.
McConnell might hold a sham hearing, but according to Senate rules, he has to proceed to consider them:
Quote:
Upon such articles being presented to the Senate, 102
the Senate shall, at 1 oíclock afternoon of the day (Sunday
excepted) following such presentation, or sooner if ordered
by the Senate, proceed to the consideration of such articles
and shall continue in session from day to day (Sundays
excepted) after the trial shall commence (unless otherwise
ordered by the Senate) until final judgment shall be rendered, and so much longer as may, in its judgment, be
needful.
Quote:
That's the result if Dems impeach now:[/I] no fair hearings. No informative hearings. No 'brutal' hearings.
This is simply false. What makes people say stuff like this? The Senate consideration may be a sham, but the House has extremely broad latitude regarding what they can subpoena, who they can question under oath, and who they can hold in contempt. Impeachment hearings would be devastating for Trump even if the Senate doesn't remove him. He knows this, which is why he's been on an unhinged tweetstorm on Twitter since Easter morning.
  #237  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:41 PM
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That's the result if Dems impeach now: no fair hearings. No informative hearings. No 'brutal' hearings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by USA Today
Who files impeachment charges?
The U.S. Constitution gives the House the sole power to impeach a federal official. Individual House members can introduce impeachment resolutions like ordinary bills or the House could initiate impeachment proceedings by passing a resolution authorizing an inquiry.

The House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over impeachment proceedings, decides whether to pursue articles of impeachment against the accused official and can hold hearings to review the accusations. If the committee votes to approve articles of impeachment, the formal charges then move to the full House for consideration.

The House votes on each of the articles of impeachment separately and can approve them with a simple majority of those voting. If all 435 House members vote, then just 218 votes would be needed.

If the articles are adopted, the accused has formally been impeached.
...I'm not entirely sure what you are ranting about now. Hearings are going to happen if they impeach or not. Where in the process would the House loose "investigative process into Trump's illegal activities?" They can still investigate even after they impeach. If you think otherwise, can you provide a cite?
  #238  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:44 PM
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It's about public messaging and political capital. If impeachment is going on, believe me all other news coverage will be dropped and the country will be breathlessly watching every move. Any positive policies or messaging about anything else will be lost in the furor, and the public perception will be that Congress cares more about impeachment then "solving real peoples' problems" or whatever.
Dunno how they'll do it now, but except for the last month, the House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings in 1974 were pretty boring. If the same is true now, the country will pay a little bit of attention to what's going on in the hearings, but will hardly be riveted to them until the going gets good.
  #239  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:49 PM
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But I still say Aspenglow put into perspective the fact that Pelosi is wisely making sure that hearings DO occur and that they are thorough and devastating for Trump. And the only way she can do that is to hold off on impeaching until those hearings have happened (and saturated the consciousness of as many Americans as possible.)
]
I'll admit I don't know the procedural rules of when an impeachment is handed off to the Senate and how many hearings would happen in the House before that, but good god no. I very specifically said that Pelosi is doing what the impatient impeachers want. She is dragging out public investigations and public subpoenas. She can drag it out longer than Benghazi. People like Banquet Bear don't care, it's a justice and righteousness thing. They don't care about it being politically wiser to do what Pelosi is doing.

Last edited by CarnalK; 04-24-2019 at 08:52 PM.
  #240  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:51 PM
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McConnell might hold a sham hearing, but according to Senate rules, he has to proceed to consider them:



This is simply false. What makes people say stuff like this? The Senate consideration may be a sham, but the House has extremely broad latitude regarding what they can subpoena, who they can question under oath, and who they can hold in contempt. Impeachment hearings would be devastating for Trump even if the Senate doesn't remove him. He knows this, which is why he's been on an unhinged tweetstorm on Twitter since Easter morning.
McConnell might follow Senate rules, or he might not. Either way, it doesn't matter. He won't allow the gruppenfuhrer to be impeached.
  #241  
Old 04-24-2019, 09:09 PM
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...So yeah, I usually compact it to "impeach the motherfucker" as did Rep. Tliab a few months back.

But in terms of what the House should do right now, the answer is: authorize the investigation into whether Trump's committed impeachable offenses. Impeachment comes after that, and removal from office comes after that, three steps ahead of where we are now. Should we jump straight to the last step? Absofuckinglutely NOT.
That's right. But a lot of people are pushing for IMPEACH NOW without having an understanding of the steps you outline.

That's a problem. If the House sends over the articles of I. then McConnell can spend one day on sham 'hearings' then call for his acquittal vote, and be in perfect compliance with the Constitution. And no one can stop him.


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McConnell might hold a sham hearing, but according to Senate rules, he has to proceed to consider them:
Nothing in that requires McConnell to provide for legitimate hearings, nor to do anything other than to move to the acquittal vote.

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This is simply false. What makes people say stuff like this? The Senate consideration may be a sham, but the House has extremely broad latitude regarding what they can subpoena, who they can question under oath, and who they can hold in contempt.
That's right. And the moment they vote for impeachment and send the articles over to the Senate, McConnell is in total control.

So IMPEACH NOW is a gift to Trump. Better: for the House to hold extensive and informative hearings before voting on the impeachment question.


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I'll admit I don't know the procedural rules of when an impeachment is handed off to the Senate and how many hearings would happen in the House before that, but good god no. I very specifically said that Pelosi is doing what the impatient impeachers want. She is dragging out public investigations and public subpoenas. She can drag it out longer than Benghazi. People like Banquet Bear don't care, it's a justice and righteousness thing. They don't care about it being politically wiser to do what Pelosi is doing.
Absolutely true.
  #242  
Old 04-24-2019, 09:30 PM
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I'll admit I don't know the procedural rules of when an impeachment is handed off to the Senate and how many hearings would happen in the House before that, but good god no. I very specifically said that Pelosi is doing what the impatient impeachers want. She is dragging out public investigations and public subpoenas. She can drag it out longer than Benghazi. People like Banquet Bear don't care, it's a justice and righteousness thing.
...this post would have been a reasonable argument if you didn't add the gratuitous cheap shot at me and if you hadn't completely mischaracterized my argument. Please stop doing that.
  #243  
Old 04-24-2019, 09:47 PM
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Never!!
  #244  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:32 PM
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OK, let's try this: I am absolutely convinced that any reasonable investigation into whether Trump has committed impeachable offenses will come up with an answer in the affirmative. And once having come up with that answer, the next step will obviously be to impeach him.

So yeah, I usually compact it to "impeach the motherfucker" as did Rep. Tliab a few months back.

But in terms of what the House should do right now, the answer is: authorize the investigation into whether Trump's committed impeachable offenses. Impeachment comes after that, and removal from office comes after that, three steps ahead of where we are now. Should we jump straight to the last step? Absofuckinglutely NOT.
Oh. Well, we are 100% in agreement then.
  #245  
Old 04-25-2019, 01:12 AM
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The democrats can choose to be unsuccessfully brave or unsuccessful cowards during this time. Which one will they choose? I love my country and do NOT want blatant corruption to become to norm. Again, anything short of impeachment is giving the green light to this sort of behavior in the future... that is until a Democratic president is elected. The Republicans would have impeachment hearings as soon as the president made eye contact with the AG.
Yes, Trump should be impeached and it is disgraceful that this is even a question.

But Reagan didnít get impeached over Iran-Contra and Bush didnít get impeached for lying to start a war that killed millions. So the argument that failing to impeach Trump would set a bad precedent for the future because what he has done is so much worse than anything any President who didnít get impeached ever did doesnít hold water with me.
  #246  
Old 04-25-2019, 01:26 AM
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I mean, my personal opinion is that he should have been impeached before he even got inaugurated, on the grounds of general intellectual and moral incapacity. Reagan and Bush May have committed worse crimes while in office than Trump has (so far been definitively proven to have) committed, but they were still better human beings than Trump. They conflated the national interest with the interests of their political and financial backers, but they didn’t have contempt for the very notion that a President should care more about the country than about their own ego. They lied a lot, but only when they had something to gain by doing so and when there was a reasonable chance they wouldn’t get caught. For Trump, lying is just his standard operating procedure.

But then, all that was or should have been perfectly obvious at the time the people in their infinite wisdom chose to elect him...

Last edited by Thing Fish; 04-25-2019 at 01:31 AM.
  #247  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:36 AM
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God are some of you quoting that pathological liar Lindsey Graham on his wordage of Clinton's misdeeds? Yikes. That dumbass, because I firmly believe he's gay, can't even be honest with himself and come out of his glass closet.

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Thank you for that. Those who tout her as "intelligent" and "beautiful" I just want to throttle.
She is a fraud through and through. I was reading the Boston Globe as one does when they're bored, about a year ago, and someone had written "Liberals are just jealous of Trump's status."

Status as POTUS? A dream job very few will ever get close to. His wealth that has never been substantiated with any proof? His third plastic wife? His small mushroom-tipped chode? A laughing stock to all world leaders including those he praises and who take advantage of him? There's this photo of El Putino and MBS hi-fiving each other. I could only imagine Trump in the middle of what could very well be an Eiffel tower, which is a sex position. Trump is the college campus bicycle. A whore for anyone willing to give him the smallest amount of positive attention.

I don't have an issue with conservatives myself. It's when they begin outlining such bizarre shit like that where I want to question their mental well-being. I mean even McConnell's wife has questionable ties to crime via her uncle in Triads related crime.

Last edited by SOJA; 04-25-2019 at 02:39 AM.
  #248  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:44 AM
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And let's not forget that on the morning of Barr's shameful act where he bent over for the President's approval, Trump was happy as a bird. As soon as the press got into it, even his beloved Fox, someone leaked his reaction of "I'm going to get impeached. This is fucking bullshit."

He's like a mix of Lyndon B Johnson's cursing and Nixon's virulent anger. Except he isn't remotely smart as either of those men. I wonder what will leak of Miller's reaction when he's held in contempt and the Sergeant at Arms goes after him. I would love to know what, probably stunning Latina way outside his league, turned him down for him to be such an utter dick later in life aside from the fact he was a dick in high school. There's a reason Jewish people call him a kapo.

Saying it right now. The IC will rake him over the coals in 2020 alone for what he did to them.

Last edited by SOJA; 04-25-2019 at 02:46 AM.
  #249  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:52 AM
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People may need to go back and look at the sequence in Watergate:
  • The Senate opened a committee to investigate early in 1973
  • McCord went into a closed-door session and blew everything wide open, he gave them their roadmap for the investigation. It leaked, so they went to open hearings.
  • There were bombshell revelations during the course of the hearings, including the existence of the tapes.
  • The Senate committee finished and issued a report in June 1973
  • In early 1974, the House authorized Judiciary to investigate. Among other things, they subpoena'd the tapes, Nixon released edited versions, and Judiciary got a Supreme Court ruling for everything.
  • Judiciary voted out articles of impeachment end of July
  • The smoking gun tape was released after that but before a whole House vote was taken

Mueller has done the work the Senate committee did, the difference is, it was on TV and everybody watched, whereas with Mueller, you have a pdf file that nobody will read, and besides, oh look, a kitteh video. If the House thinks they can add to the list (for example on the financial front), they should. They better move fast. #1 should be to get McGahn up there ASAP, I know they already scheduled him, but Trump will surely attempt to block it.

Last edited by UnwittingAmericans; 04-25-2019 at 02:52 AM.
  #250  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:12 AM
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Posts: 38,557
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
That's right. But a lot of people are pushing for IMPEACH NOW without having an understanding of the steps you outline.
Tru dat. We've got some areas of agreement, as well as things we disagree on.
Quote:
That's a problem. If the House sends over the articles of I. then McConnell can spend one day on sham 'hearings' then call for his acquittal vote, and be in perfect compliance with the Constitution. And no one can stop him.
He can hold whatever hearings he wants, of course.

But in response to articles of impeachment passed by the House, "when the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside" per Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution. Say what you will about Roberts, I doubt he'll let himself appear to be Mitch McConnell's lackey.

So he can either have that trial with Roberts, C.J. presiding, or not have an impeachment trial at all. In either case, he can have whatever hearings he wants, but in the former case, they don't officially have any connection with the trial.

Quote:
Nothing in that requires McConnell to provide for legitimate hearings, nor to do anything other than to move to the acquittal vote.
Yes and no. Mitch changed some Senate rules just the other day, in order to limit debate on Federal judges to 2 hours each, rather than 30 hours as the Senate rules say - or rather, had said. So he can just as easily dispense with any Senate rules requiring an impeachment trial once the House passes articles of impeachment. (And my money says he will ditch them.)

BUT as I said earlier, if he chooses to have a trial, Chief Justice Roberts will be in charge of the trial, not Mitch. He can change Senate rules at will, but he can't amend the Constitution. He will not be able to control it, which is the biggest reason why I believe he won't let it happen at all.
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