I have never in my life been so disgusted with the Democratic Party as I am now

This is about the coronavirus. This is specifically about the tens of thousands of Americans who will die of Covid-19 between now and January 20, when I devoutly hope that Joe Biden will be sworn in as President.

I need not summarize the Trump Administration’s response to this epidemic here. His Administration has done nothing useful to combat this plague, and Trump and his Administration have actively interfered with the states’ efforts to respond to it. And his party has stood firmly behind him in this.

Again, without going into details, it is generally accepted that fairly obvious interventions by the Federal government could have drastically reduced the American Covid-19 death toll, and still could reduce the death toll going forward. The problem is, quite simply, Trump. He refused, and continues to refuse, to do anything meaningful to combat this epidemic.

So, why is this rant about the Democrats?

Three reasons:

  1. There’s the simple question of whether Trump’s choice to not interfere as the coronavirus kills thousands of Americans each week is within the acceptable range of Presidential discretion with respect to conduct of the office, or whether it’s an intolerable dereliction of duty that our system of government should do its best to not allow.

  2. If the latter, given that another 100,000 Americans could easily be killed by Covid-19 between now and January 20, shouldn’t we do what we can to try to rescue them before they die?

  3. Finally, there’s the politics of it. More about that below.

With respect to point #1, I just can’t believe that anyone would find it remotely acceptable or tolerable for a President to pursue a course of action or inaction that would almost directly result in the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans unless (as in war) to prevent some greater disaster. (That ‘unless’ is clearly inapplicable here.)

But the Democrats are sitting there and tolerating it. By their inaction, they normalize and legitimize Trump’s inaction. Yes, they say it’s appalling, but by treating it as something that should be dealt with by the voters in November, they treat it as just another partisan policy difference, something that should be decided by the outcome of elections and partisan politics, rather than something that no Administration of either party should ever be allowed to do.

And with respect to point #2, yes, of course I feel that the Dems should do whatever they can to prevent those deaths before they happen. That means impeachment, and that’s exactly how they should couch it, too: impeachment as rescue mission. (Elevator pitch: “all we are saying is give Pence a chance.” Stop throwing things, dammit! :wink: ) If they need a particular high crime, call it dereliction of duty. (Metaphorical) abandonment of one’s post in a crisis. I’m not particular.

Of course it will almost certainly fail. But as the deaths continue to pile up - especially in the red states that didn’t get hit very hard in the spring - the fact that they tried is going to look better and better. As my wife’s late grandmother used to say, “I just do my best and let the Lord do the rest.” And with tens of thousands of lives at stake, how do you not try, even if you know there’s little chance of success? It’s not like they’re staking their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor; at most, they’re risking a modest political hit.

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And ISTM that the politics are all on the Democrats’ side, too. If the Dems impeach Trump in order to give Pence a chance to do the right thing, every Representative, every Senator, will have to choose between trying to save lives, or to let the dying continue uninterrupted. The commercials practically write themselves: “130,000 American deaths were not enough for Senator Graham, he wanted more!! And since then, he’s gotten what he voted for - he’s gotten another ____ thousand Americans killed!”

I guess the Lincoln Project would have to run those ads, since we know the Dems would be too chickenshit to do so.

So over the past two months or so, I’ve become almost as frustrated and angry by the Dems’ sitting on their hands during this crisis, as I am at Trump for sitting on his hands during this crisis. I expect the Bad Guys to be bad, but I expect the Good Guys to try to DO something about the bad shit that the Bad Guys are doing. And I’ve seen the Dem-controlled House be out of session for months during this crisis before finally authorizing themselves to meet virtually, not that they’ve done a whole lot since then.

I know that what the Dems can do is inherently limited. But if they’re not even going to use what powers they’ve got to push back with, then at some point they become complicit in the continually rising body count. Tens of thousands - ultimately hundreds of thousands - of American deaths is something worth pushing back against with every fiber of their being. And they’re just not.

So that’s why I’m pissed at and disgusted with the Democratic Party. Feel free to tell me why I’m wrong to feel this way.

You’re wrong because impeachment is pointless and in no way would help. The difference between impeaching Trump again, and not impeaching him again, is the difference between zero and zero. There is no chance whatsoever of conviction in the Senate.

In fact, if anything, impeaching him again will help him. It would look weak and pointless, and would rile up the droolers. His popularity fluttered up a little when the Senate acquitted him last time, but has been dropping recently.

There is surely a view that USA is in a state of emergency, closest thing to imagine is USA enters a state of war.

In those conditions it would be a very poor strategy to attack the government - it would draw claims of unpatriotic behavior and would play into the rhetoric of the current administration - and remember that Trump et al seem to see patriotism as their strong point.

Democrats would be accused of being divisive and only interested in their own elect ability and this would be extremely difficult to counter.

With the Republicans in control of all three branches of the federal government, the Democrats are not going to be able to accomplish anything substantial. The Republicans are willing to block any legislation that would make the Democrats look good, even if the cost if hurting the country.

So the Democrats have two choices. They can make meaningless gestures (and that’s what another impeachment attempt would be) or they can work on removing the Republicans from power. I think they have correctly chosen the second path.

Did the 70 or 80 attempts to abolish Obamacare by a (now vanquished) Republican controlled House help their cause? I don’t think multiple impeachments will benefit anybody but the Martyr-in-Chief.

‘See I told you the plandemic was just a way for the comysocaldemoncrats to usurp power from our great Presidesnt .DEATH TO ALL MASK WEARERS!’


The very best thing the Democrats in Congress can do, wrt COVID and pretty much every other issue, is do the best they can to ensure Trump is defeated and the Democrats get the House and Senate in Nov. Considering the state of the Republican party, I don’t think there’s anything else they can or should be doing.

I wonder whether calls from Democrats in leadership for Trump to resign might be a good route? I mean, he should resign. And it’s as likely to get him out of office as impeaching him is (not very), without the opportunities for claiming exoneration or whatever.

OK, if impeachment would be wasted gesture (I disagree for the reason I’ve already given - it would paint a target on the back of every Republican who voted to keep Trump in office), what’s the problem with calling for his resignation? Another wasted gesture?

Gotta admit, I see a fundamental philosophical difference here. There are times when it’s important to push back with what you’ve got, even if it ain’t much. You define yourself by the battles you’re willing to fight, and the Dems have a long and sorry history of ducking fights. “Is this the hill you want to die on?” you may ask. Well, yeah. This IS the hill that the Dems should be willing to die on, because their fellow citizens are quite literally dying by the thousand. This isn’t something abstract, this is hospitals being overwhelmed from Alabama to Arizona.

I disagree, casdave, that there’d be any ‘rally around the flag’ effect here for making an issue of the fact that the Administration is letting everyone die. Everyone outside the hardcore 40% can see that. I think the Dems can simply say it’s unpatriotic to do nothing while Americans die, and it’s patriotic to fight to save them.

RickJay, the point of impeachment from a political perspective is Congress generally, and the Senate especially. It eliminates any room for them to fudge on whether or not they support Trump’s playing golf while Americans die. How will this play in November? Depends on how bad the coronavirus is hitting us in September and October. If it’s miraculously disappeared, impeaching Trump would indeed be a problem for the Democrats. If it keeps on killing people like it’s doing now, that’s going to look prescient - doubly so if the death rate skyrockets in Florida and Texas and Arizona.

Little Nemo, that second path writes off all the lives that will be lost between now and January. Maybe it’s just me, but I regard that as deeply immoral.

As I told you when you were banging the drum back around this time last year about how Democrats absolutely had to impeach Trump, it’s not that simple. Democrats and progressives cannot do anything - anything at all - unless or until there is popular support behind them. It’s voters who have done this to the country. It is apathetic non-voters and actively pro-right wing know-nothing voters who have brought us to this point. As it turned out, my analysis was correct. Republicans acquitted Trump not because there wasn’t evidence to show he was corrupt; they acquitted him because they knew there would be no consequences from voters.

Coronavirus is different. Trump’s ineptitude, and that of the entire Republican political base that supports him, is having demonstrable consequences. In a country where half of people don’t even want to wear a mask, maybe the best thing Democrats can do is to sit back and watch the train go over the cliff. Yes, it sucks, but that’s reality.

One of the problems I’ve had all along with all of this focus on Trump is that it distracts us from what’s really ailing America: it’s us. It’s our culture of anti-intellectualism, political apathy, and cultural arrogance. Trump and the Republicans are part of the disease, but they’re a symptom of the deeper rot at the same time.

Every Republican senator except Romney already has that target on their back since the first impeachment. Short of armed insurrection, the remedy to Trump is the courts (who can only restrain him; not remove him) and the electoral process.

There are times when rather than barking at voters and telling them how utterly stupid they are, it’s just a hell of a lot easier to make them sit in a shitstorm without an umbrella or raincoat.

As far as I am concerned, ALL the blame and recriminations are on Trump, Pence, and the Republican party - including Republican governors. They did nothing to help, they did plenty to hinder, some even said they were OK with people dying for the “economy”.

So fuck them all, and fuck any attempts to blame Democrats or pull any lame ass “both sides are guilty” bullshit.

As far as impeachment, it’s already been shown to be useless. The only thing to do is go to the polls and do a complete purge of all Republicans.

Hammering home these two points is something Democrats can and should do right now and every day until November, namely, constantly make the connection between trump and Republicans’ inaction and ineptitude and the sickness/death of thousands of Americans. Just keep that connection front and center in the public’s consciousness. Not with ugly, low-class name-calling, but with facts (and there are plenty of 'em).

Don’t let the administration and its bootlicking toadies get away with “We did the best we could,” “There was nothing more we could have done,” and the ever-popular “Hillary would have been worse!”

IOW keep reminding the country (the rest of the world already knows it) where the buck came to rest.

The message: “Never forget that it was trump and the Republicans who brought the country to this point.”

It will benefit Trump in November. It’ll absolutely fire up his base, and make the Democrats look ineffective. It’s nice you think it’s about fudging, but what most people will remember is that the Democrats failed a second time. What droolers will remember is that Trump was completely exonerated and proven innocent of whatever he was impeached for (that isn’t what happens, but it’ll be what they remember.)

The pandemic’s not relevant with regards to impeachment. If a vaccine is miraculously invented and rolled out in September, Trump will benefit, whether or not he’s impeached. If the pandemic gets worse and he continues to look weak, he will suffer, whether or not he’s impeached.

This is pretty much all that they can do, or it’s at least the most effective strategy. This is pretty much the strategy that Barack Obama and Dems employed in October of 2008. “If you lost your job, blame Bush and the Republicans.” That’s pretty much what voters did. McCain further sunk himself by adding a total airhead to the ticket to underscore his lack of seriousness at a time when Americans were horrified about the economy. It’s cliched, but history is repeating itself.

This country is in deep shit, and it will require more than just electing Joe Biden to get us out of this hole. But we gotta start digging somewhere, and getting back the presidency and control of congress is the best place to start digging. We need representation first, and when you consider that Joe Biden has been hardly campaigning and his lead is 10-15% in national polls, something’s going right - for now anyway.

Yeah, the best thing that Democrats can do is to continue to write and pass bills that would help the American people in this time. Then point to the senate where they go to die and the presidency which provides no leadership as the problems.

That’s something concrete. People can look at a bill, and see that if it were to pass, they’d get $x in relief or assistance, and see that that is being held up by the Republicans and Republicans alone.

This still accomplishes nothing short term, but IMHO, is a much better strategy for winning over voters than another failed impeachment attempt.

I don’t know if impeachment would fire up his base, but it would be a total waste of time and resources. Democrats would be better off simply standing back and reminding voters that they would be doing pretty much everything the republicans aren’t doing (except for stimulus, which exposes republican hypocrisy). The only good idea the GOP has had in probably the last few years is paying stimulus to unemployed Americans - which is a Democratic idea.

What should Trump have done differently, other than not tweeting like a moron? The Covid response is mainly a state issue, due to federalism. As I understand it, the only way Trump could override them is if he declared a state of national emergency under the natiinal emergencies act, which would give him a whole lot more power. But Congress would have to approve it, and judges coild still slap an injunction on the government if they thought Trump was doing it unnecessarily.

The other way the feds can be involved is if a state declares an emergency and requests aid. Then FEMA can be called in to assist, and I think a few other tools become availble to the President. But I only found one blue state that declared an emergency: Minnesota.

Does anyone really want Trump to have even more executive power? How would yoj have felt if he declared a state of emergency and then used it to overrule blue state governors? Say, to stop them from putting Covid patients in nursing homes. I think the left woild have screamed that he was a tyrant using the crisis to usurp power.

At this point, the President should be more of a uniter, a leader to help the states rhetorically, etc. Trump failed with all that, and the shit he’s saying about masks and gatherings is dangerous nonsense. But he has the absolute right to speak, so you can’t stop him from saying stupid stuff.

But federally, I think his hands were fairly tied.