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POTUS Impeachment Watch

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My god, Wednesday is going to be absolutely bonkers.

 

 

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Chuck Todd is not great at this

Chuck Todd's statement was from Nov 5 before the elections.  The most astounding number is the low numbers the GOP governor got in Mississippi

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Jake Tapper talking to a republican who says that Schiff has been trying to impeach Trump for three years and is therefore obsessed.

Trump was doing things during those three years worthy of impeachment, duh.

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This, from the Politico Playbook newsletter this morning:

Speaker NANCY PELOSI spoke this morning with MARGARET BRENNAN on CBS NEWS' "FACE THE NATION" about everything from Trump's tweets to when the inquiry will be finished to whether the government will shutdown. While all signs indicated that Democrats would move in mid-December to vote on impeachment, Pelosi was noncommittal and said "maybe they have more hearings" and that she has to work with all six chairmen to decide how Democrats will proceed.

It’s possible that Initially stating the desire to wrap up the impeachment hearings by Christmas was a canny political maneuver. I still think putting a Senate acquittal under Trump’s Christmas tree would be a huge mistake, because it gives him the opportunity to take a victory lap and also too much time to shape the narrative and make people forget what was revealed during the actual hearings. Maybe the Democrats also understand that, and calculated that so many new situations would reveal themselves from testimony that hearings would have to go deep into the new year to handle them all. But they wouldn’t want to suggest that upfront, because they could reasonably be criticized for setting up a political hit job. But if they knew more and more things would come out organically that would lead them to expand the hearings, they could reasonably shrug and say, hey, we know we said we wanted to wrap this up fast but just look at how much more is coming out. We have to investigate these new things as well, don’t we? Pelosi’s new noncommittal stance gives them cover to pursue that.

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7 minutes ago, chasfh said:

This, from the Politico Playbook newsletter this morning:

 

It’s possible that Initially stating the desire to wrap up the impeachment hearings by Christmas was a canny political maneuver.....

All the  Dems have to say whenever they want to buy time is that they cannot wrap up the investigation until the Administration provides subpoenaed documents. 

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7 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

All the  Dems have to say whenever they want to buy time is that they cannot wrap up the investigation until the Administration provides subpoenaed documents. 

That’s another great angle. But even if the White House did, which they won’t, but even so, Democrats could still buy more time by responding to all the new information coming out in depositions.

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I think not impeaching would be worse then an acquittal if we are talking optics.  Rather than saying “they couldn’t find 20 GOP senators to convict” he can say “even the Dems didn’t want to impeach”. 

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39 minutes ago, Oblong said:

I think not impeaching would be worse then an acquittal if we are talking optics.  Rather than saying “they couldn’t find 20 GOP senators to convict” he can say “even the Dems didn’t want to impeach”. 

I'm willing to see how it goes, but if next week doesn't create some serious movement in Trump's base or the GOP block support in the Senate, I'm leaning more toward a House censure. Don't even give the GOP Senate the opportunity to give Trump a 'win' or run their own dog and pony show anti-trial unless there is some reasonable prospect going in that conviction is possible.

This could change, I hope it does, but for now that possibility of conviction is not there.

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1 hour ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I'm willing to see how it goes, but if next week doesn't create some serious movement in Trump's base or the GOP block support in the Senate, I'm leaning more toward a House censure. Don't even give the GOP Senate the opportunity to give Trump a 'win' or run their own dog and pony show anti-trial unless there is some reasonable prospect going in that conviction is possible.

This could change, I hope it does, but for now that possibility of conviction is not there.

I don't really have too much of a timeline. We deserve to hear the facts.

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1 minute ago, mtutiger said:

I don't really have too much of a timeline. We deserve to hear the facts.

I want him gone soonest.  Whatever makes that so.  

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15 minutes ago, mtutiger said:

 

So we find out if Pence has a spine....  the vice president doesn't work for the President.  The VP cannot be fired except by Congress 

 

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I have no hope that he will be gone before November 3, 2020.  I know the political historians here want to see impeachment on record and that makes sense I guess, but I see zero chance that the senate lets him go.  

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8 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I have no hope that he will be gone before November 3, 2020.  I know the political historians here want to see impeachment on record and that makes sense I guess, but I see zero chance that the senate lets him go.  

RIght. And if Trump teaches us anything, it's that controlling the public narrative is important. I'm  more convinced all the time that if there is no prospect of conviction, there is nothing useful to be gained and much to potentially be lost in sending anything to  McConnell's Senate.

Moral victories and statements on principles are for the losers. The Dems need to win in 2020.

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3 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

RIght. And if Trump teaches us anything, it's that controlling the public narrative is important. 

Worked wonders in Louisiana last might.

He's more of a paper tiger than people give him credit for at this point.

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Trump underperformed most Senate R winners in 2016.  He's not as strong as people think even if none of this was going on. The Mueller report didn't convince people he was clean.  This stuff is all cumulative.  That's why they are trying to stink up Biden.  It worked on Hillary. 

The average person knows Trump is very dirty.

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13 minutes ago, mtutiger said:

Worked wonders in Louisiana last might.

He's more of a paper tiger than people give him credit for at this point.

That's Trump himself, but if you have a Senate trial you are going to force all those Senators who right now are mostly staying silent to spend their time defending him and some of them will be effective with their constituents. Right now a lot of them are hedging their bets because they aren't sure where things will fall either. I like having them caught in the ambiguity. Forcing the harder commitment is a strategy with its own downside risks. If the Dems can make the case to themselves those risks are smaller than the payoff then they should go for it. Things are fluid, and maybe their internal polling is telling them to go  - I just don't see it ..so far.

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2 minutes ago, ROMAD1 said:

Trump underperformed most Senate R winners in 2016.  He's not as strong as people think even if none of this was going on. The Mueller report didn't convince people he was clean.  This stuff is all cumulative.  That's why they are trying to stink up Biden.  It worked on Hillary. 

The average person knows Trump is very dirty.

Just want to be clear that I'm cognizant of the need to move the ball forward and not give the appearance of a fishing expedition.

The thing is: they are clearly doing that and it is clearly not a fishing expedition. And it's possible that the same could be said after this upcoming week. So it seems irrational to me for them to be saying "we're just gonna censure" after this week.

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4 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

And maybe their internal polling will tell them that  - I just don't see it ..so far.

We are also less than a quarter of the way through the witnesses 

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Just now, mtutiger said:

Just want to be clear that I'm cognizant of the need to move the ball forward and not give the appearance of a fishing expedition.

The thing is: they are clearly doing that and it is clearly not a fishing expedition. And it's possible that the same could be said after this upcoming week. So it seems irrational to me for them to be saying "we're just gonna censure" after this week.

There has been indication that Schiff or Pelosi is doing anything underhanded just to dirty him up.  I'm only talking about the fact that the necessary investigation of Trump's myriad illegal activity is having the benefit of showing everyone (even those who try to stay in the Conservative bubble) his true colors. 

 

About the bubble.  I was the last person to want to admit that W Bush was unpopular.  I still like the man.  The fact is that the bad news bleeds over the propaganda.  People can see the bad news.  That's why you see a lot of people on Facebook talking about trying to tune out the news.

 

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10 minutes ago, mtutiger said:

Just want to be clear that I'm cognizant of the need to move the ball forward and not give the appearance of a fishing expedition.

The thing is: they are clearly doing that and it is clearly not a fishing expedition. And it's possible that the same could be said after this upcoming week. So it seems irrational to me for them to be saying "we're just gonna censure" after this week.

The other point though, is that the 3 governors who won did it talking health care are other basic issues more than running against Trump. Yes you want to damage him in every way you can - but in the "background" so to speak. I believe after a cynical Hillary candidacy and a disastrous Trump presidency the Democratic and independent voter really wants to vote FOR something. This doesn't by any means mean the most 'progressive' positions but it does means a campaign strategy that focuses on what it is for, that looks forward - not back.

The question for impeachment is do the Dems put themselves in the position where defending a failed impeachment effort becomes a central argument of the 2020 campaign.  This is a purely strategic question. One every other grounds I agree Trump absolutely merits impeachment. I just also believe that nothing is now more important than election strategy.

 

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7 minutes ago, mtutiger said:

We are also less than a quarter of the way through the witnesses 

true enough. The arguments here all all provisional.

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7 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

The other point though, is that the 3 governors who won did it talking health care are other basic issues more than running against Trump....

The question for impeachment is do the Dems put themselves in the position where defending a failed impeachment effort becomes a central argument of the 2020 campaign.  This is a purely strategic question. One every other grounds I agree Trump absolutely merits impeachment. I just also believe that nothing is now more important than election strategy.

 

The answer to the bolded is in the first sentence.

JBE and Beshear won talking about the issues. Impeachment didn't move the needle in these races, and I'm skeptical that an acquittal (especially if the case is well made) will overshadow the issues going forward.

EDIT: As an addendum, for how much time is spent worrying about the political fallout of an acquittal for Dems, not enough is spent thinking about, if the case is well presented, the political fallout of voting for an acquittal by R Senators.

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The VP's press secretary (Stephen Millers fiance) just said that Jennifer Williams "works for the state department".

No spine.  Surprised?

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38 minutes ago, mtutiger said:

The answer to the bolded is in the first sentence.

JBE and Beshear won talking about the issues. Impeachment didn't move the needle in these races, and I'm skeptical that an acquittal (especially if the case is well made) will overshadow the issues going forward.

I hope you are correct because given the strength of the testimony the momentum for the Dems is probably going to be unstoppable even Pelosi hoped to.

We are in such a weird place in America today. This is the 3rd impeachment process I've watched but it's also most surreal. With Nixon, those of us who had watched him closely over time knew he was a man who didn't believe his opponents deserved the same rights he exercised and thus his leadership had become a fundamental threat to the republic, but the majority of the public were not there at all. But OTOH, we were confident that all we had to do was make the public understand what we understood, and the truth would win the day. And amazingly enough, that is pretty much what happened. The question of whether the case would be made was in doubt right to the end, but never the result if the case were made. 

With Clinton, it was clear as clear that the man had lied under oath and as a legal matter those that wanted him removed felt we were justified, but as a practical matter, and with another 30yrs life experience to judge by, the reality is that to remove a politician for lying about a sexual affair is about as bad a reason as there could be, and in our hearts even Clinton opponents probably knew that then. Though I'm still not sure that that whether morally right or wrong, acquitting him did not set a legal precedent that is still damaging US politics today.

This is surreal because in this case it is reality itself which is in the dock. Facts, truth, the validity of the case, none of it matters to any of the people who are left unpersuaded. How do you formulate the best course of action when neither fact, nor logic, nor precedent, nor law, nor even common decency signify anything in the effectiveness to the argument? It makes me question what should otherwise be "obvious" in discomforting ways.

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