Last night, Schiff, Engel and Cummings released a letter with attachments documenting some of the more damning details of Trump’s attempt to extort the President of Ukraine into announcing that he was investigating the Bidens, in return for release of military aid. Here’s a story that covers the high points, with the letter itself embedded at the end. The letter comes after a closed-door deposition of Special Envoy Kurt Volker, who is one of the bad actors who flipped on Trump because he doesn’t want to go down in flames. I’ll leave the sophisticated analysis to Cheryl and Adam, but suffice it to say: texts bad, Trump’s fucked.
So, anybody with minimal reading comprehension can understand that Trump committed a bunch of illegal acts that make him a danger to the country. Yet the Republicans in the House and Senate, with one minor exception I could find (Sasse) haven’t said a god damned thing. Yesterday, Gym Jordan left the committee meeting saying that Volker added nothing new (not linking to Fox News, sorry). In fact, Senator Ron Johnson defended Trump’s request to the Chinese.
What the hell is it going to take for these assholes to turn on Trump? This piece in the Post details how right wing media will shit on any of them who flip, but My God at some point a few of them will have at least a speck of courage, won’t they?
Republicans will never stop putting party before country so they will only flip on Trump if they believe sticking with Trump hurts them electorally.
So I guess that’s where the pressure needs to be.
Also, the texts are bad. Really bad. Go read them if you haven’t.
Modern conservatism is a profoundly evil philosophy so, no, people following it won’t do good things even when normal people see them as morally essential.
Can’t think of who will turn on Trump.
Maybe if there are live sessions interviewing a bunch of State Department people willing to go on record, some recently elected Senator will. But who?
Maybe Romney? But it will be clear that what’s in it for him is Romney/Haley 2020.
But Lankford, Sasse, Barr, all those alleged Constitutionalists won’t budge.
Bingo. We’re gonna have to vote them all out, ratfucked election or no.
They knew. They all know the conspiracy theory and they all knew Trump and Giuliani and Barr were targeting Biden. It was promoted daily on Fox. They knew exactly why the aid was held up.
I agree with gauchi completely, with a few additional notes:
– they’ll flip if their funders (Kochs/Mercers) and/or their leaders (Moscow Mitch) feel trumpov is a bad bet
– they’ll flip if they realize (and this is probably a limited number of cases) that they’re criminally liable in some way
I think most elected trumpublicans at this point are content to ride it out, tow the party/trumpov line, let the Dems do the dirty work all by themselves, and hope that they never have to weigh in on trumpov’s many many crimes. That is where we want our reps, and the snooze media, to push and push hard. Ds in every district should be pushing on their GOP officials/candidates, “Why aren’t you saying anything about trumpov’s admitted crimes?”, and just keep asking until he’s out of office or until November 2020 rolls around.
How many times do you want to hear it? No.
And I have a suspicion born of past history that they don’t really fear electoral consequences because they believe the election will be a rigged slam-dunk
So what did Pompeo and Esper tell McConnell when McConnell inquired? Did Pompeo lie to McConnell? Or is McConnell lying when he said he didn’t know why the aid was held up?
This question is being asked constantly, and the answer is always the same: when their own job security is threatened by their support for Trump they will turn.
Ann Landers once answered an agony column question from a woman on whether she would get divorced by throwing the question back at the writer: “Are you better off with him or without him?“. So it goes for Republicans with Trump. When their support for him yields it will be massive and very, very fast.
This has been another edition of simple answers to simple question (h/t Atrios).
Specks of Courage – The 2020 follow-up to Profiles of Courage?
I believe they will flip when something like 30% of Republicans think an impeachment inquiry is necessary. It’s possible to get there, but it will take much more than single shocking moments. The hearings are going to be very important to making clear, concise descriptions of what happened and why it is illegal on television and from people who would know this.
Alternatively, any big dips in the economy are going to knock the floor out of public sentiment of Trump generally, and that is still very possible.
The guys who has to flip are Rupert & Lachlan Murdoch, and right now the Murdochs still believe in being “very nice” to Trump, Boris Johnson (UK), and Scott Morrison (Australia). Rupert is a racist oligarch, and Lachlan is certainly an oligarch who has no problem with racism. So they hope these three would be Catilines (Catiline was a Senator who plotted a coup against the Roman Republic but was essentially a clown). The Murdochs (and Thiel and Mercers and Koch Brothers) would like to see right-wing authoritarian oligarchies/herrenvolk illiberal “democracies” on the basis of white, Anglo-Saxon, supremacy and wealth supremacy in U.S., U.K, and Australia. Their only concern is that these clowns might not be to competent enough. They will only drop Trump and the others if they really look like “losers.” The Murdochs have no problem helping Putin and Xi rig the election in U.S. in 2020 if it results in a them being indirectly in power through the instrument of Trump and the Republican Party. (Murdoch and Trump understand each other perfectly – if you are “nice” to me, I will be very “nice” to you.)
Written by Rick Wilson just weeks before the news of traitor Trump’s treason was known, but looking incredibly prescient:
Donald Trump Enters the Eccentric Dictator Phase of His Presidency:
This is a frightening time for our Republic, and without precedent in its history.
Paging Joseph Welch.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: For as long as he draws breath.
It’s increasingly clear it’s not cowardice holding Republicans in Congress back, it’s that they agree with Trump’s vision of a racist authoritarian state. The Senators in particular all see themselves as potential Supreme Leaders of such a state. If Trump loses in 2020, the backstabbing rivalries within the GOP will be amazing. Come to think of it, they’ll be that way if he wins, too.
With all those people in Congress asking, there have to be lots of responses from Pompeo. What did he say? What did Espy say? What was the reason they gave for not releasing the aid? There were letters from Congress to some of the Trump people. There should be letters back.
Obligatory all the way down comment: it’s traitors or cowards, or both.
Gin & Tonic
I believe calling Volker a “bad actor” is simplistic and incorrect. Yes, he is a Republican (a McCain Republican, not a Trump Republican), but he had a fairly long career in the Foreign Service as a non-political actor, he was well-respected and viewed as an honest broker by most parties in Ukraine, and his actions here can be viewed as trying to thread the needle between a country that really needed US assistance and a lunatic blocking that.
I think Volker resigning and testifying may be a turning point. Read the texts and he’s in the thick of it, setting up the meetings and trying to get Zelensky to play along with Trump’s delusional fixation on Ukraine and the Bidens. (I had assumed, silly me, when he first resigned that it was because he had integrity and refused to be part of the corruption.)
He won’t be the last. It will be the mid-level bureaucrats no one has ever heard of who will start singing when they see which way this is going.
Most of them will never flip. Trump is going to remain incredibly popular in red states and they know that they’ll lose if they abandon him. The founders never saw Fox News and this urban/rural divide coming.
@Gin & Tonic: Saw your comment after posting mine. I thought that too, but he doesn’t come off well in those texts.
Since the neo-Confederate party has come to the point of rule or ruin, laws and norms don’t matter to them anymore. The only thing that would make them turn against Trump is if they believed they were in electoral danger of losing.
@Kay: Did Moscow Mitch provide copies of the letters he sent? My default position is that he’s lying about asking(well, he lying about everything).
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
They’re going to start turning on Individual One when it becomes riskier to their hope of holding their seats to stick with him than it does to dump him over the side. It’s only a guess, but I’d say that when Trump’s numbers get down to the Crazification Factor, a some of them are going to begin to courageously [sic] discover that Trump is a threat to the country.
What this means is that impeaching Trump is vital because it’s going to drive down his approval.
Congressional Rs won’t do a damned thing so long as they are more afraid of the political consequences of crossing Trump than doing otherwise. So we need to make them more afraid of us (the voters) than Trump. That means calling to put pressure on them & frequent & more visible protests at their offices. And their town halls if they are holding any between now and the end of recess. As much as is possible. I am sort of surprised none of the grassroots groups that popped up after the 2016 election (or like MoveOn) haven’t been pushing this. I definitely haven’t seen my Indivisible folks organizing around this yet (by that I mean the actual protests at offices).
Anyways, call your congressional folks. If they support impeachment, thank them. If they are wishy washy or do not tell them to grow a spine & defend our democracy.
Here is the # for the congressional switchboard: 212-224-3121. Make your own calls right now.
Remember, there is the public polling that everyone looks at to see where the winds of public opinion are voting. Then there is the daily polling that happens at Congressional offices as staffers tally the days calls. You have some control over one of those things.
In 1974 it was a purely political calculation – Nixon’s support dropped so far so fast after the smoking gun tape that the Republicans knew that supporting him would kill them. It’s the same calculation today. (In 1974, they probably jumped too late, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the same thing happened with Trump.
Trump’s Red Wall strategy. It’s astounding and insane to commit crimes openly, but yeah. It has a fair chance of working. And if it does, the election will be rigged and we’re fucked.
[Individual 1] mistermix
@Gin & Tonic: Well, it was a good act for him to flip, but read the transcripts and get back to me on how good he was.
Not that I know of. But someone told CNN they were all asking, probably to cover their asses on the GOP side. So we need to see the requests for information from the Trump Administration and the Trump Administration’s responses.
Is there a moot filled with snakes and alligators?
If impeachment doesn’t work then I think everyone knows what the next step is- we see it in other countries all the time. Massive, sustained public demonstrations until they’re chased from office. So hopefully impeachment works.
@randy khan: They jumped too soon. If they’d proudly insisted that burglarizing the Watergate and all the other dirty tricks were the right thing to do, and the obligation of every patriot, and repeated this over every available medium forty times a day, within a couple of years it’d have been conventional wisdom.
I don’t know who was reporting it(it may have been a news alert on my “thinkin’ machine”) but the White House has said it won’t respond to any requests from Congress since the full House didn’t vote to authorize and impeachment inquiry. I’m sure the Speaker can arrange for that vote.
@Jeffro: It should also be remember that the “Republican Base,” the “Tribe that Rubs Shit in Their Hair (copyright Driftglass),” has being bathing in a septic tank of Conservative Infotainment media now for 30 years since the Reagan Administration kicked the Fairness Doctrine to the curb. One of its features, if you ever had the pleasure of listening to Rush Limbaugh for instance, is a daily repeated stream that the Democrats and liberals are “corrupt” and “crooked,” but protected by their “buddies” in the “liberal” media. In particular, the Clintons and other white Democrats, who propose ideas that help the white working and middle class people (as well as all other working and middle class people) are corrupt “elitists” who look down on “hard working, tax paying Americans” while scheming to get rich through their connections (that there is a half truth to this lie makes it all the more effective). With Obama, the just had to remind their audience he was Black, uppity, and using the Government to help “those people” for them to hate the Obamas. They will portray Trump as he portrays himself, the “victim” trying to uncover the “corruption” he and the “The Base” know is there. The heart of the “The Base” are the “New Confederates,” and the “Copperheads” who support the principles of the Confederacy (the Supremacy of Whiteness and Wealth), and they see no problem with their leader getting foreign assistance to defeat their domestic enemies. Senator Ron Johnson may be an idiot rich person, but he is not being a coward when he supports Trump. He is acting accord with his Copperhead beliefs that the real enemies of his “America” are the Democrats and their voters, not Russia and China.
JFC. Through the map and off the looking glass. Cognitive dissonance looks on wistfully.
A Ghost To Most
@Kay: Having represented bad clients and litigated against bad parties, when they are bad, there is always something worse out there that they are not telling their lawyers. Trump is that guy. The bad thing is out there that will cause the GOP to turn, it is a question of will it get out into the open in time for the 2020 election. At current pace, I think it will.
Members of Congress have the responses from the White House. The White House doesn’t have to turn over anything. Congress already has them. Unless all those inquiries were simply ignored by the White House then Congress already has the replies.
David Brooks has an over-the-cliff column, an ‘interview with Flyover Man’. The last line is “I’ll see ya’ in hell, brother”. No link.
@Matt McIrvin: They had an election a few months later and it did not go well for the Republicans.
You ain’t never lied.
They just lie.
Lee Zeldin GOP-NY gave an interview yesterday that Volcker’s testimony was “crystal clear” and “blowing a major hole in Democrat’s accusations”. And no quid pro quo.
They just lie. Why should they stop lying?
Even when Trump says it on live TV, they just blow that off, and lie.
Since they’re not turning I wouldn’t be surprised to see leaks start about various Republican Senators and Representatives.
Deep thought for those who want post-Presidential punishments, trials and jailings for Trump and his family:
The way that this Hunter Biden-based impeachment story is playing out, it will make it near impossible to ever investigate or prosecute Trump’s children.
Make it so.
I love how they’re all desperately ignoring that this is ABOUT interfering in an election, thereby making “an election” an unworkable remedy.
I get that it’s scary but they need to grow up and admit this is a catastrophe. This denial is childish.
@Kay: I read somewhere that as far as demonstrations go, the threshold is 3.5% of the population. If 3.5% of the population demonstrates and protests, that’s when things change. Less than that, nope.
@Kay: I was wrong, it’s the House Republicans that are going to court to block the release of the Grand Jury testimony due to not having the full House voting to authorize an inquiry.
@Zzyzx: the urban / rural divide was definitely something they anticipated. They just didn’t foresee nationalized/internationalized media controlling local thought across huge geographic expanses
@Immanentize: There is a difference with Ivanka, she’s a federal employee.
@Kay: A reason why Stacey Abrams’ emphasis on voting rights gets ahead of the game. She’s so smart.
What we know, and they know, is that Trump’s presidency was illegitimate from the start.
That means that every benefit they reaped from having him installed is also illegitimate.
The tax cuts. The SCOTUS seats. All fruits of the poisoned tree.
And they don’t want to give them up. They have stolen goods, and they know that they are stolen, and they don’t want to give them back.
So, the Republican calculus is not simply, “we’ll turn on Trump when he’s no longer worth supporting,” or “we’ll turn on Trump when sticking with him threatens to lose us the next election.” Nope.
The Republican calculus is, “we’ll turn on Trump when we are ready to give back all of the stolen goods.”
And that day ain’t never coming. They want their stolen SCOTUS seats even more than they want to win the next election.
(This is why, incidentally, Yglesias’ suggestion that they should cut their losses with Trump and be happy with Pence is fundamentally misguided. President Pence wouldn’t be so bad, in their view. But an acknowledgement that President Trump was always an illegitimate usurper? That, they cannot tolerate.)
Modern Republican Party is what happens, when you entirely turn your party apparatus, policy goals, fundraising, etc. to a bunch of billionaires (Kochs, Adelson, etc.), and really on the right-wing media machine to cover all the bad governing you do.
The billionaires and right-wing media have the Republican Party by the balls, and they either suffer electoral defeats and re-emerge as a functioning party, or they keep what power they have and hope this storm blows over.
That’s a lot. But despite the Trump Administration threat that they would start a civil war, we have actually turned out way more people than they have for peaceful public demonstrations. Way more.
@Immanentize: Hunter Biden was investigated. Nothing was found. What trump and crew are trying to do is something else. Of course, down that road is the end of a nation.
Not so sure about that.
A smug host on FoxBusiness the other day was openly contemptuous towards Lewandowski, and there is this headline on the FoxNews web site right now: Senator confronted over her ‘silence’ on Trump’s behavior. And when you read that article it has links with the headlines “MSNBC’S CHUCK TODD SOUNDS THE ALARM ON TRUMP: ‘THE NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS UPON US'” and “CNN ANCHOR SLAMS PENCE ON RESPONSE TO TRUMP-UKRAINE CALL: ‘WE ALL KNOW’ THAT HE’S ‘LYING'”.
Clickbait of course, but I doubt if any of that would have been permitted by Fox management a year or two ago. I think they’re starting to waver a bit, even though their evening attack dogs remain rabid.
We’re forty years into the Reagan Revolution; a majority of their caucus cut their teeth politically (or were actually born and raised) in the Modern Republican Party. They see no need to pick party over country because they’ve internalized the idea that they are one and the same.
“Didn’t the Democrats try to impeach a president for investigating the children of a political opponent!!!!” x 11
@Immanentize: When you have time, can you explain that a little?
Mike in DC
Public opinion is the thing that matters most when it comes to getting the GOP off the dime. At 50 to 51% support for removal, a few will clear their throats and do the Susan Collins Troubled and Concerned Shuffle. At around 55% you may see the first few Senators jump ship. Between 55 and 65 percent, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham go to 1600 Pennsylvania to have The Talk. If he doesn’t take the hint, he gets bounced.
No amount of such subtle distinctions will make it possible for President Warren to investigate Jarad and Ivanka, Erik and Junior for activities abroad.
A peek back to when the NYTimes launched the Clinton attack. Gleeful. They got the Right wing book and they’re going with it!
And boy did they ever.
Haberman gets all the shit but she covers Trump. Chozick covered Clinton. Of course, the Trump coverage sucked and sucks too, but it’s important to be accurate.
It doesn’t matter anymore- we’re here, we’re at the collapse, but relying on these people? Madness.
Hopefully Democrats manage the impeachment well. They must. They cannot fail. Everyone else failed. The last guardrail cannot collapse.
@Aleta: Sorry, I gotta go teach class, but I would be happy to lay it out in more detail later. Impeachment is a political act, not a legal one and even if it is successful, or especially if it is, for a Democratic administration to investigate the children of the last President will sound to most people like just what the complaint was about Trump.
I of course could be wrong, but that would require a mature American electorate and populace coming together around an anti-corruption theme — and I have no evidence that exists.
@Immanentize: Oh, it won’t be the Democrats investigating Trump’s kids. It’ll be the courts.
@Immanentize: That’s just the general Republican projection strategy. Accuse the other side of what you know you’re already doing– that way, you get your tu quoque in first; if they go after your actual crimes you just make it look like they’re the ones doing it and are dirty hypocrites besides.
If it works here then it’s basically impossible to prosecute them for anything because that’s how they handle everything.
Trump will be impeached. The question is, will the Senate vote to convict?
If any of these fuckers had any courage to begin with, they’d have stopped trump in his tracks in 2015, they would have risked the schism that would have happened if trump ran as an independent (guaranteeing a Hillary win which the GOP could have STILL used to keep their side angered up and donating millions for the next four years), they would have stood up to trump’s obstruction of the Mueller probe when it got out trump’s campaign people were meeting with Russians all along.
The modern Republican party is going to metaphorically (and in Mitch’s case literally) turtle up and avoid doing anything that requires moral courage because 1) they fear the Far RIght media backlash and loss of rabid voting base support and 2) they think they can keep making money even as trump destroys every constitutional norm and every law in the books. And they know they can get away with it because they can spew enough Both Sides Disinformation bullshit to keep 60-70 oercent of the sane part of the U.S. from turning out in the streets in protests.
Gin & Tonic
Not exactly true. Burisma Holdings and its founder were investigated back before Hunter Biden joined the board. Nothing was found. Neither of the Prosecutors General who held office while Hunter Biden was on the board felt there was sufficient evidence to open an investigation of him (the first of those PG’s was Viktor Shokin, who didn’t much feel like investigating anyone.)
@Gin & Tonic:
So did Josh Marshall. Now he doesn’t:
Volker Not A Good Guy After All
@Immanentize: That’s why the Goddess gave us the NY State Attorney General.
The only way to save this nation now is to bankrupt Fox Not-News and cut every Far Right media outlet from mainstream viewer/readership. We are drowning in nationalist/racist wingnut conspiracy bullshit and the First Amendment shouldn’t be used as an excuse for lies that cause this level of harm and destruction.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I think they’ll flip if the Senate looks shaky. Rs understand what Dems and the purity left can’t seem to grok: The long term effect of controlling the judiciary. Joni Ernst made a fool out of herself yesterday in that town hall that’s making the rounds, and trump is more than ten points underwater in IA, but do the Dems have a candidate? By rights Susan Collins should be terrified, but I haven’t seen any reports indicating that out of ME, optimistically, she seems to be about an even bet. Will Bill Cohen come out against his old protégée? Mark Salter (McCain’s alter ego) is tweeting things about voting out the cowardly bastards, but will he endorse Kelly (small media story) or convince Cindy McCain to at least say something like “I don’t think my husband would have handled this the way Senator McSally is” (big media story… I think)
Trying to emulate Elizabeth Warren? That’ll get you no where.
I don’t know. Impeachment is a lousy process, as far as I’m concerned, but it’s all we have.
I wonder if Pelosi saw the aid not being released all summer and knew this is what she’d be using. She had to know the aid wasn’t being released- apparently it was a matter of much concern and McConnell even got in the act, but I wonder if she knew “this is it”. It’s not like the Trump Administration strategy was a mystery. Fox was broadcasting it 24/7.
Sammy “the bull” Gravano wasn’t a good guy either. But to bring down a criminal organization, you have to flip some of the criminals.
7am PDST. Can I go back to bed? Am I still sleeping? This feels like a nightmare.
Not a drip of coffee in me yet (it’s coming soon) but why is Guiliani not in handcuffs already? Some of his shit has to be illegal.
Back after a brew or two.
@Immanentize: OK, thanks. I thought it might have referred to some procedural change or legal application. Have a good day.
@Zzyzx: There really weren’t urban areas in the sense they exist today.
Pretty sure all founders agreed with Jefferson in seeing the ‘yeoman farmer’ as the backbone and support of the new country and government. Beginning of reverence for ‘heartland’ as ‘the real America’?
@Mike in DC:
Not public opinion. Public opinion among their voters. What would it take for The red states to flip on Trump as long as Fox stays with them?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I believe it’s an imagined conversation with a trump voter. As somebody said on twitter, David Brooks would ring for the Purell if he accidentally picked up the WalMart flyer from the Sunday paper
Outside of the northeast, New England, etc. and CA, the USA is not very densely populated. We’d need to convince people from the Midwest, etc. to head to DC, to have a similar kind of impact
A single prick is enough to burst a balloon.
BC in Illinois
3.5% of 327.2 million people
= 11.45 million people nationwide
98,000 in the St Louis metro area.
We had five times that many for the Blues Stanley Cup Parade.
And we have had large (but not THAT large) marches in StL — the Women’s March, a march against the Muslim ban, etc. The Moms Demand Action people can show up with a thousand, at least. And in 2008, 70-90,000 people showed up at the Arch for Candidate Obama. (Daughter and I were there.)
Given the need, I think I can commit my city for our 90,000.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Their entire political coverage is an imagined conversation with a Trump voter.
We will have to disagree on this. They’ve got a truckload of patents and payments since the beginning of his term. Literally profiting off the Presidency.
I am still not over Wisconsin replacing Senator Feingold with dimwitted Ron Johnson. WTAF, Wisconsin?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@gene108: I’d argue state capital/metropolis centered protests with a massive voter registration emphasis. Soros, Steyer, Oprah, are you listening?
@A Ghost To Most:
recession. and even then, he’ll still have ~27% support.
@chris: How can anyone believe Clinton, Obama, DNC framed Russia on meddling in 16 election!
so the cletus safaris have gone virtual.
Gin & Tonic
@gene108: The Maidan movement in Ukraine in 2013-14 took three months, in the dead of winter, with hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country flooding the capital. Many people went there every weekend, despite increasing travel restrictions. It may have approached 2-2.5% of the population at the busiest times, but it never exceeded 3%. But eventually the President over-reached and things developed very quickly after that.
Unfortunately, I don’t see in the US the stamina for a similar movement.
Yup. And Amy got a book and a tv deal out of it. So it worked out well for them.
The truth is but for the whistleblower they would be covering and promoting this as a Biden scandal. They were already doing it when the whistleblower intervened and upended everything. We were one person away from another engineered election.
I want Barr removed immediately. The attorney general of the United States is corrupt. He cannot be allowed to continue to act against the public. AFTER this news broke he traveled to Italy to continue Trump’s political work. He is not stopping.
The Supreme Court is going to take up the Louisiana Abortion Law case.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@chopper: I don’t think it takes a full-on recession. He’s repeatedly staked his presidency on people having more money in their retirement/investment accounts. Those balances don’t have to go back to where they were in 2017 (3- 4X what they were in 2009, but I digress) for a lot of “I just wish he would tweet less…” tote-baggers to get shaky, and he can’t afford to lose many. A ‘correction’ could be fatal to him
Barr and Pompeo.
@Gin & Tonic: Kevin Drum:
You say tomato, Drum says tomahto.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Wall Street Speeches! I wanna be inspired! Don’t try to blackmail me… et cetera, et cetera
@randy khan: Was dem representative at my poll in 74 tracking dems who had voted. It got to be pretty funny–every time a young person came in the room the others at the table would turn to me and say ‘this one’s yours!’ (Anes is home to IA State.) 74 was the yr Harkin became a House member. (I took my 5yrold son to county headquarters during the campaign. While I stuffed envelopes,etc, he busily picked up bits of paper from the floor!)
@Gin & Tonic:
I’d go but they are running a “Friends” marathon on TV that wkend.
I think we haven’t needed a stopgap measure prior to the low quality Trump hires because people either resigned in disgrace or at least stopped committing crimes. Trump hired such bad people we now need a kind of penalty box to put them in while their crimes are investigated.
This happened after Nixon too. I took a law school class on it. There was a “transparency revolution”. They put in layers of checks, realizing belatedly that none of these people have internal governors on their behavior, they imposed them in codes and regulations. It went all the way down to the states. It’s where a lot of the sunshine laws came from. All inspired by conservative crooks. If they won’t check themselves they have to be bound up in codes and regulations. Conservatives themselves are the single best argument against conservatism. No one needs to be heavily regulated like these people do. You have to tie them up in regs and even then they’ll weasel their way out.
@MazeDancer:Tney lie about anything written because they know none of the badde will have read it and won’t believe what the ‘liberal media’s says is in it.
Mitt – Where is that darn speck of courage? Must have left it in the suit I sent to the ckeaners.
They’ll have to face consequences if they’re going to turn on Trump.
“Who ya gonna believe? Your lying eyes or my lying mouth?”
His state polling is bad too. He’s even underwater in Ohio, which surprised me. I don’t think it’s impeachment though- I think it’s because in the very Trumpy counties (like mine) the double whammy of his hits on manufacturing and agriculture are showing up.
I remember a time in my younger days when gay and transgender people couldn’t even be privates in the military because of the immense fear they could be so easily blackmailed. For some reason, the people who support a return to that policy also support a President who covertly seeks personal favors from foreign leaders.
It’s relatively easy to fix a close election — remember that Trump’s cumulative margin in three key states was less than 80,000 votes, and he lost the popular vote outright.
It’s really hard to turn a blowout into a close election by cheating. We need to make 2020 an anti-Republican blowout.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Is IA the state where a retired admiral is running or thinking of running for senate?
Which reminds me. I heard such nasty anti-gay invective against Buttitieg in a western Michigan bar last night. Four men sitting a couple of tables away, but empty tables between my group and them. You forget how vicious it can be when you don’t hear it for a while and you read all the political commentary on how it’s not an issue now.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
well, i assume even a mild one is going to turn worse given that the fed is backed in a corner and on the fiscal side congress is going to be paralyzed.
and that came in late July 1974. Butterfield had revealed he existence of the tapes in July 1973. The time between was spent arguing in court to get Nixon to turn over the tapes. I think we are much closer to the Butterfield reveal than to the final release of the tapes. The ‘transcript’ of the zelensky phone call was similar to the transcripts transcribed by Rose Mary Woods, just part of the process to delay releasing the actual tapes.
wow, that is the first I have heard of the actual changes Trump has influenced actually changing rightwing opinion.
Maybe not yet changing votes. The farmers seem to be unhappy but they still take the payoff and keep voting the same way.
@Kay: Disappointing September jobs numbers suggest slowdown continuing. I was thinking the other night of a great question for someone to ask Trump: “For the first two years of your administration, the country has had low unemployment, historically low interest rates, etc. But instead of building on that, you have been preoccupied with attacking helpless immigrants, settling scores with an opponent who lost to you in the last election, getting into an unnecessary trade war that has hammered the farm sector and pretty significant portions of the manufacturing sector, and, now, extorting an ally to gin up an investigation against a guy who might not even win the Democratic Party presidential nomination. What do you say to your opponents who claim you could fuck up a wet dream? Is it insanity, stupidity or both?”
This is a truth core to understanding Republicans and everything Republicans do. Kudos for putting it so clearly and simply.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Brogressives said that we needed to sacrifice abortion rights to get to their economic utopia. They can go fuck themselves now that they’re getting what they wanted.
Fixed that for you.
Getting prices on plenary indulgences.
@Amir Khalid: I want them to ask Trump what he would do for China if they come up with dirt on Biden.
L’état, c’est nous.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.): “It sends the message that the same legal, ethical, and Constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees — who will now have the green light to target Americans for their political beliefs and mislead investigators without ever being held accountable for their lawlessness,” he said in a Sept. 8 statement.
Oh wait, that was from 2017 because the Trump DOJ declined to restart an investigation into why the IRS wanted to add extra scrutiny to requests for tax exempt status from potential political groups even though the IRS IG found nothing untoward.
He seems to have no problem with the President using his DOJ to directly attack potential rivals.
@rikyrah: And Comcast NBC International has filed suit in SCOTUS that would eliminate major provisions in the civil Rights Act of 1866 that provide MAJOR protection to blacks. Trump admin has of course joined them.
Story covered in WaPo,, Philadelphia Inquirer. Color of Change has story and petition, etc, drive going. The blurb that they supply to email to friends is a pretty good summary.
I didn’t know there was such an old Civil Rights act.
The consequences of a negative ruling look pretty nasty.
A Ghost To Most
Preach. A solid blowout also provides (some) insulation against the inevitable cries of voter fraud.
It probably hasn’t occurred to Trump that quid pro quo means that if they do something for him, he has to do something for them. He is, after all, a guy who thinks it’s good business to avoid repaying those who do things for you.
@PaulWartenberg: I personally blame Jeb Bush for not punching Trump in the face during one of the live debates for all of the things Trump said about his wife.
Trump cries on national TV, Jeb Bush goes on the morning shows the next day saying, “You say the sort of things about a man’s wife he said about mine, you’re lucky to just get a punch in the face.”. Trump slinks away into ignobility, Bush has a decent shot at the nomination.
Precisely. The 1st Amendment cannot be a loophole for propaganda.
The 48,000 voters in NC-09 who voted for the Democrat in the regular election but couldn’t be arsed to show up for the do-over (or voted for the replacement Thug) would like a word with you.
They march their knuckledragging mouthbreathing minions to the polls in lockstep, again & again & again. Too many of ours – even the ones who have exactly the right kind of ID & aren’t scrubbed from the rolls too close to the election to reregister – just can’t be bothered to show up. “The rest of you folks go save the Republic, I have more important things to do…”
Fighting voter restriction laws, fighting our constituencies through whatever hoops the thugs set on fire in front of them, imbuing them with a sense of the depth of the crisis that in the end only they can pull us through, and getting them out to do it – those ought to be Jobs 1, 2, 3, and 4 for all Democrats (and all true democrats). I see precious little sign any of our allegedly politically-astute people (with the probable exception of Stacey Abrams) understand this – they’re too busy swooning for one candidate or another.
@BC in Illinois:
Yes but it has to be sustained, not a one time thing. Sustained as in for days and days on end. I don’t know what the magic number is but after one week of sustained occupation of public squares (Maydan Square in Ukraine, Tahrir Square in Egypt, HongKong) politicians get very concerned because things take their own dynamic, mostly due to spontaneous and organic organization. People talk a lot when sitting there for a week and if they don’t see anything happening, they tend to plan escalation which could end up in said politician’s heads on spikes.
To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the courage of the Republican Party. These cats are in all the way up to the neck, and ain’t a one of them flipping now. If this is what brings Trump down (and please God/Universe/Flying Spaghetti Monster, let it be), they’re going down with him. I think a lot of people still hope there will be a moment where Trump finally goes too far and the scales fall from the Republicans’ eyes, but that will never happen.
@Amir Khalid: ‘You do something for me in exchange for me breaking my promise to do something for you’ is his lifelong business policy.
‘Government rules are wrong, therefore lying is required’ is another.
@Ladyraxterinok: Well, it’s obvious how Mango Mussolini believes this. Toxic NPD and creeping dementia. It is so critical to his sense of self that his election not be seen as illegitimate or invalid that he would believe literally anything that confirms what his psychosis demands of him.
And since the entire GOP, having allowed itself to submit to his bottomless need for validation to avoid the wrath of his NPD, has become some kind of involuntary Gestalt hive mind, they “believe” it, too. They’ve resigned any critical thinking in deference to the swarm intelligence.
J R in WV
I usually admire your thinking on these issues, but you’ve lost me on this one.
There’s a huge difference between attempting to foment a cloud of confusion around fraudulent accusations with no basis in fact and a legitimate criminal investigation into very real and obvious crimes — isn’t there?
@Amir Khalid: of course, that is why asking the question is important to demonstrate that he will trade the goods
owned by the US, that he controls, for favors done for him.
@Amir Khalid: Probably right, but if pressed on it, it’s not like he’d give a fuck about a lot of the things he could offer back to China. Because he can give them things that aren’t his. They’re ours. It’s costless for him personally to back off on pursuing IP infringement claims against Chinese violators, for instance.
Now that asking China for help has entered the picture, I think we might have a good frame for pushing squishy NPR totebag, upper middle class tax-obsessed Republican types who just can’t bring themselves to admit that this man is an existential threat to our entire system, without sounding hyperbolic. “What makes you think he wouldn’t promise to end the trade war with China if they promise to hack voting machines in Pennsylvania? Is there any line he has hesitated to cross previously? Would you be OK with that?”
@J R in WV:
Yuppers. Benghazi!! and Comet Pizza Parlor only worked with the base. (And, for Benghazi, with the compliant media.) There will be plenty of evidence of profiteering by the family Trump, once an indepth investigation begins.
We are going to have to codify into law what were norms, standards, and guidelines.
It burns me that everyone is treating the DOJ guideline on not indicting a sitting president as though it’s enshrined in law — it is NOT (and wasn’t it penned to protect Nixon??) — while the Trumps and their cronies enrich themselves right and left at the public trough.
I want to eventually see perp walks and prison time. We don’t need no effing orange Ceausescus or Mugabes.
@Matt McIrvin: In 1974, the GOP didn’t have Fox News and Facebook to repeat and amplify their messaging – I think that is the biggest difference between now and then.
@PJ: I agree. And I am gonna get involved in some way to help find a way to reduce Fox World’s (and Facebook’s) influence in the future.
Democracy cannot withstand propaganda attacks and disinformation pitched to make the nation ungovernable. That is what rightwing media is doing, all over the world.
@OzarkHillbilly: Per Jacobin, if you’re a law professor, you’re not a real teacher.
J R in WV
There’s a huge difference between a Congressional investigation into potentially Impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors and a bog-standard criminal investigation conducted by the FBI, IRS, etc, etc.
And these people are NOT just violating unwritten norms, they’re breaking black latter law every day, which is why they will never give up their political power, which is the only thing that may keep them out of jail.
Little do they know that those (DNC hacks) were but a single move in a long game to destroy the Republican Party.
It involved giving the Republicans rope, lots of rope. And carefully crafted “help” with conspiracy theories. And much, much more!!!
:-) (The Russians were involved, yes. Read the Steele Dossier, sheeple, and awaken!!!)
(I might be joking here. :-)
(This is in part a mocking of the pathetic state of the art of Republican conspiracy theory theory.)
@Amir Khalid: It was kept under wraps up until the whistleblower blew that whistle. And for that we owe a debt of gratitude no matter how open the open secret of Trump being a scandalous meddler in things was assumed.
@Immanentize: Why? Hunter Biden is the son of a former VP but a non-entity in party politics. If unfairly having him rolled over and smushed to remove the scum that the GOP brings into office every time is what it takes, I’m not going to stop and think twice about it. We should not continue to have to deal with Bill Barr every time the GOP wins simply because we’re soft hearted for Joe Biden’s son. Reserve that for others.