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September 04, 2018

Comments

Just to be clear, the prospect of a President Pence doesn't fill me with enthusiasm. Although I do think he would be less bad.

A pox.

I was amused by juxtaposition of these to headlines on Google news:

Three reasons why Kavanaugh deserves a seat on the Supreme Court

Brett Kavanaugh is a threat to women, workers, and the environment

two! (dammit...)

Republican Senators and Representatives are
1. terrified of their primary voters, who are the most intransigent and unforgiving of right-wingers, and who continue to punish any deviation from visible support for Trump.
2. looking at enormous sunk costs. They've put in almost two years of protecting Trump, tying themselves to his popularity in the Republican base.
3. not notable for their political courage.

I can't see any of them joining the Dems to impeach or convict.

So if you’re a Republican Senator, why not get rid of Trump? That gets rid of a big motivator for Democratic voters getting out to the polls in 2020.

That presumes that motivated Democratic voters are too dumb to realize where the responsibility for Clickbait lies. Somehow I just can't imagine millions of people saying, "Okay, Clickbait is gone, I can go back to sleep now." It will happen with a lot of people eventually, but 2020 is right around the corner.

So if you’re a Republican Senator, why not get rid of Trump?

To add to joel hanes's list -- though this borders on conspiracy theory territory, it seems unlikely that the rot from Russian influence (e.g. Butina, the NRA, etc.) stops at some clear boundary around Clickbait and his close associates.

Granted, for lots of Republican Senators what Joel and Janie say is true. But the threshold for a dozen or so is lower. And if, for example, Cruz loses? Surviving a primary or avoiding a primary challenge isn't helpful if you can see where you would then lose in the general.

IF (and I admit it is a big if) Democrats end up with even a slim majority in the Senate, that means a lot of Democrats won in red states this year. Which would make that a serious concern going forward. Not necessarily a universal serious concern, but one that couldn't just be ignored. "Safe" seats, even in the Senate, may not be as secure as they once were.

Josh Marshall weighed in on this a couple of days ago. His arguments make sense to me.

IMO there would be value in bringing articles of impeachment purely to make the point that you can't pull shit like Trump has without prompting a response. But if it's not a slam-dunk in the Senate, there are probably more valuable things to spend time and effort on.

We'll see what the world looks like after the mid-terms.

1. terrified of their primary voters, who are the most intransigent and unforgiving of right-wingers, and who continue to punish any deviation from visible support for Trump.

I do wonder if (I wish I could say when) a process of correction will set in on this front. That is: will the less intransigent and extreme segment of the right wing ever wake up and say: "We've had enough of this shit" -- and go to the primary polls to nominate someone other than the extremists?

Maybe some significant losses in the general because they've let the balance of power in their party go too far to the right will wake them up. Or maybe in reality there are too few of them to matter in this sense.

I'm not optimistic.

I think the logic is sound wj, except for the Pence/ trade wars thing. It isn't a given today that his "trade war stuff" is even bad, much less considered bad by centrist Republicans.

It all assumes long term escalation with no US gain. A pattern that is questionable at this point. Pence might not stop those.

JanieM, that process of correction is what's supposed to happen, but in order to hang onto power even though they're a minority, the Rs have spent thirty years carefully identifying those voters who are most implacably driven by resentment and outrage, and then feeding them red meat every day. Those extremely motivated and mostly-misinformed voters have become the Republican primary electorate.

The broader Republican Party still contains some people who can be reached, but every R officeholder is now keenly aware that the craziest 27% of the national electorate can and prevent their nomination in the next cycle, and will do so at the slightest sign of compromise with Dems.

It's a problem for the Rs: they knew eight years ago that they were on a collision course with demographic doom, but they are no longer in control of their Party's agenda: their primary voter base refuses to be led.

It's a problem for the Ds: there are no longer any good faith actors on the R side with whom one can negotiate, or even anyone willing to be constrained by the norms, or even by the law. Even if a deal were to be constructed, there's no one on the R side who can reliably deliver the promised votes from their caucus.

It's a problem for the nation.
Until we can drive the Rs into the wilderness for at least twelve years, the self-reinforcing radicalization of the R primary electorate will continue to drive the Republican Party further and further into extremism. Already they chafe at the rule of law.

"It's a problem for the Rs: they knew eight years ago that they were on a collision course with demographic doom.."

I'm curious what this means.

The Republicans have mostly driven people of color from the party.

Even without much immigration, white people will compose a smaller and smaller percentage of the US electorate in future years. The trend is well-documented, and probably cannot be significantly changed.

So if only whites vote R, and whites are a shrinking minority of the voters, then the R vote will shrink until they no longer win.

This argument from demographics has been bruited about for at least a decade, and the R party leaders publicly addressed it in 2016, but were unable to turn their Party away from statements and actions that drive away people of color: the momentum is large, and the base of R primary voters did not want to change course.

And, of course Trump has made this problem much worse.

So, already in a minority, and seeing their share of the general electorate shrinking, the Rs must either resort to non-majoritarian hardball, or seek to broaden their appeal. The primary voters won't stand for the second course, so R officeholders must pursue the first, or see their party out of power.

wrs in a recent thread, addressing Marty: My values are not your values.

This bit from joel hanes, above, is pertinent to the question of shared values: It's a problem for the Ds: there are no longer any good faith actors on the R side with whom one can negotiate, or even anyone willing to be constrained by the norms, or even by the law.

The problem about values, now, isn't just that we disagree on stuff like how much beyond paving the roads we should fund collectively. We no longer agree on the process by which we should resolve such disagreements.

The Supreme Court's role in the election of 2000, and the successful blocking of Obama's chance to make a SCOTUS nomination in his last year in office -- death knells for shared abstract values about how to sort out our unshared practical values. You don't even have to mention Clickbait to summarize it.

"It's a problem for the Rs: they knew eight years ago that they were on a collision course with demographic doom.."

I'm curious what this means.

See also the GOP 2012 Autopsy Report:
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/624581-rnc-autopsy.html

1. Removing Trump only partially mollifies Democratic voters, and only partially reduces their determination to vote. For a lot of them, the problem isn’t Trump directly, it’s the morally degraded state of conservative voters- collectively rotten people who have been trained to reject valid sources of factual and moral authority in favor of narcissistic blowhards.

2. Trump won’t go quietly into the night. He’ll be kicking and screaming for years after he’s impeached. He’ll explain everything in terms of stabs in the back and conspiracies and secret Democrats. This will keep him in the news, which contributes to (1). And since conservative voters are a morally degraded bunch, a lot of them will believe Trump. Which creates primary problems for Republicans who support impeachment.

3. (2) could be handled if the conservative media was on board with dumping Trump. They have signaled that they will do the opposite. And they will have an easy time supporting Trump because their target audience is degraded. See (1).

Republican judicial paragon Brett Kavanaugh talking about and to He, Trump:

No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.
Is this shameless toady what passes for a "sane" Republican? A fact-respecting Republican? A Republican with "judicial temperament"?

Or is he exactly the kind of Republican who will soberly and impartially rule that water runs uphill when his master's "base" demands it?

--TP

the Rs have spent thirty years

2018 - 1968 = 50

the successful blocking of Obama's chance to make a SCOTUS nomination in his last year in office

that was pretty blatant.

we've entered some kind of 'will to power' zone in domestic politics at this point. I'm not sure the (D)'s have figured that out, Obama certainly did not seem to be able to recognize or accept it.

I'm not sure how it's going to play out.

The broader Republican Party still contains some people who can be reached

wj is the only one I can think of.

And actually, the rest of joel hanes's 03.15 seems right on the money to me.

I think Joel is right, too. The only hope for the Republican party is for them to lose elections for a generation.

But the R party is not only beholden to its quasi fascist base--they are also bought and paid for by the corporatist donors who are as indifferent to R base voters as they are to the rest of us. And global climate change is real and the effects on the economy are going to be worse and worse over time.


Which means the usual Republican voter mentality--cut my taxes, give me services and everything is always the fault of you, not me--will become more and more untenable over time.

Republican voters are just as committed to turning to the federal government for help as everyone else. And as the storms and floods and droughts make it harder and harder to live in a red state...the message "Vote r because we will protect you from the evil Other" is going to decrease in effectiveness and yet that's the message R politicians HAVE to run on because they cannot run on the agenda their donor class purchased with the donation money.

So I think that in the long run R messages are going to lose effectiveness with R leaning independents and even with R base voters.d

it will be too late to save our beautiful public lands and the animals from orcas to migrating birds are living on borrowed time and I am glad to be old and childless, but I don't see the R message of bigotry fear defamation and scapegoating in service to the one percent as being one that will work as farms dry up and blow away and cities get washed away or blown away.


in order to hang onto power even though they're a minority, the Rs have spent thirty years carefully identifying those voters who are most implacably driven by resentment and outrage, and then feeding them red meat every day. Those extremely motivated and mostly-misinformed voters have become the Republican primary electorate.

True, Joel, but let's not overlook the fact that they have also been engaged in what amounts to a slow-motion coup, and that represents a real danger to the country. (In this they are abetted, of course, by some very foolish provisions of the Constitution.)

Bush v. Gore

Voter suppression.

New heights in gerrymandering.

Merrick Garland

Also absolutely true.

Add to the list, byomtov, conspiracy with a foreign government to tamper with the elections. Apparently, people just don't want to face up to this, but it's pretty freaking obvious by now.

byomtov :

I think russell is incorreect in thinking that the Rs have been doing this for fifty years. Somehow, the Republicans of 1964 were able to support the Voting Rights Act, and the Republicans of 1968 were able to support environmental regulation.

I said "thirty years", thinking of Reagan's 1980 speech in Philadephia, Mississippi -- but the actual turn toward the dark side was a year earlier, when Paul Weyrich and Jerry Falwell founded "The Moral Majority". It was neither moral, nor a majority -- it was the first organized Republican reaction to the realization that white Christian men were beginning to lose their customary hegemony. Weyrich sold the Republicans to the theocrats, and Falwell sold the souls of the evangelicals in exchange for secular political power. The results have been a tragedy for the evangelicals, for the Republicans, and for the nation.

I guess that's almost forty years.
I grow old, I grow old
I shall wear my trousers rolled

Note that Weyrich also founded The Heritage Foundation and ALEC.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Weyrich

All the violations of norms and laws that you cite can be "justified" if one is a certain type of theist (e.g, Jerry Falwell, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann), and is convinced that one is defending a God-given order of society against the forces of Satan.

Well to quote the great Bobby D:

And you never ask questions
When God's on your side

"The ends justify the means" is one of the more common slippery slopes. Even for those who are supposed to be religious leaders.

The Supreme Court's role in the election of 2000, and the successful blocking of Obama's chance to make a SCOTUS nomination in his last year in office -- death knells for shared abstract values about how to sort out our unshared practical values. You don't even have to mention Clickbait to summarize it.

Exactly. The right way to share practical values of how to sort out disputes is to try to kill the presidential vote in the Florida panhandle through the media and when that doesn't succeed forgo a statewide recount in favor of a few overtly democrat counties. Because that makes sense and is a fair way to resolve election disputes. And then you complain about the Garland nomination because the historical norm of the winner of the presidential election getting to choose the nominee during a presidential election year shouldn't apply because, well, Obama. He stopped the rising of the seas and all. And then you deploy the nuclear option in the Senate before that because, well, you are in the majority at the time and that makes sense and you don't like Mitch McConnell anyway. Top it all off with opposing any and all nominees to the right of Che Guevara because you like international norms as an theory of Constitutional interpretation. There, you have made your case for the Republicans being solely responsible for not using a "shared values" model of dispute resolution.

All sarcasm aside there is more than enough to complain about on both sides.

the historical norm of the winner of the presidential election getting to choose the nominee during a presidential election year

Got any more convenient fictions for us tonight?

tp: I responded a while back that the quote from Kavanaugh bothered me too. But what I have seen since then has impressed. The endorsements from the clerks (more than half women), the affirmance rate by SCOTUS, his adherence to precedent, etc. Sounds like you are sticking to the statement. Has the info made no impact on you? Would anything?

Asked about the blockade favored by Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Collins said the Senate is “best served by following the regular order” but added that she was “not optimistic that I will be changing minds on this issue.”

Susan Collins, 4/5/16


the historical norm of the winner of the presidential election getting to choose the nominee during a presidential election year

Quite seriously, I am unfamiliar with this norm. I was aware that, for Garland, the Rs claimed that it "should be" that way.

Is there some historical precedent you can cite? I'm always interested in deflating my own misconceptions.

Has the info made no impact on you? Would anything?

Does it bother you that the Republicans are hiding over 90% of relevant documents? Why are they hiding it? Would anything dissuade you that this guy is basically a Republican political hack, whose positions on legal issues reverse themselves depending on the party affiliation of the people affected, and that is going to block any effort to hold Trump accountable for criminal conduct?

Wish we had an after-the-fact edit button. But, also, what's with his rudeness to the father of the dead high school student?

bc :

On the day that Kavanaugh votes to uphold Roe v Wade in substance and in full, I will donate $128 to a charity of your choice.

I don't think we'll need to wait long.
Iowa has a case all tee'ed up that the Iowa Rs are really hoping is the case to take down Roe.

More criminal Republicans.

the Republicans of 1968 were able to support environmental regulation.

Southern strategy. 1968.

If you want to count from Goldwater, start the clock at 1964.

the historical norm of the winner of the presidential election getting to choose the nominee during a presidential election year

Show me the historical norm of a POTUS declining to nominate a replacement for a SCOTUS justice who passes away in February of an election year.

Never mind "historical norm", show me an example. One.

As far as shared values, I do not see that they exist. I don't want what you want.

Regarding Kavanaugh, his professional life up until W rewarded him with a judicial appointment was as an explicitly partisan (R) activist. Not a jurist who happened to be conservative in outlook, but a (R) hatchet man, openly and gladly so.

The man has no business on the Supreme Court.

I responded a while back that the quote from Kavanaugh bothered me too. But what I have seen since then has impressed. The endorsements from the clerks (more than half women), the affirmance rate by SCOTUS, his adherence to precedent, etc

FFS. he was nominated for one reason. look to the GOP base and their overwhelming support will tell you the reason.

if there was ANY doubt that Kavenaugh wasn't going to vote exactly in line with what Republicanism (in the age of Trump!!!!) demands, we would have heard it by now. we haven't.

endorsements from people who are going to have cases in front of him, or who are eager to see their students get clerk jobs? that's all chummy small-world-of-elite-lawyers politics.

All sarcasm aside there is more than enough to complain about on both sides.

Donald Trump wants to fuck his own daughter. let's see what the Dems have to say.

forgo a statewide recount in favor of a few overtly democrat counties.

"overtly Democratic," is what I think you meant to say. But leave that aside.

I agree that it would have been wiser to seek a statewide recount, though whether that was feasible I do not know.

That said, the Gore campaign took exactly the wrong strategy in selecting counties for a recount. Surely it would have been smarter to ask for a recount in heavily Republican counties. Correcting errors there was going to produce more Gore votes than correcting errors in Democratic counties.

bc: The endorsements from the clerks (more than half women), the affirmance rate by SCOTUS, his adherence to precedent, etc

You may have become aware of Kavanaugh's previous Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Excellence after he revealed himself to be a fawning sycophant, but such as they may have been they all occurred before he transparently lied -- or at least flaunted his entirely unjudicial disrespect for facts -- in order to suck up to He, Trump. Kavanaugh's "impressive" qualities are his past; his current persona is grovelling courtier.

An accomplished man who is "sober as a judge" does NOT giddily flatter his benefactor in public. He at least has brains enough to do his ass-kissing in private.

--TP

cleek :

I wish we weren't going there, even if it's true. There's more than enough other stuff to bring him down if it's going to happen.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/09/04/the-kavanaugh-hearings-at-long-last-sir-have-you-no-decency/

How ironic will it be if what actually takes Trump down is insulting Sessions for being a Southerner and thetefore dumb?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/southern-gop-senators-reject-trumps-criticism-of-sessions/2018/09/04/e87c76de-b09b-11e8-a20b-5f4f84429666_story.html

I think I disagree with Josh and Joel. The key issue in impeachment isn't whether or not you are sure you can get 67 Senators to convict (although that's important). The key issue is whether you can make a strong enough case that a decisive majority of the voters think Trump *should* have been convicted on the evidence. That will depend in part on the evidence that Mueller brings, and on what you can develop through committee hearings. So we shouldn't commit to definite impeachment yet.

But assuming that the evidence is there and can be made into that case for the voters, either their voters will convince enough Senators to go along (possibly at the last minute), or Democrats should then spend the next six years running a credible candidate against each and every R senator who voted against conviction, with the message: "Here's all the ways Trump was corrupt and was destroying the rule of law in this country. Senator X had the chance to stand up for democracy and hold Trump accountable, but he voted to keep him and his corruption in office. Vote now for the party who wants to protect our democracy and preserve liberty and justice *for all*."

If they are going to stick with Trump to the bitter end, make them fucking own it. Every last one of them.

The GOP leadership was open about not considering ANY SCOTUS nomination from Hillary Clinton, should she win. They declared that they would keep vacancies open if need be for 8 years. So, the doctrine they followed was that no (Dem) POTUS should nominate any SCOTUS justice in the last 8 years of being in office.

There's more than enough other stuff to bring him down if it's going to happen.

it isn't going to happen.

the GOP is a cult.

What Hartmut said.

That's not government.

That's something that requires a savage extinction.

If they are going to stick with Trump to the bitter end, make them fucking own it. Every last one of them.

Yes.

More about Kavanaugh's endorsements.

Great graphic in the WaPo:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/politics/trump-federal-judges/

Charles Pierce dissecting and ripping the hypocrisy of the Republican framing of yesterday's hearings, and the entire history.

If they are going to stick with Trump to the bitter end, make them fucking own it. Every last one of them.

Impeachment is a political process. First, the D's need to take the House. Then they have to decide if the impeachment effort is worth the candle.

Right now, I'd say yes, but 2020 is a long ways off. The R's could get a lot of mileage out of "They tried to take me down, but they failed!"

You know a lot of liberals mock leftists who espouse the "heighten the contradictions" strategy. But we are now faced with dealing with an entire powerful political party dedicated to very this way of looking at things....

We are in dangerous territory.

It's rich to see someone bringing up a purported "norm" as a justification for Republican nonsense in the norm-breaking environment we now find ourselves in thanks to the current leader of the Republican party. I guess respect for norms is ephemeral.

It's rich to see someone bringing up a purported "norm" ...

...who in the same paragraph writes about "democrat counties," which is either deliberate trolling or a bubble-habit so deeply ingrained that the writer is no longer conscious of the sneer.

Respect for norms is expedient, and as with everything else, there are degrees of challenge. Some challenges bend the system, others break it.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-says-nikes-stock-is-getting-absolutely-killed-with-anger-and-boycotts-2018-09-05?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Let's review. Cast your rheumy eyes to the far left of the chart to the date when a certain over-melanined individual took the oath of office .. for the first time:


http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/quickchart/quickchart.asp?symb=NKE&insttype=Stock&freq=2&show=&time=13

No norms. No rule of law.

Act accordingly, in spades:

If a republican/conservative points out the lack of precedence in your actions, slap their bloody fucking lying face.

You know a lot of liberals mock leftists who espouse the "heighten the contradictions" strategy

In modern America, the contradictions heighten themselves.

Brett Kavanaugh just gave a long answer to an Orrin Hatch question, explaining the affirmative action he took to hire female law clerks in the face of an established "pipeline" traditionally favoring male ones. He did not say "affirmative action", of course. Wrong branding. Just like you can't cut Medicare unless you call it an entitlement first, it's okay to take affirmative action as long as you don't call it affirmative action.

--TP

"deeply ingrained that the writer is no longer conscious of the sneer."

I have no idea why this matters, I know it does; I just have no idea why.

An interesting discussion over at 538
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/does-the-republican-party-belong-to-trump/
about (among other things) the extent to which Trump "owns" Republican elected officials. And what impact this fall's election might have on that.

"Democrat party" is just a Republicon typo.

--TP

And "democrat party" is just two typos.

I have no idea why this matters

Because people like to have their preferences about the language used to refer to them respected.

Because people view it as a slight when language that is commonly and deliberately used to basically poke that preference in the eye is used instead.

The use of eye-poking language might be deliberate, or it might be simply a matter of habit. Both possibilities are somewhat obnoxious.

Most likely, you knew all of that, but in case not, that's the breakdown.

Republicans are lucky to have a name that serves as both an adjective and a noun. Using "Democrat" (or "democrat") as an adjective is a more subtle version of "f**k your feelings."

on the bright side, "Democrat Party" makes the speaker sound like a 1960s southern blowhard.

on the bright side, "Democrat Party" makes the speaker sound like a 1960s southern blowhard.

On the not-so-bright side, that appeals to a significant minority of Americans.

yeah, the same jerks who wear Team Deplorable t-shirts.

Not original with me: "Democrat Party" is like making a point of calling someone Jimmy, and when they say they prefer James, saying "Got it, Jimmy."

I have no idea why this matters

D-I-S-R-E-S-P-E-C-T ...

Kavanaugh just gave a long answer to an Orrin Hatch question, explaining the affirmative action he took to hire female law clerks in the face of an established "pipeline" traditionally favoring male ones...

He should take a look at the Washington Post chart I posted above, which fairly clearly demonstrates the hiring practices of the guy who nominated him...whom he has displayed an somewhat injuducious tendency to fellate in public.

Sheldon Whitehouse FTW.

that is all.

Sure it was clear it was eye poking language, and still I dont know why it is eye poking language. If there is a history, I am not aware of it.

Google is your friend.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democrat_Party_(epithet)

Wikipedia is your friend, Marty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democrat_Party_(epithet)

Oh, boy.

Well, you won.

Marty has a lot of friends on the internet!

I hear he's totally killing it on Myspace.

and still I dont know why it is eye poking language. If there is a history, I am not aware of it...

Neither was I, Marty (I’m a Brit), but having been called out on it, I didn’t have a problem being polite, or feign disbelief that persisting might be a bit dickish.

If there is a history, I am not aware of it.

No worries.

The analogy to "Jimmy"/"James" upthread hits the nail on the head.

OK, so this is kind of a poser.

I have a couple of responses.

First, I can't think of a precedent for anything quite like this. Can anyone else?

Next, it pretty much pisses me off. You're telling me the POTUS sucks - dangerously so - but also telling me you're going to support him and support keeping him in office. Because you like tax cuts and deregulation.

Finally, it really pisses me off because it ends with a call to "rise above politics" and "come together".

You're benefiting from the presidency of a man you openly claim is utterly unsuited from the office, and will not do a thing about the fact that he's utterly unsuited to the office. Because you're benefiting from it - you're getting the policies you want.

But folks like me should put all of that aside and "come together"?

I'm not together with the author of this piece or with anyone like him. I don't see any basis for "coming together" with the author of this piece. Based on what was written here, this person strikes me as a whore for power.

You can't break and generally piss on the institutions that are the basis of political community, and then bemoan the lack of political community. WTF about that is hard to understand?

Quit moaning in the NYT op-ed pages and do your freaking duty.

This recent post over at Balkinization includes a great clip of Barbara Jordan discussing impeachment generally before moving on to the particulars of Nixon: https://balkin.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-best-originalist-speech-ever-given.html

poser.

Enablers and thieves.

Analogously, they make sure he has enough whiskey to get drunk, but not enough to kill himself. They hide the car keys when he's drunk, but won't take them away. They put documents he doesn't understand in front of him for his signature, and use those to advance their policy goals.

The author wants to think of him as a virtuous patriot, and wants us to view him that way too. IMHO, he's dishonest, manipulative scum.

Wow, Russell. Just wow.

But I don't really hear him saying:
You're telling me the POTUS sucks - dangerously so - but also telling me you're going to support him and support keeping him in office.
What I hear him saying is more like
- I would like this administration to succeed.
- But that mostly means working around Trump.
- If we could get rid of Trump, that would be great. But he doesn't see a path to get there right now. And until and unless that happens, the author intends to stay on the job, thwarting Trump as much as possible.

Yes, he does approve of a couple of things that have happened during this administration. Mostly, as far as I can see, where someone else (often, but not always, Congress; or officials who Trump OKed, but didn't actually pick; or even the Federalist Society) did something and Trump just went along with it. Pretty much never where Trump came up with something on his own and made it happen.

How are those tariffs turning out so far ?
https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Trade-War/Trump-refuses-deal-with-China-while-exports-sink-8.2

I guess we need a new government mandate to make ethanol from soybeans.

If we could get rid of Trump, that would be great. But he doesn't see a path to get there right now.

He -or she - declines to take the path to get there right now.

Basically, the NYT is publishing a letter from someone they claim is a "senior official in the Trump administration", telling us that yes, the guy is incompetent, but don't worry, we got this.

How is this not a coup d'etat?

By what authority does the author and his or her associates act to interfere with the actions and directives of the elected POTUS?

We are asked to (a) accept that the author is even who the NYT claims him or her to be, (b) accept that this anonymous person and his or her associates - all almost certainly unelected and appointees of the apparently unreliable POTUS - can be trusted to run the nation, and (c) respond to all of this by "coming together".

You have to be shitting me.

If the POTUS is unfit or incapable of exercising the office responsibly, there is a remedy. It's called the 25th A. It is not a "Constitutional crisis" to exercise that, it is exactly and precisely following the Constitution.

If the author is Cabinet level, and what is described here is accurate, failing to take that action is a dereliction of the duties of office.

Assuming the author is who the NYT claims they are, he or she and his or her associates are basically publicly proclaiming that they are usurping the office of the POTUS. And we should just go along with and "come together". Because, yeah Trump is out of control, but they got this. Whoever they are.

WT bloody F.

Interesting, this, from twitter.

I guess we need a new government mandate to make ethanol from soybeans.

Last I knew, we were already producing all the ethanol that could be safely blended into the gasoline supply. Using "safely" to mean keeping the percentage below the level where it starts to eat the fuel lines and fuel pump membranes in older cars, cause low-temperature starting problems, and more.

...who in the same paragraph writes about "democrat counties," which is either deliberate trolling or a bubble-habit so deeply ingrained that the writer is no longer conscious of the sneer.

Neither. But thanks for the false dichotomy. I didn't call it the "Democrat Party." I realize it is the Democratic Party. I think I had that sentence written differently (Democrat-controlled? led by Democrats?) and I changed it but didn't catch the adjective change.

And to think of all the "tea baggers" Rethuglicans and such that has been bandied about over the years intentionally, all I can say is wow, you guys are sensitive lately.

i'm betting it's not a "he".

i'm thinking Nikki Haley.

note the foreign policy focus and the reference to "some of his aides" but not "some of us".

I changed it but didn't catch the adjective change.

I find this completely believable. No snark.

you guys are sensitive lately.

the time is out of joint.

If the POTUS is unfit or incapable of exercising the office responsibly, there is a remedy. It's called the 25th A

He could still not see a path forward, just because he knows that there aren't even close to enough cabinet officials who would be willing to step up. Considering the ass kissing that apparently happens routinely in Trump's meetings with cabinet officials, that doesn't seem far fetched.

Is this a de facto coup? Yeah. But note that, at least as I read it, this isn't some career civil servant (aka the deep state). This is someone that Trump appointed to high office. Doesn't really make it better, but it does make it different. IMHO.

if you know he's a danger, but you also know there will be no 25th A remedy and that there will be no impeachment remedy ... what are your options?

quit and hope your replacement is more effective at corralling him (and won't just enable him?) that's a big gamble.

i'd like to think i'd stay and try to rally support for impeachment or the 25th A. which is probably why this was written.

And to think of all the "tea baggers" Rethuglicans and such that has been bandied about over the years intentionally, all I can say is wow, you guys are sensitive lately.

I haven't used the term "Rethuglican, which is more on a par with "DemonCrat" or the like than "Democrat Party." I haven't seen it used here, though maybe someone has done so. Still, neither term is used routinely by Senators and other high officials. "Democrat party" is so used, often, and it must be, at this point, considered a deliberate poke in the eye when used by them. Yeah. Civility.

As for "teabaggers," I confess that I was completely unaware of the offensive connotation, and did use it before I learned better. It didn't seem to be an inappropriate term for people who hung lots of teabags from their hats.

what are your options?

For an honest person ?
One who takes their Constitutional duties seriously ?

1. Stay. Quietly gather evidence.
Go to Mueller.
Testify.

2. Resign.
Go to Mueller
Testify.

i'd like to think i'd stay and try to rally support for impeachment or the 25th A. which is probably why this was written.

Except neither suggestion is made. In fact, the 25th Amendment option was stated to be a "Constitutional crisis." No, the Constitutional crisis is that the need for Constitutional remedies is obvious, but are being ignored. Why that is may be more complicated than greed and lust for power, but it certainly seems that those are the compelling reasons.

I will withhold judgment until I think about it more, but for now, I don't trust the bona fides of the author. The timing obscures a very contentious Supreme Court hearing, in which the nominees ethics are seriously being questioned. Why did this person choose this moment to say what's happening? Who will benefit from this? Who will take action who is not already doing so? It doesn't add up to a heroic move. I hope I'm wrong.

Iirc the term 'teabagger/ing' was used initially by the guys themselves until someone informed them that it was already taken.

I admit having used the term GOPsters on a regular base (to me it came more natural to read GOP as rhyming with blob not sea o'pee).
And imo the mentality of the party leadership has mobbish qualities indeed.
I think it is only a matter of time before Gottwald* Party would become the most apt term.

*after this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klement_Gottwald

Gottwald* Party

I like it. Maybe GOPwald Party. Interesting biography, Hartmut. Thanks.

I've used disparaging terms for the lRepublican Party, because I don't like it, and more and more it becomes, well, what Hartmut said. If people don't like the Democratic Party, and call it the democrat party, I know what they think of the people I vote for. Whatever. They should know, though, that it's a disparaging term, and that most people take it that way.

"or feign disbelief that persisting might be a bit dickish."

Now I'm not sure what this meant.

But I do understand the history, although probably not the intensity of reaction. I got my answer from the internet after all.

Having said that, I do try hard to always type it correctly anyway.

One of my first lessons from Hilzoy on this site was not to use left or democrat for shorthand (this was back when I was a republican/conservative, poking away at a blackberry probably 50 yards from Andrew Olmstead in Fort Leavenworth, 2007). I was definitely surprised these were pejorative, but complied. I understood liberal was pejorative.

I don't feel it, though. Now that I am a convert, I don't think democrat party is bad. I think the names of both parties are stupid. Republicans certainly think they believe in democracy, and are therefore democratic. Democrats believe in the republic, and are therefore republicans.

Neither term conforms to the trademark rules I understand. Apple Computers can be trademarked, Apple apples cannot. Same should be true for political parties.

In honor of the Kavanaugh hearings, I posted the above as I recall it. It may have been 'liberal' that I used, knowing that it was pejorative, but was again poking away on a blackberry in a bunk at Funston, on Fort Leavenworth. In any event, I am sure Hilzoy was annoyed enough to bless me with contact.

I thought about confirming my memory...but this memory game we use for confirmations just seems unreasonable. It is an overly legalistic way to determine whether someone should be selected (I get the irony).

We got here by allowing potential justices to avoid actual questions about their beliefs ("that is a hypothetical.") There is no Constitutional reason to allow that. The Senate evolved that way when it was collegial. It no longer is, and the Democrat party no longer has to accept those answers.

Sorry, interesting times here. I was in Osaka with a friend for the typhoon and we watched Netflix and drank. My friend doesn't have NHK (which works like BBC) I was only aware of how bad things were the day after, and this am, the earthquake in Hokkaido, where is where my father-in-law lives (he lives near Chitose, but he's fine, but we couldn't get in touch with him for a couple of hours)

For bc
I think I had that sentence written differently (Democrat-controlled? led by Democrats?) and I changed it but didn't catch the adjective change.

I realize that this might be over-analyzing it, but I'm curious why you had 'overtly' there. I realize that we all make mistakes and lots of things can happen in rewriting comments, especially working in a comment box or on a phone. But why 'overtly'? Are there 'covert' counties?

Anyway, Marty, one reason for the intensity of reaction is from the fact that the comment was hanging there for quite a while. It's hard to take into account the asynchronous nature of comments and the absence of response. It's also, I think, not really the reaction that's the issue.

At any rate, I can understand making a mistake on editing, what with comment boxes and phones, but what I don't understand why bc needs to claim that people who point it out are 'sensitive'. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't, but the issue is that people are not going to take the writer seriously here and I assume that the writer wants to be taken seriously. So it's not a question of whether the other side is 'sensitive', it is whether the writer wants to make a case to the other side, so they want to put the terms to get their ideas across.

Matt's 12:34 about James/Jimmy is precisely on target, and you have to imagine the person who gives some reason for why they used Jimmy and then complains that the hearer is being oversensitive is basically saying 'I don't care about your feelings'. I hope that explains why I think that it is not the sensitivity that is the issue, it is the way the discussion has gone.

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