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November 14, 2019

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This is not a threat against anyone’s life, but a demographic statement. What will fix our politics is death. Trump supporters will die off faster than the American population at large, mostly because they’re older, but also because they are less healthy. A decent percentage in the next decade.

Although those things have always been with us, it seems that the lip service that used to be paid to democracy and democratic institutions kept us from falling off the cliff. Why have Republicans all but abandoned that?

I think what it comes down to is this. In Trump they, specifically their voters, have found someone analogous to Jim Jones. Someone to follow with blind faith (thus avoiding both the effort of thinking for themselves and the responsibility for their own actions),

At least he hasn't announced that they all need to commit suicide. Yet. On the other hand, if he loses the election, all bets are off.

i don't know if any of you have encountered the latest wingnut fever dreams regarding US Atty John Durham, or not. but he was picked by Barr to see if there was anything wrong with how the Russia investigations ultimately started. wingnutland has been crowing about how Durham was going to take down the entire deep state and totally exonerate Trump (again!), etc., etc..

well...

not looking like that's gonna hap'n

At least he hasn't announced that they all need to commit suicide. Yet.

i'm seriously surprised he hasn't told his cult to start killing his Enemies. yet.

Please indulge we while I engage in a little wild optimism.

I note two things. First, there are persistant reports that GOP members of Congress are privately disgusted with Trump. Second, the last couple of days saw multiple Republican Senators saying flat out that Ukraine didn't interfere in the 2016 election, but Russia did. That is, Trump's narrative on that is bullsh*t.

Now suppose you are a Republican Senator** who has listened to/seen the publicly available evidence and knows damn well that Trump's guilty. What do you do?

Well what you don't do is stand up right now and say so. All that gets you is weeks of pressure from Trump and his idolizers. Instead, you mostly keep quiet; maybe you even make a few minor supportive statements. Then, when the moment comes for the actual vote in the Senate, you do what must be done. It still gets howls of outrage from the true believers, of course. But chances are, by the next election, most of them will have new grievances to distract them.

Likely? Probably not. At least not in the numbers required for actual removal. But then again....

** Apologies to anyone whose brain exploded as a result!

My bet: there will be 0-2 GOP senators voting for removing Trump from office.
Depending on the circumstances Susan Collins will get the permission from the Moss Cow Midge to do so in order to save her seat. If there is another one, it will be one of those retiring anyway. No GOP senator (apart from Collins) trying to get re-elected will vote against Jabba-Bonk.

my guess is that they're figuring that if they maintain total party unity, it will reinforce the lie that the whole thing is a purely partisan revenge stunt. and that will create enough doubt that they can hide under it.

if one or two defect, it breaks that illusion. so i don't think McConnell will be giving anyone permission. Trump certainly won't, and he's what they fear most.

If even 2 (R) Senators vote to remove Trump from office, I'll be astounded.

The POTUS is corrupt, in ways that compromise his office and the country, and has been demonstrated to be so in the public record, repeatedly.

And there is no effective remedy, because his party will get his back to the bitter end. We all just have to live with it, until at least January 2021, if not beyond.

The nation is basically defenseless against an executive who is both thoroughly unscrupulous, and popular enough to win the Electoral College. There doesn't appear to be a way to fix that is politically feasible, and also doesn't break a lot of other stuff.

So, we all get to share Marty's sh*t sandwich. Yummy!

Show up and vote next November, and in the meantime do what you can to mitigate the worst excesses of this venal clown show wherever you can.

my guess is that they're figuring that if they maintain total party unity, it will reinforce the lie that the whole thing is a purely partisan revenge stunt.

I expect that's McConnell's take. The thing is, if a couple do defect, it could cascade. That kind of cascade is what we saw with Nixon.

Today's Republicans are more intimidated. And I think that likely to delay them coming out of the closet. But not, perhaps (repeat perhaps), enough to stop them altogether - "permission" or not. Still, as noted, a low probability, super-optimistic possibility. But not impossible.

As I said the only calculation that would yield any GOP 'defection' would be an assumed certain loss of a senate seat (i.e. potentially Collins) or an angry 'I am out of here, go to hell everyone!' from someone who has no need to stay in the party leadership's good graces because (s)he is really retiring for good and not on the lookout for a lucrative position afterwards (i.e. a true parting shot).
Imo 0 is the likeliest outcome, 1 a non-negligible probability, 2 very unlikely and more than 2 practically zero.

i wouldn't even defect then. it would mean spending the rest of my life having to worry that some Republican vigilante is going to burn my house down or hang my dog to make me pay for blaspheming against St Trumpus.

Regime cleavage.

We are on the razor edge.

A reminder there are vile regimes that Trump is not friends with.
https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/05/us-envoy-iran-protesters-killed-076378

A reminder there are vile regimes that Trump is not friends with.

Hey, nobody's perfect....

Trump Towers Tehran would fix that

OK, say goodbye to Biden.

Although all of that mess might actually peel off a few Trump voters.

Somehow, I missed this during yesterday's hearings.
https://www.businessinsider.com/rep-matt-gaetz-suggested-impeaching-obama-trump-impeachment-inquiry-2019-12

What planet are these people from again...?

Matt Gaetz: "You actually can impeach a former President, FWIW"

hmm... maybe the House Dems could keep an Article in their back pocket for later...

OK, say goodbye to Biden.

oof. mighty thin-skinned of him.

not a good look.

“ A reminder there are vile regimes that Trump is not friends with.”

Yes, we can all be overjoyed that Trump has imposed brutal sanctions that are meant to target the civilian population, in hopes of creating unrest with the brutal regime then cracking down and murdering hundreds of people. We can then condemn them and pose as defenders of freedom. Win, win. Well done,President Trump. Here at least he is acting within the broad mainstream of American foreign policy.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/10/29/iran-sanctions-threatening-health

SURE a former president could be impeached. It would just have to result in a lifetime ban on holding any further federal office.

Why, there wasn't any actual constitutional barrier to impeaching Trump *before he was elected*, with a lifetime bar on holding office. If the GOPers really, really REALLY didn't like Trump, they could have done it: they held the House in 2016, a majority in the Senate, and I'd bet that nearly all of the Dems would join in voting to convict.

So, if ever Dems get 2/3 of the Senate, a prophylactic impeachment of everyone who voted for Trump would be my choice.

Either that, or crucifixion. Their choice.

What planet are these people from again...?

Planet flaming asshole.

Planet flaming asshole.

i saw them open for The Swans, 1992

The Swans

haha!! took me right back to days of listening to Glen Branca while wondering why my head hurt so much.

beautiful painful loud noise.

Planet flaming asshole.

So, this planet then...

Sunny Side Down: Avengers’ Josh Brolin’s bum is left ‘crazy burned’ after trying controversial ‘perineum sunning’ wellness trend

ouch!

The thing is, if a couple do defect, it could cascade. That kind of cascade is what we saw with Nixon.

That 'kind of cascade' was driven by the total collapse of Nixon's public support. Otherwise, the GOP was all in for him up until that moment.

Absent that kind of cascade, it will remain total political civil war increasingly driven by those who don't care to take any prisoners.

Batten down the hatches.

Certainly it's a low probability scenario. Depending as it does on the GOP's leaders making the radical decision to actually lead, rather than following the polls like sheep.

Deep state in real life.

https://theintercept.com/2019/12/04/george-bush-barack-obama-and-the-cia-torture-cover-up/

This is worse than Ukrainegate. But we have to look forward, not back.

But we have to look forward, not back.

For openers, neither Bush no Obama are currently President. Trump, unfortunately, is.

Just here to validate both the Iron Maiden comments earlier and the Swans reference. Y'all make me feel at home.

And it's Year End List time on the music websites, which means I'll be discovering all manner of good new stuff that was under my radar during the year. I've got nine tabs open to bandcamp already as reminders to chase down what I've found.

At least the Great American Meltdown and the Holocene Climapocalypse will have a good soundtrack. Blackened psychedelic post-metal drone for the death of mankind.

I am fine with impeaching Trump. It would set a nice precedent. But we have a bunch of slime ball CIA people running around posturing as a Trump opponents, including John Brennan. Is there a statute of limitations on war crimes and covering up for war crimes

The CIA committed war crimes. They destroyed some of the evidence. They spied on Congress when they were being investigated and the Obama Administration sided with them. Nothing was done. There really truly are unaccountable bureaucrats in the government and some liberals have made heroes of our wonderful intelligence agencies.

The rule of law is a joke in this country and even if a Trump is impeached and convicted and booted from office, this will not change.

The rule of law is a joke in this country and even if a Trump is impeached and convicted and booted from office, this will not change.

Of course, no matter what the issue, any single step in the right direction must be utterly scorned if it does not involve a total solution.
/sarcasm

I confess I really do not understand the all-or-nothing mindset.

https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1202784879957729280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1202784879957729280&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F12%2Flinks-12-8-19.html

The “all or nothing” mindset is simply your dismissive description.

The actual mindset is this. People who are morally outraged about the rule of law when it is politically convenient are not truly concerned about the rule of law and many of us know this. It actually leads to less respect for the rule of law. It is seen as what it is— a political weapon to be deployed when convenient, but otherwise ignored. Trump is hated because he doesn’t break the law the way it is supposed to be broken— with decorum. He is crude and open and contemptuous of the niceties. This actually matters, but so does the fact that lawbreaking in DC is more of a norm than we admit.

Note that Nancy Pelosi says quite explicitly that she knew the Bush Administration was lying about the WMDs —the professed legal basis for starting the Iraq War,—but she did not think this was an impeachable offense.

Literally launching a war of aggression on false pretenses is not impeachable. This from the current top Democratic politician in the country.

I don’t want all or nothing. I want people to stop sending signals to politicians that it is okay for them to think like Pelosi. There should be widespread discussion about how there are greater crimes than Ukrainegate that went unpunished and which people don’t even label as crimes.

There should be widespread discussion about how there are greater crimes than Ukrainegate that went unpunished and which people don’t even label as crimes.

Take or teach a history class?

History is a foreign country and therefore irrelevant (unless it has exploitable resources, of course).

There should be widespread discussion about how there are greater crimes than Ukrainegate that went unpunished and which people don’t even label as crimes.

maybe there should be.

but Trump is going to be impeached, nonetheless.

maybe there should be.

There actually is, and has been, among people who care about things - a lot of us started commenting here during the Bush era, exactly to discuss things like this.

It's interesting to me that Nancy Pelosi is the alleged villain cited as anti-rule-of-law. This doesn't seem a discussion of what crimes should or shouldn't go unpunished as much as an exercise in whataboutism.

Pelosi spoke out strongly against the Bush-era abuses. Impeachment wasn't going to fly, and she didn't pursue it. During the Obama years, we certainly talked about the value and feasibility of locking people up for torture policies and financial crimes.

Probably the best way to start holding people accountable is to start now holding them accountable instead of blaming our most honorable politicians for failing to do the impossible during an earlier time.

WDS

I'm pretty "all or nothing" when it comes to torture.

As in, two ways to rid the USA of the propensity to use torture:

1. Give the the torturers, all of them, from Dubya on down, the 'Nuremberg Treatment': trial, conviction, short drop, long dangle.

2. Expand torture to track down RW terroistic violence and collaboration with Russia. Start with Terry Nichols, already in federal custody for OK city bombing terrorism, and roll up the entire network. My bet? You waterboard Nichols long enough and he'll mutter the word 'Cheney'.

All of the willful blindness in the past 15 years have just made it certain that the torture disease will re-erupt. It has to be burned out.

I think we keep proving that our government works. Bush didn't deserve impeachment,Clinton did but not removal, same is true for Trump, Nixon got what he deserved ,Pelosi has a pretty good sense of all that, Mitch has been quiet during the hearings because he does too.

This could really be hurting our country more but I think Pelosi and McConnell are managing their bases expectations so we will get over this.

Both expect Trump will be gone next year anyway.

Snarki, I'm not suggesting that we take a single step and stop. I'm saying that we shouldn't refuse to take that single step and wait until we can do the whole journey at once. Especially when there is some doubt that achieving a complete solution is even possible in our lifetime.

I completely agree on torture. But even if burning it out doesn't include life sentences for everyone involved in it in the past few decades, it would still be worth doing.

What I hear Donald saying, quite clearly, is "there's no point in impeaching Trump if we don't punish everybody who did as bad or worse things in previous administrations." And I just can't see that.

What I hear Donald saying, quite clearly, is "there's no point in impeaching Trump if we don't punish everybody who did as bad or worse things in previous administrations." And I just can't see that.

wj,
I do not feel that Donald is making that argument. What I hear is, "Others have done as bad or worse and gotten away with it, and we should recognize it for what it is....a deep political disease afflicting our country." This is a fairly standard lefty critique.

What snarki said, except I'm not a fan of his #2. If we cross that moral line and do the same as the evil ones, then it should be a public spectacle. Cheney, Bush, and Yoo should be stripped naked and waterboarded on national TV and everybody forced to watch and see for themselves how "harmless" it is. Hell, they might even confess.

Clinton should not have been impeached. It was a right wing smear job. Congressional censure would have been enough. Bush lied us into a war. He should have been impeached. I don't see Mitch's silence as "managing the base". I mean, really? But I do hope Marty is right about us "getting over this". Time, as they say, will tell.

This is an example of the deep, and commonly overlooked damage Trump is inflicting. His administration is doing similar things at EPA, Education, Interior, etc. Left untouched...our bloated military.

This is not "draining the swamp". It is, in conjunction with a fanatically wingnut judiciary, the crowning achievement of dismantling the New Deal and a return to a new Gilded Age.

This is an example of the deep, and commonly overlooked damage Trump is inflicting.

Overlooked in some circles. I'm pretty sure that the destruction of our institutional knowledge and expertise is noticed (and applauded) by the libertarian fanatics among the Republican donors and supporters. It is, after all, why the love Trump so much more than other GOP politicians.

“ What I hear Donald saying, quite clearly, is "there's no point in impeaching Trump if we don't punish everybody who did as bad or worse things in previous administrations."”

Not really. I do think that if we only invoke the rule of law when it is politically convenient it contributes to the cynicism people feel about government. Everything, including facts, becomes partisan.

We should impeach Trump, if possible. He is breaking the norm that Presidents shouldn’t be openly corrupt. I’m not being sarcastic in saying that there really is some value to the tribute that vice pays to virtue. It is better to have a hypocritical society rather than one where our Presidents are open lawbreakers. ( I need to qualify that. I think they already are open lawbreakers, but people don’t see it when it comes to war crimes. We as a society only see the lesser crimes. Still, at least we see some things as crimes and it is a step backwards to throw away the pathetic norms we have.)

We tend to slide downhill. So Trump has set the bar permanently lower unless rebuked in some fashion.

But I am saying our political culture is corrupt and the problem is deeper than one incredibly narcissistic buffoon. And Pelosi didn’t say she couldn’t impeach Bush then. She said what Bush did, misrepresenting the evidence on WMD’s, didn’t merit impeachment. But it was a much worse crime than Ukrainegate by any rational standard. Starting a war on false pretenses is, if I understand correctly, a crime against humanity. Bush got away with it. I suspect Pelosi doesn’t think it was a crime because many politicians in both parties were complicit. Plus American politicians and the foreign policy “ blob” have a vested interest in pretending that only foreigners ( the ones who are our enemies at the moment) can be war criminals.

As for torture, this was just five years ago that the Senate investigated and the CIA spied on them. People like John Brennan should be in jail. I don’t usually watch the pbs Newshour because it makes me angry, but I saw people associated with the movie “ The Report” a week or two ago and they presented it as a success story, because the report came out. Well, no. The CIA destroyed much of the evidence, the CIA spied on Congress and people got away with it. In this case there really was a deep state of unaccountable bureaucrats. The term “ deep state” isn’t generally useful because there isn’t some giant secretive organization controlling everything, but it kinda fits in this case.

She said what Bush did, misrepresenting the evidence on WMD’s, didn’t merit impeachment.

No, she didn't.

Yes, it's true, during the Bush years, no-one here ever spoke out inopposition to the torture regime, or about the fabrication of evidence justifying the invasion of Iraq.

Nobody ever critcized Obama for his 'look forward, not back' approach to dealing with that legacy.

C'mon, man.

I think we keep proving that our government works

The proof of that will be the removal of Trump from office.

Overlooked in some circles. I'm pretty sure that the destruction of our institutional knowledge and expertise is noticed (and applauded) by the libertarian fanatics among the Republican donors and supporters.

And don't forget how happy it's making America's enemies!

As for the first part of that LGM/GQ article (I haven't read the rest yet), surprise surprise (sarcasm).

The DCM (deputy chief of mission) in London is the diplomat who actually runs the whole thing, because the Ambassador is a political appointee who normally knows nothing, and just does all the ceremonial stuff etc. I'm not a bit surprised that Woody Johnson fired Lukens: he (WJ) is a halfwit (as amply revealed in a recent documentary about the US embassy in London) who, among other feats, was the first to raise the inclusion of the NHS in any trade talks. Lukens is, by that account and also clearly by his position, an experienced diplomat doing his actual job in trying to keep relations between the two good countries good. Of course Johnson fired him.

“ Nobody ever critcized Obama for his 'look forward, not back' approach to dealing with that legacy.

C'mon, man.“

I see people saying it is absolutely necessary that Trump be impeached even if he won’t be removed from office because we need t establish a line. It is the principle of the thing. Was that the majority Democratic view regarding war crimes? I don’t even think it was the majority view here. Countrywide, once Obama came in, interest in war crimes died. Obama committed his own.

“ No, she didn't.”

Bull crap.

Once Obama came into offfice, look f

because we need t establish a line.

I think in general the objections to Trump have to do with his personal corruption, his welcoming and even solicitation of foreign interference in US elections, and his absolute refusal to honor and respond to any attempt at oversight.

So, lines.

There are other lines that could be drawn, for instance actions that are arguably war crimes. As a nation, and across most political lines, those appear to be lines we are less interested in drawing.

I think that's the point you're trying to make here, if not I am more than open to correction. In any case, whether it is or is not the point you're trying to make, it's not a point I have any disagreement with.

I guess it's good timing that this discussion is going on when the story breaks on lies spanning multiple administrations about the war in Afghanistan.

He the Donald plans to use actual hands-on war criminals in his 2020 campaign. The same 3 ones he meddled with military justice for. I assume William Calley is not considered suitable anymore since he apologized for his deeds in 2009 (and He the Donald may like apologists but not those that apologize since that shows weakness).

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