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      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 25, 2019 by Tony Wikrent Economics Action Group, North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Give No Heed to the Walking Dead [The Scholar’s Stage, via Naked Capitalism 8-18-19] The People’s Republic of China is wealthier than any rival America has faced. Its leaders are convinced […]
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To impeach or not to impeach

I heard someone on the radio say last night that Trump is the “weak person’s strong man”.

Weakness could mean so many different things but I think he’s referring to a kind of weakness of morals and thought. A weak person doesn’t attempt to reason or discover the root causes of their unhappiness. A weak person allows the bully to do the work they feel incapable of doing. Success or self actualization takes hard work and introspection, knowing oneself and one’s limitations.

It’s so much easier to let someone like Trump kick people when they’re down as long as they’re the right people.

*********************

Fivethirtyeight had a debate over whether or not the Democrats should run on impeachment with each member of the group taking a different argument for or against. The choices were:

1.) Run on impeachment.

2.) Don’t run on impeachment but win the House and do it anyway.

3.) Wait until the findings of the Mueller investigation, then decide if impeachment is warranted.

4.) Don’t impeach in any case. Wait until 2020 and vote Trump out.

But there is a fifth argument that they didn’t discuss that is for me the best one.

5.) Choice.

It goes like this:

We don’t know what the results of the Mueller investigation are going to show. It could be nothing more than a minor infraction, like Clinton lying about what he did with Monica. The impeachment bar was set dangerously low in order to carry out a hit on Clinton. And while there are still some elderly ladies who reach for their smelling salts over the concept of blow jobs in the Oval Office, the rest of us understand that the breathless declarations of horror and honor besmirched were cynical and opportunistic. The infraction itself did not meet the requirements of “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

I think we can all agree that none of us want to go through that again.

But what if what Mueller finds, as it looks increasingly likely, that Trump is running an organized crime racket and was conspiring with a foreign government to put America at the service of that foreign government. What if Trump has committed human rights violations? What if he commits war crimes? Like stealing another country’s oil? Let’s just think of the most likely scenario: Mueller finds evidence of extensive money laundering, bank fraud and tax evasion and assisting Russia of manipulating the election in order to secure the lifting of sanctions.

I think even the most hardened Trumper would have to admit that if there were hard evidence of Trump committing crimes that none of the rest of us could get away with, that impeachment would be reasonable. But if that’s not enough, let’s say that Mueller finds the smoking gun that authorized Russian hackers to change election results in Pennsylvania.

And let’s say that this coincides with a economic difficulty caused by tariffs or maybe healthcare insurance becomes unaffordable to all but the wealthy who can afford to take care of themselves due up Trump’s intentional dismantling of Obamacare.

If Republicans are in charge of the House and Senate when that comes out, and Trump decides to strike out at his opponents, there will be nothing voters can do to put the genie back in the bottle.

The party doesn’t appear to have any inclination to hold Trump accountable, no matter what he does. That makes the upcoming election especially critical. Given Trump’s temperament and appetite for power, there will be no one to check him unless Democrats get the house back.

Think of it as nuclear deterrent.

There’s nothing voters like less than choice. They don’t like it when you shove someone down their throats and tell them they have no choice. They don’t like it when their choices are taken away from them. And according to game theory, you are more likely to win by trading what you have for what’s behind door number 2.

But voting to continue the Republican lock on all three branches of government effectively eliminates all possibility of choice down the road.

You may choose to impeach, you may have to, even if you don’t want to now. You can’t do that with Republicans in charge. So, giving Democrats control of the House will at least allow the voter to apply pressure on the Senate to hold Trump accountable. Without it, we might as well be living under a dictator. A very childish, spoiled, criminal, cruel, vindictive dictator.

*****************************

Walk to work music:

That’s the best argument.

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