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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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13 Responses

  1. Very well elaborated. Bravo!

  2. Excellent post. I also like the summation “weak person’s strong man” and it would not have been possible if he had not inherited that wealth giving a veneer of success further promulgated by the media and that motherfucker Mark Burnett.

  3. Is trump the weak Lindsey Graham’s strong man? just wow at this despicable statement.

  4. I completely agree that it is absolutely imperative that the Democrats win the House. If not, let’s just say that all of this will be moot; there will be no impeachment, no Mueller investigation, no independent Justice Department, no independent courts. One can either leave the country while still possible, or hunker down in a Blue state and hope that there are still protections there. I try not to think about this kind of thing, and just hope that we win the House, and by sufficient margin to keep oligarchs from buying off sufficient Congressmen to flip it. Remember, Republicans will do, and have done, anything to keep power.

    Following that thread, Democrats need to do everything they can to win the House, that is the only goal right now. Whatever that takes. I do not think that calling for impeachment does us much good right now. “We will be a check on Trump,” might work to some extent. I wish that the artificially inflated stock market did not obscure the destruction of the economy that is taking place, and that we should be able to run against. Obviously, issues vary from district to district, but I would concentrate on health care, because everyone cares about that, and the Republicans are ready to destroy the ACA, and cut Medicare and Social Security. I hope this is emphasized over and over. Meanwhile, the stock market is being pushed up by institutions in front of the midterms, so Trump can claim that he is spurring the economy to new highs.. After the midterms, the market will drop significantly. That is why Trump contends that if he is impeached, the markets will crash; everything he says is not from his meager intellect, it is from what he is told by his buddies. Markets almost always go up in front of an election, if the Republican is in power, then they drop. It is indeed a rigged game, but in favor of Republicans, of course.

    Now, if Democrats win the House, they will never get Trump out of office unless the Mueller report is devastating; and even so, it will only be if Republican senators decide that Trump is costing them elections. They can certainly live with Pence. It is really a Scylla and Charybdis situation for us: do we want to try to get rid of Trump, only to get Pence; or do we just suffer through a very weakened Trump, and try to sweep the board in 2020? Both are very depressing choices. But Democrats have to stand for the right, so if the evidence becomes clear, as I think it will, that Trump basically sold off the country to the Russians for money and power, we have to impeach. If it is not so clear, then I’d settle for investigations and lawsuits which would destroy Trump’s finances.

    Trump is a mortal danger to this country, so is Pence; so are the Republicans, which have morphed into a pack of zombie-like creatures who have no interest in the truth, or in any value but their winning. Lindsay Graham had the audacity to say today that if anyone had done “what Hillary did with her mails, they would be in jail.” That is an utter lie,or maybe his defense would be that he is that stupid. You cannot rationally deal with sick and twisted people who create their own reality. The whole Republican Party is like this now. And yes, all that sanctimony about honor and moral purity when they were trying to get Bill Clinton, was all just a convenient pretense. They still revel in the fact that Clinton will go down in history as only one of two presidents to be impeached. Hillary would have been the third, because they would have started impeachment proceedings in her first month of office. Only overwhelming defeats at the ballot box, over the next decades, will stop this. But the makeup of our electoral system, and a Supreme Court which will validate all vote suppression and gerrymandering, make that a longshot. And does anyone want to bet against the media immediately saying, if the Democrats take the House, that “Democrats must guard against overconfidence, and must work with Republicans on compromise legislation”? You know, only cut half of Medicare instead of all of it.

  5. Voting in the midterms is a nuclear deterrent.

    That is a spectacular statement. It should be on bumper stickers, billboards, and across the internet. Everywhere!

  6. I think it’s absolutely imperative for him to be impeached as soon as humanly possible. I think choice # 2 of not running on impeachment but doing it anyway is maybe the smartest/safest? Waiting till 2020 is a sure fire way of emboldening his base and having Russia steal the election again. If the dems take control in the fall, my dream to do list would be – impeachment, Russian sanctions, elimination of electoral college, pass the protecting American votes and election act

    • Taking control of the House will not give Democrats sufficient votes in the Senate to convict – which renders impeachment a pretty futile act unless there’s sufficient evidence of criminal conduct to persuade Senate Republicans to turn on Trump. Even if every Senate seat that’s up this year goes Democratic, the Democrats will not have the numbers to convict on their own. I think a failed impeachment attempt would boost Trump, not diminish him.

      Eliminating the electoral college (a bad idea anyway in my view) requires a constitutional amendment. That takes not only a supermajority in both the House and Senate (the latter of which cannot possibly happen this year), but also ratification by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states. Do you really think low-population states are going to ratify an Amendment which essentially surrenders any influence over the election of the President to more populous ones? Hell, we couldn’t even get the ERA passed when it was supported by *both* parties (as it was until Reagan). It only takes 13 states to stop an Amendment cold: Republicans currently have total control of 31 state legislatures, with 4 divided (some states have unicameral legislatures, some have bicameral legislatures).

      There are important things we need to work on: preventing the destruction/privatization of Social Security and Medicare, holding the ground on healthcare to lay the groundwork for single-payer in 2020, some sort of debt relief for student debt so young people can get a decent start, preserving workers rights, preventing further deregulation of banking, lending, and the financial markets, environmental protection, infrastructure (remember that, Mr. Trump?), helping the US citizens in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Gulf Coast recover from last year’s hurricanes (instead of abandoning them as the current administration has) and lots more. Abandoning that for months in order to conduct an ultimately unsuccessful show trial is irresponsible. Would it make us all feel good? Of course it would – but it wouldn’t accomplish anything.

      Obviously that all can change depending on what Mueller uncovers. I think Trump’s a crook. I’ve always thought Trump was a crook. But what you think and what you can prove are two very different things. Turning impeachment into a political tool (as was done to Clinton) is beneath the dignity of the Republic. Find sufficient evidence of serious misconduct? Well then, as the Romans used to say, “Fiat justitia ruat cælum!

      • Are you alleging that the system can stand as is? I think there is now a consensus that the election was rigged and stolen. We will never get anything accomplished if we do not put a stop to the electoral college process (think of the progress that has been impeded! We could have had 2 decades of democratic presidents at this point!) The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee that all 50 states have to give their electoral votes to the popular vote winner. There is no constitutional amendment needed. Connecticut recently just signed it in to law.

      • Single payer is not going to happen in 2020. Single payer sounds good until people find out the taxes they are going to pay and then it completely collapses. There are lots of ways to get universal coverage and single payer is probably the weakest link in that. There’s also a lot of problems with single payer like the Hyde Amendment and somebody like Mike Pence running women’s healthcare. We don’t need regulation of banks, etc. What we need is oversight. You can write all the regulations until the cows come home but if nobody is going to enforce them they are less than worthless.

  7. Unfortunately, it appears that the Democrats in Florida might have lost their chance to possibly win the governorship, by selecting the mayor of Tallahassee, who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders. The only reason he won is that the two other Democrats got about 53% between them, and thus split the vote enough for him to win. Democrats had a good chance to win against the person who won the Republican primary, but I doubt that they will now. Nothing that can be done about it, but this is the danger of having three viable candidates in a primary,; the winner is going to get 34% of the vote, and is unlikely to expand that sufficiently to win. With the 2020 governorships being crucial because of the census, this can be very costly. People really should think about nominating the person who is more likely to win the general election, unless that person is just awful, which was not at all the case in this race. The day that Sanders leaves politics will be a good one for the Democratic Party, at least in my view. I do not believe that anyone he has endorsed has ever won a general election race.

    • The general consensus is that Gillum was the weakest of the 3 candidates running in the primary. The GOP is already calling him a socialist because of the idiot Bernie campaigning for him. The problem is not Bernie alone. Candidates can tell him to stay far away.

  8. William Saletan at Slate:

    We Already Know Trump Is Betraying His Country 👿

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/trump-chose-putin-over-america-right-in-front-of-us.html

  9. Media and Bernie bots do their part in propping up Bernie Sanders. Don’t fall for it.

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