Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jace, Basilissa

U.S. Politics: Dirt From Ukrainians, Bombs for Iranians, Shut Down Your Brainiums...

Recommended Posts

51 minutes ago, DMC said:

Doesn't that simply demonstrate for a certainty that as long as a president holds onto his base there aren't even political risks to illegal behavior?

That hasn't been proven at the voting booth -- and that is what matters.  If the Dems don't do this they are going to lose there too, then truly effed.

In the meantime China's made a massive deal with Russia for wheat and soybeans, thereby truly ruining the US agri sector for this market -- they won't get it back.  Maybe they will have learned this by election day.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Zorral said:

That hasn't been proven at the voting booth -- and that is what matters.  If the Dems don't do this they are going to lose there too, then truly effed.

Uh, it's actually more likely pursuing impeachment costs the Dems the election.  Polling has consistently put a plurality or majority opposed to removing Trump from office.  And, most importantly, independents are against it:

Quote

But independents tilt heavily against impeaching Trump. Only 31 percent want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings, compared with 50 percent who think Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings.

So yeah, I'll take the one precedent we have in recent history as well as actual data over you thinking the Dems will lose if they don't impeach which is based on...what exactly?  It will "demoralize the base?"  Gimme a fucken break.  If leftist Dems are gonna sit out/vote 3rd party in 2020 because Pelosi isn't willing to take an unnecessary political risk, then they deserve Trump.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DMC said:

Well, I agree with you on court orders and filing cases, as I've mentioned, but how does failing to convict in the Senate when the case is as egregious as you describe it less damaging?  Doesn't that simply demonstrate for a certainty that as long as a president holds onto his base there aren't even political risks to illegal behavior?  Which in turn would be a clear-cut example for the president to know all he has to do to shirk any consequences is to continue to reinforce polarization.  Not exactly the historical precedent anyone should be looking to set.

For the people who believe that Trump has already committed impeachable offenses, it seems to me that the precedent has already been set, regardless of whether we have the vote for impeachment or not.  Right now, it appears that impeachment and removal of the President is impossible unless the Senate is controlled by around a 2/3 or more supermajority by the opposition party, otherwise the House will be too scared to initiate impeachment proceedings, which effectively leaves the President unchecked.

It's not clear to me what the right move regarding impeachment is from a strategic standpoint.  If we don't bring impeachment, would some Democrats be so upset and stupid to sit out the election?  Unfortunately, I think the answer is yes.  However, if we do bring impeachment, but fail to remove Trump, would some Democrats be so upset or feel that politics is pointless that they sit out the election, and would some voters who were planning on sitting out the election or voting for a candidate other than Trump now be so upset that they vote for Trump?  Probably yes to these questions too. 

Is there recent polling data that tries to answer these questions?  It's not clear to me how the numbers would actually shake out.  Assuming these numbers are relatively small, around 2-3 percent for example, it would be hard for polls to definitively answer the question of which approach would be better because the margin of errors for these polls is usually greater than 2-3 percent.  You would need a huge sample size to get meaningful results.  And because voting can be a complex decision based on many factors, it's difficult to pin a decision to vote or not vote on one thing.  Also, trying to get meaningful polling data more than 12 months in advance of an election seems pretty hopeless.  Nevertheless, the data would be interesting to look at, if it exists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, DMC said:

Uh, it's actually more likely pursuing impeachment costs the Dems the election.  Polling has consistently put a plurality or majority opposed to removing Trump from office.  And, most importantly, independents are against it:

Same could be said about Nixon until about what, 3 months before it happened? I dunno. Saying anything definitive about what impeachment will do seems premature to me. Clinton was much more popular at the time, polarization was less, and the world was simply different then. I do think that in general doing things that are unpopular is not a good choice (I know, hot take!), but it's possible that allowing it to stand will normalize it and make it an impossible task to take anyone to task for. If congress wasn't willing to criticize or rebuke Trump for all of these things, why should the people?

2 minutes ago, DMC said:

So yeah, I'll take the one precedent we have in recent history as well as actual data over you thinking the Dems will lose if they don't impeach which is based on...what exactly?  It will "demoralize the base?"  Gimme a fucken break. 

I think the logic is more that if dems don't go after Trump now, he can essentially claim all of their efforts were just witch hunts and most people will believe him. Because if they weren't witch hunts, why not go after him more? Why weren't there more loud investigations and calls for heavier punishments? Why is Pelosi willing to do something like a bill to reduce drug prices with him if he's such a lawbreaker?

2 minutes ago, DMC said:

If leftist Dems are gonna sit out/vote 3rd party in 2020 because Pelosi isn't willing to take an unnecessary political risk, then they deserve Trump.

Yeah, well, the same argument could be made about what they did with Kerry and what they did with Clinton. We already know that's exactly what leftist Dems do. They suck that way. Problem is that they also can make a vote in your favor. So you suck it up some and snort that quinoa and take it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DMC said:

Like I said, the only GOP Senators this may affect are those in immediate electoral peril (I did forget Gardner [CO], who's most imperiled).  But that's 4 Senators.  The rest aren't going to risk getting primaried in the future by voting to impeach their party's president unless Trump's GOP approval goes down to ~65%.  In which case conviction looks a lot more plausible, so sure, impeach away.  But it's far more likely that doesn't happen based on the intractability of Trump's base and GOP MCs for that matter.

The Impeachment process should cause his approval to go down as with Nixon. Sufficiently to get enough Senators to flip? No way of knowing without trying, but even if not, it's the right thing to do. Raise public awareness of Trump's crimes, get the Senators on the record as condoning blatantly criminal behaviour, depress non-base Republican turnout in 2020. A perfectly partisan "exoneration" isn't going to change anybody's mind about Trump's guilt, or demoralise Democrats who are fully expecting it.

55 minutes ago, DMC said:

how does failing to convict in the Senate when the case is as egregious as you describe it less damaging?  Doesn't that simply demonstrate for a certainty that as long as a president holds onto his base there aren't even political risks to illegal behavior?

Is that really any worse than the current situation where it's considered so obvious that it doesn't even need to be demonstrated?

8 minutes ago, DMC said:

Uh, it's actually more likely pursuing impeachment costs the Dems the election.  Polling has consistently put a plurality or majority opposed to removing Trump from office.  And, most importantly, independents are against it:

How many are so strongly against it that it would change the way they vote, though? And how many would still be against it by the end of the process?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

CNN and MSNBC fit in the blanks just as easily as Fox and Breightbart,

No, they don't. CNN is a corporate news channel trying to make the most cash possible by appealing to as large a section of the population as possible. It's Lowest Common Denominator news. MSNBC, while clearly left wing, (despite their odd penchant for center right and, very occasionally, hard right newscasters) mostly sticks to established facts.

Fox is the property of a private billionaire who has openly said that he is only interested in spreading his own beliefs, not reporting news. (Which is why, for example, on the eve of the Iraq War every single one of the 180+ newspapers that Murdoch owned around the world wrote in favor of the war, even in countries where 90% of the public opposed the war.) For most of the last decade plus Fox has actively been acting like a propaganda wing for the Republican Party, something you can easily see by comparing how they react to Obama and Trump saying virtually the same thing.

Breitbart meanwhile has billed itself as "the online home of the alt-right" and has been caught time after time blatantly making up stories or fabricating the context of pictures to fit their agenda. (My personal favorite being the time they made up a story about human traffickers using jet skis to smuggle African migrants across the Mediterranean and used the picture of a German soccer star and his buddy riding a jet ski together as the image for the story. Their retraction of that story was pretty classic too: "There is no evidence Mr. Podolski is either a migrant gang member, nor being human trafficked".) That includes editors admitting that they would push false stories and smears against people if it pushes their agenda forward or protects politicians on their side.

So they're not the same. At all.

Now kindly crawl back under your bridge. Maybe find some goats to harass.

Edited by Paladin of Ice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Mudguard said:

Is there recent polling data that tries to answer these questions?  It's not clear to me how the numbers would actually shake out.  Assuming these numbers are relatively small, around 2-3 percent for example, it would be hard for polls to definitively answer the question of which approach would be better because the margin of errors for these polls is usually greater than 2-3 percent.  You would need a huge sample size to get meaningful results.

Well, there are multiple polls that consistently show the plurality/majority are opposed to impeachment or removal.  Here's another one:

Quote

Just over a third (35%) of Americans feel that Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency while a clear majority (59%) disagree with this course of action. Support for the president’s removal via impeachment has ranged between 35% and 42% since Monmouth started asking Monmouth University Polling Institute 08/22/19 2 this question in July 2017, with the current results at the low end of that range. Opposition to impeachment has been between 53% and 59% during the same time.

As for sampling size, that poll has a sample of 800 (and obviously has been asking the question for some time), while the Politico poll had a sample of 1,994 respondents.  Both are plenty big enough samples, so I don't get your point there.  Plus, for the Monmouth poll above, Independents are opposed 64-30 (see "page 2" in the demo breakdown).  Obviously no one knows for certain what this would mean at the voting booth, but it seems a pretty silly risk against a president that continues to have a clear approval ceiling of about 42 percent.

26 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Saying anything definitive about what impeachment will do seems premature to me.

Agreed - I never did.

27 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I think the logic is more that if dems don't go after Trump now, he can essentially claim all of their efforts were just witch hunts and most people will believe him. Because if they weren't witch hunts, why not go after him more?

Well sure, that's why I've been advocating going after him using other avenues far aggressively for months now.

28 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Yeah, well, the same argument could be made about what they did with Kerry and what they did with Clinton.

Indeed!  I was making those same arguments at the time...However, the antipathy for Trump is much greater now than it was four years ago (as for Kerry that's..a longer conversation that isn't too relevant).  Plus, it's simply harder for an unpopular incumbent to get reelected than it is for a challenger to win with low favorability ratings.  Could the left do the same to the 2020 Dem nominee that it did to Hillary in voting third party or staying home?  Sure could.  But I dunno, they seem much more motivated and much less complacent this time around.  I don't think failing to take an unnecessary risk on impeachment should dissuade them.  And if it does, then yeah, they only got themselves to blame.

30 minutes ago, felice said:

Raise public awareness of Trump's crimes, get the Senators on the record as condoning blatantly criminal behaviour, depress non-base Republican turnout in 2020. A perfectly partisan "exoneration" isn't going to change anybody's mind about Trump's guilt, or demoralise Democrats who are fully expecting it.

I agree a perfectly partisan exoneration isn't going to change anybody's mind about Trump's guilt, but why are you concurrently arguing an impeachment proceeding would somehow persuade voters (or depress GOP turnout, what have you)?  Seems to be contradictory arguments there.

32 minutes ago, felice said:

Is that really any worse than the current situation where it's considered so obvious that it doesn't even need to be demonstrated?

Well, yes.  Proving something is true based on a concrete example is "better" (in this case obviously worse, normatively) than simply assuming it's probably true.

33 minutes ago, felice said:

How many are so strongly against it that it would change the way they vote, though? And how many would still be against it by the end of the process?

I don't know.  But the polling and the Clinton example indicate to me I really don't wanna find out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the close Republican Senators, I think the impeachment calculus there could be interesting.  To get anything meaningful done the Dems have to win the presidency and get to 50 Senate seats in 2020.  I can see the impeachment calculus being a real headache for Republican Senators in purple states.  

IF the impeachment process does well enough to present a strong case that Trump should be impeached, those Republican Senators would face the issue of annoying middle of the road voters by not impeaching, or their own base by impeaching.  And if any Republican Senators voted for impeachment, then I think the optics for Trump are bad, even with the 'win' of the Senate voting against impeachment.  

The critical question, which is unknowable, is would the impeachment process be sufficiently clearly black and white that the messaging to middle America is that Trump broke the law and deserves to be impeached?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we are resolved that:

1) a sitting President is legally immune so long as he has a Senate majority.

2) The GOP Senate will back him regardless so long as it means winning.

3) Among the activities for which Trump is immune is attempting to illegally affect/hijack elections.

Umm...these don’t add up very well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

If we are resolved that:

1) a sitting President is legally immune so long as he has a Senate majority.

2) The GOP Senate will back him regardless so long as it means winning.

3) Among the activities for which Trump is immune is attempting to illegally affect/hijack elections.

Umm...these don’t add up very well. 

Welcome to the realities of the situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I think at this point that it isn't the case that Fox News is the propaganda outlet for the Republicans. I think it's much closer to the truth that the Republicans are the political wing of Murdoch. 

I'd say a mix of Murdoch, Koch, Adelson, Mercer, and their various other big backers. Plus some true believers who have swallowed snake oil propaganda since birth and believe it whole heartedly, plus the very rare ones telling themselves they have to put up with the craziness around them and find a way to navigate it to get what they see as positive things done.

Edited by Paladin of Ice
fixing a typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still think going for impeachment is the wrong strategy when you know that conviction is almost impossible. If conviction is not happening, then the whole process of impeachment becomes a political calculation. Yes, I know about needing to take a stand, moral principles, defending the purpose of government etc.

But it still boils down to being a political decision, which is why impeachment excites the left-wing base but (as has been said earlier with the poll numbers) alienates swinging voters and moderates. Now you could make an argument that since Trump plays to his base, there's a need to fight fire with fire and make the impeachment play to arouse the progressive base. The problem with that strategy - I think the right-wing base is much more reliable than the left, making it a risky ploy. The left is already pretty motivated to get out to vote and impeachment won't, I think, add a whole lot of net value when you take away the moderates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The long and the short of it is that neither Nancy Pelosi nor any Democrat House member will be at the top of the ticket. So anyone who would refuse to vote against Trump because 'dems didn't impeach' is not a rational actor and can't be counted on to vote Democrat regardless. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Jeor said:

I still think going for impeachment is the wrong strategy when you know that conviction is almost impossible. If conviction is not happening, then the whole process of impeachment becomes a political calculation. Yes, I know about needing to take a stand, moral principles, defending the purpose of government etc.

But it still boils down to being a political decision, which is why impeachment excites the left-wing base but (as has been said earlier with the poll numbers) alienates swinging voters and moderates. Now you could make an argument that since Trump plays to his base, there's a need to fight fire with fire and make the impeachment play to arouse the progressive base. The problem with that strategy - I think the right-wing base is much more reliable than the left, making it a risky ploy. The left is already pretty motivated to get out to vote and impeachment won't, I think, add a whole lot of net value when you take away the moderates.

Here’s the catch.  Impeachment and removal from office by the Senate is always a political act because it is being conducted by a political branch of Government.  That will always be the case regardless of which party is in the White House or who controls either House in Congress.

If we want a different process we need to amend the Constitution.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

The long and the short of it is that neither Nancy Pelosi nor any Democrat House member will be at the top of the ticket. So anyone who would refuse to vote against Trump because 'dems didn't impeach' is not a rational actor and can't be counted on to vote Democrat regardless. 

Absolutely agreed.  Trump needs to go.  Here’s the other thing I wonder about, suppose impeachment is successful and the Senate removes Trump from office, is Pence an easier Republican to defeat at the ballot box than Trump?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Here’s the catch.  Impeachment and removal from office by the Senate is always a political act because it is being conducted by a political branch of Government.  That will always be the case regardless of which party is in the White House or who controls either House in Congress.

If we want a different process we need to amend the Constitution.  

The US Constitution basically can never be amended from here - it's too hard to get all the required majorities, especially in this polarised environment.

Ideally just the threat of impeachment and conviction should be enough that it doesn't need to actually be employed, ala Nixon's resignation.

Unfortunately, I guess it just doesn't work that way anymore, especially in this highly politicised age.

3 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Absolutely agreed.  Trump needs to go.  Here’s the other thing I wonder about, suppose impeachment is successful and the Senate removes Trump from office, is Pence an easier Republican to defeat at the ballot box than Trump?

I think it's purely a hypothetical as Republican senators will never remove Trump from office. But Pence could be hard to beat in this setup. Some carefully worded speeches will help him to lock in Trump's base of aggrieved supporters, and his bland, polite persona might fool some moderate Republicans into coming back on board (when his policies are definitely not moderate).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Absolutely agreed.  Trump needs to go.  Here’s the other thing I wonder about, suppose impeachment is successful and the Senate removes Trump from office, is Pence an easier Republican to defeat at the ballot box than Trump?

I think that Trump being removed before Nov 2020 is in the 1-2% range of possibilities, but IF that were to happen, Pence would be completely compromised. Trump will make sure Pence is complicit in all administration crimes to ensure his loyalty and try to cling to power. 

Trump is only going to get removed if a big section of the 2020 Senate Republicans are jumping ship for political survival.  That is only going to happen if they're worried about reelection in clearly republican states like LA, KY, ID and AK.  We're nowhere close to that right now. 

Edited by Maithanet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I think that Trump being removed before Nov 2020 is in the 1-2% range of possibilities, but IF that were to happen, Pence would be completely compromised. Trump will make sure Pence is complicit in all administration crimes to ensure his loyalty and try to cling to power. 

Trump is only going to get removed if a big section of the 2020 Senate Republicans are jumping ship for political survival.  That is only going to happen if they're worried about reelection in clearly republican states like LA, KY, ID and AK.  We're nowhere close to that right now. 

I know.  The number of people offering apologia for Trump in my area as “doing what all politicians do but openly” just turns my stomach.  To a large degree cynicism is the death of representative democracy it allows people to justify almost anything as long as the person doing it is on “their side”.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Trump is only going to get removed if a big section of the 2020 Senate Republicans are jumping ship for political survival.  That is only going to happen if they're worried about reelection in clearly republican states like LA, KY, ID and AK.  We're nowhere close to that right now. 

Let's break this down.  There are 53 Senate Republicans.  So far one of them, Romney, has spoken out about the most recent Trump-Ukraine allegations and asked for a release of the whistleblower complaint (which is more important than the transcript).  One of them, Richard Burr, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (who is most likely retiring in 2022), has refused to comment until he has further information. 

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Cory Gardner, are running in states where there are political incentives to distance themselves from the President.

We don't have all the facts yet.  We don't know what representations Giuliani made to the Ukrainians.  We don't know what other instances the whistleblower cited in his complaint apart from this call.  

But the most recent revelations in the Washington Post and the New York Times that Trump personally ordered a delay of the release of Ukraine funding, while simultaneously raising no less than eight times the issue of Hunter Biden's involvement with Burisima is devastating for Trump even amongst his fellow Republican politicians. 

History is often about tipping points.  If the Trump administration stalls (as I expect), the House needs to issue and seek enforcement of a subpoena to obtain copies of the transcript of the call and whistleblower complaint.  I expect they will obtain both documents, eventually, through the courts, if they are not leaked before then.  And then, well we shall see.  

The President is popular in his party, but so was Nixon.  When bad facts came out and continued to come out, even loyal supporters like George HW Bush turned against him in order to ensure their future political survival.  The Republican congressional delegation is not full of true believers in Trump.  It's full of careerists.  

Edited by Gaston de Foix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×