The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

There Is No Downside to Impeaching Trump for Democrats

Nancy Pelosi recently said:

Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.

I note, first of all, that Nancy Pelosi ruled out impeaching George Bush, so her reluctance to impeach for clear crimes is consistent with her record. I never understood why others thought that Pelosi would be pro-impeachment. The idea that she’s some partisan fighter is contradicted by her record. Pelosi is what she has: She has beliefs, and those beliefs include that the right is respectable and that left are unrealistic losers (as when she dismissed the Green New Deal).

But let’s leave Pelosi aside for a moment. The Democrats have control of the House. They can impeach. They cannot convict in the Senate, but impeachment is certainly possible.

Why would they want to?

Because it would cripple Trump and the Republicans. During the period of the impeachment, Republicans would be able to get virtually nothing done, except by executive fiat.

This is because the impeachment hearings would completely dominate months of news cycles–constantly hammering in every illegal, crooked, corrupt, and cruel thing that Trump has done.

This is largely a no-lose strategy, if you were actually partisan: There isn’t a lot that House Dems can get through anyway while the Republicans control the Presidency, Senate, and Supreme Court. They can’t actually get most of their legislation through without crippling compromises, so this is fine.

They need to take control the news cycle; to make sure bad legislation doesn’t pass for months; keep Trump tied down fighting impeachment and, on top of that, spend months talking about every shitty thing he has done.

Some may argue impeachment might “backfire,” that Americans “want to see legislators working,” but that sort of argument has been made for decades. Contempt for Congress isn’t going to get much worse (it hardly can), and if working means doing the wrong thing, it’s better not to.

In the face of all the positives, like dragging Trump through the mud, crippling his ability to do anything, and controlling the news cycle, impeachment starts looking, politically, like the obvious thing to do.

And if you actually care about justice, well, Trump is at the very least, a walking emoluments violation. He is clearly profiting from being President. Carter had to sell his peanut farm, Trump hasn’t even put anything into blind trusts and many of his businesses are clearly profiting from his Presidency.

Bush should have been impeached. Trump should be impeached. Ironically, Clinton, who was impeached, shouldn’t have been (lying about consensual sex is a ridiculously low bar).

Pelosi made the wrong decision with Bush. She appears in danger of making the wrong decision here. I doubt she’ll change her mind, but I hope I’m wrong.

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The Question Isn’t Manafort’s Short Sentences


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 17, 2019


  1. Tc

    She may be wrong, again. But this repeat performance confirms that it is not a mistake on her part, and it almost certainly wasn’t a mistake with Bush either. She knows exactly what she is doing, and the advantages she is giving away.
    She’s filthy rich, and our interests are not her interests. She is a dog-in-the-manger Democrat, her purpose is to undermine the left from within while pretending to be working on our side. Like the Clintons, Obama, Schumer, Beto, Biden, etc.

  2. Willy

    “Our side, we go for the head wound. Your side, you have pillow fights.” – Steve Bannon

  3. Hugh

    Message to someofparts: I left a few quick notes on MMT back in the Ilhan thread for you.

    Pelosi was Speaker for only the last two years of the Bush Administration from Jan 2007-Jan 2009 (after Jan 2009 Obama was President). I do not remember any great push in those years to impeach Bush which Pelosi felt she had to push back against. Important to remember that the housing bubble burst in August 2007, the country went into recession in December, and the financial sector was coming apart in the lead up to the September 2008 meltdown. Additionally, late 2007 to November 2008 comprised the campaign year for both the Presidency and the House. So where exactly did the space for this impeachment push exist?

    Pelosi has always had contempt for progressives and the Democratic base. I still remember back in 2006 or 2007 her response to people protesting her lack of any real opposition to the Iraq war. She dismissed them with, they are advocates, we are leaders.

    I also remember her support for Obama’s catfood commission whose aim was to cut social Security and Medicare.

    I suppose you could say that Pelosi wants to wear out Trump and Trump supporters with unending investigations and avoid an impeachment process that might energize Trump’s base. Of course, this also lets Pelosi and Democrats avoid acting on principle or fighting for anything yet again. It lets her protect her class no matter how illegitimately any or all of them act.

  4. Ian Welsh

    Pelosi was pushed to impeach him as I recall. I followed it quite closely. She ruled it out very definitively.

  5. Everything you say that impeachment would do, drag Trump through the mud, keep him tied up fighting attacks, etc., can be done and is being done without the need for an impeachment battle that Democrats would lose. Being on the losing side is bad. “We tried to bring him down and failed,” is far short of a boast. A continuous barrage of mud slinging that prevents his agenda from being implemented is a win.

  6. Tc

    So the optics of losing a fight are worse than wetting your pants and running away? You think no one notices that, Bill H? I think that is a big reason so many working and middle class white men (make that straight men of all colors) can’t deal with being identified with wimpy mushy middle of the road so called liberals. They want fighters AND winners. And so does this angry gay man.

    They should metaphorically gouge their fucking eyes out and eviserate the Republicans, and they could if they wanted. They just don’t want to. They are perfectly comfy and chummy with their enemies, no matter what the Rs say and do to them.

  7. Ian Welsh

    How would they lose? Impeachment happens when the House does it.

    Conviction happens in the Senate. That wouldn’t happen, but it doesn’t matter. Wouldn’t want Pence as President anyway, he’d be worse than Trump.

  8. Z

    Wrong for who? People that don’t matter to her.


  9. Dave

    Wasting all of their air time impeaching Trump will just further reinforce the uselessness of the Democratic Party for ordinary Americans (esp. Independents), who will be no more likely to vote for the D candidate in 2020 than they were in 2016 (particularly if it’s a corporate tool like Biden). To be sure, many Democrats and their armies of consultants are probably fine with losing to Trump as long as their status as the primary opposition party (and therefore their connection to political money) is not compromised. But if they really want to win in 2020, they need to fight Trump and the GOP together, from the House, by sending them serious legislation for the working classes every month for the next two years. Make them vote against concrete material benefits for ordinary people, over and over. Define the differences.

    Yeah, I know. It’ll never happen. Too many Democrats are too bought.

  10. Hugh

    In Pelosi world, the idea of doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do is for simps and idiots.

    One thing that impeachment would do would be to place the impeachment committee in a much stronger position to gain access to evidence and witnesses in the Executive branch and to do so in a timely fashion.

    Re impeachment of Dubya, how was that ever going to occur given that Democrats like Hillary backed him on the Iraq war and Obama voted to immunize the telecoms for their part in spying on Americans?

  11. Ché Pasa

    Observing this from a distance (and having once been on the Federal payroll) I read Nancy’s statements re: Don’t impeach the m-f-er, a little differently. It goes back to the ridiculous farce that was the Clinton impeachment.

    It did indeed keep the media entertained for months, but for what, exactly? Further tightening the constraints on that president? Not solely. What it did was to further divide the nation, further radicalize Congress, and further mock and disparage the courts, the voters, and the very nature of the government — a government whose processes and legalism together with partisan rancor led to the impeachment of a president but could not remove him from office, which had the result of enhancing his power and popularity.

    I’m pretty sure Nancy sees an effort to impeach Trump ending the same way — or worse. So she doesn’t want to do it and she will continue to tamp down talk of it…

    Many previous presidents should have been –but weren’t — subject to impeachment by the house for the grave offenses they committed in office. The two that have been impeached were impeached for spurious political reasons — regardless of any real or imagined violations of law –that had essentially nothing to do with any high crimes or misdemeanors but everything to do with power plays between factions.

    In the end, the process was a farce.

    So yes, there is a huge downside for any politically driven attempt to impeach and remove a president. And so far, impeachment has only been used politically — to attempt (and fail) to remove an inconvenient occupant of the White House .

    If impeachment had actually been used from early on to check and/or remove corrupt, criminal, incompetent, or incapable presidents (of which we’ve had plenty) then maybe it would make sense — in Nancy’s view — to go ahead and impeach this one. But it hasn’t been used that way, and unfortunately with Trump, it’s too late. I imagine that deep down she doesn’t see him as “President” at all. He’s more like an accident to be cleaned up after. Once installed in the White House, she doesn’t see much point in removing him before the end of his term. In the meantime, keep him from doing too much damage.

    I think that is the consensus of the Overclass. Once he’s in office, he stays until he’s done. Rebuild on the wreckage.

    It may not be the right thing, but it’s oh, so pragmatic, no?


  12. Ché Pasa

    And we could go further. Trump has been an “allowed criminal” for decades. He’s a known quantity to law enforcement and politicians of all parties and stripes, here and abroad, with a long, long record of skirting and/or breaking the law, common indecency and ruinous incompetence.

    He’s been enabled for as long as he’s been a public figure — and that’s a long time — by leaders and members of both major parties, including, no doubt, Mrs. Pelosi. He’s been giving them money, right? When he’s had it to give. Flattering them. They used to like him. Ahem.

    So Nancy’s calculations include all those factors and more. In a sense, he’s always been one of the outliers of the ruling class, maybe cruder and ruder than most, but never that far off the reservation. In fact, at one time he was considered fairly brilliant. He shouldn’t be president, but that’s not really the issue. Most of those who arrive in the Oval Office probably shouldn’t be there given their own pasts and manifest imperfections.

    At some point, influential people are going to recognize the systemic failure that’s given rise to this situation. And how a long series of bad decisions, usurpations and concessions of power, and a deeply flawed constitutional structure has led to an irresolvable dilemma.

    For those in power now, letting it play out, however it might, is the only open path.

    Devil take the hindmost.

  13. ponderer

    I think impeachment is the best way to guarantee Trump a second term. The Russia investigation has already discredited the deep state, and firmly associated Democrats in that camp. Unless you think that general elections are decided by partisans, that is a bad strategy. The first thing that will happen after impeachment proceedings is a conflict somewhere in the world, because, that’s an everyday thing. Next is a constitutional show down that no one gets to walk away from. Whether its a ambitious subordinate, the deep state, or sheer bad luck we could find ourselves in a hot war with either Russia, China, Iran, or some combination of the rest of the world. It won’t be Trumps fault and the result should we all survive will be a further strengthened executive branch, and no chance of any lefty policies for at least 2 generations. Possibly with a dictator for life.

    That’s not what Pelosi cares about, she’s worried about the special interests that are trying to use Trump now. She’s part of the war party and the war party doesn’t want distractions when its on the brink of conflict with many of its most serious rivals. It’s not partisan, it’s about not being involved in a small plane crash, heart attack, or sudden suicidal depression.

  14. StewartM


    I think impeachment is the best way to guarantee Trump a second term.

    If Watergate and Nixon are any precedent, no. Nixon too was hugely popular with the Republican base, until all the Watergate hearings and his crimes came out, and his subordinates started one by one going to jail, and then suddenly he wasn’t anymore, not even with Republicans. Not just Nixon, the Republicans party as a whole took a bath in the 1974 mid-terms.

    Ian is dead to rights about this, both on the political wisdom of pushing this envelope and about Pelosi’s center-right perspective on things. The fact is that the US has underused impeachment, not overused it. Even if impeachment was far more politicized, and became a real threat anytime a president’s opposition party took Congress, then DINOs like Obama wouldn’t have schemed to throw the 2010 mid-terms to the Republicans in the hope of getting his SS and Medicare-gutting lovefest ‘grand bargain’ that he couldn’t never have gotten with Dems.

    That’s why in fact the Clinton impeachment turned out to be a good thing, as it headed off a SS privatization scheme then secretly being cooked up between Clinton and Gingrich in the late 90s, and once impeachment loomed Clinton could no longer afford to piss on and blow off the Democratic base. Democratic voters I believe have far more to gain than lose from a cost/benefit analysis, given the history of Democratic presidents suddenly turning much more “bispartisan-y” (TM)* in the face of Republican majorities than Republican presidents do when the scenario is reversed.

    *”bipartisan” = “Democrats helping Republicans pass the conservative movement agenda”

    BTW, a similar cost/benefit analysis exists with the filibuster. Paul Rosenberg posted a calculation that historically, it only takes on average a Republican majority of 54 senators to break a Democratic filibuster but it requires to Dems to hold 73 seats to break a Republican filibuster.

  15. My main problem with President Trump, in addition to his constant self-aggrandizing, is the way he comes across as being so bona fide shameless. Like, has he never—in his 70+ years of existence—done anything he’s been either ashamed of or embarrassed by?
    The way he freely slanders and utters blasphemy towards others without remorse. Does he have a conscience even?

    The only compliment I seem to be able to pay him is on his strong stance against non-citizens freely entering into the U.S. unlawfully.
    Other than that I can only view him as a shameless egocentric domineering tyrant type personality who delights in his “superiority over others” and in slamming anyone he deems “below him” in a most extremist manner. An overprivileged “trophy son” (with “trophy” offspring of his own) totally incapable of comprehending how others have to live their life.

  16. Hugh

    Tal Hartsfeld, most illegal immigrants to the US simply fly in on a visa and then overstay the visa. Similarly, most drugs don’t come across empty stretches of the border. They come through major entry points or in containers through major seaports. And of course, if he were serious about reducing illegal migrants working in the US, Trump could push for big penalties for those employing them or subcontractors who do. Oh wait, he’s been one of those employers for decades.

    His border wall was not some deeply held or seriously thought through stance. It was a meme his campaign aides gave him to keep him on script in his campaign speeches. He only started taking it seriously when Ann Coulter, Fox, and other right wing loons called him out on it.

  17. ponderer

    I like fantasy worlds as much as anyone, but Trump isn’t Nixon. If the Democrats hadn’t used the FBI to move their conspiracy things might have been different. At this point, the FBI hasn’t come up with anything so a Congressional investigation is preposterous and will have the opposite effect. Trump doesn’t need to be POTUS to be a billionaire. Congress doesn’t have that luxury and you can bet Trumps finances won’t be the only ones on display. I don’t mind watching establishment Democrats self destruct, but I’m hope we get a different crop in 2020. If they are saddled with a impeachment it will be a huge blow to the left. They are all going to have to take a stand on the subject. He’s not going to lose an impeachment battle and he’ll use it against his opponents in 2020 and he will win, again.
    One of the reasons in 2016 I advocated Trump over Clinton is that if Trump did anything wrong we would know about it. The media would cover it and the deep state would leak like a sieve. Clinton, as we’ve seen hasn’t suffered for way worse behavior with the help of FBI, CIA, and DOJ. If he has any dirty laundry an impeachment won’t turn it up, it would already be out there. I get that a lot of people here like to daydream about a righteous comeuppance, but impeachment won’t be that.

  18. Hugh:
    You make a good point. Trump probably doesn’t feel a tinge of guilt over having used the convenient “services” of illegals in the past, ONLY to “turn on them” for the sake of publicity and making a favorable impression on the followers of his who regard him as their modern-day “guru”.

  19. Willy

    Like, has he never—in his 70+ years of existence—done anything he’s been either ashamed of or embarrassed by?

    You’ve never met one of these? Since I have to get out there to make a living, I’ve wound up with the current misfortune of having to deal with one (albeit a lower grade one than Trump). Bankruptcy made mine a tad more humble, but while a mere mortal would feel the sting from such a painful experience for far longer, he’s quickly getting cocky again with his recent success. It was during his brief phase of humility that I got suckered into believing him an ethical. Now that deals are starting to sour I’m looking for the quick exit. He’s a wizard at selling because his confidence in himself is total and completely unhindered by any lack of ability. Zero personal responsibility – everything is always your fault. You will hear the word “sorry”, but only when he’s in selling mode, at the beginning. I believe that is the opposite of integrity. Nothing enrages him more than feeling he doesn’t have complete control over you. He lies a lot and enjoys playing people, sometimes bragging about it. As I understand it, higher grade NPDs also enjoy ruining people for pure sport. Not sure if Trump is that pathological but the evidence is out there. Amendment 25 anyone. If Trump was a Dem you know damned well that’d be all the rage from the conservative side.

    If this sort of behavior is that of a “guru”, then conservative evangelism is done. Finished. God’s children should never be collectively, suckered so easily and completely at a time when God himself never offers clear proof of his existence.

    Sorry about that little outburst. I return you now to your regularly scheduled commentary.

  20. Donna Curtis

    I’ll admit I’m not smart enough to determine whether there’s a downside to impeaching Trump but I sure as heck know that I want to impeach him. The Senate will never convict him so there’s no worries of getting a President Pence. For too long we’ve let rich criminals, bankers, torturers and presidential liars off the hook. I’m sick to death of it all.

  21. Tom

    There will be no serious attempts at reform till the Constitution changes.

    To get a change, you need the Heartland on board. They won’t come on board unless the Democrats STFU on guns, go pro-life, focus on bringing jobs back to them, put their money where their mouths are on the Green New Deal, and shut up about SJW nonsense.

    If the Heartland doesn’t buy in, there will be no reforms and we will go head first into the coming crisises heading our way as they have enough electoral votes to stymie change.

    The youth wing of the Democrats have got to get their heads out of their asses and deliver real plans, not slogans, and actually walk the walk and talk the talk. AOC’s flying personal jets while condemning them turns off Heartland voters. She should fly commercial only overseas on official business and use the train to get to her District, which is also cheaper and pollutes less.

    Hell bring back blimps for Overseas travel, properly designed and the routes properly planned, they can run off of electricity generated by the sun and rarely burn fuel, and it would be faster than ship travel and more comfortable.

    AOC may talk the talk, but she doesn’t walk the walk and thus discredits herself. Bernie won’t fight it out. Gabbard is in bed with dictators. Beto is establishment through and through as well as Biden. The rest of the Democratic Field is straight trash.

    We need a new FDR for the Dems, someone who is willing to throw down and leave blood on the floor. Hell his sons were all legally 4F and didn’t have to fight. FDR sent them to the hottest fronts, and they were in the thick of it, earning numerous valor awards between them. FDR did so as he knew he could not ask others to send their sons if he did not send his sons. Truman was the same way and even was in thick of it himself in WW1 where he had to memorize the Vision Chart just to pass medical screening.

  22. Temporarily Sane

    Liberal “centrists” love to superficially denounce the right but when it comes to taking action against their opponents they always always target the left. Socialism terrifies capitalists like nothing else. Hell, in these crazy times even social democracy and Keynesian are denounced as “far left”. Capitalists have no problem with fascists as history shows time and time again.

    The Democratic Party will never become a genuine left party and people need to stop waiting for Pelosi and co. to take any action in that direction. Wake up…how many more times are you going to fall for the same old bait and switch tactic?

    This guy on MSNBC spells it out very clearly.

    “I find Donald Trump reprehensible as a human being, but a socialist candidate is more dangerous to this company, country, as far as the strength and well-being of the country, than Donald Trump. I would vote for Donald Trump, a despicable human being…I will be so distraught to the point that that could even come out of my mouth, if we have a socialist Democratic presidential candidate or president] because that will take our country so down, and we are not Denmark. I love Denmark, but that’s not who we are. And if you love who we are and all the great things that still have to have binders put on the side. Please step away from the socialism.”

    – Donny Deutsch, advertising executive, “branding and marketing expert,” and regular MSNBC commentator

  23. Hugh

    Deutsch is a regular on Morning Joe. They do an OK job on covering the Trump madness, but the moment they stray even a millimeter from this, they are toxically Establishment. In their minds, the choice is either Trump or them, nothing and nobody else. And they are totally oblivious that they, what they have done, and what they represent are precisely why so many voted for Trump or sat out the 2016 election.

  24. Ché Pasa

    It’s become obvious that when impeachment or removal for incapacity is the only constitutional remedies for a bad president, and amendment or convention are the only constitutional remedies for a bad constitution and dysfunctional government, we’re in a fine mess that we cannot get out of constitutionally. At least not with a positive outcome.

    Let’s say one of these remedies were to be used. For example, a convention to amend or rewrite the constitution. The US is closer to that than any other constitutional remedy. But look who the advocates are and where there is the strongest movement toward a convention. It’s almost entirely a rightist/libertarian thing. And why? Because for quite a while now, they’ve had control of the majority of state g0vernments, control they seem intent on keeping no matter what the voters want or vote for. That tenacious rightist hold on power, no matter what, is the type model for what would happen at any potential constitutional convention, and for most of us, that’s not a positive outcome.

    Just so with an impeachment that strengthens the worst qualities of the nation and the worst aspects of the presidency, such as would likely happen with the impeachment of Trump. Again, it has nothing to do with what the people or the voters want. It has to do with how power works and who among the powerful can work the levers of power best.

    I think that’s why people within government who understand this dilemma — which has always been with us; it’s only exaggerated with Trump — tend to proceed with caution. There are no simple or straightforward solutions, and any solution attempted is liable to produce unfortunate results.

    Just letting the situation play out — which is the apparent choice of the Overclass — also has unfortunate results (as we’re seeing with Climate Change).

    The stalemate of the 2000 presidential election was resolved by the lawless intervention of the Supreme Court, in effect a judicial coup, that was accepted by the Overclass and the governing class because it was the outcome they preferred. Most of the people went along with it, though there was more grumbling than was widely reported.

    The 2016 presidential election defied belief, but at least it appeared to be procedurally legitimate. Ie: the Electoral College chose another president who lost the popular vote, the courts did not intervene, and there were no sure signs of electoral hanky-panky at the ballot box. Of course during the recounts of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, Florida, and Nevada (were there others?) it was shown conclusively that there’s no way to know as the vote totals in many jurisdictions could not be verified. Oh.

    Preventing Trump from taking office or removal for cause were the only available means of overturning the results of a very hinky election. Preventional moves could have taken the form of state indictments for criminal actions in New York or New Jersey, but nope. There was some speculation of a military intervention… nope. Too ugly to even think about. So invoking the 25th amendment for incapacity was bandied about, futilely. No way. So what was left? The Russia Thing? It wasn’t much, but it would keep the frustrated factions entertained. Lots of dirt, some smoke, no fire. Ultimately, the internal decision appeared to be to just tie the sucker down like Gulliver, keep him distracted, and eventually ignore him. But he breaks all the rules or turns them against his tormentors. What to do?

    Impeachment is gaining some traction, but the more obvious Trump’s criminality becomes, the right questions are finally being raised — why have he and his companies been allowed to get away with this for so long? The money laundering alone should have been enough to shut him down long ago, but he was allowed to skate. Why? Why wasn’t any of this brought up or featured in the media during the campaign? Who has been making the decisions to let him off the hook time and time again, and why? And what does it say about the whole rotten enterprise of the Ruling Class, the mediaplex, and so-called “justice?”

    The answers to these questions are an indictment of an entire system of rule.

    Yes of course previous presidents and administrations are at fault, as is the current one. Yes of course the prosecutors and courts are wildly, grossly corrupt and unfair. Yes indeed state governments are captured by the Overclass to the extent that the will and interest of the People is essentially shut out. And major mass media is thoroughly corrupt and deceptive.

    And there is no clear path to fixing any of this by conventional means.

    There’s always the threat of revolt/revolution, but you know what? That path has already been taken by the rightists — who are allowed, excused, explained and forgiven for their exercises of constitutional rights always. If any sign of revolt from the leftish side of thing arises, it is crushed promptly and brutally (to cheers and applause from the “center.”)

    So we’re stuck. At least for now.


  25. StewartM


    They won’t come on board unless the Democrats STFU on guns, go pro-life, focus on bringing jobs back to them, put their money where their mouths are on the Green New Deal, and shut up about SJW nonsense.

    I don’t know if you consider Appalachia “heartland”, but I am befuddled why assuming a minority positions on abortion (58 % say it should be legal in most circumstances) or guns (60 % want more restrictions) is a prescription for victory for anyone. Yes, even here. The electoral advantage that anti-abortion and gun advocates have conferred historically is that their voters tend to vote single-issue, even when it means to voting against their own economic or other interests.

  26. rangoon78

    I’m for Trump as I was for impeaching Bush; but, I wonder if his statement about the military and police being on his side and ready to kick ass, has more relevance to the possibility of impeachment that does to just the border wall ?

  27. alyosha

    I think there’s plenty of downside for the Democrats re: impeachment. I agree with Pelosi and Schiff that you need lots of solid evidence to proceed. Pelosi and Schiff aren’t against impeachment per se, it’s that it has to be done right. It’s a matter of tactics, and understanding how to play the game. It’s too early to make that move.

    The downside for the Democrats who would start impeachment now, is that the public isn’t fully behind impeachment yet, and it would absolutely tear apart the country, and their agenda would get lost in the public mind.

    Nobody would be talking about a “Green New Deal” or “Medicare for All” for example. Even though this agenda has little chance of succeeding in the current Congress, it’s important to seed the public mind with these ideas, to get them discussed, to build a groundswell. The Dems may not be able to prevail in the Congress, but they must do the work of rallying the public around their ideas, and to demonstrate that they actually have ideas that merit consideration.

    This will be impossible were the Dems to start impeachment now. Moreover, the Republicans would successfully tar the Dems as being the party of division and a party that is all about ruthlessly grabbing power for itself (a projection, but the public would buy it). It would seriously set the Democrats back in the mind of the public, probably costing them seats in the next election.

  28. nihil obstet

    Should you fight for what you think is right or just explain that you don’t want to annoy anyone? The Democrats have continuously folded for the past twenty years. Then they campaign on how they’re going to “fight for” the middle class. Is it any wonder that voters see them as cowardly weaklings? Fighting is divisive. When you say you don’t want to be divisive, you’re saying that you will allow anything.

    This assumes that the Democratic leadership is unhappy with Trump’s criminality or wants to serve most Americans. I don’t really make that assumption. They serve their own class.

  29. Willy

    Dems should campaign as old school FDR democrats “from back in the day when more stuff worked better and everybody went to church”. Candidates would wear 50’s styles like fedoras for the men and dresses for the women (only). A shtick like that might intrigue white evangelicals enough to change parties. Hopefully having negros and hispanics involved wouldn’t be a turn off for them.

  30. StewartM


    I like fantasy worlds as much as anyone, but Trump isn’t Nixon.

    What Watergate did to Nixon’s approval rating

    The mechanism would be identical, Trump’s lies being exposed again and again would eventually get through to his the most blind of his supporters, and you’re already seeing some erosion of his Republican congressional support.

    The talk about “Democratic FBI conspiracies” is just silly. Comey and Mueller aren’t liberals or even Democrats. While I agree there is a deep state, it’s not necessarily unhappy with all Trump’s agenda. The Russia alliance? Probably yes but the Iran deal tear-up and the boost in Pentagon spending warms the heart of many a military-industrial complex giant, and those who think that Israel is America’s bestest EVAH chum love the idea of moving our embassy there. Plus Wall Street is drooling over Trump’s proposed SS and Medicare cuts in the 2020 budget, I’m sure they love that part of Trump’s faux ‘anti-establishment” shtick.

    And your point about “no Russian collusion” being proved is also false:

    The collusion issue is still open. Where there’s this much smoke, there’s likely a fire (though I am really interested in Bibi and Israel also colluded, because one can say that Bibi got way more of his wish list fulfilled by Trump than did Putin). And I say this as someone who has stated, repeated, that “collusion” wasn’t the reason Clinton lost in 2016, but her own decision to campaign as the “smart Republican” in 2016 and piss on the Sanders vote and the Democratic base. Trump got fewer raw votes than Romney or McCain, but Clinton got fewer still than Obama, because her DINO campaign caused Democratic voters to either stay home or vote third-party.

    The “crooked Hillary” shtick also wears thin. I very much doubt the Clintons ever broke laws, unlike Trump, who as a member of the capitalist elite has lived a life of law-breaking all the time and just buys his way out of any prosecution. No, while I fully believe the Clintons to be corrupt, they are “legally corrupt”, they are lawyers who know what the letter of the law requires and know how to take advantage of America’s system of legalized bribery that allows politicos to rake in the loot, particularly after leaving office. That’s bad enough, to be sure, but Trump doesn’t even apparently try to meet that weak standard.

    If the Democrats hadn’t used the FBI to move their conspiracy things might have been different.

  31. Hugh

    I agree with StewartM that the Clintons are grifters who engaged in legal corruption. They were greedier and more successful than most, but Washington is a case study in legal corruption. In that, at least, it is thoroughly bipartisan. Campaign finance and lobbyists keep the pols in office. Then there is the legal bribery. If someone pays a pol to do something, that’s a bribe. But what happens nowadays is that the payoff is deferred until after the pol leaves office. There is a whole system of trade associations, think tanks, boards of directors, university positions, consulting firms, legal firms that hire even the most mediocre of pols. Why? because it sends a message to all officeholders that if they play along, they will be taken care of.

    Re: The weather turned cold again yesterday. I suspect the deep state. Also I’ve lost a few pens around the house recently. Could it be the FBI?

  32. Z

    The backdoor bribe. You represent us, f’ your constituents, What do they do for you? What can they do for you? As long as you are loyal to us, if you lose your election we’ll make you a millionaire and you’ll no longer be under the public’s scrutiny.


  33. Tom


    “I don’t know if you consider Appalachia “heartland”, but I am befuddled why assuming a minority positions on abortion (58 % say it should be legal in most circumstances) or guns (60 % want more restrictions) is a prescription for victory for anyone. Yes, even here. The electoral advantage that anti-abortion and gun advocates have conferred historically is that their voters tend to vote single-issue, even when it means to voting against their own economic or other interests.”

    Abortion is murder and does immeasurable harm to society. Especially when use as an Eugenics tool to weed out fetuses with undesired traits such as Down Syndrome.

    This is dangerous as:

    1. Down Syndrome is the key to curing Alzheimer Disease and kids born with Down Syndrome, if given proper support and care from the start, can and do go on to get college degrees and lead successful careers.

    2. Smart Women are being bred out of the gene pool and submissive women are replacing them and passing their submissiveness onto their daughters. Carried over long enough, submissive women will outvote the remaining smart women. I trust you get the picture here.

    3. The sheer number of potential scientists, artists, and engineers lost to abortion is incalculable, and given genetic memory is a thing, we are losing the genetic memory of our greatest achievements if we fail to pass our genes on.

    4. It is a slap in the face to men and denies them fatherhood and denies their own connection to child rearing. It destroys marriages. It causes men to turn to demagogues who offer an alternative, and it lowers their respect to women and willingness to compromise and work with them.

    5. It allows politicians to get away with not providing services to help people as you have a choice not to have children, so why should he spend tax payer money fixing schools, providing healthcare, etc.

    The Heartland understands this and they won’t sign on for a progressive re-write of the Constitution until the Progressive Democrats ditch abortion. We won’t be able to get the reforms we need till the Heartland comes aboard.

    As for guns. You can’t put the genie back into the bottle without a Civil War or the Country being occupied and forcibly disarmed by another state.

    Finally polls are useless, sample sizes are too small and how they are worded can affect how they come out.


    “Dems should campaign as old school FDR democrats “from back in the day when more stuff worked better and everybody went to church”. Candidates would wear 50’s styles like fedoras for the men and dresses for the women (only). A shtick like that might intrigue white evangelicals enough to change parties. Hopefully having negros and hispanics involved wouldn’t be a turn off for them.”

    Eleanor Roosevelt wore pants and even wrote OpEd articles against her Husband criticizing the Apartheid State the US was at the time, and calling for civil rights. She often told FDR to his face that the US could not say it was fighting for Freedom if it denied blacks equal rights and told him repeatably not to trust Churchill or let him write the post war plans.

    It is sad that as the War ground on, FDR took Eleanor’s counsel less and less, especially as his health declined and his trips abroad to keep the Allies from shattering into disunity caused him to make too many compromises.

    If there was one major mistake FDR made in WW2, it was not supporting Marshall’s push for an immediate invasion of France when the coasts were relatively unguarded and Vichy France meant the Germans had an unprotected rear if the Vichy Government switched sides.

    An immediate invasion in Fall of 1942, with the very forces that went ashore in North Africa in historical Operation Torch, would have hit the Germans at the absolute worst time for them, and caused their entire Ost Front to collapse quickly if they pulled units from the Ost Front to France and kept units that went to the Ost Front at that time, in France.

    This would have ended WW2 far faster and saved 20 million lives.

  34. someofparts

    Hugh – Thanks for the post.

    Tom – Please remember to use the newspaper we put down for you in the corner.

  35. Willy

    Tom, I highly doubt that America and American Christianity are in decline because Eleanor wore pants and FDR was a mediocre military strategist. Nor would I blame the lack of internment camps, those uppity negros, or Rosie the Riveter thinking she can perform more skilled jobs, for its problems.

  36. Donna Curtis


    Your abortion tirades are ridiculous. Usually I don’t even bother to argue with people as plainly crazy as you but your statements about women are such fantasy that I can’t help but call it out for the bullshit that it is.

    Time and time again it has been proven that when women control their own fertility without interference from men they have less children. The west, even the U.S. and Japan, aren’t even procreating at replacement rates.

    Contrary to your submissive/smart women crap the more education a woman has, the less children she has. Fucking google it for christ sake.

    As for the rest of you, can you imagine what this world would look like right now if women had controlled their own fertility for the last ten thousand years? No women I know (except for those crazy Quiverfull women) wants to have ten or more children and spend her life in pregnancy after pregnancy. Even the catholic church can’t turn the bulk of western women from birth control and even abortion if necessary. Look what’s happening in Ireland right now.

    (PS: sorry if this somehow turns out to be a double post.)

  37. DC

    “1. Down Syndrome is the key to curing Alzheimer Disease and kids born with Down Syndrome, if given proper support and care from the start, can and do go on to get college degrees and lead successful careers.”
    Depends on how severe the syndrome is. You can have fully functional humans with only slight traces of the syndrome on one hand and severe cases where their development won’t go further that of a small child rendering them completely dependent on adults to be taken cared of.
    And I’m only mentioning brain development. The amount of health problems related to the syndrome are so many that only an ignorant would make such frivolous statements.

  38. DC

    And in regards to the connection between Down and Alzheimer, people with Down have a 50% chance of having dementia by the time they are 50 (if they haven’t passed away due to health complications). They may contain a cure for Alzheimer in so far as they are useful to be used to find the cause. To accuse people of eugenics while defending pro-life stances on the basis of breeding people to find a cure for a disease… Fucking disgusting…

  39. anon y'mouse

    “submissive” is a personality trait. it only appears heritable because it is often a family coping strategy, thus a learned thing like what most people call being “passive aggressive”(which even people who complain about in others do themselves, to some extent.

    smells like Evolutionary Psychology! or perhaps some kind of polite way of justifying the Ubermenschen.

  40. Helena


    \”If Watergate and Nixon are any precedent, no. Nixon too was hugely popular with the Republican base, until all the Watergate hearings and his crimes came out, and his subordinates started one by one going to jail…\”

    I think drawing an analogy between Nixon and Trump is mistaken. Republicans who support Trump see the Russia collusion investigation as an attempted coup by the deep state with the help of the Clinton campaign and the DNC to damage Trump the candidate and then cripple him as president. None of the charges brought by Mueller are about Russian collusion. And it looks like the widely anticipated Mueller report is not going to pan out to be what Trump\’s enemies hoped for. If so, after the Mueller report is released, the Republican controlled Senate is going to conduct investigations into the Obama FBI and Justice Department\’s handling of the Russia collusion and Clinton email investigations. And there\’s the OIG report on FISA and the declass still to come.

    A new USA Today poll indicates that 52% believe the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, but also that half of Americans agree that the Mueller investigation is a \”witch hunt.\” The poll also revealed that support for impeachment has dropped 10 percentage points since October, 2018, to 28 percent. So, no what we have today is a very different situation from Nixon in the early 70s.

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