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Wed Mar 13, 2019, 08:15 AM

Philippe Reines: Stop drawing the wrong lessons from 1998

I’m paraphrasing, but there’s no other way to read this. It’s a myth that impeaching Clinton was a net loss for Republicans and Democrats are now in a much better position than the R’s were in 1998 because the case for impeaching Trump is considerably more credible:

...There are many reasons for Democrats to contemplate impeachment today that go beyond politics. Substantial evidence has already emerged showing that the president has abused his office to the detriment of the American public. That evidence deserves a thorough and transparent airing in Congress, arguably the only venue available for trying a sitting president.

Still, as pundits never tire of saying, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one — and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Chuck Schumer are right to wonder whether it make sense to seek impeachment , especially given the unlikelihood of enough Republicans breaking ranks in the Senate. On Monday, Ms. Pelosi said that, for now, Mr. Trump was “not worth” the cost of impeachment to the country.

But impeachment is worth it, politically, and not just because of what history shows us. If anything, Democrats are in an even better position than Republicans were in 1998 to benefit, or at worst not suffer, politically.

For one thing, 22 Republican senators are up for re-election in 2020, against just 12 Democrats. Especially if the public support for impeachment continues to grow, a Republican vote to acquit the president could tip at least a few vulnerable Republican seats.

Also, one reason people think the Republicans suffered for 1998 is that everyone knew, then and later, that it was a crassly political move — Mr. Clinton’s lapses, however you judge them, were personal, not the sort of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that impeachment is intended to address.

Most voters today, whether they support Mr. Trump or not, will probably see a potential impeachment against him differently. Especially as the evidence mounts, reasonable people will more and more conclude that the Democrats are doing their civic duty by pursuing impeachment (and those who disagree probably wouldn’t vote Democratic anyway).

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/opinion/clinton-impeachment-republicans-trump.html




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Reply Philippe Reines: Stop drawing the wrong lessons from 1998 (Original post)
BeyondGeography Mar 2019 OP
zipplewrath Mar 2019 #1
ehrnst Mar 2019 #2
sandensea Mar 2019 #8
wryter2000 Mar 2019 #12
zipplewrath Mar 2019 #13
PatSeg Mar 2019 #3
ehrnst Mar 2019 #4
Bernardo de La Paz Mar 2019 #5
PatSeg Mar 2019 #10
BeyondGeography Mar 2019 #6
PatSeg Mar 2019 #11
Perseus Mar 2019 #7
calimary Mar 2019 #9

Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 08:38 AM

1. This is roughly what everyone has been saying

If the democrats had been in control of the House for the last two years, they could have built a case by now to credibly impeach Trump. It may have even been enough to get him convicted as well. At this point, all anyone can do is to now START building the case IN THE HOUSE and ultimately present the evidence. That can possibly build enough momentum to get a conviction. There may not really be enough time. However, it cannot appear to START OUT with the foregone conclusion that he is going to be impeached. The House can't really "get there" before the public and political support to do so arises. So in the mean time, we speak of letting Mueller finish. We let the House committees do their oversight work. We collect the testimony. We let Mueller rack up the indictments, confessions, and convictions. And in that process you MIGHT get to impeachment, but just as likely, you get to an election in 2020 where the people CHOOSE to remove him from office, through an election.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #1)


Response to zipplewrath (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 10:36 AM

8. Exactly. It's smarter politics to just let the (very real) scandals drag out until election day 2020

The way Old Man Bush and his Nazi sidekick Bill Casey dragged out the 1980 hostage crisis until the very day Reagan was inaugurated.

Bad people often teach us the most useful lessons.

Besides: There's no way Bitchy Mitchy would allow impeachment to pass.

He'd sooner give up his Ping May loot first.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:41 PM

12. You nailed it

Watergate didn't start out as impeachment. Do the investigations. Collect the evidence. The American people need to see his crimes. Then you can talk impeachment.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:41 PM

13. Baker started out to defend the president

When Howard Baker asked his famous question about "what did the President know..." he was attempting to severely limit the scope of the investigation to exactly that framework. Did the president know about these things in advance, or were there rouge actors, for whom he was not responsible, acting upon his behalf. Little did he understand just how much was "known" prior and worse, what he did after the break-ins. It was only then that the GOP abandoned their president. Dean was very similar, suggesting that there was a "cancer" upon the presidency, in an attempt to defend Nixon, only to find out that Nixon WAS the cancer.

This time around, the GOP (Nunes, et. al.) did not make a similar mistake. The started out to obstruct from the word go.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 09:05 AM

3. "considerably more credible"

That's the understatement of the week!

Meanwhile, however, I think Nancy Pelosi knows what she's doing. I think it is best to put all their energy and resources into the many investigations, rather than the distraction of an impeachment that will probably not pass in the senate and look brazenly political.

"reasonable people will more and more conclude that the Democrats are doing their civic duty by pursuing impeachment" - I'm having my doubts about how many reasonable people there are these days.

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Response to PatSeg (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 09:09 AM

4. +1000. (nt)

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Response to PatSeg (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 09:17 AM

5. Unfortunately, "considerably more credible" does not have any effect on RepubliCons. . . . nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 10:58 AM

10. And one would be hard pressed

to find any "reasonable people" in the current republican party.

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Response to PatSeg (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 09:22 AM

6. He wrote this to keep Dems from going wobbly

One could easily conclude from Pelosi’s remarks this week that she is one the people he’s trying to reach.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 11:07 AM

11. And it is quite possible

that impeachment is an eventual remedy, but Nancy Pelosi keeps her cards close to her vest and is not likely to let her adversaries know what she is planning. She is a very pragmatic, strategic, and effective leader. She knows what she is doing and knows the repercussions of impulsively jumping the gun.

Between Mueller and the Democratic House, when Trump goes down, there will be no stone left unturned and no doubt whatsoever what a totally corrupt criminal he is.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 09:47 AM

7. You know who dreams impeachment? Pence

 

Pelosi is 100% correct, and I say that humbly, after all it is my opinion.

Impeachment would give us Pence, and I feel Pence presents a bigger threat because he is smart, he is as or more evil than the orange buffoon, but he can fool a lot of people to think that he is rational and take votes and even win in 2020.

The orange buffoon must be allowed to complete his term, then he and the senate must be defeated, Democrats taking both houses, then the orange buffoon and all his accomplices must be indicted and thrown in jail.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 10:46 AM

9. I keep going back to the bare-bones basics of how the GOP made a complete mockery

of the whole idea of impeachment.

As it stands on the books now, for all of history, impeachment is a pathetic joke - a Sore Loserman travesty built on lies about a blow-job with a consenting adult.

And that’s how impeachment will stand, thus minimized and even semi-neutered, as long as it isn’t rehabilitated. Impeachment should be used as a legitimate tool for redress of seriously and legitimately heinous violations by the executive. High crimes and misdemeanors. IT’S GOT TO MEAN SOMETHING. Something beyond a mere poor-sportsmanship resentment response.

And again, trump claiming the Democrats want only to overturn the election results they don’t like is nothing more than the usual projection strategy. That’s what the CONS actually DID because they’ll be forever resentful that Bill Clinton had the audacity to deprive their “king” his royal entitlement (a second term as President). So now trump is trying to project that onto us Dems as applied to himself. They spent three quarters of his two terms trying to overturn the results of his election, and failed miserably. And the majority of the American public knew it.

Well, there’s one BIG difference, aside from the obvious comparisons of a stupid sexual peccadillo with an epic cavalcade of crimes, perjuries, betrayals, theft, gross flagrant multiple obstructions of justice, witness tampering and outright TREASON - AND MORE. Bill Clinton didn’t have to cheat to win, with help from a Hostile Foreign Power, the way trump did. Bill Clinton won the White House legitimately both times.

Say what you will about Bill Clinton. At least he never had to CHEAT to win.

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