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Fri Jul 12, 2019, 12:28 PM

New Yorker: Nancy Pelosi, Impeachment and Places in History

"Crises make and break historical reputations. In our current constitutional emergency, a few unlikely figures, above all the former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have upheld the rule of law, possibly redeeming their places in history. Many others, above all the current Attorney General, William Barr, seem determined to irretrievably sink theirs. Now the reputation at risk is that of the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

With regard to the debate over the proper response to Donald Trump’s brazen deeds, Pelosi has not taken impeachment off the table, saying, “I don’t think you should impeach for political reasons, and I don’t think you should not impeach for political reasons.” Yet political reasons seem to be preventing her from pursuing constitutional concerns. Her reasoning is clear: if the House were to launch an impeachment without “overwhelming” evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors and strong bipartisan public support, Trump’s inevitable acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate would only strengthen him, and he could cruise to reëlection. But, in this instance, Pelosi’s normally acute political judgment is failing her, and the historical precedent she is evidently relying on—the impeachment of President Bill Clinton—is not analogous. In fact, based on the past half century of political history, suppressing an impeachment inquiry seems more likely to help insure Trump’s reëlection. If this happens, Pelosi’s formidable reputation, based on a lifetime of public service and her role as the first female Speaker of the House, will suffer.

The basic historical error behind suppressing an impeachment inquiry confuses the genuine crisis surrounding Trump with the manufactured one that engulfed Clinton. In 1998, the House Republicans, lacking public support and all but assured that the Senate, though it was controlled by their own party, would not convict Clinton, impeached him anyway, which only served to win him sympathy and drive up his popularity ratings. Pelosi apparently sees the same thing happening now, but the two cases are very different.

When the scandal involving Clinton and Monica Lewinsky broke, in January of 1998, Republicans had been pursuing both Bill and Hillary Clinton for more than five years, and they had come up with nothing. In the view of most Americans, the Lewinsky story, although pathetic and unnerving, never amounted to a case sufficient to justify Clinton’s removal from office, even when attached to Clinton’s dissembling under oath about the matter. Moreover, Clinton, unlike Trump, was a broadly popular President: when the scandal broke, his approval rating hovered around sixty-six per cent; on the day he was impeached, it rose to seventy-three per cent; the week after his acquittal, it was the same as it had been at the beginning: sixty-six per cent."

More, including a comparison with the Nixon impeachment hearings: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/nancy-pelosi-impeachment-and-places-in-history

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Reply New Yorker: Nancy Pelosi, Impeachment and Places in History (Original post)
femmedem Friday OP
BeyondGeography Friday #1
HopeAgain Friday #2
Nevermypresident Friday #3
Duncan Grant Friday #4
myohmy2 Saturday #16
melman Friday #5
Celerity Saturday #13
myohmy2 Saturday #17
kentuck Friday #6
Duppers Saturday #8
diva77 Friday #7
Duppers Saturday #9
Hermit-The-Prog Saturday #10
mnhtnbb Saturday #11
myohmy2 Saturday #18
anarch Saturday #12
femmedem Saturday #15
Bettie Saturday #20
Celerity Saturday #14
spanone Saturday #19

Response to femmedem (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 12:49 PM

1. By Sean Wilentz

A heavyweight.

The lesson is simple: on matters as serious as a Presidential impeachment, the opposition must lead, not follow, public opinion; it must examine and develop the evidence in plain view, and not permit the White House to persist in shaping perceptions through concealment and lies.

...Pelosi, viewing the House and Senate proceedings narrowly, argues that Trump is best contested not with impeachment, which would be divisive, but by replaying the kitchen-table issues that won the Democrats the House majority in 2018—health care, immigration, and climate change. But that strategy would commit the classic military blunder of fighting a war on the basis of the last successful campaign, regardless of the facts and context.

...In accepting her Profile in Courage Award, she said, “In my public life, I have seen leaders who understood that their duty was not to do what was easy but what was right.” She added, “In the darkest hours of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote, ‘The times have found us’ . . . and today the times have found us to strengthen America. It is not about politics but about patriotism.” The choice is hers. More than her reputation rests on it.


She's blowing it.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 01:02 PM

2. Yep

Why so many are fearful of Trump is beyond me.

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 01:12 PM

3. 100% agree. And, please don't bore me with the line "well, it's not just Pelosi against

Impeachment". FGS, she has denied Nadler at least twice when he wanted to start the impeachment process. We know she has kept the lid on her caucus on this grave matter. GMAB

Party over Country, just like the repubs.

Do what is right Speaker, or get out of the way.

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 01:13 PM

4. Music to my ears.

There is no effective opposition party. Key word, effective.

How many instances have occurred in which any other president would have been impeached (if not convicted) within two weeks? Imagine President Obama in any of these forgotten scandals over the last few years. Imagine it.

And for those who say, “but the senate” - what a lazy system of thinking! Be better. High crimes and misdemeanors, remember?

We are telling ourselves this situation is ice cream when it clearly and conclusively — isn’t.

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Response to Duncan Grant (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 08:30 AM

16. +1

...

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 03:02 PM

5. Laurence Tribe

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Response to melman (Reply #5)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 05:48 AM

13. +10000

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Response to melman (Reply #5)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 08:30 AM

17. +1

...

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 03:06 PM

6. There is that possibility.

That her reputation will suffer.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #6)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 02:05 AM

8. 😉

"Will" suffer? 😂

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 03:24 PM

7. K&R x 1000!!!!!!

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 02:05 AM

9. K & R

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 02:53 AM

10. get the public hearings started

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 05:00 AM

11. It is a huge mistake not to bring an impeachment inquiry

It is the right thing to do. Mueller's report lays it out for Congress. The process of holding hearings will deliver the evidence to the American people on a daily basis through televised hearings. It can only help to bring about the downfall of several Republican Senators by putting them on the spot for defending 45.

By not bringing an impeachment inquiry, Pelosi is avoiding the use of her Constitutional authority to end this national nightmare of the Trump regime. History will not treat her kindly.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 08:32 AM

18. +1

...

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 05:34 AM

12. 'course, that's all pretty academic if it turns out we're at the end of history

Which is looking more and more likely, in my opinion.

Can't really "look bad in retrospect" or whatever if nobody is left to remember you.

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Response to anarch (Reply #12)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 08:21 AM

15. I wish I disagreed. n/t

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Response to anarch (Reply #12)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 08:44 AM

20. I wish I could say "nope, not going to happen"

but I can't because we're watching it happen.

The opposition (our party) is afraid to do anything at all.

The rule of law is dead.

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 05:55 AM

14. and now it looks like Barr is shutting down SDNY, so Rump may totally skate there too

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212272386


Massive fails all around, that will come back to bite us in the arse HARD.

If this had been a Democratic POTUS who did the same things Trump has done, they would have been drawn and quartered (and it WOULD have happened because many in our caucus would do the right thing and turn on them, we are not lawless scum Rethugs).

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Response to femmedem (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 08:42 AM

19. K&R...

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