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Thu Sep 12, 2019, 07:57 AM

Just a thought: Calling & losing a House vote for impeachment would be catastrophic

We need a majority of the House to pass—217 Democrats (plus independent Justin Amash) as of last week are on board—which means we must gather at least 87 more commitments by the end of the year.

Whatever one thinks about the wisdom of impeachment at any point, to demand a vote now would be demanding that we shoot ourselves in the foot, pretty much ending the process, and losing credibility with any voters who may have been undecided about impeachment.

I think this is one reason that the GOP, and their mouthpiece Moscow Mitch has kept quiet about it except to say that he won't even bring it to the Senate floor for a vote, which is what everyone expects him to do anyway.

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Reply Just a thought: Calling & losing a House vote for impeachment would be catastrophic (Original post)
ehrnst Thursday OP
PJMcK Thursday #1
ehrnst Thursday #2
ecstatic Thursday #7
NewJeffCT Thursday #11
OnDoutside Thursday #14
Cosmocat Thursday #18
NewJeffCT Thursday #20
Cosmocat Thursday #51
CrispyQ Thursday #72
Cosmocat Thursday #82
CrispyQ Thursday #85
Cosmocat Thursday #86
StarfishSaver Thursday #24
ehrnst Thursday #64
NewJeffCT Thursday #76
ehrnst Thursday #78
in2herbs Thursday #15
ehrnst Thursday #67
edhopper Thursday #8
ehrnst Thursday #36
edhopper Thursday #43
ehrnst Thursday #58
edhopper Thursday #65
ehrnst Thursday #71
H2O Man Thursday #69
abqtommy Thursday #9
ehrnst Thursday #74
abqtommy Thursday #83
ehrnst Thursday #84
StarfishSaver Thursday #10
cilla4progress Thursday #54
ehrnst Thursday #77
brooklynite Thursday #46
PJMcK Thursday #50
brooklynite Thursday #52
StarfishSaver Thursday #62
Hotler Thursday #60
wiggs Thursday #87
wiggs Thursday #88
ecstatic Thursday #3
ehrnst Thursday #5
ecstatic Thursday #12
ehrnst Thursday #21
StarfishSaver Thursday #26
ecstatic Thursday #33
StarfishSaver Thursday #34
ehrnst Thursday #38
ehrnst Thursday #63
Blues Heron Thursday #4
ehrnst Thursday #17
sharedvalues Thursday #6
Hekate Thursday #13
ehrnst Thursday #19
kentuck Thursday #16
ehrnst Thursday #23
kentuck Thursday #25
ehrnst Thursday #37
kentuck Thursday #39
ehrnst Thursday #49
kentuck Thursday #56
ehrnst Thursday #57
Cuthbert Allgood Thursday #22
StarfishSaver Thursday #27
Name removed Thursday #30
StarfishSaver Thursday #31
TwilightZone Thursday #32
Cuthbert Allgood Thursday #40
StarfishSaver Thursday #48
cilla4progress Thursday #59
ehrnst Thursday #79
brooklynite Thursday #66
StarfishSaver Thursday #70
ehrnst Thursday #35
Cuthbert Allgood Thursday #41
ehrnst Thursday #47
Mike 03 Thursday #28
ehrnst Thursday #44
GeorgeGist Thursday #29
ehrnst Thursday #42
Amimnoch Thursday #45
ooky Thursday #53
Kurt V. Thursday #55
cilla4progress Thursday #61
Poiuyt Thursday #68
ehrnst Thursday #75
StarfishSaver Thursday #80
empedocles Thursday #73
StarfishSaver Thursday #81

Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:12 AM

1. It's not about voting to impeach now

It's about holding impeachment hearings. Get the information out into the public sphere. Show all of Trump's corruption to the broader public. Televise the hearings and the testimonies. That way, the broader public will tune into and understand the criminality of this White House.

The vote will come later. By then, hopefully, Americans will understand how Trump has damaged our nation.

Those of us on DU are probably caught in our own echo chamber since we're generally more progressive than the general public.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:17 AM

2. There are many here on DU exclaiming "IMPEACH NOW"

Which is different than "INVESTIGATE NOW"

Which Nadler states is happening.

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:24 AM

7. For me, IMPEACH NOW! means get the official inquiry

started and official impeachment hearings started. I think that's what most of us mean when we say it. We're not idiots or naive about what the outcome of a Senate trial would be. We're just super frustrated and want the process to officially begin.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:31 AM

11. They've been trying to get hearings started all year

They've gotten stonewalled every step of the way - no shows, bogus claims of executive privilege and more. With Trump Toady Barr in charge of DOJ, any criminal referrals for Contempt of Congress are going to be dropped by him. So, Congress has to sue and wait for the cases to go through the courts.

This is NOT going to line up nicely like it did with Watergate with weeks and weeks of public testimony where witnesses would come in one after the other to testify live on TV no matter if they call it Impeachment Hearings, Impeachment Inquiries or just regular testimony before Congress. If witnesses do show up, they'll essentially take the 5th like Hope Hicks did a few weeks back.

I was attacked last week on here for stating that this is what would happen.

Unless they can get a blanket ruling from SCOTUS invalidating ALL claims of executive privilege by Team Trump, it's going to be a long hard slog to get anybody to testify.



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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:39 AM

14. EVERYONE should read your post. That's the backstory that many hotheads don't get. Democrats

would look like idiots to proceed with an Inquiry while they have few witnesses and few documents. As soon as there is a judicial enforcement ruling, by all means go forward with it then.

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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:56 AM

18. People don't get the time frames with this

The first two years of his term the GOP used congress to completely protect his scumbag ass.

This stuff takes time, and as you noted, they are using their experiences from Watergate, other investigations well as what they did to Clinton to stimie things now.

AND, there will be absolutely be blowback if they have impeachment proceedings in the election year.

SO, the have one congressional year (which only has the in session in DC for a few months total) to get this all buttoned up.

GOP knew this and again as you note, have been completely off the rails in doing what they can this year to hold it up.

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #18)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:00 AM

20. Team Trump is following the Iran Contra playbook

That was arguably much worse than Watergate, but history doesn't see it that way because the hearings were sporadic and many witnesses stonewalled and/or took the 5th. And, the one big public witness that most remember was Ollie North, which was a Public Relations win for Republicans, even if what he did was pretty damning and criminal.

Who was AG for George HW Bush in the latter part of the Iran Contra hearings - Billy Barr

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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:39 AM

51. YYEEPP

From Nixon to now the scandals have been increasingly more horrible, and they have suffered less.

Watergate - Nixon leave ahead of impeachment
Iran Contra - St Ronnie has no accountability because he was too stupid to know what his people were doing
Iraq - nothing cause this country just could not take another scandal

IF we make it past 45, how horrible with the next one be?

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #51)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:26 PM

72. "...and they have suffered less."

Which has fed the two narratives that there's not much difference between the two parties, & that the dems are weak.
They may lie, cheat, & steal, but the GOP has been playing the long game, while the dems have been in reactionary mode.

My first answer to your question was going to be, much worse, because the next one will have a veneer of decency, but decency won't sell to cult 45, so I don't know. I don't even want to imagine someone worse than Trump, but I'm sure he's out there & someone is thinking of hurling him into the public sphere.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #72)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 01:18 PM

82. absolutely

the dems part of this over time has been being W A Y too passive.

Socialism is cancer to dems, but if it get said 1,000 times, 900 times by republican pols, operatives, propogandists, and 95 times by the "serious" media positing over it.

THEY frame it, the media parrots it, and dems are too GD scared to call republicans for what they CLEARLY are - relentless amoral, dishonest and corrupt.

We have rights to the high ground and our leaders are too scared to claim it.

How friggen hard it is to just slap down any conversation on health care by saying the simple truth - the republican party does not have a seat at the table in talking about health care because their answer to it is to take away from people.

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #82)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 07:52 PM

85. It's like the dems don't even know what marketing is.

Controlling the narrative, framing the debate, call it what you want, it's not good enough to tell people to go to your platform page & read what you're about, you have to get out there & push the message, control it, & challenge any message that is contrary to yours. We need to dissect that Joe Conservative essay & come up with some clever one-liners for every issue mentioned & start a comprehensive ad campaign. We're about 35 years too late.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #85)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:04 PM

86. Yep

Some big money Dem supporters have to get together to set up the kinds of messaging and operations shops the GOP has about 1,000 of. N

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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:04 AM

24. This is so important for people to understand.

I just don't get why people still refuse to recognize that impeachment doesn't magically open up the floodgates of testimony and documents. Trump will continue to stonewall an impeachment process just as he's been stonewalling every investigation up until now. And the process for forcing him to comply is almost exactly the same under an impeachment as it is under for other investigations.

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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:08 PM

64. Yep, and this SCOTUS sure as HELL isn't going to invalidate executive privilege. (nt)

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #64)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:49 PM

76. I bet they will invalidate most of the Executive Privilege claims

with Roberts and maybe 1, 2 or even 3 others joining the 4 left of center justices. The Trumpian interpretation is complete BS.

However, Team Trump witnesses will just take the 5th if called to testify so it will just be not much of an improvement. That said, Ross or Mnuchin or Kushner or the Trump boys on the stand taking the 5th can and will make an impression.

Of course, if the SCOTUS invalidates Exec Privilege and they still refuse to turn over documents or testify, then the Constitutional Crisis gets elevated to another level.

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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #76)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 01:10 PM

78. Dunno about SCOTUS, but yes, Trump witnesses will take the 5th.

Ross or Mnuchin or Kushner or the Trump boys on the stand taking the 5th can and will make an impression.


Trump supporters will cheer them for doing so, and expect their Republican Reps to do the same. Frankly, there will be no real change in public perception of Trump's fitness for office.

Even loans from Russia will be passed off as "So what? They believed in his projects. He's a winner," and not conflicts of interest. His followers believed Barr and not Mueller's own words about the Mueller report's "exoneration." They think that his tax returns should be 'private' just like theirs are....

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:39 AM

15. Agree. Begin the inquiry -- yesterday! The rest will follow. nt

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:13 PM

67. "Super frustrated" isn't reason enough to possibly end our chances of taking back the Senate in 2020

You know, people who aren't straight white males have been dealing with being "super frustrated" for decades, if not centuries. We've survived - we've been told that there is a process by which things are done so that they last.

We understand that when big mistakes are made at the political level - HUGE things happen to us before straight white men, and often instead of white men.

Still looking for an answer to my question: What will impeachment do to actually change what Trump does or how he does things whatsoever?

Other than making you less frustrated, what will impeachment actually do in the way of holding him accountable - or not "letting him off the hook" as you put it?

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:25 AM

8. No we don't

those of us who want to "IMPEACH NOW" as you put it want them to start impeachment hearings, not an immediate vote on impeachment.

Hope that clears it up for you.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #8)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 10:05 AM

36. Well, then saying "Hearings NOW" would be a bit clearer, wouldn't it? (nt)

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #36)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 10:42 AM

43. I suppose

but start the impeachment implies start the hearings to me.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #43)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:56 AM

58. People remember Clinton's impeachment, and I think that's what they are thinking of. (nt)

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #58)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:11 PM

65. Perhaps you are right

though the circumstances for that were very different.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #65)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:26 PM

71. The idea that if the opposing party can do damage to a POTUS for lying about a blow job

via impeachment somehow means we can damage this POTUS for worse doesn't take into account those differences.

What I see in the event of an impeachment, is that afterwards, when the Senate refuses to remove him, and he and his supporters are all celebrating about how he was "found innocent" and gets even more emboldened to plunder taxpayers and flout the law for his own gain, that people who had all of these expectations that impeachment was going to somehow "hold him accountable" or "fix things" will then turn on Pelosi and congressional Dems because it's all THEIR FAULT!!!

As though starting impeachment earlier, before we had all the facts in place, would somehow have made everything go the way they wanted it to. And WE NEED TO VOTE THEM ALL OUT!! THEY SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO US!!!

And that's what we'll be in the middle of when we go into the 2020 elections, when we need unity and common purpose the most, because the GOP and Russia will totally feed it and magnify it and win again in 2020.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #8)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:14 PM

69. Thank you!

We want the process to begin. I've yet to see anyone saying that we demand a vote to impeach and send it to the Senate without first hearing the evidence.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:26 AM

9. I totally agree.

I don't think there's any way that tRUMP and his minions will survive investigations utilizing public hearings, in combination with tRUMP's self-destructive behaviors plus near-daily revelations of the corruption involved. In the end I expect the angry swell of public opinion to force both tRUMP and Pence to resign and that makes pearl-clutching over an impeachment vote a moot point. Remember, Nixon set a precedent by resigning...

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Response to abqtommy (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:36 PM

74. "I don't think there's any way that tRUMP and his minions will survive investigations utilizing

public hearings,"

You mean like when Trump didn't survive the Mueller hearings that clearly showed he obstructed justice? They "survive" because there's no way for them to be taken out other than by Trump firing them. Impeachment won't change that at all.

in combination with tRUMP's self-destructive behaviors plus near-daily revelations of the corruption involved. In the end I expect the angry swell of public opinion to force both tRUMP and Pence to resign and that makes pearl-clutching over an impeachment vote a moot point.


You really think that anyone who has ignored or simply defended all of his previous behaviors and near-daily revations of corruption thus far will suddenly listen to Democratic leaders, and say, "I was WRONG about Donald Trump!! He must be removed FORTHWITH!!"

Remember, Nixon set a precedent by resigning...


Nixon knew that he was going to be removed by a Democratic Senate. Trump knows that he won't be removed no matter what comes out at the impeachment hearings. So there's that.

You really think Pence will resign? He started an election PAC starting 2017.... Mother is likely measuring for the drapes in the Oval Office. And if Trump isn't resigning with every thing there is on him, why the hell should Pence be thinking he should? What do they have on Pence, in the way of crimes anyway? Care to share?

You really think Trump will resign, knowing that once he's out of office, Barr can't protect him from indictment on anything that he's done in office, and that by staying in a second term he can run out the statute of limitations on other crimes? Or at least without a guarantee that Pence will pardon him of all crimes committed in office as his first act in office?








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Response to ehrnst (Reply #74)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 05:22 PM

83. You may be right, but then again so may I.

There's lots of ways to get rid of tRUMP so let's use them all.

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Response to abqtommy (Reply #83)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 06:01 PM

84. Not if they cancel each other out.... (nt)

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:27 AM

10. Impeachment hearings, done right, take a great deal of preparation

They can't be done willy nilly. They must be carefully coordinated, especially when the wrongdoing is a widespread and disparate as Trump's is. They can't appear to be fishing expeditions but must present a cohesive story. In order to do this, the committees need documents, witnesses and information. All of that is being done. It's a slow process, but the only way to get it right.

Impeachment hearings also can't be open-ended with no clear endpoint. The public and press have limited attention spans and patience. While some people think impeachment hearings will be must-see tv, let's not forget that several hearings on Trump's corruption have been held and televised and now they're just rear-view mirror material.

The hearings must be concise, cohesive and compelling. And they should only be held for a fairly short period of time. Otherwise people will lose interest and, worse, insist that there must be no there there or else the House would be ready to impeach. And if the numbers still aren't there for an impeachment, that could be a problem.

The hearings are coming. But the committee is making sure when they do, they come right.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:51 AM

54. SS -

you are one of my guideposts here. I may not always agree, but you speak with clarity, equanimity, and seeming knowledge/experience.

I recommend others listen closely to what you say (or read closely your posts!). 😀

I tweeted back at David Rothkopf this a.m. because he continuously drags Dems for their tempo. Am I frustrated at the pace? YES! But we've all now seen drumpf's slipperiness, and the complicity of his enablers. This is likely one of the biggest, most important undertakings of this young Republic. Being methodical, careful, deliberate about it,is everything.

I find it almost comical that it is in the most unprepossessing countenance and embodiment - Jerry Nadler - head cold and all - that we may find our salvation!

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:50 PM

77. "If you come for the king, you best not miss."

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:33 AM

46. The House can't "televise the hearings"

That's a decision by the TV networks. And the TV model today is far different. Viewership would be a small fraction of 1974.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #46)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:38 AM

50. Of course the House isn't a network

If there are hearings, they won't be behind closed doors. Don't you think cable news would cover them?

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #50)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:42 AM

52. Yes and no...

CNN and MSNBC would likely cover the first sessions, but unless compelling evidence emerged, they wouldn't continually broadcast every hearing. And very few people whose minds weren't already made us would watch in comparison to other available programming.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #46)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:00 PM

62. You make a very good point

The house can open the earrings at cameras, but it's up to the networks to broadcast them. And as we seen, they are awesome very arbitrary and we're decisions on what to show and what not to show.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:58 AM

60. I agree. Impeachment doesn't have to be about removing the man.

It's about pulling back the curtain for the whole world to see what an asshole the man is. The investigative tools and the open airing for the corruption are what we need. If we can have extra strength investigations and hearings without calling it impeachment, I'm all for it.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:18 PM

87. right. Impeachment is a potential solution at the end of a process. We need to enter and/or

continue the process of information gathering, making it public, lobbying recalcitrant legislators...and then if the information warrants by all means vote on impeachment.

Just like always, media and pundits want the answer before asking the question and exploring the options.

I hope for impeachment ASAP because I'm fairly familiar with the issues (regular DU reader as well as news explorer) but there very well may be other outcomes from the process too, once the public and gop are faced with public facts. Resignation a la Nixon and a pence pardon. Negotiated buyout and resignation with a claim of victory and promise not to prosecute. Participation in some of the counterintelligence and State investigations. A whistleblower who blows the lid off the gop and Trump, resulting in mass resignations and few hopes for 2020.

But the first step is gathering strong information and building a case...the first step is not taking a stand on a potential impeachment vote one way or the other. Let's do the homework, quickly.

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Response to wiggs (Reply #87)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:23 PM

88. I like seth's points on dems' current stands

1/ It'd be fine for the Speaker to say, "We have sufficient facts for impeachment now—but want more," but the rhetorical game she's playing—to justify not taking action—is undercutting all the work hundreds of people have done for 3 years now to build a massive stock of evidence.

2/ There's a way to do what Speaker Pelosi is doing that's honest, transparent, and smart—but this isn't it.

*Any sentence* a Democrat utters to media that sounds *anything like* "We're looking for the evidence" rather than "We have tons of evidence and want more" is *uncut BS*.

If no Democratic candidate says "the Mueller Report" tonight it's a colossal error and missed opportunity

Don't talk about how you oppose Donald Trump if you can't spare the breath to direct Americans to where they can begin reading about his crimes

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:19 AM

3. Failure to respond to trump's crimes would be inexcusable.

The history books would not be kind. Congress has a duty to protect our nation and constitution.

Like so many of us keep saying, they can drag out the hearings and delay the actual vote. Maybe do the vote after the election, but it's really important that everyone is forced to go on record.

Failure to at least attempt to hold trump accountable through impeachment would make our party complicit with trump's crimes, indistinguishable from Mitch and the rethugs. Not to mention, we'd look weak as hell. It's not a good look. JMO.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:21 AM

5. Do you think holding a losing vote for impeachment would be an effective way to

respond to Trump's crimes?

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:32 AM

12. Again, the vote can be delayed, but start the

impeachment hearings. And yes, I do think a losing vote would be an effective way to respond to Trump's crimes.

For me, that question is like asking whether it was worth it to prosecute George Zimmerman for murdering Trayvon Martin. After all, the jury was likely to be full of racist gun humpers who would acquit him.

Since when do we not even try to get justice because the odds are stacked against us?

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:02 AM

21. You mean like Nadler's doing?

I would think that one would want to get every last shred of evidence in place and confirmed of his impeachable offensed prior to taking it to a full inquiry.

"If you come at the king, you best not miss."

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:08 AM

26. The vote can't be delayed indefinitely

You really think that holding a House vote to impeach that fails "would be an effective way to respond to Trump's crimes"?

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #26)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:47 AM

33. I don't think the House vote would fail. I think it would pass.

It could fail in the Senate, but letting trump off the hook for well documented abuses of power would forever tarnish republicans.

Not holding a vote would be a gift to republicans. In 10 years, hell, 2 years, when the corruption of trump's administration is fully exposed, those same rethugs can attack Nancy for not impeaching. They can say they would have voted to impeach had Nancy started the process and there'd be nothing she could do or say to rebut them.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #33)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:57 AM

34. You may not think it will fail, but Pelosi does and I gotta go with her on this one

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #33)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 10:23 AM

38. Do you have information that Pelosi and Nadler don't?

Please share. Just because you want something to be true doesn't make it true.

This is count that's updated when support is confirmed. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/19/733536620/who-in-the-house-is-calling-for-impeachment

but letting trump off the hook for well documented abuses of power would forever tarnish republicans.


No one has yet been able to explain to me how impeachment would do anything to stop Trump from doing anything he's doing now. Can you? Because if it doesn't actually affect his actions, how does it do whatever the opposite of "letting him off the hook" is?

Not holding a vote would be a gift to republicans.


It would be a gift to the GOP to hold it, because of what happened to Democratic Senators in red states because of the Kavanaugh confirmation vote. There vote wouldn't change a damn thing, but they would be put in a position of voting with the Democrats and losing their seat, or voting in a way that kept their seat but got them trashed by other member of their party:

https://beta.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/09/20/democratic-senators-in-red-states-are-in-a-lose-lose-situation/

In 10 years, hell, 2 years, when the corruption of trump's administration is fully exposed, those same rethugs can attack Nancy for not impeaching.


I'm not clear on what you are saying here - that the repugs who you say think Pelosi is 'giving them a gift" by not voting will 'attack Pelosi for congress not voting to impeach?" Doesn't make sense. Can you rephrase?

Well, if we don't get the Senate back in 2020 or lose more congressional seats from swing districts because of their vote to impeach, in 10 years, the repubs can thank Pelosi and everyone who pressured her to impeach for putting Dem Senators from Red States and reps from swing districts in the position of choosing between voting with their party or keep their seat, when their vote didn't accomplish anything at all to stop Trump from doing anything, because the Senate still has Mitch as majority leader....

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:07 PM

63. Well the negative consequences must be considered.

It's not like we have nothing to lose by impeaching, and need to balance that with what can be gained. We could lose any chance of taking back the Senate. Taking back the Senate and keeping the House is vital to reversing Trump's damage. What happened to Democratic Senators in Red States during the Kavanaugh confirmation vote should be a lesson.

https://beta.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/09/20/democratic-senators-in-red-states-are-in-a-lose-lose-situation/

For me, that question is like asking whether it was worth it to prosecute George Zimmerman for murdering Trayvon Martin. After all, the jury was likely to be full of racist gun humpers who would acquit him.


First off, impeachment is not a judicial proceeding, it's a political one. It has no power whatsoever to stop him or punish him from doing anything. A shooting is different, because it's a judicial proceeding, there is no real option other than to proceed with a criminal trial process within the judicial system.

And yes, I do think a losing vote would be an effective way to respond to Trump's crimes.



What "justice" do you think will come from an impeachment? Knowing that it won't lead to shortening his term by a single minute, nor will it stop him from doing anything that he's doing now. Knowing that it will completely energize/enrage his supporters, who would not believe a single thing that Democratic leaders reveal in impeachment hearings - just like they did with the Mueller testimony.

Again - there are reasons that even you must admit that we don't impeach Kavanaugh right now, even though it would 'respond' to Mitch stealing a SCOTUS seat from Obama. We don't do it because we know that it won't do a damn bit of good even if we could remove him, because Trump can just replace him with someone worse and we still couldn't block the nomination.

It's not always black/white win/lose.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:20 AM

4. Doubt it.

it would hardly be any more catastrophic than letting the orange anus off the hook completely, which is the other option.

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Response to Blues Heron (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:53 AM

17. So there's nothing to be done other than holding a losing vote on impeachment and

'letting him off the hook?"

Can you tell me what a losing vote to impeach will do to "hold him accountable?"

Can you tell me what impeachment will do to stop him from doing anything that he's doing now?

Especially seeing that there is no way the AG will allow any charges or indictments of any kind to move forward?

Can you describe with "keeping him on the hook" means in concrete terms so far as Congress is concerned? The courts have more recourse to block his actions than congress does.

I understand that anger and frustration often leads to scapegoating, but I'm still not clear on what impeachment - even if we can get a vote to go forward - will accomplish other than forcing Dems in swing districts to vote in a way that could cost them their seat, when there won't be any chance of removing him or stopping him from doing anything he's doing.

It's easy to be mad at congress for "not holding him accountable" if one doesn't really understand what "holding him accountable" actually means.

A quick check on what congress (particularly without the cooperation of the Senate or the POTUS) can do, as per the separation of powers laid out in the constitution, even with impeachment procedings having started from day one of his administration:

Remove him from office? Nope.
Indictment? Arrest? Even after finding evidence of crimes? Nope.
Stop him from tweeting? Nope.
Stop his administration from moving money away from FEMA to ICE? Nope.
Stop him from finding even worse replacements for Bolton/Ross/Mnunchin/Kushner? Nope.
Stop him from staying at his resorts and lining his pockets? Nope.
Stop him from spouting more hate speech? Nope.
Stop him from issuing executive orders rolling back environmental protections? Nope.
Stop him from consulting Stephen Miller on immigration policy? Nope.
Stop him from alienating our allies? Nope.
Stop his administration from moving the Department of Agriculture to Kansas? Nope.
Stop his administration the National Parks for his Fourth of July self-aggrandizement? Nope.
Stop his administration from opening National Parks for oil drilling and removing other protections? Nope.
Stop his administration from purging scientific data from federal websites? Nope.
Stop his administration from doing damage to the ACA by refusing to fund "navigators" and IT for administering it in HHS? Nope.
Stop his administration from underfunding housing and medical treatment for migrant detainees? Nope.
Stop him from contradicting his own intelligence agencies on national threats? Nope.
Force his administration to acknowledge and act on election security measures? Nope.




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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:23 AM

6. This is true.

No house impeachment vote now. Later.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:33 AM

13. Investigate now. Televised hearings now. Basically what Nadler et al are gearing up to do.

I admit there are days I completely lose patience with the pace of the process. I want them all gone. The Trump Mob is a gang of traiterous monsters.

But the reality is pretty much as you have stated, and as always, Nancy Pelosi can count votes. The people here who have not yet written their own Congressperson really ought to do that and stop cussing out Nancy on an anonymous discussion board. If they're not living in her district, they can't vote for her -- so they should be writing the person they can vote for. Same for their Senators.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:56 AM

19. Yes, I think that we forget that those in congress, even in swing districts must be responsive

to their constituents.

We are reminded of this often whenever Congressman Bernie Sanders' voting record on gun safety laws is brought up.

There is always the "Profiles in Courage Award' for politicians who buck their constituency with a vote for a greater good and lose their career for it, but that won't help us when the cleanup after Trump starts, and we need every congressional seat we can get.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:48 AM

16. There have been a couple of impeachment votes already?

Led by Al Green of TX.

They were defeated rather handily.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:03 AM

23. He has not been able to since Democrats have taken back the house.

I'm assuming for reasons that I laid out in the OP.

He did it while the House was GOP controlled, and they were fine with it coming up for a vote and losing,

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #23)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:06 AM

25. The latest was after the attack on the "Squad"..

As I recall?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #25)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 10:22 AM

37. His proposal in July didn't go to the floor. (nt)


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Response to ehrnst (Reply #37)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 10:24 AM

39. It got about 80 votes.

So it did go to the floor.

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #49)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:52 AM

56. It was not a truly serious vote.

They did not have a list of offenses, other than he was simply unfit for office.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #56)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:54 AM

57. That's important. Specific charges and hard evidence to back them up must

be airtight before even considering such a move.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:02 AM

22. They need to do their job.

When the hearings started with Nixon, it was pretty clear the numbers weren't there to impeach. As they found out more and more things through the investigation/hearing, it was clear he was going to have to be removed.

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Response to Cuthbert Allgood (Reply #22)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:10 AM

27. The Nixon impeachment hearings weren't televised, so they didn't affect public opinion

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #27)


Response to Name removed (Reply #30)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:42 AM

31. You're probably thinking of the Senate hearings held in the summer of 1973

The impeachment hearings were held the following spring and summer and, other than the first 20 minutes of the first hearing, they weren't televised.

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Response to Name removed (Reply #30)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:45 AM

32. Nope.

The first twenty minutes were televised, then the House switched to closed sessions.

"The House Judiciary Committee opened its formal impeachment hearings against the President on May 9, 1974. The first twenty minutes were televised on the major U.S. networks, after which the committee switched to closed sessions for the next two months."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_process_against_Richard_Nixon#Impeachment_hearings

It was the Senate Watergate Committee that held televised hearings, not the House.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_Watergate_Committee

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #27)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 10:26 AM

40. Barbara Jordan's Articles of Impeachment speech was televised.

And television was not the only place people got their news.

But it was about affecting opinion of people in the House and, more importantly, Republicans in the Senate who were forced to eventually tell Nixon he had to leave because they couldn't vote to not remove him given what the investigation revealed.

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Response to Cuthbert Allgood (Reply #40)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:36 AM

48. That wasn't the hearing.

That was during the markups when they voted on the articles of impeachment after completion of the hearings at the end of the process in the judiciary committee.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #48)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:57 AM

59. Dayum, SS...

who ARE you????

😂

Seems like you have direct.knowledge....

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #48)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 01:11 PM

79. Those pesky facts again, getting in the way of a righteous rant...

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #27)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:11 PM

66. They certainly did...

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #66)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:21 PM

70. As I've said repeatedly, the first 20 minutes of the first impeachment hearing was televised.

The video you posted is from that 20 minutes on May 9, 1974. After 20 minutes, the hearing was closed and no subsequent hearings were televised.

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Response to Cuthbert Allgood (Reply #22)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 10:03 AM

35. Their job is to impeach when there is a majority that votes for it, as per the constitution.

Nixon's situation was a different one in some important ways - Republicans were willing to investigate and vote to remove Nixon because their constituents cared about illegal activity by a GOP POTUS. They don't now. Trump has an 88% approval rating among Republican voters, even after the Mueller report clearly showed obstruction, and all of the things that we know about him during office have come out. They either don't believe any allegations against Trump, or they don't care.

You actually think that impeachment hearings or probes, run by Democratic leaders are going to somehow convince the same people think the Mueller Report "exonerated" Trump from obstruction, despite the GOP investigator appointed by the GOP stating it didn't exonerate Trump, on live television in a hearing, that they were wrong about Trump all along? And that he needs to be removed?

Impeachment will not remove Trump, it will not change anyone's mind about Trump's fitness for office, and we know this going in. There will be no way that Red State Senators will vote to remove him, because they will lose their seat next term, as per voting to displease 88% of the base.

Impeachment is political and not a judicial proceeding. I mean we could say it's the "job" of congress to impeach Kavanaugh, or Clarence Thomas, but even can you see how that would harm justice even more by doing so at this time - no matter how morally right it would seem to be. The choice would not actually between "Let Thomas continue to harm justice and set a bad example for the history books by not impeaching OR replace him with someone better," no matter how much one wanted to believe that. It would actually be "Don't impeach Thomas OR let Trump replace him with a clone half his age, which would actually do far, far more damage long term than Thomas being replaced by a future Democratic administration."

I think that the choice congress has AT THIS POINT is not "Impeach and many bad things he's doing will suddenly stop and it's the only way that history books will say that we did the right thing, OR WE ARE "LETTING" TRUMP CONTINUE THE WAY HE IS AND KEEP TRAUMATIZING EVERYONE" but actually "Impeach (and it doesn't do a thing to slow down traumatizing thing he's doing now up through 2020 but maybe increases them when he lashes back with something to distract us like a military strike) and we lose any chance of taking the Senate in 2020 OR don't impeach (and he keeps on doing what he's doing now, but maybe doesn't feel a need to start a war to distract from impeachment) and we have a much better chance of taking back the senate because we avoided a pointless vote where Dem Senators in Red States had to choose between keeping their jobs or voting with Democrats, which history will view as a much, much smarter strategy for the future of the country.


I see voting for impeachment IN THIS SITUATION AT THIS TIME not as that will turn out to protect our Democracy and historic legacy, like the vote to enter WW2 after the attack on Pearl Harbor, but more like a vote for the Iraq Resolution or the Viet Nam war, initially thought to be something that would protect our Democracy from imminent danger, but that history would view as grave mistake on our part, made without full examination of the unintended consequence, and without the public having a full understanding of the ramifications.

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #35)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 10:29 AM

41. History does not support you in the claim that Republicans were willing to remove.

That was markedly NOT the case when the House started the proceedings. Over time, it became clear that they would have to remove him.

The House can start the investigation on a large scale right now and never put the Senators in a position to have to vote before the 202 election.

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Response to Cuthbert Allgood (Reply #41)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:36 AM

47. Actually history does support my claim that there were republicans willing to impeach

Last edited Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:14 PM - Edit history (1)

That was markedly NOT the case when the House started the proceedings. Over time, it became clear that they would have to remove him.
Moving the goalposts are we?

Perhaps a review is in order:

Sunday, July 28, 1974
The House Judiciary Committee took the momentous step last night of recommending that the president of the United States be impeached and removed from office.

The first such impeachment recommendation in more than a century, it charges President Nixon with unlawful activities that formed a "course of conduct or plan" to obstruct the investigation of the Watergate break-in and to cover up other unlawful activities.

The vote was 27 to 11, with 6 of the committee's 17 Republicans joining all 21 Democrats in voting to send the article to the House.

The bipartisan support for the article adopted last night makes impeachment by the House seem more than likely. The majority included three conservative Southern Democrats and three conservative Republicans.



That was markedly NOT the case when the House started the proceedings. Over time, it became clear that they would have to remove him.


Key differences between Nixon and Trump and the loyalty of their supporters:

- Nixon was a lame-duck president; Trump’s definitely not. When the buzzards began circling Richard Nixon’s presidency, he was well into his second term, and faced a Democratic-controlled Congress that was not about to let him off the hook for any Watergate-related revelations. By the time definitive evidence of obstruction of justice emerged, the House was already considering articles of impeachment, and Democrats held 56 Senate seats. Trump is already running for reelection in what bids fair to become a savagely polarized 2020 campaign, and his party controls the Senate and thus can make (and almost certainly already has made) his removal from office via the impeachment process all but impossible. To the extent that Trump’s entire presidency is the product of some of the most intense partisanship in living memory, and his entire personality is based on his identity as a “winner,” the odds of him ever resigning in the face of attacks from Democrats seem very low. And Republicans know that.

- Trump is a lot more popular among today’s Republicans than Nixon was among yesterday’s. People remember that Richard Nixon was reelected in 1972 by a huge landslide, but was forced to resign less than two years later. But it’s less clearly remembered that inbetween the two events his popularity steadily dropped — among Republicans as well as Democrats and independents.

According to Gallup, Nixon’s job-approval ratings among Republicans fell from 91 percent in February of 1973 to 54 percent by October of that year. There were multiple reasons for that plunge, including, yes, Watergate publicity (punctuated by the Saturday Night Massacre in which Nixon fired his attorney general, his deputy attorney general, and the Watergate special prosecutor), plus the resignation of his vice-president, Spiro Agnew, after being caught accepting bribes; growing public hostility to delays in ending the Vietnam War; and the beginning of a recession that interrupted a long period of economic growth. By the time Nixon was forced to resign, his approval rating overall was a terrible 24 percent, and just 50 percent among Republicans.

- At present, Trump’s approval rating among Republicans (also according to Gallup) is at 89 percent. It’s never been lower than 79 percent during his presidency. As long as he’s this popular among his party’s rank and file, he’s got a decent shot at reelection, and more to the point, few in the ranks of GOP elected officials are going to cross him.

The Republican Party is more monochromatic ideologically than it was during Watergate. Many conservative Republicans defended Nixon long after the public had soured on him. That gave him some Republican support, but in those days of a strong moderate and even liberal wing of the GOP, it wasn’t enough to save him.

Trump’s whole approach to politics incentivizes partisan combat, not fact-based investigations. Whether or not Donald Trump is a symptom of partisan and ideological polarization on the right, or its cause (he’s almost certainly both), we have long passed the point at which Republicans are particularly concerned about whether his words are truthful or his behavior is lawful. If we’ve all become somewhat desensitized to presidential lying, it’s particularly true of fellow partisans whose daily bread is Fox & Friends, and who glory in how crazy his lies drive journalists and Democrats. Those who can remain calm when their president makes up a myth of “millions of illegal votes” for his opponent in 2016 because he can’t accept the fact that he lost the popular vote, and routinely threatens his enemies with extra-constitutional vengeance, are not suddenly going to dump him.


http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/04/gop-abandon-trump-like-nixon.html

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:22 AM

28. The power of impeachment is in the hearings, not the vote

I say keep the investigations going and look at everything, not just Mueller. The analogy I use is that it's like holding a gun to Trump's head. The power is in holding the gun to his head, not in pulling the trigger (since we know impeachment will fail in the senate).

But the grueling day-by-day coverage of the hearings and the exposure of crime after crime will have a cumulative impact on both his mental state and public opinion. It will get to seem utterly ridiculous that we have this idiot as a president.

Remember shaggy dog jokes? They don't have a punchline.

EDIT to add to a sentence.

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #28)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:07 AM

44. Well, that's not something that a lot of the public, even here on DU understands.

Many simply see it all as the same.

The OP hopes to correct that.

But the grueling day-by-day coverage of the hearings and the exposure of crime after crime will have a cumulative impact on both his mental state and public opinion.


As for the Public - Judging by the reaction to the Mueller hearing, Trump's supporters don't hear anything that they don't want to hear, particularly when it's in a forum run by Democrats, even when it's testimony from a Republican, appointed by Republicans. Do you seriously think that anyone who has an opinion on Trump's fitness for office after everything that's come out will change that opinion because Nadler is presiding over hearings? Trump has an 88% approval rating among Republicans. We're not going to reach them at all, so impeachment will essentially function as exercise in validation for those who already know what he is. And there are definite possible negative unintended consequences that I believe outweigh my personal wish to sit and yell YES!!! at the television. I did that in the Mueller hearings, but because I knew that it would not have even the slightest negative effect on Trump or his administration's ability to to anything, I didn't have expectations to crush.

The analogy I use is that it's like holding a gun to Trump's head. The power is in holding the gun to his head, not in pulling the trigger (since we know impeachment will fail in the senate).


As for Trump - His mental state is a national security concern, as well as one affects financial markets and by extension retirement accounts and savings. What possible postitive outcome do you see in making him feel cornered and lashing out? A possible Reichstag Fire type incident to distract? He's talked about 9/11 being something that brought the country together. A military strike, maybe? Ramping up his hate speech to get his followers in a fury - perhaps leading to more acts of violence or shootings?

It will get to seem utterly ridiculous that we have this idiot as a president.


You actually think that anyone who believes after all this time that he's fit intellectually and mentally to be POTUS is EVER going to be convinced otherwise? Especially by a panel of Democratic politicians? Seriously?

Or are you hoping that that all those possible catastrophic consequences to our country of him lashing out that I listed - including deaths and another recession - are worth it because you think that it will somehow after all this time convince Mike Pence and Trump's cabinet to invoke the 25th? And even in that incredibly unlikely scenario- do you think that Pence will sacrifice his own political future by allowing him to be prosecuted for any crimes committed in office or at the federal level, and NOT grant him a full pardon as his very first act as POTUS?

I mean, Pence could say that Trump is "unwell" and really can't be held responsible for his actions. In fact, a friend has posited that Trump might just claim mental illness as a defense against all crimes comitted in office, and have his lawyer present all his tweets and the hundreds of articles on his mental health as evidence.


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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:22 AM

29. 218 is enough to impeach.

If 217 Dems plus Amash were on board, as you say, we're already there.

Where do you get the claim " we must gather at least 87 more commitments.. "?

Why must it be by the end of the year?

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #29)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 10:35 AM

42. There is enough to vote on a resolution outlining rules for inquiry, and that's scheduled for this

week.

Any later than early 2020 and it’s too close to the election.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:10 AM

45. I trust Speaker Pelosi.

100% absolutely and unconditionally trust in her wisdom, experience, and drive. She will make exactly the move that needs to be made when it's the right time to make them.

Here's my level of "concern" for the actions going on in our House when it comes to impeachment:

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:48 AM

53. Not going to happen.

People can call for it all they want. It's not going to happen if Pelosi doesn't put it to the floor, and she won't do that without having the votes.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:51 AM

55. of course but it didn't have to be that way.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:58 AM

61. Great thread and discussion

I learned a lot. Thanks!

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:14 PM

68. It's up to the House whip to make sure the party has enough votes

Jim Clyburn is a good man.

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Response to Poiuyt (Reply #68)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:42 PM

75. Geez, from what I've read here, that's Pelosi's job, along with

doing the DCCC's job in NC (she's apparently the reason that most recent election went to the Republican, because she has done NOTHING to fix election security which apparently she could totally do without the Senate and the WH cooperating if she wanted to....) getting young voters "excited about the Democratic party," talking to the press every single day about how Trump is a crook, not be on camera so much damnit she needs to be working on impeachment and spearheading ways to stop Trump from doing what he's doing, getting congress on board with impeachment using her power and influence, never say a word to anyone in congress that might make them unhappy even if it's to tell them to talk to each other before tweeting out complaints about other Dems, let AOC make more decisions about what congress should do without putting her on committees, which is now apparently "busy work," regard someone's number of twitter followers as a measure of how much say they have concerning her job, be brave, do whatever the polls indicate that democratic voters are interested in her doing this week....

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #75)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 01:14 PM

80. Best post of the day

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 12:35 PM

73. Just as we would not want to see a Dem impeached on a straight, or near straight, Party line

vote - there's something not right, there, and may not be workable; short or long term.

Trying to pressure or browbeat vulnerable Dems into voting impeachment seems very short-sighted.

Broad support is needed for a war.

Better strategy is to have 'con votes, which will require 'con voters to step up.

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Response to empedocles (Reply #73)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 01:16 PM

81. True

Also, if the Democrats do impeachment right in the House, it's very possible to pull away a few Republican Members and Senators. Not enough to convict in the Senate, but enough to ensure the process is seen as bipartisan.

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