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Member since: Mon Apr 22, 2019, 02:26 PM
Number of posts: 18,486

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I'm seeing an interesting but unfortunate phenomenon repeat itself here re: impeachment

Prior to Trump's first impeachment, some people here pushing for it resisted cautions that impeachment would not lead to his removal, arguing that it didn't matter that he wouldn't be convicted - he needed to be impeached to make a point.

But when he was impeached, there was a lot of second-guessing during and after the trial about how it was conducted because it didn't result in a conviction. I remember all kinds of criticisms about the Democrats'
strategy regarding choice of wrongdoing to charge, witnesses, subpoenas, arguments, etc The hindsight assumption among some here seemed to be that if the Democrats had done it differently, they could have removed Trump from office, although there was never a chance that would happen.

I'm seeing the same thing happen now with the second impeachment. Many people hammered the Democrats to impeach Trump last month, even If he was on his way out of office. The Democrats did that. Then some people harshly criticized Pelosi and Schumer for not forcing a trial before he left office, resisting all arguments that it couldn't be done and even if it could the Republican Senate would dispose of it with barely a whisper. "Do it anyway! It can't wait! He needs to be held accountable now!"

But now that we're in the middle of the trial, there is a lot of second guessing about Democrats choices of how to conduct the trial - people are complaining about a lack of witnesses, arguments, why aren't the Democrats harshly penalizing Republicans for not paying close enough attention or meeting with the defense counsel, etc. - as If the Democrats could force a conviction if they only did things differently, i.e., better.

This looks to me like a lot of moving of the goalposts, similar to what occurred during and after the first impeachment. We've known all along that, while it's possible, a conviction is highly unlikely and there's little the Democrats can do to get one. And just as the pre-impeachment argument was that a conviction is not necessarily the goal but impeachment and trial are necessary to put Trump's wrongdoing on the record for history, that is still an important and monumental outcome of this proceeding, whether or not conviction occurs.

The impeachment isn't and never has been the penultimate punishment of Trump. The civil and criminal justice systems will address that. The impeachment and Senate trial serve a different purpose - and the Democrats have performed that duty exquisitely.

I hope people will keep their eyes on the ball and on history as this continues to move forward.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Fri Feb 12, 2021, 08:53 AM (65 replies)

Never thought I'd say this, but From Bill Kristol's keyboard to God's ears:

Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu Feb 11, 2021, 09:13 PM (36 replies)

Let's hear it for the staff!

Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu Feb 11, 2021, 03:30 PM (7 replies)

Has anyone been listening to Senate Chaplain Barry Black's opening prayers?

He's been throwing righteous shade at the Republicans all week.

Today, he intoned: "Almighty God, our shelter from the storms, give our Senate jurors discernment that will rescue our nation from ruin."

And that was only part of it. He's calling them out.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu Feb 11, 2021, 12:15 PM (17 replies)

Even if Trump is convicted and disqualified, that's not a panacea and won't make him go away

First, he'll exploit his "victimhood" for all it's worth and gin his mindless cult up to continue fighting for him.

And then he'll STILL run again. Disqualification keeps him from holding office. It doesn't stop him from running. And he'll do that until he has to do something official, such as get his name in a ballot.

At that point, when he tries to get on a ballot, some Republican secretaries of state will probably allow him on. And the minute any other state denies him, he will sue on the grounds that the disqualification was invalid. He'll claim the impeachment was unconstitutional because the Senate had no power under the Constitution to try a former president - that once he left office, the Senate lost its jurisdiction over him. I believe that argument would fail, but he could keep the matter tied up in court for awhile, as we know he tends to do. And there's always a chance - remote though it may be - he could actually win and get himself on the ballot.

But no matter how the Court rules, in the meantime, he'll be around and in our faces.

So we shouldn't assume that this is a binary choice - that he's either acquitted, which means he can run again or he'll be convicted and disqualified and thereby go away and be no more bother.

He's going to be a pain in the ass no matter what happens.

But WE have some agency here. We can't take anything for granted. Regardless which way this goes, we have to do everything we can to make sure he is not relevant. That means pushing back HARD on any attempts to whitewash his evil and revitalize his political relevance.

And more important than anything, we have to stay engaged and move heaven and earth to ensure he cannot end up back in any kind of office - whether presidency, dogcatcher or anything in between. That includes going to the mat supporting Democrats (and not looking for reasons to tear them down), registering and educating voters, and working as hard as we did in 2020 to turn out the vote in off years, the mid-terms and beyond.

There's a chapter in To Kill a Mockingbird, in which Atticus shoots and kills a rabid dog and then tells his children not to go near it. "That dog is just as dangerous dead as he is alive."

That goes for Trump. Even if he is convicted and disqualified, he's almost as dangerous to our republic as he would be if he's acquitted. We can never turn our backs on him.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu Feb 11, 2021, 10:02 AM (11 replies)

Capitol Police Officer Appreciation Thread

You guys took a lot of hits in the first days after the insurrection. But the more we learn, the more we know that you went above and beyond the call of duty, at great risk to yourselves. In so doing, you probably saved our republic.

Thank you.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed Feb 10, 2021, 08:22 PM (47 replies)

Oh, snap. Cicilline put Tommy Tuberville on blast and then dropped him off on Front Street

with no pants on ...

For those not watching the trial - Cicilline talked in great detail about how Trump called Tommy Tuberville during the insurrection but got Mike Lee, who handed Tuberville the phone. Lee then heard Trump talk to Tuberville about what to do next to stop the count ... IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INSURRECTION while the Senators were hunkered down in hiding.

Which raises all kinds of questions - including why in the hell did Trump think he should call Tuberville, of all people. Was he sitting at the White House thinking, "Who should I talk to about stopping the court? Hmmm. I think I'll call a brand new senator from Alabama who's been in office for three days. Yeah. He's a trusted person."

It's obvious that he and Tuberville had been discussing this previously. Some call that conversations. I call it conspiracy.

I wish we could have seen Tuberville's expression when he got called out to his face like that.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed Feb 10, 2021, 06:47 PM (11 replies)

At this point, I no longer really care whether the Senate votes to convict or acquit

Donald Trump's guilt has been proven for all the world to see

We now have irrefutable proof that Donald Trump sent his goons to the Capitol to stop the electoral vote count and did nothing to stop them from trying to lynch the Speaker of the House, Vice President, and any other legislators they could get their hands on. We all see it. We all know it. It cannot be dismissed, discounted or gaslighted away.

While, of course, I want this man convicted and disqualified and hope the Senate convicts him. But if they don't, it won't really matter. Any senator who votes to acquit him after seeing this will not only be in a minority, they will be exposed to the world as a fraud, an enabler, a craven nothing deserving to join Trump on the trash heap of history.

And, from a practical standpoint, conviction won't make a huge difference. Yes, a conviction sends a message. But other than that, the only effect it will have is to disqualify Trump from future office. But conviction is not the only way to keep him out of office. We did it last November and we can do it again if he tries.

Whether he's convicted or acquitted, this trial has damned him for all time.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed Feb 10, 2021, 05:42 PM (57 replies)

The House Managers are tacitly calling out GOP senators as gullible sheep to their faces

They are not using a sledgehammer on Trump supporters who believed his lies. Instead, they are framing them as hapless victims. And many of the senators sitting in the chamber have swallowed and are repeating Trump's lies, just like his other supporters.

They're being called idiots to their faces.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed Feb 10, 2021, 01:26 PM (5 replies)

I'm done

Posted by StarfishSaver | Tue Feb 9, 2021, 10:40 PM (23 replies)
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