Will impeachment happen? And then?

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Dabob2, Sep 27, 2019.

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  1. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    So what do you all think? The momentum certainly seems to be there, and the crime is pretty dang clear also.

    We went from roughly 130 Congress members supporting an impeachment inquiry a week ago to over 220. In a week!

    This, of course, includes the one indispensable Congress member, the Speaker herself. She went from doing everything she could to tamp down enthusiasm among her caucus for impeachment to supporting it, which is a big deal.

    So do you think impeachment will happen? When? And what then?

    Pelosi seems to want to keep it focused (even limited) to this particular whistleblower complaint about the attempted shakedown of Ukraine, and its associated coverup.

    I can see the upside of that - it's a much easier thing to understand than much of the Mueller report (which only a small portion of the public ever read), and sometimes less is more. Simple is good. And strike while the iron is hot and all that. I get that.

    But part of me sees an upside to trying to find more as well. With the Senate unlikely to vote for removal (at least at this point), it could still be a win for the country if a clear majority of the public becomes convinced that Trump SHOULD be removed, even if he isn't. (With Clinton, a clear majority was always opposed, both before and after the inquiry.) But they may need more than Ukraine for that to happen. While a good percentage of the country may understand why this incident alone (and associated coverup) IS enough for impeachment, a good percentage may not. And then we're just at odds with competing narratives again.

    Might it be better to try to get more? The examples of obstruction contained in the Mueller report that Congress punted on (but that Mueller pretty clearly wanted them NOT to punt on) would be one avenue. The legwork has largely been done, and it may be easier with an official impeachment inquiry to compel the testimony of someone like Don McGahn. (Even Lewandowski, for all his bluster, essentially admitted that Trump attempted to use him to obstruct justice - he was quick to add "and so what?" - but that's not a legal defense. And he also looked pretty pathetic when Congress finally wised up and started using the professional counsel - they should keep that in mind for the future!)

    There are also other avenues being investigated but currently stonewalled and at various stages of court fights as we speak. Timing is important, and I'm not sure how long these various fights will take to resolve. But what if Congress DID get hold of his taxes and could show tax evasion? That's a simple thing for most Americans to understand. Ditto if they could find money laundering for the Russians (or others).

    Or could they show that Trump has been funneling TAXPAYER money into his own pockets via his golf resorts, foreign government money into his own pockets via his hotels, etc.? That's also pretty simple to understand and would probably tick a lot of people off to realize that their tax dollars were being funneled into his pockets, (and his family's pockets), when that's not supposed to happen and the Constitution expressly forbids it.

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if Trump were guilty of all that, but of course that may take a long time to prove, even if they did get his financial records. And I'm not sure how close they are to getting them in the first place.

    So what do you think? Press forward with this Ukraine incident alone? Or decide that that wouldn't be enough to convince a solid majority of Americans of Trump's unfitness for office and expand the probe? As of noon on Sept. 27, I'm not sure.

    Whichever way they go, I think it's vital to have televised hearings, witnesses, etc. Support for Nixon's impeachment went from minority to majority after those televised hearings. It's important that people understand how corrupt this man is. And use the professional counsels! They're much more effective, usually, than the Congress members themselves.
     
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  2. ecdc

    ecdc Active Member

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    I think Trump will almost certainly be impeached. Pelosi does not screw around with her caucus and I think it's unlikely that she'd go down this road without a lot of confidence that it would pass.

    I'm torn on how broad to make the impeachment inquiry. I see a lot of arguments for going after everything. On the one hand, it makes sense: put it all out for the public to see since he almost certainly won't be convicted and removed from office. I do get that. But I think there are two potential downsides: 1) Overwhelming an already Trump-fatigued public with too much information, and 2) Making it seem as if Democrats are vindictive and just throwing everything they can at Trump, a sort of kitchen-sink approach to impeachment. Those of us who follow politics and enjoy this stuff would be rewarded with a lengthy, deep investigation into things beyond the Ukraine scandal. But most Americans aren't us. I think it could be too much, too boring, and too divisive. But, like Dabob2, I don't know at this point.

    I do think there is one major advantage of a longer investigation: it would remove the need for every Congressperson to have their five minutes of fame! Instead of wasting time so some Congressman could get his questions in to cut a re-election ad for his district, we could have professional legal counsel interrogating witnesses. It would be so, so much more effective (as Dabob2 notes).

    Regardless of what happens, as Senator Brian Schatz said, it feels good to be on the right side of history. I don't pretend to know the best approach or if this will be even more divisive, but I do think it matters. I think norms matter and I think history has to record what an appalling president Trump has been. In these hyperbolic times, when George W. Bush was Hitler and Obama was a Muslim-socialist-anti-Christ, everyone is the worst president ever and a threat to Democracy. But the thing is...Trump really is those things. He may not be the worst (it'll be tough to top Andrew Johnson), but he is easily in the top-three worst American presidents of all time. And he's not even 3/4ths of the way through his first term. This stuff matters and I want history to record that the republic did the right thing to this corrupt, miserable, incompetent, racist crook.
     
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  3. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    Still working on how I feel since there is virtually 0 chance of his being removed. I did a term paper on Andrew Johnson and was around for Nixon and Clinton so I do know how the process works. (Unlike way too many Americans who think impeachment is conviction.)

    I did make a prediction that if it really looks like he is going down. (And I think it will take a lot more than what we have now.) And if it looks like Pence is going down as well; Pence will resign like Agnew did so Trump can appoint a successor who won't be impeached so if he is removed (can't imagine he would ever resign) Pelosi won't get the White House just like Carl Albert didn't.
     
  4. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    One possibility that few people are talking about: what if Trump feels the walls closing in, but decides not to go the Nixon route (resign) and instead goes the LBJ route - i.e. announce he won't run for another term.

    That's a longshot at this point, yeah. But I can foresee a set of circumstances where it happens. Much depends on the impeachment itself and where the public is afterwards. What if the impeachment happens, and removal fails, but the public is solidly of the opinion that the guy deserved to be removed, but the GOP Senators just reflexively voted to save him, and shouldn't have.

    And this could theoretically happen; two polls released yesterday and today showed 55% supporting an impeachment inquiry (the first time this has polled over 50%, with most of the movement coming from Republicans and independents), and 47% supporting impeachment and removal. The questions were different, which accounts for the different numbers, but it's the second one that kind of blows me away. 47% supporting flat-out removal (!) And this before any televised hearings or presenting of evidence against him other than what's been in the news in the past week.

    What if two thirds to 70% of the public feels that he shouldn't have been acquitted by the Senate, i.e. Trump has JUST his die-hard base in his corner, but any independent with a brain can see that he's dirty. And he starts polling not in his usual 36 to 44 percent range, but consistently at 25 percent to the low 30's. Even a narcissist like him would have to see that he couldn't win with that, electoral college or not.

    What if the polling also showed consistently that he would lose to any of the major Democratic candidates, nationally and in the swing states?

    Might he decide he'd rather not risk the humiliation of a huge defeat, and just pick up his ball and go home? I can see him claiming he was the Best President Ever, with the Best Economy Ever, and the Best Foreign Policy Ever, but the witch hunt just got too much for him, so "Your loss, America, I'm not running again." (I can actually see him saying exactly that.) Of course, none of those things would be true, but he could salve his ego by saying them, and at least we'd be rid of him.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah... wishful thinking. But I think it's more likely than resignation a la Nixon (which essentially admits guilt), unless more comes out that REALLY implicates him in flat-out illegal activity, and he makes some deal to resign in exchange for non-prosecution. And more likely that removal by the Senate at this point, unless a LOT more comes out and the Senators decide that it's in their own interests to drop him like a hot potato and then act shocked - shocked! - that he was so dirty. They'll only do this if their constituents overwhelmingly tell them to do so, thus it's in their interests to vote for removal. The Senators will vote whichever way they consider their own interest, whether that's acquittal (their red-state constituents want that) or removal (their purple state constituents make it clear they want that). Don't expect any profiles in courage from this current GOP Senate crop.

    But it's interesting that both longtime GOP operative Mike Murphy and former Senator Jeff Flake said publicly over the weekend that if the Senators could vote in secret, that 30 (according to Murphy) to 35 (Flake) GOP Senators would vote for removal. (!!)

    With the weekend to think about it, I'm STILL torn on whether to focus on Ukraine, or bring in more (not necessarily everything they could bring in, but more).
     
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  5. hopemax

    hopemax Member

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    I think it's clear that Trump is a narcissist, so IMO, that limits the possibility of him resigning or saying he's not going to seek a second term. I am starting to think that the day of the election, Trump will board a plane for one of the Arabian Peninsula non-extradition countries and live in an Ivory Tower for the rest of his life (or as long as they are willing to have him). We will have a new example of a Lame Duck Presidency. He'll come home if he wins, shouting and tweeting about vindication.

    I am still incredibly disappointed that our Founding Fathers foresaw this situation and included things like the Electoral College (used more as intended. Not this system of sending the most fervent supporters as Electors.), Impeachment, the Emoluments Clause AND later we saw the point of having the 25th Amendment and we sit here and do nothing of substance. We are not a Republic. We are still just under the thumb of the rich and powerful with the "fancier packaging" of our so-called Constitution. But the last 3 years have shown how easily it all slips away. It's not only the GOP who makes me feel that way, but the Democratic Leadership who seem like for a long time weren't using strong enough language to describe how wrong all of this is and that for the integrity of our Country we need to do something. I understand Pelosi, in her position, has to sort of be the last voice to come on board. She couldn't take the lead. But the strongest voices were coming from the junior Representatives with the rest sort of dangling them out there to be slaughtered about how young and ignorant they were. Makes me wonder about their own cultivated relationships with powerful people and quid pro quos. And I'm frustrated by my fellow citizens who I think are so unsettled by the thought of "unpleasantness" that they just don't want to hear about Impeachment even if they think he did something wrong. Like acknowledging something is wrong with your meal, but not wanting to deal with the face-to-face of getting a manager to register the complaint because it's uncomfortable. Yeah, I have issues.

    However. If the House votes to Impeach, it will happen on November 5th. Why? Because that's the day I go to Florida. When Clinton was Impeached, we watched the vote from the Scat Cat lounge at Port Orleans on our arrival day on our Honeymoon.
     
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  6. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I agree, at least at this point. I think the polling would have to be consistently in the high 20's/low 30's range (after a theoretically highly damaging impeachment inquiry in which more comes out, most Americans understand "Yeah, this guy's dirty," and an acquittal by the Senate that most people consider rank partisanship). In that case, even he may see the writing on the wall and his narcissism would be the very thing that made him decide not to run again. Better to retire "undefeated" and claim for the rest of your life how great you were and how unfairly you were treated, than to suffer a humiliating loss that emphatically says exactly the opposite.


    Wouldn't that be wild?! If it happens then, only we handful of LP WE posters will know the TRUE reason. :D
     
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  7. hopemax

    hopemax Member

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    I should also add a 2nd date. My husband and I both are traveling to Florida on December 14th, for our Christmas Holiday at my Dad's. But I don't know if the House does business like that on a Saturday.

    Weird stuff happens when I'm in Florida. We were at WDW when Princess Diana passed away. I was at WDW when Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died (same day). I feel like there was another big thing that I'm forgetting.
     
  8. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    Heaven help us if he is impeached AND convicted: Mike Pence makes Trump look like Bernie Sanders, and unlike Trump, Pence is competent.
     
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  9. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    True, but probably only in office less than a year by the time removal would happen. And if removal happens, that would mean that something came out about Trump that was so egregious that GOP senators heard from a solid majority of their constituents that he had to go (otherwise they wouldn't vote for removal). Meaning Trump is severely damaged goods, even among a good chunk of Republicans. And Pence would be too tainted by connection to win next November, I'd think. Not only the incessant toadying and saying what a "good man" Trump is all the time; hell, Pence was in on some of this Ukraine stuff, though he's currently offering completely unbelievable and implausible stories about how he "didn't know."
     
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  10. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there are Republican Senators who would vote to convict in a heartbeat, just to put Pence into the White House.
     
  11. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    At THIS point, I think Trump is still so solid with his base, that few GOP senators would do so, because they'd be afraid of ticking off that base. Trump's base is basically a cult at this point, and you can't reason with a cult.

    For GOP Senators to vote against Trump, even if they would prefer Pence, they'd have to feel like it was a safe vote, in that a solid majority of their state's voters want removal... perhaps even a solid majority of REPUBLICANS in their state want it, so as to not invite a primary challenge. Most Senators (of both parties, to be fair) are not politically courageous, and will play it safe as they see it.

    No question that if the vote was secret, plenty of GOP Senators would vote for removal; either because they prefer Pence, they know damn well Trump isn't fit to be President, they actually have principles about our republic (though they're willing to throw those principles under the bus by supporting Trump publicly so far)... various reasons. But of course the vote wouldn't be in secret.

    If Trump continues to go off the rails, continues to make head-scratching (to put it mildly) decisions like abandoning the Kurds to the Turks, and support for removal continues to grow, you might see some GOP Senators appear to grow a spine. But it will only be because removal now seems like the MORE safe political decision for them, based on what they're hearing from constituents.
     
  12. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    Saw another one of those "Get on the Trump Train" flags today. Probably the most ironic political ad I've ever seen in my life: if Trump had his way, the longest trip one could possibly take by train on American soil would be from Town Square to Toontown.
     
  13. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    Yep, and that train is mental as well as physical. Please folks, don't think too much; you might learn something.
     
  14. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    Uh, I was speaking entirely literally: if Trump had his way, no Amtrak, no regional rail, no commuter rail, no tourist excursion lines, not even streetcars. And no commercial passenger rail, either: mail, express, and the ability to pitch freight services to a captive audience of executives in the sleeping cars were the only things that allowed passenger trains to break even.

    As to Trump and his supporters, they're already in the far end of Fantasyland. And I don't mean the vicinity of [DL] Small World.
     
  15. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    As to Trump and his supporters, they're already in the far end of Fantasyland. And I don't mean the vicinity of [DL] Small World.[/QUOTE]

    Noted
     
  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    It looks like a particularly nasty bit of RNA wrapped in a shell of proteins and lipids may do what Congress didn't. It strikes me as poetic justice for not taking COVID-19 seriously enough.

    As to poetic justice for bullying anybody who DID take it seriously enough, that remains to be seen.
     
  17. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree that it is a true case of poetic justice.
    (All of what I feel I cannot express on a public forum.)
     
  18. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Active Member

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    I wish I could say I didn't know those words, but I do. In English, German, Yiddish, dog-German/dog-Yiddish, and Quenya.

    (Which is to say, I can still remember how to call somebody "the offspring of goblins" in Quenya.)
     
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  19. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    My sister and I were able to say what we really feel. Then we both stated, "I cannot believe we are saying these things."
     
  20. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    Well, so much for any thoughts folks had of this *humbling*.
     

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