Don’t say a word about tomorrow or forever

Reader J asks:

I know we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but is it starting to feel to you like there’s a legitimate outside chance Trump could actually be impeached or that some bombshell revelation will be disclosed that forces him to resign?

Have you considered posting a thread where people offer the date they believe that Trump will be officially removed from office?

It doesn’t seem like Dems are too gung ho impeachment. So far it’s just Maxine Waters and Al Green (hence the title!) who are talking about it. The official line from establishment media is that impeachment is divisive blah blah blah but I wonder if the real reason is that Dems don’t want to see Trump gone because that Pence would just as bad or worse. I know know that’s how I feel. Yes, at least Pence is an ethos, but it’s a big pretty fucking scary ethos.

On the other hand, it sounds like Republicans would be happy to have president Pence. They say so explicitly here, and it seems pretty clear that’s what all the “was Pence in the loop?” stuff is about. I mean, of course he was in the loop, and pretending he wasn’t is just about getting him in as a clean new president that David Gergen can respect.

So what are your thoughts? Will Trump make it through four years? If not, when does he go?

I honestly have no idea. It all sounds like fantasy football, but if he continues like this, I don’t see how he makes it through four years.

208 replies
  1. 1
    JMG says:

    I could see him stroking out, but that’s about it. The Republicans can’t abandon him, even if he loses them their Congressional majorities in 2018. He is their voters in one package.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    I want Trump gone but really want him gone to prison.

  3. 3
    swiftfox says:

    When the generic D is beating the R by 10% or more in the RCP House ballot poll (7% as of today). And if the DOW is less than 20k.

  4. 4
    Rathskeller says:

    Of course they would love President Pence — he’s dumb and aligned with them on so many goals. he would be McTurtle’s toy.

    The problem is there’s no path to impeachment or 25th amendment removal that doesn’t involve enraged MAGA folks.

    Their only hope is that Trump shows up stark naked in the Rose Garden, talking about how he’d like to bang his daughter. Or something so undeniably insane that 25th amendment is triggered that day. Anything less ambiguous then that leads to internecine warfare.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    Trump will never leave on his own. Even if by some miracle impeachment happens (it won’t), I can see him refusing to leave the WH. Running around the hallways naked except for an open bathrobe. Screaming at anyone who gets close to him, “Nyet! Nyet! I vill not leaf!”

  6. 6
    bl says:

    Having Trump as President is helping Democrat’s fundraising and getting people much much more involved. There might be some thought at the top that keeping that going for awhile is good for the party. Hope that is not the case.

  7. 7
    Tzara says:

    It seems clear that the Rethuglikkklans would prefer Pence, and also that Pence anticipates becoming president sooner than by election, and that his agenda is terrifying. Also that he is neck deep in anything his boss did. The only comforting thing is that he is only marginally better than f*ckswizzle at getting things done. Even when he does he is unable to respond when they go south, as with his string up teh gayz law. Indiana hates him, and soon the rest of America will too.

  8. 8
    Scamp Dog says:

    For me, it’s pretty much an immovable object vs. irresistible force conundrum. Trump’s so dreadfully bad, but House Republicans have neither shame, morals nor principles. I have my hopes, though…

  9. 9
    charluckles says:

    Too soon, too soon. There’s already more than enough to get him impeached, but the boogeywoman is going to have to fade a bit in the rear view and Obama’s economy is going to have to take a dive.

  10. 10
    Served says:

    Democratic hedging on impeachment feels like strategy. Safe firebrands can beat the drum while the “reasonable leadership” is more tame:

    1) It puts Republicans out on a ledge. They control both chambers, nothing happens without them, so Dems can safely play backseat driver.
    2) The corruption effectively jams the Republican congressional pipeline. Nothing they do is seen as legitimate. Not that it’s stopped them before, but the extra Trump weight around their necks is helpful. Trump outperformed them in 2016! Rs lost seats in both chambers. He has no coattails.
    3) Adds stakes to 2018 midterms to make impeachment/corruption/Trump a central issue.

  11. 11

    Dems don’t want to see Trump gone because that Pence would just as bad or worse.

    I still don’t see how this could be true. If we look at it mathematically, Trump is even odds anywhere on the distribution from -10 (generic republican) to -10,000 (rapacious paleocon + nuclear war + fortress America), whereas Pence is a solid bet on -100 (empty suit theocrat).

    ETA: and this sort of strategic thing–‘keep trump because pence would be worse’ etc.–sounds a lot like ‘support trump in the primary because there’s no way he could win the general’ which didn’t end super well.

  12. 12
    Nicole says:

    I think the Dems are hoping he doesn’t blow up the world before 2018 and people stay angry enough that they flip the House.

    My fear is, with Trump gone, the MSM will start up, “It’s time for us all to come together and put this behind us, blah blah blah,” and the Dems will back off Pence, when he’s in it just as deep.

  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    Realistically, impeachment won’t happen unless either the Democrats take the House (i.e. post 2018) or if Trump does something so blatant that not even Paul Ryan is willing to defend him. I’m not sure what could cause the latter, but I have a sinking feeling that we might find out. Conviction in the Senate and hence removal needs 67 votes, so the only way he’s getting dragged out of the White House is, again, something so blatant that a large swath of the GOP starts to abandon him.

  14. 14
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: You have a better chance of scoring a week of hot sweaty monkey sex with Tamron Hall than there is of DJT ever seeing the inside of a cell.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    He will go after the mid terms and the GOP has to really start worrying about 2020. As far as Pence goes, he probably would do more damage to the republic because of some basic level of understanding how govt works, but at least we wouldn’t have to worry about getting nuked as the punctuation on a 3 AM tweet storm.

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:

    With these cowards in Congress we’re more than a little screwed. There’s no way they would ever hold impeachment hearings between now and 2018 election season. And the longer Trump stays in office the more normal him being there gets. A kind of seeping into the consciousness of the whole country. He will be doing dirty, underhanded shit the whole time. Making sure he wipes shit on everyone around him so they are all dirty and become dirtier, so that they can’t dare to turn on him and rat him out.
    Everything will be normalized and institutionalized by the time the 2018 elections are done. Flipping the Senate is just about impossible without some seismic event in the run up to voting periods. Even with all this early enthusiasm I am not optimistic it be sustained at levels high enough to overcome the all-out, massive voter suppression the R’s will have in place.

  17. 17
    Hal says:

    We are on the tip of the iceberg with everything that’s come up so far. Impeachment or resignation should not be dismissed because right now it seems unlikely. At the end of the day, a certain number of republicans may find themselves too imperiled by potential midterm losses to ignore Trump’s actions. Comey still has much to say, there are investigations going on.

    This is just the beginning.

  18. 18
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    I don’t think the Dems believe impeachment is off the table, just that it is currently impossible. I think the Dem leadership wants to see the investigation play out. If they jump the gun, the GOP base will become even more rabid than it already is.

    The GOP has to remove him from office, which they won’t do. So we have to defeat them- resoundingly- in 2018 and 2020.

  19. 19
    Taiko says:

    There will be no impeachment at least until Democrats control the House of Reps, and removal won’t happen before they control both chambers. Where will 66 votes come from in the Senate?

  20. 20

    I want him to stay long enough to completely discredit the R leadership and party. I want all of them gone. T, Paulie Blue Eyes and McTurtle and of course, VP Morality Police Dense.

  21. 21
    gvg says:

    No idea of dates, but I feel it’s certain he will be removed. he doesn’t seem to understand how laws work. Contacting Flynn against the advice of his lawyers and not shutting up when he must have been told too, mean he is going to get in big trouble.

    I have been wondering when the white house lawyers will start quitting because he won’t take their advice. he has been in lots of law suits but has he actually ever been involved in a criminal case?

  22. 22
    Barbara says:

    I don’t see how Republicans can throw Trump overboard without setting off an earthquake underneath their own foundation. For Democrats, substantively, there is no difference between Pence and Trump, but Trump’s chaos probably helps limit the effectiveness of Republicans being able to push through toxic domestic policies. However, his chaos probably leaves us and the whole world at significantly higher risk of an impulsive, destructive action. So I guess it depends on how likely it is you think Trump might actually detonate a nuclear weapon or bomb a country to smithereens, basically, take actions from which there can be no return and which our governance structures are not set up to constrain when the president does them.

  23. 23
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: You have a better chance of scoring a week of hot sweaty monkey sex with Tamron Hall than there is of DJT ever seeing the inside of a cell.

  24. 24
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Huh. Comment vanished twice, not sure what bad word is.

  25. 25
    Barbara says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: I totally agree with this. The appearance of caution is important to preserving credibility of any impeachment action that might occur in the future.

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Anyway, Trump will never see the inside of a cell. Just not possible.

  27. 27
    JMG says:

    Patience, please. Trump’s been in office four months and has already generated a special counsel. If said counsel finds he violated the law, we’ll learn about it.

  28. 28

    No way Donald finishes his term. Might not even last this year; his ass is definitely grass after the midterms.

    I’d also argue that the stench of orangutan shit (assuming this doesn’t force a departure from office) has a good chance of crippling the Human Supremacist to President Ford levels. This in addition to him being a fucking idiot.

  29. 29

    It shouldn’t be a surprise that democratic leadership isn’t talking about impeaching Trump at the moment. Republican leadership never talked about impeaching Obama and they’re republicans!

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    walking the line between amateur political pundit strategist, which his what we all do here, and indulging in choose-your-own-adventure predictions (“if we impeach trump, then people will see…!” people never see), I think you want to call for accountability through investigation(s). To quote some blowhard, we need to figure out what the hell is going on. I think that’s the way to move moveable voters.

    on a not unrelated note: I last listened to NPR news last Sunday morning, and switched off Morning Edition as they announced yet another story about trump voters unfazed by blah-blah-blah. Last night I caught the end of Fresh Air, and before I could change to music, The World (a show I don’t know) announced we were going to Iowa, to talk to still loyal trump voters.

    ETA: and let’s not make “Who has the balls to call for impeachment!” the new standard of purity, courage, et cetera

  31. 31
    Tony J says:

    I popped this in the early morning Open Thread about Pence being a dirty low-down lying sinner, but it seems to fit better here.

    Hopefully helping to nail Pence for his role in aiding and abetting the Kremlin’s takeover of Congress and the White House is a priority for Congressional Dems. I really can’t envisage Boyar Boo-Hoo surviving the IC’s drip-drip-SPLASH campaign for more than a few months, and when he topples its hard to see the higher reaches of his administration not coming down with him.

    I know that the rules of succession will keep cycling through GOP placeholders unless and until there’s a Democrat sitting in the Speaker’s chair, but it can’t be bad politically to be going into the 2018 Mid-Terms facing a mandateless President Pence or Ryan and a GOP Congress half of whom are probably also under investigation.

    If there’s one undoubted and historically significant purpose Comrade Cry-Baby can serve it’s to self-destruct with such force that the expanding shit-storm strips the malcontents in the GOP caucus of their sheen of undeserved credibility. They need to face 2018 and 2020 exposed as exactly who and what they are. Many of them will still win re-election (Tribalism Uber Alles and all that) but you’ve got to think that margins in tightly gerrymandered races will be tilted against the Treason Party just enough to let the tide wash in.

    OTOH, who am I kidding? The second Fishmouth Frack-Up is out on his ear the MSM will do what it always does to balance the scales and go after Democrats with everything they have, but stranger things have happened.

  32. 32
    Ruckus says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I think your math says it all.
    dumpf is wildly variable from -10% to -10,000%. If he can be contained then the lower -10% is better than dense’s consistent -100,000%. It’s not them looking for good, it’s looking for the least worse. Better the devil you hate than one you loathe.

  33. 33
    Bailey says:

    Impeachment is so unlikely to happen in the near term that it’s not worth mentioning. Without any solid public information of illegal behavior, it makes Dems sound like loons to be yelling for impeachment. At least right now. Let Mueller do his thing and see where that leads. Potential obstruction of justice is a possibility, but it’s too early to hinge the entire impeachment argument on that.

    Concentrate on flipping the House which needs an economic message beyond “Trump is terrible.”

    Trump will probably never resign, no matter how much he cognitively degenerates. Dems should make sure to keep tying Pence to this mess. No letting him off the hook for being “out of the loop.”

  34. 34
    hovercraft says:

    So over at the GOS the headlines on their Abbreviated Pundit Roundup made me smile:

    Trump Flees D.C. ‘Witch Hunt’ for World Tour

    The Self-Pitying President

    How Badly will Trump’s trip go?

    Pence denies He Knew Anything About
    Flynn, Though That Was His Job

    It’s a pity that he’ll never see these an the millions of others out there pointing out that he’s a walking disaster. SAD! Just because he’ll never see them doesn’t mean the leaders he’s going to meet haven’t.

  35. 35
    Chet says:

    Remember, even Nixon wasn’t impeached. The republicans in the house were coming around to the idea, so they managed to convince the president to resign and save the party the agita. I have a hard time seeing that happen in this case (I believe Kthug wondered the same thing in a recent column).

    So I’m at peace without impeachment + removal proceedings. But I want a Democratic landslide in 2020, and a truth and reconciliation committee. And I want people to go to jail. The right wing is building a stunning alternate universe around the recent news, and I only hope that hearings and trials can break through it.

  36. 36

    @Ruckus: but your numbers are off. trump at his worst is orders of magnitude worse than pence at his worst.

  37. 37
    Cermet says:

    The small handed, lying and orange fart cloud will never resign due to other people’s demands nor quit. However, resigning due to health reasons will be my bet.

  38. 38

    @Corner Stone: Never known you to be this pessimistic before. How is your appetite?

  39. 39
    PeakVT says:

    I have no prediction, but my cynical calculating side hopes he stays around at least through the midterms. Yes, it risks heightening the contradictions for the less fortunate here and abroad,but having Cheetolini around is the best way to motivate Dems/demotivate deplorables that year.

  40. 40
    Hoodie says:

    The current state of affairs is optimal for the dems, Rosenstein’s revenge for trump dragging him into the comey firing. Mueller will move slowly and the press will love the constant scandal. They can slow roll confirmation of a new FBI director, do everything to scuttle any legislative plans. The GOP will have to figure out when the stink is bad enough to hack off its own gangrenous limb.

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    Shortly after the election, I bet my son that he’d be gone by August. He’ll probably stay until September just to spite me.

  42. 42
    hueyplong says:

    Oddball things outside the normal course of events are happening, and are happening so quickly that it’s difficult to predict what will happen next Tuesday, much less when Trump will exit. On health alone I’d be tempted to bet on a date prior to Jan. 20, 2021.

    For now, Democrats are fundraising like crazy on the crazy, Going back to the reference to “say what you want about the tenets” line from Lebowsky, we’re probably all in agreement that we prefer the legislation-bottling Nihilists (Trump) to the Nazi party member (Pence), regardless of how much the latter has the demeanor of an addled Rudolph Hess. So Democrats are currently best off with Trump damaged but in place. Republicans are nowhere near ready to give up another president. So neither really wants him gone, yet.

    The tipping point for both parties might happen at the same time, for Democrats if/when Trump does something internationally that puts us all at risk, and Republicans when it becomes clear that his presence is the roadblock preventing the Thurston Howell III tax “reform.”

  43. 43
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Will Trump make it through four years?

    Trump is doing his best to make sure that that doesn’t happen so I’m going to go with “no”.

  44. 44
    GregB says:

    I think the impeachment proceedings begin after the King of Saudi Arabia convinces him to convert to Islam in order to get the best deal ever on oil.

  45. 45

    @PeakVT: Number of deaths in ICE detention is climbing.

  46. 46
    Jeff says:

    I think the stress of his poor ratings will kill him.

  47. 47
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: Agree with your entire comment. Democrats aren’t in a position to impeach Trump — as yet. The GOP isn’t going to go after their own but there is a good chance that Trump will be forced out by Mueller’s findings. He can “gracefully” leave office because of a family emergency or unforeseen medical condition.

    Let it be so.

  48. 48
    clay says:

    OT:

    Jared is apparently still sitting in on high-level meetings

    I’d like for a reporter to ask him how negotiating against an American company is consistent with “putting America first”.

    What’s that? Jared is completely unavailable to the press and public but is apparently responsible for a lot of high-level decision making? Huh, that doesn’t seem suspicious at all…

  49. 49
    Peale says:

    I don’t think the Dems should run on impeachment. That’s what the GOP talk radio convinced their base was going to happen to Hillary and Obama and Holder and it wasn’t going to happen. We still have people angry at Dems for not going after Bush and if the intention is not to impeach him, don’t sew those seeds. The longer he is in office, though, the more GOP members are going to be sucked into his corruption. Pence can hover, but he’s dealing with mobsters and one of the things mobsters due to ensure some loyalty is make sure hangers on stop observing crimes and start committing them. But the more GOP leaders he ensnares, the more likely it is that post-Trump, we’ll be asked to move on because hundreds of GOP operatives and congressmen would need to be imprisoned.

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Trump has turned everything up to 11, including my pessimism with my fellow voters (or non-voters), and he keeps it up there 24/7. He doesn’t take in new facts or information so it’s not tiring to him to keep repeating the grievances and BS. But for the rest of us it can be fatigue-inducing if you actually care about what’s going on. And the R party is so deep in the shit, and so cowardly, we are not going to get any help for some time to come. The next elections are going to be so rigged, in so many ways. They are already telling us this.

    I’m meeting a friend for lunch today at one of my fav Vietnamese places and am looking forward to it!

  51. 51
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Trump won’t resign.

    He’ll be impeached in September of 2018, unless Putin has him poked with an umbrella before then.

    ETA: Disclaimer: I predicted Clinton would win by 30 percentage points.

  52. 52
    Pharniel says:

    If pence doesn’t think the trumps will hang him out to dry in order to buy daddy more time, they’re kidding themselves.
    If they think selling out pence will hey trump of the hook Regan style bierbrait will have an article setting him up that day

  53. 53
    waspuppet says:

    @JMG: Exactly why it’s worth getting rid of him even if it means Pence. I don’t know if it will happen, but if he doesn’t go, then how he “won” the election is the new model.

    @Patricia Kayden: Yeah, the most likely exit is that he finds some excuse. And for his crowd, “unfair treatment” would suffice.

  54. 54
    Scout211 says:

    My theory is that at some point, Trump will have a fake cardiac event, with fake open heart surgery and a fake recovery with complications that make it impossible for him to continue to serve as president. He resigns and then after a long, fake recovery period, goes back to The Apprentice and all his other narcisstic businesses and celebrity outings . . . all the winning continues!!

    So the question is . . .when? My best guess: March of 2018, enough time before the mid-terms that President Pence can campaign for the house reps.

    My husband disagrees with my theory. He believes Trump will never leave.

  55. 55
    hovercraft says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Agreed,for him being in real big house would be the worst punishment. Though the Obama hit squads seem to favor just the “heart attack, stroke” method of dispatching the scum. Andrew, Scalia, Ailes, finding him next to his golden throne covered in shit wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

    Just saying ; )

  56. 56
    clay says:

    @hueyplong:

    we’re probably all in agreement that we prefer the legislation-bottling Nihilists (Trump) to the Nazi party member (Pence)

    I don’t know that I agree. The Nihilist may be incompetent at getting stuff done, legislatively or executively, however he is destroying democratic and institutional norms at home and international relationships abroad.

    I think the latter is more damaging to us, short and long term, than whatever Pence would do (which would likely be undone as soon as possible, as is happening in Indiana).

  57. 57
    Noskilz says:

    My suspicion would be that it could be more a matter of getting all ones ducks in a row before bothering to go there in a serious way.

    The requirements for a successful impeachment are quite high, and why push for it until the pieces are in place? That strikes me as the kind of move where you’d want to maximize your chances of success as you will only have one shot at it.

    Until the Special Counsel does his thing, it will probably be viewed in the press as a bit premature – so while I don’t view impeachment as particularly unlikely, or even unlikely to succeed, it is the sort of thing that isn’t going to be a tomorrow or next week kind of affair. As I see it, things are moving quite fast, and if any of the various investigations underway – not least of which being the Special Counsel’s – confirm the many credible claims that have been emerging since last year(and perhaps add a few new discoveries as well), things could move faster yet.

    I expect Trump will do everything in his power to drag the process out as long as possible – quite likely making his own situation worse in the process – since the Special Counsel’s investigation seems to be a criminal investigation at this point, it seems safe to assume everyone is playing for keeps and this isn’t just going to go away.

  58. 58

    My memory of Nixon is that it took the country (not just congress) a while to come around to thinking it was necessary. Once they reached that point, his removal was possible.

  59. 59
    SatanicPanic says:

    Pence wouldn’t be starting at zero, he’d have a divided Republican Party and a short schedule before 2018. And he’s no genius. I doubt he’d get much done.

  60. 60
    Stan says:

    @bl: That’s it exactly.

    If I were a dem operative, I’d want this to go slowly, with off-and-on impeachment talk and scandal after scandal for the next 6-12 months. Then a big bombshell of a report from Meuller in, say, spring of ’18. Then, either an actual impeachment proceeding during the ’18 midterms (if the repubs decide they’re better off without him) or right after, when the country hands the dems a landslide.

    If trump is gone too soon, ’18 looks a lot less good for dems.

    I guess I think all this is obvious.

  61. 61
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    I’m impressed and pleased with the discipline shown by the Democratic Leadership. As long as Trump doesn’t set off a nuclear war (a big if), waiting gives them better cards to take the whole GOP disaster down. Trump is a domestic disaster; Ryan is incompetent; time is showing that Pence is up to his eyeballs in lies. With any luck, Mercer will be going down for his racist statements to an employee.
    Polls are favorable for the Democratic Party. Fundraising is through the roof. Recruitment for elected office is through the roof. While I weep for those caught up by ICE and the Confederate Garden Gnome’s heartless behavior, the incompetence from top to bottom of the national GOP means status quo. Trump/Congress has very little time to do anything before they will attempt to keep their hands clean before the 2018 elections. We need the bigger victory.

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    No doubt the numbers are off. It was a wild ass guess and maybe I’m also hoping that the absolute worse is not really an option. What other choice do I have?
    OK back to reality, the point is that dumpf is malleable to a certain extent, if that can be managed to some degree. Can dense? Just from looking at his record I don’t think he can be to the same extent. Of course if dumpf goes further off the deep end and can not be restrained in his actions sure that’s bad. But impeachment calls because someone is a fucking moronic child really don’t help the cause. They toughen the opposition, we are after all attacking one of their own, the one they voted for, their strong man child. They have to see that he is completely toxic on their own. I’m not sure they can or will, and our only choice is to tough it out and work hard at the methods that might actually work. Keep on the pressure, expose all of the traitors and thieves and why they are bad for the country and it’s population. It’s a shit situation, there are no good avenues for escape, there is working to fix it, and hopefully soon enough.

  63. 63
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Scout211: I don’t see it. He brags about how strong and healthy he is, it’s all part of his Gorilla Boss persona.

  64. 64
  65. 65
    Soprano2 says:

    I want Trump to stay, because he’s doing a lot of damage to Republicans and the Republican Party as long as he’ front and center as their leader. If Trump leaves, either through formal removal or resignation, then the press will pivot to Mike Pence without a second thought, and everything that happened during the campaign and Trump’s term will be “disappeared”. They would be sorry not to have Trump to cover anymore – I’m sure he’s been great for their ratings and pocketbook. We all know Pence would be seen as “normal”, and the things he would do would be just as bad as Trump, if not even worse.

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    I know we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but is it starting to feel to you like there’s a legitimate outside chance Trump could actually be impeached or that some bombshell revelation will be disclosed that forces him to resign?

    The Democrats have no power to impeach Trump. None. They would not necessarily have any power to impeach Trump even if they clean up during the 2018 elections.

    Because the Dems have zero power to impeach Trump, there is not much point in condemning them for being insufficiently outraged over Trump.

    The Republicans still love Trump, and even those who do not love him understand that their fate is tied to that of Emperor Tiny Hands. Future historians will be able to chart every opportunity the GOP had to reject Trump, beginning early in the primary season. They will also be able to detail every occasion when Trump essentially told them, “I don’t care about your rules. I’m Trump. I will do what I want.” They may scratch their heads over the degree to which the Republican leadership swooned over Trump and allowed him to endanger the party.

    Even if Trump could be convicted and removed, he is part of the 3 Stooges of the Apocalypse. After Trump, Pence (American Ayatollah) would become president. Dump Trump and Pence, and you would be left with Paul Ryan, the Man With No Soul.

    But if something were to happen, and charges were to be brought against Trump, it would truly be something to see. Like others here, I do not think that Trump would go quietly. He would not only kick and scream, but do everything he can to bring the country down with him. I would love to see his snarling face as he is brought to trial.

    Also, I hear that ratfucking conspiracy nut Alex Jones is predicting that the Establishment will try to dump Trump and that it will be up to “patriots” to take to the streets and start a revolution that would restore Trump to the White House.

    The only bad scenario we don’t have is the one in which Putin tires of switching between president and premier of Russia, comes to the US and is chosen to become Speaker of the House, and then is magically in the line of presidential succession, with only the quibble over citizenship standing in his way.

  67. 67
    aimai says:

    My opinion is that the dems should go after Pence and everyone around Trump with a vengeance. I think Pence, and certainly many others, could be found to have done some outright illegal/crimnal things and I’d rather see them brought up on charges for actual crimes and force the republicans to etither defend them, or defend trump. Once they are forced to choose between trump and pence the shit show unravels very fast even if we don’t get to impeaching trump until 2018 and it gets easier to impeach trump if his own VP has already gone down in flames. So I’d rather see the public case built slowly but effectively that destroys everyone, including McConnel and Ryan, than just blow it on impeachment of trump.

  68. 68
    JanieM says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Trump will never leave on his own.

    Buried in work and don’t have time to read the thread right now, so very glad Corner Stone took care of this early on. :-)

    T will *never ever ever* leave on his own. There is no chink in the armor that would allow a gleam of reality to filter in.

  69. 69
    Calouste says:

    It looks pretty obvious that there are a number of high-ranking Republicans involved in this, like Ryan and McConnell, so they could be brought down as well off the investigation lasts longer. The sooner the shitgibbon is put off office, the better the chances for the GOP that it all disappears down the memory hole.

  70. 70
    Betty Cracker says:

    It’s hard to see how a man so incompetent, self-destructive and thin-skinned could make it through a whole year in such a demanding job, let alone a full term. But I didn’t think he could win the nomination, much less the presidency, so WTF do I know?

    On the other hand, elections are about showmanship to a nauseating degree. So while his limited skill set (self-promotion and swindling) was adequate for winning elections under the right circumstances, it isn’t translating so well in his new gig.

    I think the only hope for Trump politically is to function as a figurehead while competent, evil fuckers run the country behind the scenes. This was my greatest fear after the election, that they would follow that model.

    But it turns out Trump is too goddamned egotistical to recognize his deficits and turn over the actual running of the country to people capable of the task, and the Republicans are too dumb (so far) to manipulate him into thinking he’s running things while they actual do.

    My greatest fear now is that Preibus, Ryan and McConnell will figure that out. It’s not hard.

  71. 71
    jonas says:

    There is no way impeachment is in the cards as long as R’s control the House. Never. Well, never say never, but I gave up a long time ago placing bets on Trump’s political survivability. As long as a third or more of the country remains stubbornly glued to Fox’s continual Trump-fluffing with the Wingnut Wurlitzer is turned up to 11 around them to drown out all contrary facts, we’re stuck. We have to come to terms with the fact that a not insignificant faction of the electorate has decided that they hate liberals more than they love their country.

  72. 72

    I thought even a few weeks ago that Czar Manbaby would limp along through his four years and then choose to not run again in 2020. I can’t see that happening any longer. I don’t see how he can hobble along for another three and a half years now. Every day brings something else new, slithering out from under some new rotting log. Sooner or later, even the Republicans are going to get sick enough of this shit that they give up being willing to let him fuck them up the ass. For a collection of such homophobes, I’m amazed they’ve let him fuck them this long.

  73. 73
    MJS says:

    If Trump is still President in November 2018 the Dems will take neither the House or the Senate. Trump still in office 18 months from now will mean all of this will have blown over. The media will have decided that there is no “there” there. They will be writing his comeback story. I know it took two years from burglary to resignation for Nixon, but this isn’t the 1970s. The media nor most people can focus on this issue for that long.

    All that said, I think this moves quickly, and Trump is gone in 6 months. Either through resignation, because he loves to play the victim, or feet first on a stretcher with a sheet pulled over him.

  74. 74

    needs an economic message beyond “Trump is terrible.”

    I hate this myth. Democrats have, and have always had, this message. Hillary talked endlessly about what she would do for the poor and middle class. The ‘economic message’ strategy is so useless you don’t even know she did it. Plus, Trump’s horribleness has created levels of motivation in against him and the GOP that are totally unprecedented in modern times.

  75. 75
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Speculating about President Pence, it all depends how he gets there. He’ll never have the lizard-brain appeal to the Nugent-Palin crowd that trump does, and if the Rough Beast is in any way pushed out, he’ll turn his twitter against the Republicans who were not, as he puts it, “nice to him”. Very nasty. Even with all of trump’s bluster and blowhardery, the actual Republican agenda, like Ryancare, is enormously unpopular.

  76. 76
    The Moar You Know says:

    Will Trump make it through four years?

    Barring death from natural causes, which I’d put odds on at 20-30% (he really is in very poor shape) yeah, I think he will. Not a popular opinion anywhere and really not so among my peers, but like the actors always ask, “what’s my motivation”? I just don’t see the GOP getting rid of him, he’ll sign anything they put in front of him and take the blame for every fuckup the partei makes.

    My main hope is that we don’t fuck it up so badly that he gets eight years. And I can see that one happening too.

  77. 77
    bl says:

    I live in the DC suburbs in Maryland and have had home delivery of the Washington Post for a gazillion years. I’ve learned that if I call the Post annually just before my annual subscription renews and tell them I want to cancel, then they will “talk” me into not canceling and I will get a special rate. I now am getting Sunday delivery plus all digital access for $58 for the next year. My cheapest rate yet. The digital only rate is right now around $140ish. While I am happy the cost is low, I dont see how they can keep this up. I wonder if newspapers will exist in 10 years, even the big ones like the WP.

  78. 78
    catclub says:

    On the other hand, it sounds like Republicans would be happy to have president Pence. They say so explicitly here,

    I am pretty sure they are either lying or self deluded. If the GOP cooperates on kicking out Trump, their base will NOT be happy and will punish them in elections.

  79. 79
    jharp says:

    I think it’s a 50/50 chance twixt Trump resigning or dropping over dead.

    And I have no interest in President Pence. Keeping Trump right where he is much preferred over Pence taking over.

    And I’m going to pick the date of December 15, 2018 that both of them are gone. Pence is into the Russian coverup up to his eyeballs.

  80. 80
    Tractarian says:

    Obviously, removal via impeachment will only happen if the GOP collectively decides that, electorally speaking, incurring the wrath of Trumpkins is less harmful than the continued shame and embarrassment of having Trump remain in office. Given the order of succession, I don’t think that is impossible. It wouldn’t even necessarily require any further revelations of wrongdoing. If Mueller concludes Trump should be charged with a crime, that may be the tipping point.

    I also think it’s possible that, even before we get to that point, Trump resigns in order to prevent any further snooping into his business affairs. (And to get a pardon from his successor.)

  81. 81

    @Betty Cracker: Even if McConnell, Ryan, et al., work this out, Manbaby will never let them. He’s deeply, profoundly stupid, but he’s incredibly attuned to even the slightest hint that somebody isn’t showing him the deference he thinks he’s entitled to. If he sniffs out that they’re trying to steer him into some kind of figurehead role, his wrath will be something to behold.

  82. 82
    hovercraft says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Running around the hallways naked except for an open bathrobe. Screaming at anyone who gets close to him, “Nyet! Nyet! I vill not leaf!”

    And then Lucretia appears, wearing just a negligee, and she say, “Father, Father, it’s me, just come to me, I something special for you. Yes that’s it, just come with me, I have a very special treat for you.” She takes his hand and leads him to the padded wagon as the US Marshals look on. Even as she feels their eyes raking her barely covered body she knows that the deal she’s made is a good one, 10 years means that she’ll get out of prison while she’s still young enough to catch men’s eyes, Jared will be in for a minimum of 25 years so she’ll need to find someone new, which billionaire has a son close to her age. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to start a new line of prison wear, or maybe a Trump University that teaches people how to succeed in life after serving time, or………………..

    ET for spelling

  83. 83
    smintheus says:

    Trump won’t be impeached; he’ll resign when things get too hot for him to handle, so that he doesn’t go out a ‘loser’, while he thinks he can still spew some BS about his supposed achievements.

    I expect that to happen in the next year. Dems need to focus now on exposing the lies of Pence and tying him to the anchor in chief.

  84. 84
    Mark says:

    It’s been nearly 2 years since he announced. It has been nothing but non stop crazy since that time. I don’t see the Buffoon changing at all. This is who he is. Yes, Pence is not a good alternative.
    I’m hoping for something like what happened with Nixon/Agnew. Pence resigns before Trump goes down. Hopefully whoever replaces Pence under that scenario is someone acceptable as a short term gate keeper such as Gerald Ford was.

  85. 85

    @Corner Stone: We have a little Vietnamese place in town. I love it. Enjoy your lunch {{ }}.

  86. 86
    Peale says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I do have to say, if there is a President Pence, he’d better hope that he makes to that office because Trump is a corpse or in a coma. The twittler will constantly be unleashing his hounds on him otherwise.

  87. 87
    DougJ says:

    @Nicole:

    I think the Dems are hoping he doesn’t blow up the world before 2018 and people stay angry enough that they flip the House.

    Bingo

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Barring death from natural causes, which I’d put odds on at 20-30%

    I was reading about the likely head of FBI candidates – starting with Lieberman – who is 75 years old, and I think most of them were over 70.

  89. 89
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Trump is a symptom. The cancer is still with us. Tens of millions of people were fine putting him in the Whitehouse, I don’t know how we fix that.

  90. 90
    jonas says:

    @Soprano2:

    We all know Pence would be seen as “normal”, and the things he would do would be just as bad as Trump, if not even worse.

    Legislatively he would be just as bad as Trump, if not worse. He’s a true, committed Talibangical, whereas Trump just plays one on TV. On the other hand, Pence is also extremely stupid and unselfaware, so he would probably continue to walk around stepping on his own dick with some regularity.

  91. 91
    Ruckus says:

    @hellslittlestangel:
    Nice disclaimer.
    One of the few laughs that I’ve gotten out of this mess.

  92. 92
    Bailey says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I hate this myth. Democrats have, and have always had, this message. Hillary talked endlessly about what she would do for the poor and middle class. The ‘economic message’ strategy is so useless you don’t even know she did it. Plus, Trump’s horribleness has created levels of motivation in against him and the GOP that are totally unprecedented in modern times.

    Myth? Democrats are wiped off the board from top to bottom, national to state legislatures. We are like one state legislature away from Constitutional amendments being ratified easily. Democrats have cities and that’s about it. Continuing to insist that Democrats have some amazing economic message is what is mythical.

    Hopefully Trump won’t be able to accomplish any of his legislative agenda. Keeping him in check will be Dems biggest victory and message that they can get something done economically. There is too much a solid base of Trump support to win on the idea that he’s a vile person.

  93. 93
    MJS says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: We get non-racist, non-disgusting people to actually vote. Somehow.

  94. 94
    catclub says:

    @Mark:

    Hopefully whoever replaces Pence under that scenario is someone acceptable as a short term gate keeper such as Gerald Ford was.

    You do know in that case that Trump is naming the VP candidate.

    Jared Kushner. Roger Stone. Steve Bannon. Rudy Giuliani. Ann Coulter.

  95. 95

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    The evangelicals said openly they voted for Ttump because they believed God would get rid of Trump somehow, Pence would inherit the Presidency, and he would create a theocracy. HOWEVER, they are only half of the hardcore racist base. The other half wants a rude, blithering, openly assholish moron. Yeah, they’ll be pissed If Trump is ditched for Pence, and the GOP can’t afford to lose them.

  96. 96
    artem1s says:

    the issue I have with impeachment is that the GOP broke it and it’s credibility when they decided to use it to remove a sitting President because Newt Gingrich got butthurt about his seat assignment on AirForce one. And the last 8 years of nonstop Ken Starr level style ‘investigations’ designed to dismantle faith in government oversight and/or destroy someone’s reputation via innuendo. I think many Dems distrust of the impeachment avenue is that it doesn’t accomplish the real goal of removing a dangerous authoritarian, fascist, narcissists and unhinged psycho from the seat of power. And it will probably only encourage him to destroy what little systems we have left in place that keep the executive branch exceeding its authority and violating the spirit of balance of power. With this particular bunch of stooges in the GOP leadership, we are likely to see an impeachment that reveals very little of Trump’s activities and only serves as a platform to highlight false equivalencies and both-siderism. The House committee is already threatening to start up the Hillary bashing all over again to prove that these hearings have no substantive or punitive value left anymore. They are merely Judge Judy reality TV courtroom kabuki, offered up as bread and circuses to the masses.

    This Special Prosecutor’s job can’t just be about playing gotcha with the Trump campaign. It has to, somehow, restore some sanity and educate the country on the difference between the trumped up side shows that Darryl Issa and Trey Gowdy have been offering up the last 8 years, and substantive, quality evidence gathering and what constitutes actual corruption and criminal behavior. The most egregious part of the Benghazi and email bullshit show was that the FBI, MSM and Congress, thru rumor and innuendo, tried to make it look like communicating with career staffers (who have passed background checks) and doing your job as a Federal employee, was somehow a criminal act, just because the GOP decided to whip up the mob fury and hate toward ‘big government’ and whatever flavor of conspiracy theory paranoia was handy at the time, just so they could win an election.

    Impeachment stopped being my goal as soon as I realized that the only thing that orange monster cares about is his own aggrandizement. He will laugh when the proceedings have finished and the GOP congress offers up censure as his punishment. And then he will go on to destroy the next safety net program that Ryan points him towards. The destruction of Trump alone won’t solve the larger problem. It will be Nixon and W and Scooter Libby and Ollie North all over again. There will be a sacrificial lamb and then the GOP and the craven rightwing fascists will be back in business all over again. My goal now is a Sherman style march, salting over the GOP and 60 mile wide swath of corrupt, traitorous politicians, staffers, and lackeys, frog marched into the sea and on toward Gitmo.

    But it would be better for the country if we had a steady, honest, forthright investigation that, somehow, began to restore the people’s faith and understanding of the checks and balances of our government and some reasonable demonstration that there are at least a few people left in this world who can tell the difference between actual criminal behavior and ‘stuff I don’t like because a black or vagina person is doing it’.

  97. 97

    BS bots (or Russian trolls) you decide, will be there to sabotage Democrats just like they did in the 2016 election. One of them is here right now.

  98. 98

    @Bailey:
    Yes. Myth. Exactly because we have it already and as you pointed out, it does not work.

  99. 99
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @clay:

    Mercer?

    I think the reference is probably to this story:
    http://www.vanityfair.com/news.....an-lawsuit

  100. 100

    @Frankensteinbeck: God is on their speed dial, just waiting for their call. Idiots.

  101. 101
    Attapooch says:

    President Hatch is where this is going to end up. Everyone in the line of succession above Hatch are going to be swept up by the TrumpRussia investigation.

  102. 102

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: Deprogramming the cult and dealing with the propaganda arm of the Rs aka prestige media, including Vichy Times will add to the Dem challenge.

  103. 103
    GregB says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Yep, consistent with the gloom and doom and monkey wrenching.

  104. 104
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator:

    Emperor Tiny Hands.

    Caligula was Little Boots (yes, I am slow.)

  105. 105
    Bailey says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Yes. Myth. Exactly because we have it already and as you pointed out, it does not work.

    That is some backwards thinking. So it only works for the GOP? Granted, I think their economic message is horrific and self-defeating, but they always put those issues front and center and that’s how people respond.

  106. 106
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @catclub:

    You do know in that case that Trump is naming the VP candidate.

    Jared Kushner. Roger Stone. Steve Bannon. Rudy Giuliani. Ann Coulter.

    Which of those could get through both House and Senate confirmation?

  107. 107
    hovercraft says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    to manipulate him into thinking he’s running things while they actual do.

    My greatest fear now is that Preibus, Ryan and McConnell will figure that out. It’s not hard.
    Reply

    There’s the nub, that was the plan, he even told us himself, he wanted a VP who could do the work while he signed shit and attended rallies and showed off the White House to people, but it turns out there’s stuff only he can do. The other problem is that as you say his ego won’t let him just stick to the script and use his hand to sign their wish list into law. It’s also why they can’t just pretend that he’s running the country while keeping him out of the loop, he spends all his free time watching cable, and you know they’d be reporting that basically he’s a figure head and that would piss him off. He’d want to give interviews so that people could fawn all over him but he’d constantly be contradicting the official line.
    The problem is that he’s the freedom caucus all over again, the GOP rode him into power thinking they’d be able to reign him in at least if not control him, but it turns out that he’s a rabid raccoon, but without it’s sense, just it’s meanness.

  108. 108
    David Hunt says:

    I’m in a bit of conflict over the idea of impeaching Trump. On the one hand, getting him out means that he’s not going to nuke Islamabad because he’s pissed at the President of India (not a typo). On the other hand, Pence is likely to be, if not half way competent, then at least not sabotage the GOP agenda with semi-weekly scandals that should bring down a presidency. Plus I can actually envision a scenario ending with Stillson/Pence saying, “The missiles are flying. Hallelujah, Hallelujah!” So I trust you can see why I’m not sure where I stand on the impeachment question.

  109. 109
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Bailey: It’s a fact that the middle class has been getting screwed economically for decades. I agree 100% with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on that. But it’s quite a leap to assume that if the Democrats adopted a populist economic message as their primary pitch, their electoral fortunes in places like Wyoming, Alabama, Indiana, etc., would change. A lot of folks seem to assume that, but assuming doesn’t make it so.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    jonas says:

    Tony Schwarz, Trump’s ghostwriter for Art of the Deal, thinks Trump will figure out a way to resign before things get so bad that it looks like some kind of indictment or impeachment is imminent. His trademark is to completely fuck something up, then walk away, leave others holding the bag, and claim that he actually made “a great deal.”

  112. 112

    @Bailey:
    No, thinking we must not have it because it’s not working, and it would work if we had it is circular logic. We have it. Empirically. Hillary had pages and pages of it on her website, and talked about it constantly. It has been tried. It did not work. And she’s not an isolated instance. Your theory has been tested, and proven false.

  113. 113
    piratedan says:

    Pence is awesome for them…. just as stupid about the process and the issues and less baggage.

  114. 114
    GregB says:

    It is my one enduring hope that Trump ends up pulling Lonesome Rhodes from A Face In The Crowd and getting caught calling people who supported him rubes and idiots

  115. 115
    oldster says:

    I have no idea what the Democratic leadership thinks about impeachment. Nor do I have any bets about when or whether Trump will be impeached.

    But what I really think about impeachment talk is this:

    It makes us lazy. It diverts us from the real job of politics, which is organizing, building, registering, lobbying, phone-banking, and getting better politicians elected.

    Lazy people hope for a silver bullet, and sitting around hoping for a silver bullet makes us lazy.

    Or enemy is not just Trump, but Trumpism. Not just the Republican leadership, but the Republican war on America that has been waged throughout all of my six decades of life. We need a broad-based, ground-up re-orientation of this whole country to fight back.

    Impeachment is a distraction.

    (Not that I wouldn’t welcome it if it happened!!)

  116. 116
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @hovercraft: The other problem is that as you say his ego won’t let him just stick to the script and use his hand to sign their wish list into law. It’s also why they can’t just pretend that he’s running the country while keeping him out of the loop, he spends all his free time watching cable, and you know they’d be reporting that basically he’s a figure head and that would piss him off.

    He brought Robert Mueller down on his own head because he couldn’t stick to the script on the Comey firing. The idea that some memo or letter written by some pencil-neck underling changed his mind made him worry people would think he has a pencil dick.

  117. 117
  118. 118
    trollhattan says:

    Pence is objectively awful in the mold of current doctrinaire Republicans but does not appear mentally ill, nor does he possess an established crime family and cadre of foreign agents. Rid ourselves of Trump and we ditch all that evil baggage. In return the assault on federal programs continues and all of America’s wombs are entered into a registry. I’m sure all the ladies will be thrilled.

    Trump’s gone before 2018.

  119. 119
    Bailey says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s a fact that the middle class has been getting screwed economically for decades. I agree 100% with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on that. But it’s quite a leap to assume that if the Democrats adopted a populist economic message as their primary pitch, their electoral fortunes in places like Wyoming, Alabama, Indiana, etc., would change. A lot of folks seem to assume that, but assuming doesn’t make it so.

    Why does it need to be a populist message? I don’t think this is a binary question. What is the Democrats vision for the future? What does the economic future portend? We have an entire huge generation of workers that are facing more and more the gig economy and what is the structure that keeps peoples head above water in that scenario?

    Eric Garcetti was a guest on Pod Saves America yesterday and he had a great deal to say about this–worth checking out.

    Bottom line: running 2018 on the message that Trump is a tyrant will not flip the House like we need.

  120. 120
    cain says:

    We don’t want to impeach him, not till we flip the house. We need to use Trump to get people more and more angry and get them to vote during the midterms. If they pass everything they want to pass, they will definitely flip the house because by that time hen house would be ravaged and the deplorables will finally realized they’ve been fucked. It’s hard to defend a party, who have 1) raised the cost of healthcare 2) raised the cost of internet/cable tv (net neutrality) 3) all the wealth is going to the 1% 4) no goodies from the govt they were used to getting

    So if you’re some deplorable on your lazyboy, now you can’t get your damn meds, it costs you more, and watching fox news is more expensive now too. You got no money for anything else. Yes you could blame the democrats, but SOMEONE is supposed to fix it for them, that means Republicans. We all know, that is not going to work out. They’ll just keep plying those tax cuts and rolling back of regulations. Even if they brought coal, there won’t be any new jobs because it would all be automated.

    Republican life is completely unsustainable.

  121. 121
    Bruce K says:

    Hm – while the 115th Congress is in session, the most likely way I see Trump leaving the Presidency is feet-first (which might not be that bad a bet, considering that he’s over 70, and not a young 70 at that, and under stress levels that make his predecessor’s term in office look like a cakewalk).

    If the House flips over to the Democrats in 2018, that changes the equation drastically, of course.

    Mueller’s likely to be thorough (and probably rather quiet) in his investigations. I suspect he’ll learn the lesson of Comey’s press conferences and submit his report whenever he’s confident in its conclusions, regardless of the timing with regard to the elections.

    The 115th Congress will only move for impeachment if the cost of protecting Trump becomes greater than the cost of removing him. A Democratic House in the 116th Congress will probably not rush – they’ll probably want a case so solid that Clarence Darrow and Johnnie Cochran teaming up wouldn’t be able to put a dent in it, something that will make the Senate GOP terrified of political oblivion if they stonewall again.

    And honestly, I think a President Pence with his political kneecaps shattered is a less-bad option than an unfettered President Trump – but only in the sense that I’d rather deal with tuberculosis than Ebola.

  122. 122
    sherparick says:

    @JMG: Yep. As Kthug points out today, the real problem we have is the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement that controls it. This movement is anti-democratic, racist, intolerant, and basically stands against every principal that served as the basis of the American Revolution and this republic’s best features for the last 240 years. Trump is a feature, not a bug, of the Republican Party and its voters. The depressing thing is that this entity represents 43% of our fellow citizens. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/opinion/whats-the-matter-with-republicans.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

    A Trump impeachment or resignation (which I think is highly unlikely) is pretty much impossible without Republicans, both the politicians and their voters. They would far more likely support a coup and dictatorship then the removal of Trump.

    A side note. Pence makes Trump look brilliant and competent. He has had to destroy most of his brain to continue to believe silly and insane propositions that consume what is left of it. His level of semi-competence was a talk show host. Ryan and McConnell would love him because at least he would not tweet ans he signed their tax cut bills.

  123. 123
    Bailey says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    No, thinking we must not have it because it’s not working, and it would work if we had it is circular logic. We have it. Empirically. Hillary had pages and pages of it on her website, and talked about it constantly. It has been tried. It did not work. And she’s not an isolated instance. Your theory has been tested, and proven false.

    I know she had pages and pages on her website, but as it turns out, “go look at my website” is not a compelling message. As for what the ads she was running? Mostly policy-free. In fact, the least substantive presidential ads pretty much ever. Dems actually got bested on policy ads by Donald Fucking Trump.

  124. 124
    hovercraft says:

    @aimai: I think our side knows this, there has been a lot of talk over the last week about Dense leading the transition team, whose job it was to vet all these people. Just yesterday the report about Susan Rice warning them about Flynn. Flynn is their problem, from what I can see he’s going to go down, the question is will he take anyone down with him, I suspect yes. Dense may look like a safe harbor for the GOP right now, but I doubt he will in a year or so.

  125. 125

    @Bailey:
    Our vision of the future? Raise the minimum wage. Invest in infrastructure. Invest in education, universal health care, cheap college, and daycare so people can afford to get good jobs. Tax the rich. Regulate industries so they can’t fuck over their workers and customers. Especially regulate banks. That’s the ‘off the top of my head’ stuff. None of this is new. When the rubber hit the road, people voted racism instead.

  126. 126
    Corner Stone says:

    @hovercraft: The good news is that a Neutrogena commercial was on TV, so my brain auto-switched Kerry Washington in to the role of lead actor in your soap opera drama. And everything immediately became much, much better.

  127. 127
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    I honestly have no idea if, or when impeachment could happen.

    The one thing that I think would guarantee it is if the Murdochs turn on him, and I think that’s dependent on whether Rupert decides he’s too dangerous (unlikely), or Rupert dies and James and Lachlan decide the time has come to get out of the crazy politics business*, because it damages the overall brand too much in the first place.
    it’s true that a lot of the big-money people like the Kochs, Adelson, and others are elderly, and may not be around in 2020; there’s no telling whether their heirs will be as ready to put the contents of their petty cash drawers into the hands of people like Ryan and the other Republikkklowns without seeing some clear, positive results this time around. The less effectively Congress operates, with GOP majorities in both houses and a GOP president, the greater the risk they’ll lose access to cash. This should, after all, have been their zenith, the point where they could get everything they had their hearts set on, and so far things aren’t working out that well.

    *As opposed to ordinary conservative politics; I’m not expecting them to turn into leftists, or even liberals.

  128. 128
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Way back at the beginning of the year I was thinking that would be the thing that undoes Trump: some kind of domestic Abu Ghraib involving ICE detainees…

  129. 129
    JPL says:

    @DougJ: The Montana election is next week and the GA election is in a month. Handel will insure a win, if she doesn’t debate. That’s the only thing that can tip the scales here. She says she wants
    several debates but haven’t scheduled any yet. The republicans are dumping millions in ads here. Ossoff is a lover of ISIS and we’re all gonna die, if he is elected.

  130. 130
    Barbara says:

    @Betty Cracker: The middle class being screwed might be a true/false proposition but at least the way it gets reported, it allows for multiple choice answers as to why the screwing has occurred. The answer for many is “I am getting screwed because of THEM” with THEM being blacks, immigrants, women, outsourcing plutocrats or whoever is the most convenient scapegoat for their local Republican politician. Civil rights laws occurred almost at the same time as post-WWII boom effects began receding. For many people, the correlation between the two morphed into “I lost my job because of preferences for darkies,” (excuse my crude language). Even if there have been instances of this phenomenon, it doesn’t begin to explain the scale of changes. The answer, of boosting education and safety nets and all the other things Democrats might do won’t give these people what they really want, which is what things were like yesterday or 20 years ago. It won’t, it can’t, we don’t want it to. That’s why Bernie Sanders has always rubbed me the wrong way, because he seems to suggest that it is a plausible answer.

  131. 131

    @Bailey: I think you’re half right, but so is the guy you were answering. He’s right that Democrats have an economic platform. You’re right, though, that that didn’t keep us from getting swamped. I think the problem is that while Democrats have an economic platform, and all kinds of plans, and we can tell anybody what we want to do and why it’ll help them, that’s a long way from being enough.

    What we don’t have is a story.

    If you want to win a national election, you need a story. Yes, you can win if you have enough other things going for you; but all other things being the same, the party with the story will win every time. Even when it looks like the side without the story has the leg up, as it looked last year, the side with the story can squeak out a win.

    The Republicans had a story last year. Donald Trump had a story. It’s true, it was all a lie, but it was a story. Everybody knew it: Democrats are losers who don’t give a shit about real Americans like you, but we are winners, big winners, the hugest winners, and we care about you salt-of-the-earth real ’Mericans, and we’ll make you all great again.

    What was Clinton’s answer to that? Let me give you my seven point plan to raising productivity and boosting the economy and so and so and such and such. And her way almost worked. It would have worked but for three industrial state flukes. But it shouldn’t have come to that. Democrats need to work on their story. Sanders, for all the misgivings I have about him, had a story, but Clinton didn’t run with it. Part of it is that she just doesn’t have the temperament for it or, maybe, the skills to make it look like she’s sincere about it. She isn’t a storyteller. We need whoever runs in 2020 to be a storyteller. Warren can tell the story. She can wrap up all these disparate issues into a pithy, coherent pitch that she can put into a few sentences, but he’ll also be 70 in 2020.

    Now, I’m not saying we should give up having a platform, or that all a president has to do is tell stories to do a good job. It takes a lot more than that. But having, and consistently telling, a short, identifiable story that everybody can understand and get behind is invaluable. With all the people in the Democratic Party, surely we can find somebody who’s competent and smart and honest who can also tell a story that can rally the voters to get out on elections day, and keep them fired up once the election is over.

  132. 132
    Mike in NC says:

    Today some wingnut actually wrote a Letter to the Editor of the local rag to complain that liberal bias caused them to ignore printing the birthdays of FOX News “celebrities” (and Melania Trump). I commented that many of us are happy that Roger Ailes will never have another birthday, and we cannot know about Trump’s trophy wife’s actual birthday because the entire family lies about literally everything.

    The poor 70-year-old moron went on to state that he was happy to recently flee Connecticut to land in a small town in South Carolina (the kind where half of the shops downtown are boarded up because nobody else wants to live in the pathetic little shithole).

  133. 133
    Ruckus says:

    @bl:
    If they are willing to “give” it to you for the low cost of $58, they are making money at that price. Sure not as much as at $100 per but still. Their money is not from you, it is from advertisers. The way they get advertisers is the number of eyeballs they get per day. A years subscription is a years paid eyeballs. It builds a much more secure income stream than news stand sales or free online content.

  134. 134
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Bailey: I made the assumption you were peddling populism because virtually everyone here who trots out the “economic anxiety” argument does. Kudos to you if you’re not.

    As a Democrat, I’m 100% open to suggestions for how we can improve results locally, statewide and nationally — as long as it doesn’t entail throwing women, POC, LGBTQ, immigrants, etc., under the bus. That’s the only deal-breaker for me.

    But mostly, I like the approach my local Democratic Party leader takes: If you think you’ve got the right message, don’t sit around telling your fellow Dems they’re doing it wrong. Field your candidates and start winning elections.

  135. 135
    Booger says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: Ailes is out and dead, Murdoch doesn’t look like drinking virgin blood is working anymore…the Murdoch boys decide they’re tired of the family schtick and retune Fox News away from the shrieking liefest towards a younger, more centrist audience.

    A fella can dream, but it would change the landscape.

  136. 136
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    @Ridnik Chrome: Couldn’t edit my comment, but wanted to add: Whatever happens, Trump is gone after mid-term elections at the latest, possibly as soon as the end of this summer.

  137. 137
    ruemara says:

    A few things. Impeachment is such a ridiculous goal. It’s only a step to remove him from office. You need another vote after that. You could vote to impeach trump and fail at the vote to remove him. It’s censure but with the word “fuck” in it. Also, the RNC are designed to fall on their swords for personal power and for the strongman. The leaks coming out are attacking the weaker links in Trump’s architecture first. As in, Pence is not able to pretend he’s the vapid, clueless innocent in the Trump maelstrom of treason. It’s possible you’ll see censures and impeachment against him, Ryan & McConnell first. Trump puts the RNC between Scylla & Charybdis, their base and their jobs. I don’t need Dems talking impeachment as long as they’re not talking down impeachment. Just keep talking about their crimes, calling it treason and dropping that every time you get. It worked for Republicans and now they have their brainwashed base who’d install Satan, obviously, as long as there’s an R after the name. Impeachment is nothing. Aim higher. Aim to destroy your enemies to 6 generations and all their works.

    They’re doing it to you already.

  138. 138
    Pittsburgh Mike says:

    I don’t see Trump leaving early. The sheer stupidity of the administration is acting like a huge drag on the Republican program, and making it more likely that the Democrats can retake the House in ’18, so there’s little advantage to the Dems pushing too hard to overturn the will of the voters. And you get Pence, not Clinton, even if Trump bails.

    The Republicans would love to trade Pence for Trump, but they can’t be seen actually doing the pushing, or they’ll lose all those Trump voters who voted for Bozo the President.

    In short, I don’t see anyone forcing Trump out. Perhaps if Trump does something so horrible that he pisses off his base, or his increasing unpopularity makes it clear that the Republicans won’t be able to pass any of their program with him as President, maybe the Republicans would go after him. But they’d probably have to do it with minimal Democratic support.

  139. 139
    hovercraft says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I hate this myth. Democrats have, and have always had, this message. Hillary talked endlessly about what she would do for the poor and middle class. The ‘economic message’ strategy is so useless you don’t even know she did it

    Sadly you are right, it pretty much boils down to who you’d rather have a beer with. Except when the shit hits the fan, then people actually pay attention and they’ll look beyond who they “like” to who’s best for their bottom line. Remember for every one of the people who voted for him believing that he’d bring back coal, there was one who knew he was full of shit. “Yes I know he said he would build a wall and kick all the illegals out, but I thought he was just saying that, I need them to pick my almonds”. We are a society driven by personality, and the stupid party voted for the biggest personality.

  140. 140
    Bailey says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Our vision of the future? Raise the minimum wage. Invest in infrastructure. Invest in education, universal health care, cheap college, and daycare so people can afford to get good jobs. Tax the rich. Regulate industries so they can’t fuck over their workers and customers. Especially regulate banks. That’s the ‘off the top of my head’ stuff. None of this is new. When the rubber hit the road, people voted racism instead.

    Maybe his ads are more convincing, but even looking at progressive darling Jon Ossof’s website on his positions doesn’t give me a lot of faith. He’s saying a whole lot of nothing here and not putting forth much of an argument for anything that you list: https://electjon.com/priorities/

  141. 141
    bystander says:

    @JMG:

    I could see him stroking out, but that’s about it.

    Works for me.

  142. 142
    hovercraft says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Exactly, this entire shitstorm is of his own making, I can’t wait until a real crisis hits.

    @Corner Stone:
    Sorry, I must have mistaken you for Tweety, he’d have been drooling all over his monitor.

  143. 143
    jonas says:

    @Betty Cracker: If you offered a lot of blue-collar whites the choice between a well-paying job and a secure future, and the idea that gays, trans people, immigrants, atheists, and POC would be on equal cultural and political footing with them in America from now on…a lot of them would tell you they “had to think about that” for a while and get back to you.

  144. 144
    ruemara says:

    @jonas: Pretty much. I think progressives don’t want to see that. It’s something you can accept as academic; a lot harder when it’s your friends and relatives.

  145. 145
    randy khan says:

    Not this year; possibly next year, more likely after the mid-terms.

    The one prediction (of a sort) that I will make and have made before is that there won’t be some gradual chipping away at his support in Congress – if the Rs move, it will be like flipping a switch, which is what happened with Nixon.

  146. 146
    cthulhu says:

    The Dems really have no opportunity to push the impeachment option at this point and may never given the 2/3 majority needed in the Senate. I think it is fine that some members whisper the i-word here are there as a signal that there’s clearly a lot of bad stuff going on. But certainly not run on it in 2018.

    Many of my friends are truly worried about what Trump might do, starting either a major war or major trade war. But other than that, they are also worried about Trump rubber-stamping the extreme GOP agenda.

    I have become less worried about the former because Trump, so far, has shown himself to be pretty cowardly despite all the bluster. The recent North Korea thing was a good test. I was physically nervous until it basically went away. Not that our allies are too happy and in this regard Trump will likely be as bad or worse for our international stature as GWB was. But that is repairable.

    The one domestic area where Trump and the GOP differ is immigration enforcement. People and families are being hurt now and this will continue under Trump and would probably return to a more Obama-like situation under Pence.

    But what I think we should most worry about is preventing the rest of the GOP agenda from moving significantly forward – which would do lasting damage nationally. Pence is definitely worse in this regard because he’d be no drama. As would any other GOP replacement – which is what would happen even if Pence goes unless the House is under Dem control.

    While it is a bit of nail-biting strategy, my personal preference is to see Trump continue to do as much damage to the GOP and their agenda as possible until the Dems control at least one veto point for legislation. Hopefully we can do a fair amount to mitigate Trump’s non-GOP collateral damage while we work toward 2018.

  147. 147
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Trump will never see the inside of a cell. Just not possible.

    I’m hoping for a Michael Corleone(ish) ending, his family in jail, sacrificed by twitter to avoid jail himself, keeling over while sitting in a chair at a senior citizen trailer park in central FL that he affords with his SS checks.
    (Sorry Betty, he’s gotta be someone’s neighbor)

    Of course, Michael would never sacrifice his children to protect himself.

  148. 148
    manyakitty says:

    @GregB: Like that would deter them…They’d eat that crap up and ask for more.

  149. 149
    Wyatt Derp says:

    Can’t one of the rich Repub Sugar Daddys just pay Trump to go away? If he does it voluntarily and endorses Pence then his base doesn’t desert the party. Trump can say he has accomplished everything he set out to do and walk away.

  150. 150
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Bailey: Okay, let’s pick a section of Ossoff’s site — economics because it’s the first one and relevant to this discussion? — and YOU tell US not only what he’s doing wrong, which you’ve covered, but how you would change it.

  151. 151

    @Bailey: There are two parties, the choice is binary. One party wants to starve you and kill you, they just want to starve those darker than you a little earlier. While the other does not give you everything on your wish list. Your strategy and that of your patron saint’s is to attack the party that does not promise you heaven and earth. Excellent strategy, if you are trying to sabotage party 2, but not other wise.
    So leftier than thou critics of the Democratic party all you are doing is strengthening Rs. Good job. There is a huge gulf between what you say and what your actions enable.

  152. 152
    Chyron HR says:

    You guys seem a little confused. When members of Our Revolution say the Democrats need an “economic message”, what they mean is “glorify the master race white working class.”

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Our vision of the future? Raise the minimum wage. Invest in infrastructure. Invest in education, universal health care, cheap college, and daycare so people can afford to get good jobs. Tax the rich. Regulate industries so they can’t fuck over their workers and customers. Especially regulate banks. That’s the ‘off the top of my head’ stuff. None of this is new.

    All of this is valid… but.

    A person comes to you and says, “Are you going to bring more jobs with higher wages?,” and you offer all this other stuff instead, you have already lost them. You have not addressed people’s most pressing concern.

    You see this not only in the US, but in the UK, where voters still have some fondness for Labour, but absolutely no belief in their ability to solve economic problems. In France, all the establishment parties, left and right, were swept aside because voters had no confidence in them.

  154. 154
    Bailey says:

    @Brachiator:

    All of this is valid… but.

    A person comes to you and says, “Are you going to bring more jobs with higher wages?,” and you offer all this other stuff instead, you have already lost them. You have not addressed people’s most pressing concern.

    You see this not only in the US, but in the UK, where voters still have some fondness for Labour, but absolutely no belief in their ability to solve economic problems. In France, all the establishment parties, left and right, were swept aside because voters had no confidence in them.

    Correct.

  155. 155
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The official line from establishment media is that impeachment is divisive

    My nym. Again and again.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  156. 156
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @clay: Robert Mercer, Funder and in deep with Bannon and Cambridge Analytics. It’s not just the corrupt GOP republicans, it’s their corrupt funders.

  157. 157
    Starfish says:

    I am for impeaching yesterday, and people are already building the case that Pence is culpable, and this notion that he didn’t know anything is stupid. The arguments are that he was the head of the transition team so if he didn’t know anything, he was at minimum incompetent. But then Elijah Cummings said he wrote Pence a letter about Flynn on November 18, even earlier than all the times that Pence is pretending to be cluelessly locked out of everything.

  158. 158
    DougJ says:

    @randy khan:

    if the Rs move, it will be like flipping a switch, which is what happened with Nixon.

    Yeah, I think so, especially McConnell. Ryan might be dumb enough to drag it out.

  159. 159
    Baud says:

    @DougJ: Ryan would have to deal with the Freedom Caucus.

  160. 160
    Bailey says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Okay, let’s pick a section of Ossoff’s site — economics because it’s the first one and relevant to this discussion? — and YOU tell US not only what he’s doing wrong, which you’ve covered, but how you would change it.

    Okay. Here is, in full, the text of Jon’s “economy” section and my comments:

    Jon is a small business owner, executive, and entrepreneur — the CEO of a company that produces documentaries investigating organized crime and political corruption.

    He knows what it means to grow a company, meet a payroll, and balance budgets.

    This is all nice but bland. Pretty much George W. Bush’s message, i.e., “I know what it’s like to meet a payroll.”

    Jon has a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, where he specialized in trade relations between the US and China.

    Jon’s training in economics and his international business experience will help him craft smart, effective economic policy that empowers our community’s businesses to compete globally, create good-paying jobs with benefits, and build Georgia into an economic powerhouse.

    What does “economic policy that empowers our community’s businesses to compete globally” even mean? Does he mean tarriffs? Does he mean free trade? Who knows? If he means free trade, what kind of jobs does this bring in? How should Georgia’s businesses and citizen/consumers prepare?

    Jon will stand up in Congress for a dynamic, forward-looking, fiscally responsible economic policy that maximizes opportunity for entrepreneurs, workers, and investors.

    I don’t know what this means.

    Jon will work to level the playing field for small businesses so they can grow and create jobs that will empower Georgians to strive, save, send our kids to college affordably, and retire comfortably.

    Still don’t know what this means. “Level the playing field?” Does this mean more regulations? Less? Taking the cost of healthcare off of them?

    Jon will work in Congress to reduce the tax burden on small businesses and simplify small business tax filing. He will work to repeal wasteful, anti-competitive special interest subsidies that make it hard for entrepreneurs to raise capital, enter the market, create jobs, and compete with larger firms who have lobbyists in Washington.

    He sounds like a Republican here, but I still don’t know what he means? What subsidies or does he not want to offend? He hardly identifies the problem small businesses may or may not be having before prescribing a very vague fix.

    Jon will go to work to ensure that health insurance premiums don’t cripple businesses or force them to lay off employees.

    How? Does he support Medicare for all? Does he support Obamacare? How are the exchanges in GA doing? Do they have enough insurers in the market? If they don’t, how will he convince more to join? Will he support medicare expansion there since GA has so far resisted? Who knows? His health care section isn’t any more illuminating.

    Jon will defend equal pay for equal work and fight any effort to allow wage discrimination against women or minorities.

    Okay.

    Jon believes the minimum wage should be a living wage. He will support an increase in the federal minimum wage indexed to cost of living and implemented at a pace that allows employers to adapt their business plans.

    Indexed? Can he not come out for $15/hour even in a big city like Atlanta and it’s suburbs? In what city can anyone making less than $15/hour afford a one-bedroom apartment?

    If there is more to the message that Jon is sharing, fill it in. Maybe his ads say something else, who knows.

  161. 161
    Mike J says:

    Pelosi isn’t saying impeachment is off the table as she (rightly) did with Bush. Bush hadn’t committed any crimes. It doesn’t look that way with Twitler.

    If a president is appointed before Jan 20, 2021, he or she will be a caretaker with no political capital to spend. Obviously Democrats wouldn’t like Pence, but Pence isn’t really that much better as a politician than Trump. I don’t think he would have any idea about how to get unpopular programs passed,

  162. 162
    Yarrow says:

    People worrying that Pence will be president might be forgetting that Trump will throw Pence under the bus in an attempt to save himself. Pence was in on all the meetings and knew all about Flynn’s involvement with Russia. He’s guilty. Trump knows that. It will be easy for Trump to point the finger at Pence and say, “He knew and didn’t tell me!” and there’s probably plenty of proof that Trump can provide. It won’t save Trump in the end, but that won’t stop him from doing it.

  163. 163
    HRA says:

    I cannot predict when and if Trump will be out of office. What I believe is the Trumps will stay in power until they can no longer make money from it. Personally I would like to see it happen sooner rather than later. Then, of course, there is a fear of Pence and Ryan being in power.

  164. 164
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Bailey: Sorry you went to all that trouble and missed the point of my challenge, which was not to provide further criticism of the existing message but rather to indicate what you think he should say instead. UR DOIN IT RONG isn’t much of a message either.

    FWIW, if I were in charge of Ossoff’s web content, there’s a lot I’d change. But I was interested in hearing what your thoughts were on how to improve it, not a line-by-line fisking.

  165. 165
    NCSteve says:

    It is going to be a long, hot, crazy, angry, tumultuous summer and I, for one, will be shocked if Trump is still president on November 1, 2017. I don’t know how. I do not believe that there are, or will ever be, no matter what the evidence, enough Republican votes to convict in a Senate impeachment trial, even after 2018. I do not believe there will ever be enough Republican votes to get to the 2/3 necessary in the House and Senate to sustain a removal under the 25th as long as he’s ambulatory and and ostensibly responsive. And yet, I don’t see him making it past the end of October.

    I cannot reconcile my intuition with my knowledge of the House and Senate math.

  166. 166
    MCA1 says:

    I think Democrats aren’t all jumping up and down and screaming “Impeach! Impeach!” because they’ve calculated that (a) only Republicans can start that process and it’s been a good thing for Democrats to slowly let the GOP reveal their cravenness and keep hoisting themselves at each new stage in this process, and (b) it’s better for Dems, now that we’ve reached the point of having a special counsel, to sit back for a bit, see how the process goes, and then when we start talking about the need to impeach the shitgibbon they can do so feigning sadness rather than anger and having the benefit of having let the system play itself out to reach this sad, sad point. In other words, because it’s better politically and optically to not immediately put themselves at risk of being perceived as overreaching. The entire political world is reeling at the pace of events the last two weeks – if Dems want to start calling for impeachment they’d probably be wise to let some of this soak in at least a little bit first. Oh, and also (c) they’d like to have Pence on a hook, too, before demanding that shitgibbon be cut loose.

    Others’ mileage may vary, of course.

    Personally, after the chaos and stress of the last 4 months, I’d be OK with a President Pence. He’d be relatively hamstrung by his culpability in l’affaire Flynn and the residual stink of being Drumpf’s VP, and Congressional Republicans are starting to get politically boxed in as 2018 approaches and they’re the party that gave us the worst president in history by a factor of 5. I don’t think they’d be able to do as much domestic policy damage with Pence holding the signing pen as we fear, and I’m willing to take that risk (with the back-end assurance that if they went too far the D wave would push back, anyway) for the tradeoff of removing the daily existential crisis from office.

  167. 167
    Bailey says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Sorry you went to all that trouble and missed the point of my challenge, which was not to provide further criticism of the existing message but rather to indicate what you think he should say instead. UR DOIN IT RONG isn’t much of a message either.

    FWIW, if I were in charge of Ossoff’s web content, there’s a lot I’d change. But I was interested in hearing what your thoughts were on how to improve it, not a line-by-line fisking.

    Oh, I’m sorry, your challenge was not clear to me. The point of my line by line fisking was to illuminate that I have no idea what direction Ossof is leaning at all. If he could at least start by giving me some basic policies that he supports I can extrapolate from there.

    You seem fine with him saying nothing. Okay. I’m sure he’ll win his election.

  168. 168
    JMG says:

    @Bailey: Ossoff is running in Georgia-6, not Massachusetts-6. He can’t win unless he seems unthreatening to voters who would indeed vote Republican if economic issues were the only ones on the table, but who are turned off by Trump and the GOP’s social agenda.

  169. 169
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Bailey: No, I am not fine with him saying nothing — I said right in my reply that if I were in charge of his web content, there’s a lot I’d change. Just wanted to find out if you really had anything to add aside from tedious complaints about what someone else has done, and now I have my answer. Thanks!

  170. 170
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Right before a special election and Bailey shows up to say that Dems are doing it wrong. Hmmm….

  171. 171
    Yutsano says:

    @Hal:

    This is just the beginning.

    The time frame for Watergate from break-in to resignation was almost 3 years.

  172. 172
    sukabi says:

    Re: impeachment, it will happen, unless he strokes out or resigns first. It’s my guess that there isn’t a louder chorus right now because there hasn’t been enough time to let the idea take a real hold. But it is starting to. There have been republicans (not the ones holding the reins) making those noises as well as Dems.

    I think what you’re going to see first is some very loud mouthed R’s decide to spend some time with their families, as Chavettz is doing. Think that is a move he thinks will save him from any close scrutiny regarding what he knows and what his involvement is. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ryan decides to pull a Boehner thinking once he’s out he’s clear.

    McConnell doesn’t look very healthy, also looks like the last week or two that he’s been choking on a shitsandwich. Wouldn’t surprise me if he has a medical emergency of some kind that renders him incapable of holding his seat.

    Also, it took until Nixon’s 2nd term before even a 10th of the crap that he had done built to the point of impeachment….Drumpf and his merry band grifters and moles are just over 100 days in and the investigations are turning from exploratory to criminal…

    So impeachment by the end of this year.

  173. 173
    Paula says:

    We can’t operate in this state of constant scandal and chaos for 4 years. One way or another Trump is going to be gone before then. He’ll step down to avoid charges. He’ll have a stroke. He’ll pretend to have a stroke to have an excuse to step down and avoid charges. He’ll make some genuinely serious mistake that will make it impossible to leave him in charge. Too many scandals coming not just from Mueller but from other investigations, and the press, will overwhelm him. Mueller WILL nail him. Something.

    Meanwhile, Pence is already tainted and our job is to see that he gets more tainted every day.

    Ditto Ryan. Ryan knew the Russians were interfering in the Ukraine’s efforts at democracy. Ryan knew the DNC had been hacked by the Russians. Ryan knew there were reasons to suspect Trump was a Russian tool, following the exact steps being used elsewhere to damage democratic institutions. Then he and the rest of the GOP got on board with Trump ANYWAY.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/house-majority-leader-to-colleagues-in-2016-i-think-putin-pays-trump/2017/05/17/515f6f8a-3aff-11e7-8854-21f359183e8c_story.html?utm_term=.4c3e23a12ad4

    To me the best outcome is Trump goes down, Pence goes down with him or is so damaged that he is reduced to a placeholder until 2020. Ryan is brought down or, at minimum, is defanged.

  174. 174
    Bailey says:

    @JMG:

    Ossoff is running in Georgia-6, not Massachusetts-6. He can’t win unless he seems unthreatening to voters who would indeed vote Republican if economic issues were the only ones on the table, but who are turned off by Trump and the GOP’s social agenda.

    “Unthreatening” doesn’t mean “no discernible message whatsoever.”

    I’m just asking some basic questions: What are his thoughts on healthcare? On Obamacare? On medicaid expansion for his state? (Not that that’s his decision, but it may reveal how he’d vote on Obamacare altogether.)

    How does he feel about trade? What are his means for empowering business to grow? What kinds of infrustructure investments does he support? What kinds of investment in education does he support? Are there specific projects in his district that he is behind? Is there a specific industry he’d like to lure to GA-6 that would create more jobs?

    I don’t feel like these are trick questions for a candidate to articulate. If anyone else does, than perhaps that is part of the problem.

  175. 175
    Bailey says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    No, I am not fine with him saying nothing — I said right in my reply that if I were in charge of his web content, there’s a lot I’d change. Just wanted to find out if you really had anything to add aside from tedious complaints about what someone else has done, and now I have my answer. Thanks!

    You really don’t. But okay.

  176. 176
    Bailey says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Right before a special election and Bailey shows up to say that Dems are doing it wrong. Hmmm….

    I expect a tedious reply from you and then a quick back-tracking where you shrivel and say you won’t engage. Hmmmm….

  177. 177

    @Omnes Omnibus: Russian trolll/Republican troll/BS bot, a troll by any name…

  178. 178
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I know.

  179. 179
    TEL says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: I completely agree with this. It’s both smart politics and in line with the limited power Democrats currently have.

  180. 180
    Bobby Thomson says:

    “I don’t see how he makes it four years” is the new “there’s no way he gets the nomination” or “he doesn’t really want to be president.”

    How does he stay? Simple. He doesn’t resign and 35 Republican senators vote against removing him (even assuming Democrats draw an inside straight and flip the House).

  181. 181
    catclub says:

    @swiftfox: As long as Trump does nothing on the economy, he will get credit for a good economy.

    If he starts a trade war or imposes a VAT like tax, then the GOP might suffer in elections.

  182. 182
    catclub says:

    @Paula:

    We can’t operate in this state of constant scandal and chaos for 4 years.

    I think we can. There are a lot of things that are pretty much on autopilot.

  183. 183
    catclub says:

    @Yutsano: June 1972 to August 1974. 2 years 2 months

  184. 184
    TenguPhule says:

    @Paula:

    He’ll step down to avoid charges. He’ll have a stroke. He’ll pretend to have a stroke to have an excuse to step down and avoid charges. He’ll make some genuinely serious mistake that will make it impossible to leave him in charge. Too many scandals coming not just from Mueller but from other investigations, and the press, will overwhelm him. Mueller WILL nail him. Something.

    Wishful thinking.

    When Trump goes, its going to be ugly. Because he’s not going willingly.

  185. 185
    TenguPhule says:

    @MCA1:

    Personally, after the chaos and stress of the last 4 months, I’d be OK with a President Pence.

    No. No. No. DO NOT NORMALIZE PENCE. or Paul Ryan.

    Both fuckers are Traitors to the Republic. When Trump goes, both of them go as well. We can’t afford to let any of those Russian stooges remain in the White House. No more rewards for being evil and betraying the country. Negative reinforcement needs to be applied and applied liberally.

  186. 186
    JPL says:

    @Bailey: Jon’s ads highlight his desire to grow the tech industry, and cutting the budget. He identified 18 billion in waste. Handel’s ad says I’m nice and want to represent you. The republicans have one 6.5 million ad buy, tying Jon to Pelosi and San Francisco values. Believe me, I can no longer put on a local station without screaming.
    You might not like his ads, but the only platform Handel has at this point, is I’m nice. Believe me, that’s not necessarily the case.

  187. 187
    JPL says:

    @TenguPhule: He’ll take Pence down with him. I’m surprised that he hasn’t tweeted about Pence’s involvement with Flynn.

  188. 188
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Bailey: I’m just asking some basic questions: What are his thoughts on healthcare? On Obamacare? On medicaid expansion for his state? (Not that that’s his decision, but it may reveal how he’d vote on Obamacare altogether.)

    Do you vote in GA- 06?

  189. 189

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Just asking “questions” about his purity, so purity ponies can stay home and our R troll can watch Karen Handel win.

  190. 190
    Brachiator says:

    @MCA1:

    Personally, after the chaos and stress of the last 4 months, I’d be OK with a President Pence. He’d be relatively hamstrung by his culpability in l’affaire Flynn and the residual stink of being Drumpf’s VP, and Congressional Republicans are starting to get politically boxed in as 2018 approaches and they’re the party that gave us the worst president in history by a factor of 5.

    I don’t understand why you say this. Pence is a religious nutcase who would be worse than Trump, but also a different kind of worse. His religious fanaticism should horrify normal people.

    However, I don’t see that he would be hamstrung at all. The person who is president is president, period. When, in history has an elevated VP been hobbled by his predecessor? Also, if Trump were to be impeached and removed from office, Republicans would be able to wallow in how they had to do their sad, solemn duty, but also stoke the anger of the ignorant mass of Republicans who would think that Trump was unfairly removed by unseen powers afraid that he was finally going to make America great again.

    Bottom line: The Republicans want their tax cuts and their social agenda. They will pursue it with Trump, Pence or whoever else they can put in the Oval Office.

  191. 191
    NeenerNeener says:

    As I mentioned a month or so back when it happened, I was getting ready for work when I heard a male tv announcer voice in my head saying “Donald Trump, dead at 71”. Since he won’t be 71 until sometime this June I have until June of next year to confirm if I’ve suddenly become psychic.

    That doesn’t mean he couldn’t decide to fake a heart attack, resign, and go hide out in Trump Tower before then.

    Oh, and if Pence becomes President at least we get to kick the Trump kids off the dole.

  192. 192
    Bailey says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Just asking “questions” about his purity, so purity ponies can stay home and our R troll can watch Karen Handel win.

    Kind of a dumb statement. I’m not concerned about Ossof’s “purity” at all. I’m just trying to figure out remotely what direction the wind blows in his world. His website doesn’t help me.

    Unless, of course, you think it’s a rock solid message?

  193. 193
    Bailey says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Do you vote in GA- 06?

    Nope. But apparently my ability to have my Obamacare coverage depends on those who do.

  194. 194
    Bailey says:

    @JPL:

    Jon’s ads highlight his desire to grow the tech industry, and cutting the budget. He identified 18 billion in waste. Handel’s ad says I’m nice and want to represent you. The republicans have one 6.5 million ad buy, tying Jon to Pelosi and San Francisco values. Believe me, I can no longer put on a local station without screaming.

    If his ads are better than his website, good on him.

    You might not like his ads, but the only platform Handel has at this point, is I’m nice. Believe me, that’s not necessarily the case.

    She’s awful, I know.

  195. 195
    TenguPhule says:

    @JPL: It would not surprise me at all if Trump orders his own personal security to kill Pence during a face to face meeting together. Trump’s already checked off all the other classic TV villain tropes, he might as well complete the set with “You have failed me for the last time”.

  196. 196
    JPL says:

    @Bailey: I vote in the 6th district and Jon wants to keep the ACA, but fix it.

    @TenguPhule: Awesome! It might be time for that LEGO song again.

  197. 197
    glory b says:

    @bl: Late to this, but if you have a .org, .edu or .gov email address, you can get WaPo digital version free.

  198. 198
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NeenerNeener: Wow, that will be so weird if he does kick off next year and you were proved right! I mean, the odds aren’t terrible — he’s an erratic old fart under enormous pressure who takes no exercise and lives on junk food. But you’ve laid down a marker that will establish your psychic bona fides, so bookmark that thread!

  199. 199
    MCA1 says:

    @TenguPhule: I’m not normalizing him, or saying he’s “acceptable” in any real sense to me. He’s a retrograde bigot and dumb as a box of rocks and probably knew exactly what was going on re: Flynn without speaking up or resigning. And I did note that part of the calculus right now is to make sure he’s seen as guilty, too, before trying to force the GOP to put the impeachment wheels in motion for his boss.

    Yes, Democrats should be aiming squarely at everyone complicit, and I’m not saying that I’d be all compliant and just happy to let Pence do what he wants if he were to assume the office. All I’m saying is that, for me, the weighting of the dangers of (a) allowing the Tangerine Nightmare to continue vs. (b) allowing Pence to be President has moved more towards seeing (a) as the worse of the two than I would have imagined in just 4 months.

  200. 200
    MCA1 says:

    @Brachiator: Worse in some respects, yes. Better in the sense that the percentage chance that WWIII starts in the next 3 years, the U.S. becomes a global pariah, or whatever other epic calamity we might imagine falls precipitously.

    No VP except Ford has ever assumed the Presidency other than by virtue of their predecessor dying in office, so your sample set re: the dynamics of whether or not he’d have any sort of mandate vs. being irreparably tainted by having been Drumpf’s #2 is one. So not really analogous, I guess. Again, though, stupid religious freedom legislation (if it could get passed at a national level anymore) or tax cuts or whatnot can be reversed, whereas a nuclear holocaust cannot.

  201. 201
    MCA1 says:

    @MCA1: Just to add to this, I think you’re overestimating the degree to which Congressional Repubs could blame impeaching Trump on Democrats. I know their efforts in that are over the last half century have almost always worked, but the undercurrent of populist rage at the “system” that animates the Trump base means they’re constantly side-eyeing Ryan and McConnell, too. Every time one of those guys even mentions their insincere “concerns” about another shitgibbon transgression, the Trumpanzees perceive a backstabbing.

  202. 202
    Gex says:

    @bl: This comment fascinates me.

  203. 203
    randy khan says:

    @MCA1:

    Worse in some respects, yes. Better in the sense that the percentage chance that WWIII starts in the next 3 years, the U.S. becomes a global pariah, or whatever other epic calamity we might imagine falls precipitously.

    The Trump-Pence analysis is roughly the same as the Trump-Cruz analysis, except that when people were doing the Trump-Cruz analysis, we didn’t know for sure how he’d act as President. (I almost wrote “govern,” but that’s one thing he does not appear to be doing.) In the absence of that knowledge, Trump-Cruz was a tough call. Now that we know, I’d agree that the country would be better off with Pence than Trump.

    I mean, to a large extent, we’re getting what we would get with Pence already on many fronts, plus the chance that Trump will do something catastrophically bad (and random idiocy like denying FEMA money to North Carolina, which I’m pretty sure Pence wouldn’t do). Pence would be pretty awful, for sure, but as you say the potential for the cataclysmic would be significantly less.

  204. 204
    randy khan says:

    @bl:

    As long as the combination of ad revenue and your subscription is less than the cost of printing and delivering the paper, it makes sense for them.

    In the long term, I assume that the paper versions of newspapers will go away, but I don’t know when that will happen. Someone I worked with predicted 15 years ago that the New York Times would not be printing within 10 years. It’s not only still printing, but actually seems to be thriving financially as it increases its digital revenues and maintains a pretty good paper subscriber base.

  205. 205
    Gex says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yep. We are dealing with people who want an improved ACA, social security, and medicare. They voted for the party that wants to get rid of all those things. All those things were brought to them by Dems. To say that presenting them with economic policies they want will get earn their votes makes no sense to me.

    When actual policy steals the news cycle from the constant chaos that is the Trump admin, the GOP has been facing angry voters, and it isn’t just Dems and independents that are angry. The base would like better policies for themselves from the GOP. Barring that, they’ll take whatever the GOP gives them because the other party passed the Civil Rights Act decades ago.

  206. 206
    🌷 Martin says:

    2019. The conditions that would allow Republicans to impeach are the same conditions that would cause the Democrats to drag their feet so they can reclaim the House in 2018 and put a Dem speaker in the #3 slot. Take out both Trump and Pence and Nancy Smash (or other Dem) becomes President. The GOP would be aware of this plan and actually push to impeach faster.

    The calculus here is intense. If only Trump goes, none of that matters. If the investigation also implicates Pence, then they’re fucked unless the GOP can hold onto the House, so then they need to wrap up quickly enough to put Ryan up as POTUS before he might get voted out. If Ryan is also implicated, then we’re onto Tillerson, then Mnuchin, then Mattis, then Sessions (who is almost certainly implicated). If the GOP holds the House, then again, none of this matters as worst case it’ll go to Tillerson.

    But that’s part of the reason why there’s no rush. The longer Trump is in office the more damage is done to the GOP as a whole, the more likely they win in 2018, and the greater the possibility they can actually sneak a Dem into the WH in 2019 (which is admittedly a huge long-shot, but is feasible enough to cause all of the chaos above).

  207. 207
    Lee says:

    @jonas:

    This is the under appreciated comment in this thread. Here is the link to the article.

    The guy spent 18 months following Trump around. He probably knows Trump better than almost anyone.

    He is confident that if things start to go south for Trump, he will resign rather than lose face with impeachment.

    I also agree the leadership should just sit on their hands and wait. Wailing and gnashing of teeth will do nothing but provide fodder for the Trump supporters.

  208. 208
    Captain C says:

    @Bailey:

    Bottom line: running 2018 on the message that Trump is a tyrant will not flip the House like we need.

    But running on a message of ‘Trump is a traitor who, with the rest of the Republicans, sold you out.” may well be.

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