Our New Surreality

It’s kind of weird where we are right now. Pretty much everyone now knows and has internalized that our President and many of those who surround him, including Pence, have either committed multiple felonies or were a party to them. And that’s just the stuff we know about right now. Who knows what else Jared and Trump’s spawn have done that haven’t even been released yet. And we have barely scratched the surface of his rogues gallery of cabinet appointments.

But even knowing that, our nation’s elites are still tip-toeing around the basic fact that our President is a criminal who broke who knows how many laws. Instead of a national conversation about how we are going to prosecute him, it’s more horse-race nonsense- “Will it hurt Democrats to bring impeachment charges? Can a Trump win in 2020 and outlast the statutes of limitations?”

It’s kind of insane. It’s sort of analogous to when we knew all the Catholic priests were molesting those kids, but people were more afraid of uprooting the church than dealing with the monsters. So people talked in veiled terms and looked the other way, and never dealt with the problem or really held anyone accountable.

The Republicans are so corrupt that even with everything we already know, they will not convict in the Senate. We’re basically just going to have to live with a criminal President until the economy craters and the money guys decide to cut their losses. It’s nuts.

148 replies
  1. 1
    Jim says:

    Welcome to the Real World, Neo.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    “Totally clears the Trump. Thank you!”

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    Kyle Griffin
    ‏Verified account @kylegriffin1

    The White House is adopting what one official termed a “shrugged shoulders” strategy for the Mueller findings, calculating that most GOP base voters will believe whatever the president tells them to believe.

  4. 4
    wvng says:

    John, you missed the part about the base saying “yeah, but her emails” and ” a leftie said we were like Hitler once” and “libtards do It too.”

    we are so screwed.

  5. 5
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Angus King kicked Dems in the nuts today

    MSNBC @ MSNBC
    Sen. Angus King, cautioned Democrats in Congress, during an appearance on MeetThePress, that there’s not enough public evidence yet to impeach President Trump without the issue devolving into partisan warfare.

    FWIW, I don’t think he’s wrong. The point of public hearings is to bring the broader public who pay more attention to reality/talent shows than to Congress along to the point where political junkies are. I, for one, have a lot of faith in Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler and Nancy D’Alessandro Pelosi

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    But even knowing that, our nation’s elites are still tip-toeing around the basic fact that our President is a criminal who broke who knows how many laws. Instead of a national conversation about how we are going to prosecute him, it’s more horse-race nonsense- “Will it hurt Democrats to bring impeachment charges? Can a Trump win in 2020 and outlast the statutes of limitations?”

    I’ve been trying to recall if even one “major” news outlet ever held itself accountable for the run up to the Iraq War coverage. I mean after the fact did even one of them issue a meaningful mea culpa? Because with the fact that a Clinton was involved in the 2016 election, there is no way in hell they are ever going to apologize or admit how bad they fucked that up.

  8. 8
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    How will I recognize “partisan warfare” and how will it differ from business as usual the last fifteen years?

  9. 9
    Hungry Joe says:

    Look for high ground, because there’s going to be a flash-flood of pardons. How the holy hell will we deal with that? A lot of people — maybe even enough — will do a Noonan and “just walk away.” I’ll probably end up doing a Modified Noonan, which involves a gin & tonic before lunch to carry me over till gin & tonics at lunch. Then, to the streets! Tipsily, but … to the streets!

  10. 10
    A Ghost To Most says:

    It’s the end of the world as we know it
    (I think I need some time alone)
    And I feel fine

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    Takes longer than for the more pedestrian variety, however even a gilded albatross will stink so pervasively that the stench cannot be ignored and those on whom it is hanging are forced to focus on removing it.

  12. 12
    tobie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I hope you’re right that publicizing more information through hearings will convince some loyal GOP voters that Trump and, frankly, the whole Republican establishment are criminals. For now I agree with Cole: it will take an economic catastrophe for at least some of Trump’s base and, above all, the media to see the light. Today it occurred to me that the stealing of the Presidential election in 2000 convinced the party brass that they were above the law. They own the courts. My earnest hope is that not only Trump and GOP legislators will go down but also Anthony Kennedy. He sold his Supreme Court seat. Why? To protect his son? To give America’s oligarchs the right to rob the country of every last resource?

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    Sen. Angus King, cautioned Democrats in Congress, during an appearance on MeetThePress, that there’s not enough public evidence yet to impeach President Trump without the issue devolving into partisan warfare.

    Perhaps he’s unaware that impeachment is a hearing where that evidence is presented to the public. There shouldn’t be an expectation that our judicial system is so porous that the public knows everything that’s going on.

    As a baseline, if the DOJ says that someone commits a felony (hypothetically, let’s say Hillary Clinton), it should be the expectation that a hearing will follow regardless of who that person is. Even if we can’t get to ⅔ in the House or Senate, the hearing should still take place. I’m all in favor of waiting until Mueller says he’s done, but I don’t think public perception should be the governing principle here.

  14. 14
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Watergate took time to reach critical mass among the Rs. Flood them with evidence and indictments, and reelection fears, and they will start peeling off.

  15. 15
    hitchhiker says:

    Just said this yesterday to mr hitchhiker, who has imposed a rigorous political news blackout since Nov 8, 2016 on our little household — except for the odd moment when he whispers, “so are they going to do anything?”

    My reply: Hun, we’re in this weird place where we have to hope that the market crashes hard and a bad recession starts … it’s the only way Republican senators are going to find the stomach to remove him.

    Because that’s what I think. The corporate guys are going to have to get mighty nervous, and that anxiety is going to have to be communicated hard to the Republican party. Until that happens, we’re looking at a criminal white house with free reign to pack every court, blow up every trade deal, steal from the treasury, coddle foreign murderers, and swagger around like they own the place.

  16. 16
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    This is exactly right, and the analogy to the Catholic priest scandal is on point. Another good analogy is the Penn State scandal – I have a close relative who still loves Joe Paterno and won’t hear anything about what he might have known (or should have known). She’s also a Trump supporter, although not a particularly enthusiastic one. And believe it or not, she’s also a really good person, in spite of those serious blind spots.

    This whole affair has made me wonder if humans are honestly capable of self-governance on a large scale.

  17. 17
    SFAW says:

    Pretty much everyone now knows and has internalized that our President and many of those who surround him, including Pence, have either committed multiple felonies or were a party to them.

    Where the numbers for “pretty much everyone” are somewhere in the 60 percent to 73 percent range. Given the insanity, racism, and authoritarian-love of certain voters in this country — a/k/a the typical Rethug voter (“even Hitler, Stalin, or Satan would be better than a Demon-rat”) — I’m thinking it’s closer to 60 than to 73. Happy to be worng, of course.

  18. 18
    E. says:

    Our culture has now internalized the fundamental core of capitalism — which is that it is all about how much I personally can accumulate, and nothing else, and telling lies in support of that is not bad because it is the natural order of things and invisible hand etc — that this business about what is true and what is not true and who is a crook and who is not, all that shit is just a distraction, it doesn’t matter like it used to. I read today a book by Byung-Chul Han in which he uses the term “posthermenuetic society” to describe what the digital age has done to us. We live in an age of the “totalization of consumption,” where information, not analysis, counts for all, and our lives are characterized by isolation, narcissism, and compulsory living as a “project,” an obsession with “achievement” in a digital world that is only barely even real. I personally do not see how democracy is going to survive the digital age.

  19. 19
    oldgold says:

    So far, Mueller has been a day late and dollar short. Much of this, of course, has to do with the extraordinarily peculiar circumstance he finds himself in.

    Mueller is a good man. Things could change. The pace could quicken and the damnable opacity dissipate.

    I liked the SDNY’s pace and clarity as reflected in their recent Cohen filing.

    I agree that the economy significantly softening might lead to a speedy resolution of this fetid mess.

  20. 20
    Doug R says:

    I dunno: “We may get there, but we are not there now” just sounds to me like he’s just saying exercise caution-he’s not ruling it out.
    Once again, Nancy SMASH’s strategy of letting the evidence pile up and seeing where it goes from there is working.
    Democrats won the midterms by the biggest percentage margin since they started keeping track of it just after WW2, I wouldn’t worry about the downside.

  21. 21
    E. says:

    @hitchhiker: I have actually had a similar thought about the market crashing, except worse. I sometimes wonder if the only thing that can save us is global warming. It’s a horrific thought to have, and I resist it.

  22. 22
    m.j. says:

    I was listening to BBC World News on Friday and they had a story about training teachers to be commandos.

    I think people prefer insanity, rather than actually fixing the problem.

  23. 23
    sdhays says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Exactly. Impeachment is about holding PP and his band of traitors accountable. It needs to be built up, and it needs to be timed to give maximum pressure on Republicans in the Senate. It matters less that he gets convicted by the Senate and more that if they don’t convict, they face certain punishment by the voters as the accessories after the fact that they are. I want to see some Republican Senators shitting their pants before this all over.

  24. 24
    Cermet says:

    The orange fart cloud still is no where as bad as that mass murdering slime that was bloody hands cheney’s sock puppet – bush the shrub. His lies killed so many we will never know the count; and rob us and our children of vast sums of money that make the grifter rump a mere piker in comparison. I’ll still take that fart cloud over that bloody mass murdering ass wipe called bush the stupid and his fellow cabal of murdering psychopaths – not even close. In 2020 the fart cloud will lose, be tried, convicted and go to jail in all likelyhood. Bush and his bloody cohort remain free as we pay the vast debt that war of choice cost us.

  25. 25
    Jr says:

    Paris, circa 1785 or so.

  26. 26

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The point of public hearings is to bring the broader public who pay more attention to reality/talent shows than to Congress along to the point where political junkies are.

    Agreed and endorsed. I believe the Congressional committees have more information than has been made public, even though the Republicans in charge have deliberately hamstrung their own committees to keep them from finding enough evidence to justify impeachment. The short-term goal has to be to push those investigations vigorously. The goal of that is twofold. More obviously, it’s to investigate and turn up the evidence the Republicans have been refusing to look for. Less obviously, it’s to create the kind of reality show atmosphere that the media and public will be unable to refuse.

  27. 27
    Mandalay says:

    @hitchhiker:

    we’re in this weird place where we have to hope that the market crashes hard

    Yep, that’ll do it like nothing else.

    If voters see their 401k plans swirling around the toilet bowl (after solid growth throughout Obama’s presidency) Trump is in really deep trouble. It won’t send him to the slammer but he’ll have no chance of winning in 2020.

    And Trump’s tariffs will piss off Walmart shoppers who don’t have one of them fancy 401k thingamajigs quite nicely as well.

  28. 28
    oldster says:

    The majority of Republicans will do nothing while Trump’s popularity remains high.

    And so far, his popularity has not been too much damaged by the evidence of criminality.

    (he’s not *popular*, of course — he has never been popular — but his numbers have not *fallen* much.)

    But here’s something that may make a difference, even to his base:

    Finding out that he was dead broke during his run for office. Finding out he never was a billionaire to begin with.

    His base doesn’t mind a criminal. But I think they may turn on a *loser*.

    And he is and always has been a loser. That’s why the Russians latched onto him. He had no money, massive debts, and no ability to do new business. No one would lend him money, other than the Russians (via Deutsche Bank). And he couldn’t bring in any money, except via money-laundering (for the Russians). He was their wholly-owned subsidiary, and the tax-returns will make that clear.

    What Mueller’s indictments have not done, the publication of his tax-returns may accomplish.

    It is the thing he has always feared most. And the Democratic House is going to bring it.

  29. 29
    jinchi says:

    if you cant prosecute a sitting president doesnt the statute of limitations start when he leaves??

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    @Mandalay:
    Most January 401k quarterly statements will contain shocking drops in value. Don’t even want to open mine, which will be the worst since 2008.

  31. 31
    West of the Rockies says:

    I spent a little time reading about Boss Tweed (a figure I’ve not thought much of since high school and college history courses). As foul as he was, he did do some good things: helped establish the NY Public Library, fought against corporal punishment in schools…

    The Trump pox is a whole-cloth disaster: pure corruption and greed.

    History will one day (maybe soon) pass judgment on this man and his followers. Histort will not be kind.

  32. 32
    trollhattan says:

    @jinchi:
    If the next president is named Pence a general pardon will let him off the hook, at least federally.

  33. 33
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Cermet: 43 had 8 years, and no nuclear war. Would you take odds on a similar ending for Mr. “The World Begins and Ends With ME!”

  34. 34
    Amir Khalid says:

    @oldgold:

    So far, Mueller has been a day late and dollar short.

    How so? His office is conducting a criminal investigation whose scope is continually expanding as more is learned about the nature and extent of the criminality. He is not operating to anyone’s political agenda. It is not his job to time his actions to give anyone a partisan political advantage — indeed, he’s operating like his brief is to avoid handing anyone such an advantage.
    Do you happen to know how long the SDNY’s lawyers have had this case from Mueller? I have seen no reason to even suspect that they were quick to act where his team were dilatory.

  35. 35
    SFAW says:

    @oldster:

    Finding out that he was dead broke during his run for office. Finding out he never was a billionaire to begin with.
    His base doesn’t mind a criminal. But I think they may turn on a *loser*.

    You’re dreaming. The ones that are still with him don’t/won’t care. All they care is that Shitgibbon is making the libtards angry/cry, and making life worse for non-whites, etc.

    It’s kinda like saying that if Lying Littledick were to dump Pence in 2020, all the Talibangelicals will turn on him, as if they had any integrity or intellectual honesty. Oh, there might be a few who would stay home on election day, but not enough to matter.

  36. 36
    opiejeanne says:

    @Cermet: You’re still beating that drum?

  37. 37
    Barbara says:

    @oldgold: There is nothing more likely to result in acquittal than a prosecutor who jumps the gun. See, e.g., the prosecution of Baltimore police officers in the murder that led to three days of rioting. And this is true multiplied by 10 for mob bosses who have really good lawyers. Trump is in that class. Even if he is a buffoon.

  38. 38
    Barbara says:

    @opiejeanne: It’s baffling isn’t it? All I can say is, Trump is the problem we face NOW and no, we don’t know that he won’t be worse than Bush when the full story is written. This is a kind of whataboutism that I find totally offputting.

  39. 39
    SFAW says:

    @trollhattan:

    Don’t even want to open mine, which will be the worst since 2008.

    Well, I’ll be a “stand-up guy” and open it for you, if you want. All I’ll need is your account location and number, your username, and password.

    I’ll take care of you. Hugely! I guarantee.

  40. 40
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Barbara: Emos gonnna emo.

    and I suppose, as autocorrect suggests, that emus gonna emu

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Sen. Angus King, cautioned Democrats in Congress, during an appearance on MeetThePress, that there’s not enough public evidence yet to impeach President Trump without the issue devolving into partisan warfare.

    FWIW, I don’t think he’s wrong. The point of public hearings is to bring the broader public who pay more attention to reality/talent shows than to Congress along to the point where political junkies are.

    What King says is nonsense. The Republicans are playing hyperpartisan games by deliberately ignoring the mounting evidence against Trump and by their incipient steps at obstructing justice.

    Even accepting part of his argument that an impeachment might be partisan, so what? The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was wildly partisan, as was the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

    The Republicans insisted that they were only doing their duty in impeaching Clinton. What’s their excuse here?

    Selling the idea of impeachment to the public would be nice, but is not necessary, and certainly is not a constitutional requirement.

  42. 42

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Watergate took time to reach critical mass among the Rs.

    This. Nixon didn’t resign because some devastating new evidence came to light; he resigned because the Republicans in the Senate told him they were going to vote to convict, so his choice was how he left office, not whether. If/when the Republicans in the Senate turn against Trump, it’s going to be quick and bloody.

  43. 43

    But even knowing that, our nation’s elites are still tip-toeing around the basic fact that our President is a criminal who broke who knows how many laws.

    The large majority of the news media will tell you they’re Democrats, but they love Republicans, love Republican policies, and it would tear down their self-image and emotional world to admit that the Republican Party is sadistic, incompetent, and driven by racism. It destroys their ‘view from nowhere’, it paints their personal friends as monsters, and it opens them up to having to admit they themselves are bigots. Despite all that, they’re feeling the strain under Trump.

    @Hungry Joe:

    Look for high ground, because there’s going to be a flash-flood of pardons.

    Possible, but unlikely. The time to do that for Trump was waaaaaay back when Papadopalous was being investigated. Trump is zero-sum, enjoys hurting people, and doesn’t understand the concept of helping others to help himself. All signs are that he’s not going to pardon anyone except maybe, MAYBE, close family. Even then, bear in mind that he only loves them as possessions. If he thinks Ivanka going to jail will make him safer, he’ll throw her to the wolves and merely be angry that his favorite toy has been taken away.

  44. 44
    Mary G says:

    Wall Street and the 1% don’t have a fear of the market going down – they are hedged and probably raking it in shorting Facebook and other stocks like crazy. I’m afraid a Democrat gets elected after another huge crash, starts fixing it but not fast enough with enough unicorns and ponies and Twitler II is elected in 2028.

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I don’t know who this guy is, but I’d bet a large sum of money he’s right, and I think Sundowning Rudi probably left a trail

    Don Winslow @ donwinslow
    I’m fortunate to have many great journalists following me here so I wanted to post this one more time
    This isn’t speculation or conspiracy BS
    Active FBI agents in the New York office feed RudyGiuliani classified intel on active investigations & he feeds it to realDonaldTrump

    A great investigative journalist out there is going to win a Pulitzer Prize writing about how the New York office of the FBI has fed RudyGiuliani classified information for *YEARS* & how that information has been used by realDonaldTrump . It’s just sitting there for a reporter.

  46. 46
    opiejeanne says:

    @Barbara: I agree. It’s a dismissal of the very real danger that we find ourselves currently in, this looking backward and saying, “Oh, they were so much worse.”
    Cermet’s comparison was pretty thoroughly dismissed already by just about everyone here within the past two days. Trump poses a threat to the US and the world far beyond the nastiness perpetrated by Bush & Cheney.

  47. 47
    SFAW says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If/when the Republicans in the Senate turn against Trump, it’s going to be quick and bloody.

    Which raises a “thought exercise”: if the modern version of Howard Baker goes to Shitgibbon and tells him he’s dead meat, how would Lying Littledick react?

    I’m guessing he’d (A) hear what he wants to hear, leaving out all the bad news, but also (B) tweet-storm to shit on those Rethug Senators who are telling him he’s done. I expect he’d also try to get (via tweet) the AG — whoever it ends up being — to indict Nancy Pelosi and a bunch of Dems for Treason.

  48. 48
    The Dangerman says:

    …until the economy craters and the money guys decide to cut their losses.

    This.

    Seems to me the biggest lynchpin (first syllable misspelled on purpose) is Pence. If Pence is dirty, he goes and there won’t be a soul that can be confirmed by both the House and Senate. After the new Congress I mean…

    …which creates the potential for at least a President Pelosi if Trump blows a gasket next year. Hell, really fuck with them, and nominate Hillary as Speaker (Speaker doesn’t have to be a Member of Congress, though I don’t know the last time that happened, if ever).

    I’m on first cuppa Joe after a ++ night, but seems to me that the Republicans should cut bait with Trump like right now, elevate Pence (and hope for the best), and get a new VP before the new Congress. Yeah, I’m dreaming, but it’s a nice dream. A younger Elle McPherson is in my next dream (I like accents).

  49. 49
    Ohio Mom says:

    @A Ghost To Most: This isn’t an either-or type of thing. Both GW and Trump can be recognized as awful and destructive, each in their own way.

    I understand insisting we not forget the horrors brought by Bush, and insisting that we recognize those horrors continue even as we turn our focus to lasting damage Trump is wrecking. And to add to that, we can’t completely know yet how either set of horrors and damage will ultimately play out.

    It’s a dumb contest to argue which is worse, it’s two different yardsticks really.

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @A Ghost To Most: @Roger Moore: The Slate Slow Burn podcast on Watergate is very good, and there’s one part where they play IIRC recordings of a reporter who went to a bar (some things change) in Queens (some things don’t) and all of Archie Bunker’s blue collar neighbors think it’s all a lot of crap. IIRC this was just before the Saturday Night Massacre. It’s like Salena Fucking Zito has always been with us.

  51. 51

    @SFAW:

    if the modern version of Howard Baker goes to Shitgibbon and tells him he’s dead meat, how would Lying Littledick react?

    A) Depends on how he’s told. Narcissists are hugely paranoid and alert for criticism. You get a huge dichotomy where they either freak out or lie to themselves they’re the greatest, with no in-between.
    B) He’s already been told that he can’t do that. It doesn’t matter who he puts in the top spot at the DoJ. The rank and file prosecutors are going to shrug and tell that person there’s nothing to charge his political enemies with, and they don’t want to be laughed out of court and possibly get in legal trouble themselves.

  52. 52
    SFAW says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Cermet’s comparison was pretty thoroughly dismissed already by just about everyone here within the past two days. Trump poses a threat to the US and the world far beyond the nastiness perpetrated by Bush & Cheney.

    You’re conveniently forgetting the hundreds of millions killed during the Iraq “War.” Or some large number, bordering on the amount lost during WW1, WW2, and the Boer War, combined.

    Or so I’ve been told by someone, I think on these “pages.”

  53. 53
    Gvg says:

    Eh. McConnel. Indict him, charge him, get a few others, who by their actions, I am sure have also done illegal stuff, and we’ll be able to fix things.
    I don’t anymore think the GOP’s obstruction is just partisan. I think they get dirty money. Prove it, and we’ll be in a better position.
    The GOP lost the house in 2006 as much because of a flood of corruption scandals as Iraq troop deaths. We need to clean up widely. I am sure it will get a few democrats too, just not as many, since party actions aren’t as corrupt. Actions matter more than words.

  54. 54
    Aleta says:

    Agree. It’s also analogous to those times when the people with power said “It’s better for the country not to disturb things.” Meaning the ticking of the financial world. And meaning ‘there might be riots.’

    Sure enough, when talk about Russia came up after the election, the message was ‘Whatever happened it’s done; better now to carry on.’ And when Russia came up right before the election, T talked about riots. The interpretation was that he would lose, but it was a fear tactic. As was “If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor.” In 2004 the message was ‘Better for the military not to change presidents mid-war.’

    I really hate that combination: people with power (SC judges, paid ‘experts’ in the media) piously saying ‘Country first!’ while politicians fear-monger that individuals will be hurt if we don’t quiet down.

    Somehow, individuals getting hurt, the unspoken assumption behind “at least Trump will “bring the revolution immediately” (h/t SS), also helped Trump maintain power.

  55. 55
    SFAW says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    He’s already been told that he can’t do that. It doesn’t matter who he puts in the top spot at the DoJ.

    Yes, that’s always been so effective in the past. [No, I know he sometimes listens re: stuff like that, but I don’t think he has when he’s felt threatened.]

  56. 56

    @trollhattan:

    Most January 401k quarterly statements will contain shocking drops in value.

    I’m feeling better about shifting mine to a more conservative portfolio after a discussion here a few months back.

  57. 57
    boatboy_srq says:

    Can a Trump win in 2020 and outlast the statutes of limitations?

    There’s a statute of limitations on treason?

  58. 58
    opiejeanne says:

    @SFAW: Nope, not forgetting them at all, but this is what we have in front of us right now, and it’s potentially far far worse than the results of the stupid war in Iraq andthe terrible things they did or failed to do right here at home.

    Edited to add: lol. Missed the sarcasm the first time I read it.

  59. 59
    Gozer says:

    @SFAW: Trump is worse from the point of view of a PoC living in this country.

    If you or Cermet can’t understand why then there’s no more to say. I’ve lived through both and Trump’s racism has made things much, much worse on a day to day level. That cannot be ignored.

  60. 60
    zhena gogolia says:

    @NotMax:

    You had some great movie titles. Still laughing at Don T’s Inferno and Tsar Whores.

  61. 61
    The Dangerman says:

    @SFAW:

    Which raises a “thought exercise”: if the modern version of Howard Baker…

    Lemmee stop your, right there.

    I’m guessing he’d (A) hear what he wants to hear, leaving out all the bad news, but also (B) tweet-storm to shit on those Rethug Senators who are telling him he’s done.

    My guess is a variation on B, which is to unleash the MAGAts and try to hold on for dear life. He steps out of the Oval Office and into an orange jumpsuit. Might look good on him.

  62. 62

    @opiejeanne:
    I think it’s useful to be reminded from time to time of just how awful Shrub was, just so we don’t start thinking about his reign of error as some kind of good old days. That said, I think Cermet is missing a big point: Trump is pushing hard for a new stupid war, and the main reason he hasn’t gotten it is because our forces are still tied down in our old stupid wars.

  63. 63
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Roger Moore: And the Republicans are caught in a cleft stick. After all this time of supporting him, regardless of the damaging information that has come out and his bizarre behavior, to have to turn to your voters and say:” Well, he’s a criminal.” is…awkward.

  64. 64
    opiejeanne says:

    @Roger Moore: Mine’s always been pretty damned conservative but Trump’s making even Clorox stock exciting, keeping in mind that exciting isn’t always a positive description.

  65. 65
    Librarian says:

    @West of the Rockies: and most importantly. Tweed was instrumental in getting the Brooklyn bridge built.

  66. 66
    gene108 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The strategy has worked well so far. Trump is more of a cult leader, leading people who will blindly follow him no matter what, than an actual politician or President.

  67. 67
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Angus King is just saying that people need a little foreplay first, which they do.

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mary G: Truly wealthy people don’t mind a deep recession or sharp drop. They just position themselves to take away everything the less resourceful population has. IIRC, during the crash of ’29 the people jumping out of windows were over-leveraged stock brokers. Not the wealth barons.

  69. 69
    Mandalay says:

    @Cermet:

    The orange fart cloud still is no where as bad as that mass murdering slime…

    The CDC tracks the numbers of deaths due to opioid overdoses. There were ~30,000 in 2017.

    I don’t want to solely blame Trump for every one of those deaths any more than I want to solely blame Bush for every single death in Iraq. But it’s not hard to make the case that the Trump Administration has been highly ineffective in addressing that problem for all their posturing on the matter, and an awful lot of people are dying in the meantime.

    The argument you keep pushing (Bush killed more people than Trump) is not really meaningful or productive, but if you insist on going there you really need to examine both sides more closely.

  70. 70
    cmorenc says:

    @tobie:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I hope you’re right that publicizing more information through hearings will convince some loyal GOP voters that Trump and, frankly, the whole Republican establishment are criminals.

    It only needs to be a mid-to-high single digits bleedoff to substantially impair the GOP’s chances in all but the most hopelessly red states and districts in the country, and cripple their already difficult chances of holding onto the Presidency in 2020.

  71. 71

    @opiejeanne:

    Mine’s always been pretty damned conservative but Trump’s making even Clorox stock exciting

    Mine wasn’t crazy, but I moved a bunch of money from stocks to bonds, which means that unlike the major indices, my retirement plan is up YTD.

  72. 72
    Cermet says:

    @opiejeanne: Facts have a way of causing that; unlike fox news, reality matters. But to each their own. The rump will be in office til Jan 2021 and letting these minor issues get to one isn’t worth it.

  73. 73

    Re the timing of impeachment, we need to remember that impeachment is the overturning of election results. However, sketchy the 2016 results are, they’re what we have. The evidence needs to be clear enough to draw a solid majority of the American public to agree that Trump has committed crimes. The question is when and how that evidence is brought out and makes its way into the consciousness of the public. Based on Watergate, I think House hearings are a way to do that short of impeachment. They’re a preparatory step.

  74. 74
    MattF says:

    I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.

    See, everyone thought that Trump was joking. But he was serious– and we should have known that. Mr. Donald J. Trump doesn’t have a sense of humor, he doesn’t tell jokes. He was simply describing a factual situation.

    ETA: I guess the problem is that he wasn’t lying.

  75. 75
    Cermet says:

    @SFAW: Stupid is as stupid posts; mentioning that a few hundred thousands died thanks to that false war and that the real number will never be known is fact. Deal with it or join your fellow fools at fox news.

    If the people here want to throw a fit over someone not toeing the exact line of group think, then they need to join the thug party where that is required. I presonelly follow facts and so far, the fart cloud is small potato’s compared to the shrub. Someone going off and saying the fart cloud will start a nuclear war is very silly; similar to your argument.

  76. 76
    MattF says:

    @Roger Moore: Me too. Although it’s fair to say that my portfolio has always been bond-heavy. Nothing against stocks, except that they go up and down and I’m retired.

  77. 77
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Cermet:

    How’s the weather in Omsk this time of year?

  78. 78
    Cermet says:

    @Mandalay: While correct, look no further than all politicians in that mass cause of deaths; our insane war on drug users that every president has supported (though, thugs are worse) says what? The Fart cloud is as bad as bush? Drug OD deaths have been increasing for a long time and the causes are hardly his fault; it is our criminal justice (LOL) system that is most to blame, then our economic system. Haven’t see dems fix the former at all. They do more for the later than thugs, yes, but far too little for my tastes.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    debbie says:

    I wish people would stop talking about impeachment. First, it’s quicker to just vote him out. This would humiliate him which would be very enjoyable. Impeachment would alienate every single person who supports him or at least doesn’t speak out against him. More importantly, it takes time away from the work the House needs to do to correct (or at least begin to correct) all the damage the Trump administration has wrecked upon this country.

  81. 81
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I don’t know who this guy is, but I’d bet a large sum of money he’s right

    He is the author of the book “the force”, about New York cops, which I am currently reading as I wing my way to Chicago. He wrote a couple of incredible books about the drug industry. I suggest you begin with “the cartel”.

  82. 82
    Gozer says:

    @SFAW:

    I jumped the gun and didn’t see the sarcasm in your comment. I’m a little touchy these days and apologize for implying you and Cermet have the same viewpoint.

  83. 83
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @zhena gogolia: I have to say, I’m coming around to this point-of-view on Cermet. If Dubya is worse than Shitler, then hey, fascism and white supremacy are No. Big. Deal. Amirite?

    Yeah, fuck that. A necessary precondition for decency in government, is a government that isn’t a fucking fascist authoritarian regime masquerading as a democracy. It doesn’t take away from this point, that America has for long been less-of-a-democracy-than-we-pretend. One of the thing we sign up for, when we sign up as Americans, is a belief that -process- matters, and that without a sound process, you cannot achieve (in any decent/worthwhile sense) sound ends.

    But hey, it’s clear Cermet doesn’t believe in this.

  84. 84
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cermet:

    In 2020 the fart cloud will lose, be tried, convicted and go to jail in all likelyhood.

    He may lose, but the rest of it? Never happen. DJT will never see the inside of a prison, you can take that to the bank.

  85. 85
    James E Powell says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Because with the fact that a Clinton was involved in the 2016 election, there is no way in hell they are ever going to apologize or admit how bad they fucked that up.

    To this day, not one of them thinks that he or she did anything wrong. They don’t consider it a fuck up and they think anyone who does think that is a shrill partisan.

    They don’t get that it’s not about whether they were nice to Hillary (that horrible woman whom “everybody” hates). They don’t get that the lives of millions of people were affected by their decision to put Trump in the White House. They only know that Trump makes all their jobs easier and more lucrative.

  86. 86
    MattF says:

    @debbie: Well, Bill Clinton was impeached, as you may recall. I don’t remember any Republicans worrying about alienating Democrats.

    I don’t think impeachment should be purely political– but that’s not really a problem with Trump’s crimes. He’s guilty as hell, and it’s the constitutional responsibility of the House to lay that out.

  87. 87
    SFAW says:

    @Gozer:

    Don’t sweat it. [I don’t use the sarc/snark font, because I’m lazy. And my sarcasm is not always obvious.]

  88. 88
    debbie says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    I don’t get this having to rank “bad guys.” Who cares who is worse than whom, and who cares who is the worst of all time? Evil is evil.

    I don’t think Cermet has factored all the many, many deaths in Syria, Yemen, SA, etc. resulting from Trump’s dithering/ignoring.

  89. 89
    zhena gogolia says:

    @MattF:

    Yeah, I don’t understand the mentality that wants to take impeachment off the table. If anyone has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, he has. He shouldn’t have been seated in the first place, if we really were following the Founding Fathers’ plan.

  90. 90
    debbie says:

    @MattF:

    We are not the Republicans. That is a horrible yardstick.

    When it’s shown that Trump has committed crimes, the justice system will be there to prosecute him.

  91. 91
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Cermet:

    In 2020 the fart cloud will lose, be tried, convicted and go to jail in all likelyhood.

    He may lose, but the rest of it? Never happen. DJT will never see the inside of a prison, you can take that to the bank.

    Oh, hm. Maybe what Cermet believes, is that our system of government works perfectly, and that there is NO chance that Shitler and his feculent hordes can destroy our government, even *with* Putin’s active measures assistance. In which case sure, what matters is the depredations of the American Empire on the innocent and powerless. Sure, it makes sense.

    It’s also a version of what doomed Hillary: the belief that we didn’t have to worry about Shitler, b/c She. Was. Gonna. Win. Anyway. It. Was. In. The. Bag.

  92. 92

    oldgold is kvetching about Mueller and Cermet about Iraq war. Again.

  93. 93
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Again, Trump will be gone. Don’t fall into the GOP’s trap that the Democrats only wanted to persecute Trump because he beat Hillary. Democrats should instead focus on actually accomplishing legislation that benefits the middle class.

  94. 94
    SFAW says:

    @Cermet:

    Stupid is as stupid posts;

    Thanks for setting an example to which we all aspire

    mentioning that a few hundred thousands died thanks to that false war and that the real number will never be known is fact.

    I have recently seen someone — was it you? I don’t care enough to track it down — spout about the “millions” who died in Iraq. Had they stuck with the 100,000s, I would not have commented, but the millions thing is a kind-of exaggeration-for-the-sake-of-pwning-those-who-haven’t-accepted-as-Gospel-that-Bush-was-worse thing.

    Deal with it or join your fellow fools at fox news.

    As opposed to you and your fellow morons at RNC HQ? Or at Individual-1 Tower?

    That being said: I am so grateful for your purity showing me — nay, all of us — the Way.

  95. 95
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @debbie:

    I don’t think Cermet has factored all the many, many deaths in Syria, Yemen, SA, etc. resulting from Trump’s dithering/ignoring.

    It’s not about ranking, and actually, I’m willing to grant Cermet that what Dubya did was worse, measured in terms of lives cut short and damaged. But I’m enough of a patriot that it matters more to me, whether our Republic survives.

    And his whataboutism really fucking pisses me off.

  96. 96
    MattF says:

    @debbie: And what if Mueller’s report says, basically, that Trump can’t be indicted and the Constitutional way to deal with Trump’s crimes is through impeachment? You disagree?

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I was going to be kvetching about my feet hurting but I thought that may be a little too much kvetch for this thread.

  98. 98
    Doug R says:

    @The Dangerman: I’m guessing you like the movie Sirens.

  99. 99
    debbie says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    No argument from me. It’s natural to want revenge, but we all need to keep our eye on the prize, so to speak.

  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattF: Mueller, unlike other people, seems to be following some arcane non-legal DoJ “guidelines”. So…

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    @Doug R: Who didn’t?

  102. 102
    boatboy_srq says:

    @debbie: Voting them out is less certainty and more crapshoot than is immediately apparent. See NC 9 for an example of how thoroughly wrong that can go, and for the makeup of the incoming Senate for how just a few votes can throw that well-intentioned effort into chaos. You’re betting on the better angels of the US electorate, and they’ve been remarkably disappointing most of the times they have been called on to act responsibly.

    The MAGAts are already alienated, or they wouldn’t have voted for him in the first place. They have been alienated since 1993 at least if not 1977, and have shown little appetite for reasonable policymaking or selecting honorable representation during that time. Gingrich, Helms, Dannemeyer et al are all proof of this.

    There will never be enough time to “correct… all the damage”, as the “damage” goes back to the Contract On With America if not much further. Remediating all of that will take multiple Congresses: one more or less makes little impact. The one thing to be addressed NOW is AGCC, and there’s precious little this House can do alone: with the Senate held by intransigent AGCC-denialist fvcks, and the WH in Lord Dampnut’s tender care, impeachment would actually do more for that effort than attempting to pass legislation that will never see even a reconciliation committee.

    The one hesitation in pursuing impeachment at this time is the potential of ending up with a pResident Pence: he is JUST respectable enough that throwing him out as well will be met with too much resistance to overcome.

    What might be more useful is investigation of key GOTea Senators for complementary crimes, and enabling their impeachment as well: if we remove enough of them THEN the balance can shift enough to make progress without necessarily removing tRump.

    You’re also forgetting that impeachment proceedings might just bring to a halt all the judicial appointments now in queue that would remake the US judiciary in the Reichwing’s fantasies. Stopping THAT is of equivalent importance long term as reversing any other damage, and the House by itself has no other means of achieving that.

  103. 103
    debbie says:

    @MattF:

    And what if Mueller’s report says, basically, that Trump can’t be indicted

    First, I’ve seen no indication that this would happen. Second, even if it did, the list of crimes, even though unindictable, would hang around Trump’s neck like a rotting albatross. He’d be neutered. His head would explode.

  104. 104
    James E Powell says:

    @MattF:

    Bill Clinton’s impeachment had the full support of the press/media. They reached a level of excitement one associates with rabid soccer fans. Also too, a number of Democrats joined in the widespread condemnation of Clinton. Almost no one defended his conduct, they only said it didn’t merit impeachment. We have nothing like this now.

  105. 105
    debbie says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    You’re also forgetting that impeachment proceedings might just bring to a halt all the judicial appointments now in queue

    Impeachment wouldn’t stop that. Congress didn’t screech to a halt while the House persecuted Bill Clinton.

  106. 106
    MattF says:

    @debbie: I’ll refer you back to my upthread comment, @MattF: Trump didn’t seem to think, btw, that his shooting someone on 5th Avenue would be a bad thing.

  107. 107
    zhena gogolia says:

    @debbie:

    There’s a criminal gang in the White House destroying the government from within with every passing day. Doing the bidding of Putin. Who is not our friend.

  108. 108
    gene108 says:

    McConnell is up for re-election in 2020. If he feels sticking with Trump will hurt his re-election chances, then he will turn on Trump and get the rest of the Republican Senate to follow his lead, as he always does.

    Otherwise, the Republicans in the Senate will firewall against conviction and removal from office.

    A lot hinges on Trump losing support in Kentucky.

  109. 109

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    emus gonna emu

    And dodos sho’ gonna dodo

  110. 110
    MattF says:

    @gene108: I’d assume that McConnell already has the goods on Trump. Snakes gonna snake.

  111. 111

    @Gin & Tonic:

    DJT will never see the inside of a prison, you can take that to the bank.

    He may, however, spend his retirement years in exile in a country without an extradition treaty. There’s a reasonable chance there’s already a sealed indictment against Individual 1 just waiting for him to be out of office, and I don’t expect him to stick around to find out after he leaves office.

  112. 112
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Roger Moore: do we have an extradition treaty with Florida?

  113. 113
  114. 114
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: The agony of de feet?

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:

    @gene108:

    A lot hinges on Trump losing support in Kentucky.

    You mean some 87% white people Kentucky?

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I haven’t been de-feeted yet, but these MF’ers are killing me.

  117. 117
    Amir Khalid says:

    @James E Powell:
    Bill Clinton’s conduct in that matter wasn’t defensible, so I understand Democrats not defending it. It wasn’t a crime against the nation, either, and as I recall a lot of Democrats were pretty clear on that.

  118. 118
    cain says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    FWIW, I don’t think he’s wrong. The point of public hearings is to bring the broader public who pay more attention to reality/talent shows than to Congress along to the point where political junkies are. I, for one, have a lot of faith in Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler and Nancy D’Alessandro Pelosi

    See, this is bogus. There is already partisan warfare going on. Please explain the actions of the Republicans in Michigan, WIsconsin, Georgia and Mississippi? If that isn’t naked partisan warfare then what it is. All we are doing is prosecuting crimes that are clearly broken. Who exactly are we pissing off the squishy middle? By now, we have all picked a side at this point. The facts are out there with multiple Trump people pleading guilty.

  119. 119
    Mike in NC says:

    2019 will be very bad news for the Fat Bastard. Democrats taking the house means his fascist agenda is dead and he’ll anger tweet so hard he might stroke out. Kelly is leaving and so will others in the cabinet/west wing, to be replaced by more inept low grade hires. Putin at some point is going to lose interest in his impotent puppet and make moves to infuriate or humiliate him. The country is long overdue for a recession and the tariffs and trade wars are only going to make things worse. The ride will be bumpy.

  120. 120
    cain says:

    @debbie:

    First, I’ve seen no indication that this would happen. Second, even if it did, the list of crimes, even though unindictable, would hang around Trump’s neck like a rotting albatross. He’d be neutered. His head would explode.

    He doesn’t need to get indicted. You take away everything he cares about. His business and then his children. Destroy everything he cherishes and knowing that he’s going to go jail when he gets out as the coup de grace. The first President in history actually go to jail. In fact, by that point, his followers won’t give a shit about him and he’ll be penniless. We should give him a chance to leave the country for somewhere and give up his U.S. citizenship in exchange for no jail time.

  121. 121

    @Chetan Murthy:

    I’m willing to grant Cermet that what Dubya did was worse, measured in terms of lives cut short and damaged. But I’m enough of a patriot that it matters more to me, whether our Republic survives.

    This. Starting an unnecessary war that kills thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of people in other countries for no good reason is terrible, but from the standpoint of a selfish American it’s not the worst thing a President can do. Body count is important, but the foremost job of the President is to protect our country and our constitutional government. Acting as the puppet of a foreign dictator goes directly against against that, which makes it worse from the standpoint of doing his job as President. Bush may be a worse human being and a worse historical monster- though honestly he’s a piker compared to LBJ in terms of body count in an unnecessary war- but Trump is a worse president.

  122. 122
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Of course. But is your need for revenge more urgent than ensuring we win in 2020?

  123. 123
    Corner Stone says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    There’s a criminal gang in the White House destroying the government from within with every passing day. Doing the bidding of Putin.

    This is the synopsis that makes me furious. The wheels of Justice and all that, but we’re losing ground every single day.

  124. 124

    @gene108:

    McConnell is up for re-election in 2020. If he feels sticking with Trump will hurt his re-election chances, then he will turn on Trump and get the rest of the Republican Senate to follow his lead, as he always does.

    Yertle is in up to the top of his shell in Trump’s treason. He cares more about staying out of prison than anything, and he will stick with Trump until it’s clear that turning on him is the best way of saving his own sorry hide. The road to impeaching Trump probably goes through an indictment of McConnell.

  125. 125

    @Gozer:

    Trump is worse from the point of view of a PoC living in this country.

    Also an LGBT POV. I’ve been watching my rights being steadily eroded for the past two years.

  126. 126

    @Corner Stone: I don’t think you have mentioned your hurting feet before, so kvetch away.

  127. 127
    Gozer says:

    @SFAW: it was plenty obvious, I just read the first part and went all Super Fly TNT.

  128. 128

    Just putting this out there as an example of where a certain very important member of Congress thinks:

    There’s a real prospect that when Trump leaves office, he may be indicted and face the possibility of jail time. Were he not President, he may have already been charged.While ordinary Americans legally supported campaigns, Trump, like Cohen, played by a different set of rules. pic.twitter.com/URoeRT66RY— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) December 9, 2018

  129. 129
    Gozer says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: Of course.

    LGBT individuals are under even greater threat (esp. Those of color). I’ve always had the privilege of affirmation of my identity and relationship (mostly. Some folks still don’t accept interracial couples) by family, friends, and society.

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    It also sets up a false comparison that pits W and Trump against each other, rather than recognizing that Trump is the natural evolution of Bushism.

    Trump is the result of what W got away with, not a separate phenomenon. Without the presidency of W as a guide and touchstone, Trump never would have gotten the nomination in the first place.

  131. 131
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Were he not President, he may have already been charged.

    This also makes me very angry. Because we know if it were available, (and R’s sure as F will do so in the near future no matter what), the president is not above the law. His job is not a shield. We need to push to charge and indict him while in office. Anyone who thinks today’s GOP would not do so is a fool.

  132. 132
    Elizabelle says:

    @Roger Moore: I don’t care for Schiff giving Trump a “pass” on being indicted, but the situation could change there. Schiff is likely not getting out ahead of the story, or any plans.

    Investigation, investigation, investigation. May pave the way for indicting a sitting “president.”

  133. 133
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    What if they don’t bother to tell him? What if they just drop a hint to Nancy Smash to go ahead, because McConnell or no McConnell, they’re on board?

    Nixon was one of them; he’d been in politics since the late 1940s. There were reasons of professional courtesy and collegiality that led Goldwater & the others to warn Nixon, and I’m not sure those would appear ply to Trump, if they still exist.

  134. 134
    J R in WV says:

    @Mandalay:

    Regarding who was worse for America and the world, Bush/Cheney or Trump/Russia, I agree with others that they should be measured with different yardsticks.

    But when you say:

    I don’t want to solely blame Trump for every one of those deaths any more than I want to solely blame Bush for every single death in Iraq.

    I don’t understand why we wouldn’t blame Bush/Cheney for every single death in Iraw and that vicinity. I certainly do, both for the fraudulent commencement of an illegal war AND for the totally incompetent waging of the war and the “peace” following the actual war, which isn’t over yet.

    By the same token, Trump’s criminal behavior is right here, right now. Bush’s was mostly thousands of miles away. Tragic for everyone, but not existential for our way of life.

    What’s my point? I thought I had one… they’re all crooks, racist fascists, all of them, including a majority of the MSM! There we go. Point!

  135. 135

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Angus King is just saying that people need a little foreplay first, which they do.

    I’d like to get buy this comment a drink. Hell, I’d like to get it liquored up and do some spirited dry-humping.

  136. 136
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Roger Moore:

    though honestly he’s a piker compared to LBJ in terms of body count in an unnecessary war

    No credit for bloody Dick Nixon? Millions more killed in Laos and Cambodia…

  137. 137
    Aleta says:

    Re: Bush vs Trump

    Before the US invaded Iraq in Bush’s 3rd year in office, we were saying, ‘A lot of people will die. This won’t end.’ Those predictions and protests were mostly buried by the msm.

    As they ramped up the occupation, we said, ‘Vets will come home with PTSD. Police will become more militarized.’
    ‘Vets are returning with terrible injuries. Civilians are dying. Families breaking.’ The early signs of long term damage were displaced by Ashcroft’s Threat Level Thermometer and other distractions.

    It reminds me more of today than not. There’s a lag. Reports and numbers for both will be coming in for a long time.

    Also, some Republicans are spreading ‘Bush was better’ opportunistically. God forbid the Bush family be combined with Trump to represent Republicanism.

    It’s the sum total that counts.

  138. 138
    SFAW says:

    @Gozer:

    Trump is worse from the point of view of a PoC living in this country.

    Although I’m not, nor did I mention it in any of my comments, I’m well aware of that. Easy for me to be “well aware” of course, without being in a position to suffer the consequences, but I certainly don’t ignore nor minimize what the Fuckhead-in-Chief has done, nor allowed/encouraged to be done in his name.

  139. 139
    boatboy_srq says:

    @debbie: It wouldn’t stop the Senate from acting, but it would inhibit Lord Dampnut adding to (creating?) a list of nominees. There is a distinct difference in this case: Clinton was a capable administrator accustomed to the nominations process, and Lord Dampnut is, well… not.

  140. 140
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @oldmold:

    So far, Mueller has been a day late and dollar short.

    You’re just a few fries short of a Happy Meal, Sparky. And you’re in die need of banhammering to the umpteenth moon of Uranus.

    (Tl;dr version: GTFO.)

  141. 141
    dopey-o says:

    @Roger Moore:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    DJT will never see the inside of a prison, you can take that to the bank.

    He may, however, spend his retirement years in exile in a country without an extradition treaty. There’s a reasonable chance there’s already a sealed indictment against Individual 1 just waiting for him to be out of office, and I don’t expect him to stick around to find out after he leaves office.

    i think there is an indictment of Trump – as president – in Mueller’s stack of sealed indictments. Mueller may be calculating that his position as SC is hanging by a thread. If he doesn’t indict the sitting president now – knowing that indictment may be dismissed – there will never be a chance again before the end of Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office.

    And there’s no reason Mueller can’t have a second sealed indictment of citizen Trump in readiness for Feb 2021.

  142. 142
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    @Corner Stone:

    the president is not above the law. His job is not a shield. We need to push to charge and indict him while in office

    This comes up a lot these days (obviously) and though I very much appreciate the sentiment, I don’t believe a sitting president can be criminally-indicted outside the impeachment process. It’s considered an unresolved constitutional question, sure, and theoretically that’s true.

    Practically speaking, though, I think it is resolved. To see why I (and others) think this way, game out exactly how, within our actually-existing justice system, Trump — while still president — could possibly be indicted, arrested, arraigned, and put on trial:

    What fed prosecutor would attempt to bring an indictment (thus abrogating the DoJ’s own internal-ruling that a sitting president can not be indicted), what fed judge would then issue an arrest warrant for the president, and which US marshals would try to serve that warrant and take the president into custody to be arraigned, all of these people knowing full well that their authority to do so is not just questionable, but questionable at pretty much the highest constitutional level?

    Beyond that, who believes Trump would willingly go along with this? And since he almost-certainly would not, then how do we imagine his Secret Service detail would react if some marshals attempt to put hands on him and place him involuntarily into custody?

    Not gonna happen, not even the first step. If Trump himself is ever brought to trial (outside of Congress impeaching him) for his diverse and sundry criminal acts, it will have to wait till he’s out of office. I think that most likely will happen, in both state and federal courts (I feel very conflicted, however, hoping he lives long enough for that to occur).

  143. 143
    Scamp Dog says:

    @trollhattan: Republicans will be getting the shaft. Which is dreadfully unjust, ask any Republican officeholder or apparatchik.

  144. 144

    this is the point where the Department of Justice needs to come out and say they will not honor the agreement to avoid issuing indictments against a sitting President. That agreement was made with the understanding that BOTH parties would rise to the moment and condemn a President committing criminal acts before and DURING his administration with impeachment. We all know damn well the modern Republican party will never support impeaching a President again (like they did in 1974 with Nixon). We need to make it damn clear that no man, no President, NO PARTY is above the law.

  145. 145
    J R in WV says:

    @dopey-o:

    Thinking about the 2021 Inauguration. There they all are standing on the Inaugural stand outside that huge building, the somber ritual of transferring power to a new President happens.

    Then, instead of the former President leaving with the standard ritual, as Trump attempts to escape to his chosen refuge nation with no extradition treaty, instead he is met by a team of FBI agents and US Marshals, taken into custody and hustled into a big black SUV, instead of his limo.

  146. 146
    Corner Stone says:

    @Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot: Then we have a King.

  147. 147
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    You know, I’ve had this thought.

    Maybe it’s time for people like… well, like the people on this blog?

    Anyway: maybe it’s time for people to start talking about the GOP strategy in real terms.

    “Well, you have to understand, the Republicans have been laying out an attack on the US judicial system for many years. Remember the Terri Schiavo case, where they had the base convinced that over 20 judges all ignored a helpless woman’s fundamental rights? Well – now that they’ve laid that foundation, they’re expecting it to pay out for them now. Here, it’s clear that the President committed crimes and endangered the nation, okay, but they’re sure their base will consider that all fake news, because they no longer trust the legal system. It was a very strong, very successful strategy – I don’t see why people are acting shocked, because, they’ve been broadcasting their intentions for so long.”

    Do you see what I’m saying? Nominally, it’s nothing but horse-race commentary. “The GOP is counting on their base to be so distrustful of the legal system that they’ll trust Trump. It’s a great strategy, and it was really cunning to start laying the foundation for that over the past 20 years.” It’s precisely the sort of thing the mainstream media gobbles up, it sounds so cynical and so “inside politics”.

    Except it’s saying exactly the sort of things that will help the other John Coles in the Republican Party – that is, the people who think the Republicans have actual *VALUES*, and who expect the Republicans to *HOLD* to those valuers – to wake up.

    (Uh, John? You did catch that I was paying you a backhanded compliment, right? I mean, yeah, it sucks you used to be on the wrong side, but damn, I’m still kinda proud that you kept your eyes open enough to have a “just WAIT a minute!” moment eventually.)

  148. 148
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    @Corner Stone: In many ways the position of the American President is very much like an elected king, roughly analogous on a number of executive-function fronts to the British monarch’s powers as limited in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The Founders (some of them, anyway) briefly considered having an actual limited-powers king as a strong executive in the wake of the governmental chaos engendered under the Articles of Confederation. The office of the President that was subsequently created at the Constitutional Convention arose from that imperative for a very strong, if still limited, executive. Hamilton (for one) wanted a president who served for life, with removal from office only via impeachment (like federal judges).

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