Two Different Games

Following up on Adam’s post about AOC and Pelosi, I thought this profile of her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, was interesting, especially this:

“To me, there wasn’t a difference between working for her and working for the movement as a whole,” he said. “The whole theory of change for the current Democratic Party is that to win this country we need to tack to the hypothetical middle. What I think that means is, you don’t take unnecessary risks, which translates to: You don’t really do anything. Whereas we’ve got a completely different theory of change, which is: You do the biggest, most badass thing you possibly can — and that’s going to excite people, and then they’re going to go vote. Because the reality is, our problem isn’t that more people are voting Republican than Democrat — our problem is most people who would vote Democrat aren’t voting.”

The rest of the article is full of references to movement building with AOC and other House members using their seats as a platform to bring attention to the Green New Deal and other initiatives, as well as to drive recruitment for other like-minded House candidates. If that’s your mission, then balancing your work on committees with public appearances and behind-the-scenes work is perfectly reasonable. Maybe it’s naive, but I’ve seen a hell of a lot of naivete from establishment Dems who still think they can deal with the Trump administration using same rules and conventions they used with past administrations. (See Martin’s comment in Adam’s thread for more on this line of thought.)

In other words, if Adam’s right that Pelosi assigned AOC a set of tough committee assignments as a test, isn’t one possibility that AOC knows its a test and doesn’t give a shit if she passes that test? The fact that this profile of Chakrabarti exists–and that he hasn’t been fired for some of his anti-Pelosi tweets–is more evidence that AOC and Pelosi are playing two different games. No member whose goal was to move up quickly in the House hierarchy would allow their chief of staff anything like this latitude.

Two more things. First, if it looks weak to impeach Trump in the House and have it fail in the Senate, why should the House pass any other legislation? If passing legislation that the Senate will ignore or defeat is important because it sends a message to voters, so does impeachment. Second, before it gets brought up in the comments, this is the guy who committed the apparently unforgivable sin of allowing an early draft of the Green New Deal to go live on a website, three months after AOC was sworn in, thus ruining progressive politics forever and ever.






184 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    In other words, if Adam’s right that Pelosi assigned AOC a set of tough committee assignments as a test, isn’t one possibility that AOC knows its a test and doesn’t give a shit if she passes that test?

    But, see, I remember it differently…
    I remember them whining and making noise about being put on those tough committees. So, they got tough committee assignments.
    If she doesn’t give a shyt if she passes the test, then she shouldn’t be whining about the work. These two things don’t connect.

  2. 2
    chris says:

    I’ll just leave this here. I agree with Mr. Pierce.

    No system of government devised by human beings can withstand what’s coming, any more than overbuilt coastal enclaves can.

    https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a28102591/india-drought-chennai-climate-change-five-years-transform/

  3. 3
    randy khan says:

    To be clear about the committee assignments, they’re both good committees for AOC – one is financial services and one is government oversight. Financial services fits in with her central issues and the oversight gig is pretty high profile. And in a Democratic House, members have more input into legislation, etc. at the committee level than they would have in a Republican House, so there’s some power there.

    More broadly, though, I think this is overblown. AOC et al. represent more or less one end of the caucus, and they’re naturally going to make leadership uncomfortable, but it’s nothing like the crazy Freedom Caucus, either in terms of how difficult they are or in terms of the extent of their power in the caucus. People just love a “Dems in disarray” story.

  4. 4
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @rikyrah: So then she wasn’t given a test, and Adam is wrong?

  5. 5

    Don’t want to step on this thread, so I’ll leave this here instead of front paging it. Probably be more detailed reporting later today:

  6. 6

    [individual 1] mistermix: Yep.

    Writing, writing

  7. 7
    Doug R says:

    What do you think of Saikat Chakrabarti wearing a shirt with a picture of famous Nazi and Imperial Japanese hugger Subhas Chandra Bose?
    Subhas Chandra Bose
    https://fb14.akamaized.net/up/2019/07/Saikat.jpg

  8. 8
    satby says:

    Odd you didn’t mention Chakrabarti’s little comment about the establishment Dems being no better than the racist old Dixicrats.
    Because that was productive.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    First, if it looks weak to impeach Trump in the House and have it fail in the Senate, why should the House pass any other legislation? If passing legislation that the Senate will ignore or defeat is important because it sends a message to voters, so does impeachment. 

    Incumbents can point to legislation they voted for to show what they will fight for in future Congresses. Voting to remove Trump meaningless after Trump loses in the election.

    You can certainly make an argument that they should do both, but they’re not the same thing.

    BTW, I’m so old I remember when the internet was attacking Democrats for making everything about Trump and not giving voters something positive to vote for.

    AOC’s CoS will be trouble.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Doug R:

    Not a problem. S. Cat can explain.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    @rikyrah: So then she wasn’t given a test, and Adam is wrong?

    How is it a test if you pushed for the ‘ important’ committees.
    She could have been assigned lower level committees, but, her and her cohorts made a big stink, so they got on the important committees.
    You asked…you got on them…do the work and don’t whine.

  12. 12
    patrick II says:

    I am with AOC right up until she asserts Pelosi is treating her group badly because they are people of color. AOC stepped over a line. Be fiery and eloquent all you want, call for change all you want, we could use it, but assigning Pelosi bad motives for disagreement, especially that bad motive, is harmful.

  13. 13
    Doug R says:

    @Baud: No Baudsplaination?

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @Doug R:

    She know the story better. Basically, the British were starving 2 million Bengalis to death to fight Hitler, and Base was trying to fight against that. It’s no different than us allying with Stalin to defeat Hitler.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: I think the dems should start a formal impeachment inquiry, but it’s not a sure thing in terms of public opinion, and mix’s assumption here is that all dems will vote to impeach, which I don’t think is a sure thing. I think and hope full hearings— assuming those who say a formal inquiry would strengthen the congressional legal hand are right— would move public opinion, but it’s not a given

  16. 16
    satby says:

    @Baud: I’m old enough to remember that many of these “establishment” Democratic legislators had not just skin but blood in the game to expand civil rights. I’ve been a liberal (not a progressive, fuck that weasel word designed to evade being accused of being liberal) for longer than Mix and AOC have been alive, and I get pretty sick of millennials thinking they invented liberalism.

  17. 17

    @Doug R: I addressed this in the comments yesterday
    Subhas Chandra Bose is a huge hero in Bengal. AOC’s chief of staff is Bengali, so this is not surprising. FWIW, I don’t think Subhas Bose was a fascist, he did ally with the Axis powers, mostly Japan. You have to remember that at that time Churchill was starving Indians in Bengal as a matter of policy. Two million Indians died because of that policy.
    Were Indians were just supposed to die unquestioningly for a power that was killing them, had looted them for over a century. And had rewarded their participation in WWI with nothing but brutality.

  18. 18
    eemom says:

    First, if it looks weak to impeach Trump in the House and have it fail in the Senate, why should the House pass any other legislation? If passing legislation that the Senate will ignore or defeat is important because it sends a message to voters, so does impeachment.

    Dude, please sit down and put your head between your knees. You are hysterical.

  19. 19
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @satby:

    Odd you didn’t mention Chakrabarti’s little comment about the establishment Dems being no better than the racist old Dixicrats.

    I linked to a set of tweets that were at least as negative towards Pelosi, and mentioned that AOC is giving him wide latitude. Isn’t that making a similar point?

    I’ve been a liberal (not a progressive, fuck that weasel word designed to evade being accused of being liberal) for longer than Mix and AOC have been alive, and I get pretty sick of millennials thinking they invented liberalism.

    I am 56 years old.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I support an impeachment vote too, and since the Senate won’t convict, I’m not stressed about the timing. But I can see Pelosi’s view that it will be risky. All the tough liberals talking about Impeachment Now will be the first ones attacking the party if it backfires in public opinion.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    VFX Lurker says:

    AOC reminds me of Alan Grayson. We’ll see if her political career lasts longer than his.

  23. 23
    Mandalay says:

    @patrick II:

    I am with AOC right up until she asserts Pelosi is treating her group badly because they are people of color…

    Rather like I am with Pelosi right up until she very deliberately goes whining like a crybaby to Maureen Fucking Dowd.

    Both sides are being complete assholes. Fight like fuck about whatever the problems are, but do it privately.

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: No, I am not wrong. You don’t understand the dynamic here. Chakrabati is an independently wealthy recent convert to his purist, extreme left ideology. He funds and runs the Justice Democrats. He isn’t AOC’s chief of staff, she doesn’t actually need a chief of staff because including Chakrabati she has three staffers. Rather, he’s AOC’s handler on behalf of his monetary investment and Justice Democrats.

    The other part of the dynamic, which is Chakrabati nicely explaining that his strategy is to move fast and break shit, shows the larger problem here. Move fast and break shit is great if you’re commanding the 1st Armored Division, you’re making a speed run to Baghdad, and you’re not tasked with, nor will you be in country to have to deal, all the shit your broke as blew everything up real good between the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border and the city of Baghdad. As much as the US’s aged, sclerotic political institutions, systems, structures, and processes need a lot of TLC and shoring up, moving shit and breaking things isn’t that.

  25. 25
    oatler. says:

    People who do Cirque du Soleil contortions to defend Nancy’s intractability will be walking it back, I predict. And I’m on Nancy’s side.

  26. 26
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @eemom:

    Dude, please sit down and put your head between your knees. You are hysterical.

    I’m not arguing hard for impeachment – I’d prefer a select committee investigating Trump endlessly. But I’m questioning the argument against impeachment that says that it makes us look weak if we do it, and instead we should pass meaningful legislation. Impeachment is just as meaningful, politically, if not more, as that legislation. I think I made a reasonable argument. Where’s yours?

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @VFX Lurker:

    AOC has more talent. But she is not making the best decisions right now. I think we can put this behind us if people stop escalating, but that’s apparently hard to do.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Chakrabati is an independently wealthy recent convert to his purist, extreme left ideology. He funds and runs the Justice Democrats. He isn’t AOC’s chief of staff, she doesn’t actually need a chief of staff because including Chakrabati she has three staffers.

    I will point out again….that the Justice Democrats seem to be targeting members of the Congressional Black Caucus. If there is a more left leaning group, on whole , historically, please tell me.
    I have a problem with this targeting.

  29. 29
    smintheus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nothing in politics is a given. It’s even conceivable, though unlikely, that Democrats can continue to clutch their pearls and do effectively nothing about Trump’s crimes and thus convince the public to become more enthusiastic about voting Democratic.

    I agree with pretty much everything Sean Wilentz says about Pelosi and impeachment hearings. The most important point is that the historical evidence strongly suggests that a thorough vetting of a president’s crimes in regular hearings drives support for impeachment way up and would put Trump’s Republican supporters in an electoral bind.

    Sean should also have pointed out that (a) once the hearings began they totally dominated public debate for months on end, ensuring that public knowledge of Nixon’s crimes was very widespread; and (b) Democrats won massively in the ’74 election just after pushing Nixon out of office…because the public supported them for standing up to the crook, and thought a lot worse of the GOP for its blatant attempts to protect that crook.

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    Snark detector repair please.

    Impeachment to me is a no fucking brainer and I am disgusted with craven chickenshit Pelosi and her cultbots on this blog.

    And I am far from a fucking “purist”.

  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    Cities won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 to be targeted by ICE raids:
    – Atlanta
    – Baltimore
    – Chicago
    – Denver
    – Houston
    – Los Angeles
    – Miami
    – New Orleans
    – New York
    – San Francisco

    Cities won by Donald Trump in 2016 to be targeted by ICE raids:

    — Middle Age Riot (@middleageriot) July 12, 2019

  32. 32
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Adam L Silverman: First, I don’t think you’re wrong, the logical conclusion of what rikyrah said is that you were wrong. I think you’re right that Pelosi would throw good/tough committee assignments at a promising new MoC like AOC and see if she could handle them (and give her the ones she asked for, as others have pointed out here).

    Second, yes, the move fast and break things mentality is a concern with this guy. I don’t know how long he will last as her CoS. To call him a “handler” is a bit of a stretch – she is clearly very smart and capable of thinking on her feet. I’ll bet that what happens is that he will get bored with the job and she will probably make some kind of peace with Pelosi that lets her function as a strong MoC as well as a strong voice.

  33. 33
    Mandalay says:

    @VFX Lurker:

    AOC reminds me of Alan Grayson.

    Oh FFS, that’s an absurd comparison. AOC is all about change. Grayson was all about going for the jugular of the opposition as viciously as possible.

    Here’s a test for you: was it Grayson or Ocasio-Cortez who wrote this drivel on their own web site?….

    Maryland is ripe for the opening of online casinos because they already have a large pool of clientele they can start with. The state can follow the example set by New Jersey and start earning from a hitherto untapped resource. Considering all the positives the state has enjoyed in its land-based casinos, surely there is enough to convince lawmakers that the idea of online casinos comes with nothing but good tidings?

    Grayson is a fucking lobbyist. Ocasio-Cortez…..not so much.

  34. 34

    More about Bose
    Not just in Bengal, Azad Hind Sena veterans were considered heroes all over India. The British Indian government held a court martial for 3 Azad Hind Sena officers (they were POWs in Japan and originally part of the British Indian Army) after the WWII was over. The trials were held in the historic Red Fort, the seat of Mughal power in India which the British used as a prison. INC formed a defense team for them and Nehru was on it.
    INA trials
    One last thing about Bose and British India. There is more than one way to look at WWII. Hitler was terrible, but the people who are actively starving you and have bled your country dry for 100 years aren’t exactly heroes in your eyes. While Azad Hind Sena (Indian National Army) was actively fighting the Brits in Burma. INC had boycotted all war effort. The parties that were collaborating with the British war effort in India were the Muslim League, and Hindu Mahasabha.
    So history is complicated.
    Saikat is a tool but not because he wore a Bose shirt.
    ETA: INA was more a propaganda tool and as a fighting force was not particularly effective. But the INA trials were hugely unpopular and the Royal Indian Navy ended up mutinying. It was the last nail in the coffin for British Rule in India.

  35. 35
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @eemom: OK, thanks.

  36. 36

    @rikyrah: I am interested in who funds them.

  37. 37
    rp says:

    (a) Both Pelosi and AOC are acting like assholes at the moment.
    (b) I don’t buy that AOC’s committee assignments are a test, or that she’s failing the test based on an offhand joke in an interview.
    (c) AOC needs to fire her COS, who seems like an idiot and isn’t helping her.
    (d) AOC shouldn’t play the race card w/r/t Pelosi.
    (e) Pelosi should stop talking dismissively about AOC and other freshman.
    (f) Pelosi should never talk to Dowd again.
    (g) Pelosi needs to set up a select committee to coordinate all of the Trump investigations and determine whether impeachment is warranted, and she needs to be loud and clear about what the short, medium, and long term strategy is.

  38. 38

    @Adam L Silverman: Do you know if his parents are doctors by any chance?

  39. 39
    glory b says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: No, calling a group of your boss’s colleagues a bunch of racists isn’t the same.

    You don’t get that?

  40. 40
    Motivated Seller says:

    If a Democratic President followed the same conduct as the current one, Republican legislators would have impeachment hearings on the first day of inauguration. (Calling out all the careerist wimps in the Senate would be a bonus.) Pelosi doesn’t seem to get that. Which means, effectively, she is guaranteeing that accountability only applies to Democratic administrations.

    Pelosi is leaving Democrats with no future, so why should people vote for a Democrat? This is what frustrates freshly elected Dems.

  41. 41
    rikyrah says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    @rikyrah: I am interested in who funds them.

    So am I.

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    Trump suffers resounding defeat on census citizenship question

    Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, talks with Rachel Maddow about the ACLU’s legal victory against the Donald Trump administration’s effort to use a citizenship question to discourage immigrant participation in the census, and the work ahead to make sure Trump has not succeeded in intimidating the immigrant community from taking part in the census despite his legal loss.

  43. 43
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @rikyrah:

    I will point out again….that the Justice Democrats seem to be targeting members of the Congressional Black Caucus. If there is a more left leaning group, on whole , historically, please tell me.
    I have a problem with this targeting.

    Yeah, they’re targeting them by running younger candidates, one of whom is a BLM activist.
    https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/07/the-congressional-black-caucus-hints-that-aoc-just.html

  44. 44
    glory b says:

    @rikyrah: Yep, I was going to mention this too.

    Why target the CBC members? Then ineptly play a race card?

    I couldn’t swear to it, but I don’t think AOC’s fanboy Chris Hayes even mentioned this last night.

  45. 45
    ruemara says:

    Fuck him & fuck her. How dare he claim that the democratic party is using blacks. How dare someone from a group that eschews identity politics use identity politics? You think they’re not climbing the ladder on OUR BACKS? Fuck this noise. She asked for those committees. She doesn’t care if she fails? THEN FUCK HER, SHE CAN GO BE AN ACTIVIST. She ran for fucking office, this is not a game and her chief of staff is an odious bigot.

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: You think a stalking horse is ok?

  46. 46
    Mandalay says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    I am 56 years old.

    OT: Heh – I had you pegged as someone who was definitely in their late thirties or early forties (largely because of the admirable fire in your belly).

  47. 47
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @chris: So…is there a way that the BJ community could more actively support efforts to ameliorate and prepare for climate change? Obviously, politically supporting Dems is important, but giving the dysfunctional nature of the US system of government, I wonder if there’s an organization outside government that would put money to good use. We really need to somehow draft some billionaire(s) into crisis-mode climate activism…….

  48. 48

    @ruemara: Agreed. I smell a rat with these Justice Dems.

  49. 49
    mad citizen says:

    Was thinking earlier this morning how stupid must this country must be that 63 million voted for the con artist. Since no one else had noted it, great points in this post about going big to attract more people to vote. That’s the side I’m on. The middle sucks. Aside from all the other policies/plans, the candidates should go bold. Announce a goal of, what? 75 or 80 votes for the Dem nominee. Make it a reality for her.

  50. 50
    Kent says:

    AOC will be around for as long as she wants to be around. She has one of the safest seats in the country and no one is ever going to challenge her from the left.

    Question in my mind is whether she is a work horse or show horse and how long she will be happy working as one of 435 members of Congress. I don’t see her being patient enough or politically skilled enough to climb into the House leadership. That takes a different kind of political skill than accumulating twitter followers. So at what point will she do a Beto and walk away from the House for bigger things?

    I predict she won’t last 10 years in the House. Her brand of social media politics probably lends itself better to something like a run for Mayor of NYC or even governor of NY. The real question is how long will the ambitious folks behind her be satisfied with being House staffers, which is a pretty lowly position, frankly.

  51. 51
    Fair Economist says:

    First, if it looks weak to impeach Trump in the House and have it fail in the Senate, why should the House pass any other legislation?

    The short answer is that if the House passes popular legislation and the Senate refuses to pass it, Democrats can run against Senators on the grounds of “elect us and get lower priced health insurance, higher wages, protection from criminals getting guns, justice for gang victims, etc.” If they try to impeach Trump and fail, there’s no such platform, because if Trump is acquitted by the Senate, he won’t be impeached again.

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    Harris takes post-debate success, attacks in stride

    Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, talks with Rachel Maddow about how her campaign is taking advantage of momentum from the first debate, and how she feels about attacks from the right on her race.

  53. 53

    Bose’s party the Forward Block was more socialist/communist than fascist.

  54. 54
    rikyrah says:

    Harris: Trump in the business of intimidating the vulnerable

    Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, talks with Rachel Maddow about how Donald Trump is using the census and deportation threats to instill fear in the immigrant community, behavior she describes as unbecoming of a president and weakening American democracy.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    Harris: Trump abuse of ICE raids undermines trust of local law

    Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, talks with Rachel Maddow about how Donald Trump’s deployment of ICE to terrorize immigrant communities is not just a misuse of local resources but undermines local community trust in law enforcement that is vital for dealing with actual crime.

  56. 56
    patrick II says:

    @patrick II:
    @Mandalay:

    I am with AOC right up until she asserts Pelosi is treating her group badly because they are people of color…

    I will expand on that a bit. AOC, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley get attacked constantly — ostensibly for a policy or some other disagreement, but the undercurrent is usually race — who are you, colored person, to tell us anything. We know what’s good for you. Sit down and be quiet and appreciative.
    So a fair amount of their lives and ultimately their political personality is developed in that context. And even here there is some reason to believe that in a small way because it is probable that the four feel more deeply outraged because people who look like them are being put in cages and tortured and their own difference from the majority around them seems important. So, they are more strident. And, of course, I am being racist by taking their race into account too. It’s a tricky game.
    But while I try to understand their point of view, I think they have generalized too much, too use to having race as a major underlying cause of the disagreement, and while it is nearly always a subtext, don’t make it the main text of interactions with allies. It does either of you little good.

  57. 57
    rikyrah says:

    Harris: Trump throws flames to distract from disastrous policies

    Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, talks with Rachel Maddow about Donald Trump’s strategy of deliberate cruelty to immigrants in order to outrage his political opponents and rally his supporters in a grand political distraction from the failures and contradictions of his governing policies.

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:

    Nude dancer auction at Trump golf club almost actually happened

    Rachel Maddow reports on a strip club’s nude dancer auction planned for a Donald Trump golf course, advertised with Trump’s family crest, that was canceled at the last minute in the glare of a Washington Post report.

  59. 59
    glory b says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: But why single out CBC members? What have they said or done or how have they voted that they take issue with?

    Clearly, a Congress critter who goes out of her way to alienate her fellow members is more interested in breaking things than getting things done.

    Also, have any of her fellow “Squad” members said anything to back her up? Of course, the MSM will be enraptured by questioning Dems about who is a racist and who isn’t. There are 18 (I think) freshmen and women who are people of color. None of them seem to have the same problem.

    Way to go, AOC

  60. 60
    Hoodie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Because the reality is, our problem isn’t that more people are voting Republican than Democrat — our problem is most people who would vote Democrat aren’t voting.

    I get the part about needing to inspire potential Dem voters, but that’s actually similar to a problem that the GOP addressed with Trump, who inspires the shit out of the chuckleheads in their base. Does he want to do something similar? Good luck with that, as that logic may simply result in reps like AOC getting 90% of the vote instead of 70% in their particular districts, while the GOP retakes the House. Dems have an inherent structural disadvantage due to the nature of the Senate, the nature of state legislatures and the concentration of Dem voters in urban areas. Enthusiasm alone will not change that unless you can get people from AOCs district to migrate to Montana or Wyoming.

    If you are going to use an institution like the House to achieve your goals, you have to be at least somewhat constrained by the tools that institution recognizes. You don’t bring a tennis racket to a hockey game simply because you want to be “disruptive.” If you do, don’t be surprised if a lot of people to simply write you off as a nut. A lot of the stuff this guy is saying sounds a bit like startup nonsense about “disruption” that is really nothing other than simply breaking rules. I like AOC a lot, but this dude has an agenda that seems more about him than the people he says he’s serving. Yes, the rise of Trump has made a lot of the old norms obsolete, but you still have to have some discipline within your own army.

  61. 61
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @ruemara:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: You think a stalking horse is ok?

    Cori Bush is a stalking horse? Seems like a vital, involved candidate to me. And, if she wins the Democratic primary, she’ll almost certainly win the 80/20 district that Lacy Clay represents. What will she do then, as a “stalking horse”. My guess is she’ll be a good MoC, voting as Clay would have or being to the left of him. I fail to see any justification for the rage in your comment, and I also don’t see what’s wrong with a few members of the CBC being challenged by younger candidates. You should not take anything written in the Hill at face value. It was a bullshit story driven by staff members of these endangered MoCs, who have an interest in seeing Justice Democrats fail (the interest being their continued employment).

  62. 62
    Martin says:

    No defense of her COS, but the Democratic party is pretty much a role model for learned helplessness. We can’t do this because McConnell will kill it. We can’t do that because Trump will veto it. We can do this because we’ll be seen as partisan. We can’t do that because we have these institutional norms.

    I think there’s an element of the public being tired of a government which is incapable of bold things. We still use moon shot to describe any daring act, because the US hasn’t attempted anything bold in the last 50 years. I think it’s a fair for voters to feel as though these institutional norms and passiveness are detrimental to the populace. I think the cries of socialism are basically dog whistles for that, to some degree. The Tea Party and then Trump are agents in opposition to this behavior. Say what you will, but bomb throwers aren’t institutionalists. I think they’re worse, but at least they’re different.

    That’s where activists like AOC come in. Every person here has complained about Dem leadership passivity. Why isn’t there a hearing right now? Why isn’t McGahn in jail on contempt? Why isn’t Congress walking down through the list of Treasury officials, holding them in criminal contempt for not turning over tax returns? Why isn’t the same thing happening with Homeland Security over the child abuse at the border and refusing to provide access to public officials? Why aren’t Democrats arriving at these facilities with US Marshals or state CPS officials in tow?

    Biden is presenting as the reporters that don’t want to go too hard on officials out of fear or losing access. He wants to get along. But the public doesn’t want that. They just want shit done. CA did that by kicking the GOP out of any role in the state. They have as much power as the Green Party right now. Alabama did the opposite. Now, that’s not going to happen at the federal level, but the Dems can at least present as a party that would lead. They need to force the opposition. They need to have courage, and they really don’t. And so I agree with Alain here. I’m not sure that AOC wants to win the institutionalist game. I think she wants to burn it down because it’s failing us. And I think almost everyone under 40 does as well.

  63. 63
    Carol says:

    @satby: I’m with you all the way!

  64. 64
    glory b says:

    @Kent: I agree that she is smart, but not politically skilled.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @Martin:

    I think she wants to burn it down

    Then that’s what’s going to happen.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    Term limits are a bad idea when Democrats push for them, too
    07/12/19 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Progressive billionaire Tom Steyer is the latest candidate to enter the Democratic presidential primary, and yesterday, he unveiled a political-reform plan with some worthwhile ideas, including independent redistricting commissions and allowing more Americans to vote by mail.

    But Steyer’s blueprint also included this:

    “There’s a widespread perception that the longer an elected official serves in Congress, the less connected they are to their constituents – and the more beholden they become to corporate interests and lobbyists. We propose a term limit of 12 total years that would allow our elected officials in both the House and Senate to focus less on getting re-elected and more on doing what’s right.”

    ………………………….

    What’s more, as we also discussed a few years ago, there’s an underlying principle to consider: there’s simply no reason for the federal government to impose arbitrary constraints on voters’ ability to choose their own members of Congress – constraints that punish popular, experienced officials for being popular and experienced.

    We already have term limits. They’re called elections. The mechanism for change was built into the Constitution from the outset: voters can evaluate their members of Congress when they run for re-election. If the public is satisfied, those lawmakers stay in office. If not, they’re replaced with someone else. The power is where it belongs: in the hands of the electorate.

  67. 67
    Carol says:

    @Hoodie: Well said, hoodie. I agree except my estimation of AOC has gone down considerably. She’s acting like a spoiled brat.

  68. 68
    Cermet says:

    @schrodingers_cat: So very true and so very typical and common for amerikan history books to overlook those rather critical ‘details’.

  69. 69
    tobie says:

    It seems worth pointing out that there are many newly elected representatives with tough committee assignments. I think none has a more demanding load than Katie Hill. She’s not just a member of the Oversight Committee. She’s the VICE CHAIR. She’s also on the House Armed Services committee (an important committee) and the House Science and Technology committee as well as 4 subcommittees. Haven’t heard her complain. Have you?

  70. 70
    rikyrah says:

    @ruemara:

    Fuck him & fuck her. How dare he claim that the democratic party is using blacks. How dare someone from a group that eschews identity politics use identity politics? You think they’re not climbing the ladder on OUR BACKS? Fuck this noise. She asked for those committees. She doesn’t care if she fails? THEN FUCK HER, SHE CAN GO BE AN ACTIVIST. She ran for fucking office, this is not a game and her chief of staff is an odious bigot.

    CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

  71. 71
    smintheus says:

    @Fair Economist: An absurd argument both coming and going. Any voters who actually care what legislation Democrats back will know or can easily find out what they propose to do. Voters have a limited attention span, and piling up more DOA bills is not going to give Democrats any further traction in that regard.

    Persuadable voters are impressed by candidates who take stands on principle. They’re not generally excited by trimmers or mealy mouthed excuses or hypocrisy. “We proved Trump is a crook” is a winning campaign theme that could lead to his defeat. “Trust us Trump really is a total crook but he wasn’t worth impeaching” is not.

  72. 72
    Another Scott says:

    @Baud: “¿Por qué no los dos?

    Truman Library:

    I have been fighting ever since I took office for a sound and permanent postwar prosperity. That is all in the world my ambition has been–peace in the world, and continued prosperity at home.

    The Republicans in Congress have persistently been sabotaging the best interests of the people of this country by refusing to pass laws which benefit all the people. They are a special interest Congress. They have done absolutely nothing for the people of the country since they have been in session, but they have done a lot to them. I have been telling you all about it, and you are beginning to wake up. The farmers and the laboringmen, and the small businessmen are just now beginning to find out what Republican policy really means. It is coming right home to you.

    I have called the Republican 80th Congress back into special session twice, and urged them to pass laws to control high prices. Well, they did nothing about it at all. But they are now issuing a lot of false propaganda about the causes of inflation. They tell you all about what causes inflation, but they won’t tell you that there would have been no inflation if the Republican 80th Congress had passed the laws I asked them to pass.

    You know, all I can do as President of the United States, is to suggest to the Congress certain legislative acts which I think are good for the country and good for the people; and then the Congress goes on and does as it pleases, it either passes these laws and gives me a chance to sign them, or it does nothing, or it sends me a law I cannot sign.

    “Do Nothing Congress” still has a lot of power.

    Democrats saying, “We passed all this great legislation in the House – legislation that will make the country safer, put money in your pocket, start addressing many national problems that we face now and in the immediate future – and the Republicans in the Senate did nothing about it….” is a powerful message.

    As I said before, the House isn’t doing do do anything about Impeachment until after their upcoming recess. Early September at the earliest. After that, given Nadler’s noises this morning, I expect the momentum to build a little faster.

    tl;dr – “¿Por qué no los dos? – They have different timelines.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  73. 73
    Mandalay says:

    @mistermix

    I’ve seen a hell of a lot of naivete from establishment Dems who still think they can deal with the Trump administration using same rules and conventions they used with past administrations

    Apart from all his other baggage, this is why Biden’s campaign is doomed.

    Biden keeps bragging about his supposed ability to get things done by working with the Republicans as a reason to make him president, and he’s largely been given a pass on that nonsense by his opponents so far. But it’s a huge elephant in the room.

    I can imagine Joe “motor mouth” Biden spouting that twaddle in a Democratic debate, and Harris or Warren or Buttigieg will turn on him, and disembowel him in front of millions of viewers. The elephant in the room will be gone, and so will Biden.

  74. 74
    delk says:

    Can’t wait for this evening’s episode of The Neverending Story.

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: I’m tracking on that. Congressman Lacy Clay has had enough and was very vocal about it in the Speaker’s Lobby yesterday.

  76. 76
    chopper says:

    First, if it looks weak to impeach Trump in the House and have it fail in the Senate, why should the House pass any other legislation? If passing legislation that the Senate will ignore or defeat is important because it sends a message to voters, so does impeachment.

    because sending some legislation to the senate where it will die does not necessarily help trump’s numbers. the possibility exists that putting the impeachment ball in the senate’s hands could. “complete and total exoneration!” etc.

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @smintheus: I agree with pretty much everything Sean Wilentz says about Pelosi and impeachment hearings. The most important point is that the historical evidence strongly suggests that a thorough vetting of a president’s crimes in regular hearings drives support for impeachment way up and would put Trump’s Republican supporters in an electoral bind.

    I agree that will probably happen if we have that thorough vetting, but for that we’re counting at some point on the courts to enforce subpoenas and witnesses to testify truthfully. The courts aren’t what they used to be, thanks in no small part to Al Gore not being a real environmentalist and Hillary Clinton being a rightwing reactionary war-monger who only wanted a $12 minimum wage. We’ve already seen lots of people lie to Congress– Don Jr and Jeff Sessions, for starters, and I don’t for a moment believe that either Kushner or Manafort told the whole truth to Mueller– with no consequences, and Mitt Romney and Susan Collins have confirmed by their passivity what trump has pretty much said out loud: There will be no consequences.

    Again, I’m for starting a formal inquiry, but that’s only the start of a hard fight. Maybe Don McGahn or Annie Donaldson will decide to put country over party. Maybe the state charges in NY will break Manafort. Maybe.

    I should say I haven’t read Wilentz’s piece, so I don’t know if he addressed those issues

  78. 78
    Chyron HR says:

    The whole theory of change for the current Democratic Party is that to win this country we need to tack to the hypothetical middle.

    As opposed to Bernie’s Theory of Change, which is that the far right actually yearns for Democratic Socialism and will vote for it when it’s on the ballot.

  79. 79
    Gravenstone says:

    @rikyrah: I’d like to see some citations regarding them ‘whining’. Especially in light of the fact we keep hearing/seeing how all four of them seem to be extremely prepared for their committees, with a minimum of grandstanding during questioning of typically contentious witnesses. These two things really don’t go together.

  80. 80
    ruemara says:

    @patrick II: Ayanna Pressley is doing her work and is rarely attacked. I hardly ever hear her name unless it’s in regard to some work she’s on.

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: Anyone working with the Justice Dems is a stalking horse. Because the Justice Dems have no real proof that they aren’t about raising their prominence. So yeah, much like the Bernie people who demanded I look at the fact that Nina Turner was for Bernie, I don’t give a flying FUUUUUck about you being black when you’re with a group that literally believes in economics over civil justice.

  81. 81
    Doug R says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I used to wear the number 32 in Junior Bantam Football and had my mom knit me a sweater with that number because of one of the greatest running backs ever, OJ Simpson.
    I don’t wear that anymore.
    I think Saikat is a privileged douche for wearing that shirt.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Chakrabati and Shaheed fund them. Where Shaheed gets his money given that he’s the proud owner of at least half a dozen failed not for profits, I have no idea.

  83. 83
    Martin says:

    @patrick II: This is part of the institutionalist generational gap. Democrats will go out and talk about systemic racism and how housing and policing policy and this and that have hurt minorities. So, okay, we’ve gotten that far. And props to Pelosi for pushing for diversity in her leadership, she really does care about all of that.

    That said, this ‘let’s go through the motions’ institutionalism is a part of that systemic racism and I don’t think Pelosi and particularly older Dems can recognize that. How many children have died at the border? What’s being done about it? Hearings. Okay. Maybe next week there will be more hearings. Next month there will be more. Meanwhile children will keep dying. Too many Dems are saying ‘this ought to work, it worked in the past’. Well, fuck, it ain’t working any more. AOC and the other freshmen see that. Their entire life this didn’t work, and so even when all parties seem to be in agreement that we need to do more for this community, it’s 5 or 10 years before any of that is even seen because ‘we need to go through the motions’. Why is single payer popular with voters? Because it’s bold and aggressive. It looks like a solution, not a contortion of the current thing that isn’t working. But Dems haven’t been bold enough until right now to reach for it. And that’s only the candidates. Congress isn’t doing anything. We had a little hearing on epipens, and we got a very minor concession, but people still go to Canada to buy them. Nothing really changed.

  84. 84
    dr. bloor says:

    @Kent:

    AOC will be around for as long as she wants to be around. She has one of the safest seats in the country and no one is ever going to challenge her from the left.

    Redistricting after the census is gonna be lit in the NYC area.

  85. 85
    Gravenstone says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Report I saw claimed multiple lawmakers were unhappy with the current schedule of facing both House and Senate committees the same day. Claimed that the timing constraints would prevent roughly half the committee members from being able to ask questions. Granted, preventing Republican members from grandstanding and obfuscating wouldn’t be the worst outcome, but it would affect Democrats as well.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t know anything about him other than what has been reported about him either by news reporters or by candidates he and Shaheed were extorting to have the Justice Democrats imprimatur. Evidence of that are here:
    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/02/22/waleed-shahid-of-the-justice-democrats-is-a-lying-shitbird/

  87. 87
    different-church-lady says:

    h is: You do the biggest, most badass thing you possibly can — and that’s going to excite people, and then they’re going to go vote.

    Look, I’m not the most sophisticated bulb on the tree, but what I’m seeing here is ex-tech-bro taking “DISRUPTIVE!” and “Move fast and break things” thinking and arrogantly trying to apply it to politics.

    And if so, we may be in a world of trouble.

  88. 88
    Cermet says:

    @Doug R: I’ve been concerned about AGW destroying India, Southern China/South East Asia, much of the Middle East/North Africa/Central America (talking well over 1 billion people – likely over two billion) – hell, even the Mississippi valley and that last sentence in your post says it all. Our grandchildren are screwed and royally but the people’s living in the aforementioned regions of the world are literally doomed. The staggeringly huge disaster this is developing into, the wars, mass starvation, epidemic diseases and vast extent of this event dwarf’s all other dangers yet most people, BJ’ers included, are barely even aware of this train coming down the tracks, gaining speed, at us.

  89. 89
    glory b says:

    And I see that she and Sanders are asking for Congress to declare a national climate emergency. I think this is a better use of her time (as well as a way to deflect from the pile she stepped in, via her CoS).

  90. 90
    Baud says:

    @glory b:

    Agreed. Move on.

  91. 91
    Chyron HR says:

    @Martin:

    Never fear, AOC’s epic Twitter clapbacks will save the children.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    (CNN)The House Judiciary Committee is discussing delaying public testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller one week until July 24 to allow more time for Mueller to testify, according to sources familiar with the matter.

  93. 93
    tobie says:

    @Kent: One small point of correction: In 2018 no one in Texas was willing to take on Cruz, vile though he is. Wendy Davis had been trounced in the last race for governor. Both Castro brothers declined to run because it seemed likely they would lose and they didn’t want to hurt their brand. So a three-term Rep from a border district stepped up to the plate and spawned a movement in Texas that no one in their right mind expected. You could describe this as a quixotic and heroic venture but that would of course call into question the accepted narrative that this was all a vanity project based on privilege.

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Hoodie: I didn’t write that excerpt. I’m not sure whose comment you’re responding to, but what you’ve quoted isn’t mine.

  95. 95
    Doug R says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Al Gore not being a real environmentalist and Hillary Clinton being a rightwing reactionary war-monger who only wanted a $12 minimum wage.

    Just hold up there son. I think Wilmer was reactionary when he wanted to drop the TPP like trump. He also only supported a $15 minimum wage when the living wage in some parts of the country is $22.
    As for “war-monger” you could have thousands dead like Libya or hundreds of thousands dead like Syria. But I guess Russian bombs aren’t bad somehow.
    It’s easy to have perfect positions like Wilmer when you know you aren’t going to win.

  96. 96
    different-church-lady says:

    You do the biggest, most badass thing you possibly can — and that’s going to excite people, and then they’re going to go vote.

    Look, I’m not the most sophisticated bulb on the tree, but what I’m seeing here is ex-tech-bro taking “DISRUPTIVE!” and “Move fast and break things” thinking and arrogantly trying to apply it to politics.

    And if so, we may be in a world of trouble.

  97. 97
    Doug R says:

    I am in no mood for the purity pony bull$hit today.

  98. 98
    dr. bloor says:

    @smintheus: There’s nothing vaguely absurd about it. Election season is frequently the *only* time the attention-limited voters you refer to pay attention to anything going on in DC, and I’d ask that you show your work re: your claim that voters prioritize “principle” over “what’s he done for me lately”. Passing bills gives congressional reps bona fides in their home districts and ammo against opposing candidates in debates, etc.

    You want to give a Republican candidate in a swing district the “Rep X didn’t do shit, all they do is attack Trump” cudgel?

  99. 99
    Martin says:

    @Gravenstone: They really should just bring in a professional to ask all the questions. I would suggest Neil Katyal who wrote the special council regulations.

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    @Gravenstone:

    @rikyrah: I’d like to see some citations regarding them ‘whining’. Especially in light of the fact we keep hearing/seeing how all four of them seem to be extremely prepared for their committees, with a minimum of grandstanding during questioning of typically contentious witnesses. These two things really don’t go together.

    I didn’t say ALL. I said AOC.
    I don’t see the rest of them whining about their assignments.

    .@AOC on @SpeakerPelosi: “I was assigned to some of the busiest committees and four subcommittees. So my hands are full. And sometimes I wonder if they’re trying to keep me busy.” (Via @WNYC) pic.twitter.com/EWHSnLb2JN

    — Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 10, 2019

    See….if you and your cohorts hadn’t made such a fuss about being put on the more high profile/difficult committees, then there wouldn’t be that level of work.
    You get what you ask for and then turn around and whine?
    No, I don’t think so.

    And, yes, I look at this from the lens of being a Black Professional Woman.
    You ask for something special -cause, they were phucking freshmen and really shouldn’t have gotten those spots – then you shut up, step up, do the work. Period. You don’t whine.

  101. 101
    rikyrah says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Where Shaheed gets his money given that he’s the proud owner of at least half a dozen failed not for profits, I have no idea.

    I will always appreciate your takedown of Shaheed.

  102. 102
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: what does age have to do with it? Barbara Lee is 72. by that logic, she should be kicked out for not being young.

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    @different-church-lady:

    That’s exactly what it is.

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Martin:

    Why isn’t McGahn in jail on contempt?

    The US Attorney for the District of Columbia was appointed by the current president. As is that US Attorney’s boss, who you may have heard of. His name is Bill Barr. They can hold every criminal contempt vote they want, and I’m in favor of holding as many as they feel the need to, and then making the referrals to the US Attorney for DC. But we need to be realistic here and recognize that no action will be taken on those referrals. And, at that point, the question has to be asked: what is the strategy once that happens? As far as I can tell there isn’t one. There isn’t a strategy for doing anything, there isn’t one for communications.

    Edited to fix the screwed up quotation.

  105. 105
    smintheus says:

    @dr. bloor: They’ve already passed bills. They can easily pass other bills, if all they want to do is pass bills, esp. when everybody knows the bills are going nowhere in the Senate. None of that is going to do much of anything for election prospects because virtually no voters know anything specific about what a recent Congress has done. But if you believe that passing bills helps, it’s a threshold that has already been cleared. The argument that continuing to pass further DOA bills is so critical electorally that we need to avoid impeaching the crook in the WH, is frankly asinine. I was being too generous when I called it absurd.

  106. 106
    Hoodie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Sorry, I was quoting from the excerpt from the Wapo you included.

  107. 107
    les says:

    @rikyrah:

    How is it a test if you pushed for the ‘ important’ committees.
    She could have been assigned lower level committees, but, her and her cohorts made a big stink, so they got on the important committees.
    You asked…you got on them…do the work and don’t whine.

    This sentiment seems to be all over. Where the hell is there evidence that she’s whining, or not doing the work? Every public committee event I’ve seen her in, she’s totally prepared, totally focused and a hell of an effective questioner. While her senior “betters” go with the tried and true wandering statement “questions.”

    And if it’s true that Pelosi can’t get a winning vote on impeachment with THIS FUCKING CRIMINAL SCUMBAG OF A PRESIDENT*, she and all of us should be screaming. I can’t stand Bernie, but if this is true, maybe he’s right.

  108. 108
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Martin: I suggest Richard Painter. He’s pissed, he’s smart, and unlike Katyal, he’s not naive. Nor is he captured by the elite law school industrial collegiality complex.

  109. 109
    smintheus says:

    @dr. bloor:

    “what’s he done for me lately”

    As far as most voters are concerned, you haven’t done a thing for them if your bill never comes up for a vote in the Senate.

    As for “showing my work”, I’ve done tons of canvassing over the years and cannot recall a single voter ever mentioning a failed bill as motivation to vote for a candidate. Have you? Persuadable voters talk about character and principles a lot.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Hoodie: Now I’m tracking. No worries.

  111. 111
    low-tech cyclist says:

    There’s a basic fact of human nature: we all want leaders who at least appear to stand for something. The Dems’ approach to leadership stinks up the joint on this ground alone. You don’t rally the faithful, and you don’t bring in new followers, by sitting around and doing essentially nothing.

    And the House Dems have been doing nothing that the public notices. All that ‘kitchen table’ stuff they’ve been doing – nobody has a clue that they’ve been doing it. It doesn’t make the news. It might as well not exist.

    To make the news, to be visible, they’ve got to challenge Trump in meaningful ways. They can think about what ground they want to fight him on, but they’ve got to pick some meaningful fights, and go at him.

    Since Mitch’s Senate won’t pass their legislation, their options are impeachment, investigations, and budgetary stuff. And they can write off investigations where Trump can keep them from getting any records, and getting anybody to testify. But that still leaves a lot.

    They could hold hearings on the two dozen women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by Trump. They could investigate Acosta’s deal with Epstein. They could finish the Kavanaugh hearings that the GOP-controlled Senate never allowed to go very far, in particular the allegations that he was less than honest in his previous confirmation hearings. They could investigate the 666 Fifth Avenue deal that saved the Kushners from bankruptcy. It’s a target-rich environment out there. (Or they could just impeach a President who’s about 50x as deserving of impeachment as Nixon was.)

    But they’ve got to take the fight to the enemy. Period.

  112. 112
    chris says:

    @Hitlesswonder: Obviously Democrats would be better than Republicans but not by much. At this point I’m with the scientists who say we need a WW2/moonshot effort to have any effect and that ain’t going to happen with either party. Government will react, badly no doubt, to catastrophe until it is overwhelmed. Dog knows what happens after that but it won’t be good.

  113. 113

    @Doug R: Comparing Bose who played an important role in India’s Independence movement to a murderer? Nice. Coolies were just supposed to die am I right to save Britain’s ass.

  114. 114
    Aleta says:

    Let’s not confuse Adam’s mind-reading of AOC’s mental capacity (“she both doesn’t realize that this is a test and that she is also failing it because she doesn’t understand she is being tested.”) with Dem politics. She’s not stupid.

  115. 115
    satby says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: and I am 64, and walked the precinct with my dad starting at age 8. Though I admit I thought you were much younger. You seem younger.

  116. 116
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Manu Raju @ mkraju
    NEW: Junior lawmakers on House Judiciary could get shut out of Mueller hearing — and they’re not happy about it. “I’ll be disappointed,” Dean said. “Absolutely” there are concerns, Lieu said. “It’s definitely a problem,” Bass said.

    Jed Shugerman @ jedshug
    The Mueller hearing is in jeopardy because House Dems are fighting over getting their precious 5 minutes of airtime.
    A modest proposal: Give NONE of the House Dem members questioning time.
    Give all the time to 1 or 2 committee counsel experts.
    That worked wonders in Watergate.

    God help us. Mueller is already a legendarily reluctant witness, and they want to eat up what little time he’s agreed to for twitter moments, or whatever the fuck, to which he will probably respond, ‘that matter was not within the purview of my assigned blah blah blah’

    Get Chuck Rosenberg to do it. Maybe they can have a sober-sided off of Mueller confirming leading questions that are essentially the most damning parts of the report read aloud.

  117. 117
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @satby: I always thought Mix was older, from the way he got his tie-dye down out of the attic over metadata and shit

  118. 118
    rikyrah says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Jed Shugerman @ jedshug
    The Mueller hearing is in jeopardy because House Dems are fighting over getting their precious 5 minutes of airtime.
    A modest proposal: Give NONE of the House Dem members questioning time.
    Give all the time to 1 or 2 committee counsel experts.
    That worked wonders in Watergate.

    ICAM with this

  119. 119
    patrick II says:

    @ruemara:

    Pressly was included in the group of four dissed by Pelosi.

  120. 120

    Just in case it was not clear, I am not defending Saikat C. He seems like BS bro who wants destroy the Ds. He can DIAF for all I care. I just wanted to give you guys some background on Bose. AFAIK there is no record that he helped Germany in WWII, although he did approach them in his fight against the British.

  121. 121
    eemom says:

    Over and over and over again: Pelosi is rightfully reluctant to do shit about trump trampling the rule of law 24/7 and torturing children because trump and other republicans might use it to tell MORE lies, and……and……then what? OMG, we’d be helpless! We’d be fucked!

    I honestly cannot believe my eyes. This woman is SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. SHE has the power to summon a gazillion reporters and cameras any time she want to and be ON the teevee herself 24/7 telling the TRUTH to the public. Just like fucking Newt Gingrich did every night (not telling the truth) before there even was 24/7 teevee.

    Don’t tell me that republicans had a majority in both houses then, because that is utterly irrelevant. The point is the SPEAKER OF THE FUCKING HOUSE has ACCESS to the news media.

    And what’s Pelosi doing with hers? Playing tea party with Maureen Dowd and being pissy about a freshman congresswoman.

    I can’t. I just can’t.

  122. 122
    Brachiator says:

    @smintheus:

    I agree with pretty much everything Sean Wilentz says about Pelosi and impeachment hearings.

    Great article. I’m trying to finish it up now. I agree with much of it, so far.

    Thanks for the link.

  123. 123
    chris says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Look, I’m not the most sophisticated bulb on the tree, but what I’m seeing here is ex-tech-bro taking “DISRUPTIVE!” and “Move fast and break things” thinking and arrogantly trying to apply it to politics.

    And if so, we may be in a world of trouble.

    Worked for the shitgibbon.

  124. 124
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: Democrats should cede their time to either committee counsel or, if that proves impossible, to their best questioners. Right now I think that’s Schiff on Intelligence. I don’t know about Judiciary. Any ideas?

  125. 125
    Raven says:

    yawn, where’s that jackass tehfluge or whaterver? He’ll tell you what time it is.

  126. 126
    Doug R says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Bose died in a Japanese plane crash. But Manchuria doesn’t count, or six million dead by Nazi hands. He hung around with racists, he’s a deplorable.

  127. 127
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aleta: I’ve never said she’s stupid. I’ve largely only written positive things about her. I do think she’s politically myopic at times. And this is one of those times.

  128. 128
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @eemom: I honestly cannot believe my eyes. This woman is SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. SHE has the power to summon a gazillion reporters and cameras any time she want to and be ON the teevee herself 24/7 telling the TRUTH to the public

    Actually, Nancy Pelosi’s skills lean towards the things that happen off-camera. She is not a good public communicator, as evidenced by going to Maureen Dowd, which I have been saying all week was a huge blunder. she has a weekly press conference, she says things like “trump wants to make America white again” (just a few days ago), and he has no sense of right or wrong– that was yesterday. Do you think she just needs to say those things louder?

    There are people on TeeVee telling the TRUTH– elected Dems, ex-Republicans, respectable pundits, historians– they go on TeeVee every day and tell the TRUTH. People like (I’m guessing) your neighbors don’t want to hear it, because their 401Ks are up and they get annoyed when they have to press 1 for English. If you have the magic words that Nancy Pelosi can speak to change that, you should let her know.

    But by all means, keep blog-screeching at people who mostly agree with you. You’ll be recognized as a hero by future generations.

  129. 129
    FelonyGovt says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: Why is it so wonderful to have valued, long-time older members of Congress be challenged by younger people? In order to get anything done you need experienced members who know the rules and customs. And older Americans also need to be represented.

  130. 130
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FelonyGovt: also, older Americans vote

  131. 131
    kindness says:

    I’m getting a little burned out on Democrats who seem to prefer to fight with other Democrats rather than the fascist piece of shit that sits in the White House and his enabler that leads the Senate.

    Why are so many of you complaining that there are no impeachment hearings going on right now? What do you think all those committees are doing gathering data & evidence? It took the House 18 months to investigate Nixon before the had an actual impeachment hearing. That time was when America saw the criminality of the Nixon Administration and came around to wanting impeachment. That is going on right now! It has just begun. Give it the time it needs. Let the dough rise. And honestly if this is timed right, all the evil stuff will come out over the next year and make Trump unelectable. Also too the coat-tails will be gone and maybe we could even take the Senate.

    Have more faith people. There are no magic wands. Stop attacking fellow Democrats. (try to be nice to Bernie even if he isn’t a Democrat)

  132. 132
    rikyrah says:

    @tobie:

    The Judiciary Committee has its own counsel too, right?

  133. 133
    eemom says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    She is not a good public communicator,

    Then she’s in the wrong job.

    If you have the magic words that Nancy Pelosi can speak to change that,

    I’ll say it again: she’s the SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. She is not just another talking head. If she can’t use the position of third most powerful elected official in the country to reach the public, she has no business being in it.

    I’ll ask it again: what will it take for you people to stop bending over backwards to suck Pelosi’s dick?

    And fuck you. At this point I’m too busy worrying about the “future generation” that is my children to care about what passive aggressive jerk offs like you think about my screeching.

  134. 134

    @Doug R: Is Churchill a deplorable or do the dead in Bengal famine of 1942 not count? Bose’s legacy is complicated. How many Russians did Stalin kill? Is FDR a deplorable for making an alliance with Russia?
    Is Queen Victoria is deplorable, the body count of her regime was close to 50 million in British India alone. Or is genocide by starvation okay in your book.

  135. 135
    Doug R says:

    @eemom: Math is hard.

  136. 136
    eemom says:

    @kindness:

    I’m getting a little burned out on Democrats who seem to prefer to fight with other Democrats rather than the fascist piece of shit that sits in the White House and his enabler that leads the Senate.

    How can WE fight the fascist pieces of shit in the WH and senate when our “leader” who is in a position to do so effectively will NOT??

    I’m burning too, from the stupid.

  137. 137
    eemom says:

    @Doug R:

    Yeah, math is hard. And it’s gonna get worse when this brilliant election strategy of letting trump/mcconnell walk all over her plays out.

  138. 138
    Doug R says:

    @schrodingers_cat: My grandfather fled Ukraine with his young family just ahead of Stalin’s purge. Dad being a Mennonite didn’t have to serve, but he volunteered for the RCAF.
    Sounds like there’s plenty of blame to go around: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_famine_of_1943

  139. 139
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @eemom: Does your MoC support starting impeachment hearings?

  140. 140
    eemom says:

    @chris:

    Worked for the shitgibbon.

    Yeah. Kind of amazing how all these geniuses don’t notice that.

  141. 141
    patrick II says:

    @Martin:

    Nicely said Martin if you are still here.

  142. 142
    L85NJGT says:

    @Kent:

    PVI isn’t the only metric. Safe seats get lost because of bad constituent service, or carved up in re-districting.

    I suspect you are right about her lack of career interest in the House – though I’ll guess she goes after Schumer rather than state/local.

  143. 143
    different-church-lady says:

    @chris: It’s a huge mistake to think that things that work for bullies will work for those who aren’t.

  144. 144
    kindness says:

    @eemom: Please forgive me but it seems you could not see the trees I was referring to. Forest, I’d like you to meet trees.

    You aren’t helping.

  145. 145

    @Doug R:

    Sounds like there’s plenty of blame to go around

    Agreed. My paternal grandfather had volunteered as a paramedic in the St Johns Ambulance Corps during WWII, he worked for the Port Trust and was an Anglophile. While my grandmother’s sister was a Gandhian and was arrested more than once for protesting non-violently. The police would beat up the protestors with their night sticks. Many would suffer head injuries and some would even die.

  146. 146
    TenguPhule says:

    @kindness:

    It took the House 18 months to investigate Nixon before the had an actual impeachment hearing.

    We don’t have 18 months. We get 3 months, after that the odds of impeachment proceedings drops to near zero.

    And wagering double or nothing on the 2020 elections is….risky.

  147. 147
    smintheus says:

    @Brachiator: glad to oblige

  148. 148
    eemom says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Nah, there’s no rush. It’s not like those children in trump’s camps are going anywhere.

  149. 149
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @eemom: who’s your MoC?

    Do you not know? I can help you find out.

  150. 150
    smintheus says:

    @kindness:

    It took the House 18 months to investigate Nixon before the had an actual impeachment hearing. That time was when America saw the criminality of the Nixon Administration and came around to wanting impeachment.

    Your history is a bit misleading. The House impeachment hearings were predicated on the work that others had done, especially by the special prosecutors Cox and then Jaworski (starting in May 1973) and the Senate’s Select Committee on Campaign Activities (begun in early February 1973). The public didn’t just come around to favor impeachment. The daily Senate hearings for months in 1973 and the concomitant legal battles over documents/testimony that exposed Nixon’s lies were what brought the public behind impeachment. Virtually none of that is being done now by the House. There are no daily hearings connecting the dots; Trump’s people are not being compelled to testify; the House has dithered rather than subpoenaing evidence/testimony; there is no special prosecutor, and the Democrats have just dropped the ball so far on Mueller’s revelations just as they did with the already publicly available evidence of Trump’s malfeasance. Instead, Pelosi has gone to war against anybody who even signals they’d welcome a set of hearings.

  151. 151
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Subhas Chandra Bose is a huge hero in Bengal. AOC’s chief of staff is Bengali, so this is not surprising.

    I didn’t know that AOC’s chief of staff was Bengali. Yeah, the shirt is not surprising, then.

    I didn’t know that Bose had a daughter with his Austrian wife or companion.

  152. 152
    patroclus says:

    Hmmm. Financial Services (i.e., the Banking Committee) has historically been regarded as a lousy assignment unless there is a big bill (such as Dodd-Frank) pending. Those come along usually every 30 years or so. In my view, a Dodd-Frank revision Act is needed right now, but with Trump in the WH and the Senate in Republican hands, it wouldn’t go anywhere, so right now, it’s a lousy assignment. Oversight is generally non-substantive and only in the past few decades has become high profile largely because of grandstanding chairs who have used it as a cudgel to investigate scandals (or perceived scandals). I don’t consider either to be “tough” assignments but I can see why some might wish to pretend that they are. I guess I’m missing the whole argument here and it seems to me to be much ado about nothing.

    After the Mueller flame-out, an impeachment inquiry at this point would be a failure; possibly of epic proportions. Wishing that it would succeed won’t actually make it succeed.

  153. 153
    smintheus says:

    @patroclus: You know that how? Mueller all but stated explicitly that he didn’t indict Trump because it’s the duty of Congress to remove him from office based on the evidence he collected.

  154. 154
    chris says:

    @different-church-lady: Ordinarily I would agree but the system is already FUBAR. Disruption and breaking things may be the only path forward. Or we could observe the niceties, that’s worked well so far, no?

  155. 155
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @chris: the fact is it’s not about niceties, it’s about there being no vote-getting equivalent on the left to the combination of racism and tax cuts trump offered the different, if overlapping, constituencies of the right

  156. 156
    Elie says:

    This is from Adam upstring and I can’t improve on it. I’ve been lurking mostly but I had to lay this down.

    “The other part of the dynamic, which is Chakrabati nicely explaining that his strategy is to move fast and break shit, shows the larger problem here. Move fast and break shit is great if you’re commanding the 1st Armored Division, you’re making a speed run to Baghdad, and you’re not tasked with, nor will you be in country to have to deal, all the shit your broke as blew everything up real good between the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border and the city of Baghdad. As much as the US’s aged, sclerotic political institutions, systems, structures, and processes need a lot of TLC and shoring up, moving shit and breaking things isn’t that.”

  157. 157
    Elie says:

    @chris:

    Hmmm – a surgeon operates on a damaged heart but hopefully wants to keep and improve its function since it is so important to the human who it belongs to, no? Because it is damaged and fragile he/she doesn’t just throw it to the ground or fuck up the surgery cause its already damaged therefore “who cares”. Right? Same logic…

  158. 158
    Motivated Seller says:

    @kindness:

    It has just begun. Give it the time it needs. Let the dough rise.

    Mueller took two years and dropped a big fat impeachment referral on congress’ lap. Trump’s behavior has gotten even more depraved as he tickles the bigots and spits on everyone else. As if Mueller’s conclusions were not enough, waiting around for more “public opinion” before doing the right thing is disgraceful.

  159. 159
    Socratic Me says:

    @Motivated Seller: All. Of. This.

    The idea that Mueller’s report was a flame out is some of the stupidest revisionist history I have ever seen. The dude gift wrapped an impeachment case, all but begged the House to bring charges and NP and her brilliant leadership team, in their desire to stall for 2020, managed to make even Democrats believe that it was a big nothing-burger. And I am supposed to be trusting her judgement and waiting until the stars align and the moderates stop being cowards so I can see her genius. Please.

  160. 160
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mandalay: you know, I never agree with you about anything, but this?:

    Fight like fuck about whatever the problems are, but do it privately.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this.

  161. 161
    Martin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And that of course is the correct institutional answer, but it’s not a satisfying answer to voters that live under a very different set of rules.

    We can say ‘nobody is above the rule of law’ all we want, but we’re surrounded by people operating above the rule of law and our response to that is ‘but the rules don’t allow us to hold them accountable’. And then we’re surprised when voters support someone who steps up and says ‘I’ll just lock them up’. I mean, yeah, it’s stupid and was a lie and the rules are there for reasons, but the rules need to work, and often they don’t. And when they don’t work, then the defenders of the rules become the problem.

    Understand, I’m an institutionalist by nature, and I’m battling multiple fronts at work where institutionalism is preventing obvious and easy solutions from being developed and it’s frustrating as hell.

    There was a story from a few years back that I’ve lost track of where some farm community elected a new tough on crime sheriff and the sheriff decided to crack down on drugs in the county. Well, it turns out many of the farms had a little pot farm off in the corner somewhere to give them revenue if their regular crop failed. It was their mortgage insurance. They weren’t doing anything that wrong, and saving the farm was a greater moral good than growing a tiny amount of pot was a moral bad. But when the sheriff decided to crack down on this, the community was up in arms, recalled the sheriff and put the old sheriff back in place. Institutionalism was great provided it produced the right results and was a menace when it didn’t. The public will determine the degree to which they are willing to be policed. But outcomes almost always matter more than process. Process is great when the outcome is maintaining the status quo, but becomes a liability when the outcome is change.

    Your comment about moving shit and breaking things is excellent. However, it assumes that the government can control that. It can’t. Facebook is the one moving shit and breaking things. In fact, they’re ones credited with the phrase. Drug companies are as well. Other nations are. States and cities are. The climate is. Trump is. Government needs to be adaptive enough to function in the setting. And you note that – “Move fast and break shit is great if you’re commanding the 1st Armored Division, you’re making a speed run to Baghdad”, well, that’s exactly what’s happening to a lot of people around the country. Shipping 21 million opioid pills to a town of 2,900 people is one or more companies moving fast and breaking shit, and government needs to learn to be adaptable enough to deal with that.

  162. 162

    @Socratic Me: What if the Speaker has counted the votes and doesn’t have the votes to impeach? Wouldn’t continuing to let the relevant committees continue their hearings and investigations be the appropriate approach?

  163. 163
    cain says:

    @Martin:
    I just joined the ranks of 50, and I want to burn it down too. I’m sick of this passivity. I know for a fact that we can kick conservative ass if it came down to a fight. Everytime there was a switch over in Congress from Dems to Republicans it has always been because Dems were limp wristed IMHO.

  164. 164
    Miss Bianca says:

    @ruemara: Yeah, I’m getting closer to that position all the time, I find. I really don’t want to see someone like AOC run so hard for office that s/he displaces an older, staider, “insider” Democrat who might not be secksy or cool or even particularly ethnically representative of their district, but who actually decently delivered on services to voters, only to decide that what she REALLY wanted was to be a celebrity activist. That’s why I am still reserving judgement, tho’ – if she can be a rock star for constituent services AND a rock star liberal advocate, cool. But if you’ve only got enough time for one or the other, you’re ethically bound, I think – if you’re a Democrat, anyway – to put service to your voters before everything else while you’re, you know, representing them.

  165. 165
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Miss Bianca: I remain impressed by her conduct in committees, and quite frankly by her twitter game (though even typing that phrase feels like a comb-over at my age). OTOH, she is often undisciplined when speaking in public, and the fact that this whole week long nuttiness was set off by her chief of staff… I have no earthly fucking idea who Nancy Pelosi’s CoS is, or any other MoC’s or Senator’s. I think I know who Harry Reid’s CoS is because he became an MSNBC pundit and twitter-warrior, and I’m not even sure if that was his title or how to spell his name (Adam Jentleson, or something like that). At some point, your personnel is a reflection on you, and apparently this emo-bernie-bro has been pissing people off for weeks. And it was to some degree intentional, though I’m sure in his mind their upset just proves he is right, and righteous!

  166. 166

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    apparently this emo-bernie-bro has been pissing people off for weeks.

    Yeah, that’s why the Speaker had to say something. She’s been getting complaints from her members, though going to MoDo was an error.

  167. 167
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Congressional chiefs of staff have a habit of saying things, often things that are not consistent with the substance or tone of what their Congressperson’s statements. This is certainly true with AOC, but also true for Pelosi Her chief of staff was contradicting what Pelosi was saying on health care reform a few months ago. It is very frustrating, and produces confusion about whether the CoS is just mouthing off their opinion, or the Congressperson is not talking straight.

    If AOC’s CoS keeps up the BS, then he should go. Not sure what to say bout Pelosi’s CoS saying something different from her public statements on health care policy. That kind of thing is so common, and so accepted when it concerns policy, almost seems like accepted practice now.

  168. 168
  169. 169
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, that shows a lapse of judgement that makes me worry about her skill set, frankly. She needs to get rid of that guy, like, yesterday, but that will probably cause her publicity headaches as well. Yuck. Not a position I would want to be caught in.

  170. 170

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: A high profile CoS for a member is unusual, I’ve never heard of of member’s CoS either. The CoS should keep the office running efficiently and deal with and filter constituent services so just those that needs the member’s attention are elevated. They should let the member talk about policy, period.

  171. 171

    @Miss Bianca: As Kay would say, he was a bad hire; yup, needs to be gone yesterday. As I noted above in my reply to Jim, Foolish Literalist, this guy seems to have come to the job thinking he could spout his agenda, not the CoS job. If he wants to talk about his agenda, run for Congress.

  172. 172
    Another Scott says:

    TheHill on the House passing the 2020 Pentagon budget:

    […]

    Earlier Friday, the House passed an amendment to prevent Trump from launching a military strike on Iran without prior congressional approval.

    Democrats also approved amendments to block emergency arms sales to Saudi Arabia, end U.S. military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force that authorized the Iraq War, among others.

    “I held my nose and voted yes,” Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said after the vote.

    House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) “worked very hard to incorporate some progressive priorities,” she added. “And then I’m working with Chairman Smith on establishing different ways that we can actually start to make the case for lowering military defense spending.”

    Outside of war powers, amendments touched on a number of progressive priorities, including reversing Trump’s transgender military ban, giving federal employees 12 weeks of paid family leave, prohibiting military parades for political purposes and banning Pentagon funds from being used at Trump-owned properties.

    But several progressive amendments on immigration failed, including one from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to block the any deployment of troops to the border to enforce immigration laws and to bar the use of funds to detain undocumented immigrants in Defense Department facilities.

    Ocasio-Cortez voted against the final bill, as did Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Adriano Espaillat (N.Y.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Mark Pocan (Wis.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.).

    Democrats needed to win support from every faction of their party to pass the bill after Republicans threatened to withhold their support over what they saw as an NDAA that doesn’t invest enough in the military.

    No Republicans voted in support of the bill Friday. The White House threatened to veto the bill earlier this week.

    […]

    Why do Republicans hate the military so much??

    It sounds like the liberals got a lot of good stuff in the bill. The Senate bill is very different, of course, so we’ll see how much survives.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  173. 173
    dr. bloor says:

    @cain: Thank you for your gratuitous homophobia.

  174. 174

    @Brachiator: His last name is a give away. Bengali Brahmin.

  175. 175
    Socratic Me says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Nancy Smash didn’t get her nickname because she could count votes. She got it because she could move them. As people are so fond of mentioning here, she got people to vote for the ACA even though they knew it would likely end their legislative careers. If she isn’t able to move votes on impeachment, given the way Mueller teed it up, then it is because she doesn’t want to (or else her reputation is far overblown).

    So far she has not only not tried to move them toward impeachment, but publicly argued against those who believe that impeachment should happen. Look, either Nancy Smash is a thing and she is making a strategic play for the next round of elections (and badly misreading the mood that led to the 2018 results) or she it isn’t a thing and Her brilliance is overstated (and one begins to wonder what even is the point of electing Democrats). I know we are supposed to be worried about winning the scared middle. But given how my purple state rolls, I am far more worried about how many people who showed up with anger and passion in 2018 seem to be wondering what the point was.

  176. 176
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    What if the Speaker has counted the votes and doesn’t have the votes to impeach?

    Well it would be nice to know which representatives disagree and in which districts so we could target the ones needed to achieve 218 and spare whoever really needs a pass because they live in Red Dumbfuckinstan.

  177. 177
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Socratic Me: where do you get your certain knowledge about what NP has and hasn’t done behind the scenes?

  178. 178
    Socratic Me says:

    @TenguPhule: That, too. Though I will note that there is now one blue house district in OK, my home state (past tense). If Trump isn’t uniquely awful, that doesn’t exist, not even in the cities. Anyone who thinks she is being helped by avoiding action on Trump is almost certainly wrong.

  179. 179
    Socratic Me says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I acknowledged in the comment you linked to that it is possible her hype is completely overblown and she can’t move the Dems on this. I guess I could add that she might be stumping hard behind the scenes while shitting all over the people who make the case publicly. Neither of these helps me understand her many defenders here.

  180. 180
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @satby: “leftist” ratfuckers cannot fail. They can only be failed.

  181. 181
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    Pelosi has one correct idea: this is not a time to take chances, like hinging our “beat Trump” election on way-lefty ideas that haven’t been vetted. But here’s the thing: President Obama campaigned *strongly* against an individual mandate, yet was constantly attacked during his election campaign for being in favor of it.

    What is *risky* is letting the Republicans control the conversation because we already see what happens if they do.
    Look, someone correct me if I’m wrong, okay? Please. (Seriously. I’d rather be wrong than right, but I doubt I am.)
    The Trumpster fire (that’s the election campaign and administration – DJT is the SCROTUS, or So Called Rule Of The United States, which is appropriate because that’s his view of himself – the ruler, not the President)
    The Tumpster fire knew the Russians were helping them, and wanted that help, tried to accept that help (and probably did – you think an intelligence operative is too stupid to throw chaff like a cover story and a text message?), had campaign folks who shared polling data, and was seeking a $300 *million* payday (aka “a big, fat, super-juicy, bribe”); finally, Kushner wanted a hidden back channel to Russia that no one in the US would know about.

    Trump then spilled classified data, and after that, we’d need – *need* – a readout of everything said between Trump and the Russians (especially Putin), just for basic counter-intel. Not to prevent him from saying or doing something, right? Just – did you accidentally let something *else* slip, and if so, how can we cover for it?” Well, per the media, we’ve had Trump meet with Putin multiple times, with no note takers present, no recording said to be available to his bosses (the American people, yes, some of us *still* believe in that), and occasionally suggest that Russia should learn about the CIA’s assets (though indirectly). We also have records that he destroyed data about those talks, which is a violation of the Presidential records act, right?

    And what do people complain about? “He’s practically inviting Russia to interfere again.”
    I mean, I’m not crazy here, right? If what I’ve said is true, we really do have to worry:
    1) he’s soliciting bribes
    2) he’s compromising US intelligence, and actively helping the Russians evade US intel in further election meddling (side note: for anyone not pathetically stupid, this means “he is helping the Russians attack any and all aspects of US society, and *NO ONE* except Donald Trump could reasonably be expected to be that stupid as to fail to recognize this risk)
    3) he’s compromising US intelligence, because he’s too stupid to realize he’s doing so
    4) he’s letting Putin make suggestions that are only to his and/or Russia’s advantage, yet taking them seriously (see again: “no one…that stupid”)
    5) he’s actually doing his level best to make deals in the best interest of the US but let’s face it, he’s the kind of moron who thinks canceling vital war games in exchange for “beautiful letters” is a good idea
    6) who can guess? Seriously – I won’t say I think he *wants* to harm the US, but see again “no one…that stupid”

    This really, honestly strikes me as the equivalent of a four alarm fire, with the GOP on Fox saying “yes, a weenie roast *has* brought out, and there *is* a shortage of s’mores, but there *are* plenty of marshmallows,” There’s this big, huge, obvious, danger to our national security, and….

    Sigh. When Condoleeza Rice said that the aluminum tubes were for centrifuges, the IAEA and the weapons inspectors correctly reported that, no, they were for rockets, there was documentary evidence backing this up, *and* the tubes couldn’t be used for centrifuges. And I was like “wait… wait… I know I saw information declaring that was false. Why is everyone – EVERY ONE – saying something so horribly incorrect without even a mention of the credibility of the opposing information?” You all recognize this, right? Where you feel you *must* be crazy, because no one else could be missing this right?

    This is more subtle, I confess, because it’s not a lie being told and repeated, and yet… am I wrong? Isn’t this a huge danger? And isn’t it, to all appearances, being completely ignored?

    Remember where I started? Pelosi might be right that you can’t take chances on, e.g., Medicare For All. But letting the GOP set the narrative leaves us with a world where people are horrified, *HORRIFIED*, that anyone tried to INVESTIGATE dear, beloved SCROTUS. And while we live in that world, we’re in danger, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which, the GOP doesn’t give care enough about obvious dangers to the US, to undertake action that might harm one or more GOPpie electoral chances.

    The most horrifying scenario I can imagine is the Democrats not pushing good and hard on impeachable behavior, and each time they find it, perhaps they should join another round of “but we know that the Senate Republicans won’t vote to convict,” if they don’t want to impeach. And to do that, they have to drive the conversation. And if Pelosi would rather focus on careful investigation of wrongdoing, promising a big, big show (at a minimum), I’m okay with that, but she’d better realize you *can’t* let the GOP drive the discussion, or the US loses. If we don’t stand our ground now, Trump will become “a uniquely failed President, nothing at all like the entire GOP”, and the blanket corruption of the GOP will continue indefinitely.

  182. 182
    different-church-lady says:

    @chris: False dichotomy.

    What I’m saying is “move fast and break things” is a recipe for chaos, not effective change. It’s arrogant techbro crap.

  183. 183
    J R in WV says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    I am 56 years old.

    You young sprout! I was – umm, 12 when you were born…no wait?! I have to count on my fingers… 13? Maybe… Anyway… what was my point? now … I dunno….. ;-0

  184. 184
    J R in WV says:

    @patrick II:

    who are you, colored person, to tell us anything.

    And worse yet is the religious hate of the muslim members of the House. If they were Jewish, or Orthodox… but they aren’t. So hate of their religion, the large third of Abrahamic religions, seems just fine to fascists.

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