Excellent Read: “Nancy Pelosi, Political Grandmaster”

There’s a famous Mark Twain quote: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

It always comes to mind when some Very Woke twitter analyst with a goldfish memory switches overnight from WHY WON’T PELOSI DO SOMETHING !!!RIGHT NOW!!! to WOOO SPEAKER & SHORTLY INTERIM PRESIDENT PELOSI IN!THE!HAWSE!!!. (Except, of course, those analysts usually switch right back to their first position, sometimes before I can finish reading down the thread.)

Abigail Tracy, in Vanity Fair, on “Nancy Pelosi, super Speaker, on Trump’s unfitness, the decision to impeach, and “weaving” her fractious caucus”:

Lost in the wilderness of the Trump era, Democrats looked long and hard for a champion: Robert Mueller, the media, even Michael Avenatti. But when the party retook the House in November and Nancy Pelosi began her historic second term as speaker, no one doubted the search was over. She’d been a GOP target and, some centrists thought, an electoral liability given her San Francisco roots. But now no one doubted that she was the indispensable Democrat, cheerfully jousting with AOC and “the Squad,” mediating the hoary conflict between the party’s left and its center (she describes herself as “a weaver,” which is a nice word for how she sometimes has to operate), winning with substance (her party’s focus on health care) and imagery (the famous Max Mara red coat, the donning of the sunglasses after her triumphant border wall meeting with Trump and Senator Chuck Schumer), and holding fire on impeachment until precisely the right moment. The Speaker talks to Abigail Tracy about the road to impeachment, how the Democrats won in 2018, why Trump is unique among presidents she’s known, and the work to be done after Trump is gone.

Tell me about the moment you reached the decision to go down the impeachment path.

I take a lot of guidance from the vision of our founders, and our founders fought very hard for our democracy, for our country, for our Constitution. In the dark days of revolution, Thomas Paine said, “The times have found us.” We believe that the times have found us to keep the republic from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And that would be those who say things like, “Article II says I can do whatever I want.” That’s not a republic, that’s a monarchy. That’s not what we have…

Some members in your caucus credit excitement from the base and a desire for a check on President Trump to your victory in the midterms in 2018. Others argue it was the messaging around issues like health care. What is your diagnosis?

Oh, it was health care. We had a very disciplined campaign in terms of a purpose. “For the people” was our agenda. We were going to lower health care costs by lowering costs of prescription drugs and preserving [protections for] preexisting conditions. Two, we were going to increase paychecks by building infrastructure in a green way. Three, we were going to have cleaner government by reducing the role of big dark money in politics and ending voter suppression others inserted in the bill. And the issue of health security, it’s just very dominant. People have determined it is “the issue” and this is the difference between Democrats and Republicans…

It is hard not to notice that he has rarely used a nickname for you.

Who cares? I don’t care if he has a nickname, maybe that’s why he didn’t do it.

I treat him with respect. I respect the office he holds. Sometimes I think I respect the office he holds more than he respects the office he holds. I try not to ask him to do something that isn’t in his interest. And it is in his interest to lower the cost of health care, to protect children, to build the infrastructure of America…

Have you been at all surprised by the behavior of the broader Republican party in the Trump era?

No. I’m not surprised. I mean, their oath of office is clearly to Donald Trump and not to the Constitution of the United States. Forgetting his personal grotesqueness, there is nothing he is about, in terms of the issues, that they haven’t been there longer and worse. Name any issue— climate, a woman’s right to choose, fairness in our economy, gun safety, how we treat immigrants. Any issue you can name, they have always been there and worse than he is. He is like their JFK. He is their guy

Much has been made about a perceived conflict between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic caucus this Congress. Has anything really changed?

No. No, it’s been the same forever. We’ve always had a big tent, we’ve always had different elements of the party. I myself am a San Francisco liberal and I’m proud of that. Republicans bought 137,000 ads describing me as such during the 2018 campaign. It didn’t work for them. We won 40 seats in the most gerrymandered, voter-suppressed districts you can name.

We’ve always had our exuberances, but we’ve always had our common ground. And as I say, “Our diversity is our strength, our unity is our power,” and that’s what President Trump fears most…






102 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    She’s been incompetent for so long, and I”m so old, that I remember when we were debating whether we should replace her with Anthony Weiner or Alan Grayson…

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Hello there! Good to see you.

    I love me some Nancy Smash.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Nicole says:

    FSM bless her for stating the GOP as a whole is even worse than their head.

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  4. 4
    zzyzx says:

    Pelosi seems to be the only person looking 2-3 moves ahead when making a strategy. If for no other reason, that’s why I’ve been supporting her. She’s a pragmatist who is willing to make sacrifices, but only when the American people get something in return.

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  5. 5
    laura says:

    The money quote (speaking only for myself) is the Thomas Paine “The times have found us.” Democracy is not a spectator sport, it demands participation and an informed citizenry. I’m grateful for the steady leadership of Madame Speaker Nancy Smash!
    Just win, baby.

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  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    I mean, their oath of office is clearly to Donald Trump and not to the Constitution of the United States. Forgetting his personal grotesqueness, there is nothing he is about, in terms of the issues, that they haven’t been there longer and worse. Name any issue— climate, a woman’s right to choose, fairness in our economy, gun safety, how we treat immigrants. Any issue you can name, they have always been there and worse than he is. He is like their JFK. He is their guy…

    This, over and over again. Trump is a symptom of the rot in the Republican/conservative movement, not a cause of it. Sure, his particular brand of personal corruption is …special, as is his personal incompetence, but the positions he’s taken and the people he’s appointed are pure Republican orthodoxy. Look at our “esteemed” Attorney General, for instance. Corrupt to the bone, and simultaneously a member of the Republican elite since the GHW Bush era. Indeed, one might reasonably argue that “corrupt to the bone” is a prerequisite for becoming and remaining a member of the Republican elite.

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  7. 7
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @Davis X. Machina: this is one of those comments that make me wish this comment system had upvoting. :)

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    laura says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Please proceed to the mezzanine floor customer service desk to collect your internets.

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  9. 9
    kindness says:

    Nancy has gotten really good at putting stuff out she knows is going to get stuck in Trump’s craw and he’ll go off. Like that interview above. It helps us. Makes him look like the spoiled toddler he is.

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  10. 10
    HinTN says:

    @laura: 👍 AMEN

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  11. 11
    Turgidson says:

    @kindness:

    He’s gonna try to give her a nickname now, and it’s gonna be really lame even by his standards. Maybe so much so that even the glue sniffers in the media’s Cillizza caucus will roll their eyes at it.

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  12. 12
    Another Scott says:

    @dmsilev: +1

    That’s why this election cannot be about just getting rid of Donnie. It’s both and, not either or.

    She gets it. She sees the big picture. And that’s what Uncle Joe apparently hasn’t recognized yet. Will he? Dunno…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  13. 13
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Who cares? I don’t care if he has a nickname, maybe that’s why he didn’t do it.
    when she’s good, she’s damn good

    @Davis X. Machina: adding my voice to those who hope you’ll be coming around more as Susan Collins: The Reckoning (I Hope) draws near

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  14. 14
    Another Scott says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Hey, I remember that too! Good times!! :-/

    Good to see you again. Please stick around if you’re able.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  15. 15
    PPCLI says:

    @dmsilev:

    I mean, their oath of office is clearly to Donald Trump and not to the Constitution of the United States. Forgetting his personal grotesqueness, there is nothing he is about, in terms of the issues, that they haven’t been there longer and worse. Name any issue— climate, a woman’s right to choose, fairness in our economy, gun safety, how we treat immigrants. Any issue you can name, they have always been there and worse than he is. He is like their JFK. He is their guy…

    This, over and over again. Trump is a symptom of the rot in the Republican/conservative movement, not a cause of it.

    Absolutely. Declare allegiance to the president, not the Constitution or the country? That was already the state of things in the Bush Admin. Recall when the top-to-bottom politicization of the DOJ was effectively farmed out to one airhead bush cultist Regent Law School grad Monica Goodling? (Right down to the Summer Internship Program level?) And when she was called to testify about the firings of US Attorneys for refusing to launch politically motivated sham charges, she appealed to her oath to the president. Or Sara Taylor, political director, who was questioned about the same stuff:

    Leahy: And then you said, I took an oath to the President, and I take that oath very seriously. Did you mean, perhaps, you took an oath to the Constitution?
    Taylor: Uh, I, uh, yes, you’re correct, I took an oath to the Constitution. Uh, but, what–
    Leahy: Did you take a second oath to the President?
    Taylor: I did not. I–
    Leahy: So the answer was incorrect.
    Taylor: The answer was incorrect. What I should have said is that, I took an oath, I took that oath seriously. And I believe that taking that oath means that I need to respect, and do respect, my service to the President.

    It was all there (except for the blackmailing of a foreign country, which is indeed a further corrupt step) – complete politicization of the DOJ, unquestioning allegiance to the person of the President rather than constitution or country, launching sham investigations for political reasons (Don Seigelman, anyone?), flat refusal to answer congressional subpoenas (Karl Rove, etc.), refusal of DOJ to enforce the subpoenas, …

    Just ignoring these things for the sake of “looking forward” just ensures they will come back next time in an even more toxic form.

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  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    oh, and our attorney general isn’t just corrupt, he’s corrupt for Burning People Jeebus and The Real Pope, Benedict

    Attorney General William Barr blamed secularism in society for a series of problems such as drug overdoses, violence and poor mental health while speaking at Notre Dame’s law school.
    Barr, in a speech largely focused on the role of religion in law, decried what he described as an effort to drive religion away while promoting secularism.
    “We see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism,” he said. “Basically every measure of this social pathology continues to gain ground.”
    He described several social issues as “consequences of this moral upheaval.”
    “Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence and a deadly drug epidemic.
    “Over 70,000 people die a year from drug overdoses,” he added. “But I won’t dwell on the bitter results of the new secular age.”
    Barr also slammed “so-called progressives,” saying that many are “among the militant secularists.”

    cause The Real Jeebus would have denied people access to health care and put poor immigrant children in cages

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  17. 17
    Another Scott says:

    @PPCLI: I don’t know enough about Don’s case, but he’s finally fully released:

    Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman won release from supervision earlier this week.

    The former governor, convicted in 2006 on charges of bribery and obstruction of justice, served a total of five years in federal prison before his release in February 2017. According to court documents, Siegelman — who served as governor from 1999 to 2003 — had three years of supervised release, scheduled to end in August of next year.

    David Armstrong, the probation officer for the U.S. Northern District of Alabama, filed a motion with a federal court on Tuesday saying Siegelman had “complied with the rules and regulations of supervised release” and was “no longer in need of supervision.” U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins signed off on the release the same day.

    Messages seeking comment were left Friday morning with Siegelman and Joseph Siegelman, Gov. Siegelman’s son and attorney.

    The former governor, the most recent Democrat to serve in the office, was sentenced to prison in 2007. He won release on an appeal bond in 2008 but returned to prison four years later, after a federal appeals court upheld most of his convictions.

    Prosecutors accused Siegelman of soliciting $500,000 from then-HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy in exchange for a seat on the Certificate of Need (CON) board, which oversees hospital improvements and expansions. Prosecutors said the money, which went to Siegelman’s 1999 campaign for an education lottery, amounted to a bribe. Siegelman’s attorneys, noting Scrushy served on the CON board for years, said the transaction was part of the normal course of politics.

    More: Don Siegelman maintains innocence after release from prison

    Siegelman maintained his innocence and claimed he was targeted for political reasons, arguments appeals courts later rejected.

    The former governor appeared in Montgomery in late 2017 and said he planned to work on criminal justice issues. Siegelman underwent open-heart surgery in 2018.

    Scrushy, who was also convicted with Siegelman, won release from prison in 2010. He has relocated to the Houston area.

    It’s kinda funny how much more harshly he was treated than Bob McDonnell in Virginia. Yeah, funny, that…

    Grrr….

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  18. 18
    Jay says:

    The #Kurds DID fight on the Allied side in WW2.They helped break the siege after the 1941 pro-Nazi Coup d'état in Iraq & were part of the (pro-Allied) Iraq Levies.In 1942 Kurds made up 25% of the force. By 1943, 10 of the 44 companies of Iraq Levies were Kurdish.@Akil_N_Awan pic.twitter.com/wZwgKwHy37— Ric Cole (@ric_cole) October 10, 2019

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  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    and speaking of Barr (referring to a forthcoming book written with cooperation of Devin Nunes):

    Brian Beutler @ brianbeutler
    It is…tellingly… uncontroversial on the right that Barr shut down the Mueller investigation.

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  20. 20
    hells littlest angel says:

    Good news for Republicans: Nancy Pelosi will be retiring from politics on January 21, 2021.

    Bad news for Republicans: it’s because she’ll have finished her term as President of the United States.

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  21. 21
    jonas says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    “We see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism,”

    *spits coffee all over computer screen* Yes, it’s progressives who are saying over and over again how nothing matters anymore and that there are no real norms, standards, and morals that ought to guide public policy; that human rights don’t matter; and that the will to power is the only value in politics.

    Just fuck this guy. I can’t even…

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  22. 22
    Immanentize says:

    Barr at Notre Dame:

    Attorney General Bill Barr: “This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion & traditional values.”

    Perfectly describing casino-owning, bankrupt, many marriages, pay for sex, reality TV mogul his boss. Plus Fox news and the Federalist Society.

    Damn, I agree with Barr!!

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  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Immanentize: you forgot rape, domestic abuse, greed, gluttony, wrath, lust, sloth, envy, pride, and a few of the lesser commandments about stealing and bearing false witness, to say northing of graven images, but hey, King Cyrus probably didn’t keep kosher

    As Lance Wallnau, an evangelical author and speaker who appears in the film, once said, “I believe the 45th president is meant to be an Isaiah 45 Cyrus,” who will “restore the crumbling walls that separate us from cultural collapse.”
    Cyrus, in case you’ve forgotten, was born in the sixth century B.C.E. and became the first emperor of Persia. Isaiah 45 celebrates Cyrus for freeing a population of Jews who were held captive in Babylon. Cyrus is the model for a nonbeliever appointed by God as a vessel for the purposes of the faithful.
    Agree to disagree, or disagree better? We’ll help you understand the sharpest arguments on the most pressing issues of the week, from new and familiar voices.
    The identification of the 45th president with an ancient Middle Eastern potentate isn’t a fringe thing. “The Trump Prophecy” was produced with the help of professors and students at Liberty University, whose president, Jerry Falwell Jr., has been instrumental in rallying evangelical support for Mr. Trump. Jeanine Pirro of Fox News has picked up on the meme, as has Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, among many others.

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  24. 24
    Spanky says:

    Per CNN:

    Harry Reid warns Democrats: Trump is a ‘very, very smart man’ who won’t be easily beaten in 2020

    Point taken, though I don’t think this is the Trump that Harry knew.

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  25. 25
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Immanentize: no kidding!

    And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to pour a glass of the traditional game day Caymus. These noon kickoffs are tough!

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  26. 26
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    John Goodman is trending on twitter for being on ESPN talking college football which I mention to say twitter needs a This Beloved But Not Young And Maybe Not Terribly Healthy Celebrity Is Not Dead font

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  27. 27
    Mary Harris Jones says:

    Nancy “I don’t think he’s worth impeaching” Pelosi had ample grounds both before and after the Mueller report was delivered to initiate impeachment proceedings. She did nothing to rally either public support or House members to impeachment. In fact, Nancy “I don’t think he’s worth impeaching” Pelosi actively discouraged impeachment.

    A Whistleblower disclosed additional grounds for impeachment (in coordination with Schiff’s office) which cannot be ignored, public opinion shifts towards impeachment independent of anything that Nancy “I don’t think he’s worth impeaching” Pelosi did and now Nancy “I don’t think he’s worth impeaching” Pelosi is a political genius.

    I mean, seriously, what is this pathetic yearning to cheerlead for Nancy “I don’t think he’s worth impeaching” Pelosi?

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  28. 28
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: he has a show on HBO right now, The Righteous Gemstones, so he’s more than just an over the hill celeb whose name comes up on morning zoo radio “dead or alive” quizzes

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  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: Whatever. They weren’t there at Normandy when it counted, were they?

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  30. 30
    PPCLI says:

    We see the growing ascendancy of …. the doctrine of moral relativism

    This is one of those things that constantly pisses me off. Saying that it is morally wrong to deny equal rights and respect to gay people is not “moral relativism”. It is the statement of a non-relative moral position: those who deny gay people rights are morally wrong.

    Full stop.

    Not “wrong according to my standards”, or “wrong in my community”, or “wrong according to my religious faith”. It is morally wrong to discriminate against gays on grounds of their sexual orientation. People who do that are acting immorally. Full stop. No relativism about it.

    It is the people who say “Ok, now I’m not *defending* discrimination against gays, you understand, but there are people whose faith tells them to do that, so we have to refrain from judging those people”.

    THEY are the moral relativists.

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  31. 31
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I don’t think he’s over the hill, I’m a big fan. I haven’t seen Gemstones yet, but I think that whatever became of the Roseanne show is still on, and probably gets more eyeballs than anything on HBO (just googled, it’s ABC’s highest rated show). But he put in some hard living in his day and sometimes doesn’t look so good

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  32. 32
    waspuppet says:

    Charlie Pierce said it this week: A lot of people (and I’ll include myself) were disappointed that they were going to “limit themselves” to the Ukraine thing, instead of going after “everything.”
    Turns out, one way or another, the Ukraine thing IS “everything.”

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    Freemark says:

    I think an earlier impeachment inquiry might have gotten us to this point sooner. But seeing how Pelosi may go down in history as the most adept Speaker ever I am more than willing to defer to her judgement. I often feel, correctly, that Democrats aren’t agressive enough, but in her case it very well might be one of the best uses of ‘rope a dope’ ever. I respect her internal politcal skills more than any other politician.

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  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    @ Jim, Foolish Literalist

    Perhaps X Bones? (Available here.)

    :)

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    Imm says:

    @Steve in the ATL: @Freemark:
    I’ll show you the life of the mind!”
    — Barton Fink. Nuff said.

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  36. 36
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: good point. I forgot about proletariat tv!

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    columbusqueen says:

    @Immanentize: I always tell everyone that Trump is the Seven Deadly Sins on steroids. And yet idiot evangelicals keep supporting him, the scum.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    @columbusqueen

    In his case, the sin dial goes to 11.

    :)

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Kent says:

    Pelosi on Trump: ‘He knows the difference between right and wrong, but I don’t know that he really cares. I do think his categorical imperative is what’s good is what is right for him.’

    Trump clearly knows the difference between right and wrong. If he did not then he’d at least be getting some things right through sheer chance and the law of averages.

    I’m not sure where I got that but I’m saving it for Thanksgiving dinner with the relatives.

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  40. 40
    Kent says:

    @PPCLI: EXACTLY. I vividly remember Catholic and vatican officials going on Nightline and other TV shows during the peak of the sex abuse scandal in Boston. They would say things like: “Back in the day we didn’t fully understand the nature of this sort of abuse and our understanding is now evolving. So you really can’t judge us today by how things used to be done in the church.

    Which of course was utter moral relatavistic bullshit. Rape of children has been a crime since the dawn of human history and punishable by death in the old testiment. Nothing relative about that.

    Today’s bullshit about the moral need to discriminate against LGBT children is the same exact thing. Fuck them all.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Spanky: Point taken, though I don’t think this is the Trump that Harry knew.

    I wouldn’t describe trump as “smart”, but he has that instinct for pandering to the rubes and haters (at his core, he’s one of them) with everything from subsidies to racial/gay panic, and limitless cash and the Big Gerrymander that is the Electoral College mean 2020 is gonna be a tough slog, and a really fucking ugly one.
    ETA: forgot my main point: Harry Reid is one cagey old SOB, and I wouldn’t doubt he has a pretty good handle on trump

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Chyron HR says:

    @Mary Harris Jones:

    You forgot “The DNC poisoned Messiah Bernie and assassinated his daughter-in-law.”

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Chyron HR: honest to christ, I think 80% of these halfwits think “Impeachment” means “removal”

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    joel hanes says:

    @PPCLI:

    That was already the state of things in the Bush Admin. … Monica Goodling … appealed to her oath to the president.

    This. So much this.

    Fawn Hall cited “a higher law”, by which she meant Reagan and Republicanism.

    The Republican Party has for 35 years been what it is today, except that Trump says the quiet parts right out loud, and in vulgar language.

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  45. 45
    joel hanes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I believe that Barr is Opus Dei.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Ruckus says:

    @zzyzx:
    She looks a lot farther ahead than 2 or 3 moves.
    She is very strategic with her office. I’ve been touting her for quite a while here because of that. She doesn’t flit around like a light summer breeze, she’s a force of nature. She’s like a master violin maker. Studied, sure, smooth, extremely knowledgable about her craft. And she can herd cats like nobodies business.

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  47. 47
    joel hanes says:

    @Another Scott:

    I don’t know enough about Don [Siegelman’s] case

    This may help
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/obama-pardon-don-siegelman

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Chyron HR says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    That is exactly what they’ve been manipulated into thinking. And when the Senate acquits Trump, they will be manipulated into thinking it was because the Democrats did it wrong.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ruckus: I think we will need Speaker Pelosi far longer than January 2021. She deserves her retirement, but we are in perilous times for the next several years.

    Not impressed with the scaredy cat Democrats who elicited that pledge. We have some tools in our party, too. I am all for bringing up and training up new talent. But the age has found us, as from the article.

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  50. 50
    Ruckus says:

    @dmsilev:

    Indeed, one might reasonably argue that “corrupt to the bone” is a prerequisite for becoming and remaining a member of the Republican elite.

    This.
    Name any major republican – the elite of the clan, and convince me otherwise.

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  51. 51
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @joel hanes: makes sense, though I notice people like Barr are never actually members of Opus Dei, they just know of a lot of people who are, and go to churches run by OD priests, friends of friends, as it were…
    From an article on an OD priest and DC activist named McCloskey, who converted Kudlow and had to go away when they found out he was giving more than “spiritual guidance” to a female (that’s kind of a surprise) parishioner.

    Although he left Washington at perhaps the height of his fame, McCloskey’s legacy is the ongoing influence of the Catholic Information Center. The center’s board includes Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society, which helped shepherd the Supreme Court nominations of Brett M. Kavanaugh and Neil M. Gorsuch. White House counsel Pat Cipollone is a former board member, as is William P. Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush and is now President Trump’s nominee for the same position.

    I don’t remember any of this coming out at his nomination, but thanks to Bush and Russert reporters are very skittish about bringing up “faith”

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  52. 52
    Barbara says:

    @Immanentize: I used to be Catholic and I used to participate in a progressive Catholic blog until the publication moved on to a different social media strategy. I still find the blindness of people like Barr, and conservative Catholics and Christians to be kind of astonishing. They do know that they are losing this so-called war on religion even if they don’t understand what the war consists of. Primarily, the war is an absence of belief. Secondarily, it is a decision that, belief or not, there is nothing to be gained personally from participating in organized religion. People like Barr and many others lash out because they cannot imagine an existence where religion does not confer a benefit. The religious infrastructure they inhabit and their experience within it rewards them, people like them, people with their advantages and people with their specific flaws, which are considered to be insignificant or not important, while it punishes lots of people not like them and considers their flaws to be gravely disordered and their sins without the possibility of redemption. This is THEIR religion and they are so fucking myopic that they can’t fathom why other people don’t feel like contributing money, time and fealty to a power structure that considers them to be second class at best, and deserving of eternal punishment at worst. So they just sit there talking to each other wringing their hands because the advantage they derive is at risk as the pews become emptier and emptier.

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  53. 53
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mary Harris Jones:

    Sorry, but your analysis is idiotic.

    Pelosi kept her caucus from getting ahead of the public on impeachment. That was critically important.

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  54. 54
    PJ says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Oh, definitely replace her with Anthony Weiner, I hear he has a real connection with the younger voters – he’ll show everybody.

    I know that Obama’s zero tolerance policy to anything that would remotely smell of scandal was unfair to some people who worked with him and would have been a benefit to his administration, but I sure wish Hillary had taken that up as her own policy when it came to Huma Abedin.

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  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @Mary Harris Jones:
    You don’t understand timing, strategy, concept of circumstances, concept of options, concept of opinion of those who vote in a governmental venue, politics, rules of the house, the senate, the constitution, do you?

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  56. 56
    Barbara says:

    @Mary Harris Jones: You know what that comment sounded like? It sounded like the whine of someone on a losing team that they totally would have won if only the ref had made the right calls. Nancy pantsed you and all you can do is whine that you are still the better team!

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    PJ says:

    @hells littlest angel: If she does end up as President, I hope she runs again for her congressional seat in 2020, because we’ll need her to keep things together for at least the first two years of the next administration – Republicans are not going to go gentle under that good bus.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @columbusqueen:

    I always tell everyone that Trump is the Seven Deadly Sins on steroids. And yet idiot evangelicals keep supporting him, the scum.

    Two peas in a pod?

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    PJ says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I just watched True Stories this week (now streaming on Criterion), which I believe was his first major film role, and he was great in it. As for his health, he’s a big man, and a big man’s gotta eat.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    Kelly says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I’d love to see John Goodman play King Lear.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Darkrose says:

    @Mary Harris Jones: Because she’s also Nancy “I Can Count to 220” Pelosi.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Ruckus: @burnspbesq: @Barbara: never seen this poster before. Troll or Wilmer Sis?

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    Ruckus says:

    @Kent:
    I’ve said that before, but I still doubt you got it from me. It’s a truism. Sooner or later the law of averages will do that. If he was a blind pig rooting in it’s pen it would still find food. But he’s not blind, well not in the traditional sense, he’s just so hateful, stupid, republican, (but I repeat myself) that he manages to be horribly bad every minute of every day.

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  64. 64
    Barbara says:

    @Steve in the ATL: No idea, but the lack of subtlety could be the result of inadequate Russian translation skills.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    Ruckus says:

    @Kent:

    Fuck them all.

    You are speaking figuratively – I hope……….

    You are right of course, I just read that and got to the end and my 12 yr old brain took over.

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  66. 66
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Pretty sure it’s “troll”. I read it, read it again, and decided not to feed it.

    A front pager could check the IP address for geolocation in St. Petersburg, but any decent troll farm is going to VPN to Houston, right?

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  67. 67
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I think trump’s core is all anyone ever sees. That’s his weakness and his strength.
    It’s his weakness because he’s such a horrible person.
    It’s his strength, because that’s what his party is always looking for, the most horrible person. They just like it better when they don’t say the shitty parts out loud. And some understand they are shitty ideas, but they are shitty ideas which gets them money and power and that they can sell to their followers. People talk about them having no morals, but they do have them, they are all just horrible morals.

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  68. 68
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ruckus: I think trump’s core is all anyone ever sees.

    he’s a hater, and people see that, and that’s what his followers like, he validates their hatred, and the fears and ignorance that fuel it, and convince them it’s not fear but righteousness, not ignorance but lucidity, he tells it like it is, common sense, everybody knows… What they don’t see is the rube, that he’s a mark for everyone from KJU to Putin to Erdogan. THere’s a trump ad that’s getting a lot of TV play, at least during NFL games (one of my rare non-streaming, non-MSNBC regular viewing). It’s a typical political ad with graphics about ‘jobs’ and ‘change’ and I think even ‘vision’, but at one point there’s an image of trump with the graphic “a tough guy”. It’s a bit discordant, and atypical, and I’d bet anything he insisted it go in there. And he’s right, that’s a huge part of his appeal. People buy into the loudmouth-at-the-end-of-the-bar boorishness as “tough”. They don’t see that KJU has been allowed to destabilize Asia because of letters addressed to “Your Excellency”. They think he’s billionaire so they don’t get how hamstrung he is (one way or another) by Putin and (again, I’d bet anything) Erdogan. The Saudis, the Emiratis, the Mercers, Adelson… and he probably doesn’t either.

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  69. 69
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    @Kelly:

    He has played a king Before:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Ralph

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  70. 70
    Another Scott says:

    @Mary Harris Jones: We’ve been through these “arguments” many times. You might want to review them.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    smintheus says:

    @Mary Harris Jones: You’re right, but the Pelosi cultists here will never acknowledge how badly she has painted the Democrats into a corner with her timid electoral calculations and her “he’s not worth it” garbage. Even worse, she’s insisting on keeping us in that bind by trying to prevent the impeachment inquiry from going beyond Trump’s Ukraine crimes. The ‘issue’ she wants to avoid is that all of Trump’s earlier crimes were as impeachable then as they are now.

    https://theweek.com/articles/867585/impeachment-isnt-meant-win-votes

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  72. 72
    Kelly says:

    @JoeyJoeJoe: I haven’t seen that. It looks hilarious.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Ruckus says:

    @Elizabelle:
    I applaud Nancy Pelosi. Standing. Till my hands bleed.
    If she gets this done, she deserves to retire if she wants to. We have asked her for a lot, and she’s delivered. Not always in the next 5 seconds as many are only capable of thinking but in the long term. Not everything can function properly at warp speed. Minds have to be won over, points made, egos stroked or suppressed, toddlers disciplined. But there comes a time in everyone’s life that enough is enough. We have 300+ million people in this country, surely there is more than one person who could fill her shoes, even if not fill them exactly as she does. In my mind that is also part of the problem we face, that it’s the same people, over and over running the place. The Bush family, the Kennedys, the Romneys, the wealthy. 300+ million and we can only find 537 people and their decedents to run the place? Not all of us are smart people but surly enough of us are to allow the people to figure it out and get it done. Look at the current republican “leadership.” They are all old farts or sycophants. They don’t want to run the place, they want to destroy it so that they can steal everything not tied down and most of what is they want to charge everyone to use and put that in their pockets. They don’t want government because government can stop them from the theft of what they think is rightly theirs. It isn’t. It’s ours, all of ours. It’s ours to protect, to fix, to run, to share, and yes to pay for.

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  74. 74
    Ruckus says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Don’t care. Doesn’t matter.
    Writes like a moron either way, head up ass, too much shit in eyes to see what’s actually happening, so blindly lashes out at things for which a lack of understanding is obvious.

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  75. 75
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @smintheus: is your real name Neil Young? Cause that’s just a much longer version of the blatherskyte you’ve been posting.

    Is The Week like Medium, just an open forum for cranks?

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  76. 76
    Another Scott says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Barr’s just riffing off all American groups like the Southern Baptist Convention that constructed their “religion” on a foundation of oppression, discrimination, and ignoring the tenants of what they claim to profess.

    Our relationship to African-Americans has been hindered from the beginning by the role that slavery played in the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention; many of our Southern Baptist forbears defended the right to own slaves, and either participated in, supported, or acquiesced in the particularly inhumane nature of American slavery; and in later years Southern Baptists failed, in many cases, to support, and in some cases opposed, legitimate initiatives to secure the civil rights of African-Americans.

    And too many wealthy families in the northeast made their fortunes on investments related to cotton and rum and sugar plantations and the opium trade.

    The elites in the USA have a bad history, no matter what part of the country they’re from.

    “The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done.” – Balzac

    “Don’t watch what they say, watch what they do…”

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  77. 77
    Matt says:

    Oh man, one more harshly-worded tweet like that and Trump won’t have any choice but to resign!

    Ten fucking months and all we’ve gotten so far is a handful of subpoenas that the WH has already decided to ignore.

    My bet is that Pelosi et al try to run the clock out so they can lose again in 2020 and avoid having to actually take any sort of stand. Then they’ll fire the “OMG TROMP MUST BE STOPPPPPPED!!!!!!onE!!!!!” fundraising machines and go right back to grifting.

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  78. 78
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Steve in the ATL: it’s a great show

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  79. 79
    PJ says:

    @smintheus: You’ve made your argument many times before, but you always omit the part about impeachment being a political process, not a criminal one. Trump has committed crimes out the yin-yang, before and after becoming President. If he were to be tried for all of them, that trial would probably take at least six months to a year. The point of impeachment is to get the subject removed from office. It is not about crying out for justice, it is about persuading the public, which is largely ill-informed or misinformed about politics, and through them their representatives, who will actually vote on it, that removing the President, an act not to be taken lightly, is absolutely necessary to save the country.

    To do that, the Speaker has to make sure that there are sufficient Democratic votes to impeach, which didn’t happen until the whistleblower came forward and the Ukraine affair broke – it would be just an embarrassment and a clear victory for Trump if she pressed for impeachment and not even the Democrats would support it. House investigations had begun long before that, and are continuing on matters unrelated to Ukraine, and may eventually lead to them being added to the articles of impeachment. At the same time, as you may have read yesterday, there are numerous court cases trying to get the documents and testimony that the Executive Branch and Trump refuse to provide – this also takes time. The case for impeachment has to be as strong as possible, with as much hard evidence as possible put before the public, so that when it goes up to the Senate, there will be enough public support for removing the President from red states that Republican Senators believe it will damage their chances of re-election if they acquit Trump. The public is not there yet – it will take time. The media is not the friend of democracy in getting information before the public because they always want to frame it as “both sides”, and this is a handicap that has to be overcome with overwhelming, convincing evidence, but it is happening.

    Getting rid of Trump was never going to happen overnight, but so far Pelosi has played all of the right cards to get there.

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  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I think you are right, and are actually agreeing with me. People see in politicians and actors, the things they want to see. We see trump as all horrible, all the time. What do his followers see? I’d bet the same thing, which is what your loudmouth ass at the end of the bar is. That’s who he is, as well as the rube. Is the loudmouth ass at the end of the bar more than a rube as well? Most I’ve ever seen, I’d say no they are not more than rubes. Stronger rubes but rubes none the less. And he’s less than the loudmouth because while he can stand behind a podium and shout hate, he can only do this when he’s in a position of power. A billionaire, or a candidate for president, or president. Cheating isn’t an issue for him, he’s been doing that for all of his life. Notice that he never champions how much he’s worth anymore? He’s in hock at least up to his eyeballs, probably way over that, because he’s sold that shriveled up micron of a soul for the admiration of haters. And he didn’t know or understand it but also sold it for the position of god/king, what he’s always been in his mind. He’s a toady for people far more powerful than his mind allows him to personally be and he’s now capable of making people suffer because he sold that micron of a soul for the adulation of his fellow losers.

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  81. 81
    NotMax says:

    @Another Scott
    <blockquote<ignoring the tenants

    tenets

    (What’s a day on B-J without a smidgen of pedantry?)

    @Matt

    Sympathies on being so dreadfully overdrawn at the First National Bank of Tommyrot.

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  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @smintheus:

    It’s true that impeachment is a political process, and House Democrats, including Pelosi, are right to weigh impeachment prospects against the political damages it may cause their party.

    From your link. You and Mr Young would have made the call sooner. Okay. The call has now been made. Ultimately, it is irrelevant if Pelosi is making a virtue of necessity.

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  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Matt: Aux barricades!

    ETA: We can either use the institutional processes that we have or we can have a revolution.

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  84. 84
    Barbara says:

    @smintheus: You and those like you are the kind of people who are determined to snatch defeat from even the possibility of victory because the most important thing in your universe is to be right, not to win.

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  85. 85
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Matt:

    Oh man, one more harshly-worded tweet like that and Trump won’t have any choice but to resign!
    Ten fucking months and all we’ve gotten so far is a handful of subpoenas that the WH has already decided to ignore.

    What do you think the Dem leadership could/should have done differently? Be specific, and use our actual system, no platinum coins or Marshalls of The Speaker.

    @Barbara: Well put.

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  86. 86
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Chyron HR:

    You forgot “The DNC poisoned Messiah Bernie and assassinated his daughter-in-law.”

    And “Kamala is a cop” and “Warren was a Republican” and “Biden should have more control over his adult son” and “Pelosi is a proud capitalist” (only deployed in certain circles) and etc. (And some others that haven’t been actively injected into the discourse yet.)

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kelly: or Falstaff. Seriously, he’d be great as either.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    Miss Bianca says:

    @smintheus: why don’t ypu two get a room? That way you can get your Pelosi-hate mutual f(r)appage on and the rest of us don’t have to hear it or see it.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    Another Scott says:

    @NotMax: D’Oh!

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    pluky says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Really needs a rakishly tilted cigarette and a low ball of scotch on the rocks as delivery props. Especially if delivered in the voice of Dorothy Parker.

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  91. 91
    J R in WV says:

    @PJ:

    smintheus is a real troll, in that they care not about facts, nor possibilities, nor reality at all. Just want to put down people working harder for the Democratic party than smintheus ever worked for anything.

    The pie filter doesn’t really do me much good when I use it; I’m too curious about what BS is being pedaled by the troll, I always click on the translate bug to see what’s up next. And then the Jackals responding with flames are interesting too.

    I’ll be interested to see what the new pie filter is like, I hear it will have degrees of pie filtering instead of just on or off. Cool beans!

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  92. 92
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @J R in WV: I don’t think Smintheus is a troll in the sense he posts stuff in bad fatih to stir up shit, I just think he’s become a histrionic nitwit. It was never my sense of the nym I believe I’ve been seeing around the tubes for years, but trump’s election changed a lot of people.

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  93. 93
    Mary Ellen Sandahl says:

    @PJ:

    Republicans are not going to go gentle under that good bus.

    Very nice! It’s right up there with “afraid they’ll be under the Tweet of Damocles” which I heard an unexpected sort of fywar (think he was former-State Dept) say about timid repubs this morning on one of the MSNBC shows.

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  94. 94
    Mary Ellen Sandahl says:

    @Mary Ellen Sandahl:The word “fywar”, while rather handsome, was supposed to be “guest”. One good technique for inventing names for S-F characters is to move your fingers one key over on the keyboard and type, oh, the first few lines of the Declaration of Independence or something.

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  95. 95
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “Smintheus’ is one of Apollo’s cult titles, has something to do with mice, and appears in the Iliad.

    He’s a learned troll, if he’s a troll at all, and has been on the boards for a decade or more.

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  96. 96
    smintheus says:

    @PJ: “He’s just not worth it.” That was Pelosi’s position until her hand was forced. Pretending that this was her plan all along is absurd, and makes the lot of you look like cultists. Yes it takes time to build a case for impeachment; that’s why you start an impeachment investigation when you have evidence of impeachable offenses. No, the haphazard and small bore hearings that preceded the Ukraine revelations were not an impeachment investigation and they had no direction, no focus, no impetus, and no urgency from Pelosi. “He’s just not worth it” paints Democrats into a corner – if they talk about the full array of Trump’s crimes, as they really must, then they’re easily accused of making a mountain out of what Pelosi already said was a molehill.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Also from my link:

    Reportedly, Pelosi has resisted earlier entreaties to initiate impeachment proceedings because she didn’t want to jeopardize moderate Democrats’ election prospects in swing districts. But what is the point of retaining a majority if that majority doesn’t want to do anything about a president shredding the Constitution right before them? Americans have rightly chastised spineless Republicans like senators Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse for their tepid protestations about some of the president’s actions while doing nothing to stop them. Surely Democrats putting their political prospects ahead of Constitutional principles is just as condemnable as Republicans doing the same?

    […]

    With that duty in mind, House Democrats ought to keep the scope of their inquiry as wide as possible, hammering the president on all his failings. On Wednesday afternoon, Pelosi told Democrats she wanted their impeachment inquiry narrowly focused on Trump’s phone calls with Ukraine, yet another disappointing reminder of the speaker’s excessive cautiousness.

    It is also a failure of opportunity. As has often been pointed out, impeachment is not a criminal trial where prosecutors construct an air-tight case against the defendant. Instead, it is a sort of political theater, one best served, especially with a president as corrupt as this one, by overwhelming the proceedings — and, thereby, the national conversation — with the full range of Trump’s illegal and unpatriotic activities.

    @Barbara:

    you are the kind of people who are determined to snatch defeat from even the possibility of victory

    Curious that you’re unaware that you are describing Pelosi’s “He’s just not worth it” strategy of pre-emptive political surrender up until her own caucus forced her to reverse course.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: No, no, it’s widely agreed at BJ that any criticism at all of Pelosi at Pelosi-cult-HQ is by definition trolling. No need to stoop to name calling or faux psychoanalysis when you can just write off somebody with a non-approved viewpoint as a troll.

    That is what you folks have become, and you remind me of Trump cultists: every screw up was planned, every reversal of direction is actually steady as she goes, every cringeworthy act of cowardice is really just your own ignorance blinding you to the Great Leader’s indisputable and ineffable brilliance.

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  97. 97
    Another Scott says:

    @smintheus: You seem to be fighting a “battle” that ended weeks ago (Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry speech was Tuesday September 24). Why is that?

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  98. 98
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Another Scott: Thank you! I was puzzled by that myself but I now think that Barbara is on to something. Being right always versus winning (and ignoring the current reality in the process). I guess it’s much easier and much more satisfying to be “right” on a blog than to face the reality that impeachment is going to be a long hard slog with Republicans who fight back and fight dirty. Eyes on the ball people.

    By the way, I loved Pelosi’s response to Jacob Wohl and the other moron’s announcement that they would reveal her “long time drug dealer” Monday. She brought up her “dealers” – Ben and Jerry, Grandmother See, etc. It was a thing of beauty that had me laughing for five minutes straight. She is very good at what she does.

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  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @smintheus:

    No, no, it’s widely agreed at BJ that any criticism at all of Pelosi at Pelosi-cult-HQ is by definition trolling.

    Actually, it’s the fact that you got what you claimed you wanted and yet you’re still bitching about it that makes you a troll.

    My sister in law once ruined Christmas because the family brought her a vanilla shake when she wanted a caramel one, so she threw a tantrum even though she had told them that she didn’t care what flavor they got for her.

    She was 40 years old at the time.

    That’s you. You got the thing that you claimed you wanted, but it didn’t come at the exact time or using the exact language that you wanted, so now you’re throwing a tantrum at getting what you wanted.

    People are treating you like a crazy person who’s throwing a tantrum over getting the “wrong” shake because you’re acting like one.

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  100. 100
    smintheus says:

    No, what I wanted was an investigation of all of Trump’s impeachable offenses, starting as soon as practical, not an investigation of a single issue (Ukraine) delayed for as long as possible.

    Ironic that you Pelosi cultists (after insisting for months that any impeachment investigation would inevitably turn into a political fiasco, and praising Pelosi for wisely saving us from it) now keep insisting that an impeachment investigation was what she was aiming for all along. So according to that rewriting of history, presumably she and you got what you wanted … and yet you’re still bitching about those who were and are demanding a thorough impeachment process. Look in the mirror: you’re the ones throwing a tantrum because you got what you now claim you wanted.

    And talk about crazy; you’re the ones who act as if the rest of us don’t have any way to document what Pelosi was saying. And as if ‘the rest of us’ doesn’t include the Republicans in Congress who can turn Pelosi’s assinine obstructionism against Democratic impeachment efforts now: “Trump’s just not worth it” “impeachment is too divisive” “”only when it becomes bipartisan” I’m pretty sure they’re going to ask “What changed?” and I don’t think Pelosi has an answer.

    @Another Scott: You think the intra-party fight over how to proceed with impeachment ended? It really is shocking how willfully obtuse Democrats have become wrt the problems that Nancy Pelosi has and will continue to create for those who want to hold Trump fully accountable for his crimes. But rather than evaluate and respond to the points Pelosi’s critics make, it’s so much easier and more satisfying to paint them as trolls or bewildered or psychologically damaged. Cultists are going to cult.

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  101. 101
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    ronic that you Pelosi cultists (after insisting for months that any impeachment investigation would inevitably turn into a political fiasco,

    I don’t think I ever said that, much less “insisted” on it. (feel free to scroll through five months of threads to find a case where I did, and maybe I’ll find the time to read, and respond to, the rest of your whiny screed) I’ve been for impeachment for months, ever since the WH made clear they were going to ignore congressional subpoenas and encourage ex-employees of the federal gov’t to do the same. What I said at the time, and still believe, was that it was, and still is, impossible to predict what the politics of impeachment would, or will, be. I disagreed with Pelosi’s official stance, and I’ve said here at least fifty times I think she’s (usually) not a good public messenger, but I also– since I’m a great big grown-up person who’s been able to grasp the basic functioning of the US government at least as long I’ve been able to follow the deep political philosophy of a School House Rock video, which seems for all the learnedness DXM generously grants you beyond your intellectual capacity– I also understood there wasn’t much point in Pelosi calling for impeachment if 50 odd members of caucus were unwilling to follow.

    I’m pretty sure they’re going to ask “What changed?” and I don’t think Pelosi has an answer.

    Jesus, you stupid fucking child, are you really so insistently obtuse you can’t (won’t) see how the whistle blower and the subsequent confession of abuse of power by trump is ‘what changed’?

    TLDR: Assuming she’s still with us, go work out your mommy issues with your actual mommy. If she’s not: My condolences. I’m sure she loved you as best she could, and/or as best you allowed her.

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  102. 102
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: But then neither was Turkey!

    ReplyReply

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