Saturday, May 25, 2019

The case for impeachment

Another Republican has called for Trump's impeachment. Tom Coleman of MO may not be currently in office, but he is well-respected and he served his state for many years.
"I'm calling for impeachment now because the Mueller report is out, and in it (special counsel Robert Mueller) describes 10 obstruction of justice charges that he could not bring because of a Department of Justice rule and regulation that says you can't indict a sitting president -- that's (reason) number one," former Rep. Tom Coleman, who represented Missouri for nearly two decades, told CNN's Erin Burnett on "OutFront."

"Number two, I believe this is an illegitimate President because he welcomed help and influence from the Russians in his campaign," he said. "For example, his (campaign) chairman Paul Manafort met with a Russian intelligence asset in New York and shared with him their polling information and a strategy on how to win the Midwestern states."
Translation: YES on collusion and YES on obstruction.

Pelosi or Biden should have someone make a sign. Maybe a poster: "YES collusion! YES obstruction! Read the actual report for yourself." (URL at the bottom.) Of course, most people won't read it, because most people would rather chew glass than read a hard book. But that's not the point. The point is that we have to hammer home one key fact: The Barr/Breitbart/Fox News summary of the Mueller Report is pure deception.

The current argument seems to be that impeachment will only make Trump stronger, and might well endanger the Democratic hold on the House. The inescapable reference goes to Bill Clinton, whose popularity went up after impeachment. Pelosi seems to think that Trump genuinely wants to be impeached, and that any such action in the House will only aid the president's grand scheme.

Here's one counterargument.
He does not have a sophisticated dastardly plot to do anything, or any other kind of plot. The man is not capable of sophistication, or any but the basest sensation-seeking dastardliness; it’s all he can do to get the fast food from its cardboard container to the appropriate face-hole. He is a big stupid idiot, is what I am saying, and he likes things that feel good and wants them right now and doesn’t like things that don’t feel good and doesn’t want them ever, and that is the extent of him.

Donald Trump has been portraying himself, accurately, as a degenerate, penny-ante dullard for his entire life. When he opens his mouth, when he talks about himself: “I am a degenerate, penny-ante dullard” is the only thing he can say. When he insists he is actually a tremendously smart man, he is saying “I’m a degenerate, penny-ante dullard.” When he says Buy these fabulous mail-order steaks, really truly high-class steaks, many people, fabulous, do we love them, you hear them saying Trump—big guys, tough, they’re saying—you know, Trump, does he have the best steaks or what, he is saying “I’m a degenerate, penny-ante dullard.” When he makes business decisions, when he makes dinner orders, when he attempts to stand up as normal humans do, when he combs his hair: he has made of himself and of his life a monument to the smallness of his perspective and intellect and character. Because he is a soft, breathless, foam-boned inheritance baby with a brain like a wet saltine cracker, because he has been crippled and made monstrous by money and endless permission and therefore cannot conceive of there being any truth or morality beyond what he wants right now, he never knows that this is what he’s doing and also never will. That’s exactly why it’s the only thing he has ever done.

None of this is a part of some scheme. There is never a scheme. He is not sandbagging. He is not playing four-dimensional chess. Donald Trump is not capable of four-dimensional chess.
I apologize for such a lengthy quotation, but I really enjoyed this piece of writing.

Here's my counter-counterargument: I don't consider Trump to be that stupid; he's no intellectual, but he has a rat's survival instinct, and his co-schemers are downright devious. William Barr is now Trump's "hand" (if I may indulge in GOT-speak), and Barr is definitely not a dummy. Trump may genuinely believe that he can replicate the trick that Clinton pulled off.

Perhaps he can. That possibility exists. But I don't think he can do it.

It all comes down to lovability. Deep down, most of us liked Bill Clinton. Pure charm was his all-conquering weapon. Trump is not charming; most of the country detests him.

Perhaps the biggest strategic error made by the Republicans occurred when they insisted on putting Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony on teevee. The GOP thought that Clinton would be humiliated and demolished; instead, we were all reminded of why we liked the guy. More importantly, everyone in the viewing audience asked the same question: "Where's Whitewater?"

For years, the Republicans had insisted that Bill Clinton was a Blofeld-esque supervillain, the mastermind of a million Machiaviellian complots. But after Ken Starr was given free reign to look into every nook and cranny of the man's life, the Republicans finally revealed that they had nothing -- nothing of significance, nothing that resembled the oft-promised litany of horrors. All they had were a few instances of extra-marital fellatio from an infatuated intern, a hilariously human sin which most Americans filed under "Nunna my business."

In short: The Republicans had wildly over-promised. Instead of Blofeld, we got a blowjob.

That's not what's happening here. In fact, what's happening here is the exact opposite.

The Trumpists have mounted a propaganda campaign designed to convince the public that Mueller exonerated Trump. The actual report says no such thing, but the public doesn't know that because -- as Allen Dulles once put it -- "Nobody reads." (Did Roger Stone quote Dulles while offering behind-the-scenes advice to Trump? I wouldn't be surprised.) I don't know what tool will get the truth about the Mueller Report into the American noggin, but that tool almost certainly will be audio-visual.

Impeachment hearings will provide the audio and the visual.

(Mueller's own testimony could accomplish the same trick. I don't understand Mueller's motive in avoiding giving that testimony in public.)

Trump may think that his numbers will see a post-impeachment elevation, but I doubt that he will be so fortunate. Trump is not Clinton, and Russiagate is not Whitewater. Whitewater was bullshit; Trump's obstruction of justice is real and provable.

If the Democrats refuse to pursue impeachment, they will only empower the GOP's "No collusion, no obstruction" propaganda campaign. Pelosi may flatter herself with the belief that she is pursuing a grand strategic vision, but in this instance, she's wrong.

Strategic thinking is important, but strategic overthinking can be deadly. Sometimes, one has no choice but to point the sabre and shout "CHARGE!"
Manafort talked to a Russian, who told him how to beat Hillary Clinton in the MidWest, and therefore Trump should be impeached.

I'm sorry, but this is fall down funny and silly. The idea that Russian instructions equal treason should ONLY MATTER if they involved instruction on committing illegal acts.

The ONLY reason I am against impeachment--and removal--of Donald Trump lies in two words: Michael Pence. Pence is the real deal, and it isn't just because he is religious right. He is literally owned by Charles Koch, the most evil man in America in my book. The Koch agenda would be implemented in earnest should the Democrats lose the House in 2020. Getting rid of Trump while keeping Pence in there would not benefit the country at all.

Would theft of emails constitute an illegal act? It most certainly does and Russia not only engaged in that theft, but it was for the benefit of Trump. Furthermore, Russia engaged in fake accounts generated for the sole purpose creating violence between groups in America. If encouraging that behavior is not treason, I don't know what is.
On the news that Meuller may not want to testify, I've heard of a caveat. I've heard that Mueller wants to make a public statement and then take questions in private because he doesn't his message to be distorted by a bunch of idiotic Republicans. If true, this thinking makes perfect and shows that Meuller is thinking ahead and not just caving to Trump. I hope this is the truth as our country is rapidly slipping away.
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