September 23, 2019

Impeaching Trump now = conceding the 2020 election.

That's my working theory. I don't know if the Democrats in Congress will go so far as to impeach Trump, but I tend to think that if they do, it will be because they think they're going to lose the election and they need another route toward defeating Trump.

Of course, if Trump is impeached by the Democrats who have a majority in the House, he will not be removed from office, because the Republicans control the Senate. We'll be subjected to a horrific blend of legal mystification and political advantage seeking.

So why would the Democrats predict that it will advantage them? My answer is: because they feel sure they're losing the actual election, the straightforward political fight.

The timing is important. They could wait for the actual election, the normal process of American democracy, or — if they think that won't work — they can start delegitimatizing it now, while they think they have a decent shot at making us believe they're doing something righteous and noble. If they wait too long, the con will become more obvious.

Now, I'm going to read the Daniel W. Drezner column, "The strategic case for impeaching President Trump/Welcome to some zero-sum game theory" (WaPo), which I think may say something like what I wanted to jot down before being influenced:
Pelosi thinks that impeachment needs to be a bipartisan process, and without GOP support impeachment is a hollow threat that would harm Democrats in 2020....
So, as long the Democrats think they can win the actual election, they shouldn't hurt their chances by going for impeachment.
For most of 2019, Pelosi had put the brakes on impeachment. The Ukraine business seems to have tipped the scales, however.... The problem is that Pelosi’s risk-averse political calculus at the start of 2019 has not necessarily changed. Very few Senate Republicans beyond Mitt Romney have said anything about the recent revelations. It is entirely possible that impeachment will be viewed as simply an exercise in partisan politics.
And it's entirely certain that impeachment will be viewed as partly an exercise in partisan politics. And 80% likely that it will be viewed as mostly an exercise in partisan politics.

Drezner offers game theory analysis:
In zero-sum games, one actor’s gain is always the other actor’s loss. The optimal strategy to pursue in this instance is called “minimax.” A minimax strategy anticipates that the other actor will adopt the most punishing strategy possible — and, in response to that strategy, takes the course of action that minimizes the damage....

It is safe to assume that Trump will continue to abuse the powers of the presidency as long as he is in office.... Would impeachment stop any of that? No, not directly. What it would do, however, is distract the heck out of him....  [H]e will obsess about it... He will rant to his... 
He's inept and dangerous, so let's make his job twice as hard. You know, we are dependent on him to do his job well. I have never accepted the effort to distract and confuse him, which has gone on since before he took office. And why don't people see that the endless screwing with him energizes him? He's very creative at repurposing negativity. He seems to revel in the fight. And to many Americans, that's exciting entertainment, and they feel they're cheering the underdog.
He loves a fight.
Yeah, I agree with that. But Drezner stops at thinking Trump will be distracted and imagines this will help the country because distracted Trump won't pay so much attention to doing his job as President.

That's how Drezner wants the Democrats to help?! First, that's a disgusting approach to running the country, and it's utter disrespect for the people who used their normal democratic power of voting him into office. And second, the Democrats will be distracting themselves from what they really need to be doing — winning the 2020 election.

Which is why my working theory makes more sense. The Democrats would be deciding that they won't win the 2020 election — an affront to democracy.

I'm sticking to my theory, which — it turned out — isn't anything like what Drezner had to say.

168 comments:

Vance said...

I'm sure Trump is begging the Democrats to not throw him into that briar patch of Impeachment.

What, precisely, would the Democrats impeach him for? Asking Ukraine to enforce the laws against corruption? I mean, I can see where Democrats would be horrified at the very idea of arresting corrupt politicians, but the regular people? Gonna be a hard sell: "We are impeaching Trump because he wanted to arrest a few corrupt politicians! How dare he!"

Bay Area Guy said...

Before you impeach a President (Johnson, Nixon (with an asterisk), Clinton), it's important to identify the High Crimes and Misdemeanors that the opposition party believes the President has committed.

Well, what are they?

If you think this anonymous whistleblower re Ukraine has magically unearthed an impeachable offense, allow me to quote Vice President Joe Biden:

"You're not getting the billion. I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money,'" - Joe Biden, 2018

The Dem Party is a joke. Jerold Nadler is a joke. Adam Shiff is a joke. Their media mouthpieces are a joke. If you vote Democrat, well, then you own the farce, too.

chuck said...

> It is safe to assume that Trump will continue to abuse the powers of the presidency as long as he is in office


Drezner has been delusional ever since he left Chicago and landed at Tufts. I don't thank you for advertising his continuing dysfunction. Poor Massachusetts, condemned to everlasting insanity by its surplus of universities.

James K said...

It's the "Hail Mary" play. When you're going to lose, the high-risk option is the best you can do.

rhhardin said...

My theory is that the media is running things and the democrats are free-riding. Clicks is the goal, and that's not zero sum.

At bottom, by way of clicks, the audience taste for entertainment is driving it.

And at bottom that's soap opera women, the people the dems reach by free-riding, and they vote.

Every political calculation winds up as what will women think.

Narr said...

Just the Dims being too-clever-by-half. Again. It's how they got themselves into this mess in the first place . . .

Narr
"American democracy may not be the best form of government, but it is the most entertaining."

rhhardin said...

Clicks for chicks.

Doug said...

Impeachment would cost the dems seats in the House and perhaps in the Senate. Why would they do that?

Dave Begley said...

I agree with Ann, but I think it will become rapidly clear that his whole Ukraine thing is a complete fraud. Ergo, the Dems will be exposed as trying to do anything to get rid of Trump and they know they can't beat him at the ballot box.

Biden is finished. I'm still sticking with a brokered convention with Crooked Hillary as the nominee.

And on the whistleblower, a whole group of Americans listened in on that call to the Ukrainian president taking notes. That's the normal procedure. How come they didn't raise an alarm? Answer: They aren't Deep State partisan hacks.

rhhardin said...

Trump is supplying entertainment for the rest of the audience, by baffling the media play for soap opera women.

I don't think he makes any inroads into the soap opera women audience, however.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Begley,

"Biden is finished. I'm still sticking with a brokered convention with Crooked Hillary as the nominee."

Drago has predicted the same, but with Michelle Obama as the knight on the horse to rescue them.

If either of you two are right, we will be forced to bow to you for extraordinary political acumen.

Darrell said...

Dems can't win without cheating. Occasionally, they don't cheat enough, though. The Democratic Party should be decertified. Their "No USA At All" platform should be sufficient for that.

Ken B said...

Your theory is a good one. I think one point is missing though. The left lust to display their contempt for voters and deplorables. That is a key motivator for much of the party although probably not for Pelosi.

narciso said...

well he's kind of like victor neumann, the wiley ceo at the heart of the young and the restless, (they've declared him dead, but he'll get better)

Ken B said...

People predict a brokered convention every time. When was the last one?
Your nomination process sucks, the back room boys were better, but it impossible to challenge.

chuck said...

> Impeachment would cost the dems seats in the House and perhaps in the Senate. Why would they do that?

I'm convinced that they think there is a majority of rabid lefty Trump haters out there. They aren't so much crazy as misinformed, they probably read the NY Times and WaPo for information instead of laughs. If you lived in that world you would be nuts too.

Earnest Prole said...

I read a decent bit of left-wing commentary, and their general, ludicrous assumption is that Trump will lose the 2020 election 60-40 because that's where his favorability hovers. For them impeachment is a moral, not a strategic, imperative. So I think your theory is interesting but incorrect.

Phidippus said...

I tend to agree with AA's analysis. The Dems are desperate, thrashing, nothing has worked, their potential candidates are awful, unelectable. Nancy Pelosi is the voice of sanity. Think about that for a minute. Nancy Pelosi.

Contra the author of the article, Trump is not inept--he is all too competent--and dangerous as hell to our lefty government would-be masters. He has the support of the working class--a hefty majority of them, I'd bet--and the big government tax-eaters know it and what it means for them and their agenda.

Interesting how these folks so frequently beg the question of exactly what Trump has done to "abuse the powers of the Presidency" during his term. It would be nice to know what (if anything) they think those things were.

But they won't, because the inevitable comparisons to the stunts The Lightworker pulled will not make any of them look good.

This is a lot of fun to watch, but it would be more fun if I didn't live in the United States.

Yancey Ward said...

We have a model for how a partisan impeachment will work out 1998. In 1998, the House Republicans began impeachment proceedings in early October with no support from the Democrats in the House or the Senate. The voters made it abundantly clear in the following election that the impeachment was not a supported action by giving the Democrats a five seat gain in the House, and a stalemate in the Senate elections. That should have been a clue to the Republican House to abandon the impeachment, but they didn't. If Clinton had been up for reelection in 2000, I think it pretty clear he would have won handily.

Pelosi isn't stupid- she knows impeachment isn't going anywhere, and will only redound to Trump's benefit. Even worse, though, is that the Senate trial will be the perfect excuse for declassifying everything regarding Crossfire Hurricane, including all the e-mails and texts from the various players in the CIA, FBI, and DoJ during 2016. As of right now, the Democrats have pushed back on the declassification by claiming Trump is endangering secrets, but that argument no longer holds if you try to impeach him- he has a right to mount a defense, even if one isn't needed to get acquitted in the Senate. I think the main reason Trump hasn't pulled the trigger on a massive declassification is that he is holding it in reserve in case the Democrats do impeach.

Bay Area Guy said...

Drezner casually writes:

It is safe to assume that Trump will continue to abuse the powers of the presidency as long as he is in office..

In addition to my one high school journalism class, I also took a class on epistemology, where the teacher taught us about "logical fallacies".

So, when Drezner writes that Trump "will continue to abuse the powers of the presidency.." I'm pretty sure he has committed 2 fallacies:

1. Argument by assertion (what specific powers will he abuse?)

2. Faulty premise (what specific powers has he abused in the past?). This is kinda like, "have you stopped beating your wife?" -- Mr. President, have you stopped abusing your powers?

What do I win for this incisive logical analysis from high school?

JAORE said...

Transparency is VITAL. Much has been speculated. Much has been alleged. Not many facts. The whistle blower, reportedly was not even present for the call. But still ALLEGATIONS, SPECULATION, SCENARIOS, "if true"!

The answer is obvious, release the transcripts.

But let's start with every call Obama made or received from foreign sources. Throw in the same for his Sec. of State, ol What's Her Name. Joe Biden? Sure even more critical.

After we digest these for a month or two, unseal the Trump transcript, because TRANSPARENCY!

traditionalguy said...

IMO this theory relies upon rational analysis that the Dems and Friends are planning something. While in the real world the sky is falling on a totally corrupt rigged system of selling the USA out for tons of cash that has been running DC for 30 years . ANYTHING that grabs the news cycle right now and accuses Trump of what the Deep States has been doing is a necessary red alert Emergency response. So the Dems and Friends are going Banzai charge .

AllenS said...

Michelle Obama? I consider that woman to be dumber than a box of rocks. I'll bet she is aware of her limitations.

Francisco D said...

Impeachment talk serves to keep the loony Left base happy and the money rolling in. It also gives the MSM something to flog for eyeballs. That's all it is: talk.

Follow the money.

J2 said...



Kerry - reports for duty.

Michael K said...

And on the whistleblower, a whole group of Americans listened in on that call to the Ukrainian president taking notes. That's the normal procedure. How come they didn't raise an alarm? Answer: They aren't Deep State partisan hacks.

The "whistleblower" has now admitted he did not hear the call. The alleged IG who has spread the story is a hack who is up to his ears in the FISA abuse scandal.

To get a taste of what supposed informed Democrats are thinking, I offer this editorial piece from Tucson's newspaper today.

Aware that a political disaster may be in their future, House Republicans seemingly lose another member to retirement every week.

The case of Boris Johnson reminds us that power can vanish overnight in democracies. Unlike the British, who have no written Constitution and are condemned to deal with the Brexit mess by searching for precedents, the U.S. Constitution offers two options to remove a leader from office: impeachment and the 25th Amendment.


Remember Tucson is a college town in a red state. The delusions are informed delusions.

JAORE said...

"What do I win for this incisive logical analysis from high school?"

Nothing, BA Guy. You are not playing fair against lefty officials and the press when you use logic. And that humble brag about high school level, for shame, you will embarrass them to no end.

narciso said...

but before you dismiss it entirely you see what happened with Netanyahu, this week, first add some targeted lawfare, some spate of terror attacks, a disloyal moldavian boxer, the world and much of the domestic press, a hatred for a certain orthodox minority, the haredi, then you add a treacherous gate keeper in Rivlin, and the switch with the arab parties,

CWJ said...

There's much to be said for Althouse's hypothesis. After months of trying to evict the US Marine's from Guadalcanal, the Japanese acknowledged that the task was impossible with the methods used to date. So what did they do? A banzai charge. Completely ineffective, but culturally satisfying. I simplify the situation for the sake of analogy, but impeachment is the deranged left's banzai charge. An acknowledgement of failure.

Amadeus 48 said...

The greatest show on earth continues to thrill, surprise and amaze. Watch Trump,the ringmaster of this three ring (legislative, judicial, and executive) circus, defy the jungle beasts of the congress, defeat the swarming heathen of the press, and rescue the maiden Columbia from the maw and paws of the ravening denizens of the Deep State.

Hubba, hubba, right this way! If Trump survives the matinee, there will be another show at 8:00 pm. Get your tickets here. He fights through ambushes, witch-hunts, betrayals, the lust of beautiful temptresses, the revenge of dispossessed potentates! Right this way! Children not admitted out of concern for the nightmares on display!

He is making America Great Again. Will the forces of darkness stop him? Get your tickets Here. Only a few seats left!

Fernandistein said...

In zero-sum games, one actor’s gain is always the other actor’s loss. The optimal strategy to pursue in this instance is called “minimax.”

False.

RBE said...

victor neumann dead? Oh no!

Yancey Ward said...

There will be no brokered convention for the Democrats because there won't be more than two candidates making the delegate cut off percentage (15%) after South Carolina. Every race after South Carolina will essentially be heads up race with the two candidates getting all the delegates between them. To get a brokered convention, you have to have at least 3 candidates getting better than 15% in every primary, and that just isn't going to happen- it has basically never happened in my lifetime past South Carolina's primary when it has come immediately after New Hampshire, and it rarely happens in New Hampshire. The way it pretty much works is that Iowa narrows the race down to three, and New Hampshire narrows it down to 2, and South Carolina/Nevada usually cements the lead of the eventual nominee.

gilbar said...

It is safe to assume that Trump will continue to abuse the powers of the presidency as long as he is in office....

Which allows ME to Say... Assumes Facts not in Evidence

Nonapod said...

That's my working theory. I don't know if the Democrats in Congress will go so far as to impeach Trump, but I tend to think that if they do, it will be because they think they're going to lose the election and they need another route toward defeating Trump.

That may be so. But from the outside looking in it certainly seems like an act of desperation.

The Democrats can go for impeachment all they want but it won't make a lick of difference until they're able to convince a fair number of Republicans. And so far this "Ukraine Business" isn't doing the trick, not even close. In fact it's likely having the opposite effect, making the Dems look like they're desperately grasping at staws and bringing Biden's highly questionable activities to the fore. I just don't see how any of this hekps them.

narciso said...

he's not, but it's sweeps month,

Michael said...

Even people who dislike Trump will see dirty pool in trying to impeach somebody as they're running in the New Hampshire primary. It's like the absurd idea of removing him from the ballot in California as a sitting president.

The voters get their choice in 2020; Democrats should make a positive case against him, not try to invalidate the voters' choice. That's the kind of thing Trump supporters were voting against in the first place.

Mike Sylwester said...

Democracy Dies in Darkness!

narciso said...

meanwhile, the deep state surfaces,


https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/1176171407912255488

Fernandistein said...

False. Maybe not.

Sebastian said...

"First, that's a disgusting approach to running the country, and it's utter disrespect for the people who used their normal democratic power of voting him into office."

And Drezner is not the looniest of the loony left.

Anyway, I'm pleased that Althouse is not entirely neutral and still capable of of expressing disgust and taking offense at disrespect. Now, if one side is disgustingly disrespectful and the other side simply fights back, then it stands to reason that --.

stevew said...

The Democrats continue to underestimate Trump, his supporters, and even the folks that would normally be on the Democrat's side. My understanding of these political games is quite light and unsophisticated, so I have to rely on our host and you more knowledgeable commenters to help me understand the sausage making of it all.

The thing that strikes me as most interesting is the notion that all these attacks that turn out to be false are having the effect of making Trump a sympathetic character. They drive up his support. Early on his calling this a witch hunt or fake news or whatever was suspicious, but as that has been proven over and over again to be true their new accusations become less credible.

Then Dreher refers to "continued lawlessness of this President" as if it is a foregone conclusion and absolutely true. But I need a list of his lawless actions because none of those previously asserted have turned out to be true.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that they believe, beyond doubt, that they will lose the 2020 election to Trump, so impeachment is a way to continue to rake in contributions from the the base, and, possibly, improve their chances of holding the House and gaining seats in the Senate.

MikeR said...

Given the current polls, no Democrat in his right mind would concede the election.

narciso said...

Techno fog, also notes there are motions against the convictions of Flynn's business partner rafekian,

Jim at said...

So it's the House Democrat's version of the Wisconsin recall election?

Yeah. You go with that.

Michael said...

" all these attacks that turn out to be false are having the effect of making Trump a sympathetic character. They drive up his support."

Agree completely. Impeach Trump over Ukraine immediately followed on the heels of Impeach Kavanaugh blowing up. Sane people just look at that and go, oh shut up.

Mr Wibble said...

This isn't about stopping Trump. For the past two and a half years progressives have been unable to come to terms with the idea that they are not the majority in this country and that they were denied the power that they believe is their right. The twits in handmaid costumes, the antifa thugs smashing up cars in Portland, the never-ending exclamations about how they are going to #resist, the innumerable Harry Potter references... they're all group therapy on a national level. They'll impeach because they can, because it feeds their egos to do so, even if it harms the party. That's why Pelosi is trying to prevent it: she and the rest of the leadership understand that their positions are precarious. If the Dems go back into the minority, then she's likely gone, and a lot of money dries up, and that's likely to happen if voters continue to see one half of the country engaged in a temper-tantrum.


readering said...

Less focus on game theory and more focus on why he needs to go.

narciso said...

I pointed out in the other thread, how hunter's business partner, on the china deal, went to prison well 'time out' for selling nuclear secrets to china, the us took note and tightened the restrictions on said technology,

gilbar said...

Dr K says that the Tucson paper (not him) said...
two options to remove a leader from office: impeachment and the 25th Amendment


Does Any one Ever READ the Constitution?
It takes a Majority in the House, And 2/3rds in the Senate to remove with impeachment
IF you try to use the 25th, And the President contests it; what happens?

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

See? To sustain a removal of The President by the 25th; BOTH HOUSES need a 2/3rds vote. It's MUCH harder to remove with the 25th, than through regular impeachment.

Ice Nine said...

>""He's inept and dangerous,"<<

Can't tell if that is meant to be Althouse's voice or Althouse assuming Drezner's. Whichever, it compels me to ask: Provide objective evidence of either claim, please.

Drago said...

Doug: "Impeachment would cost the dems seats in the House and perhaps in the Senate. Why would they do that?"

Wibble: "They'll impeach because they can, because it feeds their egos to do so, even if it harms the party. That's why Pelosi is trying to prevent it: she and the rest of the leadership understand that their positions are precarious."

I'll add two other points that must be kept in mind when discussing potential dem actions regarding impeachment:

1) ALL the key dem/left funders are screaming for impeachment and threatening to withhold funds if they dont get it

2) Key senior members of the dem party in congress face aggressive primary attacks from even further left insane candidates and the AOC model has these senior dems running scared.

Who amongst us doesn't think that Nadler wouldn't launch an impeachment vote in his committee if he believed that was the only way to win reelection? What else is that little troll-toad going to do if he's not in office?

And who amongst us believes Pelosi would have the power/gumption/wherewithal to actually try and stop an impeachment train after it begins to leave the station?

And if all the key players believe the dems are going to be toast anyway, then why not just go for the big bucks, stave off attacks from the even further left and then, with all the additional republican retirements, simply assume the dems can weather the storm and still retain their House majority.

More cash and retention of power. That's got to look good from a senior dem perspective.

Skylark said...

"more focus on why he needs to go.”

An actual reason better than “Because we want to be president” would be a good start.

As for all of these “charges” that were not problems at all when Obama or Hillary did them? Good luck getting bi partisan support for impeachment over stuff Democrats have done right out in the open, like getting caugh proposing collusion to Putin on a hot mic, or paying Russian spies for dirt on their opponents.

Or giving lists of people to the new Ukrainian prosecutor you had put in place that were not to be prosecuted, stuff lke that that Democrats clearly did.

Mike Sylwester said...

Keep in mind that the smartest people in the USA all are Democrats. These super-smart people use sophisticated game-theory analysis and optimal minimax political strategies.

In comparison, practically all Republicans are dopes with only primitive, superficial understanding of politics.

-----

I wonder if Democrat Vice President Joe Biden was using game-theory and optimal minimax political strategy when he ordered the Ukrainian Government to fire that troublesome prosecutor.

If so, then us dopes should not question Biden's actions, which are beyond our pedestrian understanding of international politics.

narciso said...

no 'its over a hundred years old' and 1619, 'the question is moot'

Skylark said...

>""He's inept and dangerous,"<<

It seems pretty ‘ept’ to me. He seems to be doing a great job. It’s. like a win in the NFL, “there are no style points.”

chuck said...

> Remember Tucson is a college town in a red state. The delusions are informed delusions.

Yep. I think one of the reasons that there are so many Democrat candidates is the conviction that beating Trump will be easy, that anyone could do it, that it a once in a lifetime opportunity.

YoungHegelian said...

The Ukraine business seems to have tipped the scales, however.

Uhhhmmm, what?!

Is this the latest in "Oh, this'll do in Trump fer shure", VOL CCXII?

The "Ukraine business" is more likely to do in Biden as it is Trump.

It saddens me to read this article because I've read Drezner for years, and I honestly thought better of him than this. I guess he, too, was starting to get cut from the bestest parties with the kewl kidz, so he thought it was time to grovel at the shrine of TDS.

Skylark said...

He is dangerous because he is opening that can of Democratic worms that is the Ukraine.

Drago said...

Funniest aspect of all of this is Romney still believes, amazingly enough, that if he hangs tough and helps the dems/left/LLR-left/deep state get rid of Trump he will, by virtue of his status as our last previous republican standard-bearer, gain the right to go the Gerry Ford route and get appointed to the Presidency!

And don't think for a minute that the dems/left/LLR-left don't have plans in place to get rid of Pence the very second that Trump would be removed.

I truly believe the dems/left/LLR-left are literally that delusional.

Skylark said...

"I've read Drezner for years, and I honestly thought better of him than this.”

They are all mixed up in the business of cashing in on US foreign policy. Trump is an existential threat to their little sideline of influence auctions.

rehajm said...

I'm still sticking with a brokered convention with Crooked Hillary as the nominee.

I said this early on too, figuring Biden was in the race to take the political hits from the fifty other candidates, then he'd take a knee and let Hillary swoop in....

I like Ann's take too, especially the part about the timing. But I still think the impeachment blather is one- pandering to a base that's infuriated Democrats aren't doing something and two- they're trying to stay on top of that political high horse while more of their crap is exposed. Politically, it's better to look like a judge than a defendant...

wild chicken said...

It'll all go on in second term, too. That's when they got rid of Nixon.

Gah.

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

YH: "It saddens me to read this article because I've read Drezner for years, and I honestly thought better of him than this."

You have got to be kidding me!

At this late date you still give the benefit of the doubt to ANY of these guys?

How many times do you have to be hit over the head when these guys expose what they really have been thinking all these years before you get it?

The operating principle for ALL conservatives has got to be that EVERY SINGLE ONE of these "moderate"/"resonable" dems/liberals and the GOPe-ers is that they are secretly left and happy to go along with and support the creation of a permanent dem/left majority at all levels unless and until they absolutely prove otherwise.

Period.

rehajm said...

My understanding is they wouldn't have enough time to impeach Trump before the election. That also supports Ann's thinking, dunnit?

gilbar said...

this is fun!
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who is challenging President Trump in the Republican primaries, proclaimed Monday that the president committed treason through his controversial phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky -- adding that the punishment for treason is death.

bleh said...

I find it fascinating how politicized everything has become. Because Trump is at the helm, his political rivals like Biden and Clinton get to enjoy de facto immunity from prosecution. If Trump says or does anything, it's automatically assumed to be personally or politically motivated, and therefore illegitimate.

Under these circumstances our system of government cannot function and be sustained. It will fall apart.

It is a tricky issue, though. The US government should not be purposefully targeting the president's political enemies. The president shouldn't be directing executive branch agencies to open investigations to harass or threaten his opponents. That, I think, is clearly over the line. But what about when a political opponent's criminality is just out there in the open and practically punching you in the face? Do you just ignore it because of the "norm" of not going after political enemies?

Obviously a Michael Corleone-type smooth operator would figure out how to go after his political enemies without leaving fingerprints. He would task his trusted aides and subordinates with ensuring that the investigations and prosecutions were the product of "career public servants" in the DOJ or the IRS, with "no outside influence or pressure" from the White House. But of course that's not Trump. He just throws his weight around and bloviates and in the process he gives his enemies a lifeline.

In some ways his style works well to gin up anger at the press and the Democrats. He gets certain stories out there that would otherwise not be covered. But sometimes you wish he could tone it down and follow a different course.

Anyway, an impeachment would be a tremendous boon to Trump. It would reinforce all the paranoia about "Deep State coups" and whatnot. A lot of people would think, "yeah he's an asshole but my 401K is in good shape, no thanks to Democrats. Fuck them." The Kavanaugh fiasco should have been a warning to Democrats about this kind of thing. They thought the appointment of a "credibly accused sexual assaulter" to the Supreme Court, with abortion rights in the balance, would be their ticket to a massive blue wave in 2018. Instead, they appear to have harmed themselves and suppressed their own victory.

narciso said...

but William weld, wins the round for the week, after execution for treason, how do you top that?

rehajm said...

There was also a slew of economic data of the last week that strongly supports the idea the economy is stronger than expected (Unexpectedly!). That plays into Ann's theory, too...

Skylark said...

Obviously William Weld is off his rocker. The reason Trump must be executed is for defeating the Clinton machine.

rehajm said...

Weld is a Mackerel by Moonlight. He shines and he stinks.

(Use the Althouse Amazon portal)

Skylark said...

"There was also a slew of economic data of the last week that strongly supports the idea the economy is stronger than expected”

This would have been the first recession I ever saw that was caused by low unemployment. Although an interruption in the oil supply wouldn’t be great news, and people are working on that right now.

Trump is a good cop, and there is only one thing you can do with a good cop, put him down. Now he is not just getting into the Clinton dirt, but the Obama Biden dirt. He has to go.

wendybar said...

The more I see and hear, the more I know I will NEVER vote Democrat EVER again.

gahrie said...

they can start delegitimatizing it now, while they think they have a decent shot at making us believe they're doing something righteous and noble. If they wait too long, the con will become more obvious.

They've been talking about impeaching Trump since literally the day after he was elected, even before he took the oath of office. How much more obvious can the con become?

gahrie said...

This would have been the first recession I ever saw that was caused by low unemployment.

But not the first caused by corrupt politicians.

Skylark said...

How is it not the business of the President of the United States to look into State Department corruption?

When that corruption is Democrat corruption!

Democrats near total grip on the press is impressive. Only “The Hill” seems to be non partisan and looking into a story for which there will be no Pulitzer Prize, even though their should, because that prize is now all about The Narrative.

gahrie said...

I'm still sticking with a brokered convention with Crooked Hillary as the nominee.

Me too. I won't believe that Hillary isn't running for president until they drive a stake through her heart.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Mike Sylwester said...

Democracy Dies in Congress!

FIFY.

rehajm said...

Although an interruption in the oil supply wouldn’t be great news

Half of Saudi oil production was interrupted and all the worry worts could muster was an $8 dollar a barrel price increase. Energy-wise the world is a different place than it used to be...

Bay Area Guy said...

Bill Weld to DJT = Washington Generals to Harlem Globetrotters

Most people have no idea who Bill Weld was or have forgotten his 15 minutes of fame - 25 years ago.

Jeff said...

I think the main reason Trump hasn't pulled the trigger on a massive declassification is that he is holding it in reserve in case the Democrats do impeach.

Unless there's something huge that we haven't even heard a whisper of yet, impeachment is not something Trump is worried about. It's ridiculous for all the reasons Ann and commenters have already stated.

Trump is holding back on declassification for one or both of two reasons: (i) he wants to wait until next year to maximize the effect on the 2020 election, or (ii) he doesn't think it will actually make much difference because none of the bad actors it will reveal are on the ballot.

The only way declassification helps Trump is by showing there was never anything to the Russia investigation, and you maximize the impact of that by waiting to see who the Democratic nominee is and trying to lure him or her into saying things that the declassification will expose as stupid or dishonest.

Yancey Ward said...

bleh wrote:

"It is a tricky issue, though. The US government should not be purposefully targeting the president's political enemies. The president shouldn't be directing executive branch agencies to open investigations to harass or threaten his opponents. That, I think, is clearly over the line. But what about when a political opponent's criminality is just out there in the open and practically punching you in the face? Do you just ignore it because of the "norm" of not going after political enemies?"

I wrote about this the other day- yes, it is over line, but here is the problem Trump has clearly identified- if he says nothing, nothing will done- the media won't even cover the corruption. The Bidens' pecadillo is a perfect example of this- this story has been in the open for over 5 years now, and only now, with a "We got Trump now" angle, does the media even touch it, and even here the media won't give you the details about the Bidens' involvement- indeed, the key piece of evidence is continuously taken down by Google over and over. In other words, Trump loses nothing publicly calling for investigations- the investigations were never going to happen anyway- his tweets and public comments are Trump simply jumping over the media's gatekeepers.

R.J. Chatt said...

I've been thinking the same thing as the professor, that the Democrats realize they are going to lose the next election and the only chance they have to beat Trump is to impeach him. If they wait too long they will be too obviously using impeachment as an election strategy. Too bad for Pelosi she presides over nitwits.

I am offended that Democrats choose to use the Congress as a political attack machine. To my mind the push for an impeachment inquiry in search of an actual crime is both an abuse of power and a degradation of our political institutions.

Also I am offended that Democrats have no problem endlessly wasting time and taxpayer money. The biggest flaw in our democracy is electing and reelecting officials who serve their own egos and greed. It's a disgrace, regardless of political party.

Beasts of England said...

’And why don't people see that the endless screwing with him energizes him? He's very creative at repurposing negativity. He seems to revel in the fight.’

He revels in winning fights, and I wouldn’t bet against him.

Michael K said...

He would task his trusted aides and subordinates with ensuring that the investigations and prosecutions were the product of "career public servants" in the DOJ or the IRS, with "no outside influence or pressure" from the White House.

He has no allies in DC or the Media. Career "public servants" are all Democrats.

Even Nixon had allies in DC but that was before the coup was successful.

Leland said...

The Ukraine business seems to have tipped the scales

That anyone seriously believes this tells you not to take them seriously. The rest is fantasy to help demented minds through their own personal darkness.

Michael K said...

I am offended that Democrats choose to use the Congress as a political attack machine.

"There is no hereditary criminal class in the country, with the possible exception of Congress."

Mark Twain.

bagoh20 said...

I agree that many think that is the only way to beat him, but I also think you underestimate the derangement on the left. Many don't care about consequences at all. They just need to feed the beast of their own mental obsession. They would be willing to have a war if needed, but they just can't find any weapons they aren't afraid to touch beyond the fully semi-automatic unhinged accusation machine gun.

bagoh20 said...

"The Ukraine business seems to have tipped the scales."

Except the scales are between Biden and Warren.

donald said...

Somebody will muttering about Romanoff’s by next week on CNN or MSNBC and some dipshit will nod their heads knowingly.

Robert Cook said...

To the degree Democrats are still urging the impeachment of Donald Trump--which would not even necessarily remove him from office, as seen in Bill Clinton's non-removal impeachment--shows how completely bankrupt they are in ideas, strategy, and goals.

Clyde said...

Romney! Feh! He's taken up the Blue Falcon mantle from McCain. Nobody likes a Blue Falcon.

elkh1 said...

Impeach Trump for winning the presidency 2016.
Impeach Trump for winning the presidency 2020.

Impeach Trump for hammering Biden's corruption.
Definitely impeach Trump so we can find out what Biden did using our tax dollars to obstruct justice in a foreign country.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

I agree with Cookie!

MayBee said...

Welcome to the Recall Scott Walker Show Season 2!

Starring as:
Scott Walker..... Donald Trump
Anti-Walker Protesters....Climate Protesters
Reason why........He's a Republican
Democrats........ Democrats

rehajm said...

but they just can't find any weapons they aren't afraid to touch beyond the fully semi-automatic unhinged accusation machine gun

In my experience Democrats hate guns but they love love love shooting them...

gahrie said...

To the degree Democrats are still urging the impeachment of Donald Trump--which would not even necessarily remove him from office, as seen in Bill Clinton's non-removal impeachment--shows how completely bankrupt they are in ideas, strategy, and goals.

Most of us had already figured this out because of their fascination with Socialism.

Tina Trent said...

"A horrific blend of legal mystification and political advantage seeking"

You could use this sentence thirty times a day.

Todd said...

And second, the Democrats will be distracting themselves from what they really need to be doing — winning the 2020 election.

Except they can't. They have a platform that is entirely "Do what we say, when we say, and how we say AND ignore that we aren't doing any of that ourselves."

All they have is lies and distraction. The media will do its part for sure but who you gonna believe the dems/media or your lying eyes?

rehajm said...

OT: Trump not waiting around to be lectured by climate change girl: See the diss

Now that's some power projection...

ConradBibby said...

I don't think the Dems have suddenly collectively decided that Trump's going to win reelection and therefore impeachment stands as the only way to get him out of office. (Similarly, I don't think there's any official "plan" for HRC or Michelle to swoop in.) What's really going on, I think, is that there are just a lot of obsessed young people on the left who aren't psychologically equipped to deal with political defeat by simply going on with their lives and waiting for the next opportunity to win at the polls. They can't go on with their lives because politics IS their lives -- it supersedes everything else. Impeachment isn't a strategy for these people, it's a way to feed their addiction. The belief in the myth of Trump an evil tyrant who must be brought down by the woke resistance is the consuming drama of their lives. Impeachment promises that, for the foreseeable future, they won't have to focus on anything else. It'll be a nonstop source of entertainment on tv and the internet.

traditionalguy said...

It has escaped the talking heads that the FED massively attacked the American economy with every currency manipulation tool known to American Hating London Banks beginning the day after Hillary lost to the MAGA man who has always planned to kill the foreign controlled FED rigged system with Gold.

And since DJT called them out, the FED's response has been to freeze their destructive plans into place. But they have underestimated Trump's positive speaking and jobs expansion drowning out the Big Crash Coming any minute now propaganda of doom. All the FED has done is steal high interest from Americans when we could refinance the debt easy but for the FED.

mockturtle said...

"Pelosi thinks that impeachment needs to be a bipartisan process, and without GOP support impeachment is a hollow threat that would harm Democrats in 2020...."

GOP support of Trump's impeachment would be political suicide and they know it.

Bob Boyd said...

You can't make sense of swamp creature decisions by thinking in terms of winning elections.
You have to think in terms of people trying to stay out of jail.

narciso said...

Firestarter 2, electric boogaloo

daskol said...

I know of several highly engaged Dem political activist/donor types, and impeaching Trump is a moral issue--the moral issue, even higher priority than climate change. I'm going with what Drago said above: they need to continue playing impeachment theater because their campaign of denormalizing Trump was incredibly successful with many of their most important, if not numerous, constituencies. I doubt this is about removing Trump, but rather it's about raising money and motivating voters, and avoiding demoralization of the Party's backers. The Dem Party needs to be destroyed and rebuilt, something Trump hastened with the GOP, but it's apparently a much more powerful institution and harder to reform or kill.

Bob Boyd said...

They have to keep Trump under investigation and on the defensive legally so he can be accused of obstruction, like when he fired Comey.
Russia Collusion investigation worked the way it was designed to work. Why would they not do it again?

Gunner said...

The Anti-Trumps are so scared of Trump going crazy and launching nuclear weapons that they endlessly taunt and tease him about everything. How does that make sense either?

daskol said...

Suggesting that this is a calculated remove Trump strategy is, I fear, giving the party too much credit for strategic vision. Dem leaders are trying to hold their coalition together by any means at their disposal. That's why Pelosi, who is strategically minded and opposed on that grounds to impeachment, has to pretend every other week or so that she's for it--gotta keep things ambiguous.

Le Stain du Poop said...

I think you are on to something here, Professor.

rcocean said...

Drezner is a partisan democrat, globalist, and a bell-weather of conventional DC wisdom. He always, always, repeats what 10,000 other in-side-the-beltway types believe. He's the bland, herd mind at work.

daskol said...

Civility bullshit, fake Indians and Welsh coal miners and impeachment theater. It's a con, and not a particularly brilliant long one either

daskol said...

Drezner used to be pretty interesting in the early days of the blogosphere.

James K said...

What's really going on, I think, is that there are just a lot of obsessed young people on the left who aren't psychologically equipped to deal with political defeat by simply going on with their lives and waiting for the next opportunity to win at the polls.

I agree with that, but it doesn't explain why Nadler, Schiff, and other alleged grown-ups in Congress are pushing impeachment.

chuck said...

It saddens me to read this article because I've read Drezner for years, and I honestly thought better of him than this.

He went down long ago. I check about once a year to see if he has recovered, but it looks like he is down for the count.

rcocean said...

The latest scandal is that Trump has asked Ukraine to investigate possible corruption by Biden who got a prosecutor fired in exchange of military aide. IOW, asking for investigation of an unethical behavior on the part of POTUS candidate is in itself unethical.

Which is why Joe Biden supported the Mueller Investigation.

rcocean said...

The anti-Trumpers have pretty much dropped the mask. As they support Liberal Democrat attack on Trump no. 843, their excuse that they're just objective truth-tellers with Grand Conservative Principles is wearing thin.

If you say you're a "Conservative" but have spent almost 3 years trying to help the Liberal Democrats cancel an election and take over the Government, people begin to doubt your "Conservatism".

Ann Althouse said...

"Can't tell if that is meant to be Althouse's voice or Althouse assuming Drezner's. Whichever, it compels me to ask: Provide objective evidence of either claim, please."

That's my paraphrase of what he's saying to clarify the premise for my criticism of him.

rcocean said...

I've read Drezner and fully expected him to write something like this.

Francisco D said...

Senate trial will be the perfect excuse for declassifying everything regarding Crossfire Hurricane, including all the e-mails and texts from the various players in the CIA, FBI, and DoJ during 2016. As of right now, the Democrats have pushed back on the declassification by claiming Trump is endangering secrets, but that argument no longer holds if you try to impeach him

That is an excellent point. From what I know of Trump (people who worked with him in the 80's) he is a meticulous planner. Perhaps, that is why the info has yet to be declassified. The Dems know this and they are scared of Trump.

As I said before, impeachment talk is just talk to keep the money rolling in.

Lewis said...

I think your right - one is always looking for an alternative to our friend, Trump - like Gabbard or Marianne Wilson (but she writes such awfull crap!) - to defend, politically, what is left of that benighted public space. If there was an alternative, a kind of smarter guy or gal but there isn't. In my country, Boris the spider. Always the drunk uncle but he does, seemingly, the right thing. If you ignore his blather,then, he's quite a good chap.

Beasts of England said...

’I agree with that, but it doesn't explain why Nadler, Schiff, and other alleged grown-ups in Congress are pushing impeachment.’

I think they’re trapped, James K. The Justice Democrats have shown they can dethrone a heavyweight, and their own version of failure theater is more palatable than risking a primary from their left flank.

MBunge said...

What's hilarious is that if Democrats and NeverTrumpers had responded to his election by becoming more serious and more normal, they might have been able to whip up a moral panic over this Ukraine thing. But spending two years pushing a kooky Russia conspiracy theory has made it impossible for them to EVER get the buy-in from the other side they need to really threaten Trump.

Mike

Lewis said...

What I meant to say, I think you're right but, by default, we will have the 'other guy'. Trump is your classic one term President - he wants that to be true. Imagine it, the President of the United States on the apprentice again! That's what he wants!

Temujin said...

I wonder how many working, tax paying adults will actually vote for a Democrat next year?

My prediction is that it'll be substantially less than experts are thinking and getting paid to consult about. As the months roll on and we get yet another 'explosive' report declaring the imminent Trump removal is at hand, I'm thinking more and more it's not even going to be close. The real world is moving on, leaving Dems behind to play their Dungeons and Dragons.

Its as if the Dems are stuck in a muck and their only answer to get out of the muck is to fling buckets of more muck around, not realizing it's getting thicker around their own ankles and soon it'll be up to their poochkas with no way to move out of it. And if you think Elizabeth "Scold" Warren is the answer, better cover your poochka.

Lewis said...

Remember Coolidge? No, nor does anyone else. Probably the best President you never had.

Mark said...

Problem with any of these attacks is that Trump and most Republicans (except for the likes of Romney and other worms) now are willing to defend themselves.

Biden saying, "If the prosecutor's not fired, you're not getting the money," is rather damning if they really want to politically litigate this.

Skylark said...

"If you ignore his blather,then, he's quite a good chap.”

That’s exactly how I feel about Donald John Trump. I don’t follow him on Twitter. I don’t really care what he has to say any particular day, but he has been a very good president otherwise, so don’t follow Twitter if you don’t like what he tweets. Simple.

Michael K said...

I agree with that, but it doesn't explain why Nadler, Schiff, and other alleged grown-ups in Congress are pushing impeachment.

Money, money, money. Donors are as crazy as Steyer who found the other Democrat candidates not crazy enough for him.

Kevin said...

At a certain point the AOC wing of the party goes so batshit-crazy you have an impeachment vote just to bring them back into line.

The Dems don’t have the votes in the House to impeach. Pelosi is being kind by pointing to the Senate.

Michael K said...

Remember Coolidge? No, nor does anyone else.

I did.

Bilwick said...

Is "Howard" Ritmo's new pseudonym? I see a lot of similarities.

doctrev said...

Like Ben Shapiro and Jonah Goldberg, Dan Drezner is a highly credentialed person who is -very- fanciful and needs to get a bigger hat for his ballooning head. If the Mueller investigation didn't distract the President into crashing the economy or a nuclear war, what makes them think an easily crushed Senate trial will do any different? Given how quickly the Ukraine "whistleblower" boomeranged into sustained assaults on Gropey Joe, I imagine that starting impeachment will cause the final collapse of the HoR's legitimacy. Especially after the massive Indian rally in Houston this weekend. If that shows up in the election, the Democrats are going to DIE. You'll see people throwing themselves out of building before the Trump dictatorship comes to drag them off.

0_0 said...

But he lost the popular vote!! Trump is illegitimate!!! Our outrage is up to 11 always!!!! REEEEEEEEEE!

This justifies their 'whatever it takes' mentality.

Mr Wibble said...

I agree with that, but it doesn't explain why Nadler, Schiff, and other alleged grown-ups in Congress are pushing impeachment.

Party politics. Obama never really built a lasting coalition on the left. In fact, under his administration, the Dems lost over 1000 seats in government, across all levels. Most of those who were voted out were the mid level of the party, the up and comers from purple districts who could step up and take over the party. No one really cared too much, because everyone expected Hillary! to win and the Clinton people to take over. However, when Hillary! lost, suddenly the Clinton acolytes lost their influence. What's left are the deep blue Dems, often the old guard like Pelosi or the radical wing for progressives. So everyone is scrambling to the left in order to try and build up influence.

Rabel said...

The problem with Drezner's minimax strategy (other than it being horribly undemocratic) is that it won't work.

Trump has more than enough headroom to exercise the authorities of his office and fight back against the impeachment attempt at the same time.

It's simply magical thinking to believe otherwise.

Skylark said...

By “getting away with it” that means that there is zero actual evidence that he did it, except for an accusation from a woman who took scores of millions from Putin, and her campaign manager who only took tens of millions from him.

narciso said...

this is why Dorothy Thompson, a committed left partisan, tried to paint him as dumb, because he wasn't as voluble, as other candidates, Coolidge came from good government progressive until the boston police strike,

Matt Sablan said...

He'll be impeached just in time for them to claim the seriousness of the charges mean he shouldn't be allowed on the ballot.

The Mouse that Roared said...

My guess is that a sizeable percentage of Biden's ~30 national support will either stay home or vote Trump if Biden is not the nominee. They are the "deplorables" who have remained Democrats--older white voters, blue-collar voters, and fiscally conservative voters who won't pull the lever for the likes of Warren or Sanders.

The old-guard Democrats know this, but are losing control of the party to the vocal minority.

If Biden isn't the nominee, Trump wins in a landslide. I predict close to 60-40. That landslide will be the point where normal Americans of both parties realize the vocal minority is just that, and will stop deferring to their every crazy whim. Much like after the 1972 election, the fringe elements will be relegated to the wings for a few years, until everyone forgets the lesson.

Rabel said...

"Like Ben Shapiro and Jonah Goldberg, Dan Drezner is a highly credentialed person who..."

Jonah has a BA in Polysci from Groucher College. He's not highly credentialed by any means. His need to be accepted by those who are may in part explain his current behavior.

daskol said...

The assertion of abuse of power is Biden's defense: everyone has looked at this, there's nothing there, this is Trump abusing his power. MSNBC is also asking the other candidates about it, and Mayor Pete is also saying the issues is Trump's abuse of power.

James K said...

He'll be impeached just in time for them to claim the seriousness of the charges mean he shouldn't be allowed on the ballot.

"them" = Mitt Romney in this case.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

what is Trump's crime?

Of right - fake allegations and bs. But mostly beating poor Hillary.

Michael K said...

Party politics. Obama never really built a lasting coalition on the left. In fact, under his administration, the Dems lost over 1000 seats in government, across all levels.

Excellent point. Again, this election reminds me of 1972 with McGovern and the crazy anti-war left.

This time there are no bumbling burglars to save the Democrats and screw up the next decade.

Michael K said...

No, Howard is a smug northeastern lefty who thinks he is clever.

Ritmo is consumed by hate and envy.

mockturtle said...

Lewis comments re Boris Johnson: If you ignore his blather,then, he's quite a good chap.

Anyone who memorizes Homer can't be all bad.

CWJ said...

"It is safe to assume that Trump will continue to abuse the powers of the presidency as long as he is in office..."

For those of us who have repeatedly asked for specifics, David Leonhardt's NYT column "Trump vs.The United States of America" is probably the best for which we can hope. Reportedly he provides 40 examples. Someone with more patience than I might want to Fisk them all. Drago?

Big Mike said...

Pelosi is positively legendary at twisting arms and rounding up votes, yet still I wonder whether she is right in her calculation that she can persuade enough Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats to vote "aye" on impeachment. She needs 218 votes. The Blue Dog Coalition has 27, and without them she only has 208 (209, counting Justin Amash). Can she get nine or ten Blue Dogs to give up hope of reelection on an impeachment vote, the way she persuaded Blue Dogs and other conservative Democrats to sacrifice their careers in 2010? It will be interesting to see.

As I write this I am thinking that Drezner is only partly right -- in terms of the political races themselves, politics is a zero-sum game. Precisely one person can win the election, regardless of how many are running, and precisely one person will win unless zero candidates run. But in terms of voter turnout and enthusiasm politics is far from a zero sum game, and I predict that members of the House of Representatives who and from conservative and toss-up districts but who vote "aye" on impeachment will have a hard time in the fall of 2020 and an unhappy breakfast on the morning of November 4th.

Leland said...

Are anonymous sources with 2nd hand hearsay evidence accepted by courts? I get that Congress can accept anything it wants to impeach Trump, but the trial will be in the Senate, and I suspect they still respect the practice of law.

n.n said...

the seriousness of the charges mean he shouldn't be allowed on the ballot

Their solution is planned for the third trimester to force an optimal choice.

Bob Loblaw said...

The thing that strikes me as most interesting is the notion that all these attacks that turn out to be false are having the effect of making Trump a sympathetic character. They drive up his support. Early on his calling this a witch hunt or fake news or whatever was suspicious, but as that has been proven over and over again to be true their new accusations become less credible.

Yes, the Democrats and the press (but I repeat myself) have become the Boy Who Cried Wolf. If they dig up a actual Trump scandal they're going to have a hard time convincing people they haven't exaggerated it, misrepresented it, or made it up from whole cloth.

FullMoon said...

Let us weigh the yet to be disclosed Trump conversation against the known Biden facts.
------------


Washington Post:

Since then, much of Hunter Biden’s career has coincided with his father’s work as a senator and vice president. He has been a lobbyist for clients with interests before Congress; a senior vice president at a bank, MBNA, that was a major contributor to his father; and a board member of a company backed by Chinese entities, joining the firm just after his father met with leaders of that country.

All of those positions have led to criticism from Republicans, but it was Hunter Biden’s decision to join the board of Burisma Holdings that has drawn the heaviest fire.

At the time, Ukraine was in the midst of crisis. In February 2014, as revolution swept the streets, President Viktor Yanukovych fled. Russia, which was allied with Yanukovych, viewed his ouster as illegal. That March, Russian forces took control of Crimea and then the southeast of Ukraine, dividing the nation. The Obama administration decried the Russian intervention, and Joe Biden arrived in the country in April as vice president, bearing gifts. A key part of U.S. strategy, he said, focused on the way Russia could cut off part of Ukraine’s energy supply. He repeated his frequent plea that Ukraine’s natural gas production be increased, and he announced an aid package designed to enable Ukraine to boost energy production.

“Imagine where you’d be today if you were able to tell Russia: ‘Keep your gas,’ ” Biden said. “It would be a very different world.”

As it turned out, that was a world Hunter Biden wanted to join.



Just a few weeks after his father’s visit to Ukraine, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma Holdings.

Kevin said...

I agree with that, but it doesn't explain why Nadler, Schiff, and other alleged grown-ups in Congress are pushing impeachment.

Their credibility has been shown to be nonexistent.

The only way to restore it is by a House vote on impeachment.

Sure it's moving the goalposts, but it gives them something to point toward.

Kevin said...

He'll be impeached just in time for them to claim the seriousness of the charges mean he shouldn't be allowed on the ballot.

Yes and, as Biden keeps pointing out, his "crime" will be indecency and non-normativity that exceed the bounds of acceptable tolerance.

A vote on actual criminal charges lacks any semblance of a majority in the House.

Kirk Parker said...

chuck,

Is Drezner a Lawfare guy these days?

The Godfather said...

Please, Please, PLEASE, Democrats! Impeach Trump. You will assure his reelection (already almost certain), as well as a Republican House and a Republican Senate. So in 2021 and 2022, with no "Russia collusion" hoax haunting him, Trump will be able to accomplish his program. Perhaps in recognition, he'll name the Wall after Pelosi.

Bay Area Guy said...

Excerpt from the Daily Wire:

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that in a July 25 phone call, Trump allegedly urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "about eight times" to cooperate with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on an investigation into Biden's son, Hunter, who worked with a natural gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.

Should read:

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that it learned from an anonymous source that an anonymous whistleblower had heard a rumor from another anonymous source that in a July 25 phone call, Trump allegedly urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "about eight times" to cooperate with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on an investigation into Biden's son, Hunter, who worked with a natural gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.

Much better, no?

Kirk Parker said...

Phidippus,

"Interesting how these folks so frequently beg the question of exactly what Trump has done to 'abuse the powers of the Presidency' during his term."

Why would they need to articulate that which is intuitively obvious: "that we we don't like". They are, after all, our born rightful rulers.

doctrev said...

Rabel said...
"Like Ben Shapiro and Jonah Goldberg, Dan Drezner is a highly credentialed person who..."

Jonah has a BA in Polysci from Groucher College. He's not highly credentialed by any means. His need to be accepted by those who are may in part explain his current behavior.

9/23/19, 3:33 PM

In his case, the credentials are his much more successful and conservative mother, whose apron he has never truly stopped hiding behind.

Bruce Hayden said...

Dr K is correct that money is behind the craziness of Pencil Neck and Wadler (and Cummings). They raked in more campaign contributions than almost anyone in Congress in 2018 (3 of the top 5 House Dems, if I remember correctly), and a lot of it was tied to impeachment. It wasn’t really the rank and file, but the left wing of the mega donor class. Likely a lot of them had invested heavily in a Crooked Hillary Administration, and ended up losing their bets.

Marty said...

Drezner has always been one of the dumber tools in the box.

Bruce Hayden said...

“They have to keep Trump under investigation and on the defensive legally so he can be accused of obstruction, like when he fired Comey.
Russia Collusion investigation worked the way it was designed to work. Why would they not do it again?”

Except that the structure is probably not there. The Mueller investigation was carefully constructed with a very aggressive, legally unsupportable, Obstruction of Justice statutory definition that effectively turned it from a specific intent to a general intent. Under the DoJ standard, the specific intent of, for example, firing Comey would have required the intent of obstructing Justice, under the Mueller/Lawfare definition, it only needed to have been intentional - firing for cause was sufficient Mens Rea for Mueller’s prosecutors because the firing was intentional, and it adversely affected at least one criminal investigation. The cute part here is that the Mueller/Lawfare Obstruction interpretation protected the Mueller investigation itself from being shut down, because that would adversely affect their witch hunt that was being sold as a criminal investigation.

My point here is that that interpretation has been solidly rejected by the DoJ, and has never been upheld by a single court in this country. Presidents fire people all the time, including Obama firing all of the various IGs, and Clinton firing all of the USAs immediately upon assuming the Presidency. Nothing that Trump has done, that could be used to justify Impeachment, wasn’t done by at least one, and probably both, of Presidents Obama and Clinton.

The other thing is that the Mueller investigation had mountains of evidence, apparently extending back to the illegal FISA 702 searching that NSA Dir Rogers detected and shut down, up through millions of pages of documents, provided by Trump, along with hundreds of interviews and grand jury transcripts. I think the plan had been to pass it to Wadler and Pencil Neck, after they took over their committees early this year, but it was thwarted by AG Barr getting confirmed very quickly, then shutting down the Mueller investigation before they could have transferred their mountain of evidence to the House Dems. What the Dems are left with are the unredacted portions of the Mueller Report. Anything else lacks legal provenance, and their possession of it would be criminal. AG Barr is asserting Executive Privilege (among other defenses) and with the Republicans controlling the Supreme Court, and nearing control of most of the rest of the federal appeals courts, the House Dems are almost assuredly not getting much of anything in court, that will breach the President’s defenses there. Mueller’s team had enough evidence that they might have found something implicating Trump. The House committees have a mere fraction of that.

Ray - SoCal said...

Russia was the first attempted coup.

Ukraine seems to have been a second.

Pelosi has been supporting house investigations (lawfare) with both.

Polling has helped Trump a lot, and made it political suicide at this time to take any meaningful action on impeachment.

So lots of smoke on impeachment, but no fire.

The Dems keep on hoping if they throw enough mud at Trump the polls will change.

Unfortunately Trump throws the mud back, and it sticks.

What a pleasant change for a Republican!

Bob Loblaw said...

He'll be impeached just in time for them to claim the seriousness of the charges mean he shouldn't be allowed on the ballot.

They can claim whatever they like. I think most people realize they're not approaching any of this in good faith.

viator said...

In other words pull the whole damn thing down about our ears. Crush the people.