We Can’t Wait for an Election to Deal With Trump

Following up yesterday’s post — Evan McMullin wrote at MSNBC:

What the report revealed, page after page, was President Donald Trump and his campaign’s efforts to profit from the most “sweeping and systematic” — to use the words of the report — information warfare attack ever waged against the United States of America.

Trump and his team were uniquely positioned to sound the alarm and halt the Russian attack, but instead they welcomed it. And then they tried to obstruct efforts to investigate it. As such, Trump bears distinct responsibility for our failure to defend against Russia’s hostility and take the steps necessary to deter future threats.

More damning, IMO, is that Trump has done precisely nothing to prevent similar interference in the 2020 election, which is bound to happen. There have been noises coming from people in his administration that there are things that need to be done, but Trump takes no interest in the issue and provides no leadership.

Cybersecurity experts praised Thursday’s briefing as an important step to bringing high-level focus to the fight against interference. But they said that to deter Russia, Moscow needs to believe that the United States will impose costs beyond the sanctions and other punishments it has doled out, and that requires Mr. Trump to make clear he will act against interference.

“If you are going to stop what is going on, that could require a presidential-level decision,” Mr. Sussmann said.

And what has Trump done? After dragging his feet on implementing sanctions on Russia ordered by Congress, earlier this year he prematurely lifted sanctions he had grudgingly put into place. So the U.S. remains vulnerable.

And, of course, there’s the obstruction of justice; the campaign finance violations, including violations in the inaguration funds; violations of the emoluments clause; and the possibility that Trump is compromised by foreign business ties, including to the Russian mob. Mueller didn’t even try to chase that down, it seems. It’s true that none of these allegations have been proven in court, but Trump is resisting any attempt to get to the truth.

I agree with Josh Marshall that we’ve gone beyond corruption as usual.

The White House isn’t doing the standard tussling with Congress about oversight: some stonewalling, some negotiation, taking some questions of privilege to court. It’s more accurately characterized as massive resistance. The Congress has a constitutionally mandated responsibility to oversee the executive branch. They are flatly refusing to comply with ordinary document production and testimonial requests across the board. It’s not a difference of degree but of kind.

And as far as I can tell, it’s unprecedented. Has any other president sued a House committee chair to block a subpoena? I don’t know. Nixon withheld White House tapes; Haldeman withheld grand jury testimony. That’s as close as I can get. Today the White House ordered a former official to ignore a subpoena. House Democrats are engaged in hearings and investigations, but will that be enough?

The big error I see so far is that these joustings are being treated as legitimate legal processes which must be allowed to work their way through conventional processes and the courts. That’s not right and it gives the President free rein to try to run out the clock on any sort of oversight. Democrats need to find a language for the political debate that makes clear these are not tedious legal processes which will run their course. They are active cover-ups and law breaking, ones that confirm the President’s bad acting status and add to his and his top advisors legal vulnerability.

That’s getting there. Trump is still obstructing justice, still covering up what appear to be crimes. This has to be plainly said, even if Nancy Pelosi has put a gag on the I word. And maybe the best way to do that is to take the gag off the I word.

See Aaron Blake, Pelosi’s Impeachment Dam Has Been Breached.

30 thoughts on “We Can’t Wait for an Election to Deal With Trump

  1. "We Can’t Wait for an Election to Deal With Trump"

    Well, we are going to have to. Even if the House votes to impeach Trump aint going anywhere, McTurtle, Miss Lindsey et-al are not going to convict. The only way he leaves is if he resigns (never happen) or take him out at the polls in 2020. That's it.

    • Well, I've seen some vintage videos of McTurtle and Miss Lindsey giving some pretty impassioned speeches on the necessity of impeachment for Bill Clinton. If those video's were juxtaposed with the current situation concerning impeachment and broadcast as opposition political ads for both of those dirtbags in the 2020 election, I'm sure they would have a detrimental effect on their prospects of winning reelection.

       I also suspect that come time for the 2020 election campaign Trump is going to lose a lot of his political sheen, and he might not be the guy that one would be willing to stake their political fortunes on.

      • There's also alot of footage showing Democrats and legal experts saying the impeachment was a partisan exercise initiated and supported by only one party? Look I'm all for impeaching the asshole and removing him from office but that is just not going to happen. Impeachment accomplishes two things in my mind. 1-It gives Democrats (especially those running for POTUS) the ability to say they stood for the constitution and the rule of law, both positive things. 2- It gives Trump and the GOP the cover they need to say the impeachment like the Mueller probe was a partisan exercise that resulted in nothing, a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. Now I don't agree with the second point but it will be made and I believe it will win the day. I hope I'm I'm wrong.

        • uncledad…you've got to have faith. Trump was elected on a fluke where anger at the system prompted a lot of people to vote to shake things up. Trump's base isn't a rock solid as people would have you think. Aside from that Trump has pissed off and disgusted just about every demographic except for the diehard misfits and and malcontents.

          And on top of that aside the bible says: Your confession is your destiny.  So, even if I thought there is a possibility that Trump could win reelection I wouldn't confess that possibility with my lips. Only the god of the old testament would so cruel to allow that bag of shit to be elected to a second term.

          • <em>you've got to have faith</em>

            In the Senate Republican caucus?

            Jesus.   Wake the fuck up.

            You must clap for Tinkerbell when you watch Peter Pan, and believe that your clapping makes a difference

          • Joel…I'm not ready to abandon my faith in the American people. When things heat up and it becomes apparent that Trump has got to go, I suspect those GOP Senators who are maintaining their silence now will realize that Trump is a sinking ship and they won't be so eager to lash themselves to the deck when the unspoken order goes out to abandon ship.

            I think maybe the words of Michael Cohen's admonition before Congress might ring in their ears that defending Trump is a losing proposition, and to do so will only result their getting burned politically. He's a Jonah..Toss him overboard! It will be every man for himself.

            I just saw a video of Mitch McConnell and he's anxious to move on past all this Mueller report talk and get on with the people's business.. That's kinda a clue that the Senate's monolithic maginot line might not hold.

    • @uncledad:  Doesn't mean you don't try.  Doesn't mean you don't get the FACTS out on the table IN PUBLIC, presumably on national television.  Then you run a positive campaign on the issues and contrast what you are doing to the Party Uber Alles notions of a brain-dead GOP.  Then you win the presidency AND the Senate.  The Democrats may be feckless, but they ought to be able to do both.

      • You can do all those things )get the facts out) without opening an official impeachment. Once you make it official impeachment you lose a significant portion of public opinion.

  2. The only things I see getting done are those Democrats can do themselves.  No Republican will help.  Getting those tax papers should be relatively easy. If that is where we have to start, OK.  The indictments/papers Mueller sent to other courts will come along at some point, but does anybody think that will happen quickly?  Considering the time spent by Mueller, I would think a year is as soon as anyone else will take up anything. Nobody has even made noises about proceeding.  And by then it will be full campaign season. If Trump can be proven incontrovertibly to have done serious tax fraud, that might piss off some of his base, but many of them hate the IRS because Faux and Limpboy have taught them to. His family's well-documented tax dodging and fraudulent management/repair company seem to have disappeared with the convenient retirement of his sister.  Hell, she's 82, how much longer could she have grifted, anyway?


  3. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by impeachment. It's just like dealing with a bully – you have to, otherwise they'll run over you again, and it will be worse.

    If the case is made forcefully enough – and there is an avalanche of facts, with more to come to support this – people will start to respect you.

  4. Unless there's some music we haven't heard yet, the Senate Republicans will tap dance for Trump as fast as they can. For now there is zero chance they'll convict on impeachment. The wisest course for House Dems is still to have hearings, as high profile as possible, to raise awareness. It would probably be a mistake to give Trump the chance to complain about "unfair, partisan impeachment", which sounds more drastic than "unfair, partisan hearings" that could get the same results.


  5. "To Impeach or not to impeach – that is the question. Whether tis nobler…" 

    There's agreement that impeachment will fail in the Senate. However, the process in the Senate is a trial. The GOP winds up having to defend Trump, try to refute evidence and engage in the pageantry of a trial. IMO, the evidence will damage the GOP greatly – and just in time for the 2020 elections. Trump won't be sunk in the Senate, but he'll take several torpedoes and it's anybody's guess how much the stink will stick to GOP Senators up for re-election.

    The most convincing argument for impeachment s where Democrats stand if we know he's committed crimes and we stand on the sidelines with arms folded. There's plenty of reasons not to get involved but the country is being raped. It's a gang rape and we're outnumbered in the Senate, but take a stand anyway!

    The other thing that's clear after the report came out – Trump is ignoring the law and he has been since early in his term. He's lying – he's instructing others to lie. He's defying the authority of Congress. He's in the process of trying to use the courts to straitjacket all inquiries by the House which Trump has not personally approved. 

    Democracy is in a fight for survival – at what point do we start throwing some punches? Issuing subpoenas works great in normal times with a POTUS who agrees to be constrained by courts, by the law and by the pretense of decency. Trump is a crook on a scale that makes Nixon look like a boy scout.

    I don't advocate thrashing without a strategy – we need to call Trump AND THE GOP out for what's happening. Use the word 'liar' on the floor of the House and Senate. The objective will be to put the truth out there as objective facts – evidence – for the people to see. Admit – no, DECLARE – that Republicans are going to lie for the POTUS and distract, but here is the TRUTH! Look at it if you aren't in the cult while there is time to save the Republic! 

  6. The list of crimes (and misdemeanors for the POTUS that The tRUMP Crime Family DIDN'T commit in the last three years, versus the one's they DID, would look like the cover-page of Barr's Summary, compared to the entire Mueller Report!

    There's more than enough that we've read, seen with our own eyes on TV, and heard with our own ears, to justify accelerating the various committee's investigations – leading ASAP to impeachment!


  7. Btw- With tRUMP ordering the sycophant sub-pee-on's who see him as their grifting Demi-God not to respond to Congressional subpoeana's, I think we're past the point of having that "Constitutional Crisis" I've been hearing about!

    The Dem's can't lose this fight!!!!!!!

    YOU CAN'T!!!!!!!!!!

    YOU JUST CAN'T!!!!!!!!    

  8. Hold hearing, issue subpoenas, keep the heat on. There's enough criminality to expose for there to be a scandalous news dump every Friday until November 2020. Rooting it all out is Congressional duty.

    This'll take time, but the very slowness of impeachment justice can be leveraged to political advantage. Let the Republicans discredit themselves for a narcissist who doesn't return favors. By 2020 Trump _and_ the GOP will be at risk.

    Of course that's when they'll do their worst. We must then do our best.


  9. The case for impeachment is a slam dunk.  What is a misdemeanor?  Well mis- is a prefix meaning wrong.  Demeanor is defined as conduct, outward behavior, air, attitude, and the way a person behaves toward other people.  Is the president guilty of misdemeanors?  Consider this from the British perspective:

    "A few things spring to mind.

    Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

    For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

    So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump's limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

    Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.

    I don't say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

    But with Trump, it's a fact. He doesn't even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

    Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

    And scarily, he doesn't just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

    There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It's all surface.

    Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

    Well, we don't. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

    And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

    Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

    He's not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

    He's more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

    And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

    That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

    There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

    So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy' is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:

    • Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
    • You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

    This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

    After all, it's impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

    God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

    He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

    In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

    And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

    'My God… what… have… I… created?

    If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set."


    -Nate White

    • All true, Nate. But it's been rather trying for the once leading democracies on both sides of the pond. Brits are supposed to be more refined and unflappable than Americans and, alas, that has not been the case.

      Brexit is even dumber than Trump. It is no less than the attempted economic suicide of a nation, apparently in an attempt to regain a political insularity that never actually existed.

      Dave Cameron showed remarkable incompetence in having a gratuitous referendum that blew up in his face. Poor Mrs. May seems ready to be institutionalized for continually having repeated the same thing and insisting on a different outcome. Boris, Nigel, UKIP and all the apparently mad MPs don't exactly credit you either.

      Let's hope this all passes without other world actors gaining too much ground. And speaking of them, anyone interested in following what the Russians are up to on social media can do it here:



  10. We are past stonewalling. This is not normal.  And no jared, it wasn't a couple of Facebook ads. It was Butina telling someone who to be secretary of state. It was quid pro quo.

    Pelosi said let's get facts out there. Then Dicktator said no to any congressional demand. That is obstructionitself.that is defying the oath of office. There is a gorilla in the room today. We can't wait a year and a half .

  11. I'm all for Hearings in the House, as long as they don't go full Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!  Keep them substantive, be careful with the theatre. 

    But one problem with the way things have gone so far is that real damning facts have dribbled out slowly.  Speculative dot-connecting got ahead of the facts (Rachel?), dulling the impact.  Clintonite focus on the Russia! Russia! Russia! sucked up all the oxygen.  (This was reinforced by NeoCons' influence in Democratic party and MSM).

    Maybe Democrats should hold Closed Hearings, then release findings in bigger chunks?  Unless they find a (new?) smoking gun – something big which (at least some) Senate Republicans couldn't brush off – then Democrats probably shouldn't bother with Impeachment.  House Hearings will find plenty of dirt on Trump, but they can save the little stuff to dribble out next year during the actual election campaign. 

    If the House impeaches Trump, I presume that the case would go first to the Senate Judicial Committee, and the performances during the Kavanaugh hearings don't inspire confidence.   Democrats focused on feelings – woman victimized by mean boy – rather than the pattern of dishonesty which is what really should have disqualified Kavanaugh.  GOP stayed focused on winning, and they won.

    If House Hearings don't find something big, the GOP will probably win the PR battle in the Senate.


    • " Speculative dot-connecting got ahead of the facts (Rachel?), dulling the impact "

      Well put. I don't trust the bobble-heads liberal or wing-nut, they really only have one concern, ratings. The evening talking heads at msnbc have worn the whole Russia thing the fuck out. Now they are pushing impeachment heavy, again it's all about the ratings. remember what Les Moonvess CEO of CBS said of the Trump candidacy:" "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS,"

  12. " We can't wait a year and a half "

    Unfortunately we don't have a choice. You'll never get 67 votes in the Senate, not as long as Trump's approval ratings are above 30%. As long as the economy is chugging along most of his supporters are not going to turn on him. I predict that if the house invokes impeachment his ratings will climb to over 50%. I'm a lefty (center-lefty) I want the guy impeached but almost everyone I know could care less, they don't like the guy but they see the Obstruction (without the under lying conspiracy to defraud charge) as a political thing, they don't see it as a "high crime". He's not going anywhere until 2020 at the earliest.

    • Forget about his supporters. The dead enders will never turn. Forget about the Senate. The initial goal should be to keep up the pressure on Trump and the Rs, to damage them as much as possible. The Senate may turn, depending on how ugly it gets.

  13. It is impossible to accurately predict the future simply because in nature everything is constantly changing.  Since humans are part of nature we cannot  predict how they will act.  My mother used to  say:  "Only fools never change their mind".  There are a lot of fools out there.  On the other hand, one can change one's mind in an instant.  Depending on the election to get rid of Trump is a risk.  Remember, nobody, including Trump, thought he would be elected the first time.  What happened?  Do we really know?  We can't know for sure.  And if he is reelected, what do we do then?  Seems to me it would be a little  late to start impeachment hearings.  That is why I feel we should do the right thing based on what we know in the present moment.  I am not a Christian but since Easter was just celebrated, I am thinking about what the message is in the story of Jesus.  As it is told, he said " believe in me and you will be saved."  To me this means to follow his actions, do the right thing and you will have peace in your heart and soul.  I know it is not always easy to know what is the right thing to do.  That is why it is so hard being a human.  It's much easier being an animal of any kind.  They live and act on instinctive intelligence.  Therefore they are innocent.  Did God make a mistake when s(he) created humans? 

    I am getting hungry so will stop preaching.  Didn't mean to do that but I just needed to express myself. 


  14. The Nixon impeachment would have been successful because that was probably the last year there was a now extinct animal known as principled Republicans–Republicans who would do anything necessary for the best interests of the country.  The principled Republican can only be found in history books now.  It is one of the things I miss a whole bunch (very scientific measurement).

  15. Yeah, Dodo birds and principled republicans..I remember reading about them. I think they went extinct with the advent of Newt Gingrich. You remember him..he's the guy who persecuted Bill Clinton for infidelity with the moral outrage and zeal of Robespierre while at the same time he was shagging one of his staffers in a broom closet at the Sam Rayburn building. 

    In all fairness, I can't say Gingrich was totally without principle. He later went on to marry that staffer and made an honest women of her. Which goes to show the redemptive work wrought through adherence to Christian principles or any principles for that matter.  It was principles that brought that fallen staffer from the shamefulness of adultery to the exultation of an ambassadorship at the Vatican.

  16. https://nypost.com/2019/04/25/north-korea-sends-us-2-million-medical-bill-for-otto-warmbiers-care-report/

    It's no wonder why the second summit with Kim Jung Un fell apart..Trump stiffed him for 2 million bucks. You'd think that Kim would have done his research about what to expect from Trump when it comes to honoring his financial commitments.

    I don't mean to make light of the tragedy that befell Otto Warmbier. My point in commenting is to draw attention the the farce and fraud that is Donald Trump. I go back in my mind to scene from the Wizard of Oz where Toto draws back the curtain exposing the wizard who is busy pulling levers and pressing buttons to create an image of a powerful Oz. And in the midst of his realizing he's been exposed he calls out.."Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain". That's how I see Trump. Creating an image of power and self assuredness while in reality he's a weak and sniveling coward who never found either the courage or the desire to even face himself. What a bag of shit he is.

    Yep, Old Fred Trump could give young Donald buckets of emotionally detached cold hard cash. but he couldn't give Donald the thing a boy needs from his father the most..a sense of self worth. 

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