Stuff to Read

Here’s someone else asking what the bleep is going on with Nancy Pelosi. Paul Waldman:

For the life of me, I can’t understand why Pelosi can’t just say, “I get where they’re coming from but we just happen to disagree on this, and that’s fine,” and leave it at that. But she seems unable to keep herself from showing contempt for the fact that younger members such as Ocasio-Cortez have large social media followings (“their public whatever and their Twitter world”), as though she doesn’t understand this newfangled technology and therefore it must be stupid and irrelevant. She’s often equally dismissive of their policy priorities, calling the Green New Deal “the green dream or whatever they call it.” …

… The broader context in which this is taking place is a disagreement about the best way for the Democratic Party to oppose President Trump, and in particular to make it less likely that he’ll win reelection. Among the party’s activist base there’s a growing belief that Pelosi has essentially decided to sit back and wait for Trump to do himself in.

So for instance, Pelosi and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal acted as though getting Trump’s tax returns was a matter of no particular urgency, waiting months before filing an official demand for them, and then months more before suing when the administration refused. The response to the administration’s refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas has been less than vigorous.

And then, of course, there’s impeachment. There are various legitimate opinions you might have on its merits, but here’s what Pelosi told Dowd: “The thing is that, he every day practically self-impeaches by obstructing justice and ignoring the subpoenas.” This “self-impeachment” idea is one she has brought up repeatedly.

Liberals hear that and are disgusted, because saying the president is “self-impeaching” means Democrats don’t actually have to do anything, they just need to wait for him to destroy himself. Which was what a lot of Democrats thought in the summer and fall of 2016.

One might think the older Democrats don’t actually want to fight Trump.

Speaking of which — here’s a very smart opinion piece by Jamelle Bouie asking why Trump isn’t reaching out to the center. Bouie doesn’t spell this out, but one does realize that it’s only Democrats who incessantly are being told they must appeal to moderates and “reach across the aisle” to compromise with Republicans. Republicans, apparently, don’t need to bother.

Greg Sargent discusses William P. Barr’s role as hidden enabler of the president’s deepening corruption.

Nice historical perspective on I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump.

Posting will be light this week because I will have company,

21 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. Thanks to being called "The Liberal Media" for over 4 decades, our MSM has been trained to treat the most bigoted Republicans as middle-of-the-road politicians.

    And as some sort of concession to conservatives, it seems like over that time, the MSM has resorted to steeping itself in "both-siderism' – so for every immigrant child in a cage, some commenter  on mahablog called Donald J. Trump a  churlish child.  So, "BOTH SIDES DO IT!!!!"

    If anyone's interested, my comment on the last post covers how I feel about my party, the Democratic Party.

    It started with, "I guess you can't take a stand if your spine is made of Jello."

    And I'll stand by that line, and repeat it, until the Democratic Party finally grows a spine, and goes on the offensive. 

  2. Nancy represents the Democratic Party and the liberals she slammed represent progressive voters. Scratch off one layer of who is pulling the strings on the party and you find money. Liberals with money who get rich when their side is in power. 

    Scratch the surface of damn near any issue and when the paint comes off, whether it's red paint or blue paint, the policy beneath is always GREEN. Not environmentally green – green as in greenbacks. Skip policy for five minutes and look at how candidates are raising money. Sanders and Warren have skipped traditional fundraising – Biden reportedly is assuring big $ donors at closed-door events that he has their back.

    This is the thing we have to fix before we can fix the other things. A wall of separation between big money and our government is the gateway to all the other stuff.

    • Just to extend your excellent comment, which I agree with and the situation described has frustrated me to no end, Pelosi represents the democratic party which represents the wealth donors and their interests.  Democratic leadership will not support any policy that either doesn't benefit the wealthy or that may cost them substantially, in their estimation.  And they will not put up a sustained, substantive fight against the GOP for any "progressive" demands, like with the recent immigration bill, as long as the GOP continues to provide cover and an "intellectual basis" for the democrats incrementalist approach, the purpose of which is really nothing more than appeasement of the democratic constituency while the party focuses on the wealthy donor class.

      Unfortunately Pelosi has allowed herself to symbolize this issue.

  3. Democrats have made plenty of mistakes, but they deserve some slack. We all share a media-driven virtual zeitgeist now. It's to our benefit to recognize that the owners and movers and shakers of the media are not reliable friends to the general public or the political party that more represents them. It's in their money-making nature to play up conflicts, including those between would-be or actual Democrats. The media corporate types have better incomes than most and 401(k)s. Their interests aren't exactly those of the common person.

    Chris Matthews is fun to watch on the 'liberal' station. He knows a lot about politics and is sometimes funny. As of several years ago he was making $5M per year. It's not all about money, but it's not not all about money either.

    • " It's in their money-making nature to play up conflicts, including those between would-be or actual Democrats "

      You got that right, most of this hand wringing about the democratic establishment is either a media marketing ploy or a political ploy being played by the parts of the democratic party that have little to no support. It's always been this way during election season, it just seems more intense because people are so connected (twitter, fakebook and all). In the end the democrats will nominate a center-left candidate, hopefully the party rank and file will support the nominee. Unfortunately many on the left cannot be counted on anymore, many of them seem willing to burn the whole thing down unless they get everything they want?

      • I don't get too much of a sense many on the left want to burn it all down. That seems to be more a sentiment of the right. After all, they're still supporting the most immoral, ignorant, lawless, anti-American, elitist, pro-hostile-country freak to ever be president. As long as they get a few Supreme Court justices and tax breaks it's all good as far as they're concerned.

        The lefties have a right and obligation to represent their districts. It's the chattering class who tsk-tsks about how crazy they are. And they're the people who gave Trump billions in free coverage during his campaign. Ironic, huh?

  4. … Pelosi has essentially decided to sit back and wait for Trump to do himself in.

    "Doing oneself in" is not, in this context, actually a thing. Neither is "self-impeaching," a phrase Pelosi has actually used. Trump got 46 percent of the vote in 2016 and he'll get 46 percent of the vote again. Someone has to actually do something.

  5. This is a fine video embedded in the Jonna Ivan article I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump.

    It goes well with several of the comments here.  

  6. So Bill (white washer) Barr recused himself from Trump's buddy Jeff Epstein pedophile case before he didn't? It only took around 12 hours? Me thinks doll hands Donny must have called his buddy Bill last night and said: Bill your my Roy Cohn, not my fucking Jeff Sessions, you need to make goddamn sure none of this Jeffrey Epstein shit gets anywhere near me, do your fucking job god damnit!


  7. This is sweet…

    Seems the judge has put Trump's justice department lawyers in a damned if I do and damned if I don't situation. Maybe word will get out that any dealing, in any capacity with Trump can turn your life/career into shit. Should be interesting to see if they can wiggle out and save their careers.

     What does one do in a situation like this? Commit perjury with the hope that Trump has got your back? Or tell the truth that you lied the court because Trump instructed you to lie, or maybe lied of your own volition?

  8. Trump will not self destruct. Pelosi is a fool to think that. He will never back down. He will have to be dragged out of power by force.

    • I don't pretend to know more about politics than Pelosi.  However, I am getting tired of her and her politics.  Someone once said:  "Either you do the right thing or you have excuses why you didn't". 


  9. Here's the status of House members as of the end of June:

    81 are for an impeachment inquiry
    80 Democrats, 1 Republican

    354 are against, or have no public position
    156 Democrats, 198 Republicans

    It doesn't take Pelosi's vote counting skill to see there's not enough support to begin formal impeachment. The Pelosi / left Dem conflict has been spun by the media for maximum effect. It's an exciting, easy-to-follow conflict that's also off the point and makes both sides seem unreasonable. Pelosi uncharacteristically made a mistake dissing the new, left district representatives to Maureen Dowd, but we all make mistakes.

    • Is your argument that Pelosi is justified in her cowardice because she's surrounded by other cowards? You might be able to tell I am unconvinced. If they proceed with an impeachment inquiry and at the end, the majority decide to not proceed, then let the record tally the stand each member took. And let them be held to account by voters for their stand.

      She's doing a Mitch McConnell impression – and I'm not impressed.

      • I don't agree with the premise that not going forward with impeachment is cowardly. The numbers don't yet add up because the public perception isn't favorable. We'll see how much things change after Mueller testifies.

        There's a popular argument that beginning impeachment would bring the public around, but there are a lot of risks attached this close to an election. I trust Pelosi understands them better than I do.


      • Doug,

        Your argument seems to be impeach for impeachment sake, with the only logical outcome being that the democratic party gets burned. What is the point of that? So we can say: Look we did the right thing and lost the Presidency and our majority in the house, but at least we did the right thing? Winston points out rather soundly that the majority of the democratic caucus is against impeachment (so too is the majority of the country), you can call them cowards all you want, I think your scorn is misplaced. I think they are being practical, politicians considering the politics of a fruitless exercise. I'm not the least surprised, and frankly I admire the moderates for sticking to their guns against all the pressure that the chattering class and the mainstream media can bring. Your entire argument ends with: “let them be held to account by voters for their stand ", exactly who does that benefit besides Trump? The democrats did not win the majority in the house by surging to the left, yes 4-5 new members are farther to the left than most but the vast majority of the new members come from moderate purple districts. They have votes too. The house may not be as liberal as you would like but we got the people elected we needed to win the majority. That majority maybe hasn’t pushed the progressive policies that many of us would like (even if they did they would die in the senate) but they have prevented the repugs from driving the country farther into the right-wing abyss!

    • I wonder, of the 156 democrats that are against/have no public opinion have taken the time to actually read the Mueller Report.  There was a report the other day that *most* reps in the House have not read it.  I also wonder, of the 156 democrats, how many have come out against impeachment vs no opinion. 

      I suspect that most of those with "no opinion" have not read the report, most would likely be for it if the egregiousness of what's in the report were made plain to them.  Something that, I doubt will be achieved with Mueller's testifying next week.  But if you totaled the number for impeachment plus those with no opinion, that would be a majority, which means the speaker's job is to make sure that all members have a full awareness of what went on.  Pelosi is certainly not doing that.

      • You're probably right that some who haven't expressed an opinion haven't read the report. It might also be that some are trying to get a clear read on their districts.

        • We can say with some certainty, based on reporting and events, that when the Mueller Report is read the reader comes out for impeachment.  And this is not a political opinion.  Mueller is hardly a partisan, and the facts as he found them speak for themselves.

          Keep in mind that a big reason for the larger than usual turnout in 2018 was a desire to hold Trump accountable.  It would be dishonest to say otherwise.  And this was the case for those in "moderate" districts as well.  Democrats prevailed in some of these center-right districts, because of the desire to hold Trump accountable.

          Unless "getting a clear read" means they are trying to go to each constituent and ask them what they think, it shouldn't take weeks or months now, what the read is.  The "read" was their election to their seats by constituents who were sick of Trump's antics and want some accountability, checks and balances. 

          What has to happen now is these constituents need to be availed of what the report actually says, and democrats are not doing that by the steps Pelosi has taken.  In fact, they're doing the opposite, signaling, by implication of their actions or lack thereof, that Trump is no big deal, this is just "politics as usual," the typical "Washington" back and forth.  If I believed that I would be against impeachment as well.  

          Either way, this will leave those voters who saw fit to put the dems in the majority in the House for the reasons they did disillusioned.  Either (a) Trump is right, he's not as bad as they say he is, otherwise they would have impeached him, so why did they lie to me, or (b) Trump is as bad, which is why I voted for accountability, and yet the democrats are doing the typical "Washington politician thing" and just enabling one of their own by refusing to impeach. 

          Either way, neither of these thought processes translates into a reason to keep democrats in power or maybe even put one in the white house in 2020. And I fear Pelosi, may be making a huge miscalculation if her goal is keeping dems in power in 2020.

          • Agreed on most points. However, isn't having Mueller testify an attempt to inform? Remember that Barr, among many others, was quick to confuse the public by lying about what the Mueller report actually concluded. For obvious reasons, televised hearings will have an effect the written report didn't.

            By "a clear read" I meant whether representatives can be sure their district will support a vote for impeachment. Speaking to every resident isn't necessary. And not every representative is a new hire.

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