I Have Little Hope Right Now

I am not following the hearings themselves but the reactions to them, because frankly whenever a Republican starts asking questions I feel nausea. Stupidity has that effect on me. So I’ve cranked up some music so I can’t hear the television set.

The day’s hearings are not over, but frankly I don’t see that anything will be accomplished. Lefties are certain Mueller’s testimony hurt Trump. Righties are already just as certain that Mueller’s testimony exonerates Trump.

For example, the crew at Twitchy is tearing down Mueller for being weak and senile. They have also apparently just learned that “collusion” is not a legal term, a point we lefties knew all along, and somewhere in their tiny little minds they have decided that this fact repudiates Adam Schiff in some manner. Righties are, frankly, dumb as stumps sometimes. They are also making much over Mueller’s refusal to answer many questions that call for him to draw conclusions not already drawn in the report, which of course is just following Bill Barr’s orders.

It was apparently a big surprise to some people that Trump can be indicted and prosecuted once he leaves office; I hadn’t realized that even was a question. There is also a lot of attention being paid to Mueller’s reasons for not indicting, which is old news, seems to me.

Yes, we’ve gotten some headlines that the president is “not exculpated,” which will mean nothing to most Trump supporters, a crew that struggles with second-grade level English.

It’s not all bad, of course. Josh Marshall writes,

I don’t want to get too fan-boyish about Adam Schiff. But his questioning and that of the intelligence committee Democrats so far is a good illustration of zeroing in on what is important in all of this. President Trump and his campaign encouraged Russian assistance in the 2016; they cooperated with it; they profited from it. The President and his campaign manager were both trying to make cash windfalls in Russia while all this was happening. This is what is important. This is a massive betrayal of country. Whether that amounted to a statute crime is secondary.

Right; and of course if a Democratic president had done anything even faintly resembling that he would have been impeached in a heartbeat. But Republicans protect their own, no matter how corrupt and traitorous they are.

Marshall also says,

It is worth noting the essence of the Republican argument is that the President really should not have been investigated since he could not be indicted. And if he must be investigated the public shouldn’t learn anything about what was discovered unless there was an indictment, which of course can’t happen.

Maybe not, but presidents sure as hell can be impeached. We need to begin impeachment hearings. We don’t have to have a vote right away. Just start the blasted hearings.

13 thoughts on “I Have Little Hope Right Now

  1. If it were up to me I'd begin an impeachment inquiry and slow walk it right up to November 2020. I truly believe that allowing Trump to get out from under the gun will benefit him enough to possibly win reelection. The Dem's should beat the tar out of Trump's criminal activity to the point where the majority of Americans just want to be done with him and all the bullshit he brings to the office.  Initiate some Trump overload! Basta!

    When I think about our founding fathers decision to make misdemeanors an impeachable offense, I have to realize that they weren't intending that the president had to violate established statutes like we understand misdemeanors to be in the present day. They meant misdemeanors to be a check on wrong doing in the violation of allegiances and adherence to the ideals of America. Trump is a bag of shit who's in it for himself and his family. He's not concerned for the American people.

     He's a canker on the soul and spirit of America.

  2. Mueller didn’t drop any bombshells, but given he previously said his testimony would be limited to the contents of the report, not to mention Mueller’s no-drama, bureaucratic demeanor, it was not hard to predict the session would end the way it did.  Either the dem leadership thought a smoking gun would come out of the Mueller hearings that would give them the cover to move forward with impeachment, or it would land with the dull thud it thus far has that would give them cover to continue on the current path of avoiding impeachment.  I believe some on the democratic side are very happy with the latter.

    Today’s hearings they should have been the opening salvo in an impeachment inquiry.  They already have the evidence; Mueller just confirmed it again today.  But it would have carried more weight.  Putting Mueller out there to tell us what we already know and risking him being discredited by the right is the price dems pay for looking for someone else to take the lead. 

    And, waiting for the evening news reports to see how Mueller’s testimony  played with the chattering classes once again conveys doubt, giving the perception of undermining the evidence in the report.  Begging what will be a very legitimate question for some, e.g. how is impeachment justified now when it wasn’t before Mueller testified, especially when his testimony was no different than what was in the report all along?

    I’m not ready to stick a fork in this and declare it a waste of time.  But after this, whether they impeach or not, they’ve only made the impact of either decision potentially more devastating for the party.  This is not looking good as a GOTV motivator for 2020. 

  3. I watched some of the hearings. Mueller was as he promised, refusing to speculate about Trump, his criminality, the Steele Dosier, internal DOJ discussions, whether Barr is a poo-poo head, etc. It made for boring TV which probably caused Donald to soil his pants. 

    On the other hand, Mueller was honest. Trump isn't off the hook – he can be prosecuted after he leaves office. The report did NOT clear Trump. Mueller confirmed incidents which are ancient history to us but were news to low-information voters, as you observed Maha. In both hearings, Democrats did a good job of getting confirmation of the facts which show Trump is a criminal.

    Mueller is a registered Republican. He doesn't want to be a tool for Democrats. At a guess, Mueller would prefer an honest conservative in the office and Mueller knows how crooked Trump is. There's no way for Mueller can 'win' – if Trump loses but Sanders wins, it's a disaster following a disaster to Mueller. The bitter partisanship and dishonesty isn't Mueller's way. Both sides were pursuing political wins with little regard for the truth. The hearing was wading through a cesspool for him and he just wants to be rid of the stench.

    I don't think either side advanced the ball, which is a net win for Trump. The confirmed facts are there when we get into the general election debates – like about Trump Tower Moscow and the dishonesty of Trump repeatedly denying the business interests he had there in the campaign. Shift did a good job of bringing that out – Trump was using the election to try to make money – the Russians were using Trump to get sanctions lifted. 

    This is a 'reality show' election – with very little reality. Trump is trying to create an illusion that will allow him to stay out of the reach of prosecution. Democrats are trying to tear down the Trump magic show and discredit the tricks. For the voters who will decide the election, health care, education and future prosperity are their concerns. 

  4. I didn't expect much. 

    And I got it! 

    In spades…

    Sure, I dreamed of a Col. Jessep moment from "A Few Good Men," when he goes nutzoid and yells, " YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!! "

    But that dream faded quickly, like a tear in a rainstorm…

    • "But that dream faded quickly, like a tear in a rainstorm…"

      I see what you did there.

  5. I think that enough has been established for impeachment proceedings to go forward if only for one simple reason:  to formally establish that the president is a suspected criminal, and that a president who is under such suspicion should not be able to involve us in discretionary wars which should be the purview of congress in the first place.  

    Somehow I feel that marker has been well established and justified and needs to be laid somewhere in plain sight.  The president is doing a lot of hideous things.  He should not be allowed to declare a war.

  6. In the continuing saga of Puerto Rico, a United States possession, a promising breakthrough has occurred with the impending resignation of the governor.  A man of Trumpian insensitivity with ties to all manner of apparent corrupt enterprises, continuing the exploitation of the people and the institutions of this hurricane devastated island.  

    At least  those United States citizens will not need to wait until 2020 for a rainbow of hope and relief.  May the replacement show leadership sensitive to  the needs of the people who live there.  They will not be the last victims associated with climate change. 

  7. Adam Schiff stated unequivocally the hearing did what was expected. He also said most House Democrats believe the only way to get Trump out of office is the coming election. He further said that if impeachment proceedings are begun with no hope of conviction in the Senate, Trump and his minions will claim complete exoneration. For the time being, there are no obvious holes in his argument, as frustrating as that might be.

  8. Swami, I instantly thought of you when I read this.  



    Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, always a reliable embarrassment for the GOP, started by putting into the record a hit job he wrote on Mueller, Robert Mueller: Unmasked. He railed at Mueller about perpetuating “injustice” to the point where the usually stoic former FBI director broke his Joe Friday demeanor, held up his hand, and said dismissively: “I take your question.”

    • Bernie.. I didn't realize that Gohmert had such an intense hatred for Mueller. But after making a quick review of his little pamphlet titled, Robert Muller: Unmasked it becomes clear that Gohmert has some serious dislike for Mueller. It kinda explains the anger I was seeing in Gohmert. I'm surprised I didn't see steam coming out of Gohmert's ears.

       At one point awhile back I did see a video of an exchange between Gohmert and Mueller, where Mueller blew Gohmert off with a rather cutting reply. Mueller complimented an assessment that Gohmert had made, with the idea that he was able to make such a fine assessment without the use of any facts.

  9. I think Mueller has made his point. He made it months ago, but they made him testify anyway. His point is and has been, "I did my job now you do yours." I wish everyone, Congress, bloggers, commenters, journalists, would just stop with the "What will Mueller do/say now??" stuff. The report is there. Use it. But everyone in Congress is scared. Scared to take the first punch. No judge is going to do it for them. No prosecutor. No superhero. No deus ex machina. The GOP is not self destructing nor will it. Democrats have to fight. They may lose.


  10. The two sides (voters) are so entrenched – nothing is going to move the Trump Cultists or the Trump Impeachment Team.  The 2020 election will be about who stays home – not who turns out. Trump can't win on the cultists alone (40%) even with the electoral college advantage. Any normal politician would pivot to the center once the nomination is secured. Trump is fanning the flames of racism and becoming more boldly fascist every day. There are no signs of moderation in Trump's campaign conduct.

    The only way Trump can win (and he can win) is if the normally low-turnout groups do not show up. Statistically, this is young people, Latinos, and African-Americans (unless there's a black person on the ballot.) The GOP seems to have officially embraced Russian intervention in this election as long as it's in their favor. They blocked the fourth Election Security Bill in the Senate today. Combined with Trump's previous comment about accepting foreign 'dirt' on the opposition, I conclude the Russo-GOP alliance is official.

    The Democrat who wins the nomination has to be engaged in the battleground states (including Texas and Florida plus the swing states HRC neglected). In some places, the most effective strategy may be to convince GOP loyalists in swing states that Trump has failed them with the intended result of getting some non-racist Republicans to sit this one out. Trump's list of broken promises and lies (about Trump Tower Moscow) won't ever persuade a conservative to vote for Liz, but it might convince them to decline to engage for Trump. In terms of selecting the best candidate to beat Trump, we should look at who most excites the segments of the population LEAST likely to turn out (young people and minorities.) Turnout from those fickle voters will be the win-lose margin. 

    My wife could not bring herself to vote for Clinton – being a repugnant candidate has a price. She didn't like Trump, either. The Russian impact on the 2016 election can't be quantified but their strategy was to amplify disgust for Clinton among Democrats. Since it worked, this will be the strategy from Moscow in 2020 but we Democrats have had four years to contemplate the cost of a "Bernie or Bust" movement. This time, it won't be accepted free speech to foster symbolic opposition because your candidate didn't prevail by throwing away your vote or encouraging other Democrats to do it.

    I'd like Democrats to go after Trump in the GE with "Promises Made – Promises Broken" in red states and battleground states. Video of Trump disavowing any Russia connection is public – so is the signed and dated Letter of Intent for Trump Tower Moscow.  Mexico isn't paying for the wall – something close to zero new wall has been built. The objective isn't to win over conservatives – it's to get some percent of non-cultist conservatives to vote for the independent conservative.  Remember the margin in the  Rust Belt states was razor-thin. 

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