The Repeachment is Coming

Well, it looks like Impeachment 2: The Repeachening is going to happen, and while I can’t exactly say I’m pleased — would that we had had a president who did not need to be impeached once, much less twice! — I can say that no one has ever deserved a second impeachment more than Donald Trump. My understanding is that he’s being impeached for inciting an insurrection, and that makes sense because a) he did, b) it’s easy for everyone to understand, c) we have all sorts of evidence of it, including video of him exhorting a crowd of heavily armed insurrectionists just before they stormed the capitol. If this were your average criminal trial, he would have already have his lawyers trying to plea bargain to spend his sentence at Otisville Federal Prison Camp rather than that federal Supermax in Colorado.

Of course it’s not your average criminal trial, and the question is whether the Senate will actually convict him. One plan I’ve heard is for the House to impeach Trump but wait a spell — a few months, actually — before sending it over to the Senate to adjudicate. This is a new one on me, since I didn’t know you could have an impeachment trial for someone who is no longer in office, but if you can there is some sense to it. One, the Senate will have changed hands by then, and a Democrat-controlled chamber will be easier to have a fuller trial; two, by then there’s a better than even chance that Trump will be mired in other legal suits and filings on a state and federal level, so this will look less like a singular event and more like just another log on his legal pyre; three, it’s possible more GOP senators, fatigued from all of the Trump bullshit that is still clinging to them, will vote to convict. If they convict, then a simple majority vote will keep Trump from ever holding office again (which is another reason for senate presidential aspirants to vote to convict).

But personally speaking I will be fine with them trying to get it done in the (checks watch) next eight and half days. I would be delighted to see which GOP senators are willing to excuse a sitting president for sending a howling mob of insurrectionists into the Capitol to fucking murder them. Those are going to be some real profiles in courage, there. Why wait?

— JS

108 Comments on “The Repeachment is Coming”

  1. Conviction carries multiple benefits (penalties). He loses his pension. He loses his office expenses. He loses secret service protection. He loses any access to classified information. Even after he is gone, all those things are good for America

  2. I agree that he deserves an impeachment and to get convicted of it if for no other reason than one that you gave of keeping him from holding office in the future. However, what I figure will actually happen is that he’ll be impeached and then the conviction will fail as it needs a 2/3rds majority and Trump will just do what he did last time fairly successfully and spin the whole thing as “complete vindication”. So, in the end, it’ll all be meaningless and truly “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    I’m not sure that’s a good enough reason to not do it, but I think it’s the likely result.

  3. I think it makes sense to wait to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate. As I understand it, the Senate is not formally in session right now and can’t take up impeachment without unanimous consent (given the knuckleheads in the sedition caucus that’s pretty much a non-starter). They go back into session on the 19th, I think, and if there are articles of impeachment waiting for them would have to take them up immediately, which would give us the spectacle of Trump being tried even as Biden is being inaugurated. On the other hand, if the House waits until, say, a week into the Biden term, you get all the benefits you mention without clown show distracting from us getting a new President.

  4. kastandlee – Fernley NV USA – Chair of Westercon 74 in Tonopah, Nevada. One of the administrators of TheHugoAwards.org and Westercon.org. Inveterate SF/F genre convention organizer.
    kastandlee

    Unfortunately, when the Senate adjourned after dismissing the Pennsylvania ballot challenge (which even the seditious Senator who raised it didn’t bother to debate), they put up procedural roadblocks (they do this routinely as they work around the prohibition one either house of Congress adjourning for more than three days without the other’s permission) that would require unanimous consent to even consider a bill of impeachment. And of course, as they have several seditious Senators who consider trying to enthrone King Donald I more important than obeying the US Constitution, they’ll never get unanimous consent. Consequently, they can’t even consider it until the 19th or 20th.

    There is apparently at least one case of a cabinet Secretary having been impeached even as they resigned in an attempt to evade any penalty. The Senate convicted and made the person ineligible for any future office. While I heard someone on the news saying, “it would be up to the courts to decide,” I suspect that the courts — even those full of Trumpists, based on the way they behaved during the election — will say, “Impeachment is a political issue, not a legal one. We don’t have jurisdiction.”

  5. I think the Impeachment dance is basically useless; however I approve of it because it helps to keep the initiative in the hands of congress. I am seriously worried about what the deranged President might do in the next few days, and being impeached might distract him enough to mess up whatever arrangements he tries to make.

    Keep in mind that in his “concession” video he did not congratulate the winner, and only promised that there would be “an orderly transition of power” — he did NOT say to whom. I picture him having his fingers crossed behind his back and thinking, orderly transition to ME. Seriously, what would you do if the dawn of the 20th revealed a cordon of military with tanks around congress denying entry, and announcing an “emergency” takeover?

  6. I will add another benefit to waiting: four, the Democrat-controlled Senate can confirm Biden’s nominees and other positions.

    BTW, Trump losing his benefits and not being to run for office again, need to be written into the convection. It’s not automatically part of the process.

  7. From what I understand (from waaaay too much TV and news inhalation), waiting for a few months (since McConnell insists he won’t bring the Senate back early to deal) will allow Cabinet officials to be confirmed and let soon-to-be-President Biden have his first 100 days in office unimpeded by the distraction of a senate impeachment trial.

    Personally, it’s lovely not hearing the news waste time reporting on Trump’s tweets, and watching little bits of independent action, possibly because there are no retaliatory tweets coming. Honorary degrees are being rescinded, the PGA has removed an upcoming tournament from Bedminster, disbarments are being investigated.

    9 more days.

  8. PS: President Biden can withdraw former president Trump’s clearance. Allowing former officials to keep a clearance is a courtesy, often used to an administration can consult former officials. But a clearance is a privilege not a right that can be withdrawn by the granting authority at any time (as long as it’s not for a prohibited reason, such as racial bias or retribution).

    There is one category of exception for certain election officials: one, every member of Congress is eligible for a clearance by virtue of being elected, to be granted when that member joins the relevant Congressional committees, such Select Committee on Intelligence; and two, the current president and vice president automatically have clearances, including (at least for the president) every special subset and category.

  9. I love teh folks here. Other places it’s hyperventilating that we have to do it NOW, and any failure to do so is evidence of pusillanimity on the Democrats part, and I read the comments and we’re all, it would be great but since McConnell has set it up so Hawley or Cruz alone could derail consideration, we might as well consider the best timing given that reality.

  10. I’d very much like to see a conviction come to pass, even if it’s after he’s out. Especially since I’ve seen “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States” interpreted to mean that in addition to not being able to run for President orany federal elected office, or be appointed to (at least) any position that required Senate approval, he’d lose a bunch of perks that ex-presidents get. The most satisfying would be his pension, but ex-POTUS’s also get a killer deal on some federal office space that I’m sure he’d try to sublet in some sort of scam. And I think he’d lose his Secret Service protective detail. Not sure how I feel about that last one, but I hope he ends up in prison for the rest of his life, making the matter moot.

  11. Not enough time …. how fast was a supreme court judge confirmed after the death of the notorious RBG, less than 10 days.

    What should the GOP do to reach across the isle? I think the GOP with a new idea should court the Democratic party. Criminal Justice reform that empties prisons, we will hear your ideas. Moving West Virginia away from coal, please share your thoughts. Increasing IRS’s teeth in lieu of tax increases, please sit down.

  12. Republicans are settling on the narrative that impeachment and a trial will just further divide Americans and we need to heal.

    Some quick points to deny oxygen to that narrative:

    America is bitterly divided already and will be if there’s no trial. So what?
    Republicans, you figuratively and literally have blood on your hands. The pro-Trump insurrectionists are your base too.
    There must be consequences. Not holding the powerful accountable ensures that Congress is setting the table for future insurrectionists.

  13. I can name five, all from my state, that will likely vote against the impeachment as four of them did the first time. The fifth, I’m certain, will fall in line. So here’s five.
    Rep. Markwayne Mullin
    Rep. Kevin Hern
    Rep. Frank Lucas
    Rep. Tom Cole
    Rep. Stephanie Bice

    I hope they do the right thing but doubt it.

  14. I think impeachment is a great idea- if the Senate either refuses to consider or votes against conviction- that’s one ,more vote showing just who they are and what they value.

  15. Please let us not be distracted or put at ease, in light of rumblings that pro-coup militia plan another assault on the Capital on Jan. 19th…

  16. A commission will be formed to look into the security lapses and why the delays in reinforcement of the Capitol Police. Gonna get dirty. So much blame to go around and a lot of bright lines will be drawn between Trump and the success of the breach of the Capitol building. He’ll be shown to be complicit. . Impeach in the House, and wait on the Senate. Mitch will not be able to save his caucus from having to vote on conviction. Some will be safe anyways, but if we are past the pandemic and the economy is in recovery, some up in 2022 will be in big trouble.

  17. I just read this on the LA Times:

    “We must come together to heal our nation, but House Democrats’ latest attempts to remove the president from office will further divide us,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), chairman of the House Republican campaign arm. “It is a politically-motivated effort by Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats that will fracture our nation even more instead of bringing us together.”

    The hypocrisy of the above quote appalls me.

  18. timeliebe – Central NY – Dreaded Spouse-Creature to bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce (SONG OF THE LIONESS, THE CIRCLE OPENS, BEKA COOPER: A TORTALL LEGEND series), a co-author of TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, Co-author with Tamora Pierce of Marvel's WHITE TIGER: A HERO'S OBSESSION for Marvel Comics. Contributing Editor for VIDEO Magazine during the 1990s, Columnist for C/Net 1999 - 2002.
    timeliebe

    The best reason I heard for letting it go forward was from Bernie Sanders, “Because it sets a precedent.”

    Too often, incoming Presidents refuse to go after their predecessors even if their predecessors (like George W. Bush) committed crimes so profound that they deserve to be dragged to court in chains! If the point is made that outgoing Presidents are no longer immune to prosecution, then maybe the next George W. Bush who comes along will think twice before using the Bill of Rights as toilet paper….

  19. 14th amendment section 3:
    No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    Not sure how it would be enforced.

  20. Given that Biden has over 1000 positions to fill when he take over, I think there’s a lot to say for delaying an impeachment trial, particularly since McConnell is dumping this onto Shumer.

  21. The best excuse I have heard for waiting is to Give President Biden his first 100 days without an impeachment trial as a (I hesitate to say it) distraction. The first 100 days are traditionally the best chance for a new president to get major policy initiatives passed, and I actually agree to some extant with those that are saying the country needs to move forward instead of still dealing with President Trump even after he is out of office.

  22. Derryl Murphy: I’m pretty sure most people know Trump has to be convicted as well as impeached. Still, he can’t be convicted if he isn’t impeached–first things first, so to speak.

    I also knew (and I’m pretty sure that John implied it, at least, in the original post) that the ban from running for office is something that has to be voted on after conviction, too . . . but it would only require a simple majority, not what the actual conviction would require.

    Personally, I think Trump should be impeached in part because he richly deserves to go down in history as the first and only (so far) president to be impeached twice in one term–at that’s a minimum, since I would much rather he went down in history as the first president ever formally convicted of impeachable offenses, but I’ll take what we can get. I also hope he’s convicted and “removed from office” even if it’s after the end of his term because I don’t put it past him to run around claiming that he’s still the real president even after Biden is inaugurated and stirring up various crazies that way–well, he’s going to stir up crazies anyway, but I still think a Senate worth the effort, whenever it happens. Again, though, first things, though: impeach, then try, then–I sincerely hope–convict.

  23. If Pence can’t grow a pair and invoke the 25th, it is the only way to rid ourselves of this pestilence. It needs done and it needs to be done now, not wait for anything.

    They also need to start talking about making sure the Trumpster gets everything taken from him that can be taken. Someone needs to be made an example and he is the one it should be made of. Don’t let it look in any way like he profited from it.

    Then send the Army in and drag his ass out of there, with another Trespassing ticket.

  24. There’s another fairly urgent political necessity: I think it’s clear that there’s a number of Republican congress people who cannot, in good conscience, be seated. I’m thinking of “Mo” Brooks. I’m thinking of Cruz and Hawley. I’m thinking of the QAnon loon who was texting Pelosi’s physical whereabouts as the mob was rushng the Capitol. I’m thinking of a lot of the aides for a lot of the Republicans –.most of that lot are only there because they’re grooming themselves for similar antics in the future. For them, for their circle, the treason might be nothing more than a resume- builder.
    It’s going to be horrible, but I don’t see how it’s avoidable. The right-wingers have demonstrated that they are willing to murder people they call colleagues.

  25. Just a couple of technical points:

    The House needs a majority vote to impeach. This is the equivalent of a grand jury voting to indict. A party-line vote with the House’s current membership results in impeachment.

    A trial follows in the Senate, requiring a 2/3 vote to convict. However, under Senate rules, no trial can begin until at least one full day after an impeachment has been read into the record and announced on the floor of the Senate. The Senate does not go back into session until 1800Z (1pm EST) on 19 January, meaning that under the Senate’s rules (which have been in place for a long time) no trial could start until, at earliest, 1800Z (1pm EST) on 20 January. The Orange One’s term ends at 1700Z (noon EST) on 20 January, thanks to the 20th Amendment.

    It is uncertain whether the Chief Justice would preside under these circumstances. If The Orange One were in office as President at the outset of the trial, the Chief Justice would preside. Again. But he won’t be, so it’s not at all certain whether the Chief Justice or the Vice President would preside.

    Next topic: There is 19th-century precedent (written by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase — yeah, the guy who was on the no-longer-issued $10,000 bill) indicating that § 3 of the 14th Amendment is self-executing — that is, there doesn’t have to be a separate bill passed saying “The following individuals, having committed Acts of Insurrection against these United States, are hereby barred from all offices in these United States pursuant to the Constitution of the United States, Amendment XIV, § 3.” But there does have to be a finding of having committed insurrection… or we’re back to militia-movement “sovereign citizens’ courts” nonsense. Or, for that matter, back to colonial India.

    The key is that the Fourteenth Amendment does provide another avenue to “keep him from running again”; it doesn’t do so by proclamation (and then there’s that whole Bill of Attainder thing…).

    Last point: Above, someone (I think it was Harry) noted that the President has clearance for every classification program. That fact of clearance, however, doesn’t give him access; access also requires a showing of need to know.

    For example, although the President “has” a TS-SCI clearance that might theoretically allow him to see SCI information regarding the identity of foreign intelligence assets, absent a need to know that information isn’t going to be provided. Intelligence briefings are carefully sanitized to blackhole that information; it virtually never leaves the confines of Langley (CIA) or Ft Meade (NSA) or Bolling (DIA). Hell, even department heads at the intelligence agencies ordinarily only know codewords for sources; the agencies are just not going to grant actual knowledge to an elected official, not even the President, unless convinced that the official really needs that knowledge. And if department heads don’t have that need… “Need to know” matters; it’s what trips up almost all fiction about intelligence activities (because competent intelligence analysts and supervisors assume that almost nobody has a need to know!). I’ll take my dark thoughts about the competence of those who were purportedly supervising Pvt Manning and Mr Snowden somewhere else…

    None of this is to say that there’s no skullduggery. It’s just not the skullduggery thought of outside The Community.

  26. Put all this aside for the sake of “unity” and “healing”? That would be stupid, harmful, and wrong.

    Imagine getting punctured by a small, sharp, poisoned dart. Imagine the medic just seals up the wound. You are now expected to “heal” with the dart AND the poison inside you. Be a nice trick if it doesn’t cripple you, let alone kill you.

    Get the weapon and the poison out of the body politic, and then we can talk about healing. These miserable wastes of space must be held accountable for all the damage they have done. I’m willing to discuss how to do this most effectively. Don’t suggest not doing so.

  27. JAWS: Actually, I gather that there’s a 2004 law that says the leaders of the Senate (aka McConnell and Schumer) could agree to call the Senate back into emergency session before Jan. 19, if they wanted. Doesn’t change an–say, the day after the House sends the articles of impeachment on over. Doesn’t really change anything you have to say, I imagine; it’s pretty clear that McConnell doesn’t want to start an impeachment trial before Jan. 20, so an emergency session isn’t likely to happen either. But I do think he ought to be made to stand up and say that he’s choosing the delay, rather than trying to claim that he has no choice.

    That’s also assuming that the Democrats don’t hang onto the articles for a while for their own reasons, of course.

  28. (1) Mary, the leaders of the Senate may recall the Senate only upon unanimous consent. Somehow, I suspect Messrs Cruz and Hawley will withhold their consent; and that’s enough. So you’re correct that it’s theoretically possible, but the reality is that it won’t happen unless there’s something a lot worse for the Senate to consider.

    (2) Rereading what I wrote earlier (sorry, but this system is terrible for proofreading, and I also have had problems with cut-and-paste-from-another-editor as remarked upon in other topics), I hastily inverted part of the 14th Amendment’s application. Chase held that § 3 is not self-executing, but it was only a circuit-court opinion; it’s precedent, but not binding precedent. There’s no real consensus on whether Chase was “right” (except that whenever Chase ruled while “riding circuit” — that is, acting as a non-Supreme-Court federal judge, and that was common all the way into the 1880s — his opinions get almost no respect from judges who come along later); in my understanding, it’s not a heavily studied area, primarily because once the Confederates had been taken care of in the first three or four years after 1868 it has almost never been invoked. Some of those Confederates were dealt with via journal entry, not even a full resolution, though.

  29. Alan Dershowitz was on TV and he said an actual impeachment was both pointless and impossible. It’s impossible because you would need Congress to do their thing, refer it to the Senate, all Senators would have to unanimously agree to reconvene, agree to the form of the trial, vote, and then remove Trump. He said it was implausible to the point of impossibility to accomplish all of that in 9 days.

    Impeachment is the legal remedy to remove a sitting President from power. Once he is no longer in power there is no jurisdiction for impeachment.

    It is pointless because once a President has been impeached and removed from office there is an additional action that can be taken that can disqualify him for running for public office in the future. However, the pre-condition for this is that that the President had to have been removed from office through the impeachment office. If Trump leaves office on Biden’s inauguration day that condition can no longer be met.

    So, according to Dershowitz it is both impossible to accomplish and nothing can be gained. This of course depends on Dershowitz being correct, and me having understood and relayed it to you accurately.

    I’m no constitutional lawyer, but I think I got it right, and it seems like it makes sense.

    This might explain why Congress’ actions today seemed more geared toward pressuring Pence to invoke the 25th amendment, as that would be the only realistic way to remove Trump before the inauguration.

  30. “…the QAnon loon who was texting Pelosi’s physical whereabouts as the mob was rushing the Capitol.”

    This should surprise me, but it doesn’t.

    Equally unsurprising is republicans’ insistence that we slather makeup over the bruises and pretend to have walked into a door in order to keep the family together.

    Like most abusers, Trump and his zombies decided to destroy what they couldn’t have.

    Apologies if this offends, but the comparison seemed apt.

  31. In the armed forces they say, “You salute the “rank,” not the man,” which I apply to the “office” of president. Given that “only the good die young,” and “the devil looks after his own,” I don’t imagine anyone would ever assassinate Trump, but still, I would want to see him getting the same secret service protection as anyone else that held that office.

    As for what Bernie Sanders said, “precedent,” I am reminded of when, only two or three decades after the war, a nazi-hunter was asked why. “Why would you go after innocent-looking frail white-haired guys?” He replied something like, “The war criminals of tomorrow are living among us as children today. They need to see that crimes will be prosecuted.”

  32. The Constitution does not say there has to be a separate vote for disqualification. It simply says:

    “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.”

    Since Trump will already be out of office, the only judgement possible is disqualification. So there only has to be the one vote. It seems unlikely that 17 Republicans would join 50 Democrats to convict, but who knows how 100 days will change the situation.

    On the other hand, Trump could be convicted with only 50 or 51 votes, if all the Republicans who didn’t want to go on record decided to be somewhere else on the day the vote occurred. The Constitution says 51 members have to be present for a quorum. It also says “And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

  33. Just Sayin’:

    Dershowitz is Drumpf’s lawyer from the last hearing, so take what he’s saying at least somewhat open-mindedly; just because he’s a Harvard law professor doesn’t mean he’s right, especially in areas that have never been tested or that are outside his ordinary expertise (which is criminal law for Dershowitz). Most constitutional law scholars are leaning very much the other way: That impeachment can happen after an individual leaves office, because a conviction on impeachment has substantial other consequences. (Where they differ is whether it’s a good idea…)

    IMNSHO the 25th Amendment would have been invoked if the Vice President and Cabinet had both spines and integrity not later than November 16th or so. Actively rejecting reality is a condition preventing an individual from exercising the office of the Presidency. In the best of all possible worlds, it would have come much earlier than that, but this one is difficult to deny because even if there were irregularities enough electoral votes had been certified to make Biden the President-Elect… meaning that Drumpf was then seeking to overturn the election. Which is utterly distinct from Bush v. Gore as neither was the incumbent.

  34. Sorry, I didn’t follow all the legal subtleties in detail, but am I actually supposed to entertain “arguments” from the firm Dershowitz & Giuliani? I know they’ve got excellent referrals from a really stellar set of clients — presidents! guys who own islands! — but I think their judgement might not be the best available….

  35. Jaws: “Unanimous consent” is what McConnell’s office claims is required. Evidently, there is a resolution dating from the aftermath of 9/11 that could be used to call the Senate back into emergency session without that unanimous consent, if both McConnell and Schumer agree to the need. I’ll try to put in a link to the HuffPost article explaining the details (I originally read about it a Bloomberg article, but that seems to be behind a paywall now), but in case I screw up–highly possible–here’s the money quote:

    Schumer, however, could try to invoke the majority and minority leaders’ combined authority to bring the chamber back into session under a 2004 resolution passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

    The resolution authorizes “the majority and minority leaders or their designees, when the Senate is out of session, acting jointly and within the limits of the Constitution, to modify any order for the time or place of the convening of the Senate when, in their opinion, such action is warranted by intervening circumstances.”

    The idea is to put pressure on McConnell to hold Trump’s second impeachment trial about a year after the president was acquitted by the Senate in his first impeachment trial over abuse of power in his dealings with Ukraine.

    And here’s the link: Schumer Exploring Emergency Session

    Again, I doubt that any such pressure on McConnell is likely to succeed, and I’ve no idea if the original resolution was “within the limits of the Constitution or not” (it seems never to have been tested). But the idea seems to be to take the “hey, my hands are tied” excuse away from him.

  36. There is precedent for impeachment of an official who is no longer in office (I believe it was a Cabinet official who resigned right in the middle of the trial. Congress said Thank You very much and then proceeded to convict).

    Given that there are still substantial penalties on the table even after he’s out of office, it still makes sense to pursue impeachment.

    And I’m hoping that sedition charges are brought against him (that, too, would bar him from office). He could try to self pardon, but that, of all charges, would almost demand the federal government to test the limits of that power.

  37. @Kevin Bailey, disqualification alone would be worth the Trump repeachment.

    The country needs some mechanism for deTrumpification, or like the deplatforming Trump experienced from social media this past week — only for civic and social life.

    The US can prevent him from running again, and greatly frustrate his ability to command a campaign organization or even the GOP should the party choose to internally ensconce him or his family. Many are suspecting about who would get the so-called Keys to the Trump Kingdom and who would be his political successor. They suspect it will be familial, likely Ivanka but it could also be a large adult son — Eric. Or Lyle.

    Still, every Republican believes Trump may play kingmaker and seek one of them to continue on his legacy. This is the problem for us non-deplorables. We hope that we can find that one moment of hypocrisy to walk them back from the brink. Just enough with it. I think psychologically, Republicans identify with Trump’s brand of white grievance and status threat and are cognitively incapable of bringing him to heel (see the work of George Lakoff, particularly “Moral Politics” and the strict father metaphor of conservatism).

    So we need impeachment to do what we can’t trust Republicans to do in good faith.

    Disqualify him from office and set restrictions on his electioneering ability. Here’s another one: Deny him a presidential library. Imagine telling the malignant narcissist that he cannot have his name on a building that could be his key to immortality and the cornerstone of his legacy. The Trump presidential archives and effects that would normally go to a library would instead be in possession of the Library of Congress and go through its usual archiving protocols. (There’s also the matter of a freestanding Trump library serving as a function identical to a Confederate statue — a totem of intergenerational grievance and revisionism.)

  38. Mary, as I read the 2004 resolution, it applies only if the justifying condition occurred on or after the date the recess began… and that means, for this purpose, that only the Article of Impeachment would qualify, not Drumpf’s statements or the attempted coup. I don’t think something that the other house of Congress did is so clearly a changed condition that it falls inside of that resolution; indeed, that was an issue with the first impeachment’s timing.

    “The first impeachment.” Just looking at that phrase again is horrifying, especially after I took my oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, just in time to dive into what was later wound up in what should have been an impeachment in the 1980s…

    In any event, I don’t think that 2004 resolution so clearly changes the Senate’s procedures for a predictable desire for recall that it will hold sway. Whether it should is another issue; I just think it’s poorly worded with too many loopholes. It’s arguable; it should cover it; but in that sense, it’s sort of like the Fourth Amendment’s failure to include telephone calls and audio recordings and electronic files and cell-phone location data — an unfortunate failure of the imagination that leaves things open to argument. Given the timing, the “open to argument” is going to prevail.

  39. Yes, at this point Dershowitz is an entirely bought and paid for Trump subsidiary, whether because of some dirt Trump got on him in their days paling around with Epstein or for some other unfathomable reason. In either case, he’s clearly lost any shred of integrity he had left when it comes to matters Trump.

  40. I don’t believe that 2/3 of the Senate will vote to convict. However, I think the House has to impeach him. We can’t just say “bygones” to an attempted coup.

    The country has a short memory though. I understand the need to give Biden some room for his agenda. But if the House waits too long to send the charges to the Senate, the horrors of last Wednesday will fade from the public’s consciousness.

    I don’t know. As always, Trump turns everything he touches to ashes.

  41. I absolutely hate to say this, but it may turn out that McConnell’s plan to delay may actually work out in favor of the conviction. I’m not saying that’s his plan, not by any means.

    But all the indications are that the same groups that arranged the attack on the Capitol are planning further violent actions in the near future – including, apparently, at every single state Capitol, not to mention the Inauguration.

    If they do that – or even visibly try – it will completely take the wind out of the sails of “Well, it was awful, but it’s all over, so it’s time to start the healing.” Anyone with the slightest shred of intelligence knows it’s all far from over.

    But if, God forbid, this does continue to play out, on national television, even if security forces are able to stop it, even if there are no further deaths, it will just reinforce all the reasons we have to take every available step to stop it and hold those responsible for it accountable. It may be harder for Senate Republicans to sidestep it and there may be far more pressure on them not to do so. The more this builds, the more it becomes a clear cut issue that anyone voting not to convict is voting in support of insurrection. And further proof that their unwillingness to step in sooner or stand up to the worst of it was complicity in allowing it to go as far as it has.

    And if that happens because McConnell didn’t allow the trial to start promptly, that’s a silver lining. It’s a badly tarnished, horrible, and unforgivable silver lining, but possibly a necessary one.

  42. Jaws;

    Where did you learn that the president needs to have need-to-know? I ask because that’s not the case and I’d like to follow your source to see where the confusion lies.

  43. William Worth Belknap was Grant’s Secretary of War who resigned just before he was to be impeached. The House impeached him anyway, but the Senate failed to convict.

  44. Harry: Exact details inside my NDA, but I served as a Security Manager at the [redacted] levels, an alternate at the [redacted but higher] level, and in a variety of [redacted] purple assignments. Then-DODR 5200.1 (now “renumbered” as DODI 5200.1), and the National Security Act of 1947 as amended, do not except anyone from “need to know.” The usual argument is that the stringency of particular program definitions is probably relaxed — since I didn’t have need to know, I didn’t! — but SCI regarding asset identity (the item I specifically referred to) is not one of them.

  45. @Lymis
    Absolutely right.

    One thing I was thinking as I listened to bipartisan objections to repeachment is that accusations of partisanship and pettiness ring hollow, especially coming from those who were neither in any real danger on January 6th nor close to anyone who was.

    Lawmakers and others on the dimmer and/or sociopathic end of the spectrum may embrace the notion that those marked for assassination should take one for the team and let their potential deaths roll off their backs; those who don’t should ignore their virtue signaling.

    I think most of the folks advocating for the “go forth and induce your incurious and extremely dangerous cultists to overthrow the United States government no more” approach are, in all likelihood, perfectly aware of their relative safety should the next attempt be even a partial success.

    Ultimately, I think lockstep inaction on the part of republicans in this instance should be read as a tacit acceptance or indorsement of future attempts on the lives of the targets.

    Should there be any future attacks, be they the work of this or future presidents, I’d hate to have been one of the ones putting forth a disingenuous argument for “unity” and “healing.”

    Someone else raised the rather chilling point that house republicans, in particular the freshman representatives, need watching.

    There is real concern in some circles for the safety of the speaker of the house, the president and vice president and the senate majority leader.

    Someone up thread mentioned one of the newly minted reps texting the speaker’s location to one of the seditionists.

    That rep needs to be removed and arrested yesterday, as does everyone found to have been even remotely involved with the Jan 6th assault.

    I agree with the talking head who advocated for stricter security measures at the Capitol, because it is very clear that many of these republicans are A-Okay with offing coworkers they disagree with.

    In particular, the rep who plans to carry her gun at work needs to be set straight, immediately.

    I don’t know how a government peopled with folks intent on killing their coworkers functions.

    Here’s hoping we don’t have to learn.

  46. Heard on CNN that Deutsche Bank (the last western bank that even talk to Trump) will no longer do business with Trump.

    Plus, Hallmark has put out a demand asking for their money back from Hawley and Roger Marshall.

    And several other corporations have halted campaign contributions to the GOP critters that voted to overturn the election.

    Signature Bank which has a couple of Trump’s private personal accounts is closing said accounts.

  47. McConnell is of course full of crap about the procedural obstructions to beginning a trial immediately.

    If a few GOP senators (temporarily) renounce their party affiliation and caucus with the Dems, I’m completely certain that Schumer–who will then immediately become Majority Leader–will magically find a way for the trial to proceed.

  48. Dear Kevin,

    You’ve got to look further. The procedural rules for the trial, when one digs deeply enough (e.g., Senate report 99-401) state clearly that the prohibition of holding office in the future is an additional punishment the Senate may levy after conviction (by a two-thirds vote). The Senate rules say that the additional punishment only needs a majority vote, but you have to convict to get to that point.

    ~~~~

    Dear Just Sayin’,

    Dershowitz is arguing that the matter becomes moot as of January 20, which is a legitimate argument but that doesn’t make it a compelling one.

    I say “matter”, because if he specifically said “impeachment” he got it wrong. The House is going to be acting on impeachment while Trump is still in office, so his argument doesn’t apply. If he’s attempting to argue that there is no point to the impeachment because the Senate will not (legally) act to convict, that’s just plain wrong. The Senate trial is a separate action. We have precedent for that

    Based on both the law and the temper of the courts, I don’t think his argument against the Senate trial is likely to prevail. Unless he finds a federal judge to rule in his favor, the Supreme Court isn’t going to touch this. They have made their position on getting involved in impeachment abundantly and overwhelmingly clear: they view impeachment and conviction as a purely political matter and they are keeping hands off as much as possible. That is even extended to such cut and dried — one would think — issues as Congress’s subpoena power.

    If they don’t just vacate any such lower court ruling and go so far as to hear this case, I’d be surprised if they support Dershowitz’s interpretation. Both for the reason I mentioned and because it would give any official facing impeachment and conviction a kind of “get out of jail free” card to avoid the penalty of being prohibited from holding future office: The moment it looked like the dice were unquestionably going to roll against them, they could just quit. Voilà — under Dershowitz’s reasoning, the matter would be rendered moot!

    I’d be most surprised to see the Court give the defendant that level of control over the consequences. Even if they were willing to get involved.

    - pax \ Ctein

    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]

  49. Jaws: as I read the 2004 resolution, it applies only if the justifying condition occurred on or after the date the recess began

    I basically agree, and you obviously know more about the resolution than I do (thank you for the elaboration; it will help keep my blood pressure down when things don’t happen). I had noticed that even the article I linked said only that Schumer was “exploring” the possibility, which probably meant that there was something against it and it wouldn’t happen . . . but I do think that stressing that this is partly a matter of will on McConnell’s part and on the part of the Republican Senate is worth doing (even if it’s only “partly,” at best). The idea of McConnell et al. saying “not my fault, it’s procedure!” and grinning smarmily without any comeback just annoys me no end. At least if people bring up the 2004 resolution, he has to talk about the it, and maybe explain just WHY he isn’t also “exploring” the possibility with Schumer. It’s not much, but anything that makes life more complicated for Mitch McConnell is good by me . . .

  50. Sara Marie: Someone up thread mentioned one of the newly minted reps texting the speaker’s location to one of the seditionists . . .

    In particular, the rep who plans to carry her gun at work needs to be set straight, immediately.

    Just noticed this, and it seems to be worth risking a serial post: Sara Marie, apparently this is the same representative, Lauren Boebert of Colorado. She wasn’t all that specific about Pelosi’s whereabouts (“The speaker has been removed from the chambers”), but saying anything about Pelosi’s whereabouts was irresponsible at best. She also tweeted “Today is 1776” ahead of the attack, and is currently blaming the Democrats and Hollywood for encouraging mob violence. The people of Colorado have my sympathy–they may have elected her, but that was only one district, and now the whole delegation is stuck with this loon for at least two years.

  51. National Guard intends to have 15,000 in DC for inauguration. An entire division’s worth. I suggest they carry ammunition, but unloaded firearms, and fix bayonets. When the seditionist mob starts to push, a little stabbity stabbity would be the best initial, less lethal, deterence. Every guardsman should also be carrying a chock-a-block number of ziptie restraints. No one gets escorted out by a friendly neighborhood cop. If you are in the line thats pushing, the guardsmen should start pulling them one at a time, ziptying them, drop them, and move to the next.

    The only way to stop the sedition, stop the terrorism, is to arrest, identify, try, and convict every single one of these idiots who are volunteering for the front line mob. Put them on the no fly list. Convict them so they fail background checks to buy a gun. Do everything within the law to give them hard consequences.

    These people are trying to use violence to overturn democracy. They embrace being the enemy of the people. They have embraced violent fascism. They need to be stopped, hard.

    Also, remember the standard right wing / racist defense of cops: if you just do what the cop says, you wont get shot. Keep repeating that to any right wing apologist downplaying jan6 treason and whatever violence occurs Jan 20.

  52. Sarah Marie:

    “ Ultimately, I think lockstep inaction on the part of republicans in this instance should be read as a tacit acceptance or indorsement of future attempts on the lives of the targets.”

    During the Black Lives Matter riots this summer we witnessed violence extending over several months we saw many more deaths than last week, sustained attacks on police, the taking over of local and Federal government buildings, the burning of locally owned business, and an actual secession with the whole CHAZ/CHOP thing.

    How responsible do you hold Democratic politicians and leaders who either by their silence, tacit or active support contributed to that? Should we treat them the same way?

  53. Ctein:

    I lack any of the legal expertise to vouch for Dershowitz’s argument, even including a disclaimer in case I got it wrong. Similarly, I’m not qualified to evaluate your rebuttal.

    If I were to take a wild guess, it would be that Congress and the Senate can basically do whatever they want with regards to impeachment, because, as you say, it’s a political process.

  54. @Mary Frances:

    Thanks for the name.

    I heard it earlier but wasn’t sure if this Lauren Boebert was the one.

    Please, pretty please let there be some kind of procedure for dealing with her kind of conduct.

    She and others are why there are cerious concerns about the speaker’s, senate majority leader’s, vice president’s and president’s safety at the Capitol.

    I couldn’t imagine coming to work knowing that one of my coworkers tried to have me killed and plans to continue to do so until he or she succeeds.

    Now there are reports of insurrectionist sympathizers in the FBI, secret service (this one is mostly speculation) and other agencies tasked with keeping America safe.

    My family thinks I’m crazy for being more worried about Biden’s safety than I was about Obama’s, but we were talking about run of the mill birthers, racists and xenophobes, standard right wingers with standard problems with anyone not white, America born or Christian.

    Now we’ve got widespread domestic terrorism that, quite literally, goes all the way to the top, and rightwing media outlets determined to feed their incurious consumers a pack of lies about BLM and Antifa.
    Parenthetically, the BLM theory is particularly hilarious because it insults the audience in ways they’ll never understand.

    Ultimately, I think Biden needs to come out strong against this threat.

    More specifically, he needs to be as cowboy about these seditionist terrorists as Bush was about the Islamic fundies who attacked us on 9/11.

    Americans need to be able to trust the incoming president to keep them safe in the midst of one of the most dangerous times in recent history.

    This means holding every. single. insurrectionist and seditionist sympathizer accountable for their role in the assault on the Capitol, even, and especially, if it means getting down and yanking the weeds out of the US government by the roots.

    I don’t think now is the time for Biden to promote “unity” and “healing” in a way that communicates to potential targets of white supremacist, far right terrorists and militia groups that they and their enablers in government get a pass because “compromise.”

  55. @Just Sayin’
    Your whataboutism doesn’t deserve a response unless you can draw a straight line between the words or actions of a Democratic elected official and vandalism or violence subsequently committed by slavish devotees of that official. That is, your analogy needs to actually be analogous to what happened last week.

  56. @Just Saying:

    Your post fails on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start.

    Just Different is correct about it not deserving a response, but I’ll bite, if for no other reason that it might send a message to other Trumpists who want to make the same argument.

    Firstly, you’ve led with the standard, conservative brand false equivalency, one that patently ignores the critically important differences between the BLM and MAGA movements and the repeated and explicit condemnations coming from democratic circles, the president elect in particular.

    Also, the implication that the BLM movement and its demonstrations rise to the level of sedition says things about you that I’m sure you don’t mean, but I could be wrong.
    More importantly, when democrats in the house and senate induce a mob of angry BLM protesters to assassinate republican senators and reps, and if Joe Biden had led a violent insurrection in the event that Trump won the election, you might have a point.

    Also, your implication that democrats’ failure to tell those n**s to sit down, shut up and show some respect for police and white folks is equally as problematic as your implication that democrats’ willingness to stand against lynching (show me one conservative who has done this and meant it. Bonus points if he or she is a Trump supporter) and for racial justice and police reform speaks volumes about your attitude toward the movement and its aims.

    Finally, I can agree with a movement and disagree with any and all criminal behavior committed in its name.

    I challenge you to disavow the domestic terrorists who have and continue to work to overthrow the United States government, even if you agree that Trump was a fantastic president, the election was stolen, democrats are communist/socialist/baby eating, Satan worshipping and pedophilic lizard people and that ethnic groups all have their “place” In American society.

  57. Just different:

    Mary Frances’ stance is that inaction “should be read as a tacit acceptance or indorsement of future attempts on the lives of the targets.”

    If that’s a good standard why do I have to draw a straight line to Democrats, when a straight line does not have to be drawn to Republicans?

    Or, do you think that that’s a bad standard?

  58. Ya still need a Democratic politician as an instigator for the other Democrats to be inactive or tacitly accepting about.

    Try again. Or not, because the whole argument is in bad faith.

  59. Mary Frances;

    Thank you for replying. I appreciate it. I think you may have made some assumptions about me and My argument that I did not make, including some that I take pains not to make.

    You can ask me what I think about anything, and I’ll be glad to tell you.

    Let me try to restate and clarify my question and see if that helps.

    You said. “Ultimately, I think lockstep inaction on the part of republicans in this instance should be read as a tacit acceptance or indorsement of future attempts on the lives of the targets.”

    I think of endorsement as being a kissing cousin to incitement. My standard for incitement is that if you didn’t outright tell somebody to do it, you didn’t incite it. I apply that equally to Republicans, Democrats or what have you.

    It looks to me like you are making a special case where inaction on the part of Republicans equals endorsement/incitement.

    Does it work the same for Democrats who demonstrate inaction? Are they then endorsing/inciting future violence?

    You mentioned in your follow up that Biden condemned the violence. But Trump and literally all the Republicans also condemned the violence, so I’m guessing that one can condemn and still demonstrate inaction.

    You see where I’m confused?

  60. Just different;

    I see what you are saying, I think.

    You are saying that Trump incited the violence at the capitol. To draw an equivalence I would need to draw an example where a Democrat incited violence. Is that right?

    As I just mentioned, my standard for incitement is very high. You have to tell somebody outright to do something for it to be incitement. By that standard Trump did not incite the violence last week. He never called for people to invade the building. He in fact explicitly denounced violence saying they were going to march down there as “peaceful patriots.”

    Things get more complicated if we go a notch down. Trump’s rhetoric raised the temperature and I feel that it’s fair to say that it was irresponsible and contributed to the environment of the violence that followed.

    If that’s the standard, then I guess Bernie Sanders is similarly culpable for the rhetoric about Republicans wanting to kill people by denying them health care and the subsequent congressional baseball shooting by one of his volunteers.

    Obama would be similarly culpable for his rhetoric about police shooting black men and the shooting of police officers in Texas.

    In all 3 cases the rhetoric raised the temperature and violence followed.

    My stance is simpler. “Raising the temperature” and inflammatory rhetoric is bad. But it’s not incitement, and you cant attribute violence back to somebody who did not explicitly call for it no matter how reprehensible the rhetoric.

  61. Mary Frances;

    I absolutely disavow anybody who invaded the capital or used violence. They do not stand for what I stand for. I think it was the worst political moment in this country in my lifetime. I want them all in jail. They get no sympathy, support or excuses from me. There is NO place for violence in the service of politics in this country.

  62. Uh, people? I think I’m flattered, considering some of the posters I’m being confused with, but I’m not the person who wrote . . . should be read as a tacit acceptance or indorsement of future attempts on the lives of the targets.

    At least, I don’t think I did. No offense, Just sayin’, in that I’m sure it was an honest mistake, but the confusion seems to be largely yours in this case–and it isn’t helping me in trying to follow your argument.

  63. Er–for the record, the original comment seems to belong to Lymis, since Just sayin’ also mistakenly attributes it to Sarah Marie, above. I’m . . . actually not quite sure why that particular sentence deserve so much focus–mind you, I basically agree with it, in that I do find inaction to be tacit acceptance/endorsement, and I also tend to believe (to consider the corollary) that even tacit acceptance/endorsement is close enough to incitement to qualify for indictment in this situation–but we really need to get the players straight, I’d say.

    And Sarah Marie, my apologies for leaving the “h” off of your first name, in my last response to you. I know way to many people who spell it without the “h,” and I goofed.

  64. I wonder what kind of glasses one needs in order to be able to see two completely different things as the same so that you can pretend that “both sides are equally bad.”

    Sanders didn’t say that Republicans wanted to kill people. He said that the GOP healthcare bill would kill people, which isn’t inflammatory rhetoric, it’s a pretty reasonable prediction. It also wasn’t something he said at a speech in front of thousands of screaming supporters, delivered a few blocks away from the congressional softball game. And he never said anything that could be interpreted as indicating that he was hoping someone would shoot up the GOP caucus. Ditto for your Obama example.

    If you want to criticize the Democratic party, fine, but give the “hypocrisy” shtick a rest. There is absolutely no parallel between the egregious behavior of the GOP over the past, well, I’ll stick with the past five years, and anything the Democrats have done in recent memory.

  65. Oh, drat–impeachment, not indictment. Different issues.

    No worries, Just sayin’. I just got confused. And now I’m not sure if my last post (posts, actually) made it through or not–if I wind up more-or-less double posting, my apologies in advance.

  66. Or maybe I did mean indictment. I’m getting really confused–it’s getting hard to tell the villains without a scorecard . . . or maybe just a sign that it’s time for me to back away from the conversation entirely.

  67. Just different:

    “ I wonder what kind of glasses one needs in order to be able to see two completely different things as the same so that you can pretend that “both sides are equally bad.”

    That’s not what I said or meant. If you want my opinion on the matter it would be that people in this country at this time who translate their politics into violence are worthy of contempt. I don’t care how just you think your cause is, when you resort to violence you have demonstrated that your personal viewpoint is unworthy of consideration.

  68. @Just Saying:

    I’m beginning to think you are trolling.

    I might have guessed as much when, in a previous thread, you attempted to equate a dead seditionist with George Floyd and other lynching victims, but I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    My mistake.

    At any rate, you’ve demonstrated a measure of thoughtfulness in other discussions here, so I’m not buying for a second that you are at all confused.

    I think you understand the important differences between the president’s reluctant delivery of a prepared statement and Biden’s earnest and repeated condemnations and disavowals of the violence and unequivocal disagreement with the “Defund the Police “plank of the BLM platform.

    I also think you understand the differences between democrats defending the cause of racial justice and police reform and house and senate republicans perpetuating conspiracy theories, pandering to white supremacist and gun rights’ militia groups (didn’t see any of them condemning the attempt on the Michigan governor’s life, either), inciting them to commit sedition and indicating their coworkers’ whereabouts in the middle of a terrorist attack on the nation’s Capital.

    I’m sure neither I nor anyone else need clarify the distinction between standing against lynching and endangering national security by keeping in office a toxic president who sicked his rabid supporters on political opponents and errant supplicants.

    I think you understand the significance of Trump’s hesitation to send help once the Capitol had been breached, as well as that of his initial public statement to supporters.

    So we’re clear, republican reps and senators who don’t move to excise every single elected official that was in any way involved in last week’s breach and assassination attempts are sending a message that resorting to domestic terrorism when your side loses an election is how you demonstrate the necessary “strength” it takes to “take back the country” “kick ass,” “threaten” and “have trial by combat.”

    I’ll also add that BLM and the MAGA crowd are unequal in ways that completely obliterate your position.

    Finally, I think you are deliberately missing Just Different’s point about the fallacious nature of your position.

    For your analogy to work, you’ll need to identify a democrat, preferably an elected, high ranking and influential one, who spent months laying the groundwork for and encouraging the overthrow of the United States government.

    This elected, high ranking and influential democrat needs to have prompted BLM protesters to assassinate republicans, in particular the senate majority leader and house minority leader.

    Bonus points if said democrat makes an attempt, via an angry mob, on the life of senator Rand Paul, whose vote against an anti-lynching bill dealt a death blow for white supremacy.

    This isn’t a matter of two equally problematic parties; it’s a matter of one objectively toxic and dangerous party (this would be the republicans) and an imperfect which, while certainly not perfect, aren’t in the can for objectively terrible policies based on harmful social, cultural, religious and geopolitical beliefs and values.

  69. @Mary Frances:

    No worries; I’m reading with JAWS and so didn’t even notice.

    Also, in fairness, my reply to lymis does kind of echo that sentiment and employ those specific terms, though lymis was the first of us to introduce the idea.

    @Just Saying:

    Thank you for your denouncement of Trumpist violence.

    Also, that last sentence should read: “it’s a matter of one objectively toxic and dangerous party (this would be the republicans) and an imperfect one which, while certainly not objectively good, aren’t in the can for objectively terrible policies based on harmful social, cultural, religious and geopolitical beliefs and values.”

  70. Sarah Marie:

    You put a lot of effort into saying what you think I understand instead of just asking what I think. The latter would be a lot easier, we could communicate and maybe understand each other better.

    I asked you a question the gist of which was do you hold the left accountable for the violence in their names the same way you do Republicans. Your answer seems to be that you do not. The reason for that seems to be because Republicans are really bad and that the things that Democrats do violence for are better than the things Republicans do.

    I’m saying that back to you because I think that good discussion necessitates attempting to restate your partners’ views in a way that they agree with to make sure you are understanding them.

    Do I have it right? If I do, i’ll give you my take, if you care, or if you are interested. If not, and you are willing to clarify I will try again.

  71. Folks, there’s some real grade A passive aggressiveness going around at the moment and I think you should think about whether you’re getting anything useful out of this conversation at this point.

  72. @Just Saying:

    I put a lot of effort (probably too much) into pointing out the multiple ways in which I believe your argument to be disingenuous.

    I don’t believe that you missed that much.

    You are trying to own a lib, and I’m not for sale.

    You are also employing the well-worn and all too common rhetorical tactics of putting forth false equivalencies and pivoting to tangentially related phenomena in an effort to shut down serious and valid criticisms of your party.

    Even if I were to agree (I do not) with your position that the left is as responsible for BLM violence as are Donald Trump and his enablers for the attempted overthrow of the United States government, such a concession would not exculpate Donald Trump and his republican enablers from knowing complicity in last week’s attempted insurrection.

    If Obama and Sanders had distributed weapons and set supporters on specific targets, Donald Trump and his enablers would still be responsible for being part of a conspiracy to overthrow the United States government.

    He would still be an excellent candidate for impeachment, as would every one of the senators and reps who had a hand in the event.

    A Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sponsored assault on the United States Capitol and subsequent attacks by the NFAC (post rally/escort to a target) on all fifty state capitols would put them in the same box as Trump and his accomplices.

    Has this happened?

    Do Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or any other powerful democrats court or pander to the NFAC or other black extremist groups?
    Did Obama?

    And careful, calling BLM an extremist, black supremacist group will say more things about you that you might not want said.

    When, exactly, was the last armed insurrection on US soil, and which democrats were behind it?

    Did Hillary or Obama attend the women’s marches in 2017 and exhort the protesters to “take back the country” “kick ass,” “call and threaten your congress men or women,” or “have a trial by combat”?

    Did Sanders, Harris, AOC, Warren or any other democratic member of congress take to the stage to throw gas on that fire.

    Did the Clinton or Obama children openly threaten to harm members of congress and enjoy doing it?

    Ultimately, my playing the “both sides do it” game with you would not establish a concrete parallel between the looters and burners among the BLM protesters and the decidedly white supremacist MAGA crowd who attempted to assassinate the vice president, speaker of the house and anyone else within shooting, beating or hanging distance.

    Again, the legs of your argument need to come in the form of a powerful, high ranking and elected democrat who exhorted thousands of armed militia groups to attempt a violent seizure of power, one which he or she hesitated to either condemn or quash.

    The best that could be said is that democrats shook fingers at the people breaking windows; Trump and his republican enablers passed out matches and lighter fluid and severed the water hoses for good measure.

    Trump hesitated to call the fire department when the flames began to rise.

    For the record, what the MAGA crowd did was worse.

    Donald Trump and his republican enablers attempting to kill their political opponents is worse than Democrats not being sufficiently punitive or critical enough of BLM to satisfy conservatives who may not be in full agreement that black lives really do matter.

    You appear to want to ignore the glaring reality that the burning and looting was neither committed in any one on the left’s “name” (even the Obama and Sanders examples don’t prove that) nor encouraged and tacitly supported by Biden, Harris or any one of the antiracists on the left side of the aisle.

    Kamala Harris didn’t try to have Rand Paul (he voted down a bill designed to crack down on lynching) or any other white supremacist in the senate assassinated. Trump and his enablers, on the other hand, did, and he wasn’t too particular about party affiliation.

  73. My apologies, John.

    Just Saying and I appear to be talking past one another.

    We aren’t going to agree on anything, so I’ll lower the gloves.

  74. Just Sayin: “How responsible do you hold Democratic politicians and leaders who either by their silence, tacit or active support contributed to that? ”

    Don’t EVAH call yourself “progressive” conservative again. In fact, the word “progressive” no longer applies to you in any form. GOT IT???

    Guilliani told a crowd of neo nazis a bunch of straight up lies about stolen elections, and then said “Let’s have trial by combat”. those were the literal words that came out of his mouth. During his speech on January 6, Donald Trump uttered the word “FIGHT” 26 times. near the end, he said: “And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore”

    He also said we’re going to “walk down” to the Capitol six times: “After this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down any one you want, but I think right here. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” And then at the very end he said this: “So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here, this is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you.”

    And then the mob did exactly that, they walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, and they FOUGHT, they had guns, and pipe bombs, and molotav cocktails, zip ties, and a gallows pole, and they were looking for trial by COMBAT, and they killed a police officer, beating him to death.

    Now, by all means, if you can point to some Democrat elected politicians who spent years spreading LIES and DEMONIZING republicans, who spent years FOMENTING MOB VIOLENCE, and then straight up called for war and told an angry mob of heavily armed people to go to the Capitol building right now and FIGHT the politicians there, then, maybe… JUST MAYBE… you could argue that any other democrat who remains silent and refuses to condemn such violence is complicit int he violence.

    But in fact, neither exists. you wont find any Democrat politician inciting a riot, and you will find Democratic politicians roundly condemning the violence, and the desrtruction of property, committed by people protesting racist cops.

    You’re not “progressive” anything, bub. You’re straight up pushing groundless, far right Fox News propaganda here. The idea that dems overall refuse to condemn racial violence is complete bullshit.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/13/fact-check-democrats-have-condemned-violence-linked-protests/3317862001/

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/biden-fail-condemn-antifa/

    The only places you’ll see people push your kind of nonsense is always some right wing site. Ben Shapiro, Fox News, the federalist, brietbart, and so on. And they do it by selectively editing speeches, cherry picking quotes, and various other out-of-context nonsense. It’s an extreme right wing LIE, and you’re pushing it.

  75. FUCK! I forgot, the January 6 Trump rally started with REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN MO-THERFUCKING-BROOKS from the great state of (imagine Forrest Gump saying) “ALABAMA!” directly inciting targeted physical violence:

    “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,”

    And then a mob of people went through the capitol building chanting “HANG MIKE PENCE” with an actual, working, not-paper-mache, but actual-timber-and-rope, gallows outside the building.

    And motherfucking Broooks refuses to apologize even after being censured by congress.

    By all means, mister “progressive conservative”, give me a quote by AOC talking before a BLM march saying “We’re going to burn down the city if we dont get what we want!”, and some democratic insider says “We’re going to start waging combat if we dont get what we want!” and then Biden or Obama or some democratic president saying “We’re going to take to teh streets and FIGHT! RIOT! BURN IT TO THE GROUND! I”LL BE THERE WITH YOU! YOU’RE AWESOME! I LOVE YOU!”

    Sure, Democrats condemned Trump for inciting a riot into the Capital building. And yeah, OK, I will admit that Democrats never condemned Obama for setting fire to Fergusen Missourri, but that’s because that last one NEVER HAPPENED!

    You’re calling Dems hypocrites because of crimes that exist only in your mind.

  76. just sayin:

    You don’t get to whine your so-called equivalencies about BLM until you acknowledge the damage done under cover of the protests but not BY the protesters.

    Here in Minneapolis, a lot of the most severe property damage was done by White agitators, a number of who drove in from out of town, even out of state. Just to get their jollies literally trashing our city and blame it on the protests. I don’t claim to know all the circumstances around the burning of the police precinct house, except that they did catch a deliberate arsonist, again, a White guy and not part of the protests. I have heard the lived experience from my (White) friends in the central city who had to patrol their neighborhood, finding caches of accelerant outside homes, and then wondering IF the police would bother to respond when they called it in. (A nasty practice of police inaction which apparently goes back many years, BTW.)

    I will only speak to Minneapolis, as it’s where I live.

    You don’t get to compare BLM, whose primary call is “Stop killing us!” to the lowlife cowards who wreaked havoc in their shadow. You especially don’t get to equate them to the domestic filth who perpetrated the atrocity on January 6th.

  77. I haven’t read every comment, so apologies if this has been said before. The 2/3 vote needed in the Senate to convict is of SENATORS PRESENT. So if, say, only 20 Republican Senators were present, the Democrats could have a 2/3 majority on their own. This idea was put forth by Rachel Maddow and confirmed by a Constitution scholar that it is accurate.

    Another idea I haven’t seen anywhere else is a little (OK maybe a lot) “out there” but it occurred to me that maybe Pence isn’t invoking the 25th Amendment because he has his own reasons for needing a pardon from Trump. It sounds far fetched, but these days nothing is impossible, just highly improbable. So how would this go? Trump pardons Pence, THEN Pence invokes the 25th, then Pence pardons Trump… ???

  78. It’s also worth noting that the BLM protests were met with the kind of decisive action that might have ended January 6th’s attempted overthrow soon enough that five people would still be alive.

    People had to beg Trump to both call off the dogs and approve reinforcements, yet last summer’s criminal but hardly seditious deeds (many of which were, as was pointed out above, the work of white men bent on creating bad press for the uppity n*** protesters and destroying minority owned businesses) were stomped out by mercs and other sketchy men who snatched people off the streets, heaved them into vans and took them who knows where.

    Funnily enough, I don’t remember Obama taking to twitter and telling the Michael Brown protesters how loved and special they were, and their cause was about 100 times more just than are Trumpists’.

    What’s happening is that a lot of right wingers aren’t liking that their president and their fellow Trumpists have done something that, in their view, humiliates them, harms the cause and plays into the libs’ hands.

    They’d like to make the conversation about general political violence rather than focus on the fact that people they agree with and/or voted for have done something, well, deplorable.

    They toddle into left-leaning discussions and demand that democrat’s past purity tests before they are allowed to criticize the right.

    Especially disgusting is the implication that democrats shouldn’t criticize white supremacist seditionists until they are prepared to concede that BLM and their cause are equally problematic.

    The worst ones agree with the white supremacist seditionists but take pleasure in pulling the above.

    Sorry, but the criminals among the BLM protesters don’t invalidate BLM’s cause the way that 100 percent of the white supremacist insurrectionists’ actions do.

    It’s a rhetorical tactic that is as cheap as it is partisan, common and sad.

    In other news, Trumpist reps are throwing tantrums and laying hands on Capitol police (blue lives mattering the way they do, this is quite shocking) because they don’t like the security measures that Trump and his goons have made necessary.

    Oddly, certain folks feel unsafe working alongside people who’ve proven themselves untrustworthy.

    Some seem to feel that some of their republican colleagues may be inclined to help the next horde of insurrectionists in their efforts to assassinate democrats.

    Can’t imagine why:

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/09/armed-with-ar-15-qanon-believing-gop-candidate-threatens-offense-against-the-squad/

    In particular, they aren’t keen on sharing work space with those who both hate them and wish to violate the “no guns on the house floor” rule.

    Some of the loudest whining appears to be issuing from the rep from Colorado, who refused to surrender her gun when the detector flagged her.

    20 bucks says the first question on the right-wing purity test is “but what about the democrats making republicans uncomfortable by wearing Black Lives Matter pins, shirts, etc.?”

  79. I think a couple of things are happening here, that are making things less constructive than they could be. So, let me back up and tell you what I am trying to do.

    My personal hero is Daryl Davis. He is the black jazz musician who wondered how people in the KKK could hate him without knowing him. So, he asked, and tried to be a friend to them. He even once lent them his bus, so they could go to a klan rally.

    Since then, about 100 klansmen have quit the klan including a grand wizard himself, and given Daryl their robes.

    I am not Daryl. You are not the Klan. The left is not Daryl. The right is not the Klan.

    I bring this up because Daryl proved that communication, openness and friendship could span truly massive divides.

    Online at least, I dont see any real communication between the left and the right. Everybody just hangs out in their own group and tells each other how right they are and how wrong the other guy is. I don’t see that is good.

    If Daryl, a black man can convince Klansmen to give him their robes than probably the left and the right should be able to talk politics online and have friendly positive discussions.

    I love John’s books. I think i’m going to find a pretty smart and reasonable group of fans here. I describe my political philosophy as progressive conservatism. I tend to lean Republican and Conservative, but I think and speak only for myself.

    So, I’d like to have some friendly and challenging discussions. I want to be nice and polite and make sure that I’m not putting words in anybody’s mouth, and hope for the same in return. I’m hard to offend, so no worries.

    I expect our host will probably close this thread as it’s been two days. Maybe we can try again, if you think it’s worth having somebody with different politics share their views.

    I truly do appreciate Sarah Marie, Adetom and everyone else who has taken the time to engage. I hope for more.

  80. Sarah Marie:

    Your comments are inserting code commands again. Please change the way you compose/post them. I don’t really have the time to be your personal comment formatter.

  81. ArbysMom:

    The loophole-hunt over who is pardoning whom and when strongly resembles the worst of conspiracy theories…

    Because it ignores both impeachment and 14th Amendment § 3, neither of which is subject to the pardon power, and the independent acts of state sovereigns.

    Think about this for a moment: Anything Pence has done for which he reallyreallyREALLY needs a pardon and is not known to the public at this time, is also an impeachable offense… and in this context, is probably characterizable as enabling insurrection, thus falling inside the 14th Amendment. Exclusion under the 14th Amendment probably requires only a majority vote of both houses, via resolution; there’s some argument that there needs to be an independent finding of guilt, but that’s not certain.

    The independent state sovereigns might provide that very finding. This is why Drumpf is fighting so hard regarding New York state inquiries into his New York state taxes (especially, but not only, his estate taxes): A Presidential pardon carries exactly zero legal effect into the affairs of the State of New York that do not rely upon the fact of a conviction, not the facts of conduct. Even if Pence pardons Drumpf, that will have zero effect on State of New York proceedings. And, conversely, the pardon power does not extend from the Presidency to state prisoners; this is why a Presidential declaration and universal pardon for death row prisoners would affect only those with federal convictions (five remaining as of this morning), not the hundreds in state prisons.

    In technical terms, this is a mess that the Founders could not possibly have anticipated, and didn’t.

  82. @John:

    My apologies.

    This field is incompatible with my screen reading program.

    It’s kind of like trying to write on a chalkboard while blindfolded and hoping people can read your words.

    I am unable to use the commands necessary for editing posts.

    I don’t know if other JAWS users are having this problem or if anything can even be done about it.

    I’ll use the field from now on if it will make my posts easier to read.

    @Just Sayin:

    That is a lovely story, but I, for one, am not too keen on making nice with folks who think non-whites are inherently inferior and need to be either controlled or killed lest they threaten the white race’s rightful place in American society(however they’re defining that these days).

    And enough of the right (in fairness, some on the left do this as well) attack the woke and woke culture, agree with the Klan and or use biological essentialism and statistics to justify racist macro and micro aggressions that, right now, I’m perfectly okay with meeting their comments on race with the side eye.

    Also, every single one of Trump’s racist policies has wide support among those on the right, the more disgusting of which are the Muslim ban, concentration camps, eugenics program and genocidal covid response. This is hardly an exhaustive list.

    As to who owns thetoxic race relations in this country, I wouldn’t lay past or current issues at the feet of the victims.

    Simply put, it isn’t on black folks to try and understand (we know very well why we are hated) or reach out to people who want to oppress and kil us.

    That musician was perfectly within his rights to try and understand his would be murderers (and make no mistake, he is very lucky that none of them decided he needed hanging), but in general, I don’t see black folks as the ones responsible for encouraging whites to stop hating and wanting to oppress and kill them.

    As for civil discussions with republicans, that’s a bit of a hard sell when most of them support Trump, purposely infect people with covid and semi-condone/blame the left for last week’s attempted insurrection.

    So much of such conversations seem to involve left leaning folks getting angry at right leaning folks for trying to defend the indefensible.

    The arguments and rhetorical moves are the same every time, so trying to talk to conservatives is, for me at least, an exercise in frustration.

    I’m always willing to try, but my low tolerance for gochas, fallacious arguments (false equivalencies and whataboutism are my cue to dismiss the other side’s point entirely), Fox News talking points and outright terrible rationales for bad behavior almost always mean disaster in the end.

  83. Just sayin:”So, I’d like to have some friendly and challenging discussions”

    There is exactly one problem here: you arent listening to ANYONE when they point out you are spreading lies. You arent having a conversation when you speak while your ears are plugged.

    You are lying.

    When you say “Democratic politicians and leaders who either by their silence, tacit or active support” [of blm violence]. that is a straight up lie.

    You want challenging discussions? Literally everyone who has responded to you about this has told you this is bullshit. It never happened. And NOT ONCE have you acknowledge that this line isnt true. Not once have you acknowledged your lie.

    Do you want to be challenged in a way that agrees with everything you say?

    And people keep pointing out the fundamental difference between (1) blm protesting against centuries of systemic government sanctioned racist violence against them that really is hsppening and (2) a bunch of violent bigots trying to overturn a legitimate democracy because they dont like the outcone while hiding behind a mountain of conspiracy theories and lies.

    You keep comparing thrm like its the same fucking thing, and its not. Biden won. There is zero evidence that fraud gave biden the win. And the kkk is pissed cause their bigot in chief is out. So they’re ginning up to murder people to try and get their way. BLM, on the other hand can point to centuries of actually-happened rscism from the government, and when they march like MLK did to stop the government violence, the government commits more violence against them. Tbey get beaten. Shot. Tear gassed. Arrested. For marching for tge idea that the government needs to stop murdering them for running a red light.

    Jan 6 was treason, sedition, based on lies, commited by fascists willing to murder people and overturn democracy to get their way.

    BLM is people standing FOR democracy, trying to work within democracy, poonting out centuries of government violence, trying to get the government to honor their founding principle that all are equal.

    And everytime someone points out the bullshit where you act like these two are the same, YOU IGNORE IT.

    you dont want to be challenged. You arent even having a discussion. You are operating open loop to what everyone is saying to you.

    You said ” Daryl proved that communication, openness and friendship could span truly massive divides.”

    Ok. But you are not communicating. You’re broadcasting. You arent receiving anything anyone is telling you. Because what people are teling you is you’re briadcasting Radio-RightWing.

    Start acknoeledging the lies youre spreading. Admit the words werent true. Acknowledge the real truth. Acknowledge the damage the lies keep inflicting. Take respondibility for it. Take the feedback you are getting from this conversation.

    Fucking LISTEN.

  84. Sarah:

    That’s cool. You don’t have to talk to me.

    ‘ That musician was perfectly within his rights to try and understand his would be murderers (and make no mistake, he is very lucky that none of them decided he needed hanging), but in general, I don’t see black folks as the ones responsible for encouraging whites to stop hating and wanting to oppress and kill them’

    I don’t either. Not at all. I just think that it is very very cool that he did.

    “As for civil discussions with republicans, that’s a bit of a hard sell when most of them support Trump, purposely infect people with covid and semi-condone/blame the left for last week’s attempted insurrection.’

    To me, that’s a bit of a caricature. Where i think you and I differ is that I think i am more focussed on individual identity here, and you seem to be focussing on group identity. I am talking to you, not a caricature of preconceived notions of ‘leftist.’

    I don’t see how some Republicans allegedly deliberately giving somebody else covid (I say allegedly, because I don’t know what you are referring to) has anything to do with whether or not you should have a civil discussion with me.

    ‘ So much of such conversations seem to involve left leaning folks getting angry at right leaning folks for trying to defend the indefensible.’

    Fair enough. The relevant perspective on the right might be that people on the right feel that so much of conversations with people on the left is just them trying to mischaracterize and misframe them so that they can scold them for how awful they are. I dont like being told that i think this, or I stand for that, or when I say this it means that, or otherwise have words or attitudes attributed to me that I did not endorse. If you ask me, i will tell you what I think, but i don’t like being told what i think by somebody else who really hasn’t made the effort to understand, or even bothered to ask. In all fairness to you, i think you’ve been doin that to me.

    If you decide to continue to talk to me, now, or in the future, maybe instead of just jumping all across the map and lobbing generalizations at each other, we could try to have a pretty narrow focus, just discussing one thing specifically, and leaving the broader contexts for later. What do you think?

  85. Adetom:

    Let’s just go backwards, because again, we’re all over the map. Earlier, I described myself as a ‘progressive conservative’

    You said that I’m not allowed to. Let’s just focus on that. That’s how I see myself and my political beliefs. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about them, and trying to have them make sense and be values that I am proud of, and that I think are intrinsically good based on principle that I am happy to defend and discuss.

    You never asked me anything about it or what I meant. You showed no curiosity or interest and didn’t make even the slightest effort to understand what I meant. You just said I’m not allowed to call myself that.

    Why not?

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