Category Archives: Impeachment
It’s the morning after the election, and I am sad to take note of how many people voted for our unstable, mercurial, homicidal incumbent. It’s clear that we on the left have not come fully to grips with who we are as a nation.
As the land lays right now (8am), we don’t have a clear winner yet. Mail-ins favor Biden, and we already have a Trump campaign a) declaring victory. and b) announcing it’s going to go to the mat to stop votes from being counted. The latter activity seems to me to be a good sign that the Trump machine is worried about the result. But hope has been hard to come by these last twelve hours; we were all heavily invested in a “blue wave” that broke well before it could drown Trump and anyone he trucked with in these last four years. It never materialized. Our Senate is going to be lost to the GOP again and that should tell us something (EDIT 11/5: this observation was faulty and premature).
It’s time to start understanding that we are not a righteous or a particularly smart nation. But is it our fault we are always so wrong about it? Or have we been so psychologically tormented by Trumpist control of the nation that we will latch on to just about anything that claims it can end it? I am not sure. But this is the year that we should disabuse ourselves of the notion that good will always triumph over evil. Evil always has even odds. I’m reminded of Hunter S. Thompson’s somber coda in Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas which goes a little like this:
There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . .
And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.
Those of us who read know how it all turned out; the American dream was too elusive for capture. That was true in 1971 and I suspect not much has changed. Lucy, ever the little white supremacist, has always had the football and ever it shall be. They had acid, we have Twitter. We believe in each other’s inherent power but I’m afraid that’s not always the stuff that moves a mountain.
I hope everything turns out the way we need it to. But we should gird ourselves for a bitter conclusion because our fellow countrymen, women and otherwise clearly do not know up from down. If we win, let’s not forget too easily that we came close to being blown out yet again. If we lose, let’s nonetheless remember that optimism is not the elemental force we thought it was. We shall always continue to vote for what is correct and proper, but we must leave a little room and prepare for annihilation. It’s the only fair thing we can do for ourselves in this cussed nation. This is a fight, and you always stand a chance of getting hit with a punch you weren’t expecting.
I’m so fucking glad we are done with the presidential contest. I’m just hoping enough of us will be around to vote for our nominee. Sanders supporters, I implore you-go through your grieving process as I did mine as a Warrenite, and then we good liberals shall get to the task of removing Stupid Mussolini.
When I wrote about the novel coronavirus last month, I was pretty fucking glib about preparing for its invasion of the United States. I wasn’t paying well enough attention. I didn’t believe Donald Trump when he said it was nothing, because he’s never right and he’s a liar, but I was also not sure what to make of the exponential numbers some were proffering even though I could plainly see that exponential growth was what we were dealing with.
But here we are, and Trump hasn’t missed an opportunity to make the wrong decision at every juncture because he doesn’t have the attention span god gave a goose and experts hate him. Hell, some of the more paranoid among us are wondering if he’s trying to get people killed. And there’s evidence that’s just what he’s doing; governors not paying Trump compliments and tribute will get your PPE pipeline suddenlly pinched off or stopped. Shipments of supplies to states are being being Hoovered up by FEMA. Then there’s just the continuing, ceaseless rank stupidity of the response; for example, what does one make of Jared Kushner trying to tell states that the federal government’s stockpile of medical supply is only for….the federal government? Trump hawking anti-malaria drugs as a cure to COVID with no medical evidence that it works next to the MyPillow guy? And just the sheer insanity of asking instead of telling the nation’s industries to begin producing masks, gowns and vents for our medical providers while the bodies pile up and the nurses get sick buggers the rational mind trying to get a handle on how FUBAR everything is right now. Trump is making it all about him, he’s taking it all personal, and it’s a recipe for fascism at best and annihilation at worst.
All of this is precisely why we need to make Trump a one-term charlie and we gotta do it with the last man or woman standing and that person is old Joe Biden. I think even Joe knows it’s not how good he is but how horrifyingly bad Trump is, which is why he says he’s only going to be a one-term charlie too. Trust- Joe was near the bottom of the list for me, maybe a hair above Pete Buttigieg, who looked a little too much like he could have been talked into getting into a tank to show he could be commander-in-chief and besides, who the fuck was he anyway?
The bitch of it all is that I liked Bernie Sanders a lot (and I still do, if I remove the frames) once upon a time and would have been more than happy to check the box for him. Somewhere along the line, he developed a following that I liked a whole lot less than I did Bernie. Eventually, by extension, I began to resent the Sanders campaign(s) because he did precious little to manage his “revolution” by making sure it kept the bowling bumpers up and stay within acceptable parameters of voting behavior should he be vanquished. (Aside: this isn’t the first time the left lost its damn mind in a close contest; y’all remember Taylor Marsh, Corrente and a bunch of other bloggers went to the mat against Barack Obama in 2008? That was some shit to behold) Instead, many of his diehards threw a snit and refused to vote for anyone else, and some even voted for Trump in unprecedented numbers. It was bonkers, jerked-off behavior in 2016 and it remains so this year. Those people have now seen what a Trump presidency makes possible, so it is my hope we can all definitely say that it is the worst possible thing that could have ever happened and if you don’t think so, ask the people burying bodies in New York city public parks while Trump drones on about the magic of chloroquine and what a terrific job he’s doing as the number of American COVID cases careens into seven digits by the end of April and then think hard about four more years of endless trolling and tweeting and lying and boasting about nonexistent accomplishments, the federal government being run by about five people, two of which Trump is related to. The possibility of Ruth Bader Ginsburg punching out. The self dealing. Ivanka. Wall to wall impeachable behavior. Cozying up to the worst dictators the planet knows. The de-legitimization of the fourth estate. The end of the regulatory role of government. The end of the an independent Justice Department. Smug Christofascists like Mike Pompeo sailing the ship of state.
Red-hatted, happy MAGA nazi cult fucks. Maybe they’ll run over your kid next.
You think about that and all the other bullshit Trump has brought us, before you fold your hands across your chest just like Trump does at meetings when he doesn’t like the information he’s receiving.
It’s bitter medicine. I know. I’m as left as they come, but where we are right now we simply cannot do another four of the dumbest person on earth running America, which already had a host of problems, into the ground. This is indeed a great time to wring concessions from the masters of the universe, and we can do all that, let’s just get this loser out of the way first because he and the Republicans sure as hell aren’t hearing us.
Well, that charade was exhausting, wasn’t it?
I’m glad it’s all over. Really, hoping something was going to break our way when all signs pointed to shitsville was tiring in itself. Weeks of masturbatory journalism about which way the trial was going to go made me numb. I should have tuned all of it out, but history was happening.
Listen. If we really thought for a minute that Mitch McConnell, a Majority Leader who had the sheer nerve to deny a sitting President a Supreme Court pick was going to let his partner-in-crime president swing for abuse of power then we’re not as bright as we think we are. As he did in the past, he kept his Republicans together-this time, just long enough to get Trump off the hook for putting Ukraine on one. If it had to go on any longer, maybe things might have been different. But it couldn’t, because no substance-no evidence, not a damn document whatsoever was allowed to be considered in the trial. It was a colossal waste of the American peoples’ time and an atrocious use of the Senate’s power to try impeachments. It had to collapse from its own emptiness.
You’ll also recall that McConnell nuked the Supreme Court rules to enable an alleged rapist to sit on the SCOTUS just to get a 5-4 conservative majority for at least the next 20 years. Remember also how his accusers were simply ignored by Judiciary.
Then think back at how Bill Barr strangled the Mueller report in its crib. We thought that was going to be the end of the Trump misadministration too. Once again, the right crooked people positioned at the right chokepoints ensured that Trump would not be scrutinized.
We the hopeful are the proverbial Charlie Brown, and the Republicans keep pulling the football away. We forget what a cunt Lucy is.
I’m done with thinking the system will burn out an infection. In the words of George Carlin: fuck hope.
It’s all so hard to believe sometimes, because of what a nitwit Trump is. We keep expecting him to trip over his red power tie hard enough and break the law so egregiously that no one can save him. But that event has not materialized and the bar is now pretty fucking high for the rest of this term. I mean, the Ukraine story was fucking airtight. He totally did it and got away with it (with OJ’s defense lawyer!), thanks to a jury who couldn’t accept their solemn duty to try the President. Party over all. It’s the Republican way.
The system and the people currently running the system are rotten to the core. The check is gone. The balance has tipped wildly in the executive’s favor. And no pollyanna reasoning is going to remove that fact. When it was certain that McConnell had the votes to block witnesses, this is what Trump tweeted:
Go fuck yourselves, America! Now watch this drive.
With that tweet in mind, there is a silver lining in all of this, one I return to; people are tired of Trump’s act. It’s boring, annoying, and everyone is starting to wonder if all he does is tweet, hold rallies for his trash people, and golf. And they are pretty pissed about all the shenanigans I’ve listed above and then some. As far as the impeachment goes, a majority of Americans wanted to see an actual trial with witnesses and evidence. I think people have been watching while the Republicans helped the rich help themselves to a nice tax cut while putting things like Obamacare on life support. They see that it’s the Republican led Senate that is refusing to do its job and vote on legislation. Sure, plenty of Americans are still in the Fox/hate radio bubble but I think there’s more woke people than not, especially since our young folks are coming to the polls and they are not into MAGA as a generation. Flooding the zone with hot garbage and screaming fake news all the time has provided diminishing returns.
There’s still eight months for more people to see that Republicans are bad for them. We may not have retired Donald Trump via impeachment, but the scandals and the incessant bad news will not stop. I think Mitch and the rest of the GOP knows they’re about to become a minority party and they are just destroying assets, fucking shit up as they retreat. But that’s the point. They know Trump’s a turd. It doesn’t matter to them; they are doing exactly what they came to do- monkeywrench the state and stop it from functioning. In this sense, Mitch McConnell is the most successful, most consequential party leader of our times.
Republicans probably aren’t going to be able to hack the vote enough to stop the massive blue wave that is coming to drown them in November. That’s the only hope I can’t fuck. Because voting is the last remedy of the American people. We don’t have a great track record, having invited this fucking incubus upon Lady Liberty in the first place. So, to my fellow lefties I say: let’s get active. Register. Get out that vote. Talk to your friends on the fence. We have the numbers (and that is a fact), we just have to show up. We cannot afford another four years of Trump undoing all the progress made under Obama. Shit, under any administration who offered something to the people instead of taking it away.
If you don’t recognize America now, wait until Trump 2.0 grabs its pussy.
I’ve been shying away from the impeachment hearings, as I believe that there’s not much chance that Republicans are going to actually listen to the facts brought forth and weigh in on the merits to the case of a quid pro quo by President Trump to gain uncomfortable information on who he thought would be his rival in the 2020 showdown.
That was a mistake on my part. These hearings are fascinating.
Comparison to Watergate is inevitable, but perhaps in-congruent. Nixon and Trump, true, were/are both raging paranoiacs who used cheap and dirty tactics to discredit their opponents. Nixon, smarting from the release of The Pentagon Papers, tried to defame Daniel Ellsberg as some sort of kook. When there was no more daylight between him and the burglary, he quit because he had no friends left, except maybe Kissinger.
I currently think that Trump will eventually resign as well but he’s proven to be a lot slipperier that Nixon. He’s sealed off what’s left of his inner circle from the impeachment inquiry, as if they had all signed an NDA- the OLC is currently providing legal cover for them to decline a subpoena just by being in the employ of the president, a notion that is challengeable in court I imagine. He’s got GOP rank and file ready to fall on swords throughout Congress. Tens of millions of people still say Trump or bust.
If you were there, might I ask- was the entire right side of the aisle riding Nixon’s jock until the dots couldn’t be ignored? Did Nixon habitually lie to confuse people? Was there something like Fox News operating as a cheering section for the troubled president? It’s just crazy. This has got to be worse than Watergate. During these hearings, witnesses have testified to Democrats what they knew about Trump’s missiles-for-dirt pressure campaign upon Ukraine’s President Zelensky. Then the complicit Republicans fulminate for their time, trying to cook up a reverse narrative, that it was Trump trying to root out corruption in the new government, corruption that may have involved the son of the man he thought would be most likely to oppose him in the general. I figure they were going to wait til later to throw that grenade, but circumstances demand that they throw it now because otherwise it’s all Democrats all day building a case so what they have tried to do is use their five minutes to lie and spout calumny about the nature of the inquiry and those testifying against Emperor Zero and then Hannity and Fox and Friends take the ball from there, snipping it all up making it look like Republicans had carried the day.
That couldn’t be further from the truth, though. I finally sat down to watch some testimony today, and boy, did I pick a hell of a day. The erudite and now famous Dr. Fiona Hill came to speak, and she did not come to jack around. She recalled incredible amounts of information that did real damage to the Trump claim that he was not trying to play fuck-fuck with a new Ukrainian government. Adam Schiff has been squeezing the tube from the bottom, just like he should, setting up grander questions for bigger fish thus calling for an undeniable need for Trumpists in positions of power to spit out what they know under oath. That would be game, set and match, the conditions under which I believe Trump would take a powder rather than get removed.
The hearings were amazing today, and everyone should avail themselves of all of the testimony given so far. It’s quite riveting if you ignore all the idiotic, whiny GOP noise masquerading as cross examining (none of them, save counsel, had questions) that is no doubt being digested as I write this by easily conned Fox viewers.
Two things stood out for me today that bear note. Here’s Fiona Hill patiently and succinctly warning everyone about the intent of Trumpublicans to counterspin the Trump/Zelensky fiasco as if the Ukraine were attacking our elections, and she doesn’t mince words about where that notion came from.
You’re all Putin’s bitches.
Also, Eric Swallwell sent Devin Nunes a little chin music, disclosing that he has ties with the Giuliani goons who almost fled prosecution.
If you are free from the singsong of the right wing Wurlitzer and actually watched the proceedings, you clapped in your living room several times today even though no one else was there. Then you thanked god as you came to know him that there’s still some fucking professionals left in the government to expose a pissant president and his eagerness to sell this country out to Russia to personally enrich himself in any way he can.
Rather than try to explain the intricacies of the current political climate, which would have me tearing my hair out, I would like to put up a few pictures for history’s sake.
First, this picture of Nancy Pelosi upbraiding Donald Trump at a White House meeting needs to be committed to art adorning a wall somewhere on Capitol Hill:
President Fuckballs thinks this picture made Pelosi look bad. But every time I look at it, I find myself more interested in the crestfallen leaders on Trump’s side of the table-and that’s how I know who got embarrassed at this meeting.
Then there is the matter of taking note of Trump’s true mental state. Sure, there’s been no bottom yet as to how stupid and childish this 73-going-on-eight human can actually be, but I think this letter full of juvenile sewage to the President of Turkey should serve as a mile marker on this highway to hell we are on.
There’s so much to unpack here, but I’ll leave that to more clever pundits. Just gazing at it as a whole is a streak-free window into how arrested the development of Donald Trump unabashedly is.
Anyway, as for me, I’m still eating news with a fork and knife. I’ve been a bit quiet, which one might think weird given that we are finally, probably watching the destruction of Donald Trump. He’s in more trouble than he thinks, and at this point I don’t see an endgame that doesn’t involve at least his impeachment. True, getting your hopes up since November 8, 2016 has proven to be foolish at a lot of junctures. We lost an election we technically won. Robert Mueller’s report was doomed to fail. And in the near future, something settled and litigated like abortion might be criminalized any day now because Trump got two SCOTUS picks and if Ruth Ginsburg doesn’t do her pushups, he may get three. Those of you who actually know what is going on understands that his presidency heretofore and currently has been a nuclear-sized shitbomb, with fallout raining on our heads every damn day.
So, a few things and I will go quiet again. Maybe not for long, these things are hard to predict.
As shown above, Trump may be the village idiot, but he can be rather canny at times, especially when it becomes a question of his survival. I’m convinced that one of his tactics to that effect is to make it hard to concentrate on what he does. While we are staring agape at the latest obstruction of justice-flavored tweet, pointing wildly to the Democrats in House Intel or anyfuckingbody who’ll listen, he loads the bullshit cannon over and over again in the hopes that no one can keep up with the sheer volume of lies, offenses, garbage, distortion, propaganda and self aggrandizement. This way, the investigations get slowed down, the pro-Trump flying monkeys lie and dissemble on TV about what they’re lying about and for those of us in the audience with a moral compass, we are given to hopelessness and disempowerment because we are watching him ostensibly getting away with nonstop criminal behavior.
It’s an interesting, if exhausting high-wire act to watch, and if Trump is getting juice out of being too slippery to be caught, I’ll give him props for boldness. I’ve certainly never seen a con this big in my life. However, I really think there’s a there there in the Ukraine quagmire scandal, which is metastasizing daily. If investigators can focus on it, he’s going to either resign or lose the 2020 election, both satisfactory conclusions for me. I’m not going to call for a frog march-villains the size of the president always get away. Think about it- Ford pardoned Nixon before he was consumed with an indictment, Reagan played too senile to understand what Ollie North was doing in the White House basement and somehow managed to get his veep, who was implicated in Iran-Contra elected to boot. No one cares anymore that Clinton lied to a grand jury to hide his peccadilloes, no one significant went to jail over the second invasion of Iraq and all its attendant malfeasance (unless you count Scooter Libby) . And I have no doubt that presidents of antiquity were equally up to their wigs in skulduggery and skated from culpability. It’s a shame that politics attracts such dishonest people, and I guess the only good thing that can be said is that there will never be an entity quite like President Trump occupying 1600 Pennsylvania again. They broke the mold when that piece of…work was created.
One last picture:
Goodnight, Representative Cummings. Things on the hill have gotten a bit darker with your passage.
Turns out Nancy Pelosi was in a much bigger hurry than I expected.
I’m glad that my defense of her yesterday was unnecessary. I did not realize she had the timing and the numbers. I don’t think anyone really saw it coming until it came, and anyone who says otherwise just got fuckin’ lucky. After all, when I found out about the Speaker’s address to the nation, only 179 representatives were on board with impeachment. I figured it would take a month or two to nail down an impeachment. But the inquiry itself should bring several off the fence as Trump’s position worsens. Even Mitch McConnell allowed a vote resolving that Congress should see the whistleblower complaint. That’s how you know the shit has hit. I’m rather surprised by the ordinarily craven Senate Republicans agreeing to defend their institution’s integrity, since their trip has always been self-serving look out for #1 stuff, the kind of shit they peddle to their poorly educated base. So huzzah to moving as a separate but equal political body. And of course, fuck all of you-because you knew what Trump was doing and you let it happen. Repeatedly.
I still don’t think we will muster enough votes to remove. But that’s got nothing to do with anything. The point for now is to hold hearings until election day, to fuck him up in public while he desperately tries to stay in the White House, and to show the base that Democrats are done with Lucy-and-the-football type tactics from the GOP. The order of the day is to make Donald Trump look like a bigger piece of shit than he truly is, which sounds like a feat but I am sure it’s plenty doable. There hasn’t been a bottom to date.
I love that we called the Republicans’ bluff and paid no mind to their feeble warnings that impeachment was only going to cost Democrats their support. They fucking wish. This powder keg is lit and it’s under King Dummy’s chair in the Oval Office.
Something is different this time around. Trump’s Ukraine gambit probably pales in comparison to the crimes Trump has already committed. What’s new is that all of it now falls under the rubric of a formal impeachment investigation. The best Donald Trump can do in the situation he’s in is resign and beg for a Pence pardon, or have Elon Musk launch him into space, where there are currently no extradition laws. There’s also no oxygen, and that’s OK by me.
By early afternoon Howe felt he had enough men to launch his assault. As the British forces began their advance, the cannonade from Copp’s Hill and British warships ceased. In line formation, the two wings had to negotiate fences and other obstacles as they slowly neared the Provincial line. The men from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire were ordered to hold their fire until the enemy drew so close that their musket fire would have its most devastating effect. It was at this time, legend claims, that one of the commanding officers from the colonies ordered: “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!“
The musket fire proved devastating when the advancing British came into range.
I think I can speak for my generation when I say that none of us will ever forget the story of The Battle Of Bunker Hill largely because of General Prescott’s famous (and perhaps apocryphal) command.
I also remember being taught that the colonists ran out of shot and had to use whatever they could as a projectile. Nails. Concrete. They fixed bayonets. It was quite a tableau for my impressionable head.
In the end, they had to retreat. But not before we gave the Redcoats a wicked bloody nose. They paid more than we did to take the high ground.
There is no parallel in history that comes to mind more trenchantly than that Revolutionary War battle and where we are at on an impeachment of Donald Trump.
This will be the second time that I’ve given Nancy Pelosi the benefit of the doubt regarding the matter. But the fact is that she is under an extreme amount of pressure. She has to satiate and continue to captivate the angry voters who have seen enough and need impeachment as a balm, and also protect vulnerable blue dogs in key states who cannot call for impeachment if they want to keep their jobs.
The American electorate is fickle; and our politicians have to try to placate a majority of their voters so they can stay in office. I’m pretty far left, but I think I understand and appreciate that this is a delicate balancing maneuver that the Speaker and the Democratic establishment are attempting.
I’ll just say it again for those of you in the cheap seats: impeachment can’t come yet. It’s certainly not for lack of crimes committed by this administration. It is about numbers and timing. It isn’t about Pelosi’s choice at all, and I don’t think she is stringing us along. It would be an enormous and inadvisable gamble to presume that Democrats will go to the polls no matter how much our concerns are ignored because the alternative sucks way more. The Speaker gets that we’re mad and impatient and if she and Democratic leadership learned anything at all from 2016, it’s that significant numbers of lefties (some of who are party faithful) will cut off their noses happily and withhold enough votes that will send the Democrats back to the woods to figure out how they blew an easy election.
No thank you.
So: let’s talk numbers. Since last tally, 70 representatives were ready to vote for impeachment, 69 of which were Democratic. We needed more than three times that to gain the majority on the question of impeachment. That was June.
As of this writing, that number has grown to 164 Democrats (and Justin Amash). Doing the math, that leaves 54 representatives that need to sign on to notch a simple majority that would pass articles. It’s a majority of Democrats, yes- but QED, those are not the numbers the Speaker needs to launch a successful campaign to impeach. With any luck, it won’t take much longer for the number of YEAS to increase significantly.
Second of all, Nancy only gets one shot at this- so she needs to use a great deal of breath control to bag Trump and all the pieces of shit that abetted his crime spree. The ideal time to drop a bomb on Trump is during the campaign season while he tries to con enough people to vote for his dumb ass again. Making next year difficult, painful and utterly deleterious would be a great play, even if the effort is destined to die in a complicit GOP-controlled Senate.
Let me take this moment as I have in the past to remind you that the best way to get to impeachment is to annoy your representatives to vote yes on the matter. Going on Twitter to scream for Pelosi’s head because she won’t support a measure that would die on the House floor is stupid.
This is our Bunker Hill. We can’t take our shot until it’s the right time. We won’t win in the end. But we will bleed the bastards enough, hopefully enough to tilt what is going to be a contentious process definitively in our favor when the war ends in November 2020.
UPDATE Sep 24: As of 1:55 today, the number of YEAS is now 170. Votes are beginning to cascade in as this strange Ukraine story spreads like a wildfire! Nancy may say the I word a hell of a lot quicker than I calculated…
UPDATE Sep 24: At 5pm, Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the House will be conducting an impeachment inquiry, rendering this post more full of shit than it already was. Now. Now it begins.