The Self-Set Impeachment Trap

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 574 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser and what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our current goal, funding comments section support.

By Thomas Neuburger

Krystal Ball: This is the hill that Democratic leaders chose to die on?

A note about the coming and much-cheered impeachment of Donald Trump. Of course impeachment was always the right thing to do. But having waited so long to do it, and having chosen Joe Biden’s integrity as the hill to die on, the decision to impeach Donald Trump now may be a trap for Democrats — in fact, several of them.

If so, they did it to themselves. Let me explain.

First, impeachment is without doubt the right thing for Congress to do — or would have been when cause was first given for doing it. Impeachment is the correct and only constitutional tool the Founders gave the government for removing a president guilty of the kinds of official sins Donald Trump has been decried for since his inauguration. Impeachment is the Founders’ gift to a people that, just a few generations earlier, had seen the English Parliament use the only tool it had for removing a head of state — by removing the life from his body.

Impeachment is the Constitution’s version of the English Civil War, minus the war.

Congress could, and should, have have impeached Donald Trump in 2018, for example, when ICE was caught keeping immigrant children in cages, some of whom later died. He could, and should, have been impeached in 2017 when Puerto Rico was left, after Hurricane Maria had devastated the island, to fend for itself because it wasn’t white enough, Republican enough or American enough (Puerto Rico is a possession, not a state) to merit Trump-controlled federal relief.

Congress could have written articles of impeachment early in 2017, and should have, based on Trump’s violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. They could, if they chose, have written them decrying his repeated calls for rightwing violence, calls that started during the campaign.

They could have impeached Donald Trump in any year of his presidency for any number of harms. Instead they didn’t, saying as late as August 2019 in Nancy Pelosi’s words, “The public isn’t there on impeachment.”

In other words, the rightness of impeachment was never a consideration for Democratic Party leaders.

Democratic Leadership: Impeachment Is a Partisan Political Decision

Pelosi’s statement that “the public isn’t there” signals with no confusion that impeaching Donald Trump is viewed by Party leaders as a political choice and not a constitutional duty. It says that Party leaders see impeachment as a bare calculation in which the benefit to the Party — electoral victory — must be served before the benefit to the nation — of drawing a line in the sand saying, “No president should ever do this again” — is even considered.

If Democrats are this naked and open about saying that the act of impeachment, even of Donald Trump, is justified only if there’s a political benefit, why should the nation not say the same of them, that all they seek is a political benefit, just as nakedly and openly?

Of course Republicans will say that. But what will the larger nation think? What have Democratic leaders led them to think?

(Nancy Pelosi now asserts, of course, that her turnaround is principled, a result of Trump’s “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.” But Ryan Grim of The Intercept offers plenty of evidence that part of what changed was the mood and politics of her House caucus and not her views on Congress’s constitutional duty.)

So that’s trap one, that the Party’s turnaround on impeachment both ismerely political and will be seen as political, since a principled position would have been acted on years ago. The nation needed better than that from Democratic leaders, needed them to act from a stronger, more defensible position. The nation didn’t get what it needed, and both Democrats and the nation may soon pay a price for their failure.

Is Joe Biden’s Integrity the Hill the Party Wants Die On?

The second trap is this, that the impeachment inquiry will be Joe Biden–specific — narrowly drawn around the four corners of Trump’s alleged attempt to get the president of Ukraine to help him find re-election dirt on one of his political rivals.

In other words, none of the other matters mentioned above — the ICE detentions, the deaths of children and other detainees, the post-Maria destruction-by-inaction of Puerto Rico, or any of a hundred other destructive deeds (remember the Muslim ban?) — will figure into the inquiry or the articles of impeachment the House will vote on. None of those principles of presidential behavior will be adjudicated.

Instead, the entire drama will turn on two questions only: Did Donald Trump attempt to blackmail the government of Ukraine into aiding his re-election campaign? Did Joe Biden, as President Obama’s VP, blackmail the government of Ukraine into feathering his son’s nest, or keeping it feathered?

Both questions will be examined — endlessly — before the public in the next few months. Those questions and only those.

About the first, though the evidence is not yet in, it’s likely true that Trump did indeed attempt to bully the president of Ukraine into helping his campaign. Even Reason magazine has its doubts about Trump’s innocence.

But if so, is that electoral use of “a foreign power,” though more brutish and overt, different in kind than any of the other intrusions-by-invitation into our electoral process?

For one, the Fusion GPS material was developed with the aid of assets or ex-assets (is there a difference?) of British intelligence and deployed by the Clinton campaign before it was deployed by the FBI. Further, I’d be shocked if Israel and Saudi Arabia hasn’t helped a number of our electoral campaigns, given the money and geopolitical power at stake in these elections, their ties to leaders of both parties, and the financial and intelligence assets available to do the work.

That’s one part of the discussion the Party and the nation are headed for. Buckle up.

The other discussion will be around Biden’s actual dealings with the Ukraine government as Obama’s VP, actions which were sanctioned, let’s not forget, by President Obama himself.

Were Biden’s dealings corrupt? Again, the evidence is not in.

The Hill’s John Solomon, who it must be added leans decidedly right, has written that he was told by several Ukrainian law enforcement officials, including a deputy head in the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office, that they have “[f]inancial records showing a Ukrainian natural gas company routed more than $3 million to American accounts tied to Hunter Biden, younger son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, who managed U.S.-Ukraine relations for the Obama administration”.

On the other hand, Lanny Davis, who it must be added leans decidedly centrist, has written that he “couldn’t find a single fact in the [Washington] Post story about anything improper by Hunter Biden due to his service on the Burisma board, much less anything criminal.”

If there’s no smoking gun in the Biden-Ukraine case, is that evidence of innocence when the facts of the case suggest on their surface otherwise? After all, did Hunter Biden not receive a great deal of money for being on the Burisma board? Is he not Joe Biden’s son? Was the prosecutor, corrupt as he may be, not investigating Burisma? And is this not part of a pattern of suspicion about the Biden family in general?

“We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden,” said Biden’s brother James according to this Politico story about how the Biden family cashes in on their well-placed relative.

That’s the other part of the discussion the Party and the nation are in for. Buckle up twice.

Two Traps for the Party as the Next Election Looms

These are the discussions the Democratic Party’s belated decision, and its reason for delaying it, will spawn. If Trump was always this corrupt, why now? What does that say about the principles that drive Democratic Party leadership?

If Biden is innocent of corruption, why does it look like he’s not? What does that say about the nature of corruption itself in the entire DC establishment?

Two traps for a party that much of the nation depends on to rid them of the man the last election elevated to power. Two reasons for independent voters — those not Party loyalists, not blue-no-matter-who, not Never-Trumpers, voters who never turn out for elections or rarely do — to not turn out for this one, when their voice and vote is needed most in this greatest of watershed years.

What’s decided now, in this year and the next, will set the course of the nation and the world for a dozen years to come — or a dozen millennia if the chaos predicted by the most pessimistic among us takes root and grows. After all, social and political chaos is a breeding ground for authoritarian “solutions.” We don’t need any of those, and this may be the last electoral chance to avoid them.

The nation needs the Democratic Party to be on top of its game, not behind every eight ball it can find — and certainly not stumbling into pits and traps its leaders have created to catch only themselves.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

98 comments

  1. jeremyharrison

    A few rays of clarity making their way through Thomas Neuburger’s otherwise TDS-infused brain.

    It’s all roller derby, and Trump is Joanie Weston, the Blonde Bomber. It was so fun to watch her when I was a kid:

    “And they’re double-teaming Joanie! But oh!! There goes Biden over the rail!! And now Joanie has Adam Schiff in a headlock…and over the rail he goes as well, into the 2nd row of the spectators!! But wait, CNN scores that as 2 points for Biden and Schiff. What are they thinking??”

    Reply
  2. Acacia

    To reiterate a comment in the recent Water Cooler (this article is a better forum):

    One scenario that Neuburger hasn’t considered: perhaps the Democrats are trying impeachment now because they are out of ammo and getting scared about 2020. Rather than lose the election, they are attempting a pre-emptive strike.

    Reply
    1. dcrane

      Or is it a pre-emptive defensive strike by the CIA/Blob? With Trump seeming to ask Ukraine about Crowdstrike, and Barr asking for help from Australia on the Mueller investigation origins (as well as investigating the way the dossier was used), Trump and Barr might be trying to turn TrumpRussia into a counterattack on their establishment enemies, just in time for the election. Buckle up, indeed.

      Reply
      1. Acacia

        Yes, I’ve been wondering this also. The CIA credentials of the “whistleblower” are somehow too convenient, too familiar. The Dems are already more or less in bed with the CIA/Blob, so it is as if they are acting more to aid a “messenger”, as @InquiringMind put it during the latest Water Cooler.

        Reply
        1. Mike

          A recent decision was made by the intelligence organs to allow reporting of second-hand information and be titled a whistleblower for your efforts. it is acceptable to spy (which this is an example of, since it is not whistleblowing) and listen to conversations saying they heard this or that was happening, report that through legal channels, and have it accepted BECAUSE IT APPEALS POLITICALLY to the agency or the particular representative.

          The intelligence community is rife with dissension and conflict; not over their need to service the multi-national firms and their congressional sycophants they really represent, but rather the speed at which they need to react to challenges coming from our limited free flow of information that contradicts their “stories” and propaganda. We’re getting wise – not completely, not with any assuredness that our info is complete, but enough to cause tremendous doubt and distrust of the messaging coming from government and media propagandists.

          To me, the danger of this period is exactly the lack of organized opposition, politically at home and among the nations of the globe, to this onslaught and flooding of the ears with lies that become real due to that repetition. We are not united, and the convenient and quick answers are flawed. The Communist Party was deeply flawed, and the International a craven defender of Stalin, but we could certainly use some organization similar to fight this neocon cancer now, before it metastisizes into worse, if that is possible. That being said, impatience drives tribal thinking, already invading academia and the few public intellectuals existing. I await the working classes hitting their limit. Buckle up, indeed…

          Reply
          1. Acacia

            Thanks for this comment. Agree completely.

            Strategies are badly needed to dislodge people from duopolistic and partisan groupthink.

            Reply
            1. Mike

              Hey, I’m not posing an answer, and see fear of one everywhere, so don’t thank me. There is a inchoate and diffuse anger brewing “out there”, but it does not reflect our measured, rather moderate knowledge of crime and abuse of power we observe daily. It will, given the money and influence of the right wing, push over to such violent reaction it will make the 1930s seem like a birthday party. The left, or what is loosely left of it, badly needs discipline and structure, but its traditional organs have been rent asunder and are not trustworthy.

              A thinktank? New party? Dunno… it has to have room to grow, and our secret-sauce parties and intel outfits have “six ways from Sunday” to mess with any of it. Clarity of political thought seems to come from crisis and being cornered, but that clarity is not guaranteed to be “healthy”, babies going with the bath water-wise. Bernie is a short-term stopgap to the bleeding IF he can wrap his mind around the movement and an understanding of the immediate threats to its existence- i.e., the DNC.

              Reply
          2. marym

            Regarding the first sentence of your comment: The requirements of the law never changed, the whistleblower used an old form anyway, and the recently changed form has been replaced.

            WaPo:

            In any case, the IG’s process for handling whistleblower allegations is determined not by a form but by the law and related policy documents. The key document, ICD 120, has been virtually unchanged since 2014. Contrary to the speculation, the whistleblower used the 2018 form, not the new online form. The IG then investigated and found that his allegations were credible and that Congress should be notified.

            Reply
            1. Mike

              Yup, but this is still mislabeled “whistleblowing”, which would be such if he/she were ratting on the CIA. This hearsay would be laughed out of a court of law absent other proof. Further, I think we can dismiss the IG investigation as being anything not pressured by establishment types threatened by Trump’s vendetta against Obama and his wing of the neo-lib global corporation, as it promises to open the can of worms that both parties are united in foreign policy and who we deal with, and that unity spills over into McCarthy-like reaction to any unpredictability and unreliability such as Trump’s. We can’t “get him” on his real crimes, as that would leave all “them guys” exposed.

              Reply
              1. Anon

                I think you’re uninformed as to what “hearsay” is in this context. The WB complaint clearly states that (s)he did not listen to the phone conversation, but read the rough transcripts of those who did. Evidently, after conferring directly (first-hand) with these people (who confirmed them as accurate) made the decision to file a WB complaint.

                Allow security cleared investigators to listen to the actual phone recording and the WB complaint will either live or die. (My guess: that phone call will be accidentally deleted, somehow.)

                Reply
                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  Making shit up is against our written site Policies, and you compound that with your finger-wagging and using Anon and a fake e-mail address.

                  That is still hearsay. The complaint does NOT say he read the transcript and the complaint is actually inconsistent with the transcript. I have not read the complaint closely a second time, in that there are parts that are apparently based on direct knowledge, but it openly acknowledges is that the majority of the account is second hand: “I was not a direct witness to most of the events described.”

                  And he did not read the transcript; he repeatedly refers to what people said about the call and the UKRAIANIAN-published “readout” of it.

                  Second hand = hearsay.

                  Reply
        2. polecat

          I’ll bet that whistling ‘blowviator’ is a THEY ! …

          .. as in a ‘composite’ entity … manufactured by the C•I•A committee to de-elect the president.

          Reply
      2. JohnH

        I assumed that the much delayed Mueller report finally came out when it did … and with the conclusion it did … because the CIA was finally convinced that it had Trump sufficiently cowed. The July 27 phone call made it clear to them that it didn’t. And Pelosi, when asked by the CIA to jump, immediately responded, “How high?” It will be extremely interesting to see how much influence the CIA has over Republican Senators who will be casting decisive votes. Thirty-three Republicans Senators will be excused and given cover. Is there a thirty-fourth with the cojones to vote against removal and against the CIA’s efforts to impose a color revolution on American soil?

        Reply
    2. Big River Bandido

      If this is really about 2020 then Democrats are even more stupid than I’m inclined to believe. Krystal Ball said this morning that only 35% of the public supports impeachment. All this effort will do is rile up Trump supporters. I recall what happened in the 1998 midterms after the Clinton impeachment. There’s every reason to believe this will turn around and bite the Democrats in 2020.

      Pelosi and Schumer are fine with that. If Democrats were to actually win, they’d have to govern, and they can’t do that.

      Reply
    3. Michael

      The question of “why now” haunts me, too.

      There are several plausible explanations. If you consider Pelosi’s motivations, you have to look no further than her constituency, the donor class.

      From their perspective there has been too many uncomfortable policy debates, including climate change, occurring on the campaign trail. As with Russiagate all of these discussions will vanish from the corporate media.

      Also, some of the donors have stated they will not donate to the Dems, and may in fact donate to Trump, if Warren gets nominated.

      Finally, purely for display of party unity, protecting Joe Biden, even if it brings him down will have value.

      Also, this specific charge will not bring up any of other former “suits” illegal actions.

      Inasmuch as polling showing the combined popularity of Sanders and Warren exceed 30% while Biden is down to 19%, if you can end with a inconclusive first round of voting at the Democratic Convention, you can bring in the Supers and name the person of your choice.

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        As to the question of ‘why now?’, my guess is because the ‘resistance’ types see the writing on the wall that they are going to lose with anybody but Sanders as the candidate, and they aren’t about to allow Sanders to win. RussiaRussiaRussia, porn stars, and everything else they tried didn’t work and they’ve got nothing else that would give the public at large something to vote for.

        As to that writing on the wall, I will offer some very anecdotal evidence, but I found it telling. A few days ago I went to a rural county fair. Now granted these fairs likely attract a more conservative crowd, however this particular fair was in the most liberal county in the state. Took a look at the exhibition hall at the fair, full of quilts, 4th grade artwork, canned tomatoes, etc. as well as booths for both the Republican and Democrat parties.

        At the Democrat party booth, they had put out poster boards with a list of issues and you were supposed to put a little round sticker next to the issue you felt was most important. Boring policy wonk stuff. I don’t even remember if anyone was manning the booth when we stopped by, but if they were they made no attempt whatsoever to speak with us. My wife put one sticker on a poster and walked away and we were the only people there at the time. In fairness, clearly there had been people there earlier since there were a lot of stickers stuck to posters.

        At the Republican booth, there were a number of people in line engaging with those manning the booth. And rather than just pining little stickers on a poster, the Republicans were handing out Trump 2020 swag and letting people get photos with a big Trump cutout. IDoing fun stuff. Walking around the fair later I saw one of the few Hispanics in attendance (this is a very white county in an extremely white state) sporting a Trump 2020 tote bag as he and his wife walked through the fair.

        If I were to base a prediction on the evidence alone, I would say Trump and the Elephants are going to hand the Asses their asses in 2020 and they can feel it coming.

        I really don’t see how this doesn’t blow up in their faces, but they’ve got nothing else.

        Reply
    4. PKMKII

      This is my feeling on it. It’s the Democrats’ Benghazi, a string of congressional hearings designed to produce dirt on Trump to sink him in the election. Actual impeachment and removal is nahgunnahappen, as that requires 67 senators, which would require all Democrats in the Senate, both independents, and 20 Republicans. It would be a minor miracle if five Republicans signed onto impeachment.

      However, with dirt slinging as the only useful outcome possible, it shows how incompetent Pelosi is by limiting the inquiry to just the Ukraine business. The damning dirt could come in any form out of any corner of Trump’s ongoings, so why would you limit the dirt digging to something that, on the face of it, doesn’t scream it went any deeper than Trump’s implication. Especially as it didn’t happen that long ago.

      Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    God, this is so stupid. Look, perhaps it is because I live in a different continent or I have a twisted turn of mind but I am seeing something completely different at work here. Is Trump Corrupt? Of course he is but in a completely ham-fisted way that makes it blatantly obvious. With Trump you always have low expectations. But Thomas Neuburger talks about ICE deaths, Puerto Rico, the Muslim ban but so what? Obama was guilty of far worse but no Democrats will criticize him for any of it. An example? If you cover up an international war crime such as torture, that is an international crime too and Obama definitely covered up for the CIA tortures and “looked forward”. And one ramification for that was the US now having a ex-torturer as head of the CIA.
    So here is my take. The past few months Americans were finally having subjects like healthcare and college debt forgiveness getting some air time and some serious traction. The Democrat candidates were being forced to give answers on their positions on such ideas. But now? The Democrats have introduced impeachment which has all the success prospects of Russiagate. Expect copious amounts of verbal diarrhea in the next few months which will allow for no time for discussion of subjects like healthcare anymore. The DNC will shout down anyone trying to do so by shouting “Impeachment!”. And when the elections rock around in a year’s time and there is finally some minor space to start talking about such subjects, the DNC will tell progressives “You know, you should have really brought this up in 2019 while there was time to talk about it. Your bad.”

    Reply
    1. dcrane

      Indeed, we might as well argue that Obama should have been impeached for turning the Espionage Act against reporters. I see that as more damaging to the US than most of Trump’s harmful acts to date.

      Reply
      1. John Wright

        I tell people that Trump is a minor league con man because so many people assert that he is a con man

        Obama successfully convinced people that he WANTED to do the right things but was prevented from doing them by the evil Republicans. Despite the insurance/drug company friendly implementation of ObamaCare, assertion of the most transparent administration, ever, brutally coming down on government whistleblowers, killing overseas citizens via drone, not prosecuting financial misdeeds, and destroying Libya, Obama is seen as righteous.

        In my view, a truly great con man remains unacknowledged/undetected.

        Obama is in a con man league of his own, as he benefits from the left’s form of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

        Reply
        1. John k

          Best comment.
          Interesting that attacking trump on this is attacking Biden… did dem elites give up on him? don’t see how he can survive, which seems to open the field for Warren sanders… if so, not what donors want, pelosi musta been forced by blue dogs cia.
          Maybe good for sanders… he needs rest, the stents will require recovery… msm can’t focus away from impeach to celebrate his health problems…
          How long? Say one month?
          Hopefully the dems great white hope biden will be down and out by primaries… Bernie might find help in the south this time where it was a wall last time…
          Ca dem elites don’t want Bernie, but electorate doesn’t want Kamala…
          And tulsi back on stage is useful to focus on wars.

          Reply
    2. Steve H.

      I think this vectors the right direction, Rev Kev. White noise to drown out clearly articulated messages. If any of this were about actual evidence, Binney would’ve been called to undercut the Crowdstrike assertions.

      There are a couple of things that seem real. Once is the intra-elite competition between the intelligence community and Trump. Epstein cracked a door and some light got through. Trump seems to have taken the standard operating procedures personally.

      Despite this, Trump is more acceptable to Wall Street than the left agenda. These attacks serve to consolidate Trumps base; I’ve seen more Trump 2020 bumper stickers in my very-blue town than any other candidates.

      The endgame comes with the primaries. Sander’s campaign income has a verisimilitude with greater weight than the polls. Even polls which aren’t specifically rigged can’t cope with modern communications. The problem is, with electronic vote-flipping on top of old-school methods, unless the paper ballots get in (which is against status quo interests), how can it be made clear the vote is being rigged? Could public gatherings outside the polling places be enough to offer an alternative count?

      Plus, Sanders has set himself up as TINA. He has not spread his wealth of four decades of credibility to anyone else. No Muslim is getting the Oval, so Gabbard is a gadfly, not an option. Trump and the top three Democratic candidates could all actually die of old age.

      The only thing I’d actually put a bet on in all this is that Trump will not be removed from office via impeachment.

      Reply
    3. Big River Bandido

      I’m not sure that the Democrats yelling “impeachment!” will register loud enough to overcome the substance of the election campaign. Not enough people care about it.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        “Not enough people care about it.”
        The real determinate is which people ‘care’ about it. The public discourse is presently in the hands of partisan hacks, of mainly one ideology; Rentier Capitalism.
        One main American political faction will characterize the obscurantist process as “White Noise. The other main faction will characterize it as “Rainbow Noise.” Both will be correct about the “Noise” part.

        Reply
        1. Big River Bandido

          According to Ball in the “Rising” video, the percentage of people who support impeachment is 35%. That pretty much covers all the “partisan hacks” you refer to.

          To the average voter? This is just noise and nonsense. Regardless of how impeachment ends (and one doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out that it will go nowhere), the concerns and the anger of average voters are not going away.

          Reply
            1. Mike

              Ditto, Ambrit- a rational response bestride the not caring noise.

              The current equation of Warren and Sanders is the point problem of that coherence. Sanders is weak on foreign policy particulars (Middle East, Venezuela, Ukraine are waffled responses, more afraid to alienate rather than state), Warren is totally absent because she has supported those policies in the past. Both committed to regulation, Warren wanting existing govt. style while Sanders wants the beginning of a bottom-up approach. Details are left on the “debate-stage floor”, as what we have had so far is a Sideshow Bob presentation of policy, a Q&A for the media, which leads us nowhere unless you are fanatically political, which most of the nation has been educated/innoculated against.

              Whatever it is, I’m agin it…

              Reply
      2. petal

        One of the things to get the biggest reaction out of the crowd at the Sanders rally this weekend was Trump getting impeached. It was huge for that audience. Sanders is all-in for impeachment.

        What I wrote in my submitted piece: “He said Trump will be impeached shortly, and that the trial goes to the Senate. He asked Mitch McConnell to begin the trial immediately and to have the courage to stand up to Trump. This impeachment talk sent the crowd wild. They loved it. He said the future of America must be put ahead of the GOP’s short term interests. Again, the crowd went wild. I cannot impress on you enough how big Trump being impeached was for this crowd.”

        Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          And not a word about Clinton approving arms sales while Secretary of State and accepting gifts to their foundation?

          Reply
          1. petal

            None, of course! Go figure. It was hard being there. Was surrounded by full-on TDS from all speakers to the crowd.

            Reply
            1. Shonde

              Thank you. Looking forward to reading it. Donation submitted today. A thank you for all the work on this site.

              Reply
        2. Carey

          “One of the things to get the biggest reaction out of the crowd at the Sanders rally this weekend was Trump getting impeached. It was huge for that audience. Sanders is all-in for impeachment..”

          Hearing this kind of thing makes one wonder if it’s not *all* kayfabe..

          disappointing

          Reply
      3. Mike

        Right now, probably true. However, we’ve been victim to propaganda many times before – WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc.etc. We have an apparatus that has honed its abilities to reach millions immediately through TV, press, video, websites, that puts former agit-prop to shame. We have been swarmed with the same message, basically allowing those caught in lies previously to suddenly be believed today, “because”…

        The truth of any proposition comes down to its provenance and our ability to get tired of the repetition and cacophony surrounding us, thus surrendering the ground. If enough believe the initial message, if enough see their bread buttered by it, then the rest of us are prone to that surrender unless an outside agency we CAN rely on exists.

        It is sad to say that “not caring” becomes a positive. 50% of the voting public does not vote, and most who vote do not care if their vote is even counted properly. Do not care equals no democracy at all.

        Reply
    4. notabanker

      Agreed, most disappointing post. As if Congress, or past admins have no culpability, all Trump, therefore impeachment, sigh.

      Reply
    5. inode_buddha

      What you are seeing is called “hypocrisy”, writ large. The Democrats are finally discovering that they actually need the voters that they’ve been dissing for decades, and they really don’t want to admit how badly they’ve screwed the pooch.

      Reply
    6. Donny

      This NC piece is one of the best written on the whole situation.

      But, I do wonder if they are trying to get Trump AND Biden because someone prefers say Warren as the nominee.

      Reply
  4. EoH

    Perhaps Ms. Pelosi’s caucus finally made her do what she despises doing. That it should benefit her party leadership’s choice to replace Donald Trump is, of course, coincidental.

    There’s still the nit that there’s been no congressional vote authorizing her impeachment inquiry, which will keep the process in the courts and delay proceedings longer than necessary.

    Ms. Pelosi’s actions bring to mind the contradictory naval order, proceed with all deliberate speed. It is a sign that the admirals acknowledge the necessity of doing something, but tell their commanders it’s on them if it goes South.

    That she has shoved the bankeresque Schiff to the fore in place of the more irascible and prosecutorial Nadler suggests she does not want to give the public a clear narrative, so much as to keep them calm, as if the Trump administration were in charge instead of being in office.

    Reply
      1. KM in California

        California is the vanguard of the “Resistance” to Trump. Pelosi is from California, as is Schiff. Two of the Intelligence Committee members are also from California (Jackie Speier and Eric Swalwell) as the LA Times pointed out a few days ago (“California to play an outsize role in impeachment inquiry of Trump“). This is probably why the whole impeachment inquiry is centered in the Intelligence committee and not the Judiciary.

        Various Obama officials live or work in California. For example, Eric Holder was hired by the California Legislature to fight Trump. David Plouffe, who works with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative among other Silicon Valley groups, is helping a liberal group called ACRONYM with anti-Trump digital messaging.

        Don’t forget too that Pelosi is related by marriage to Governor Gavin Newsom (his aunt was married to Ron Pelosi, brother-in-law to Nancy). It’s one big happy Resistance family! Corruption is okay as long as they do it. Their hypocrisy has no limits.

        Just imagine if corrupt California elites could rule the United States! The Wash Post even had a fantasy piece about “President Pelosi” just a few days ago.

        Reply
        1. smoker

          Thanks for that, saved me a bit of rushed commenting because I was going to quickly comment on it before I noticed you had already.

          California has 6 of the 24 members of the House Intelligence Committee: 4 of those 6 members hold 100% of Democratic (Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff) and Republican (Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes) leadership roles; there are 4 out of 14 in the total Democratic membership, and 2 out of 10 in the Republican membership.

          Also, Californian members make up 100% of the House membership of the Gang of Eight, , 2 Democratic and 2 Republican: respectively, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff; and Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes.

          And lastly, both California Senators Dianne Feinstein, and Kamala Harris (despite her newbiness), are on the Senate Intelligence Committee, the only State to have both Senators as members.

          As a decades long California resident, what sickens me the most about this is California legislators (overwhelmingly Democratic Party, but may as well be Republican given the stunning inequality/austerity imposed in California) preside over the highest numbers of unsheltered homeless in the country. A full third of California residents have been forced onto Medi-Cal (where millions can’t find a treating doctor for the life of them), or don’t qualify (despite not being able to afford their rents), yet can’t afford any insurance. Concurrently, State Legislators and that duplicitous, slimy creep Newsom just signed off on an Obama inspired California Healthcare Mandate Penalty, although there were crickets at California’s Franchise Tax Board when it came to following the IRS in going after Facebook’s stunning and blatant 2010 Ireland Asset transfers Tax evasion (to the tune of billions now, and next to impossible to determine what the current status of it is), they would much rather go after their increasingly impoverished populace who can’t afford a CPA, let alone an attorney.

          Reply
          1. smoker

            A side note, though it does speak to Elite Democrats (and many Elite Republicans) wanting to quash the appeal Trump has had (however mistaken) for increasingly impoverished US citizens.

            The other thing about Newsom (the sordid underbelly of his stealth ‘welcoming’ of all immigrants, none of which live anywhere near him unless they are extremely wealthy business owners, of which there are significant amounts), and the equally duplicitous California Federal State and Local Legislators is that: along with citizens, let alone non-citizens not being able to find Medi-Cal doctors; they never discuss how legal immigration of persons unable to vote has utterly diluted the voting base of actual citizens who never could, or can’t now, afford a home. Now, those citizens can’t even afford insane, way over valued, rents due to an enormous influx of predominantly young and male visa’d employees working in Tech who can’t vote but can afford those rents.

            I believe this was, and is, deliberate; clearly creating a dynamic where wealthy property owners have an overwhelming majority vote, despite countless cities (particularly in the Silicon Valley area) having become – extremely lopsidedly, within just ten years – renter predominated, just since the last census.

            Please note, I’m not implying giving legal immigrants without citizenship the vote, as I’m guessing (since the US State Department has always loved to cherry pick for blind loyalty and/or wealth ) many seem to come from upper middle class families.

            Further side note – speaking of legal immigration – I wish him well and think Yasha Levine has taken on an enormous task in addressing the US using targeted immigration as a weapon (sorry I can’t find the link to his recent commentary Immigrants as a Weapon that was posted on here about a week or two ago, to my recollect). I hope Yasha looked at the enormous State Department list of potential visas allowed before hand. Living and working in Silicon Valley for decades, I’ve repeatedly witnessed the underbelly of it all, particularly the utter mythology that US citizens are lazy, dumb, and just don’t want to work, as opposed to immigrants.

            Reply
            1. KM in California

              I’ve lived in Silicon Valley since 2002 so I agree with you about the noxious underbelly of it all. The entire SF Bay area has changed and not for the better. When I first arrived here, the culture was more inclusive and creative. Now artists are priced out of SF, homeless live under highway underpasses (there’s an encampment near my home), and the politicians pretend that they want to do something for the many problems they’ve created.

              I’ve seen the corruption from experience, from real estate to arbitration courts. It sickens me. San Francisco is not a creative city anymore, but a soulless libertarian techtopia in my humble opinion. And the suburbs are filled mostly with tech serfs.

              The Deep State, Silicon Valley/Tech and California politicians and elite all work together. While they hate Trump they practice their own form of stealth corruption. To me this intra-elite “impeachment inquiry” is another form of that since the inquiry is not being done within the normal procedures. Rule-bending is the modus operandi of the California elite: different rules for us versus them. “Laws for thee but not for me.”

              Reply
              1. smoker

                yep.

                And also, along with the tech serfs, many of those towns in Santa Clara County (most historically connected to Silicon Valley) are also filled with those made homeless where those just under retirement age are numbering higher and higher, as do the hypothermia death counts. San Jose had a 41% explosion of homelessness within just the last two years.

                Never ever thought I’d mutter this, as I’ve despised Trump for decades, but Trump may actually be a very slight tad less immoral than they are, in that he’s quite honest about some of his beliefs and intents.

                The Impeachment is a farce, in that it’s not regarding his crimes against humanity and the US populace; especially given that Bush and Obama weren’t impeached for their sickening crimes against humanity.

                Reply
      2. Dao Gen

        Putting Schiff in charge would not be odd iff this impeachment were a joint effort between the Democrats and the CIA (the “whistleblower”). The fact that the “whistleblower” seems to have checked in with a member of Schiff’s staff before s/he filed the complaint, might be significant. If it turns out to be, then perhaps Schiff would be the key connection point between the two organizations.

        Reply
  5. Lambert Strether

    > In other words, the rightness of impeachment was never a consideration for Democratic Party leaders.

    Nor was it in 2006, when, after recapturing the House, Pelosi took impeachment “off the table,” even though the Bush Administration committed multiple felonies in its warrantless surveillance program, in addition to completely destroying the Fourth Amendment. (Obama later normalized and rationalized all this, of course.)

    So one would not have expected principle or the “rule of law” or any of those other shibboleths to enter into the liberal Democrat decision-making process. It never does.

    Reply
  6. ambrit

    Wow. Just wow. The Woo is strong with this one.
    This person starts out with an establishing remark that convicts Trump, and goes on from there. Unlike a true impeachment process, no ‘real’ groundwork is laid down. Furthermore, by half-heartedly mentioning “issues” with the Pelosi formulation, in effect, that Biden is just as bad as Trump, the author lays the groundwork for the ‘impeachment’ of both Party’s “main” candidates. The piece reminds me of the logic of the Alice in Wonderland trial: “Sentence first – verdict afterwards.” All this, my cynical sensibility reminds me, sotto voice, for an insane Queen.
    Impeachment has always been a political process. After all, it is a function of the Congress, the prototype of politics. To take the authors buttressing point, that the ‘essence’ of impeachment should be the pure logic of the deeds in question casts the entire process of impeachment in the light of virtue signalling. How else would a disinterested observer characterize a process where the process itself is not initiated with the anticipation of a useful outcome? In a very real sense, it is a partisan war where there are penalties for losing.
    This piece, if any, shows plainly the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the American political process today. The two “leading” candidates of the “rival” Partys are both delineated to be frauds, figuratively and literally. Turning the mentioning of the earlier English Parliamentary ‘version’ of impeachment on, as it were, it’s head, one is lead to consider that only something as all encompassing and determinative as an actual bloodletting will be of any use to the Nation.
    Be very careful what you ask for. You might get it.

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      I’ll think I’ll defend the author here a bit as his suggestions for impeachable offenses are ones that our honorable congress critters would never consider impeachable. Note that it’s not RRR, and although he notes the emoluments thing as worthy of trial we don’t know one way or another now as they let it go, which is one of his proving points that it’s all politics, not a desire to protect the nation.

      Reply
    2. Mark Gisleson

      Love the “woo.”

      Reading the comments it seems like all the opinions expressed existed before this post was written, and that Neuburger’s primary failure here was in not changing any minds.

      It’s all political, and Trump’s better at that than we are. Or perhaps more accurately, Trump’s better at it than any of the people the Democrats’ leadership listens to.

      My brain brain has been saying impeach all along, but my gut brain has consistently sensed that each such opportunity has been a trap. This close to November 2020 the D’s should be focused on winning, not more horseshit poor loser stuff.

      Impeachment is a mumu even Hillary wouldn’t wear. It’s something you put on to be seen in but rarely prompts the response you wanted.

      Reply
    3. Yves Smith Post author

      The article does not mention it, but impeaching Trump on the Emoluments Clause is a slam dunk. His DC hotel is chock full of foreign diplos seeking goodies from the US. So I don’t regard it as controversial to say he’s done things that warrant impeachment, even if you think Krystal Ball is worked up over the wrong things or things that are not unique to Trump.

      However, impeaching Obama should have been a slam dunk over his ending habeas corpus.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Somehow, whenever I think of Trump and his antics, I think back to the career of Warren G. Harding. Evidently, the only way he escaped impeachment for the Teapot Dome scandal was to conveniently die while visiting San Francisco. How louche.
        For Trump, the word of the day is money; yesterday, today, and tomorrow, ad infinitum. He got his first fortune the old fashioned way; he inherited it. I wonder how he translates the relationships of politics, which is the essence of that field, into business terms.
        Perhaps the best way to address the author of the piece’s concerns would be to establish a permanent Inspector General for the Government, with independent power of subpoena and indictment. A modern version of the old Roman Republican office of Censor.

        Reply
  7. Ook

    “Impeachment is the Constitution’s version of the English Civil War, minus the war.”

    It could be argued that getting rid of a Prime Minister via a vote of no confidence is orders of magnitude simpler than impeachment. In fact, it seems to happen about every ten or twenty years on average in the UK. And no civil war required either.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      The best analogue of today with then is that the English Civil War did not just remove the Royalist leadership of the time, but an entire generation of Royalists. Does America really want a twenty year interregnum?

      Reply
      1. Anarcissie

        We are already in the Interregnum. Trump was ‘none of the above’. People talked about a ‘clown car’ and then Trump showed that a clown could actually accede to power, insofar as a clown can manage the role. The Democrats responded with a clown show of their own. It’s a circus, although the clowns are pretty malign. Maybe people like that. Meanwhile, serious people with serious political proposals, like Sanders, are on the outside looking in. Someone’s going to have to break a window.

        Reply
    2. chuck roast

      This guy is a bad historian, a poor researcher and he also lapses into the shrill. Please, no Rachel Maddow clones on this site whatever their views. The guy made my head hurt. Corruption everywhere, but of course “the evidence is not in on Biden” despite watching the fellow in action for decades. I mean really, the guy was a senator from Delaware. What more needs to be said.
      Impeachment is our English Civil War? Jesus weep! We actually had a civil war. Shall we compare that to impeachment. Imoulments, Puerto Rico, ICE abuses…small potatoes pal.
      I’m havin’ a bad day, but his post should have gotten lost in moderation.

      Reply
  8. Brooklin Bridge

    Pelosi has clearly seen the dangers of democrat complicity and corruption before; what’s changed? If she was acutely (off the table) aware of the dirty utterly filthy linen danger before, then why not now when it’s, if anything, more obvious than ever?

    All I can think of is that the Clinton derangement syndrome – the bitterness and perceived injustice that the anointed one didn’t get anointed – still has an iron grip on the psyche of the DC Daristocrats. They’re stone drunk on hatred, spite, and lust for revenge and are hallucinating in broad daylight that they’ve got the hook to sell it.

    I like the idea that this is all a clever ruse to keep the focus away from sanity in health care etc., but it just doesn’t look like they have that much sense. From the UK to the the US, everyone’s going nuts.

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      I bet it’s good for fund raising, those I know who are most embarrassed by trump have a fair amount of money…and currently they are very excited. Whatever it is, it’s not bernie (or should I say &@cking bernie), it’s not M4A, and it’s not student loans, as commented on above this line…

      Reply
      1. Brooklin Bridge

        It’s the ill conceived nature of this, the mess the democrats are creating for themselves, that suggests to me that shifting the focus away from popular programs such as medicare for all is unintended even if successful. It’s like stabbing yourself in the arm to divert attention from robbing the church collection. Not a good analogy but anyway…

        There is a huge amount of pressure from the public to get rid of Trump any way possible and a lot of that, ironically, has been manufactured by the democrats themselves. That, I suspect, combined with Hillary syndrome, is more what’s behind this than the criminal, but lucid, plan to obscure the popularity of programs benefiting the public.

        Reply
    2. Rog

      As I read these comments, I realized that it is not because of Trump, per se, that we are totally screwed, at least those like me, powerless and having limited resources. It is the lack of substance in the answer to his degeneracy. I include those offering commentary here among those

      Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        Perhaps you should go back and re-read the last 5 years of commentary then — there’s been plenty of substance offered by those who are just as powerless as you.

        Reply
  9. John A

    Imagine Trump were to overthrow Maduro in a coup. He installs his puppet Guido who immediately gives Ivanka a seat on the board of a Venezuelan oil company at 50K a month, or more. Would the Democrats be screaming ‘nothing to see here’ in that scenario?

    Reply
    1. Brooklin Bridge

      It’s not clear the Democrats would notice any impropriety. What would be tearing them apart is that they didn’t get a seat at the trough (on the board) as well.

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yes. In that case. Kicking foreign brown people is bipartisan. Schiff would organize Trump’s ticker tape parade in that case.

      Reply
  10. Mattski

    I would say ‘Joe Biden’s son’s integrity’ and ‘the dubious right-wing Democratic Party CIA-led arms sales-drive policy in the Ukraine.’

    I don’t think that Biden himself is particularly corrupt; the guy really is a terrible hack. And I don’t think legal corruption is necessarily what’s at issue, but a world in which it’s perfectly acceptable for the children of elites to trail around after their parents and help smooth the wider asset-grabbing through personal enrichment.

    The wider context–villifying Russia, cleaning up Ukraine enough to justify consorting with fascists and the far-right to keep all the balls in the air, needs to be exposed.

    Reply
  11. voteforno6

    There is a right way to do impeachment, and this ain’t it. They could investigate the Trump administrator for its rampant corruption – it’s a very target-rich environment. Instead, Pelosi wants the scope very narrow. That’s quite telling. Even more telling, and offensive, when you think about it, is her decision to have this inquiry be led by the House Intelligence Committee. This pretty much guarantees that at least some of the proceedings will happen behind closed doors. So, they think that they’re going to remove the duly elected President behind closed doors, and they think the population will be okay with this? Do they really live in such a bubble that they think people trust their judgment enough to do this? It boggles the mind.

    Reply
    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Do they really live in such a bubble[…]

      Revenge, like any addiction, doesn’t brook common sense. The author of the article is spot on when he points out that it’s just too late to impeach on the high road even if the democrat party did have something, anything, to distinguish them ethically from the republicans or Trump (other than bombast).

      Also, just a thought, having this discussion behind closed doors makes sense if Pelosi is hoping they will come to their senses.

      As to the right or wrong way to do impeachment, I think the democrats like the republicans are simply beyond that or any notion of it other than the residue of dim memory that ends up entirely as the decorative part in public speeches. I suspect they are quite simply oblivious to such niceties as anything being wrong with using impeachment as a weapon rather than as a means for justice.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m pretty sure Pelosi doesn’t want it and wanted to repeat her 2007 play, but she doesn’t have 2008 certainty to offer (keep the powder dry…I know but this was what that was about). Team Blue elites need #resistance happy because it’s their base. The people who missed brunch aren’t exactly rationale or going to have this explained to them behind closed doors. Pelosi has been slowly losing with the caucus, but most of the members are terrible and vulnerable to an AOC-esque challenge especially in safe seats which most of the seats are. Again without theven #resistance, safe seat Team Blue types are very vulnerable.

        Reply
      2. marym

        Thank you, I agree with this perspective.

        Adding that, imo, the rank and file voters did the work of electing Democrats to a House majority, motivated partly by Clinton revenge, but also by policy issues. There’s been noticeable dismay in the corners of twitter where I wander at Pelosi’s taking so long to act, the inept performances of the few hearings so far, and now the proposed narrow focus.

        Reply
  12. ptb

    my take is they’re never actually going to pass articles of impeachment, which would hand the process over to McConnell in the Senate. It will stay in the House and they will attempt to nab Trump or perhaps one of his sidekicks like Giuliani on obstruction of the House investigation. This is by now a fairly transparent strategy, and we will find out what the elusive PA swing voter thinks of it soon enough.

    As far as the primary is concerned, it reaffirms support for Biden by party leadership. His campaign requires “electability in the general”, so not clear how that’s helping the cause.

    Perhaps they figured Biden was gonna get hit anyway for making Poroshenko fire the guy running the office prosecuting Biden’s son (whereupon the investigation was, by coincidence, halted). Thus get everything together hit back in the month or so before the details emerged in US media?

    I think it’s a colossal mistake, and now Pelosi is all-in (together with a bunch of Representatives in deep purple congressional districts roped into going on record supporting the impeachment investigation), so all this ain’t going nowhere.

    Reply
  13. LowellHIghlander

    Maybe I missed it, and so I (as a veteran) must make sure it is said: if the Congress will not list, as the first Article of Impeachment, the slaughter of innocent people in wars not declared by Congress, then I don’t see how any other possible Article would matter. Here, Trump has aided and abetted the slaughter and unending misery for hundreds of thousands of Yemenis, in a country against which the U.S. never declared war, by keeping the House of Saud armed. And this reasoning would include the killing of innocent people outside any consideration of war and peace, a crime which can be incontrovertibly attributed to decisions emanating from the Oval Office regarding people who come to our borders to seek economic or political refuge.

    Wasn’t the power to go to war exclusively reserved for Congress, to try to make sure that the country wouldn’t go to war on a lark? And wasn’t the Bill of Rights enshrined to make sure that the U.S. Government could not put people to death, at least without due process?

    I realize that this might mean that Congress would have had to impeach presidents left and right. So be it; enlisted women and men can be severely punished for killing innocent people (and for far less, such as disobeying orders). Why should presidents and vice-presidents escape responsibility for high crimes of unjustifiable homicide (and, I must add, countenancing torture)?

    Reply
    1. Seamus Padraig

      The problem, of course, is that the war in Yemen started under O’Bomber. One of those rare achievements of the Trump administration, in fact, is that he hasn’t actually started any brand-spanking new wars at all–just continued the old ones started by Bushbama.

      Reply
      1. John k

        Well, bush got congress to approve Iraq, so impeaching him would have been on account of the lies.
        Libya is on Obama Hillary. It wasn’t ‘we came, we saw, he died’, cackle, it was ‘a peaceful, prosperous country died’, one with equal Ed for women, a rarity in ME.

        Reply
    2. inode_buddha

      You know, I’m convinced they had to knock over Libya because he was threatening to create a pan-African currency. Just like they had to knock over Iraq because he was threatening to trade oil in Euros.

      All the other reasons they gave were just excuses for TV viewers at home: do you really think a government that operates Abu Gharib and Guantanamo gives a damn about human rights? A government that installs brutal dictatorships (Honduras, et al) cares about you?

      Both sides of the aisle have been using the Bill of Rights and the Constitution for toilet paper since 9/11 particularly, and yes we do in fact make war on a whim. The reason why things are the way they are, is because those in power (for the last few decades) said so.

      Reply
  14. Levi Tate

    Has it already happened?

    Is this the last desperation Hail Mary by the Democratic Party and the National Security State to save themselves?

    Has it already happened?

    I have been hoping and praying that disgraced former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe
    has gone “John Dean” (of Watergate infamy) and the National Security State knows it.

    If that dream is a reality then maybe, just maybe, I’ll have to buy a television set to watch that theater live
    on a 60 inch screen.

    Reply
  15. Steven Greenberg

    Was the prosecutor, corrupt as he may be, not investigating Burisma?

    In a legal deposition, the prosecutor says that he was investigating Burisma, and that is why Biden had him fired. I don’t know for sure where the truth lies, but do not assume that Biden’s explanation is where the truth is.

    Reply
  16. Roy G

    Well, if ‘centrist’ Lanny Davis sees no problem with Hunter Biden’s business that really settles it, doesn’t it? /sarcasm #emeraldcityethics

    Reply
  17. DHG

    Dems will not pay a price for this, impeaching Clinton was purely partisan and not done for constitutional grounds. I am afraid the GOP is done for awhile in all this, they failed to impeach when they hand the chance and control.

    Reply
  18. Knute Rife

    That impeachment got no traction in the House until the usual DLC/DNC triangulation tea leaves read the right way shows just how deep this all is. And that it’s under the command of Pelosi, who seriously wanted us to believe that a snarky clap-back was legitimate opposition and resistance….

    Reply
  19. PrairieRose

    If I may, I’d like offer my comments to the comments, as a bona fide member of the Peanut Gallery. I’m neither sophisticated nor educated, nor am I knowledgeable about the inside-baseball-of-the-inside-baseball workings of the Democratic party. All I know is, I am heartsick for myself and my fellow Americans. For far too long we have watched in horror as a vicious, vicious man has occupied our White House and turned it into his personal corporate suite, with attendant perquisites, along with countless weekend golfing trips and endless public meltdowns, putdowns, lies and insults. That awful man has brought his brand of corruption to the highest office in the land and has made a mockery of all that which a lot of us value in a leader: Poise. Dignity. Integrity. Thoughtfulness. All a foreign language to the alleged POTUS and his henchpeople in the Cabinet.

    I’ve been a reader of NC for almost 10 years now and have the utmost respect for all of the commenters and authors here. But today, reading these comments on the utter hopelessness of any attempt by Democrats (or anyone else, for that matter) to rein in the horrible POTUS has deflated me and left me with no hope, no optimism whatsoever. Those of us in the Peanut Gallery are desperately looking to take back some semblance of dignity for ourselves but it certainly seems as though any chance of that happening, according to the respected commenters here, is and remains a pipe dream. I had one shred of hope left. If we could just do something, anything, one thing, to start getting ourselves back on track. We just need a start.

    Alas, not to be; I am deluding myself. This is why so many of us (the lumpenproletariat, if you will) get to the point of paralysis. There seems to be no reason to fight anymore. So to save ourselves, all we can do is plug our ears, cover our eyes, stop voting, hunker down and stay home. And hope the end is quick and not too painful.

    I grieve, y’all.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I know you may be upset about Trump, but quite honestly, many of the things he is doing, such as incarcerating immigrant children and large scale deportations, are things Obama did. Obama did them under the radar while Trump does ugly happy dances.

      You seem to miss that what the Clinton faction has been trying to do, since the very day Trump won, is try to engineer a change in the Constitutional order by having the President be subject to the approval of the military-intelligence complex. That is third world stuff that you see only in places like Latin America and the less democratic parts of Asia.

      We have an election in 13 months. The reason to despair is the corporate Democrats refuse to campaign against Trump on ideas that would trounce him, like single payer, a higher minimum wage, and strengthening Social Security. Instead they are trying this impeachment stunt NOW, what, to protect Hunter Biden’s grifting? If they had been serious about this, the time to do it would have been when they took the House, on emoluments. As I’ve said, that’s a slam dunk and something Americans would get: bribes from foreign officials. And in the Constitution to boot!

      You need to vote. Otherwise you are siding with the idea that the elites run the place.

      Reply
      1. Rhondda

        “Instead they are trying this impeachment stunt NOW, what, to protect Hunter Biden’s grifting?”

        I think it’s an attempt to get in front of the indictments that may flow from the ICIG’s investigation of the ‘origins of Russiagate’ — illegal spying, FISA abuses and attempted entrapment by the ‘intelligence community’ and ‘the Hillary Faction’ during the 2016 election.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *