Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 26, 2019

The House Will Not Vote On Impeachment. It Will Censure Trump.

The live TV impeachment inquiry circus is for now over.  The procedural parts are ready to begin. Both sides, the Republicans and Democrats, will have to decide which tactical moves they will now make.

Adam Schiff, who presided over the investigative part, wrote to his colleagues that he wants to immediately move forward:

As required under House Resolution 660, the Committees are now preparing a report summarizing the evidence we have found this far, which will be transmitted to the Judiciary Committee soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess.
...
Chairman Nadler and the Members and staff of the Judiciary Committee will proceed in the next phase of the impeachment inquiry.

Nadler will write up articles of impeachment which will be referred to the whole House to vote on them. No Republican is likely to vote for impeaching Trump. It would be political suicide to do so. The Democrats have 233 Representatives and need 218 votes for a majority decision. They can afford a few abstentions but not too many.

At least one House Democrat, Brenda Lawrence from the swing state Michigan, has said that she will no longer support impeachment but that she prefers to censure the president instead of impeaching him. A censure is a formal reprimand by a majority vote that has no further consequences.

More are likely to follow that path as several recent polls show that impeachment is no longer en vogue:

The latest national poll from Emerson College finds 45 percent oppose impeaching President Trump, against 43 percent who support it. That’s a 6-point swing in support from October, when 48 percent of voters supported impeachment and only 44 percent opposed.

More importantly, the poll shows more independents now oppose impeachment than support it, a significant change from Emerson's polling in October. The new poll found 49 percent oppose impeachment compared to 34 percent who support it. In October, 48 percent of independents polled supported impeachment, against 39 percent who opposed.

Since October, Emerson has found Trump’s job approval rating jump by 5 points, from 43 percent to 48 percent.

This is the second poll this week to show voters are increasingly likely to oppose impeachment, ..

Even Democrats are losing interest in the issue. There is also this curious issue:

Josh Jordan @NumbersMuncher - 13:32 UTC · Nov 26, 2019

CNN Poll: There is a *forty* point gender gap with regards to impeaching and removing Trump.
Men oppose impeachment 40-53 while women favor it 61-34.
That's a pretty stunning contrast.

If more Democratic swing-state representatives defect from the impeachment camp, which seems likely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a big problem. How can she proceed?

  • If the House votes down impeachment Donald Trump wins.
  • If the House holds no vote on the issue Donald Trump wins.
  • If the House votes for censure Donald Trump will have won on points and the issue will be over.
  • If the House votes for impeachment the case goes to the Senate for trial.

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

  • It can decide to not open an impeachment trial by simply voting against impeachment. Trump wins.
  • It can open a impeachment trial, use it to extensively hurt the Democrats and, in the end, vote against impeachment. Trump wins big time.

Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

During impeachment the whole Senate sits as the High Court. The House of Representatives sends 'managers' who act as prosecutors. The chief justice of the U.S. presides. A vote for impeachment at the end of the trial requires a two-third majority.

The Republican majority in the Senate could use such a trial to bring disarray into the Democrats' primary. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet are all senators and Democratic primary candidates. They would probably have to stop campaigning to attend the trials. Another leading Democratic candidate would be a top witness.

The Republican senators would immediately call up a number of people for questioning. These would include Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer, John Kerry who was Secretary of State when Biden intervened for Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky and of course the CIA spy and (not-)whistleblower Erik Ciaramella. It would also be of interest to hear how deep the former CIA director John Brennan was involved in the issue.

The Senators could use the impeachment trial to dig into all the crimes the Democrats under Obama committed in Ukraine. They would concentrate not on the Maidan coup but on the aftermath when the deals were made. There surely is a lot of dirt out there and it is not only Joe Biden's.

Then there is Russiagate. Did the Obama administration use illegal means to spy on the Trump campaign? As the issue is related to whatever Trump did there is good reason to include it into the trial.

The circus the Senate would open if the House votes for impeachment would play for many many months. The media would be full of this or that crime some Democrat or deep state actor supposedly committed. All this would play out during the election season.

An impeachment trial in the Senate would be a disaster for the Democrats.

I can not see why the Democrats would want to fall into such a trap. House leader Nancy Pelosi is experienced enough to not let that happen. But she will have to do some serious talking to convince the party that a vote on impeachment is not the best way to proceed.

The only sensible alternative is to censure Trump and that is why it is likely the way Nancy Pelosi will want to go. A partisan vote to censure Trump will do no damage to him but the Democrats would have at least done 'something' - even if it was only gesturing.

The whole impeachment show did little damage to Trump. His approval numbers are still fine. The show has given Trump another chance to run as the underdog who will drain the swamp in Washington DC. A major Democratic candidate is now damaged goods. Joe Biden no longer has any chance to win the presidency and it would be astonishing if he survives the primaries. The U.S. relations with the Ukraine have also been seriously damaged.

All this was easily predictable two months ago when the Democrats launched their impeachment show:

Instead of running on policy issues the Democrats will (again) try to find vague dirt with which they can tarnish Trump. This is a huge political mistake. It will help Trump to win his reelection.

After two years of falsely accusing Trump of having colluded with Russia they now allege that he colludes with Ukraine. That will make it much more difficult for the Democrats to hide the dirty hands they had in creating Russiagate. Their currently preferred candidate Joe Biden will get damaged.
...
The Democrats are giving Trump the best campaign aid he could have wished for. Trump will again present himself as the victim of a witch hunt. He will again argue that he is the only one on the side of the people. That he alone stands with them against the bad politicians in Washington DC. Millions will believe him and support him on this. It will motivate them to vote for him.

The Democrats should ask themselves how they put themselves into the current situation. Who was the genius who came up with the (not-)whistleblower idea and pushed for the move. The shallow-brained Adam Schiff? The devious John Brennan?

Whoever it was the Democrats should shun that person before it creates more damage to their party.

Posted by b on November 26, 2019 at 19:41 UTC | Permalink

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I agree with this article to the extent that having a Senate trial would, indeed, seem to portend disaster for Democrats. They would lose the all-important narrative during an election year. Yet Pelosi, by allowing the impeachment "inquiry" (or whatever it is) to go forward, mounted the tiger of impeachment, and it is difficult to see how she could dismount without being eaten.
I would also wonder whether Trump would agree to be censured. Yes, that would stop the impeachment drive but censure would still put a black mark next to his name and I am not sure he would allow that to happen. Honestly, based on what little I am able to gather from the confusing mess of Ukrainegate, I think he would be right to feel that way.

Posted by: John Kirsch | Nov 26 2019 19:52 utc | 1

The Democrats - at least the corrupt leadership of that party - probably coordinated this fiasco with their corporate benefactors as a way of ensuring Trump would have a second term, in much the same way John Kerry was brought in during the 2004 election to sandbag on behalf of the Democrats to make sure Bush/Cheney had another four years to continue the looting and destruction of Iraq.

American politics are largely nothing more than stage managed Kabuki theater, which is why we see such concerted efforts by both sides of the aisle to marginalize and diminish any candidates with the character and principles necessary to upset the apple cart, e.g. Tulsi Gabbard or Ron Paul back when he ran.

The ruling cabal isn't about to allow something as trivial as a popularity contest decide who runs the Empire; they've got the entire process on lock-down while keeping the little people distracted with bread and circuses.

Posted by: information_agent | Nov 26 2019 19:52 utc | 2

The Democratic Party plays an indispensable role in society's political machinery. This doesn't mean it has any power, in terms of controlling the state or setting policy. It means that without the existence of the Dem Party, the US could no longer maintain the pretense that it's a "democracy." If the Dem Party disintegrated, the US would be revealed for what it really is -- a one-party state ruled by a narrow alliance of business interests.

The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy."

As long as the Dem Party exists, most Americans will believe we have a "democracy" and a "choice" in how we are ruled. They will not despair, and will not revolt, as long as they have this hope for "change within the system." From the system's point of view, this mechanism serves as the ultimate safety valve -- it insures against a despairing populace, thus eliminates the threat of rebellion; yet guarantees that no serious change to the system will be mounted, because the Dems weren't designed to play that role in the first place.

The Democrats are not the "lesser evil;" they are an auxiliary subdivision of the same evil. To understand the political system, one must step back and regard its operation as an integrated whole. The system can't be properly understood if one's study of it begins with an uncritical acceptance of the 2-party system, and the conventional characterizations of the two parties. (Indeed, the fact that society encourages one to view it in this latter way, is perhaps a warning that this perspective should not be trusted.)

Any given piece of reactionary legislation is invariably supported by a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats. Does this show that the Democrats are "less evil?" If one focuses on the efforts of the few outspoken dissenters, it's easy to feel that the Democrats are somewhat less evil. But in the larger picture, Democrats invariably submit to what their bosses promulgate and the entire range of official opinion thereby shifts to the right. Thus the overall function of Democrats is not so much to fight, as to quasi-passively participate in this ever-rightward-moving process. Just as the Harlem Globetrotters need their Washington Generals to make their basketball games properly entertaining, Republicans need the Democrats for effective staging of the political show.

The Democrats are permitted to exist because their vague hint of eventual progressive change keeps large numbers of people from bolting the political system altogether. If the Democrats potentially threatened any sort of serious change, they would be banned. The fact that they are fully accepted by the corporations and political establishment tells us at once that their ultimate function must be wholly in line with the interests of those ruling groups.

For the Democratic Party to even begin to serve as a vehicle for opposing the absolute rule of capital, it would at a minimum have to be capable of acknowledging the conflict that exists between the interests of capital and the rest of the population; and of expressing a principled determination to take the side of the population in this conflict.

A party whose controlling elements are millionaires, lobbyists, fund-raisers, careerist apparatchiks, consultants, and corporate lawyers; that has stood by prostrate and helpless (when not actively collaborating) in the face of stolen elections, illegal wars, torture, CIA concentration camps, lies as state policy, and one assault on the Bill of Rights after the next, is not likely to take that position.

Posted by: Allen | Nov 26 2019 20:08 utc | 3

So-much for the Demorats being the "opposition party" to the Republicans or, most laughable, The Resistance(TM), to Donald Trump.

America's vaunted Democracy is composed of a single party--the American Empire party--which has two different factions, Democrats and Republicans.

The differences and conflicts between them are all for show.

American Democracy is political professional wrestling, Kabuki Theater, and mediocre Reality TV all rolled into.

Posted by: AK74 | Nov 26 2019 20:17 utc | 4

The first set of poll numbers on impeachment reflect that of alleged independents. It isn't comprehensive as you present it.

The second online poll is terrible "news." It actually reflects a divide between men and women of different political affiliation (not just Democratic Party Member or affiliation) and only reflects their answer to the question, "How closely are you following the news about Democrats in Congress conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Trump?" So, yes according to 1,000 people there was a 5% percent dip in interest; the previous poll 70% were interested to 30% not interested. If anything, it may reflect the short attention spans of our citizenry or just that of 50 people which could account for the 5% difference. The damn website is full of misinformation and when you start looking at the numbers you see that the Hill isn't even reporting it correctly.

Finally, another poll shows the opposite, Independent Support For Impeachment Inquiry Rises Following Public Hearings

A quick review of other polls as compiled by Real Clear Politics, reveal that support of the inquiry is also up at least according to their latest polls, please review here,
Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Support/Oppose Polls

Posted by: Kaito | Nov 26 2019 20:19 utc | 5

I've been wondering how Pelosi is going to tip-toe back away from this turd she helped lay. If they had a viable candidate, I guess censure is probably the best way to walk away from it. But they don't have a viable candidate. Did they actually imagine Biden could win? That's hard to believe.

A real-politik person might see this situation as a perfect setup for another Gladio B-type "strategy of tension" shoot-the-proles op so that HRC and MO can come out and say the white supremacists "forced" them to run but time is running out on even that pulp-fiction option.

Posted by: casey | Nov 26 2019 20:31 utc | 6

Excellent analysis. A senate impeachment trial would be a disaster for the Dems as Joe & Hunter and Adam Schiff get to testify under oath.

Posted by: ab initio | Nov 26 2019 20:40 utc | 7

This is exactly what people mean when they say that the Democrats are paid to lose, the Democrats fell all over themselves trying to protect lame horse Joe Biden from his corrupt dealings when there was no political need to throw the party over the cliff to protect Joe Biden, they could have just stood back and blamed Hunter Biden for everything. Now the Dems looks like they have thrown away the 2020 elections, perhaps the Democrats did this in the hopes they could blame the resultant clusterf**k on the "progressive" wing of the party that pushed for impeachment so the Clintons can continue their stranglehold on the party, but this entire farce has not endeared the Democrats to me at all.

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 26 2019 20:44 utc | 8

“An impeachment trial in the Senate would be a disaster for the Democrats.
I can not see why the Democrats would want to fall into such a trap. House leader Nancy Pelosi is experienced enough to not let that happen.”

The real reason in my opinion that Pelosi went along with impeachment was that she saw Bernies message getting through, and even though the DNC pushed all the conserva-dem candidates they could into the race, Bernie is still doing well and gaining. An impeachment trial would require Bernie to attend the hearings rather that campaigning. Also Wall Streets best friend Obama has just stated that Bernie is not a Democrat and that would require Obama to get on the speaking circuit to campaign against him - you know for the sake of the corporations - and those 500k speaking thank you gigs. They would rather elect Trump than Bernie - that is why I think Pelosi would go along with an impeachment trial in the Senate - Bernie is the greater threat.

Posted by: Stever | Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 9

The idea to censure Trump and move on has been aired since mid 2017. The latest was Forbes.com billwhalen 26 September 2019 Link

I ordered a truckload of pop corn to snack on during the trial in the Senate. Just imagine Joe Biden under cross examination as he flips 'n flops! "Was that me in the Video, I can't recall."

Guess I will have to unpack some popcorn. At this phase in the process an impeachable offence remains undefined!??
House Judiciary Committee Sets Date For Impeachment Hearing, Invites Trump To Testify

With interest (even among Democrats) in the impeachment process sliding, the House Judiciary Committee is set to take over the impeachment probe of President Trump next week, scheduling a Dec. 4 hearing.

As The Hill reports, behind Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the committee will hear from legal scholars as Democrats weigh whether the evidence turned up in their weeks-long impeachment inquiry warrants the drafting of articles aimed at removing the president from office.

The hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, will focus on the definition of an impeachable offense and the formal application of the impeachment process. The panel will invite White House lawyers to attend and participate.

Ahead of the hearing, Nadler wrote to Trump requesting his participation - or that of White House counsel - as part of ensuring "a fair and informative process."[.]

Trump will take a page from the other president who campaigned on the "do nothing congress"

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 10

and now obama weighs in to warn against the real danger to the democrats, bernie sanders. that's who they have to beat, and gabbard. they don't give much of a damn about beating trump.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 26 2019 21:16 utc | 11

b, there seems to be a critical flaw in your analysis--you seem to base it on a premise that the goal of the Democratic establishment is to win elections/gain power/govern. It's not, it's to ensure the continuing enrichment of themselves and their oligarch peers, financial industry, military, pharma, etc.

The question people like Pelosi (worth $100 million or so btw along with her husband whose business she enriches via her position) are pondering isn't "Will doing x, y, z help Trump win?" It's "Will doing x, y, z ensure Bernie Sanders doesn't win?"

Posted by: Wind Hippo | Nov 26 2019 21:21 utc | 12

Maybe this is useful to understand the DNC's situation:

Obama ‘Privately' Vowed to 'Speak Up to Stop' Bernie Sanders if He Secured Presidential Nomination - Report

This pretty much confirms my and many others here hypothesis that the Dems are fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump nationalist capitalism and the other against the "democratic socialists" who have been flocking to their party machine since 2014.

Posted by: vk | Nov 26 2019 21:23 utc | 13

No group of adults is that stupid.
They are doing and will do as they are required to do by their owners.

Posted by: jared | Nov 26 2019 21:25 utc | 14

Of all the things that the Democrats could impeach President Trump over, the one thing they seized upon was the issue that had the most potential to blow back on them and destroy Joe Biden's chances of reaching the White House. Whoever had that brilliant idea and put it as the long straw in a cylindrical prawn-chip can along with all the other straws for pulling out, sure didn't think of all the consequences that could have arisen. That speaks for the depth (or lack thereof) of the thinking among senior Democrats and their worker bee analysts, along with a narrow-minded outlook, sheer hatred of a political outsider and a fanatical zeal to match that hatred and outlook.

The folks who hatched that particular impeachment plan and pitched it to Nancy Pelosi must have been the same idiots in the DNC who dreamt up the Russiagate scandal and also pursued Paul Manafort to get him off DJT's election campaign team. Dmitri Alperovich / Crowdstrike, Alexandra Chalupa: we're looking at you.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 26 2019 21:31 utc | 15

Impeachment takes Sanders out of the campaign and that opens things up for the CIA/establishment's "Identity Politics Candidate #3", Mayor Butt-gig.

That said, since "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable misogynist!" didn't work as expected, I wonder what makes them think "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable homophobe!" will work any better?

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 26 2019 21:37 utc | 16

Lots of agreement here with the overall situation becoming clearer with Bloomberg's entrance and the outing of Obama's plans. I just finished writing my response to Putin's speech before the annual United Russia Party Congress on the Open Thread and suggest barflies take 10 minutes to read it and compare what he espouses a political party's deeds & goals ought to be versus those of the West and its vassals.

Clearly, the goal is to prevent the US Polity from clawing back power from the 10% and enacting policies to their benefit. Meanwhile, a new form of Transnational Nationalism continues to take shape that will soon present a serious threat to the Financialized Globalizers and their Cult of Debt. Too many seem to laugh off the entire situation by dismissing it as Kabuki Theatre, which I see as self-serving and shortsighted since there're several very real crises we're in up to our collective armpits.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 26 2019 21:52 utc | 17

I can see a Trump marketing consultant designing a campaign centered on the impeachment hearings called "The Swamp Strikes Back". It might be most effective as a comic strip.

Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 26 2019 21:56 utc | 18

'Managed democracy'...

... as entertainment.

Enjoy the kayfabe...

... as they pick your pockets.

Big Brother loves you...

... so the Kool-Aid is free.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 26 2019 22:03 utc | 19

thanks b.. looking at the theatre, it seems dems have backed themselves into a corner... meanwhile obama wants to ca-bosh sanders... you know if sanders had some character he would run as an independent with tulsi.. but you all know that stands a snowball chance in hell.. the problem with conformists, is they spend too much time conforming and that doesn't end up serving anyone.. and it is the reason trump got elected - he is not a conformist.. self centered narcissist, yes, but conformist - no.. too bad about american leadership being persona non grata...

what i don't understand is why bernie doesn't run as an independent? if he is so great and would be great for the usa, why can't he figure this basic picture out? this is why i give merit to jackrabbit sometimes - it is all political theatre and they are all in it together raping the common people..

Posted by: james | Nov 26 2019 22:58 utc | 20

A full blown impeachment trial that exposes the entire Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Whatever-gate sham is what this country needs.

Obviously, a sufficient number of secure Republican representatives are needed to vote in favor of impeachment to allow this circus to continue to its bizarrely entertaining, Democratic Party destroying end.

Posted by: James Speaks | Nov 26 2019 22:58 utc | 21

The MSM will declare Trump guilty - that is, he has earned impeachment for Ukrainegate.

There are Democrats still under the illusion that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. Dems tell us that Trump *obstructed* the Mueller investigation thus Trump could not be nailed, nonetheless Trump is guilty of collusion until proven innocent.

Back to Ukrainegate.

Bet the MSM sells Ukrainegate this way:

Trump is guilty in Ukrainegate and should be impeached, but Democrats are moving on to focus on the election. And besides, Dems will tell us, the dastardly Republicans in the Senate will corruptly block Trump's impeachment.

Posted by: librul | Nov 26 2019 22:59 utc | 22

@Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 26 2019 21:52 utc | 17

All those promising prospects you envision in Putin and his party, get easily debunked by their continuous position on the Bolivian issue...and others...

Just at Vesti News ( official channel Rossiya 1 ) they are tlaking about the peaceful demostrations of the indigenous majority pro-Morales in Bolivia as "offensive", whitewashing the police fascist forces who have just assasinated 32 people to date, making them victims, and in any case equating all the brutal force of a state from military, police, death squads with the masses of unarmed peasants...

In the video appear Añez as "Lady Bolivia" peacefully and delicately passing with her presidential strip ( as if she was not the racist fascist witch she really is..)while the indigenous people are painted as violent ( because they hanged a mummy representing Añez...) and rebellious, as if would had been them who have provokated all this. There appear a scene where the masses of peasants have surrounded a solitary police, out of duty, who is pushed and harassed a bit, and given two blows, which is described by the reporter as an intend of lynching by the masses, as if everybody was the same there...when so far there have not been any dead neither amongst the police, military or death squads ( if not because the peasants have no with what to defend themselves....and anhyway i doubt they would do it...)

Last, but not least, they whitewash the fascists as "liberals", and going beyond shame the "reporter" reproaches that there is no leadership amongst the peasants to address it so as to calm things down...As if all their leadership would had not been ousted from the country, or beated, detained or scared to death...One would send this guy back in time to Stalingrad siege, or carnage in Belarus villages so so t ask the people there to clam and ask for a leader to calm them from harming the nazis back so as to remain alive...But,well, the thing is, and this is crystla clear, that this people, this reporter, his bosses at this channel and those in the government who fund this channel, had no relatives in Stalingrad, but surely in the opposite trench, and in case they had, they just have decided to change sides because of love for privileges...

This is a shame, as if it was not enough that the Russian officials would had recognized this fascist government came out of a violent coup d´etat. And this is disinformation and just the same shameful position taken by the MSM,the US and the EU....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0PGKUnW-8k

Thus, please, at least do not follow selling us that bridge here...

The thing is that to Putin and his minions, the peasants, from wherever, should remain always peasants, out of power and shut up, as it was during Tsarist times...I always got that feeling, especially with Putin´s deference to Western agent Solzhenytsin and thieving Romanovs, the thieving Yeltsins, the remaining thieving oligarchs and the new ones, and all that tale of these people all day in the church...but I decided to ignore it.. as long as I believed they were antifascists, a fake I swallowed during the Ukrianian crisis ...but the veil has definitely fallen...In fact I had already my serious doubts when the Donbass commanders were falling, one after another, especially Mozgovoi...

One should always attend its instinct when it talks...

If it were not enough, I am finding extremely suspicious the current praising Putin and the Russian are having in all the US military blogs or where US military people use to frequent...

Nauseating!

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 26 2019 23:15 utc | 23

Btw, as a sign to show that what the Russian media are reporting is what beneffits the fascist government of Añez, the fact that almost all independent or alternative media have been already beated and ousted from the country or shut up off line, as has happened with TeleSur and some others...

Ask yourself why...

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 26 2019 23:28 utc | 24

Tulsi Gabbard Tweet not specifically about impeachment but begs numerous questions:

"My personal commitment is to always treat you and all Americans with respect. Working side-by-side, we can defeat the divisiveness of Donald Trump, and usher in a 21st century of peace, human dignity, & true equality. Working side by side, we can make Dr. King’s dream our reality." [My Emphasis]

Questions: Is Trump divisive, or is it the D-Party and Current Oligarchy that make him so; and which is more important to defeat? Which party "usher[ed] in the 21st century" with several wars and abetted the next two? How did Obama, Slick Willie or his wife advance "human dignity & true equality"? How does her last sentence differ from "Hope you can believe in"? Hasn't her D-Party worked tirelessly for decades to circumvent the goals she espouses? Wouldn't Gabbard have a better chance running as an Enlightened Republican than as a Renegade Democrat if her goal's to defeat Trump?

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 26 2019 23:28 utc | 25

American Democracy is political professional wrestling, Kabuki Theater, and mediocre Reality TV all rolled into. by: AK74 @ 4 <= binary divide <=conducted by the USA, is not about America, Americans or making America great again, its about the welfare of [the few<= which most Americans would not call fellow Americans].

Sasha.@ 23 I don't understand where you are coming from.. thank Korlof1 @18 for posting that Putin talk alert. excerpts from the talk.. => The priority [of United Russia has been] the protection of the people’s interests, the interests of [the] Motherland, and ..responsible [approach] to ..country, its security, stability and people’s lives in the long-term perspective.

The party.. offered a unifying agenda based on freedom and well being, patriotism, ..traditional values, a strong civil society and a strong state. The key issue in the party’s work .being together with the people, Karlof1@18 <=this talk suggest change in Russian leadership that are not congruent with your [Sasha] comment @23. I hope you will make more clear what you spent sometime writing ( and for that effort I thank you) but it is not yet clear what you mean.. .

Posted by: snake | Nov 26 2019 23:30 utc | 26

Re: Brenda Lawrence talking about censure rather than impeachment:

That is what they call a "trial balloon"

If there isn't too much of a freakout among the true-believer base, and I don't think there is, it'll be an option they will at least take seriously. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to bet on rational thinking at this point. Anyway I agree it's the best move for congressional Democrats.

Yet another other option is to continue the investigation indefinitely. I'm going to say it is their default move actually. In that case, the House Judiciary Committee would spend a few weeks putting on their own show, then say they would like more evidence to be really sure, returning matters to the House Intelligence Committee, and we repeat the cycle.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 26 2019 23:42 utc | 27

@Posted by: snake | Nov 26 2019 23:30 utc | 26

I have not the time to explain myself better now, if you have been following the information I have kept posting here from activists, and that which "b" as well has posted, I think that you will make yourself aware of my points by viewing the video I have linked above.

For what me is respected, Putin can just tell the Mountain Sermon, and promise paradise on Earth, that as long as his acts contradict all that, i will reamin fixed in his actions than in his speeches, be them "I am gonna scaring the hell out of the world", or the "I am the savior" ones...

He simply is handing out some scrumbles to the peasants, and especially big ones to the police and armed forces so that they do not revolt....I am seeing it increasingly crystaline...

Posted by: Sasha | Nov 26 2019 23:50 utc | 28

These guys are nuts. All they are doing is trying to buy as much time as they can to try to find a way to stay in power (both sides). If it were not so, then they would have already disregarded all gag orders and all non-disclosure orders against whichever targets they were actually after and used all documentation that they already friggin' have. The entire show is nonsense.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 27 2019 0:03 utc | 29

"Men oppose impeachment 40-53 while women favor it 61-34.
That's a pretty stunning contrast."

well, if this "clever wordsmith" had said it normally as "men oppose/women oppose" then it would be men 40-53 and women 39-66. hardly "stunning" other than the surprising amount of support from women for a guy who is the present "gender hitler". but then he got a lot of conservative female votes in 2016. both bushes got muslim votes. voters do weird shit.

as for the actual impeachment mess, i knew it would go nowhere and had zero interest in hearing any side of it. it was about keeping trump from running against whatever middle manager the dems shove down voters' throats as "the only alternative". also setting a new high bar for moronic virtue signalling and russia bashing.

Posted by: the_pair | Nov 27 2019 0:09 utc | 30

I am liking all the commenters here that understand that there is only one empire party with two mythical faces.

I think this kabuki is necessary if you don't have a major WAR to keep the masses focused on or otherwise distracted from the underlying R2P which I translate to Rape2Protect.

It is sad to see us all talking about which of the lesser of horrible evils will continue the leadership of American faced empire.....I hope it crashes soon and takes the global elite down with it.....how many barflies are ready to stand up and say NO to the owners of the Super-Priority derivatives that will say they own the world because of their casino (no skin in the game) bets that are currently "legal" in America when the crash comes?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 27 2019 0:14 utc | 31

A search of the Russian Foreign Ministry's website regarding Bolivia provided many returns of which the following was Russia's stated position as of 11 November:

"Sergey Ryabkov: We have taken note of the report that the Senate’s second vice-president assumed the post of Bolivia’s interim president. We presume that the appointment, and the main thing – the legitimacy of the head of state must clearly correspond to the legislative norms of the country’s Constitution, to serve to unite rather than divide the nation.

"The issue of electing leaders is the internal and sovereign matter of the country and its people. We are concerned that recent developments were reminiscent of a coup. The Senate could not gather a quorum to elect Ms Anez president. Correspondingly, her decision to lead the country is based on an interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution.

"Meanwhile, if we proceed from the current situation in Bolivia, it is clear that Ms Anez will be accepted as Bolivia’s leader until the issue of a new president is resolved through an election. Our recognition or non-recognition of her in this position is not an issue."

Russia's position is consistent with those of the recent past and international law. Sasha doesn't like that; nor does it care for me. Here's a link to a more recent report:

"Russia’s position on the recent events in Bolivia was clearly stated by President Vladimir Putin at a news conference in Brasilia on November 14, 2019. Its legal aspects were highlighted by the heads of the Foreign Ministry: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. In particular, Mr Ryabkov’s answer to the question by the Prensa Latina news agency, which is published on the Foreign Ministry website, is still relevant. We have repeatedly confirmed it, and I am doing this again now.

"Unfortunately, the social and political environment in the country remains tense. The new government, which came to power through actions involving elements of a state coup, faces the issue of legitimacy, and this continues to have destabilising potential. I am not only talking about clashes between Evo Morales’s supporters and opponents, but also about the possibility of a confrontation on ethnic and social grounds.

"We must not disregard a very important fact: Bolivia’s official name is the Plurinational State. We understand very well what consequences a conflict on ethnic grounds can have, especially if it is deliberately heated and encouraged from outside. This is a very sensitive and complex issue. It is very easy to do damage and very hard to repair. Bolivia is a multiethnic state dominated by the indigenous Indian people. There are 37 official languages with a population of 10.5 million people."

There's more, but you get the fact that Russia is deeply concerned and is not in anyway pleased with events there, regardless how Russian Media spin what's happening.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2019 0:25 utc | 32

At least this mess made it patently clear the Dem obsession with Russia has been all about preserving their Ukraine pickpocketing operation.

Posted by: Fly | Nov 27 2019 0:30 utc | 33

@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State).

If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to--if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get.

That should tell you all you need to know about Americans.


Posted by: AK74 | Nov 27 2019 0:51 utc | 34

It is Russia's stated policy (like China) to not interfere in other countries' internal politics, America's weird delusions to the contrary notwithstanding. Despite the fact that the US is backing the fascists in Bolivia, the coup and resulting power struggle is still an internal matter for the Bolivian people to resolve. Beyond opposing America's involvement in the crisis in Bolivia, the proper response of nation states to this sort of crisis is still to insist upon adherence to international law. That is what Russia is doing.

Now, if individuals are interested in getting involved there is always the option of forming International Brigades to go and help. Alternatively, individuals can organize themselves at their workplaces and then strike in solidarity with the working people of Bolivia (actually far more effective than even forming International Brigades). Criticizing the Russians for not responding to America's entirely predictable "regime change" operation with "Shock and Awe", on the other hand, is not very constructive.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 27 2019 0:58 utc | 35

If this show should teach people in the US anything (again), it is how both US parties descend like vultures onto countries where they manage to take over the government.

Five billion poured into Ukraine with the requisite murder and mayhem, and who knows how many billions come pouring back out. It's a real jackpot for those in the right positions to scoop it into their pockets.

The average people in the US don't even have a genuine safety net. Important for all those productive resources to go to pedophile islands and sinecures for coke head sons of politicians, obviously.

Posted by: Guest | Nov 27 2019 1:27 utc | 36

Re: #3 Allen – well said. The GOP is the party of the rich. The Democrats are the party the rich pay to keep the left at bay when the Republicans lose.

Posted by: Dave | Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 37

The problem with this prediction is that the MSM has been breathlessly pronouncing that THIS IS EXPLOSIVE EVIDENCE!!!! pretty much every day and after every witness testimony.

So if you are a member of the public who gets their "information" from the MSM (and, be honest, that is most of the people in the USA) then you have been force-fed is that Trumps defense against these allegations has already been shredded, and that his guilt has already been established beyond any reasonable doubt.

How can those opinion-makers then turn around and say "Nah, it'll be fine" and settle for a mere censure?

Wouldn't the Sheeple respond with a fully-justified "Hey, hang on! What gives?"

The Democrats has leapt on a Tiger. Nobody made them do it, but now they are there I don't think they are going to be able to leap off.

Some of the first-term nobodies, maybe, but not the Schiffs and the Pelopis and the Nadlers.

Hang on for dear life and hope for a miracle is probably their only option now.

And, who knows, that trio may be so incompetent that they actually think they are going to win.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 38

Via, perhaps, One who has established Truth, Standing, and Right, Declaring so.... Lawfully.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 27 2019 1:49 utc | 39

james, the deck is stacked even more against independents than it is against actual mildly leftist candidates who run as democrats. there are a substantial number of people who think the only way to change the country is to take over the democratic party. frankly, that isn't going to happen, and nobody is going to win as an independent candidate with all the procedural rules making it so hard to even get on the ballot, while the state government, which is invariably controlled by one of the two parties, throws every roadblock, legal and illegal, in the way. my gut feeling is things are going to have to get quite a bit worse before the citizenry starts to explode, and there's no telling how that process will work out, and no way to control it once it reaches critical mass.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 27 2019 1:56 utc | 40

"Whoever it was the Democrats should shun that person before it creates more damage to their party..."
I understand b's point here, but beyond wishing a pox on both their houses, I wonder if this might finally lead to the electoral blow-out that forces the Democrats to radically reinvent themselves--which might begin with reflecting on the party they used to be...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Nov 27 2019 2:00 utc | 41

@32 karlof1 - "nor does it care for me."

That one has taken offense and hurled suspicion at most everyone at one time or another, as I'm sure you've noticed. It's a shame because a lot of good material comes from that pen.

But some of us can still retain memory from one thread to the next of the valuable qualities of individual commenters.

~~

This does seem to be a failing faculty however, especially judging from the hideous straw-man attacks of the last few threads. The attack on memory is something Orwell talked about.

~~

Anyway, your take on Russia's nuanced yet rigorously specific, uncompromising and clear position on Bolivia is exactly correct in my view and I mostly wanted here to agree and support your comment.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 27 2019 2:01 utc | 42

The US is a one party State--
Pepsi _Pepsi Lite
Both parties are capitalist.
It is rather humorous the attention paid to a Dim vs Repug argument.
Small thinking for small minds---

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 43

As I posted at the beginning of the impeachment process, the Dems would be foolish to hang it all on the arcane shenanigans in Ukraine but rather should impeach Trump on the numerous more serious breaches and crimes that he has committed. I also worried that the Democratic Party leaders would blow the opportunity to demonstrate that Trump and the Republican Party are rotten to the core and harmful to the country. And so they have blown it. What an inept pack of asses.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 44

New polls show a slight increase in support for impeachment

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/26/20983609/new-trump-impeachment-polls-after-hearings-increase-support

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 27 2019 2:20 utc | 45

I would think that even censure is still going to be a hot potato for the Democrats. Looking at the procedure as far as wikipedia describes it, it hasn't done anything of significance when it comes to being used against a president, especially as the Democrats won't want to censure Trump for matters in which they themselves are equally complicit, as has been discussed here.

That means they would be censuring on the same shaky grounds that they would have impeached him, which only prolongs attention upon the dubious claims of the indictment. It seems to me Trump will, rather than be shamed by the process, only be saying 'Make my day', and hopefully have his Attorney General come forward with exonerating revelations on that issue in the judicial proceeding that it was my contention the impeachment effort had been a last ditch one to forestall such.

Wishful thinking on that, I know - but at least that probe has merit.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2019 2:26 utc | 46

Grieved @42--

Thanks for your reply! And thanks for linking the Keen video! Made a comment on that thread.

As I wrote when the possibility of Trump's impeachment arose almost as soon as he was inaugurated, the entire charade reminds me of Slick Willie's impeachment, trial and exoneration--the Articles of Impeachment utilized were such that he'd avoid conviction just as they will be for Trump.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2019 2:29 utc | 47

Allen @ 3 said;"The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy."

With very few exceptions, you nailed it..Your description of the Dem. party is sad, but true.....

Posted by: ben | Nov 27 2019 2:52 utc | 48

Oh dear, sadly this was so easy to predict.

Maybe the Dims will creep past the yawning Trump trap and get around to minor policy issues, like crafting and passing a real Green New Deal bill.

Again, sadly, so easy to predict nothing of the sort happening.

Posted by: Trisha | Nov 27 2019 3:07 utc | 49

Not having much time to watch the show trial it appears to me the Democrats still have a set of very weak candidates. Anyone who knows Biden knows he in not now and never will be able to handle a campaign against Trump.

Trump is up against an entrenched powerful bureaucracy and people who buy ink by the 55 gallon barrel. The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi. The rank and file Democrats are tired of the elite political class in the same fashion that the rank and file Republicans were tired of the political establishment which caused then to turn to Trump.

Is the Democrat political establishment smart enough to take a few steps back and push forward some outsiders? I doubt that but they would not lose much if they did. Any new leaders would have the same stable of bureaucrats to pick from which will still be there long after they are gone.

Posted by: dltravers | Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50

@ 30 the_pair.. thank you for that! was a way to confuse people the way it was written...

@ 32 karlof1.. thanks karlof1.. it is unfortunate you had to even do that, but as @ 42 grieved notes, there are patterns here on these threads and some people are perceptive enough to pick up on them..

@ 40 pretzelattack.. thank you... it still doesn't make sense to me what prevents bernie from running as an independent here.. i felt the same way the last time... so, obviously as a canuck, i am missing something here..

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2019 3:49 utc | 51

#3 Allen,

That's a fine comment.

Posted by: WJ | Nov 27 2019 3:56 utc | 52

The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment.

He could lay out his story about how the American People never got to hear the full story because of house dems, and how the Senate would fully investigate the 2016 election, Russiagate, Ukraine, and whatever else they want. Maybe even make Hillary testify.

Heads would explode and his base would love it.

Posted by: MT_bill | Nov 27 2019 4:18 utc | 53

james@51, indeed I would have voted for a Jill/Bernie ticket or even a Bernie/Jill ticket, as that would have made sense to me and offered something real to the voters. It's my main reason why I haven't been able to mount enthusiasm for the Sanders campaign this time around - how he could have put himself in the position of endorsing Hillary under the chicanery that was taking place just made his motives very questionable. Politicians these days, sadly, can say very convincing things. It is what they do that matters. We had only just learned that with Obama.

It's that 'fool me once...' thing all over again, only worse now. Hard to stay hopeful, very hard.

The main constitutional revision that needs to be put in place yesterday boils down to three governmentally corrupting conditions:

Money is not speech

Corporations are not persons and they need to be small enough to drown in a bathtub

Voting needs to be uncomplicated,uniform,unobstructed; ballots filled out by hand; and those votes need to be handcounted by our peers.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2019 4:30 utc | 54

@ dltravers | Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50

"The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi."

Mayor Pete -- are you serious? I urge you to take a look at these two articles before making any other public endorsements.

All About Pete
by Nathan J. Robinson
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete

Is Pete Buttigieg A Shill For The Donor Class?
by Miles Mogulescu | November 23, 2019
https://ourfuture.org/20191122/is-pete-buttigieg-a-shill-for-the-donor-class

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 27 2019 4:42 utc | 55

The...***The***...core takeaway, the battle at the heart of Russiagate/Ukrainegate,
is that it does not matter who the People elect as President
and what platform he was elected on
the Deep State will decide foreign policy.

Posted by: librul | Nov 27 2019 5:56 utc | 56

MT-Bill, hilarious and brilliant.

Posted by: Heidi | Nov 27 2019 6:21 utc | 57

All the bull-Schiff comes from Hillary's lingerie. The democrats need to secure a huge laundromat

Posted by: Just Saying | Nov 27 2019 7:22 utc | 58

@58 Yes, agreed.

It would be "a brave decision" in the "Yes, Minister" meaning of the phrase.

But it has merit.

This entire episode is a farce. There is no harm in Trump exposing how farcical it really is, and Bill's proposal would do that in spades.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 27 2019 7:26 utc | 59

And now imagine the shitter in the shitty house would have started his residency with infrastructure week rather then a 'Muslim ban'. But yeah, its the democrats that are essentially at fault, three years in, not the shitter and his shitty crew.
as for impeachment, can't be fucked either way.

the shitter is dead on his golden throne when he is no longer needed to put his name to paper for anything like gutting environmental regulations, or nominating very very conservative and godly men in search of a biblical USofArseholes. I really am looking forward to another wordy screed telling everyone who the democrats fucked up.

Posted by: Sabine | Nov 27 2019 7:39 utc | 60

RE: Posted by: Sabine | Nov 27 2019 7:39 utc | 61

democrats republicans makes no difference both teams are managed by self serving scum who refuse to allow "what the people want" to distract them from the big one. "what can I steal?".

People meed to appreciate two things about both the dems and the rethugs. The first is they supply a much-needed insight into: "How low can I go as a worthless hang off the wagon by me fingernails, careerist. The second? That every hack must understand that eventually every talking head is seen for the ugly sellout which they are.

There is no 'honourable way through this mess', one either quietly resigns pulling the pin on the worst of us all, or one accepts the previously unacceptable, that we are most likely both musically n functionally illiterate but it never matters what-u-say, what really counts is what you do.

Posted by: A User | Nov 27 2019 9:12 utc | 61

The point of impeachment was to get sworn eyewitness testimony out into the public record and to dismiss all the absurd counter-claims and conspiracy theories advanced to distract from Trump's actions.

The people will have to decide in 2020: not just by casting more votes for Trump's opponent than for Trump as they did in 2016, but by casting them in the right places - and making sure those votes are not suppressed or lost - in order to ensure a clear Electoral College majority.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Nov 27 2019 9:47 utc | 62

Whoever it was the Democrats should shun that person before it creates more damage to their party.

I would disagree here. If the Democrats continue they will destroy themselves hopefully leading to Mutually Assured Destruction as they would need to do something very drastic to destroy the Republicans in return e.g. expose 9/11, Iraq etc, let the swamp / Deep State go M.A.D. and from the political ashes parties and politicians can rise who are actually working for the betterment of the USA and its people.

Posted by: TJ | Nov 27 2019 10:48 utc | 63

To the people here clamoring for Bernie Sanders to go independent:

The American electoral system is very unique. The two parties -- GOP and Dems -- are much more than mere political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself.

It is impossible to win the presidency without being the candidate of one of the two, that's why Trump also didn't go as an independent either.

Bernie Sanders is different from all other independent presidential candidates in American History because he was the first to really want to win. That's why he penetrated the Democratic machine, even though he became senator many times as an independent. He read the conjuncture correctly and, you have to agree, he's been more influential over American political-ideological landscape than all the other independents put together (not considering Eugene Debs as an independent).

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2019 11:54 utc | 64

@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State).

If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to--if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get.

That should tell you all you need to know about Americans. by: AK74 @ 34

<= No not yet do I agree with you.. The American young people are forced into the military in order to afford to be educated, and in order to have access to health care and good-level workforce entry jobs especially the military is default for children of struggling parents that cannot fund a college education or for the kids who are not yet ready to become serious students.

The USA has not always discounted America or denied Americans. When I grew up, a college education was very affordable, health care was available to even the most needy at whatever they could afford, most of us could work our way through the education and find decent entry level jobs if we were willing to dedicate ourselves to make the opportunity of a job into a success (education, degrees, licenses were not needed, just performance was enough). Unfortunately third party private mind control propaganda was used to extend into fake space, the belief that the USA provides a valuable service to American interest. As time went on, the USA had to hid its activities in top secret closets, it then had to learn to spy on everyone, and it had to prosecute those (whistle blowers) who raised a question. Hence the predicament of the awaken American dealing with friends that still believe the USA is good for America.. Others hope the good times will return but the USA tolerance for descent is dissipating. After the 16th amendment and the federal reserve act in 1913 the USA began to edge America out in favor of international globalization.

Most of the really important parts of what made the USA great for Americans has been sold off [privatized] and the protections and umpiring and refereeing that the USA used to provide to keep the American economic space highly competitive and freely accessible to all competitors has not only ceased, but now operates as a monopoly factory, churning out laws, rules and establishing agencies that make the wealthy and their corporate empires wealthier, richer and more monopolistic at the expense of everyday Americans.

The USA began to drop America from its sights after WWII. The USA moved its efforts and activities from American domestic concerns to global concerns in 1948, neglected its advance and protect American ideology; it imposed the continental shelf act in 1954 and the EPA act in 1972, in order to force American industry out of America (the oil business to Saudi Arabia and OPEC); by 1985-95 most businesses operating in America were either forced to close or forced to move to a cheap third world labor force places.. .<=the purpose is now clear, it was to separate Americans from their industrial and manufacturing know-how and to block American access to evolving technology . At first most Americans did not notice.

Many Americans are only now waking to the possibility that things topside have changed and some are realizing just how vulnerable the US constitution has made the USA to outside influence. .. thanks to the USA very little of good ole America remains. but the humanity first instinct most Americans are born with remains mostly unchanged, even though the globalist have decimated religious organizations, most Americans still believe their maker will not look favorably on those who deny justice, democracy or who abuse mankind. The USA has moved on, it has become a global empire, operating in a global space unknown to most Americans. The USA has created a world of its own, it no longer needs domestic America, it can use the people and resources of anyone anywhere in the world for its conquest.

The last two political campaigns for President were "Change=Obama" and "Make America Great Again=Trump"; neither of these two would have succeeded if Americans did not feel the problem.

Posted by: snake | Nov 27 2019 13:05 utc | 65

Sigh, its all kabuki, ahem kayfabe served with a shot of Kool-Aid sakee.. Is this MoA or polit science for dummies? Can we move on from basic premises umpteened times posted and develop our arguments or do we prefer to run around in a loophole, pavaning our limited japanese chops?

Posted by: Lozi9n | Nov 27 2019 13:21 utc | 66

The Democrats are the pawl.
"The American political system, since at least 1968, has been operating like a ratchet, and both parties -- Republicans and Democrats -- play crucial, mutually reinforcing roles in its operation. The electoral ratchet permits movement only in the rightward direction. The Republican role is fairly clear; the Republicans apply the torque that rotates the thing rightward. The Democrats' role is a little less obvious. The Democrats are the pawl. They don't resist the rightward movement -- they let it happen -- but whenever the rightward force slackens momentarily, for whatever reason, the Democrats click into place and keep the machine from rotating back to the left."

Posted by: Camelotkidd | Nov 27 2019 14:22 utc | 67

A reasoned and probable view that considers the advance indicators of what many see as partisan dynamic suggests that no future election in the US will have the capacity to quiet the masses. Why?

Well, Brother Corbett says why, and uses the fbieyez own proof...

Clearly, Mr C is onto a mechanism that can be, will be, used to undermine any attempt at non-chaotic rule.

Corbett + "How to Predict the Future – #PropagandaWatch"

Posted by: Walter | Nov 27 2019 14:29 utc | 68

Yes, American politics is kayfabe, but that doesn't mean that everything is going according to plan. The star of the performance fell off the stage and broke her leg, so to speak, and thus the heel/villain/foil was left standing at the end of the mock fight scene through no fault of his own. But the show must go on. The audience must be made to believe that was intended and part of the script. Desperate to improvise a distraction for the audience, someone shouted "Russians!" and pointed into the shadows. In their utter panic the main actors latched onto this and that gave us the Russiagate farce.

But we know that the Trump win wasn't part of the script, and everything since has been desperate improvisation, with the kayfabe performance degenerating into pie throwing silliness.

How do we know this?

First ask yourself how big this kayfabe act is. How far beyond the Beltway does it extend? Nobody would deny that it goes as far west of the Potomac as Langley, and further afield to some talking heads on the boob tube. I, however, would like the reader to consider that this kayfabe extends to encompass ALL of the corporate mass media.

How long is the production pipeline for a major Hollywood "blockbuster" product? About half a decade from conception to hitting the screens. Visit your local cinema and look at the media products available, and for more impact look at the ones that were released between the winter of 2016 and the following summer.

Were these media products intended to generate dissonance in society by conflicting with the election of the poster child of white deplorable privilege, or were they intended to synergize with the historic victory of identity politics over (purely imaginary) hate?

All of the corporate manufactured artificial culture that we see in society today was intended to springboard off of another ultimate identity politics victory like the election of the first Black President. After eight years of the first woman President this was supposed to be followed by yet another ultimate identity politics victory (first gay President). We are only now seeing the preliminary moves to set up for the first gay President because this scene in the show wasn't supposed to be ready for another half decade (this is also why the Butt-gig character is unusually young for a presidential candidate... he wasn't supposed to have to move into the starring role for a few more years to come... he was just supposed to be working on building up his character's backstory for now).

If this seems too fantastic, then try thinking about political campaigns as big budget marketing campaigns for a particular product. While you are doing that try to notice how marketing campaigns for some products intertwine with campaigns for other products; beverage products being marketed along with clothing brands and vehicle makes, for instance. Notice also how product marketing is embedded in other media with product placement having varying levels of subtlety. While it is difficult to objectively view mass media when one is fully immersed in it, it is still worthwhile to try. If you are even just partially successful you will find marketing intended to synergize with the campaign to elect the first woman President being echoed and reinforced in practically all capitalist mass media from 2015 forward.

This is how we know the whole kayfabe show has gone completely FUBAR. The messaging is conflicting too much with what is going on in the pro wrestling ring in Washington. The announcers' play-by-play descriptions of the action are not matching what people see happening in the ring. The audience's tolerance for the degree of suspension of disbelief necessary to continue pretending that the political fight is real is in decline. This is the worst possible societal trend for western capitalism to find itself in at the moment as it could lead significant numbers of people to breaking out of the capitalist narrative entirely. This is absolutely not what the capitalists who finance the whole kayfabe show want to see happen, so we know that this is not part of the plan.

It is kinda funny to watch from the outside, though.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 27 2019 14:48 utc | 69

juliania @54

"Corporations . . . need to be small enough to drown in a bathtub."

Thank you!

Posted by: Evelyn | Nov 27 2019 15:06 utc | 70

vk @64

Thanks for putting what imo is the correct perspective on Sanders wrt "the system." I'd add that had he not played nice at the end he would for all purposes be dead - even more vilified and shunned (by the "leadership") than now - not literally (one would hope,) but politically. And that - again imo - was not because of the sort of blind consuming ambition personified by HRC, but because he genuinely believes in the main things he's proposing, and he can't do anything about those projects if he's thrown out of the game.

I remember, being a subscriber to his newsletter during O's tenure, when he was considering on running in '16; he asked his subscribers if THEY thought he should run, and he laid out the reasons why he would - mainly because none of the other D's are likely to genuinely or sincerely pursue those causes. Nothing has changed. He has in fact, because he did become visible in his highly successful '16 run, forced the official narrative to acknowledge some realities or truths. He drives the conversation on real health care. Because it resonates with the mass of US citizens being exploited in this way, it's forced the others to respond. Those not already in the "No way, Jose" camp have been picked of by the owners of our economy, even Warren.

Very good that you pointed out Trump wrestling all those GOP clowns to the floor. I don't think ANYONE here believes Trump could have won anything as an independent candidate. Why did Trump succeed? (speculation) the GOP base had already had a mini-revolution with the Tea Partiers, though those elected as mostly pursued ends detrimental to their voting base, and that was becoming apparent. Yes, I realize that movement was quickly co-opted after its emergence, and Sanders continues to resist a similar fate. The small donations are both a tactic (or a guarantee, depending on one's idealism) and a necessity: those that own our economy hate him, and would not bankroll his campaign.

Maybe someone here could enlighten me if there are any laws or rules that would force Sanders or any other senator to attend a senate impeachment trial? I mean, besides the faux outrage it would provoke, any legally binding requirement to attend? Perhaps a silly question, but my polisci classes didn't cover that.

What would be the difference between Sanders saying "I'll continue to campaign instead, I've already decided on my vote" and at the very least all the GOP Senators? Man, could you imagine that? This place would go berserk. Don't get me wrong, if they would vote to impeach Trump (not a chance,) they would be impeaching the whole damned rotten system, including the judiciary. We know that aint gonna happen.

The D party poohbahs and intelligentsia keep painting themselves into a corner, and have now run out of corners. So now (censure?) they're jumping at the overhead light trying to swing over their own work? Just like the Three Stooges.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 27 2019 15:31 utc | 71

That one has taken offense and hurled suspicion at most everyone at one time or another, as I'm sure you've noticed. It's a shame because a lot of good material comes from that pen.
But some of us can still retain memory from one thread to the next of the valuable qualities of individual commenters.
Posted by: Grieved | Nov 27 2019 2:01 utc | 42

I've noticed a consistent pattern with that user - as you say there is a lot of fairly good material posted, but with comments like 23 they show their true colours. The rest is obfuscation, including the hysterics.

Posted by: BM | Nov 27 2019 15:32 utc | 72

What a freaking circus, and to think that the US was viewed as thew good reference to the free world since late 40s...now we all look to Russia for this reference, the only balanced superpower that does not betray allies, do not self inflict currency killing and does not waste time in TV lead freaking shows like this one.

Posted by: Canthama | Nov 27 2019 15:37 utc | 73

@ Juliania # 54 who wrote
"
The main constitutional revision that needs to be put in place yesterday boils down to three governmentally corrupting conditions:

Money is not speech

Corporations are not persons and they need to be small enough to drown in a bathtub

Voting needs to be uncomplicated,uniform,unobstructed; ballots filled out by hand; and those votes need to be handcounted by our peers.
"

The changes you are asking for (with which I agree with a slight upgrade) do not require constitutional revisions.

In reverse order

Voting in Oregon is paper based and meets the requirements that you stipulate which could be extended nation wide.

I would add to your corporations, private banks are not persons and should only be allowed to be small enough to be drowned in a bath tub. It does not take a constitutional change to make this happen but only some federal and state legislation that use to exist. Corporations started out only existing with specific charters controlling what they could and couldn't do in individual states. The existing constitution gives the government the power to control all of finance and disallow private finance.

If you make money a public resource/utility and you return to the idea/reality of a government by and for the people then the masses reclaim the power of money being speech....also not needing any constitutional change.

In closing let me add another request which is to return the American motto to the original "Out Of Many, One" or "E Pluribus, Unum"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 27 2019 15:38 utc | 74

Camelotkidd @67

That was great. As one who appreciates arcane or obscure technological nomenclature, you've refreshed my knowledge today, and given me a laugh. A very good analogy.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 27 2019 15:40 utc | 75

buttigieg;the mayor of south bend will never be potus,because nobody has wanted him in the white house.Of you are homo sexual, you will.maybe

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 27 2019 16:26 utc | 76

psychohistorian @74

After the Florida putsch in '00 and the "Help America Vote" bullshit (yes, your friendly federal government wants to help you decide, and all you need are these wonderful new black boxes. Trust us) I responded to an ad in the local paper for election day workers, and curious as I was about our new Diebold black boxes, responded. Got trained to be a poll worker (at the desk verifying names, etc) but I was chosen to be a mule instead, setting up the polling places and machines, and all the other physical grunt work that goes on behind the scenes locally to hold an election. Also, to troubleshoot any machines that malfunctioned during election day.

No, I didn't have access to the programming or memory of those machines; those early Diebold's were a wonder of crony boondoggling, and the mechanical parts of those gems malfunctioned regularly. Though I didn't observe anything that I could point to as proof of manipulation, I note that the Diebold rep was a highly partisan (GOP) man not even from our locale or even our state, but had the same privileges and access as did the career bureaucrats of our local BOE. And the final "test" of each data collection module was done behind a closed door and attended by only the top D & R of the BOE and the Diebold rep. This locale had always had the punch card system that was fraudulently used (Florida)to foist this electronic scam on us. There were never any complaints here.

The perfect example of how the official narrative works, as Caitlin Johnstone describes it, is how the "hanging chad" ushered in the age of electronic election theft.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 27 2019 16:31 utc | 77

I agree with what you say, psychohistorian, especially about banks which have so disrupted many ordinary people's lives. But I also think there ought to be something of the 'fourth estate' type wording (only negatively) to give emphasis to the dangers of the disproportionate tilt away from the preamble that is happening today.

And along with your added return to 'e pluribus unum' (which in effect accomplishes what I have just said, or at least helps do that) I would very strongly wish the pledge of allegiance to the flag (of all things) be done away with, or at least the 'under God' segment. I am Orthodox Christian and have my own pledge or credo on that issue but our country is NOT a religion based country but very proud to be accepting of all faiths and non faiths. It grates on me so much that I avoid town meetings because that pledge is being said at the beginning of them. I don't enjoy standing there in silence - I said it once because I had to when becoming a citizen, and once is enough.

It might be appropriate, though, for there be a regular restatement of the initial oaths taken by all our representatives in public - maybe a special day when they all stand on the Capitol steps and recite them aloud in their respective groups with full tv coverage. Could be a chance for the public to boo or cheer, armed with appropriate not so fresh veggies. (I remember a tomato throwing day in Italy somewhere - that would be the weapon of choice I think.)

That part doesn't have to be in the Constitution. Still, it could become an exhilarating tradition.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2019 16:40 utc | 78

I should say, though, that I don't mind the singing of the national anthem whatsoever. That's an expression of hope reflecting on the country's fragility at its founding that is uplifting in spirit and doesn't demand anything except that you hit that high note. And it asks a lovely question, I think, that we can all wonder about, much like Ben Franklin's answer - "A republic, ma'am; if you can keep it."

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2019 16:50 utc | 79

"The point of impeachment was to get sworn eyewitness testimony out into the public record and to dismiss all the absurd counter-claims and conspiracy theories advanced to distract from Trump's actions."

Then there was no point in it at all as none of Trump's actions were illegal or unconstitutional in any way. What the establishment has done here as well as with their phony Russia done it BS....now there are some crimes to be discovered.....

But I'm sure they will be dismissed as "conspiracy" theories by the perpetrators and their compliant media.

Posted by: nemo | Nov 27 2019 16:51 utc | 80

@69
Film studios can be pretty heavy handed when they decide to include social commentary in their products, but it's mostly just about the money.

And also both parties are in on it.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, for example, known for being an investment banker, executive produced almost 3 dozen movies between 2014 and 2016. I would even say some of the more fun ones coming out of Hollywood during that time.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 27 2019 16:59 utc | 81

@ juliania # 78 who wrote
"
I would very strongly wish the pledge of allegiance to the flag (of all things) be done away with, or at least the 'under God' segment. I am Orthodox Christian and have my own pledge or credo on that issue but our country is NOT a religion based country but very proud to be accepting of all faiths and non faiths.
"

Thank you for that. Seeing the American motto changed in the early 1950's to "In God We Trust" is a travesty of the founders positions and makes a joke of what was established as a secular republic. I respect China that is secular in their government.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 27 2019 17:04 utc | 82

And yes, vinnieoh @77, you point out the machine obfuscations we all focused on in 2000 - so counting by hand by our peers is an essential element, as is appropriate storage of the ballots themselves so that they can be recounted in public should any questions arise. In New Mexico when we had need of a recount it was deemed impossible for some reason. Greg Palast did all the leg work on that. He was such a controversial figure at the time that the local branch of my alma mater actually at the last minute refused him permission to speak. He ended up at a packed local bakery instead.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2019 17:05 utc | 83

@ 54 juliania.. thanks for your comments...

@ 64 vk... okay.. then that says there is a problem with this sham democracy right there - one has to be a part of one of these 2 parties to even be considered... how messed up is that? well, regardless the wheels keep coming off this 2 party circus act and the democrats might be the first party to completely do itself in, to the great favour of the ordinary american... the republicans aren't much further behind as i see it either.. what a messed up set up..

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2019 17:10 utc | 84

What an alternate reality posted here. This is the reason I stopped reading this website, it's inaccurate, biased and deceptive. Trump's crimes are on full display now (in regards to Ukraine, there are many, many more that haven't made the public eye) and you're illogical thinking is that the Democrats will now come under scrutiny. Not going to happen. The poll you quoted also suits your particular bias. Trump's got to go, soon. He will, either as a result of this impeachment, or in November. He's damaged goods, always was and it's now obvious to the majority. The Republicans have truly embarrassed themselves, voting to NOT support the Constitution or a lawful hearing, instead choosing to grandstand, obfuscate and basically act like idiots. But people see what they want to see, including you (confirmation bias). Americans are going to sweep the field of corrupt Republicans, including Trump, we're absolutely sick to death of what we're witnessing.

Posted by: JR | Nov 27 2019 17:12 utc | 85

I agree, the Dims are at a disadvantage-- they need to hold their noses when working.
The Repugs have the advantage-- they use two hands, and love the smell.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 27 2019 17:16 utc | 86

MT_bill | Nov 27 2019 4:18 utc | 53
"The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment. "

Brilliant suggestion! MT Bill

That's how LBJohnson won the Texas election to become Senator. The legal appeal to recount an infamous, rigged ballot box would cause LBJ to lose, but an advisor figured out that by stipulating [legally agreeing] that the recount would prove the loss, the appeal would instantly end...and open the legal door to whisk the matter to the US Supreme Court! BUT...

If the USSC agreed to look at the matter, that would automaticly delay the matter to past the Texas State legal-decision date to declare the winner.

That is what happened, and thus before any actual recount could be done, Texas had to declare the winner and LBJ won the election! and became Texas Senator. [The matter before the USSC instantly became moot and was dropped!]

The LBJ advisor who came up with that plan was Abe Fortas, whom LBJ appointed to the USSC and who later resigned from the USSC in an unrelated scandal!

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 27 2019 17:21 utc | 87

JR @85--

I'd be curious to read your position regarding Obama's great crime of Obstructing Justice with his refusal to prosecute Bush/Cheney et al for their war crimes and the corrupt/illegal bankers and mortgage writers who he then gave several trillion dollars all the while escalating Bush's wars and making his own kill list and his several extrajudicial murders of American Citizens--just a few of the Articles of Impeachment--all based on High/Capital Crimes--that Obama should have faced before he was found guilty and removed from office, then arrested, tried and imprisoned for life.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2019 17:52 utc | 88

Imho the democrat circus is just "forplay" so they can set the stage for michel obomber to declare she will run for president in the 2020 (s)election.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Nov 27 2019 18:36 utc | 89

Great article and all valid conclusions.

But what if the Democrats have calculated the odds like this;

The current candidates have ZERO chance of winning but lets give them 10% odds at best (Trump could always beat himself with our without impeachment).

Impeachment has a stronger chance of success, probably as high as 25% and makes the odds of him beating himself go up not down.


With impeachment there is always a chance that Trump himself will screw up and give them what they have been after, which in his case would most likely come in the form of obstruction. Hoping Trump will give them something impeachable is still at least a hope or more like wishful thinking, but what hope do they have with the current crop of losers?

What do you think Trump would do if the shoe were on the other foot? Do you think he would roll the die and impeach, thinking it would raise his odds of success even if it was still not likely to work?

Think about this; It won't really reduce their odds of winning if it doesn't work because their only chance of beating Trump is if he shoots himself in the foot. He's more likely to do that with impeachment than without.

I think the author of this piece is likely correct and that there is a better than even chance of them censuring Trump rather than moving forward with impeachment. (I wouldn't bet my life on it either way, far too close)

I actually think my calculation is closer to being correct, as far as strategy goes. I'd roll the die if I were them. They are too far behind in the race and the only chance they have left is to make Trump stumble and fall. They still have the media on their side no matter what, that's not going to change, so the political fallout, if they fail, can still be spun their way. I don't believe the downside of impeachment is going to be nearly as bad for them as people think simply because we can't see in advance how successful the media will be at spinning this to make the Democrats out to be hero's either way.

Impeachment has slim chance of success but it's better than none at all and the downside of failure isn't as high as people think, not with the media on their side to spin it.

Posted by: Brad Smith | Nov 27 2019 18:44 utc | 90

@ 88 karlof1... thanks for that...

@ 89 per/norway... tucker carlson got lambasted for mentioning that.. apparently he was talking about how the opcw e mail leaks have been completely ignored, so the msm turns around and attacks him for mentioning that.. no mention on the opcw leaks though... that is kept top secret in the usa msm.. thank god i don't follow the usa swamp media closely..

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2019 18:45 utc | 91

Wind Hippo @12 is correct -- b's framing is incorrect. The Democratic Party's function is to co-opt and destroy movements for change, not to try to "win".

Posted by: AshenLight | Nov 27 2019 19:07 utc | 92

@ psychohistorian | Nov 27 2019 15:38 utc | 74

"Voting in Oregon is paper based and meets the requirements that you stipulate which could be extended nation wide."

Paper based, yes, but those paper ballots are not counted by hand; they are run through scanners, which are connected to computers, the code in which is proprietary, and not available for public examination. This makes the vote-count no more reliable than in those states that use the direct vote-switching machines.

Additionally, the ballots are mailed out to voters, who presumably mark them up – themselves – in the privacy of their homes, and then mail them in – themselves – to their local county election office. Unfortunately, this process leaves open the possibility for in-home coercion, or worse. And it has been known for employers to demand that their workers bring their ballots in to the work-place for a ballot-marking “party.”

The mail-in ballot also makes campaigns more expensive. Prior to mail balloting, campaigns worked hard to convince voters and to identify supporters, right up to the day before election day, and then everything stopped except get-out-the-vote efforts – usually by volunteers – in the last hours of election day. But now, as the ballots sit in homes waiting to be marked and mailed, there is a long string of “election days,” requiring campaigns to spend as much as thirty days ascertaining who has voted and who has not – a process always several days behind time – and to keep on mailing campaign materials every single day, to those identified as not yet having voted. That situation, in my opinion, greatly magnifies the power of money over elections.

I have worked on more than 50 political campaigns – in several states – in my life-time, having managed most of those, and I think that my experience qualifies me to evaluate the various methods of casting and counting votes, but a lot of effort and money went into selling mail-in voting in Oregon, and mine is, in comparison, but a lonely voice in the wilderness.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 27 2019 19:15 utc | 93

@ Camelotkidd | Nov 27 2019 14:22 utc | 67

"Democrats are the pawl . . "

Reading your description of the process, anyone with any mechanical ability can watch, feel and hear the machinery clicking and whirring as the vast political landscape is twisted to the right.

Very nice!

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 27 2019 19:24 utc | 94

@ psychohistorian | Nov 27 2019 17:04 utc | 82

“Seeing the American motto changed in the early 1950's to "In God We Trust" is a travesty of the founders positions . . .”

It certainly is, especially in light of this; I never see this discussed, but note that the founders did not prohibit just “the establishment of any one particular religion over other religions,” as most people believe, and an idea that many people try to promote. They prohibited “an establishment of religion,” period. Any religion. All religions. I wish more people would come to understand this.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 27 2019 19:44 utc | 95

Regardless of where any kind of prosecution is prosecuted, there would be plenty of defendants from both of the major political parties. Since both parties would come out looking like massive RICOs, it wouldn't be in either of their interests to drag the other into such exposure. On the other hand, dragging both parties through such a process would do more to expose the criminality of both than either could effectively defend themselves from. There'd be more than enough convicts to justify releasing all of the non-violent convicts already in federal facilities. On the other hand, a mass hanging during the halftime at the Superbowl would probably set an all time record for viewership.

Posted by: Vonu | Nov 27 2019 20:51 utc | 96

Trump broke one of the fundamental elite rules: never (publicly anyway) seriously attack (words don't count) another elite. It's why Obama never went after Bush, etc. For that transgression alone Trump is being severely punished. He's a cagey bastard though and of the type to be extremely dangerous when cornered.

@3 Allen - a better analysis of the true purpose of the "Democratic" Party, I've never read. Well stated.

Posted by: Trisha | Nov 27 2019 21:02 utc | 97

@69 WG Txs for picking up the torch, brilliant exposé..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 27 2019 21:03 utc | 98

AntiSpin @93

Yes humans certainly can pervert with ease most well-meaning efforts. NC already showed the way for mail-in ballots. Thanks for revealing some of the contours of mail-ins that I hadn't fully appreciated.

There is no justifiable reason beyond the media hucksterism of manufactured hysteria that says that we have to know the results the same day, or the day after that. Some system of transparent hand-counting and recording, isolated from the digital highway (full of highwaymen,) is what I'd support. The expenditure couldn't be any more than what we're already feeding into local BOEs to fund the black boxes.

Also "election day" becomes election weekend, polls open both Saturday and Sunday.

otoh: As someone who's made a career in political campaigning you probably don't like to hear that I've arrived at and often dwell in the cynicism of "If voting made a difference, it would be illegal." For the meager half-dozen election cycles I did grunt work for the County BOE, I still believed voting was important. Now, not so much.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 27 2019 21:22 utc | 99

After following the mainstream media circus for three years now I have to question how anyone with a brain could ever believe anything they ever said again. Heaven knows the Republicans are far from pure as the driven snow but the Democrats under the tutelage of such stalwarts as Adam Schiff would not recognize the truth if they met it in their soup. The Democratic Party has indeed become the Party of socialism and socialism stands out as one of those things that is bad for the country and good for the Deep State.

Posted by: Al Benson Jr. | Nov 28 2019 4:23 utc | 100

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