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Everything posted by TobiasFunke

  1. I would argue that (1) doing something that just kinda seems a little off but that the Constitution doesn't actully forbid isn't exactly like "acting the same way as Republicans", and (2) there are lots of other things that separate the parties (eg Trump on Dingell at last night's rally).
  2. The list of things in the Constitution that have been bastardized for political purposes during the Trump administration is pretty long. Senate advise and consent on appointments, refusal to comply with congressional oversight even under subpoena, rejection of other clear legislative directives (eg turning over tax returns, exercise of emergency power), abuse of the pardoning power, abdication of duty to hold hearings on Supreme Court nominees, voter suppression efforts, and soon a sham "trial" in defiance of both the Constitution's directives and the oath that Senators will take prior to the proceedings, to name just a few. I don't agree with this particular maneuver. But at the same time, we can't really ask one side to carefully abide by both the letter and the spirit of the rules while the other side openly flaunts their violations. Because the thing about that dynamic is that the proud, defiant cheaters will always win.
  3. I agree, we don't have to go down there with him. But those who choose to do so are kind, decent and generous people whose enthusiasm for a man who publicly insults women who have recently lost their husband and wonders aloud if he's looking up from the fires of hell is rational and valid. I'm sure they'll be along very soon to make an articulate and gracious case as to why this behavior is exactly what we should want from the President of the United States.
  4. See? This fine, upstanding gentleman apparently approves of insulting the recently widowed at a televised political rally and suggesting that their spouse is currently burning in hell. Who are we to say that our distaste for such a thing is any more valid than his enthusiastic endorsement of it?
  5. Whoa whoa whoa. Take it easy. Sure, some people might think that what the president said about Dingell last night was out of bounds, but some other people think it's good to have a president who trashes a grieving widow at a political rally and suggests that her dead husband is in hell. What's most important is that we remember that no side is necessarily "right" or "wrong" about this, and that we respect each other and have a civil discussion about it. The fine, upstanding, respectful American citizens who support a president who trashes a grieving widow at a political rally and suggests that her dead husband is in hell certainly deserve that much.
  6. Just for the sake of clarity- that's not at all how it works. Generally what happens is there's an investigation by law enforcement, and then if the investigation turns up sufficient evidence in the eyes of the prosecutor, they seek an indictment from a grand jury. If the grand jury returns an indictment there's a trial (unless the defendant reaches a plea agreement) where the prosecution and the defendant are both permitted to call witnesses, with the judge evaluating the relevance of witnesses and the conduct and a jury ultimately returning a verdict. In the case of a president the investigator is the House committee staff, the grand jury is the impeachment proceedings, and impeachment amounts to an indictment (it doesn't line up perfectly bc of committee votes and whatnot, but it's pretty close). That would make McConnell both the judge (along with Roberts, who will conduct the proceedings once they begin in accordance with McConnell's directions) and a member of the jury. So what we would have here is a judge/juror disregarding an indictment and refusing to have a real trial, and also promising to return a verdict of "not guilty." He made this decision because he's politically affiliated with, likes, and wants to protect the "defendant," by his own admission. If you're OK with that, so be it. Just ask yourself if you'd be OK with it in a regular judicial proceeding, or if the "defendant" was a Democrat.
  7. I ran into him at lunch yesterday. He has a security detail now. I asked him about it; he said "these are strange, strange times." That's where we're at: a congressman has to have Secret Service protection to get a sandwich. I've never seen or heard of such a thing outside of Speakers or members who are candidates for national office. Sean Hannity should be ashamed of himself.
  8. That is correct. They are basically complaining about a defendant not getting trial rights at the indictment stage, while at the same time the judge and some members of the jury have already announced that they will not hold an actual trial despite the Constitution's instruction to do so, and will instead coordinate with and rule in favor of the defendant. Furthermore, this process is somehow unfair to the defendant, apparently. So unfair that it's worse than what happened to Jesus. Tens of millions of Americans support the party making this argument and will vote for their candidates in 11 months.
  9. Also FWIW the extortion thing doesn't even really matter. Asking a foreign government to launch an investigation into a potential election opponent is immediately impeachable. It's literally an attempt to collude with a foreign government to win an election, the thing Republicans made a big deal about the Mueller report not finding. Conditioning military aid and a white house meeting on the successful completion of the collusion just makes the charge worse, like using an armed weapon in a robbery.
  10. It is a fact. If you ask someone for something, and their answer is not "yes" or "no" or "maybe" but "I'd like you to do us a favor, though," that means they will give you what you are asking for (or at least are more inclined to give it to you) if you do them the favor. Every human being on earth would interpret it that way. If you claim otherwise you aren't being honest. I don't know if you're not being honest with us, or you're not being honest with yourself. But either way you're not being honest.
  11. Earlier I made the point that Republicans under trump are beyond parody because they're actually trying to make the Sideshow Bob "do they give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry?" argument with a straight face. We can add another one to the list: apparently "get off the cross" no longer works, because Republicans are claiming that the Dems are treating Trump worse than the Romans treated Jesus Christ.
  12. Basic logic would suggest that it doesn't matter if it's partisan. Because if it did, that would mean a president could literally do anything they want, as long as his own party stood in solidarity. Even if their ranks had previously been thinned due to their support for the president being impeached. And conversely, it would encourage members of congress to ignore any and all wrongdoing, because as long as they did so the wrongdoing would disappear to the lack of "bipartisan" condemnation. Acting like bipartisanship matters in the context of impeachment perverts incentives on all sides. It's just a horrible approach.
  13. It's all the same problem in the end: The people running the government no longer feel any obligation to cater to the will of the majority thanks to the Electoral College, the Senate and voter suppression, along with the protection afforded by the Fox News propaganda machine. They've got their 40-45%, and that's all they want or need to run the country, to reshape the judiciary, to do whatever they like. No outreach, bipartisanship or even acknowledgment of the 55-60% is necessary. I honestly wonder whether it might be better for the country in the long run if Trump wins in 2020. Because there's likely an economic downturn coming before 2024, and that's the only thing that can break the cycle I described above. If we have a recession during a Biden, Sanders or Warren presidency we could end up with a President Hannity or President Carlson a few years down the line.
  14. Correction - there's always talk of impeaching a Republican POTUS by Democrats. Because Republicans don't wait until the person is president before they start talking about impeachment: Some Republicans are discussing their plans for President Clinton — starting with impeachment
  15. Here is the first well-articulated argument against impeachment that I've read, from Francis Rooney (R-FL). I don't necessarily agree with him, but he deserves a lot of credit for making it. The problem with it, of course, is that this argument requires Republicans to admit that what the president did was out of bounds and that members of his administration should testify on this matter, and most can't/won't cross him like that.
  16. No joke- I think shows like CSI are at least somewhat to blame for the state we find ourselves in. Not a lot, but some. They convinced a generation of people that what plainly appears to be true is often not true if you look closely enough for even the slightest flaw or gap or uncertainty. But in the real world, what plainly appears to be true is almost always true, the safeguards of "reasonable doubt" are only useful in the context of criminal judicial proceedings, and even in that context the doubts need to rise to the level of genuinely "reasonable" to be relevant, as you note. There is no "reasonable" argument that Trump was doing anything other than using the power and influence of the presidency to compel Ukraine to manufacture an investigation to make his potential 2020 opponent look bad. None. That is why all the criticisms have focused either on meaningless process stuff or on the slightest flaw or gap or uncertainty, no matter how unreasonable. Eg the bizarre argument that a man who has never shown even the slightest interest in fighting corruption even in the country he governs was somehow suddenly and passionately concerned about fighting it in Ukraine. It's preposterous, but because we can only say with 99.99999% certainty that it's a blatant lie that somehow gets him off the hook.
  17. Right, because history often prefers overly simplistic narratives. Note the passive voice. I then went on to imply that the actual reason was "her many flaws and strategic errors." This was fairly clear, I thought. But as long as you brought it up, I encourage you to read the "deplorables" speech in its entirety. Here's what she said right after the "basket of deplorables" line: It actually reaches across the aisle and expresses sympathy for people on the "other side" far more than anything Trump has done in his entire political career. And yet that one word was taken out of context and picked apart. Weird how she was absolutely destroyed for supposedly being combative, confrontational and dismissive in a way that her opponent was not (and still isn't) for making far more combative, confrontational and dismissive comments, isn't it? I wonder what might account for that disparate treatment?
  18. I don't really want to get into this, but please note that I acknowledged "her many flaws and strategic errors" in my post. A post that was like 75 words long. The acknowledgement wasn't hard to find. Maybe stop looking for arguments everywhere?
  19. Evergreen post. I don't have the problem with her that others do, but IMO no real good comes from her speaking out on any issue at this point. She should just retire in comfort, secure in the knowledge that she raised a good daughter even if she married poorly, and that her embarrassing defeat is likely to eventually be chalked up to misogyny and maybe Russia rather then her many flaws and strategic errors.
  20. Say what you will about Dems/the left, but they never ever pretend they speak for the entire country, or that their base is "the American voter," or that those who disagree with them are somehow less American. That sort of arrogant, dismissive nonsense comes from only one side of the aisle.
  21. "The kid was released from the guy's basement once suspicious neighbors started asking questions and the cops got a tip, and no ransom was ever collected. Therefore there was no kidnapping." If you had told me five years ago that people were actually trying to make this absurd argument I wouldn't have believed you. It's so utterly and obviously preposterous that the Simpsons used it as a joke two decades ago.
  22. Not for many hours. If you don't want to hear speechifying you can turn it off until the end of the workday most likely.
  23. The birtherism, the sexual assaults (with audio confession!) and the charity fraud are the three things that I will never ever be able to wrap my head around. How anyone could be OK with someone guilty of any of those things, let alone all three, becoming the president seems impossible. I'm four years into seeking an explanation for it and further from getting one than ever.
  24. Republicans, including at least one Senator, were calling for the impeachment of Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election.
  25. I think it's great that the people who nominated and elected a frigging birther are suddenly very concerned about protecting the sanctity of the American presidency and whether Democrats are acting in bad faith and "had it out" for Donald Trump from the start. These are obviously rational good faith positions arrived upon after a great deal of self-reflection, and I salute their integrity.
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