I love reading Powerline, but sometimes, their contributors completely miss the point
Here’s a column suggesting impeachment should be done fairly, on a measured and reasoned basis, with the President assisting Congress to reach the Truth.
Impeachment has nothing to do with the truth. Impeachment is strictly a political act, similar to a vote of no-confidence in Parliament. Democrats know this and are playing hard ball: anonymous rumors and gossip as “evidence,” Republicans excluded from interviewing witnesses, nobody getting  due process.
This impeachment investigation has nothing to do with high crimes or misdemeanors. This is a prolonged campaign commercial so their pals in the media can scream Trump Impeached to deceive the last few low-information voters.
There’s no mystery why Trump refuses to play along. The mystery is why establishment Republicans want him to.
Joe Doakes

25 thoughts on “Tangent

  1. Does Joe understand how a grand jury works? Maybe he should read up on the process so he would avoid mouthing bad GOP talking points about witness interviews and due process.

  2. I’m surprised to see Mulvaney admit that Ukraine aid was held up in return for investigations into the 2016 election.

    That’s usually the sort of thing you’d skirt around or lie about.

    Evolution of White House responses:
    1st – It didn’t happen

    2nd – OK. It happened but it was NOT quid pro quo

    3rd – It did happen and it WAS quid pro quo but we do that all the time so “get over it”.

  3. The tone and language people will use in demanding free legal advice never ceases to amaze me.

  4. Hey, Dave, welcome back. And thanks for the excellent reminder of another process that certain politicians use, not to produce The Truth, but to produce favorable headlines.

  5. Given the postings of Paul Mirengoff, that Powerline contributor, over the past three-ish years, it seems to me that the only reason he is advocating for an implementation of “procedures consistent with a transparent and fair hearing [to which] President Trump should cooperate” is that he thinks the result will be the removal of Trump.

    The (at this moment) 540 comments there in response are – as is usual for a Mirengoff Never Trump posting – almost in complete disagreement. On the other hand, it does include a significant number of the oh-so-measured and thoughtful comments by the reliable lefty Paul Dueffert which always inflates the comment count there.

  6. For any constitutional lawyers out there, please correct me if I’m wrong. My understanding is that explicit quid pro was never required. It was something demanded by the GOP with no legal basis. The federal statute clearly states that it is illegal for a candidate to “solicit, accept, or receive” anything of a value from a foreign national or government. In any case, Mulvaney has now provided that explicit quid pro quo.

    So, in addition to trying to conceal the existence and substance of the call, and on top of trying to bury the whistleblower complaint and slander the whistleblower, Trump lied about the money and the leverage he was attempting to exert.

    I hope Republicans see these crimes for what they are. I also happen to think that the Bidens have their own set of shady dealings to account for. But the wrongdoing of the Bidens should not blind us to or absolve Trump’s blatant criminality.

    If we allow politics, not law, to determine the outcome of the impeachment, we are indeed witnessing the slow death of democracy and the rule of law in America.

  7. The Powerline guys have had their 15 minutes; I was never much of a fan, tbh. They are dedicated neo-cons, and are destined to watch Rangers games with GWB and Ellen.

  8. Impeachment has been the Democrats’ objective since Inauguration Day. They’ve been throwing mud on the wall to try to make it stick. Any of them with a quarter of a cortex realize the Senate will not convict, but they hope to spread enough doubt among undecided voters to make the trial moot. I think the attempt to impeach Clinton was doomed for the same reasons and was equally stupid. The genie is out of the bottle now. Look for future impeachment attempts by sore losers. There is no down side to trying. With enough low information voters crossing the border daily, why not?

  9. Trump’s strategy appears to have worked. Biden is no longer the frontrunner and Warren is in the lead, who he would much rather face. Whether or not he gets away with it, like everything else, remains to be seen.

    Meanwhile, Trumps picks his Doral property to host the G7 because it’s the best property to do it. 😂

  10. Regarding impeachment, it does seem, Constitutionally, to be a bit of “wild west”, but I simultaneously think that there at least ought to be an intrinsic limitation where the fair-minded of the world would say “you’re running this thing like a grand jury investigation, in secret and ignoring as many limitations on gathering evidence as possible? Seriously?”

    It was not for no reason that the procedures (vote to begin inquiry, open proceedings, etc..) used in the past were adopted, and it will be true justice if this set of proceedings ends up giving the GOP not only the Presidency, but also both chambers of Congress and a few state legislatures/governors as well. What this ought to tell the electorate is “this is what the Democrats will do to you if you cross them”, and it is my prayer that the electorate gives them the proper, one finger, salute next November.

  11. If the house dems were truly interested in getting a conviction in the senate, or even a majority vote for impeachment in the house, they would be going out of their way to accommodate the GOP. They aren’t, they are setting up a kangaroo court. It’s a show designed to allow people like Nadler vote for impeachment & avoid a primary challenge. Nancy’s job is to give Nadler his vote w/o getting any of her flock that represent pro-Trump districts on record as voting for impeachment.

  12. Dear Joe- you may be chagrined to learn that impeachment is a political process, the method by which Congress (politicians) decide on removing a president from office. Your complaints about politicians doing things to create headlines rings completely hollow in the age of the reality star president. Hypocrisy much?

  13. The Constitution says nothing about voting to start investigations, otherwise every single congressional investigation and oversight function would require a vote of the full House to initiate. Nothing in the impeachment clause says otherwise, nor does it say there has to be two votes — one to initiate an inquiry, one on articles of impeachment.

    Of course, complaints about the process are so prevalent right now because even Trump supporters are having a hard time defending his actual behavior. The crucial question is: does Trump’s behavior qualify as ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’? Unquestionably his supporters would have said “Yes!” if HRC had done these things — which makes it rather difficult to claim Trump’s actions are fine. Hence the misdirection.

    My last point: given what Mulvaney said just hours ago on the quid pro quo and hosting the G-7 at a Trump property, it’s pretty much guaranteed that articles of impeachment will be put forward for a vote. There’s little argument over what happened and why, just what to do about it. So be patient for a few weeks and you’ll get your vote.

  14. Everybody knows the Democrats in the House will vote to impeach. They’ve been saying it since the election. And since they control the House, it’s guaranteed to pass.

    But . . . it’s too early for an impeachment vote. It’s guaranteed to pass the House but equally guaranteed to fail in the Senate. Trump will not be removed from office, Pence will not be elevated to the Presidency, not before the election, and the whole point of impeachment is to weaken Trump so Warren can win the election. But if House Democrats pass it on a purely partisan vote as they did Obamacare, then Trump will play it as a purely partisan campaign ploy having no real substance and Republicans in the Senate will hold a perfunctory “trial,” find him not guilty, and the farce is over. It will not have the desired effect on the low-information voter.

    The best that House Democrats can do is keep up the drumbeat, keep generating sound bites, keep issuing subpoenas, keep holding unofficial meetings, all intended to keep making headlines right up until September, when they actually pull the trigger and formally impeach Trump, just in time for the early voters and absentee voters to read the headlines and turn away from him. If they can gin up some plausible sounding rationale for the media to use to demand the Senate hold a formal trial, they might even reach wavering voters.

    In fact, Democrats don’t even need actual voters to turn away. They need headlines to explain to the liberal judge presiding over the court hearing the election fraud case why the absentee ballot discovered in the trunk of the election official’s car, differs from the deceased person’s life-long voting pattern. Plainly, Your Honor, the voter was disgusted by the President’s corruption and voted against him.

    Impeachment is coming, inevitably, but not yet. It’s too soon.

  15. 1. Trump is the best he will ever be, and will only become worse. Anyone assuming that he has bottomed out, or can’t get worse is simply naïve. He can continue to get worse.

    2. Currently Trump is constrained by concerns about re-election and impeachment. Without those constraints Trump would most likely be worse.

    3. Currently Trump is constrained because many other in the government understand that it is illegal to follow an illegal order. Any attempts to say that one was just following orders, as a legal defense will lead to a conviction.

    4. The time that Trump is wasting with these self destructive flagellations could be spent doing something useful. There is a real opportunity cost to every day Trump is in office.

    t seems like the entire Republican Party has a case of bone spurs that prevents them from fighting for America. Sad!

  16. Why don’t you just substitute the name “Obama” for “Trump”?
    You TDS people look very silly, with your claims about executive overreach and the horror of a president investigating his political opponents. At least Trump never sicced the CIA & FBI on Biden’s son.
    How thick do you suppose the Russian, Ukrainian, and Chinese dossiers on Biden are? Three inches? Five inches?
    Normally the media would do the necessary investigation of Biden’s corrupt influencers, but not with orange man in office.

  17. This is fundamentally why Joe Biden has to go. He is a mental prisoner of the old paradigm. The other donor class Democrats will never be able to think their way to new solutions because re-establishing the old elites is the wrong answer. Who needs another generation of think tank retreads? (Possibly some young think tank outside-the-box thinkers would be a good choice. Time for the new new.)

    A big reconfiguration is coming up. 

  18. So, corruption isn’t Biden’s problem. Nor is his resume-inflating, his plagiarism habit, or the fact that he is considered an “expert” on foreign policy when he has been wrong on every substantive foreign policy issue for the last forty years.
    Nope. The problem is that Biden doesn’t see that the future is socialism.
    The ability of a person to foresee the future is inversely proportionally to his belief that he can foresee the future.

  19. “I don’t get it — why can’t you folks let my corruption go by unnoticed” ~ Donald Trump

    It’s really unfair that people notice Trump’s crimes, especially when his chief of staff announces them at a press conference.


  20. Now you are just making things up, Emery.
    You might want to see if you can find a good “brain man.” You are clearly deranged.

  21. Confessions are never helpful. Mulvaney should have just stood up there and taken the fifth.

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