Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Which Candidates Dare To Say IMPEACHMENT?


Some congressional candidates campaign explicitly on impeaching Trump. The DCCC advises against that. Kaniela Ing, for example, warns Democrats at the top of his issues page that "It's not enough to simply resist Donald Trump. People are struggling and feeling left behind. Leaders must offer hope and progress beyond resistance." He then goes on to offer 30 bold planks he's running on, from Medicare-For-All, expanding Social Security, Affordable Housing, Tuition-free college, and 100% Renewable Energy by 2035 to Job Guarantee and Net Neutrality. #30, though calls for Trump's impeachment:
Donald Trump is an affront to the values we hold dear in Hawaii. We're pulling America back from the past, when we should be looking to the future. Kaniela will‍‍‍ champion the impeachment of Donald Trump, so we can focus on progress beyond resistance (see above). In Congress, Kaniela will be an ambassador of‍‍ tolerance, diversity, and aloha.
Ing, though, is an exception. Even among candidates who are eager to vote to begin the impeachment process, few want to put it on their websites.

Goal ThermometerI spoke with a couple dozen members of Congress and candidates for Congress about impeachment. Basically nearly all of them said they'd rather not talk about it. Like Kaniela, Alan Grayson (D-FL) was another exception: "On May 9, 2017, Donald Trump fired the Director of the FBI because of 'the Russia thing,' as clear a confession to obstruction of justice as you will ever see. On May 10, 2017, Trump met with the Russian Ambassador and Foreign Minister, in the Oval Office, and gave them 'code word' classified information (meaning higher than “Top Secret”) that we don’t even provide to our allies, which is the crime of espionage under Chapter 37 of the US Criminal Code. And that’s just two days during the Trump Regime. What, exactly, does Trump have to do to get impeached? Does he have to (to use his own words) 'stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody?'"

Levi Tillemann is running for a suburban Denver congressional seat held by GOP lapdog, Mike Coffman. The DCCC has another worthless lapdog they want to slip into the seat-- Jason Crow. One thing is sure, the progressive in the race, Levi Tillemann is nobody's lapdog. Early this morning he told us quite definitively that "Trumpism is fascism; and many seem to believe that our institutions will protect us from it. Unfortunately, that's not how it works: it's up to us to protect our institutions from fascism. On that count, and many others, Congress' failure to impeach Trump is an abject failure."

 Another candidate with the guts to talk about the impeachment issue publicly? Well, of course... Randy Bryce, @IronStache: "If Paul Ryan did his job as Speaker of the House as opposed to Speaker of the White House he’d realize that Congress is part of our checks and balances, not an exclusive gym membership. With real leadership a question of impeachment wouldn’t be an issue-- Trump would have been made aware long ago that we fought a war in order to free ourselves from a monarch then set up a government to keep us from turning into one. Trump has made a mockery of the office of President. I’m already on record as being supportive of impeaching Trump. Recent events (his personal lawyer’s office being searched by the FBI) have done nothing to change my mind. (For a start let’s look at Republican thought while pursuing an impeachment of Bill Clinton.)"

Yesterday Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch asked, provocatively, What's a guy gotta do to get impeached in Trump's out-of-control America? "We often say that the Founding Fathers who gathered here in Philadelphia to draft the U.S. Constitution way back in 1787," he wrote, "never could have anticipated our modern world of AR-15s and Cambridge Analytica. But they actually were spot on when it came to anticipating the sleazeball tactics of the Trump Organization and its owner who currently sits in the Oval Office. The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution spelled out in plain Olde English that presidents are barred from profiting in their dealings with foreign powers. Trump’s refusal to divest his global business interests while making life-or-death foreign policy decisions is a clear-cut case of the short-fingered vulgarian in the White House once again flipping the bird to constitutional law and democratic principles.
And the legislative branch of government is either too cowardly or too bought off to do anything about this-- which is probably exactly what President Trump expected would happen. The parameters of time and space don’t allow me to list all the various transgressions that have occurred since the 45th president took the oath on Jan. 20, 2017. To be sure, a lot of it-- from the vulgarity of his Twitter feed, which has worn out even Trump’s die-hard supporters, to the policies that scar our environment just when climate change is becoming an existential threat-- is simply very bad presidenting that’s not criminal, where the most effective punishment will come at the ballot box.

But other acts-- most notably, the blatant conflict-of-interest between his presidency and his high-profile business empire, and the powerful case for a campaign of obstruction of justice and abuse of power aimed at shutting down the criminal probe into possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election-- scream out for a serious U.S. House investigation into Trump’s “high crimes” or “misdemeanors.”

Pause for a moment and consider Trump in the context of what Congress has considered an impeachable offense during my lifetime. Richard Nixon faced certain impeachment, and thus resigned, for interfering with the FBI probe into the crimes of Watergate-- which is exactly what Trump has done in the firing of former FBI chief James Comey and a host of related actions. Bill Clinton was impeached-- fairly or not-- for lying to the public (and in legal proceedings) about his extramarital affair, and the evidence that Trump also lied publicly in a nearly identical fashion is mounting.

Yet in 2018, with the most dangerous U.S. president in our history with his stubby fingers on the nuclear football, impeachment has suddenly become the political act that dare not speak its name.

Just this week, the New York Times came down from the mountaintop bearing tablets that impeachment-- an idea which so far has animated the so-called Trump resistance to become the nation’s most potent political force, defeating pro-Trump Republicans in special elections from Alabama to Oklahoma-- is a suicide pact for the Democratic Party. Wrote the Paper of Record: “Many top (Democratic) officials in the capital fear it is a political trap that would distract from their core message and possibly even boomerang to harm them in November”-- mainly by animating GOP voters to rise up and defend Trump from this supposed lynch mob. Democratic political guru David Axelrod-- a really smart guy who helped Barack Obama become president in 2008-- buys into this.

As much as I respect Axelrod, I have to respectfully disagree on this. The American people, and our elected representatives, are at a dangerous crossroads right now. We need to own up-- and own up quickly-- to the reality that Donald Trump isn’t just a normally bad president, but a clear and president danger to the experiment in republican democracy that was launched in Philadelphia nearly 242 years ago.

The risk we face is not in normalizing impeachment, which is the tool that the Founding Fathers created to deal with the threat posed by the kind of president that they feared-- and that Donald Trump has become. The real hazard is normalizing Trump’s conduct over the last 15 months-- profiting off the presidency, interfering with an independent system of criminal justice, governing in opposition to a free press and other constitutionally guaranteed liberties, and violating human rights through mass deportations engineered by an agency, ICE, that is becoming a secret police force.

Look around the world, and you’ll see that autocracy is rising all over the map-- in Turkey, China, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Hungary and Poland, to name just a few. We’ve been here before-- in the 1920s and ’30s, when a string of once-great nations succumbed to fascism, but America elected a small-d democrat in Franklin Roosevelt who rebuilt a prosperous nation with strong but constitutional methods. Today, Trump is the anti-FDR-- a beacon to the world’s new generation of dictators, not a foe. As citizens, we and our representatives can watch this nightmare unfold over the next 33 months with our thoughts and prayers that it will somehow end well. Or we can take affirmative action.

We don’t need to elect a Congress that will slam-dunk guarantee Trump’s impeachment. What we do desperately need, though, are House members who will vote next January to begin a bipartisan impeachment probe with public hearings-- modeled after the way that Congress got it right with Richard Nixon in 1973-74-- leading to a fair vote on the evidence.

The scary part is that this might come too late. The worst thing about Monday’s unhinged rant by Trump against special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia probe is that it happened right before a cabinet meeting where an angry, boxed-in and probably scared president was going to be deciding on U.S. military action in the tinderbox of Syria that has all the elements-- including the involvement of Russia, Iran, Israel, etc.-- that could trigger a global war. The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, gave us a tool to ensure these decisions aren’t made by a morally compromised president.

What are we waiting for?
Let's end this with a full essay on impeachment that Tom Guild wrote for us last night. Tom is the progressive Democrat running for Congress from the long-time Republican-held district in the Oklahoma City metro.What rewrote is similar to what almost all the Blue America candidates told me:
Donald Trump is America’s nightmare. He regularly prevaricates. He often runs rough shod over important American institutions, like an independent judiciary, that is directed by a moral and ethical compass to do what is right, not what is expedient or dictated by partisan political pressures. Mr. Trump openly hawks his wares, like Trump properties, to line his pockets. Don, Jr., Jared, Ivanka, and other members of the Trump family follow this example on a regular basis.

Trump is a bully. He bullies federal judges, special prosecutors, members of and sometimes entire minority communities, Congresspersons, and others who disagree with his narrow and warped view of the world. He behaves erratically and we can only imagine what a nightmare it must have been for others to share a sandbox with a young Donald during recess.

Donald is crude, vulgar, profane, and a committed and practiced egomaniac. He demands loyalty from others and then as a reward fires them with a cruel tweet, without remorse, and then moves on to the next victim. His paranoid glands are working overtime, and even though paranoid people have enemies, his twisted conspiratorial worldview always entitles him to claim victimhood status.

He runs through cabinet secretaries, aides, assistants, and other federal underlings like used underwear. He is mean, vicious, rude, overbearing, and refuses to do the hard work of informing himself on important issues. As a result, he is incapable of weighing competing facts (he’s into alternative facts) and interests. His megalomania makes it nearly impossible for him to consider the needs of others or to show them compassion or empathy or to put their needs or our country’s needs above his own.

He’s skating on thin ice and approaching the point of no return. Impeachment? If he fires Deputy FBI Director Rod Rosenstein or Special Counselor Bob Mueller, all political hell will break loose. Either act would further inflame the American people and force the issue of impeachment on the Profiles in Cowardice Crew who currently control many seats in Congress.

How would I cast my vote in considering articles of impeachment? I feel deep in my soul that I would do the right thing for the right reasons. Despite my profound disappointment and distaste with and for Mr. Trump and his coarse and harsh persona, I would be fair to him and try to dispassionately dispense justice. My ultimate consideration would be the public interest, justice, and safeguarding our American republic while preserving our great constitutional values and traditions. I’m certain my decision would be well considered, thoughtful, and based on facts and the rule of law. The ice is cracking under Donald’s feet. Is it too late? The clock is very close to striking midnight...

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At 5:12 AM, Blogger Chris Roberts said...

problem is the world may be destroyed before because of warmongers driving idiot to start world war III.if russins are killed from missiles launced from us aircraft carriers they aren't going to do nothing.

At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

T00 many Dems are PATHETIC in their refusal to make impeachment an important part of their platform for the November elections. If they do not stand up for democracy, who will? What are they afraid of - taking a stand? Come on! Really? This is the NUMBER 1 issue on the table today and the Dems should take it on, and do so clearly with extreme gusto. This is war - we are fighting for democracy - and they'd better get on the offense.

Do many Dems function on the rationale that they they don't want to give up hope attracting some of the deplorables? There never was any such hope. There will always be this racist, hateful; minority (it used to be the majority) and NOTHING will get rid of it. So Dems, get past this and don't bother chasing after them. Turn your attention to taking a stand and pushing to have as many Americans vote as possible.


At 6:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop already. Pelosi (or her heir) will not allow it. They (tyrannically: ironic on this site???) alone decide what does and does not get voted on. Remember Dennis Kucinich? Remember his articles of impeachment? No you do not. Because Pelosi refused to let them even see the committee for a vote. Today will be no different. She's already so vowed. And that's that. period. end of issue.
Given that, a candidate who includes that issue has the stench of desperation.

Voters who hold out hope for the anti-red wave to create a house majority just to get trump impeached are deluded. But saying 'voters' and 'deluded' has become redundant over the past 40 years, has it not?

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Chris Roberts said...

pelosi is on record for opposing impeachment.they could have impeached bush in 2007 did nothing.

and here is reality few mention.evne if dems take both house and senate in wave in november and pelosi allows impeachment to go through trump isn't going to be removed from takes 67 senators to remove a case sceniro for dems is 51 or 52 seats.they would need 15 or 16 gop senators to vote to remove trump not going to happen.

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, by all means, let's impeach Trump. Then we can have a man who talks to Jay-zeus directly sitting in the Oval Office! You people are fkn crazy!

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Skeptical Partisan said...

DJT is more of the disposition that 'any publicity is good publicity,' in which case, *only* losing the office of presidency through impeachment is no major loss (he's a shameless confidence man). He would feel a criminal conviction which lands him in prison and costing him money. But as mentioned by other commenters, impeachment also has consequences for the condition of national institutions. The problem is the criminal penalty for presidential impeachment has not been clearly delineated.

For the sake of the nation, persons in the Nixon, Reagan, GHW Bush, GW Bush and DJT's administrations should have been impeached and can & should be criminally prosecuted for their crimes. [This list is not exhaustive; it is limited by my knowledge of their misdeeds. Feel free to make additions.] We can learn much from the recent conviction and sentencing of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye for abuse of power, bribery and coercion.

Personally, I would take pleasure if DJT's presidency cost him his freedom and fortune (the Mueller investigation would never have come about if DJT were not POTUS). I would have been content if he had resigned from POTUS with taxpayers covering lifetime secret service protection and pension (it's probably too late for him to take this road now).

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump should be impeached for the emoluments violation.

He could be criminally indicted for any number of real crimes including fraud and money laundering.

The irony you note is not lost on me. Had he not run, there would never be any possibility that he would be indicted for anything.

But the likelihood of him being impeached is zero.

He'll serve all 8 years unless he dies or the Nazi party talks him into resigning in exchange for a pre-emptive pardon and probably 10s of millions in payouts.

At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:50, Kucinich's articles were against cheney and gonzalez. Even he didn't have the stones to do the bushbaby.

To be fair, however, at the time Dennis proposed his articles, it was cheney who had:
clumsily faked certain evidence linking saddam/Iraq to 9/11
continually lied about saddam's WMDs and programs
ordered the torture program
outed Valerie Plame, setting back the nuclear nonproliferation effort back a decade.
declared himself a 4th branch of government

also, cheney as resident of TX could not run on a ticket with the bushbaby, also from TX. To get around the constitutional taboo, he declared a residence in WY even though he hadn't lived there for several years. This was back when violating the constitution MEANT something.

Cheney really should have been impeached.

gonzalez did a lot of voter suppression, including frivolous prosecutions.

He, too, needed to be impeached. But only after cheney.

However, Pelosi forbade it. The committee (chaired by money/Pelosi puppet john conyers) refused to bring the articles up for consideration.


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