Election blather

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1167 Replies - 49455 Views - Last Post: 07 May 2019 - 11:30 AM

#1156 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 25 April 2019 - 02:26 PM

View PostArtificialSoldier, on 25 April 2019 - 03:53 PM, said:

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I see no value in the impeachment on its own

Really? It sends a message that his behavior is not acceptable, isn't that valuable to the country? Necessary, even?


If a not guilty verdict is returned, the opposite message will be heard, at least by about half of the country. To be honest, even a guilty verdict and removal from office would leave a large number of Republicans believing that this was some sort of "liberal conspiracy".
Be that as it may, I refer you to, I think, Samuel Goldwyn's line: "If you want to send a message, use Western Union." At the end of the day, if we send a message that the behavior is unacceptable, and he continues in office, the message is at best a mixed one.
I want to get him out of office as soon as possible, and to impede the damage that he does while in office, and as I outlined above, I do not believe that rushing to impeachment achieves that goal.

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in my view an impeachment without a guilty verdict would be more helpful than harmful for Trump

Well, I disagree.


Okay, we've identified an area of disagreement. That's actually okay, but I'm willing to dig into it further if you want. I think I laid out my reasoning for "more helpful than harmful" in a previous post, if you have more specific questions about that. That reasoning assumes a not-guilty verdict in the Senate, of course.

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trying to prognosticate what the Senate is going to do isn't very useful, either. No one knows what they will do, probably not even themselves, until the arguments get made and they have to vote. The only thing that matters with regard to the Senate is their actual vote. Should we just assume a defeat and not try? Isn't it worth it to make an effort?


On that point, I agree that it's a matter of prediction, which is notoriously difficult, particularly when it's about the future. I do think that there are good reasons to believe that this prediction is sound, so I will outline those.
(1) Republican senators have been a remarkably solid bloc for at least the last ten years. There have been very few surprising defections - none that I can recall apart from, perhaps, McCain's dramatic "thumbs-down" vote. A few Senators play close to the aisle, but we know who they are and there are not enough of them to make the two-thirds cut
(2) Therefore, you would have to expect a large number of Senators to defy the party, when this is something that has been very rare in recent years.
(3) This will be an extremely high-stakes vote, and therefore any Republican Senator defying their party on this would expect to be punished. The modern Republican party has good tools - primary challenge and funding, in particular - to punish a defecting Senator. Therefore, any Senator thinking of defecting would have to expect that they would be strongly challenged for their Senate seat and probably lose, unless they are one of the known "moderates", namely Murkowski and Collins.
(4) Furthermore, most Republican Senators have active hard-right movements in their states who could be expected to support the Senate in this punishment by voting for a primary challenger.
(5) Therefore, you would have to find about a dozen Senators who have not up to now shown signs of defying their party to be willing to give up their Senate seats in order to punish a President who is doing things that most of them like.
(6) I do not believe that a dozen such Senators will be found.

Happy to address comments on any of these points.
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#1157 ArtificialSoldier   User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 25 April 2019 - 03:49 PM

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That reasoning assumes a not-guilty verdict in the Senate, of course.

That's the assumption that I'm not willing to make, which is why I don't agree. I think we should put their feet to the fire in public with all of the evidence before them. Putting heat on Trump is great, I want to see the heat put on his defenders in the Senate, I want to see them try to rationalize support for Trump in the face of the testimony and evidence before them.

And, I think that if Democrats fail to take advantage of their control of the House, it's going to look very weak and be a very hard sell for them in the next election. That's why I think that Democrats failing to push for impeachment will lead to Trump's re-election. I think a lot of independents would not be willing to vote for them and will stay home, just like in 2016, especially if they decide to duplicate the been-there-done-that candidate experience twice in a row and nominate Old Man Biden. I think that's a much greater threat than an acquittal in the Senate. Success in the Senate I think is actually less important than making an effort.

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Therefore, you would have to expect a large number of Senators to defy the party

20, out of 53. They would be able to justify it by saying they are protecting the party and defying Trump. McConnell would of course try to argue that he and the party are the same thing, but they're not.

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when this is something that has been very rare in recent years.

This entire episode is well outside of the norm.

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This will be an extremely high-stakes vote, and therefore any Republican Senator defying their party on this would expect to be punished.

This assumes that Republicans can successfully argue that loyalty to the party and loyalty to Trump, or to McConnell, are the same thing. There are plenty of Republicans voicing displeasure with how the party is being aligned. I think they're looking for an out. Are there 20? We wouldn't know until we force each of them to decide.

Don't forget about the Mitt Romneys in the Senate. They're there.
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#1158 xclite   User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 25 April 2019 - 04:16 PM

View PostArtificialSoldier, on 25 April 2019 - 06:49 PM, said:

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That reasoning assumes a not-guilty verdict in the Senate, of course.

That's the assumption that I'm not willing to make, which is why I don't agree. I think we should put their feet to the fire in public with all of the evidence before them. Putting heat on Trump is great, I want to see the heat put on his defenders in the Senate, I want to see them try to rationalize support for Trump in the face of the testimony and evidence before them.


I dunno. I think the Senate has really proven its complicity in how things are going - they'd rather defend Trump than be seen as losing, and most House efforts to provide accountability at levels of controversy far below impeachment have been dismissed. I doubt the severity of a potential impeachment would make the Senate MORE likely to play nice.
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#1159 ArtificialSoldier   User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 25 April 2019 - 05:10 PM

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I doubt the severity of a potential impeachment would make the Senate MORE likely to play nice.

Maybe, maybe not. There's only one way to find out.

I'd really hate to see a free pass on this, that's a win for Trump.
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#1160 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:10 PM

View PostArtificialSoldier, on 25 April 2019 - 07:10 PM, said:

There's only one way to find out.


Unfortunately, if the answer is one you don't like that leads to the ultimate "free pass" for Trump. If the Senate returns a "not guilty" verdict, you may well have sealed the deal for Trump 2020.

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I'd really hate to see a free pass on this, that's a win for Trump.


I'd really hate to see us spend more time assuming that there are only two options, and that those are immediate impeachment and damn the consequences or do nothing and give Trump a few medals and maybe a box of cigars. It would be a great help if you were to back off from that false choice.

I'm familiar with this as a rhetorical device, and it's an effective one, but it's not an honest one. It's the same device that Trump uses when he pretends that we have to choose between stopping all immigration or be overrun by lazy, shiftless, indigent migrants who don't want to work and just want to lie around collecting welfare all day, when they're not committing crimes and taking our jobs. It's basically a grown-up version of "would you rather", which is a pointless game, and it's mostly used to bully people into accepting your premises. In this case, it feels like you've bullied yourself into accepting this premise. In fact, there is a continuum of actions that can be taken, many of which are in progress, and "impeach now" or "call off the whole thing" are just two of them. I've tried to lay out an example of a course which is neither "impeach now" nor a "free pass", and it feels to me like you're intentionally ignoring that and returning to your foxhole position. That's frustrating, since I did really put some work into giving you something to argue with, and I was hoping you'd try to take it up.
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#1161 ArtificialSoldier   User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 26 April 2019 - 11:15 AM

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I'm familiar with this as a rhetorical device, and it's an effective one, but it's not an honest one.

Which device is that, claiming that I'm suggesting Trump gets medals and a box of cigars? I'm only saying inaction is a win for Trump, and a major loss to the country. Obviously I've said it several times, about the danger of normalizing his behavior. It should be corrected, that's my major motivation.

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I've tried to lay out an example of a course which is neither "impeach now" nor a "free pass", and it feels to me like you're intentionally ignoring that

Actually I've missed it completely. I went back to the beginning to read through again and the only other thing I saw you suggest was "building a big coalition." If you laid out an alternative course from here to completion then I must have missed it.
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#1162 Skydiver   User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 26 April 2019 - 11:35 AM

False dilemma
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#1163 ArtificialSoldier   User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 26 April 2019 - 11:42 AM

I know what he was referring to, just criticizing how he said it.
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#1164 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 07 May 2019 - 10:53 AM

Help me out.. is Rep Cortez's garbage disposal thing a thing, a joke, or what?
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#1165 ArtificialSoldier   User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 07 May 2019 - 11:10 AM

I don't see anything about Cortez, I just see good old McConnell, he of the 63 attempts to repeal the ACA and 10 investigations into Benghazi, declaring the Mueller investigation "case closed" and calling it Groundhog Day.
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#1166 TechnoBear   User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 07 May 2019 - 11:12 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 07 May 2019 - 11:53 AM, said:

Help me out.. is Rep Cortez's garbage disposal thing a thing, a joke, or what?


In fairness, if you had never interacted with a garbage disposal before, it is understandable. My girlfriend is older than Cortez and had never seen one before we moved in to our current house. She had a similar reaction, honestly.
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#1167 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 07 May 2019 - 11:16 AM

Really? Wasn't she a bartender or something along those lines? *shrug* I guess.

Seemed randomly manufactured.
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#1168 TechnoBear   User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 07 May 2019 - 11:30 AM

I was a bartender for a long time too, never had a garbage disposal at any of the bars I worked at.
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