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Trump impeachment trial – gold for comedians.

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, January 22nd, 2020 - 63 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, humour, International, us politics - Tags: ,

The hypocrisy of the defenders of Trump defenders in the US Senate is providing grist for comedians.

I particularly liked the Colbert take on it. Especially with digging out the old footage of Alan Dershowitz on previous impeachments where he changes his opinion on what the framers wanted in an impeachment as fast as he changes his underpants.

But hey, Trump wanted a television capable legal team – so why is Ken Starr on it? He has the charisma of a brick. Of course he appears to have the same problem as Alan Dershowitz. Extremely flexible logic about what the framers of the constitution considered to be impeachable offenses. I guess that in his case it means that if it doesn’t have salacious sex overtones – then it wasn’t good TV.

But of course slavish arse-licking rules rule in the Trump world. Trump once described Starr 

“I think that Ken Starr is a lunatic. I really think that Ken Starr is a disaster,” Trump said in an interview with NBC’s “Today” in 1999.

But now he relies on him to help defend his position. I wonder why?

Anyway, it will be amusing watching the Republican dominated Senate demonstrating that they really don’t take seriously anything that the makers of their constitution wrote. But as Chris Riddell of the Guardian points out, they have a problem…

 

63 comments on “Trump impeachment trial – gold for comedians.”

  1. Incognito 1

    Compliant, complacent, complicit, gobsmacking, GOP.

    • Anne 1.1

      Corrupt, conniving, calamitous, criminally compromised GOP.

      • soddenleaf 1.1.1

        They say impeachment is a political trial, so fact evidence don't matter, that Trump will win. It is a political trial, senators will go back for re-election and they will have voted for the guy that separated babies from their mother's. The politics matters, it's a political trial, nothing says worse of Trump that him being picture with a noted child molester, or making really awful objectification comments.

        Really, do they really want to exonerate, training wheels president Trump. oh he doesnt need to follow the rules, he can ride without help, just look how great the baby is doing, so smart, so great.

        oh but it's worse, Senators back rich guy, they don't try wealthy people. What because wealthy people pay most of income taxes, geez, backward, they pay more income tax because they are more over paid than ever.

        Stalking horse, the Senate is shaking out to see which three Republicians will cross the floor, the less evidence, the fewer witness, the zero subpoenas…

        Then there is Pence, so he doesn't have three Senators who want him President? and can coax a immortality charge against Trump.

        This is why the charges are so setup, this is the hot potato lobbed into the Senate that will blowup. Now some argue let him win, sure do the damage, cast the Trump senators as Trumpites with his woeful ratings, bedfellows. And, let Trump go to the electorate, no Pense presidency, and fail around whining for the rest of his term like he has been since the start. what a big baby.

        Now for sure, managed trade with China won't last, more just a kick to get China to pony up on its activities, it was good but won't last. Sure, getting everyone, but Trump, to see how theocratic are fools in Iran. good, but essential won't can a thing. Plunge wealthy 1%ers into even more crisis by adding to cutting their taxes, oh joys of the idiot 1% class. Buffet says he should pat more not less tax than his secretary and still no boy listens to the warning.

        Trump is impeached, which ever way it goes, Trump is dumped. My money is still on Senate blinking, the only reason not to is They really hate Pense.

         

  2. Andre 2

    To expand a bit on what the makers of the constitution wrote, there's a series of essays written by some of the authors of the Constitution called the Federalist Papers, where they expand on the reasoning and arguments behind various parts of the Constitution. Most relevant to impeachment is Federalist 65, which contains:

    A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.

    There's also a lot of outright lying going on about "high crimes and misdemeanours", which would become immediately apparent to anyone bothering to google something like "meaning of high crimes and misdemeanours".

    In short, "high" refers to the high office with power and authority held by the miscreant, and a high crime and misdemeanour is an abuse of the power and trust placed in that high office. It is an offense against the public interest that is only possible to be committed because of that power and trust that goes with the high office, it is not possible for an ordinary citizen to commit a "high crime" because they don't have access to the levers of power and trust.

    The question of impeachment turns on the meaning of the phrase in the Constitution at Art. II Sec. 4, "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors". I have carefully researched the origin of the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" and its meaning to the Framers, and found that the key to understanding it is the word "high". It does not mean "more serious". It refers to those punishable offenses that only apply to high persons, that is, to public officials, those who, because of their official status, are under special obligations that ordinary persons are not under, and which could not be meaningfully applied or justly punished if committed by ordinary persons.

    https://www.constitution.org/cmt/high_crimes.htm

     

  3. Ad 3

    Senate will acquit him. 

    Senate will remain Republican majority. 

    Acquital will greatly improve Trump's chances of re-election. 

    No further action from the Supreme Court is likely. 

    The Constitution will no longer be an effective check and balance against the government. 

    There's no comedy in this. 

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Yup. Pretty much my position as well. The Dems are overplaying a weak hand and in doing so are damaging important Constitutional safeguards.

      • Kevin 3.1.1

        If they are so easily damaged then they are pretty weak safeguards in the first place.

        I find it strange that lawmakers make such a fuss over upholding a document they so easily undermine at every opportunity.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          As others have pointed out Pelosi is no fool, she knew taking anything less than a bomb-proof impeachment case to a Republican Senate was going to fail. And she will only get one shot at it. 

          If as is very likely Trump is acquitted in the House then Trump will probably get a free pass for the remainder of his second term. That isn't a good outcome.

          • joe90 3.1.1.1.1

            They could do it all again.

            While we wait for Mitch McConnell and the White House to figure out whether they can get away with beginning and ending President Trump’s impeachment trial in an afternoon, a provocative new question has been raised: Once impeachment is over, presumably with an acquittal in the Senate, could House Democrats impeach Trump for a second time?

            Don’t dismiss it as an absurd idea just yet. Not only might it happen, but it also might be absolutely necessary. At the very least, considering the possibility will help us understand just how deep our governing crisis could get if Trump wins a second term in office.

            […]

            To clarify, I’m not talking about Trump being impeached again for the misdeeds for which he is currently being called to account. I’m talking about an impeachment for new misdeeds that we have yet to discover, or that he has not yet committed but will in the future.

            http://archive.li/PQR85 (WaPo)

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Lol.  A couple more failed attempts at impeachment and Trump really will become President for Life.😯

              • Macro

                I think you are really misreading the current climate in America. Yes The Chump has his loyal followers and yes he is giving them exactly what they want – but for many who voted for him in 2016 the promises are not coming true . The economy isn't delivering to them – just the few at the top of the economic pile. The environment is under attack. The Social reforms of previous years are being rolled back at a startling rate. The imprisonment of refugees and the ill treatment of Asylum seekers is not in accord with the American ideal, Plus a raft of other disagreements means he is the most unpopular President in living memory. and has been almost from his inauguration.

                Repugnant senators a leaving the senate in huge numbers – almost 20 have said they will not be seeking re-election this year. The battle for senate representation has a number of Democratic candidates polling above their GOP counterparts in what have been traditional red states.

                This impeachment is unlike Clintons the factors and the mood are very different.

                • mauī

                  Yeah, I can see it now, the people voted for change last time but the Russia and Ukraine stuff is a total deal breaker for them. So they will vote back in the latest version of what they had before  – sleepy Joe. 

                  • Macro

                    🙄

                    Have a look at what a local commentator in the mid-West USA has to say. This was published today -but echoes pretty much what I wrote above yesterday.

                    It's got nothing to do with the Ukraine scandal and subsequent impeachment trial. Where the Repugnant senators are doing themselves no favours by being stupidly biased. (The Turtle is now one of the least favoured Senators nation wide and there is even thoughts that even Kentucky may vote blue.  For instance, he completely ignored a delegation of miners seeking support for Health issues last year which went down with the Kentucky miners like a brick. Meanwhile his wife is raking in a fortune "acting" as Sec For Transport in the TRump admin. It's graft all over and the swamp is filling up) It's got everything to do with the fact that around 60 – 65% of the American people are fed up with the Trump shenanigans, and can't wait to get rid of him.

              • joe90

                This is where the bau/both sides claptrap gets you. People are convinced that the shameless lying, rampant corruption and underlying criminality is nowt but a partisan squabble, and that there's nothing that can be done about it.

    • left_forward 3.2

      No, there is no comedy in such a sad-eyed pessimistic look into the crystal ball. Humour requires a less bleaker outlook than this.

  4. RedLogix 4

    What no-one wants to say out loud is that Trump's conversation with Zelensky was BAU for much of American politics these days. Ethically indefensible of course, but that's how the democracy sausage gets made at top and most people have a realistic sense of this. Impeach Trump on this and you've set a threshold many US politicians would stumble over at some point.

    It doesn't help their case that the Democrats have been openly employing the impeachment process against Trump from before he was elected. This matter is merely the latest in a number of attempts to remove him from office. There is every reason to think that impeachment, once considered an extreme measure of last resort, is now been used as a routine political tool. That's not too hard to frame as 'an abuse of democratic process'. 

    Trump is of course a chaotic, crazy-making man. Many have drawn parallels with Andrew Jackson, who was also reviled by the elites and liberals of his day in often strikingly similar terms. Yet history now regards him as one of the more influential Presidents, coming in 7th on this wiki list. Reflexive, unthinking tribal opposition to Trump has invariably played directly into his hands, as it likely will this time when the Senate acquits him.

    And before anyone goes batshit over this comment; I was a solid Bernie supporter in 2016 and this time I'd vote for Gabbard or Yang. 

    • That_guy 4.1

      Yeah, I'm gonna go batshit over this comment and say that this is just the standard "they're all as bad as each other, they're all doing it" deflection.

      I mean, thanks for the comment, it's not a pointless crazy comment, I take some of your points, but at it's heart, it's just another deflection.

      I just don't think they are "all as bad as each other".

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Nope. That's not what I'm saying either. In every sense Obama was objectively a way better man for the job, yet I suspect history will relegate him well down the list of importance because while he gave brilliant speeches, he finished up disappointing even his most ardent supporters. But for all his fine qualities, wasn't he immune to impeachment efforts either.

        Impeachment is a powerful political tool, and there is every incentive to over-use it. What we will see from here on in is that it will be used continuously against every President from the time they're confirmed as a candidate. All fine and good when it's your side doing it and you're convinced of the rightness of your cause. Which in Trump's case isn't hard.

        • Phil 4.1.1.1

           But for all his fine qualities, [Obama] wasn't immune to impeachment efforts either.

          Impeachment is a powerful political tool, and there is every incentive to over-use it.

          What a pathetic list that is. The entire motivation for attempting to impeach Obama amounted to Republican disgust that he had the temerity to govern while being black. The issues underlying those 'efforts' do not hold an candle to the grotesque actions of Trump. 

    • That_guy 4.2

      Just to add, this is generally how the trajectory goes with Trump / Trump supporters and breathtakingly illegal and unethical behaviour.

      It's FAKE NEWS!

      It's not fake news, but it's perfectly legal!

      It's not fake news, it's not legal, but everyone's doing it, what, are you naive? <<< You are here.

    • Andre 4.3

      The effort to extort Zelensky was not BAU. The difference is it was done for the petty personal political interest of one individual. There was absolutely zero national interest reasoning involved.

      What previous presidents used their hold on the levers of power to extort foreign countries for petty personal political advantage in any kind of vaguely similar way?

      https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/01/ukrainegate-is-all-about-a-personal-benefit/

      Very few Democrats were trying to impeach right from the beginning. Most Democrats were trying to keep a lid on the far-left vocal activists that were indeed calling for impeachment over policy disagreements, which are not impeachable.

      Pelosi only changed position to start an impeachment inquiry once there was clear evidence of a new clear violation of the obligations of the presidency that occurred during the presidency.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49819351

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        I'm quite clear, the Zelensky phone call was ethically indefensible. Just as I suspect Hunter Biden's role on the board of the Ukrainian Gas enterprise probably was too. No matter how squeaky clean the liberal media want to paint his role in that, it stinks. Of course a grub like Trump was going to have a sniff at it.

        As for dismissing the prior efforts to impeach Trump as a 'few far left nutters unhappy over policy differences' … I don't think so. Do I need to cut and paste the whole reference from above?

        My point is simple. Impeachment, once reserved for the most serious matters, has become an out of control circus that nobody really believes in any more. Even when probably they should.

        • Andre 4.3.1.1

          Go right ahead and paste the whole reference here. People might actually read it, research Al Green and Brad Sherman, and come to their own conclusion about whether they are fringe nutters.

          Now I'll ask again, which previous presidents withheld foreign for petty personal political benefit? Y'know, to support your assertion that it's BAU?

          Pelosi and other senior Dems did in fact quash impeachment efforts until there in fact was a clear and serious violation of constitutional obligations way beyond anything that might have previously been seen as BAU.

          Now, Hunter Biden leveraging his name and connection to Daddy into a lucrative cushy position is indeed rotten, but was also BAU (if at the lower end of BAU rottenness). But, there is zero evidence I'm aware the Joe did anything to help that little petty grift (apart from merely existing), or was even aware of it until after the fact. There is also zero evidence that any of Joe's actions actually helped Hunter or Burisma, if anything dumping the old corrupt prosecutor for a new one increased the chances of Burisma coming under close scrutiny.

          https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-10-05/bidens-visits-to-ukraine-under-scrutiny

          • RedLogix 4.3.1.1.1

            Do you want argue there was no legitimate national interest in finding about Biden and Burisma?  Was there no possible blackmail issue with Russian and Ukraine having potential leverage over a future President?

            Of course Trump was pursuing his own best interests; in the big picture it's what all Presidents do all the time. The relevant question is what were Trump's inner intentions in that specific conversation? Because to this point it is an assumption that he was trying to help himself for his personal benefit only.  

            Everyone here is of course pre-supposing the worst about Trump; we automatically assign the lowest possible motives in everything he does, as if we can all mind-read the guy and know he is always guilty. But are you sure you want a world in which we impeach and convict people solely on your opinion of what they were secretly thinking?

            Now I'll ask again, which previous presidents withheld foreign for petty personal political benefit? Y'know, to support your assertion that it's BAU?

            President's use leverage all the time to achieve their ends, and the USA tends to have the biggest levers on the block. Does anyone think this is tiddlywinks these people play? This instance with Zelensky was an especially naked move, as I said above ethically indefensible, yet the crucial question the Senate will consider is … does it rise to the level of a crime, or crime-like action? 

            • Andre 4.3.1.1.1.1

              There was no legitimate national interest in the actual actions Drumpf took and wanted with respect to Ukraine: he didn't want an investigation, he merely wanted the announcement of an investigation.

              https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/20/20974201/gordon-sondland-impeachment-hearing-testimony-biden-show-trump

              Again, please, the names of previous presidents and what actions they took to extort a purely personal petty political benefit from foreign countries, with no hint of national interest in the outcome sought? Vague insinuations don't cut it.

              The question the senate should be considering (but isn't, they're only interested in how to come out of it with the best political spin) is if the actions were "high crimes or misdemeanours". As explained in 2 above, that's very different to a mere crime.

              • RedLogix

                I've no particular beef with your argument and you make it well. All the Senate Republicans need in reality is a simple argument they can take to the public to cover their acquital. And like or not this is not going to be all that hard for them to do.

                • Andre

                  Thanks.

                  You're right, it isn't going to be hard to blow smoke to hide what a steaming pile an acquittal actually will be.

                  The question is how to get enough of the facts out there to persuade the very very small number of persuadables that this all really is not normal, it's harmful to the country and to people individually, and that it's a big enough problem to make it worth the considerable hassle to get out and vote to get rid of the problem and its enablers.

      • mauī 4.3.2

        The effort to extort Zelensky was not BAU.

        🙄

        You have a bizarre definition of extortion. Trump bought up Biden's name in passing in relation to what they were both talking about, and suggested Zelensky look at that too.

         

      • Bill 4.3.3

        "The effort to extort Zelensky was not BAU."

        Hmm. Threatening to with-hold aid and impose sanctions on Ecuador if it promoted breast feeding isn't quite the same…

        But anyway. The claim is that Trump said he'd with-hold military aid to a pile of fascist fucks if they didn't give him some leverage on Biden's corruption, yes?

        And those same recipients of military aid were the ones Obama refused to furnish with weaponry, right?

        And the idea of there being a "quid pro quo" is one man's "presumption" (his own phrase used in his testimony when asked where he got the idea of a quid pro quo from) – a man who wasn't even in the room at the time, right? (Sondland)

        And if there was a "quid pro quo", then how come the Banderist government of Ukraine got that military aid anyway?

        They could have got Trump on emoluments or war crimes or….and….etc. But fuck. 🙄

        (+ a fair bit of what Redlogix has written on this front)

    • Phil 4.4

      It doesn't help their case that the Democrats have been openly employing the impeachment process against Trump from before he was elected.

      That's because Trump has been obviously and fragrantly acting in violation of the emoluments clause from literally day one of his presidency. Don't blame democrats for being the only party that actually wants to do their fucking job. 

      • Andre 4.4.1

        True dat. But there's the argument that it was well known that that was going to happen well before IMPOTUS somehow scammed together his Electoral College technical victory.

        • Phil 4.4.1.1

          Knowing you're going to have ethical issues because of your business interests and *not* dealing with it between election and inauguration is not ok. 

      • Peter 4.4.2

        Is the emoluments clause one of the hoax ones, one of the fake ones?

        I think it's brilliant that over a couple of hundred years so many bright buggers spent their lives studying, discussing and debating and getting others to deeply consider the Constitution. And that millions more prayed to it and swore allegiance to it.

        Then one person with severe limitations of intellect and character and of 'interesting' psychological make-up comes along and it's just another piece of paper in making deals. 

        • Andre 4.4.2.1

          There are actually two emoluments clauses, one domestic and one foreign. The terracotta turdface has been blatantly violating both since more or less the moment of his inauguration.

          Article 1 Section 9 Clause 8 reads:

          No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

          Article 2 Section 1 Clause 7 reads:

          The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.5

      Playing the 'Impeachment is a "an abuse of democratic process"' card so soon? Maybe you're right – Carter (1977-1981) was the last US president not to have an impeachment resolution introduced against him.  Or maybe it's just a sign of political partisan times.

      "Three presidents have been impeached in U.S. history: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998, and Donald Trump in 2019. Johnson and Clinton were acquitted and not removed from office. Trump's Senate trial began on January 16, 2020."
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presidential_impeachment

    • francesca 4.6

      Apropos of your comment that Trump's Zelensky call was BAU

      here's another example of the "diplomacy" that's become a feature of US foreign policy, this time in Iraq

      https://www.mintpressnews.com/hidden-parliamentary-session-revealed-trump-motives-iraq-china-oil/264155/

      an excerpt

      "Abdul-Mahdi continued his remarks, noting that pressure from the Trump administration over his negotiations and subsequent dealings with China grew substantially over time, even resulting in death threats to himself and his defense minister:

      After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened [that there would be] massive demonstrations to topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, whereby a third party [presumed to be mercenaries or U.S. soldiers] would target both the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from atop the highest buildings and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement.” 

      “I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement. When the defense minister said that those killing the demonstrators was a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened myself and the defense minister in the event that there was more talk about this third party.”

      Classic Mafia tactics

    • Jess NZ 4.7

      Not according to the people working at the White House.

      There are numerous referenced books listing how Trump and gang's activities are qualitatively and legally different from other political gaming.

      For just one example, did you know he got his Justice Department to overrule previous memos which means that the nepotism laws don't apply to the White House?

      You can tell yourself that he's just like all the rest, but that's not true.

      https://theintercept.com/2019/10/10/trump-crimes-law/
       

       

      • RedLogix 4.7.1

        I'm not for one instant defending Trump, but he is a powerful and unpredictable opponent whom the left has consistently underestimated. It will take an accurate and competent attack to take him down. The Dems have proven remarkably incompetent at this so far and this impeachment attempt does not feel like it is a strong hand, no matter how much we would wish it to be.

        But who know, the world is full of surprises, the Senate trial has only just begun.

        • Jess NZ 4.7.1.1

          Trump is only powerful because the corrupt Republicans have, from long before his actual inauguration, refused to hold him accountable for his documented crimes. The Republicans are on record as refusing to do their job while Obama was President.

          There is some evidence the Republicans will pay for this at the polls, assuming their (also documented) gerrymandering doesn't prevent this.

  5. Agora 5

    Is it a crime in our legal system to kill someone by drone ?

    I think our legislators should consider this seriously.

    It can only be a matter of time before they start culling deer and other species in a similar way.

    [We had an agreement that you would stick to only one of your many many aliases and e-mails (i.e. Paaparakauta) but here again you failed to keep up your end of the bargain. I have wasted far too much time on you by giving you the courtesy of approvals through Pre-Moderation. Instead, you are now banned for one month; future bans will double each time – Incognito]

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    I'm waiting to see what testimony Bolton provides to the process.  I see the whole thing as a credibility test – not just for the Democrats, but for both parties.  Do the right stand up for their principles or do they fold?

    If Bolton finds fault in what Trump has done, that will look like a signal to genuine conservatives that the moral sanctity of the party is now being threatened by an enemy within. 

    "What moral sanctity?" is a likely response, and the answer is that of the framers of the US constitution, whose task was to embed a governance system that transcended binary division.  To the extent that the Republican party wants to represent that tradition (genuinely conservative), they are being tested for credibility.  If they choose to be solely partisan, and not decide the impeachment on the basis of evidence, they are likely to destroy their reputation and invalidate that historical basis.

  7. Andre 7

    Here's a worthwhile essay on the phenomenon of the anti-anti-Trump left: those that try to normalise Trump or try to paint him as a product of the failings of the regular left.

    https://www.salon.com/2020/01/06/waterloo-for-the-trump-normalizers-and-quislings-you-knew-he-was-a-snake-and-you-took-him-in/

    • RedLogix 7.1

      There is nothing typical about this administration, but that Salon article adds in it's own brew of assumptions. The key para is probably this:

      None of that was true. It should be obvious by now that Trump's primary concern is his own glorification, and the closest thing he has to a political or social vision is incoherent racist paranoia mingled with fantasies of violent retribution. It might be accurate to say he longs to recreate a world in which America is an unchallenged hegemonic power, except without engaging in any of the messy and demoralizing warfare of the last 60 years. 

      Yes Trump's sole priority is winning; always has been always will. But then it strays off into a weird riff "It might be accurate to say he longs to recreate a world in which America is an unchallenged hegemonic power,". Except that the USA is the world's unchallenged hegemonic power, and will remain so economically and militarily for the foreseeable future. A combination of geography, demographics and sheer military capacity ensure this is so, regardless of how much they try and screw it up.

      For instance everyone likes to think the USA is only in the Middle East to steal the oil. But why? North America is now a net exporter of oil; natural gas by production from shale oil production is essentially a free waste product, they burn much of it because they can't store or transport it. The US economy is only minimally linked to the global economy by volume of trade as a percentage of GDP. As far as they're concerned the rest of the world could vanish overnight and many American's would hardly notice or care.

      In the big picture the USA has been slowly retreating from the post WW2 Bretton Woods arrangements since the end of the Cold War. It's been a slow and patchy process, Trump is merely adding an element of the unpredictable to it. They will remain the hegemonic superpower, but ironically enough their interest in exerting that power is narrowing down to what they will think is in their best interests.

      • soddenleaf 7.1.1

        Yes, that does explain Russia and Turkey current plays… …and how Iran is losing from Lebanon to Iraq. Migrants have broken the Lebonese treasury, Syria terror state is without people to terrorise, Iraq is being bombed by Iran, Iran has even shot its own people out of the sky. This with a less engaged U.S. bring it on (SIC). Ironic how Iran killing its own reminds me of the murdered U.S. resident in the Saudi embassy. Can't really blame the leader of Saudi, and keep your own clean.

    • Dennis Frank 7.2

      Hmm, interesting thesis:  "On the left, and especially on what might be termed the anti-imperialist, internationalist radical left, Trump's alleged distaste for military intervention — and the displeasure it provoked among the mainstream media and the neocon Republican establishment — worked a special kind of dark magic.  [cites evidence]  Out of these dark materials was born the `anti-anti-Trump left', which was of course also nourished by leftist dislike for the entire Clinton enterprise, which had conquered the Democratic Party in the early 1990s and driven it toward Wall Street money, endless strategic triangulation and a renunciation of the welfare state and progressive economics."

      "In the approximate view of the AATL, electing a pseudo-fascist buffoon as president was arguably preferable to electing a neoliberal warmonger — and might, over the long haul, lead to productive changes in the global balance of power. I've written about this previously, in August of 2018, arguing that, on one hand, the anti-anti-Trump left believed that

      Trump’s chaotic nationalism would create at least a momentary rupture in the hegemonic world order dominated by the United States — so far, so good! — which might be better overall for the future of the planet than the continuation of the “Washington consensus” under Clinton. On the other, they suspected the brutal proto-fascism of a Trump presidency might spark renewed resistance on the left and force the political establishment into major reforms.

      Still awaiting "brutal proto-fascism", pending re-election??  I agree that Trump's nationalism looks enough like a random walk to disorient those expecting US hegemony to persist as monolith.  So this tribe is more thoughtful than the knee-jerk antitrumps.

  8. Ad 8

    By February Trump will be even with Biden in Florida polls. He's the only Dem who can win in the battleground states with large College votes.

    This trial should turn that key state for him.

    That's the path to victory much clearer.

    • Bill 8.1

      Don't know about that take Ad. But since Sanders will be off the campaign trail with Iowa only a few weeks away…I guess that gives Joe "keep me outa the public eye" Biden a break.

  9. Macro 9

    • joe90 9.1

      People are mobilising.

      • Macro 9.1.1

        Wow! Lets hope they are.

        Then there is this report:

        Susan Collins Takes Hours to Decide on Lunch Before Ordering Exactly What Mitch McConnell Is Having

        By Andy Borowitz

        12:25 P.M.

        WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—On the first day of the impeachment trial in the United States Senate, Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine, spent hours trying to decide what she would have for lunch before ultimately ordering exactly what Senator Mitch McConnell was having.

        Clutching the Senate takeout menu in her hands, Collins told reporters mid-morning that the decision of what to have for lunch was a matter of serious consideration and that she wanted to review all of the available options before selecting one.

        “I’m deeply troubled and concerned about getting this order right,” Collins said. “There are many valid choices on this menu and I don’t want to give any of them short shrift.”

        Around 11 a . m ., rumors swirled that Collins was leaning toward ordering a quinoa salad, a choice that would have set her apart from the rest of her Republican colleagues in the upper chamber.

        By noon, however, Collins emerged from her office to tell reporters that she had ordered the exact same thing that the Senate Majority Leader had chosen, a roast beef sandwich on a roll.

        PS: Anne –  this is from Andy Borowitz so not to be taken seriously – but pretty much how Senator Collins operates.

         

        • joe90 9.1.1.1

          • Macro 9.1.1.1.1

            Yep! Her all over.

            Meanwhile – as the Repugnants continue to obfuscate, deny, and lie; the Dems knew the GOP would stonewall. So Schumer puts up the amendments and the House lays out the evidence during its time in a way Mitch can’t stop and Team Trump was not prepared for.

            good thread here:

        • Anne 9.1.1.2

          Macro @ 9.1.1

          cool

  10. Sabine 10

    oh well, at least he relesed the 192 pages two minutes before the midnight deadline. 

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/01/mick-mulvaney-released-treasure-trove-of-omb-documents-2-minutes-before-midnight/

    what did some conservatives say a few years back in regards to surveillance and such? If you have nothing to hide why do you mind? yeah, right. 

  11. Adrian Thornton 11

    Trump impeachment trial – gold for comedians…bad for serious progressives.

  12. Ad 12

    Trump has got real lucky with the Chinese virus.

    It will shunt the trial to 3rd item on any news cycle.

    Softens electoral impact.

  13. Phil 13

    Trump impeachment trial – gold for comedians.

    Just to take a tangent for a minute, the idea that Trump is 'good for comedy' is a wildly misplaced claim that still comes up a lot. Comedy (in all its varieties and deliveries) requires a foundation or premise of agreed truth and reality from which to launch.

    For instance, the Dead Parrot sketch only works because we all agree that it's wrong for someone to sell you a dead animal in a pet shop. Michael McIntyre's 'Spice Rack' (one of my all time favorite comedy bits) doesn't work if you've never experienced the clutter and disorganisation of an overstocked kitchen cupboard.  

    What Trump, Johnson & Co do is entirely upend and deny the very principle of truths being objective things. When that denial becomes acceptable in society, the foundations upon which comedy is built collapse.  

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      Yeah, Trump would have qualified as a comedian if he'd told the Davos elite crowd that "We're gonna plant a trillion trees right after we finish building the wall." 

      Although he could possibly trump that by adding "Then my buddy Elon Musk gets to take me to Mars on his spaceship, so I can become first person to walk all over that red dirt!"  🙄

      • joe90 13.1.1

        He qualifies as a trans-national embarrassment.

        • Dennis Frank 13.1.1.1

          🤣  But y'know what?  Zillions of ornery Americans will nod approvingly:  "cool, he's just like us".  That's how identity politics works…

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