Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: Unimpeachable

"Trump impeachment is wrong 2018 election message, Democrats say" by Victoria McGrane and Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  June 10, 2017 

You know, I'm just never on the same page as Democrats these days.

WASHINGTON — That rumbling you hear is from the fervent activists in the party’s base demanding that Democratic leaders press hard now to impeach President Trump. But the message coming back from the top is far more cautious: Just hang on folks.

Given how unlikely it is that the House Republican majority would approve articles of impeachment (no American president ever has been impeached when his own party controlled the House), the real political prize for Democrats is winning the House in 2018.

And making impeachment the major theme of 2018 elections is not a winning formula, at least not yet, in the view of party strategists. 

The same party strategists that blew the sure thing of 2016!!!

Electing Democrats and flipping the House to Democratic control is the only way, and the way to do that is by maintaining a focus on pocketbook issues, criticizing the Republican policy agenda, and, in swing districts, winning over some who voted for Trump in 2016 and may be turned off by strident talk of impeachment.

So where you been the last eight years?

And if those same voters you make the appeal to are turned of by talk of impeachment.... where is this going? 

(I'll answer it for you: Bush wasn't impeached despite Democratic control of the House in 2007-08. They even want him back and now wish Republicans had beaten Obama. Talk about being non compos mentis. Wow! 

For all the Repuglican bluster, they dropped it against Obama despite having massive examples and evidence. The IRS scandal targeting political enemies and the destruction of evidence, sorry losing of Lerner's email, should have been at the top of the list. Talk about Nixonian, and it fits with the later unmasking of and spying on Trump officials. That would be the second article, the Snowden spying revelations. And let us not forget the authorizing of torture and indefinite detentions. That's a slam-dunk charge against Bush. 

In short, all this hooey-balooey is going nowhere -- although it does make for interesting fiction upon a Sunday morning. I qualify that by saying if Trump strays to far from the path laid out before him, some charge will rise up out of nowhere like an ace-in-the-hole, fabricated or not)

Representative Katherine Clark, the fiery lawmaker from Melrose, and Representative Seth Moulton of Salem, are part of a new generation of Democrats pushing for fresh approaches from the party, but pressure from the activist base is building to put impeachment front and center after last week’s testimony from fired FBI director James Comey.

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that Trump sought a pledge of political loyalty from him and pressured him to drop investigations of former national security adviser Mike Flynn and into potential collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russians seeking to sway the election outcome. He said Trump fired him because he refused.

Trump denied the allegations Friday and said he is willing to deny them under oath in testimony before the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who has taken over the investigations. But Comey is a highly credible witness, and Thursday’s Senate hearing led many to conclude that Trump probably abused the power of his office and may even have obstructed justice, which would be a violation of federal law. 

That's their take on his testimony; I've seen different from others who have shredded it.

What you have to love is the PROBABLY and MAY HAVE EVEN!

What it means is there was NOTHING NEW in the credible testimony -- who decided that? -- and the Globe is just spewing innuendo without evidence. 

Of course, that is nothing new.

Two major grass-roots groups at the forefront of the Trump resistance movement — and Indivisible — on Thursday called for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.

Yeah, well, so do I, but for different reasons. Ever since he got back from his trip the wars have left forward in escalation. We are, unofficially, at war with Iran. No one protesting that.

“We are saying to Democrats and Republicans that our membership strongly supports impeaching this president for the shocking actions he has taken. We are calling on everyone to stand on the right side of history and support impeachment now,” Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn Civic Action said in an interview with the Globe.

Activists in the Democratic base understand that Republicans are standing in the way of holding Trump accountable, she added, but “Democrats are not off the hook. They need to fight.”

Democrats must tend to this activist base, which they need to harness for election help if they want to win tough races, but at this early stage, many party leaders contend, putting impeachment front and center in House races across the country would be a mistake. Most elected Democrats are proceeding with extreme caution, avoiding the word impeachment and in most cases refusing to straight-out accuse Trump of committing crimes.

That's because there is no evidence of a crime, other than Obama's spying on the campaign. That's how they got the "evidence" the committees and special counsel are looking at, and that's how they lost in 2016. 

Strategists say Democrats are right to tread a careful line. Focusing 2018 messaging on impeachment — at least at this early stage — runs the risk of getting ahead of public sentiment. Democrats are better served, they say, by talking up the Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act.

“Impeachment is so high-stakes that you have to be very careful moving forward with that,” said Karlyn Bowman, a public opinion analyst with the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. “The waters are so muddy now, with Comey and Mueller, and the committees looking into that. I’d certainly focus on health care, where Republicans look very vulnerable.”

Priorities USA, a major Democratic super PAC, in a recent memo offering guidance on political messaging, cautioned Democrats against losing focus on health care. Trump’s ongoing crisis does not necessarily rub off on House Republicans, it said.

No, and it's the Obama super-PAC -- although you would hardly know it

See who are the current donors?

“The firing of James Comey and other concerns related to Russia are major liabilities for Trump himself, the health care issue plays a bigger role in dragging down Republicans in Congress,” the memo said. The group’s own tracking poll found that a bigger share of voters express concern over the GOP health care bill (47 percent) than Republican foot-dragging on investigating the president (35 percent).

America just voted in Trump mere months ago, said Jim Manley, a Democratic consultant and former aide to Senate majority leader Harry Reid, and no matter the flood of scandals, that’s important to remember.

“I understand the frustration that many in the base feel,” Manley said. “But we need to know a lot more before we go down that dangerous and difficult path. Let’s just urge everyone to wait and see.”

What he means is that kind of talk is backfiring on Democrats, as is the relentless assault by the ma$$ media from Day One. For the American people, it's simply a question of fairness. 

In a strange sort of way, the relentless attacks on him from that side have actually insulated him from impeachment -- as this article suggests. Might even get him a massive majority because remember, Democrats are defending 25 Senate seats while Republicans only have 8 up for grabs. Yeah, you take the House in a strange change election, but still lose seats in the Senate.

One Republican strategist involved in defending vulnerable Republican congressional seats said if Democrats embraced impeachment as a 2018 issue, they could easily be painted as extreme, out-of-touch liberals, particularly in the swing districts that Democrats need to win to take the House.

“Everyone already knows they don’t like Trump. At some point they’re going to have to get an agenda and be for something if they’re going to be serious about winning elections,” the GOP strategist said.

You mean like, gulp, Corbyn?

The hot special-election contest for Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, which has been in conservative hands for close to four decades, is a case study for Democrats. Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff has a solid chance of winning in the June 20 special election.

Ossoff rarely mentions Trump, or the fact that he himself is a Democrat. The word impeachment is not in his campaign repertoire.

Ossoff’s supporters don’t mind that their candidate is not calling for Trump’s head.

“In this race, [Ossoff] getting elected isn’t going to get Trump impeached. That’d be great, but it isn’t going to happen,” said Katie Landsman, as she canvassed a tree-filled Marietta subdivision for Ossoff on Wednesday.

He might not even win.

Standing next to her car in a neighbor’s driveway, the day’s Russia-related congressional hearing playing on the earphones around her neck, Gail McTiernan agreed. A self-described liberal, she told Landsman she plans to vote for Ossoff.

“Of course, it’s on my mind,” McTiernan said of impeachment, “but I know it’s not reality” because Congress is too partisan. Plus, she and her husband — who voted for Trump but now regrets it — think Trump will resign before any impeachment proceedings get rolling.

I didn't, nor did I vote for Hil. No regrets.

“He’s going to implode,’’ she said. “He’s basically imploding now.”

(Blog editor shakes head)

Rick Wilson, a Florida-based Republican strategist, agrees with his Democratic peers that there’s not a solid enough case for impeachment yet for it to be anything but “an impractical revenge fantasy.”

But that doesn’t mean Trump’s Russia problem is without risk for Republicans in swing districts, most of whom are burying their heads in the sand, he said. “Republicans used to believe in the rule of law,” he said. “Now its like the rule of, ‘You haven’t caught him yet.’ ”

Oh, yeah, when did they believe in that, the Ollie North version of pre-conventional morality and notion of ju$tu$? 

Was authorizing waterboarding believing in the rule of law?

Was an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation based on known lies belief in the rule of law?

How about Nixon, the whole reason this article is even mentioned? Did he believe in the rule of law (yeah, he did: if the president does it, then it is not against the law, remember?)

I'm actually kind of curious now. When exactly was this era where Republicans believed in the rule of law?


I got my Comey coverage somewhere else this morning (was at the top of my roll when I logged on, and always a good selection), and the top ten list pretty much sums it all up. That's why the next Session before Congre$$ was placed on page A4.

Also see:

“It’s important for us in the West to understand that we’re facing an adversary who wishes for his own reasons to do us harm,”


"Of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, the SAMS officers say: "Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act." 

9/11, in more ways than one (that report above was dated one day before!)

Can't argue with that.