Patterico's Pontifications

2/14/2021

Constitutional Vanguard: Why the House Managers Dropped the Ball, from a Prosecutor’s Point of View

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:39 pm



A teaser from today’s Constitutional Vanguard newsletter:

Today, the House managers are trying to justify this disastrous decision. As a prosecutor who has tried plenty of cases, I’m here to say: there is no justification for this. I’ll tell you why in this missive — and I’ll tell you a story about a hypothetical gang murder case, loosely based on my experience, to vividly explain why live testimony is better than stipulations.

Never stipulate to the coroner.

Today’s missive is free, although you can also sign up for the paid version to get extra content, which I am trying to put out on Wednesdays at a minimum. (Last week it was Monday because there was a time-sensitive post about the lawsuit against the District Attorney that I wanted to write about.) I was going to make today’s free missive about the ways that “equity” can kill people — but the impeachment topic seemed more timely, so I think I’ll save the equity post for the paid subscribers on Wednesday. I have already written much of it and I think you’ll find it thought-provoking. Sign up here.

41 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: Why the House Managers Dropped the Ball, from a Prosecutor’s Point of View”

  1. If we get enough paid subscribers to justify opening a discussion thread, I will do so. A couple of weeks ago some of you seemed to indicate an appetite for that. Say the word and I will make it so.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. They dropped the ball on purpose – there were problems with some element of the case. and if they’d gone into too much depth, some things they were saying would have fallen apart. as the claim about the word “fight” already did.

    Lindsey Graham was the only pro-Trump Senator who voted to hear witnesses. (Lindsey Graham of course may just have been hoping for consensus, or sticking to “due process” principles)

    Of the 56 Senators who voted the second time that they could hear the case, Senators Pat Toomey and Bill Cassidy voted against witnesses.

    Sammy Finkelman (00fff5)

  3. I’m not going to argue with Pat’s professional opinions here. He’s been doing this for quite some time. Instead, I’m going to do a S.F. and presume to know what was going on behind the scenes.

    I think that Mitch McConnell tried very hard to get to 67. He probably had more than 57 (including himself) but could not get to the magic number and saw no reason for senators to weaken themselves for no good reason. After all, Mitch’s day job in the Senate involves getting as many GOP Senators as possible. His reaction to the GA runoff was probably unprintable, and he has no use for Trump going forward.

    Having failed to get enough traction towards conviction, I think that both the minority and majority, for different reasons, decided not to continue. I very much doubt this was a free choice by Raskin. Sure, they had voted for some witnesses, in principle, but that does not mean they would vote for any witness in actuality since the trial rules required depositions and discovery, which meant delay.

    At that point the Dems wanted to get on with their other business and the GOP wanted to stop the bleeding, so they told Raskin that it was unlikely that any actual witnesses would be approved. Remember, the Senate is a court not a jury, as per Rehnquist in 1999.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. The mindset of these entrenched bureaucrats is terrifying.

    Vacations were more important. Nancy is number 3 on the runway, not Mitch; she should have sent over the papers to the Senate immediately. Waiting was a mistake. So he would have stalled; re do it, send ’em over again after he became minority leader w/a new Senate. Working hard seems so difficult for these aging, wealthy, overpaid, underperforming Royalists. And they seem offended by the very populism their inactions water as it roots deeper and deeper– and some of their subjects stormed the castle one day; no tea to dump in the harbor.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  5. These are career politicians, not career DAs. Even if some of them are lawyers, they found it more profitable to run for office, which says a lot about their careers as attorneys.

    You get what you pay for, which in this case looks like dumb politicians who can only glad-hand, grease palms, and take money from donors.

    It’s a shame people like this make the laws for the United States.

    Hoi Polloi (139bf6)

  6. Mostly it makes me wonder what that quid pro quo was.

    Nic (896fdf)

  7. #5 “When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”

    Trump is no genius, but when one combines the 535 intellects in House and Senate… you get dunces. Not sure why, but I have a feeling that the institutional need for consensus leads towards the lowest common denominator

    steveg (43b7a5)

  8. I would like to hear what the lawyers here think of trying Trump in DC federal court. Based on what was presented to the Senate, what charges could be supported and what the likelihood of conviction would be.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. I hear this talk of a fact-finding commission and I’m depressed.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. I think I said something like this yesterday, but it wouldn’t have been hard for them to negotiate a compromise, say to have each side call three witnesses, perhaps with a time limit for each for each person on the stand. It would’ve added a week to the trial, perhaps.
    It would’ve been relevant for the impeachment managers to call McCarthy, Pence and Meadows to fill out the picture. Raskin’s excuse doesn’t hold water to me.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  11. I don’t think the article of incitement of a sedition had much merits. If there were, Democrats would’ve have had more compelling evidence.

    The other thing was that the House did a crap job. They should’ve issued subpoenas and had committee interviews in order to build a rock solid case. But, they were more interested in the optics of impeachment, rather than some good faith efforts to the process.

    If I were a Senator, I’d vote no based on the idea that it was an improperly conducted prosecution, without affording due process and lack of any investigative evidence for the trial presentation.

    Had the House Democrats went with a Dereliction of Duty during/after the riot as one of their articles. And fully investigated the who/what/whys of the security, I’d say they have a much stronger case for impeachment. (I’d argue that they didn’t want to go down this path, as it may expose DC Mayor Bowser and/or Pelosi as culpable for the lack of security).

    In any event, even the unlikelihood that enough GOP Senators convicting Trump…Congressional Censure would have been a MUCH better direction than impeachment. Because, now, Trump gets to bet his drums that he was acquitted TWICE due to the Greatest Witch Hunt in History™. Whereas with a censure, he couldn’t take any sort of victory.

    Talking about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat…

    whembly (c30c83)

  12. “Trump gets to bet…” Should be ‘Trump gets to beat…’

    whembly (c30c83)

  13. And, again, if it was a DC jury instead of the Senate, wouldn’t a case be possible?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. #13
    Change of venue?

    steveg (43b7a5)

  15. Since this is a Constitutional discussion spin off, I have to admit I’m still in gray area land over these.
    Roberts declination. I have assumed that was because Trump is no longer President, (with a likely side of disgust over the last grandstanding fiasco. No way anyone intelligent wants to listen to all those fools twice)
    But if Trump had been convicted for acts committed as President, with punishments reserved for crimes committed by holders of office, could Trump have appealed for denial of due process?
    ie: No Supreme Court running trial.
    If Trump was convicted, couldn’t he have asked Roberts to scuttle the whole thing by showing the computer of the guy/idiot viewing doctored evidence side by side on his PC (and lets an NYT reporter take a photo? Idiot) and pointing out they manipulated dates and verification and asking that all corroborative evidence be dumpstered?

    Correlation, causation and corroboration.
    Clearly there was scads of correlation between Trumps words and a subsequent/concurrent riotous event. The defense showed a video of Jon Tester with lever action rifle in the window rack and even if a Tester supporter had showed up with a lever action rifle to damn well fight, we’d have said thats weak at best. Proves no intent by Tester

    Corroboration tries to build a bridge of sorts between correlation and causation and in order to do that, the evidence put forth needs to wrap it all up with a nice bow. The corroborative evidence needs to be scrupulously honest, which leads me again to manipulation of evidence.
    Its stupider to be dishonest than it is not to call witnesses. It was unnecessary and gave anyone who objected cover. I could be the biggest venal partisan hack ever and take moral high ground…. “They manipulated the evidence and the law says to assume everything they are presenting is false” “I had no choice”

    steveg (43b7a5)

  16. And another thing: How was it they on;y found out about what Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler had to say only the day before? It was in published news reports, apparently. Congresswoman Herrera was one of only 10 Republicans to vote for impeachment.

    The key point really is that Donald Trump is a pathological liar. Kevin McCarthy calls him – we don’t seem to be sure when, except that this was at the point where his office windows were being broken or had been broken.

    We have this timetable.

    2:24 – Tweet criticizing Mike Pence (that could be interpreted as justifying calls to hang him, but it might also mean much less.)

    2:26 – Tpmmy Tuberville tells him Mike Pence has been evacuated. Others place this earlier.

    Chris Wallace summarizes the call:

    https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/sen-klobuchar-on-trumps-political-future-he-is-done

    Around that time, the House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy calls the president, pleading with him to do whatever he can to call off the rioters when the president says he thinks it was actually Antifa that was involved, McCarthy told Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler that he had to persuade the president it was his own folks who did it.

    Take a look at this exchange.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    REP. JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER (R-WA): These are your people. They have MAGA hats on and the president’s response to him was, “Well, Kevin, I guess they’re just more concerned about this election then you are.”

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    Let’s look at that:

    He asks Trump to help. Trump says it’s not his people, it’s Antifa. Kevin McCarthy says they are his people – they are wearing MAGA hats (this I heard before but I thought it was a days later that Trump claimed it was Antifa and House Minority Leader says to Trump that he was there and they had MAGA hats on.)

    Then Trump suddenly switches what he says and says they care a whole lot more about he election than you do. This doesn’t mean Trump knew this would happen. It shows he will instantly grab for an excuse, and has somewhat of a tolerance for violence if it helps him.

    Lindsey Graham said on Fox News Sunday the first anti-rioting tweet came – he thought it was at 2:28 pm. No, it was at 2:38 pm.

    I think someone pointed out to Trump that police were being attacked, and that this was contrary to his stated political position on cops. That got to him.

    Trump was criticized for that mild 2:38 pm tweet as being too mild, and he made two other posts to Twitter that afternoon. One a short video. I don’t think he ever said the calls to hang Mike Pence were wrong – it might be, though, that he didn;t want to acknpwledge it. He came up with a final “observation” just after 6 pm.

    Sammy Finkelman (00fff5)

  17. @15: I do think that Roberts begged off because the Court might have been called to settle the question of a conviction of a former officeholder.

    But it would have been 9-0 against Trump since the US precedent, the text, the discussions in the 1787 convention, the stated beliefs of the Founders AND the prior history of impeachment in England ALL point to the same thing: impeachment of former officeholders to prevent further officeholding is flatly constitutional.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. 10. Paul Montagu (77c694) — 2/14/2021 @ 2:53 pm

    I think I said something like this yesterday, but it wouldn’t have been hard for them to negotiate a compromise, say to have each side call three witnesses, perhaps with a time limit for each for each person on the stand. It would’ve added a week to the trial, perhaps.

    Three witnesses was the rule on the Clinton impeachment, but all the witnesses were deposed before the trial. Excerpts were played during the arguments.

    Here, there were actually any number of people who could be cited, but they couldn’t be specially called for the trial, nor the opposing counsel given a chance to cross examine them. In the Clinton trial, I think they couldn’;t play video of more than three people.

    It would’ve been relevant for the impeachment managers to call McCarthy, Pence and Meadows to fill out the picture.

    They would have had to limit themselves to people who would agree to testify, at least after being subpoenaed.

    There are people in situations where they are not supposed to be free to tell what they know in public, but can if suboenaed. The subpoena won’t work, especially in a short time frame if they are not truly willing, but they need the subpoena. In the first trial, Bolton wanted assurances that a subpoena from a committee trumped any restrictions.

    McCarthy might have resisted, unless they cut a deal.

    Pence might have testified, but he mostly wouldn’t have had anything to say. We don’t need him saying he was frightened, or frightened for his family members, or that he was disappointed in or angry at Trump, but he might have had something to say about efforts to authorize more help.

    In the end it was Pence, not Trump who sort of authorized it. But some other people might have testified to it.

    Meadows might have been quite willing to testify under subpoena, particularly if he got a book contract with a non cancellation clause or other assurances about his income. He could have become a target of boycotts by partisans of both sides – that’s why I say he might have needed assurances of income.

    And Trump was asked and did decline although I think maybe his lawyers could have been shamed into getting one or two answers for him or a refusal. There’s no 5th amendment here except for the general right to refuse because of a possible attempt to use it in a criminal investigation. But you can argue what it means as much as you want.

    Sammy Finkelman (00fff5)

  19. I only watched enough of the thing to check out Castor’s suit (thanks, Kevin), but I believe this stipulation is as close as it got to a real trial with real evidence? Otherwise, from a legal perspective, as a real trial it rates below our various discussions here.

    Arguments are not evidence. Demonstrative exhibits to illustrate arguments are not evidence. Arguments based on facts not in evidence are improper.

    Holding Trump accountable? I don’t theenk so. No teeth in the jaws snapping at the ankles. The fix was in, it was inevitable that he would be acquitted, he was already out anyway, and future office is a lemon drop above the chimney tops.

    nk (1d9030)

  20. 11. whembly (c30c83) — 2/14/2021 @ 3:07 pm

    Had the House Democrats went with a Dereliction of Duty during/after the riot as one of their articles. And fully investigated the who/what/whys of the security, I’d say they have a much stronger case for impeachment.

    Someone said on TV today they might have gotten 2 or 3 more votes. We don’t know the facts here, though. It also didn’t last very long.

    Then there’s the possibility that he knew more about the planning or that he should have known with whom he was dealing with.

    And then there’s just what I said:

    He has repeatedly, and unjustifiably, claimed he was deprived of an election victory in the Presidential election of 2020 because of violations of law, and that his political opposition agreed with him on this point; and has repeatedly urged different people, involved in different stages of the counting and the certification of the votes, to depart from the normal and usual processes of government in order to help him continue in the office of president for another term, culminating in an effort to have Congress, or the vice president of the United State refuse to count and accept a certain number of Electoral votes, which Congress and the vice president had no right to do.

    leaving out the whole riot altogether. He may have no responsibility for that at all, but other people, with their own motives, may have conceived of the whole thing without Donald Trump knowing about it, and without that being likely by itself.

    Kevin M said there was a much simpler article you could use – that he was a rude, no-good, rotten, evil [scoundrel] who has no business in public life.

    Sammy Finkelman (00fff5)

  21. TThe House managers said they had to recreate tweets becausse Trump’s account had been deleted. But couldn;t tehey have gotten them frp, the National Archives or the Library of Congress?

    https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-national-archive-tweets-1563149

    It’s not ready yet, but they could get it.

    https://fcw.com/articles/2021/01/25/trump-tweets-nara-archive.aspx

    (The tweets oreserved there will only start with Trump’s inauguration and not include any even from the 2016 campaign. They may consist of one huge file. Tweets Trump deleted are preserved here:

    https://projects.propublica.org/politwoops/user/realDonaldTrump

    The Library of Congress actually has all tweets ever sent up to December 31, 2017 but they are not making them available.

    Sammy Finkelman (00fff5)

  22. Castors suit was much better after the first day. Still frumpy, but not straight out of “My Cousin Vinny”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. They dropped the ball because the ball was unconstitutional. Former officers cannot be tried. The text doesn’t support it.

    But since the precedent has been set by the authoritarian left, I look forward to the GOP impeaching Harris and hopefully barring her from running in 2024.

    Bill OReilly (72569b)

  24. The text is consistent with impeaching people while in office and trying them later. And a different interpretation would be inconsistent with the understanding of impeachment at the time of the Framers, the Belknap precedent and public policy. The alternative means that impeachment isn’t available in the last months of a president’s term/.

    And this is particularly true if the new standard is that it’s a violation of “due process” for the House to do a quick impeachment without trying to do a full investigation. How long would that have had to last? As noted by one of the managers, the McGahn (sp?) subpoena is still being resisted.
    The only new witnesses whose testimony would make a significant difference in understanding the facts of what happened were those around trump, or his political supporters, and none of them have a particular interest in testifying against him. Trying to make them witnesses would have led to long delays and the result of depositions would have been unsatisfying – a lot of I don’t recall exactly.

    It’s depressing the number of people who want to make the really important political question of whether a particular person violated their oath of office and should be disqualified from future office hang on details like whether the charges were limited to everything up to 1:10 pm. or included behavior a few hours later.

    And McConnell was disingenuous for criticizing the House for the timing of the submission while making it difficult to submit. And unless the trial itself took place in a couple of days (which would just lead to more caterwauling by trump’s attorneys over a rushed trial) you’d still have the problem of the verdict going against somebody no longer in office.

    And a final note, on this blog, there are a couple who blame D’s for letting an impeachment trial take priority over Covid relief or other issues. Yet now the claim is that the D’s should have taken more time, had more hearing, called witnesses with accompanying delay, and stretched out the trial.

    There was sufficient evidence to convict trump and it takes a really narrow set of blinders to claim otherwise.

    Victor (4959fb)

  25. And, of course, the other difference from a real trial is that in a real trial half of the jury are not members of the defendant’s gang.

    nk (1d9030)

  26. They dropped the ball because the ball was unconstitutional. Former officers cannot be tried. The text doesn’t support it.

    Bill, I’m going to bet you that you can’t support that. The text mentions penalties, and who may be tried in two places.

    Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

    The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    The first does not specify that it must be an officeholder who is impeached. All it says is that the only punishments that can be levied are “removal” and “disqualification.”

    One or the other or both. Nothing more.

    The second says that, in the specific case of President or Vice-President, conviction mandates removal. It does not say that disqualification cannot also be imposed.

    If you go read the de3bates that they had on this topic in 1787 (you won’t) and if you understood the history of impeachment prior to that (you don’t) or the statements of the Founders afterwards, or the historical practice in the United States over the years, you would not say such an incredibly ignorant thing.

    Because you can’t. While only civil officers can be REMOVED, “persons”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. But we need now to go to plan B, which is to convict Trump in a criminal court of a crime that triggers the 14th Amendment disqualification. Insurrection, sedition or treason — all are sufficient.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  28. Kevin and Whembly, I think the dems balanced a vigorous trial against GOP war with Biden’s policy goals.

    https://www.kcrg.com/2021/02/13/joni-ernst-to-ny-times-reporter-on-impeachment-trial-total-total-s-show/

    Time123 (89dfb2)

  29. And a final note, on this blog, there are a couple who blame D’s for letting an impeachment trial take priority over Covid relief or other issues. Yet now the claim is that the D’s should have taken more time, had more hearing, called witnesses with accompanying delay, and stretched out the trial.

    There was sufficient evidence to convict trump and it takes a really narrow set of blinders to claim otherwise.

    Victor (4959fb) — 2/14/2021 @ 11:52 pm

    Victor, if you’re going to do something, do it well. If you’re going to impeach, get a conviction. If you’re not going to get a conviction, put your energy elsewhere. Doing everything poorly helps no one.

    Time123 (89dfb2)

  30. Time – but what if you’re reasonably certain that a conviction is not possible, but making the best possible effort over the course of a short period is still worth doing?

    I do not actually believe that any testimony one could reasonably believe would have been produced would have changed the votes of, at best, two or three senators (and I can’t even really think which ones those would be – Portman?).

    But in the fact of likely failure it’s still necessary to make the attempt, to put on the case and let the world convict trump, even if the Senate refused to.

    Victor (4959fb)

  31. I think the Dem’s goal was to convince as many people as possible that Trump was guilty and they moved on once that was done. There’s a good number that aren’t persuadable.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  32. They dropped the ball because the ball was unconstitutional. Former officers cannot be tried. The text doesn’t support it.
    …….
    Bill OReilly (72569b) — 2/14/2021 @ 10:56 pm

    Incorrect, unless you have a better reading of the history of impeachment:

    The Constitutional Case for the Impeachability of Former Federal Officials: An Analysis of the Law, History, and Practice of Late Impeachment

    …….[I]f the text is unclear, the history underlying it is not. Late impeachment was practiced in England and, unlike other aspects of English impeachment, was never explicitly ruled out in America, either in pre-1787 constitutions or in the federal one. Indeed. some state constitutions made late impeachability explicit or even required.

    Constitutional structure is also consistent with late impeachability. If the only purpose for impeachment were removal, then there would be no reason to conduct a late impeachment. But removal is not the only purpose of impeachment. Impeachment is designed as a deterrent to prevent offenses from occurring in the first place. and this deterrent effect would be severely undermined if it faded away near the end of a term. Moreover, convicted impeachees can be disqualified from future federal office, an important punishment that the offender himself should not be able to moot. Nor should the ‘President be able to preempt a full investigation or full punishment; the Constitution forbids the President from using his pardon power to achieve these ends, and late impeachment is the only way to prevent an end run around this clear structural imperative. Although some opponents of late impeachment make allowances for these extreme cases by allowing some late impeachments, in reality. no constitutional basis exists for distinguishing between them.

    ……[T]he Senate, which, in the end, is the final arbiter of this question. has approved late impeachment. Senate opponents of late impeachment may have prevented convictions, but they have not prevented late trials, and they cannot alter the formal declaration of a majority of the Senate that one can be impeached after they have left office.

    Rip Murdock (259fcd)

  33. I believe the House wanted to strike while the memory of 1/6 were still fresh in Senator’s minds, and a six-month impeachment hearing process would add a distance between the actual event and a trial. In addition, delaying a trial would further interfere with implementing their legislative agenda

    There is very little likelihood that Trump will face any criminal charges as the prosecution will need to prove intent, an element not necessary for the impeachment. The best alternative is a 9/11-type commission with subpoena powers.

    Rip Murdock (259fcd)

  34. 33. Mitch McConnell also mentioned civil suits when he said Trump has gotten away with nothing yet but I am not sure on what grounds he could be sued successfully.

    More information could supply that, or free him of possible liability. The question is who planned this.

    Sammy Finkelman (00fff5)

  35. If comment sections are any indication, the rank-and-file GOP voter did not want Trump convicted or prevented from holding office again. In a representative democracy, it’s tough to go against the will of the people that put you there. So, the question becomes how are these voters…self-identified members of the “law and order” and “Constitution” party….so immune to fact and logic? Trump acted abominably…..few can argue that he had the facts, evidence, or law on his side. I think it’s two things. First, a Trump conviction would be a serious indictment that many people would need to admit to being dead wrong in supporting and enabling Trump. Nobody likes to have their fundamental judgment….their ability to spot and recognize bad character…questioned. It’s all rationalized as being a big media conspiracy…because they obviously hate Trump.

    Second, these voters have it ingrained that the other side is morally and philosophically worse…and any showing of weakness only enables the Democrats, liberals, and socialists who are out to destroy this country. Where this used to be about ideas….it’s now all about power and desperation…as if only Trump can lead the GOP. I’m not sure how this narrative changes…how the rhetoric is ratcheted down…how we can speak to each other as fellow citizens. What are the incentives when it’s so easy to retreat to our ideological bubbles? Until people are persuaded that the narrative needs to change, I fear we are pushing towards greater and greater abuses…..

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  36. In a representative democracy, it’s tough to go against the will of the people that put you there.

    True, though in a constitutional republic there are things that elected officials may not do, even if a majority of voters want them to. And certainly not when it’s a minority of voters who want it, and who tell themselves that the other side is so evil that extraordinary measures are justified in defeating them.

    these voters have it ingrained that the other side is morally and philosophically worse

    They’ve also come to believe (or find it convenient to believe) that the other side always cheats, or that we’re already in a “civil war” started by the other side. So they’ve adopted Trump’s “very different rules apply” philosophy, which is an extension of his view that rules don’t apply to himself.
    I would like to ask them all: What if Kamala Harris were to lose the 2024 election to Donald Trump by several million popular votes and a comfortable EC margin, and she responded in the same fashion that Trump did to his loss? If you say it wasn’t really bad when Trump did it, that encourages the other side to do the same, or worse — just as Trumpers invoked the “resistance” to Trump as a rationale to do something far worse.

    how we can speak to each other as fellow citizens.

    It’s helpful, for a start, if ordinary nonpolitical interactions include people who disagree politically. It’s then harder to see them as bad people with malign intent. But it’s disturbing to hear so many people say they’ve become estranged from friends and relatives over disagreement about Trump personally, not so much over policy or general political doctrines. Just as Trump makes everything about himself, his supporters make everything about Trump, while pretending it’s all about saving America. That’s one way the bad character of Trump has poisoned political debate.

    Radegunda (20775b)

  37. Pat, that’s an interesting thread by Jonathan Rauch on your Twitter TL, setting out the “five Trump amendments” to the Constitution.

    I’m still LOLing over the prediction by an early booster that Trump would help return power from the imperial presidency back to Congress because he “likes deal-making.” Somehow that person didn’t notice that Trump doesn’t have much respect for rules to restrain his action.

    Trump apologists said that the nation’s precarious condition required a leader not restrained by the usual norms, and exhorted us to “Let Trump be Trump!” The rank-and-file faithful chose to believe that Trump is the lodestar of political virtue, so anything limiting his action must be evil. Republicans officials know that being pro-Trump is the only way to ensure approval by the base.

    So what grounds do Republicans now have to oppose an imperial presidency?

    Radegunda (20775b)

  38. and any showing of weakness only enables the Democrats, liberals, and socialists who are out to destroy this country.

    ‘destroy this country??’

    Lest you forget, it was populist elements of the 74-plus million right-wing Republicans who stormed the Capitol and literally ‘destroyed’ things.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  39. #36
    Some people on the left (and here too) make everything negative about Trump
    People are right in defending some policies developed under Trump that did well.
    Biden has co-opted Trumps demands that Europe pay more of their defense bills and has tasked Sec Def Austin with that.
    Vaccine development in parrallel began by Trump has worked very well. Trump was vaccinating 1,000,000 a week as a lame duck. Biden came on and was going to improve that, except his math was off and he was going to ramp that up … ummm, down to 800,000. The states and locals are the problem and no sane leader would give them vast amounts more until they show they can handle volume. California leads in first step vaccinations but has one of the worst efficiency ratings. They of course blame Trump for “not enough vaccine”.
    Finally Trump diminished all types of regulation and specifically put us closer to energy independence. Those two things left more $$ in our pockets, put more $$ into the treasury and had an effect on unemployment

    steveg (43b7a5)

  40. #38

    The riot and destruction at the Capitol was nothing like what we’ve seen over the past year from BLM and Antifa.
    If you take away the venue, its barely a blip.

    In context of the venue, it is the worst attack on the Capitol since BLM fundraiser Susan Rosenberg set off a bomb there in 1983.

    Look at how many the FBI is looking for… 200-300?

    steveg (43b7a5)

  41. #21 “The House managers said they had to recreate tweets because Trump’s account had been deleted.”

    Obvious lie.

    If so, how did they get the tweet they doctored, in order to doctor it?
    I saw the side by side photo on the computer screen.
    Lets say they got the original tweet from the woman in question… why change it?

    My point on Supreme Court to KevinM was more about them being unable to use prosecutions arguments after finding they falsified a tweet and then seem to have lied about why.

    #25 The Senate/jury was 57% “hang him high” and 43% “Nope”

    steveg (43b7a5)


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