A Few Notes on Impeachment and 2020

I was walking the dogs this morning and, as usual, listening to some podcasts.  Nothing came up that warrants a post all by itself, but maybe a potpourri of items?  No, I’m not going to steal the title of Professor Mondo’s regular series of posts of the same name.  (But here’s his latest if you’re interested in checking it out.)

  • It looks like the Trumpies have been moderately cowed by Pelosi’s announcement of an impeachment inquiry that they’re going to agree to release…something.  Is it going to be a verbatim transcript?  Will it be redacted?  The Senate called on the White House to provide the whistleblower complaint to Congress.  Will they?  I hear maybe the whistleblower wants to testify.  Will the White House try to block him/her?  Will the DNI testify?  Anything other than full disclosure of these things to me says that the White House isn’t cooperating, but they’re just trying to muddy the waters and rally the base to their side.  And this is what you get when you engage in corruption and lies for the better part of three years.  You don’t get the benefit of the doubt.  Release it all or you have earned the assumption that you’re lying and trying to hide things.
  • I’ve heard some of the more moderate voices in favor of impeachment arguing in favor of a streamlined impeachment process.  Go in on the Ukraine stuff and leave everything else alone.  I have a different thought.  If we had Trump in the third year of his presidency and there hadn’t been corruption and stonewalling and the Russian investigation, and then the Ukraine thing were to come, we wouldn’t have had a stampede to impeachment.  Maybe that’s obvious to say, but it also underlines the fact that Trump’s performance since 2016 is a necessary prologue to the Ukraine scandal.  I thought we had enough to warrant impeachment before, although maybe I’m in the minority.  But the fact that he was investigated for working with the Russians to better his electoral prospects in 2016 makes the attempt with the Ukrainian President necessary to tell the story for 2020.  Likewise, the fact that his administration has been stalling on almost every congressional investigation since the Dems took over in January is part of the story for why he was blocking release of the whistleblower complaint.
  • I drafted up some potential impeachment articles yesterday.  I think it’s important to note that the Ukraine scandal contains facts which fit very nicely into those articles – Obstruction of Justice; Abuse of Power; and Defiance of Subpoenas.
  • On the horserace, the last couple of days have seen a flurry of new polls showing my personal preference for the Democratic nomination, Elizabeth Warren, surging into a tie with or the lead over Joe Biden.  I’m due to do another full horserace poll soon, but I’m going to be interested to see how Warren handles the full on “frontrunner” mantle.
  • Tulsi Gabbard made the next debate.  She’s been way down in my rankings.  I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about her that really worries me.  I don’t think she’s gonna get the nomination, but I worry that Biden might pick her for his VP.  I think she might be entering the list of candidates I’m actively rooting against.
  • I’ve been getting bombarded with political emails asking for donations ahead of the September 30 FEC deadline.  I’ve given $20 (spread at $5/per among 4 candidates) each of the last two months.  I’m pondering whether I’ll give more than $20 this time.  Yeah, you know I’m giving to Warren, but I’m torn on where else my money should go.  I’ll probably do a post with this one.
  • Finally, never let it be said that I confine my disdain to Trump alone.  Mitch McConnell is just the worst.  I don’t think that can be said enough.  I’m not sure the Democrats have the candidate that can take him down in 2020, but I’ll be crossing my fingers.  I wanted to highlight a bit from an article by Ezra Klein at Vox.  This seems like a good way to think about him.

“I do not want to pretend that I have an answer for the problem of McConnell, but I do have a principle for weakening the McConnell Effect: McConnell’s refusal to do his constitutional duty cannot be the reason that other political officials refuse to do their constitutional duty…The greatest trick McConnell ever pulled is convincing the American political system to take his behavior for granted. It is time to stop. McConnell swore the same oath to Constitution and country that Pelosi did. His refusal to take that oath seriously is a scandal, and should be treated as such.

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