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Thread: The case for impeachment

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  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    The case for impeachment

    Some people are making the same mistake Pelosi has been making (I have hope she'll change). That is, assuming the impeachment and conviction have to both occur. They don't.

    We should not be intimidated by the GOP that keeps fear-mongering at every turn: it will cause a backlash by the voters. Voters in the case of Clinton thought the impeachment was petty. There was voter backlash. There wasn't a voter backlash when Nixon was forced to resign.

    Expose Trump via impeachment, and trigger him to become absurdly preoccupied with it (because he will be) all during the campaign.

    Impeaching Trump is far from petty, especially if it exposes he's so dangerously close to being a dictator that his staff had to disobey his orders to keep him from shutting Mueller down.

    And while the House is at it, they can expose the Russian attack on our election that Trump and sadly much of the press are ignoring.

    There will be an additional bonus, the press will be just as preoccupied with the impeachment and Trump's replies that there will be much less time for Trump TV showing 100% of his rallies live.

    Right now, in addition to ongoing Russian interference, Trump TV is still garnering all the press attention. One thing needed in 2020 is getting press attention. And there's nothing that indicates the press is tired of Trump TV yet.

    The House Impeachment Soap would be important competition. And the Democrats should not play nice by avoiding any of this in October. In fact, October is a good month for impeachment drama.

    It is the right thing to do; it's Congress' job.Trump has committed crimes that call for impeachment. If we don't, then we risk POTUS overreach becoming the norm. I do not believe party retaliation will become the norm but you can expect that will be one of the GOP's talking points.

    If these talking points make sense to you like they do to me, include them when you post elsewhere. Include them in letters to your legislators. If they don't make sense to you, let's talk about it.


    Edited to add link to easily contact your rep if you are in the US:
    Find out where your member of Congress stands on impeachment:
    Last edited by MaeZe; 05-31-2019 at 01:08 AM.
    A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.[2] Hannah Arendt, 1978 [Brookings Institute]

  2. #2
    In the vast expanse of center field Larry M's Avatar
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    Agreed on all counts. The House needs to do their job and do it right fucking now. I don't like watching Democracy die.
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  3. #3
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
    Agreed on all counts. The House needs to do their job and do it right fucking now. I don't like watching Democracy die.
    My fear is that the lack of action means it's already dead, and what we've been watching and thinking of as signs of life is just rigor mortis setting in.
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  4. #4
    In the vast expanse of center field Larry M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brightdreamer View Post
    My fear is that the lack of action means it's already dead, and what we've been watching and thinking of as signs of life is just rigor mortis setting in.
    You may be correct.
    Larry

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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brightdreamer View Post
    My fear is that the lack of action means it's already dead, and what we've been watching and thinking of as signs of life is just rigor mortis setting in.
    Hopefully your fear is misplaced. Mueller only made his statement a couple days ago. Pelosi has weakened her no-impeach position. And more and more Congresspersons are publicly stating their position for impeachment.


    @Lyv: my rep also is against impeachment and he's a Democrat in a heavily Democratic district. I have let his office know my sentiment. I will try to do it daily. I hope more people do the same.
    A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.[2] Hannah Arendt, 1978 [Brookings Institute]

  6. #6
    I meant to do that. Lyv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaeZe View Post
    @Lyv: my rep also is against impeachment and he's a Democrat in a heavily Democratic district. I have let his office know my sentiment. I will try to do it daily. I hope more people do the same.
    Excellent. My rep, a Democrat, leaves a lot to be desired. Last year, Brianna Wu, who was the victim of threats and harassment in Gamergate, ran against him, and may again. My friends and I are hoping someone strong will run against him and looking for liekly candidates. He really shouldn't be as comfortable as he's been. I have no problem his office calling daily. I also see him around sometimes and his local office is just over a mile from my house. I will gladly haunt him (it wouldn't be the first time, though at least he doesn't run when he sees me coming, which one state rep had begun to do during the marriage equality fight. We flipped his vote, though).

    My impression isn't that Pelosi is against impeaching. She hasn't ruled it out. I am hoping she's working behind the scenes to get the best conditions for moving forward. Hearings will help, but it wouldn't hurt to have more public support for impeachment before even those begin. There are enough people who won't watch the hearings but will stick to the same echo chamber and get only spin. I posted in the other thread about a Republican voter who attended Republican Justin Amash's town hall, where he got a standing ovation after calling for impeachment and making his case for it. She was shocked at what she heard, because she only listens to Fox News and hadn't heard anything other than that Trump had been exonerated. She didn't dismiss it because she heard it there. We need more of that.

  7. #7
    I meant to do that. Lyv's Avatar
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    So far, 50 House members currently support impeachment proceedings. Forty-nine Democrats (but not my rep; you can bet I will call him again) and one Republican.

    It includes 11 members of the House Judiciary Committee as well as chairs of various House committees.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Here's an analysis of specifically what Trump did and whether it is strong or weak evidence of obstruction. Look past the list (chart) and get an idea of what the analysis says about that act. When people ask you, just what did Trump do, here's your answer.

    Lawfareblog: Obstruction of Justice in the Mueller Report: A Heat Map
    The Mueller report describes numerous instances in which President Trump may have obstructed justice. A few days ago, I threw together a quick spreadsheet on Twitter to assess how Special Counsel Robert Mueller seemed to assess the evidence. Unexpectedly, that spreadsheet got a fair amount of attention—so I thought I would delve back into the evidence to provide a revised visualization with a little more nuance, which will hopefully be helpful to people attempting to parse a legally and factually dense document.
    Here's an example of how the evidence is broken down:
    E. Efforts to fire Mueller

    Obstructive act (p. 87): Former White House Counsel Don McGahn is a “credible witness” in providing evidence that Trump indeed attempted to fire Mueller. This “would qualify as an obstructive act” if the firing “would naturally obstruct the investigation and any grand jury proceedings that might flow from the inquiry.”

    Nexus (p. 89): “Substantial evidence” indicates that, at this point, Trump was aware that “his conduct was under investigation by a federal prosecutor who could present any evidence of federal crimes to a grand jury.”

    Intent (p. 89): “Substantial evidence indicates that the President’s attempts to remove the Special Counsel were linked to the Special Counsel’s oversight of investigations that involved the President’s conduct[.]”
    It seems to be a common pattern that some people who dismiss Trump's obstruction do so by dismissing the Russian interference in the election itself. They might need reminding this was a cyber attack, voter interference, massive social network campaigns, and working with a company that stole voter information data directly from FaceBook.
    A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.[2] Hannah Arendt, 1978 [Brookings Institute]

  9. #9
    Redacted Auteur's Avatar
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    If the Democrats don't impeach Trump, he's going to claim that he didn't do anything wrong, and that's why he wasn't impeached, and that it was all just a big witch-hunt because Democrats can't get over the fact that they lost in 2016.

    Once the Democrats get hold of Trump's taxes, I have a feeling they're going to find all sorts of reasons for impeachment, as if they don't have enough already. But they need some ironclad evidence that he committed crimes. Well, they already have that. But they need some reasons where Republicans won't have any choice but to convict him.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    If he is impeached, but not removed, he'll claim he did nothing wrong, and it was just mean, jealous democrats.

    If he were to be impeached and removed, he'd claim it was a set-up, because the Mueller probe found nothing, and the only reason anyone wanted to impeach him is because he's so great.

    There is nothing that will penetrate, especially that'll penetrate in a way that comes out in public.

    It's like trying to reason with someone harboring a delusion. It simply doesn't work. You can point out the 52 logical reasons that Bob from Santa Fe is not, in fact, Henry VIII, but if Bob believes he is Henry VIII, anything you come up with is going to be turned back around, or explained away, or used as evidence that he is, in some convoluted manner, because that's how delusions work.

    Trying to argue logic with someone not operating logically is a losing proposition. That way madness lies.

    The supporters who believe what he says (even when he contradicts himself within the half hour, or says things demonstrably untrue, or says things that are simply ludicrous) will perform the same sort of mental gymnastics and keep on trucking.

    Impeaching him without removal is, I fear, a worse idea than impeaching and removing him. Again, I get it. I completely believe he's guilty of impeachable offenses (and then some). However, people barely remember who was impeached and who wasn't, and in Clinton's case, because it was inane and partisan, it didn't do a damn thing to his support or approval ratings. The level of bifurcated we are now compared to then suggests to me it'd be different only in that people would become more entrenched.

    Without removing him, what would be the point? To have done it. They did it to Clinton (I am not suggesting these cases are in any way similar, but there have only been two presidents impeached and only one in the last hundred fifty or so years sooo...) and it had no effect.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
    If he is impeached, but not removed, he'll claim he did nothing wrong, and it was just mean, jealous democrats.

    If he were to be impeached and removed, he'd claim it was a set-up, because the Mueller probe found nothing, and the only reason anyone wanted to impeach him is because he's so great.

    There is nothing that will penetrate, especially that'll penetrate in a way that comes out in public. ...

    ... Without removing him, what would be the point? To have done it. They did it to Clinton (I am not suggesting these cases are in any way similar, but there have only been two presidents impeached and only one in the last hundred fifty or so years sooo...) and it had no effect.
    What you say about Trump's reaction either way is absolutely true in my opinion. And it's a given a certain group of his supporters will buy Trump's version of reality either way as well.

    That's a write off.

    And you can expect the GOP to fear-monger like crazy about this being getting even for Clinton's impeachment and it will start some kind of impeachment war to remove any POTUS not of the same party as the Congress. Kellyanne and Sarah will be out there every day claiming the case is over, Democrats lost, and there are no do-overs.

    Do you want to listen to that for months, afraid of responding, when we know the truth is the Mueller Report has been quashed? Do you want to listen to that every time Nadler or Schiff hold a press conference with no effective rebuttal?

    The goals of impeaching Trump are to repeat the messaging of what his crimes actually have been because a lot of that really isn't in the public mind yet, and, to compete for news coverage.

    In 2016 Trump TV was a success for the news media and Trump. It was a disaster for Clinton and the rest of us. For 2020, Trump TV is off to an equivalent start. The Trump-fact soap opera* will be competing to drive the narrative.

    This is not an all or none, get Trump impeached and removed from office. It's about public hearings where everything Mueller did was in secret. The mueller report is out. Trump et al have so far done an efficient job of controlling what the public knows about what's in that report. A couple press conferences by some Democratic Legislators does not leave a message in the public mind. But hearings with press coverage of the details leading up to the 2020 election can.


    *I don't mean soap opera in a trivial way; I mean it as a label for glued-to-the-set TV coverage.
    Last edited by MaeZe; 05-31-2019 at 06:37 PM.
    A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.[2] Hannah Arendt, 1978 [Brookings Institute]

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaeZe View Post
    What you say about Trump's reaction either way is absolutely true in my opinion. And it's a given a certain group of his supporters will buy Trump's version of reality either way as well.

    That's a write off.

    And you can expect the GOP to fear-monger like crazy about this being getting even for Clinton's impeachment and it will start some kind of impeachment war to remove any POTUS not of the same party as the Congress. Kellyanne and Sarah will be out there every day claiming the case is over, Democrats lost, and there are no do-overs.

    Do you want to listen to that for months, afraid of responding, when we know the truth is the Mueller Report has been quashed? Do you want to listen to that every time Nadler or Schiff hold a press conference with no effective rebuttal?

    The goals of impeaching Trump are to repeat the messaging of what his crimes actually have been because a lot of that really isn't in the public mind yet, and, to compete for news coverage.

    In 2016 Trump TV was a success for the news media and Trump. It was a disaster for Clinton and the rest of us. For 2020, Trump TV is off to an equivalent start. The Trump-fact soap opera* will be competing to drive the narrative.

    This is not an all or none, get Trump impeached and removed from office. It's about public hearings where everything Mueller did was in secret. The mueller report is out. Trump et al have so far done an efficient job of controlling what the public knows about what's in that report. A couple press conferences by some Democratic Legislators does not leave a message in the public mind. But hearings with press coverage of the details leading up to the 2020 election can.


    *I don't mean soap opera in a trivial way; I mean it as a label for glued-to-the-set TV coverage.
    I get what you're saying; I just doubt it'd have that effect. Someone in some thread quoted a Fox viewer saying the interview was the first she'd heard that the Mueller report didn't totally exonerate Trump, because tho she watches the news a lot, it's Fox and they hadn't mentioned that.

    It's not just that his base won't believe it -- people won't hear it. They'll just hear 'we have Kellyanne/Sanders/whomever to explain what happened at the hearings today.'

    I'm not entirely opposed to impeachment, but I don't see how it helps, really -- only the ways it can make this all worse, and the theoretical payoff of 'on the record' doesn't seem to me to be a fair trade.

  13. #13
    Redacted Auteur's Avatar
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    When a president commits a crime, since he cannot be indicted, impeachment is the only remedy. That's how our system is structured -- at least as long as the perpetrator is still in office. Of course, once he's out of office, Republicans will claim that Congress has never gone after a president after he's left office, and that will set a dangerous precedent, and the MSM will repeat that talking point ad nauseam -- that is until there's a Democrat they can go after, at which time people will have to respect the rule of law and we cannot be a lawless society.

  14. #14
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    IMH, foreign, O, hearings might help. Not with those whose positions are deeply entrenched, but with those who are just sort of going along.

    When we moved to the Big City, I was off school for 6 months, due to scheduling changes. I knew no-one, or how to get to anything, so I amused myself watching all the newly available channels on TV. It was the spring of Watergate, and the hearings were going on. I didn't understand most of it (being 12) and Canadian, but it was illuminating. Even a kid knows that sending someone to break into a guy's office is something that isn't right. And that lying about it is just as wrong. I won't say I became as cynical as my father, but it made me aware that stuff was going on that 'we' might never hear about.

    If Trump is as innocent and misunderstood as he claims, you'd think he'd welcome a chance to get it all out in the open.
    Truly, maybe hearing actual words, instead of getting snippets, filtered through the media, would change, or at least open, some minds.
    Last edited by frimble3; 05-31-2019 at 10:44 AM.

  15. #15
    Twitching ap123's Avatar
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    I don't think anything will make a difference for his hardcore supporters but I think impeachment, even without removal, matters. It matters for voter turnout/engagement in 2020, and for any slim hope left that we might become a democracy again.
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    Possibly A Mermaid Queen Absolute Sage lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ap123 View Post
    I don't think anything will make a difference for his hardcore supporters but I think impeachment, even without removal, matters. It matters for voter turnout/engagement in 2020, and for any slim hope left that we might become a democracy again.
    This is where I'm landing, I think. I get the argument that impeachment might be worse than doing nothing, but based on what's been happening I can't believe that. All subterfuge is gone because time and time again this administration has pushed norms and flat-out violated the law, and there have been no consequences whatsoever. What's worse than that? Do we really think he's not going to start a distract-o-vision war just because the House stays silent?

    These people are really and truly fascists, and I wish I had hope they were stoppable at this point. But I'd much rather see an effort to stop them than this finger-waving nothing that's been going on. There are too many people I love who've already been thrown under the wheels. We may not be able to stop it, but dammit, we need to go on the record as having tried or we're just complicit.
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  17. #17
    Twitching ap123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    These people are really and truly fascists, and I wish I had hope they were stoppable at this point. But I'd much rather see an effort to stop them than this finger-waving nothing that's been going on. There are too many people I love who've already been thrown under the wheels. We may not be able to stop it, but dammit, we need to go on the record as having tried or we're just complicit.
    This. I figure impeachment proceedings at this point are the equivalent to American being able to look itself in the mirror in the morning, does that make sense?

    *I leave room for the possibility that Pelosi et al have a brilliant strategy in the works that I don't yet see, but well, I don't see it--and that strategy MUST include concrete, codified into law ways to make sure we never end up here again, and what's been gotten away with can never be used as precedent in a courtroom or majority public opinion.
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  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ap123 View Post
    This. I figure impeachment proceedings at this point are the equivalent to American being able to look itself in the mirror in the morning, does that make sense?

    *I leave room for the possibility that Pelosi et al have a brilliant strategy in the works that I don't yet see, but well, I don't see it--and that strategy MUST include concrete, codified into law ways to make sure we never end up here again, and what's been gotten away with can never be used as precedent in a courtroom or majority public opinion.
    (bold is mine) This ^ is incredibly important.
    A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.[2] Hannah Arendt, 1978 [Brookings Institute]

  19. #19
    I meant to do that. Lyv's Avatar
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    Elizabeth Warren is calling for a law that states you can indict a sitting president (I want to come up with snarky acronym for a bill name).

    I think we all know public hearings won't have the same impact they did during Watergate. It's a different world and facts do no matter to a segment of the population, which will make sure they only get the spin that assures they were and right to support their guy and their party. But we need those hearings. I still think it would help to have a bit more public support and some Republican voices, so I'm still calling reps, asking friends in other states to do so, and sharing info. We may or may not survive as a democracy anyway, but we cannot set a precedent that you can break the law in public over and over again and face no consequences.

  20. #20
    Please, call me Boo Jolly-Boo's Avatar
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    Saw Nancy Pelosi on Kimmel. I ain't that smart when it comes to these political games, but what she said made sense. It made so much sense that I remember very little of it, other than that it made sense ...

    Basically, yes, you could probably impeach him easily, but that won't necessarily have a positive effect.

    Ah, you know what? LOCK HER UP!

  21. #21
    Pie aren't squared, pie are round! Introversion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly-Boo View Post
    Saw Nancy Pelosi on Kimmel. I ain't that smart when it comes to these political games, but what she said made sense. It made so much sense that I remember very little of it, other than that it made sense ...

    Basically, yes, you could probably impeach him easily, but that won't necessarily have a positive effect.

    Ah, you know what? LOCK HER UP!
    The reason to impeach is not because you're sure you'll win. The reason to impeach is because the president has committed numerous acts that are impeachable.

    Democrats triangulating on the odds of success are what voters HATE about politicians. Sure, impeachment almost certainly will die in the Senate. So what! Get the impeachable acts out there in the public eye, day after day, and then get the GOP on record as saying they don't care. THAT is what you build 2020 Congressional campaigns around!

    Letting this all quietly die in the hopes that Trump is voted out in 2020? That's a sure recipe for four more years of this bullshit, because it cedes the entire narrative of what Mueller's investigation was about to the GOP, and we know what they're doing there.

    Show some fucking spine, Democrats! You can't win 2020 by playing defense.

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Introversion View Post
    The reason to impeach is not because you're sure you'll win. The reason to impeach is because the president has committed numerous acts that are impeachable.

    Democrats triangulating on the odds of success are what voters HATE about politicians. Sure, impeachment almost certainly will die in the Senate. So what! Get the impeachable acts out there in the public eye, day after day, and then get the GOP on record as saying they don't care. THAT is what you build 2020 Congressional campaigns around!

    Letting this all quietly die in the hopes that Trump is voted out in 2020? That's a sure recipe for four more years of this bullshit, because it cedes the entire narrative of what Mueller's investigation was about to the GOP, and we know what they're doing there.

    Show some fucking spine, Democrats! You can't win 2020 by playing defense.
    A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.[2] Hannah Arendt, 1978 [Brookings Institute]

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Once he's out of office he's fair game for the Southern District. It won't be for his political misdeeds, but still.

  24. #24
    Possibly A Mermaid Queen Absolute Sage lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
    Once he's out of office he's fair game for the Southern District. It won't be for his political misdeeds, but still.
    I am not convinced he's going to leave office. Either the election will be hacked, or he literally won't leave.

    This is why I'm for impeachment. It may go nowhere, but I honestly don't see how it can make things worse. And I want us on the record as having at least tried to stop this monster.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    I am not convinced he's going to leave office. Either the election will be hacked, or he literally won't leave.

    This is why I'm for impeachment. It may go nowhere, but I honestly don't see how it can make things worse. And I want us on the record as having at least tried to stop this monster.
    It's a legitimate concern.

    This person has incited his followers to violence before. In 2016, he wouldn't say if he'd accept the outcome of the election were he to lose (can you imagine if HE won the popular vote and lost in the electoral college the way that Clinton did?).

    People need to start to accept the fact that when he says something awful, he's not joking, and it's not hyperbole. He means what he says. Every awful, illegal, and dangerous thing he says, he means.

    Also, to clarify another point from earlier: he's fair game in New York State right now. The DOJ policy says that the president can't be indicted for a federal crime while sitting in office. It says nothing about state crimes.

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