And impeachment hearings too. Now that I’ve had time to digest part of the report, and some of the commentary, some thoughts:
- Democrats who are trying to game this out are wrong. First, we’ve seen so many times where they try to be clever, and end up shooting themselves in the foot down the road (e.g., Kerry’s and Clinton’s Iraq War votes). They are… bad at this. Second, there is a real danger that not pushing for impeachment will demotivate part of the base. Third, there is a real danger that not pushing for impeachment will embolden Trump and other Republicans to behave very badly (or worse). Fourth, the oath to “uphold and protect the Constitution” doesn’t mean “kick the can down the road for eighteen months and then hope Democratic voters bail out our gormless asses.” Related to that, there’s no reason to believe that Trump won’t win in 2020, especially if he is not impeached.
- Democrats need to take back the concept of ‘burden of proof.’ Unlike civil or criminal cases, where one’s rights can be curtailed, the office of the presidency is a privilege, not a right. The standard of behavior must be higher, and, consequently, the burden of proof is lower.
- Those professional Democrats who are suffering from learned helplessness and instinctive curl up into a ball when they actually have wield the power we have given them are pulling a con on ‘impeachment.’ The actual act of impeachment is the vote to refer charges to the Senate. Investigations are not impeachment. That said, every investigation of Trump should be tied to impeachment because it will make it easier to request information. It’s harder for courts, even the Republican-stacked judiciary, to argue that Congress shouldn’t see something when the fundamental separation of powers is at stake. But investigating him with the goal of possibly referring charges (admittedly, a high probability for some of those potential charges) isn’t impeachment per se.
- Follow the money. I’ve been saying all along that the rock you want to peek under is Trump’s finances. He’s a bagman with a long history of illegal activity. This needs to be added to the list of charges–and it will likely be stronger than the Russian interference charges.
- Emoluments. There’s no doubt that Trump et alia have profited personally from the presidency. These need to be documented and added to the list of charges.
- I think Mueller did a half-assed job in some regards. I realize this was a counterintelligence investigation, but that’s why Mueller should have thoroughly explored how our voting and election systems were compromised (it is discussed somewhat on pp. 50-51). That was the fucking job. Oddly enough, Republican Daddies won’t save us.
- Related to the previous point, he didn’t investigate the president’s family, even though they were neck-deep in it.