Author Topic: The US Presidency 2020  (Read 64496 times)

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Offline FJAG

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2020, 12:14:54 »
Are you f***ing kidding me!!!

Quote
Republicans have variously argued that Trump did nothing wrong, the Democrats made up impeachment charges or that there was no quid pro quo in Ukraine. But they have apparently been pushed to this final, fallback position in the light of Bolton's claim in a manuscript for his new book first reported by The New York Times that Trump did indeed tell him to withhold aid to Kiev until it opened probes into his domestic foes.

The legal reasoning from Dershowitz -- while outside the mainstream -- is giving Republican senators political cover to stand with the President.

The Harvard emeritus professor claimed on the Senate floor that if a politician thinks his reelection is in the national interest, any actions he takes towards that end cannot by definition be impeachable.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/30/politics/impeachment-analysis-republican-reaction/index.html

And it's not fake news. I watched the video of his argument on the Senate floor and that's exactly what he said. If this isn't spoon-feeding Republicans a bunch of bull**** to hang their reasoning on I don't know what is.

US democracy and decency - kiss your a** goodbye.

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Online Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2020, 13:24:06 »
Relax; democracy is doing just fine.  Election's in just over 9 months.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Altair

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2020, 14:04:14 »
I personally like where this is going.

I was wondering how a president Bernie Sanders would push through his agenda with a hostile congress standing in his way.

But if arresting and jailing half of congress is in the national interest for him, well,  that is not impeachable.
Someday I'll care about milpoints.

Offline FJAG

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2020, 14:11:14 »
Actually, I'm quite relaxed. It's not my country after all and I have zero impact on what happens there. It's just terribly depressing to watch from the outside.

Makes you wonder though if Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, Warren Harding and Franklin Pierce's supporters thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread or regretted their choice.  :dunno:

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Offline mariomike

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2020, 16:07:21 »
Are you f***ing kidding me!!!

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/30/politics/impeachment-analysis-republican-reaction/index.html

And it's not fake news. I watched the video of his argument on the Senate floor and that's exactly what he said. If this isn't spoon-feeding Republicans a bunch of bull**** to hang their reasoning on I don't know what is.

US democracy and decency - kiss your a** goodbye.

 :facepalm:

For readers old enough to remember Watergate, former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean had this to say,

Quote
Alan Dershowitz unimpeached Richard Nixon today. All Nixon was doing was obstructing justice and abusing power because he thought he was the best person for the USA to be POTUS. When POTUS does it... etc. Seriously, that was his motive! Agree with Alan and impeachment is gone!
https://twitter.com/JohnWDean/status/1222684565585698816



Online Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2020, 16:16:50 »
The whole thing is a circus.  If Dershowitz's argument could be stretched to cover anything - which, regardless of his exact remarks, I doubt is what he would defend - it is no less ridiculous than the notion that Congress can impeach a president for claiming legal immunities without Congress first testing those claims in court.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Online Remius

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2020, 21:13:12 »
There was no quid pro quo.

Now there is and someone has real proof. 

But that’s ok.  Because it isn’t impeachable so no worries.

In fact let’s double down and say that the POTUS can do what he wants because what he wants is the same as the national interest. 

Imagine any of our politicians doing that sort of garbage here. 

Optio

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2020, 21:33:22 »
Quote from: Remius

Imagine any of our politicians doing that sort of garbage here.
You mean like "saving jobs"?

I kind of think the problem with "but, democracy!" is that we've been conditioned to associate democracy with good. Not just a good style of government but in terms of good vs evil. When we say it's an assault on democracy we really mean and assault on goodness and all things just and righteous.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2020, 21:34:02 »
Why is anyone at all surprised that the attempt would be made to legally assert that Trump can basically do whatever he wants? It’s wholly in line with his... I don’t want to use the word ‘character’ in association with this individual, but I guess that’s the word that grudgingly fits. Of course he would seek a lawyer willing to take his money to argue that autocratic absurdity.

He does not care about America; he cares about Trump, and being President is merely means to continue to enlarge himself. He hasn’t cared about running his own companies or charities into the ground if it served his needs; why would he suddenly become altruistic and possessed of civic virtue when he wasn’t before?

Trump’s presidency is just rent seeking taken to its most comically absurd extreme. America got exactly what it voted for; everything he has done is consistent with what he’s already shown of himself before the election.
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Online Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2020, 23:09:15 »
Before getting too wound up about what people think Dershowitz said, find out what Dershowitz meant.

"And if a president did something that he believes will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment".

People sometimes (frequently, really) interject into what they are saying a clause that refers back to something said slightly earlier.  Find a video clip and listen to the pause in the statement.  Another interpretation, rephrased: "And if a president did something [in the public interest] that he believes will help him get elected, [] that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment".

That matches more closely what Dershowitz is claiming he meant (something done in the public interest which coincides with self-interest is not impeachable).  What he meant may still be objectionable to some, but it's not the same as "anything goes", and those who are beating on that point are flogging a strawman.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

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Offline mariomike

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2020, 23:27:21 »
It's just terribly depressing to watch from the outside.

There was a recent study - "the polling was done before the US president gave the order to kill Iran's top general, Qasem Soleimani." - about that,

Quote
BBC

8 January 2020

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51012853

Favourable opinion of the US declined dramatically when Trump took office and remains significantly lower than during the Obama era, Pew reported.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 23:59:18 by mariomike »

Offline FJAG

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2020, 18:16:54 »
51 to 49 against hearing witnesses. Stay tuned for a quick acquittal.

 :-X
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2020, 18:48:35 »
Possibly you mean hearing more witnesses. All the Senators heard/saw every bit of the Democrat' evidence.
 
« Last Edit: January 31, 2020, 18:57:29 by Rifleman62 »
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Online Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #38 on: January 31, 2020, 19:08:57 »
It might not be quick, if the event is prolonged until next Wed.  The senator-candidates should enjoy that.

A fitting response to the House majority, which tried to make the Senate do the House's job.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline mariomike

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2020, 19:12:48 »
51 to 49 against hearing witnesses. Stay tuned for a quick acquittal.

 :-X

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida put it this way,
Quote
This will be the first Senate impeachment trial in American history without witnesses called.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/01/cory-gardner-marco-rubio-ben-sasse-impeachment-cowards.html

N]ew witnesses that would testify to the truth of the allegations are not needed for my threshold analysis, which already assumed that all the allegations made are true.

Removing the president would in my opinion inflict extraordinary trauma on our nation, which is already deeply divided and polarized. Half the country would view his removal as nothing less than a coup d’etat and I ask you what scheme could Vladimir Putin come up with that would divide us more than that removal would. So I’m not going to vote in favor of tearing this country apart any further, or fueling a raging fire that already threatens our country.




Online tomahawk6

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2020, 00:02:53 »
I am a Trump supporter and the legal folks stated that the House had called 17 witnesses and their testimony was accepted into the Senate record. Going into the trial the House managers claimed they had an open and shut case but then later whines that they wanted witnesses. The 2 articles of impeachment did not rise to the level required by the constitution. In effect there were no crimes cited. My guess the Democrats will do a lessons learned and refile their case. If they lose their Majority then this will be over. If they keep their Majority and get a Majority in the Senate then Trump will be out. Then they would go after Pence which would make Nancy President.  ::)

Offline Altair

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2020, 04:17:08 »
https://mobile.twitter.com/IlvesToomas/status/1223332141318189056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.forumice.com%2Fthreads%2Fot-american-politics.65687%2Fpage-6011

Can't help but laugh.

Former president of Estonia from 2006-2016, toomas hendrik ilves



Quote
“Great! No more tedious US lectures on rule of law, fair trials, evidence, equality before the law, transparency, corruption, free and fair elections” — some 130 governments around the world right now.
Someday I'll care about milpoints.

Offline FJAG

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2020, 11:15:48 »
Slightly different topic:

Quote
Farm Bankruptcies Soared 20% Amid Trump Trade War. It’s The Highest Rate In 8 Years.

Farmers hit hard despite billions of dollars in taxpayer aid to mitigate the harm from the president’s trade policies.
headshot
By Mary Papenfuss

As President Donald Trump cast himself as a friend of the farmer at an Iowa campaign rally Thursday, newly released data revealed the number of farms declaring bankruptcies surged by 20% in 2019 — the highest in eight years.

The American Farm Bureau attributed the figures, based on court bankruptcy data, to record farm debt and “headwinds on the trade front” triggered by Trump’s trade war.

Nearly 46% of the farm Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings last year were in the 13-state Midwest region, followed by 22% in the Southeast, according to the data. Among the hardest-hit states were Wisconsin and Georgia, as well as Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina and South Dakota.

Bankruptcies soared despite massive federal subsidies to mitigate the losses of the trade war. The $28 billion earmarked for farm aid based on the trade war is more than twice the total spent by the federal government to bail out the auto industry in 2009 — a program often blasted by Trump. The money is referred to as “Trump money” in some regions that were instrumental in putting Trump over the top in the 2016 presidential election. Nearly one-third of national farm income is now provided by taxpayer-funded direct aid and subsidies, which are at the highest level in 14 years, according to the Department of Agriculture.

“They’ve already given out $19 billion to farmers, but they’re cutting $5 billion from people in need,” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, told NPR in December. “I don’t even know how to describe it except to say that it is cruel, it is unfair and it is clearly designed to support the president’s base.”

The only larger increase in farms bankruptcies in the last decade occurred in 2010, on the heels of the Great Recession, when they spiked 33%.
...

Read the rest here:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/farm-bankruptcies-trump-trade-war_n_5e34a2d6c5b69a19a4af1ad0

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Offline FJAG

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2020, 18:33:44 »
Fun fact.

According to Fox Business, the Trump impeachment proceedings have coast the US taxpayers $3.06 million.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/cost-trump-impeachment-taxpayers

That, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office is a little less than the $3.4 million that each of Trump's first four golf trips trip to Mar-A-Lago cost.

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/05/691684859/government-watchdog-trumps-trips-to-florida-costing-taxpayers-millions
https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/696512.pdf

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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2020, 18:48:08 »
Can someone dumb down whats happening with the impeachment for me?

Is this sort of whats going on?

Democrats bragged about having all this evidence about Trump and they're going to nail him to the wall in an open and shut impeachment case.
They held off on submitting the evidence for a while for some reason but finally released it/sent it?
The republicans are finding ways to screw with the process and it appears that Trump won't be found guilty of anything or, like our own PMs ethical violations nothings going to come of it.
If Trump beats the impeachment his already considerable ego will be death star proportions and galvanize him to keep on behaving how he's behaving. Anyone who hasn't displayed dog like loyalty should dust off their resume and start looking for a new job.
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Offline mariomike

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2020, 19:04:17 »

Offline Brihard

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2020, 19:49:45 »
Can someone dumb down whats happening with the impeachment for me?

Is this sort of whats going on?

Democrats bragged about having all this evidence about Trump and they're going to nail him to the wall in an open and shut impeachment case.
They held off on submitting the evidence for a while for some reason but finally released it/sent it?
The republicans are finding ways to screw with the process and it appears that Trump won't be found guilty of anything or, like our own PMs ethical violations nothings going to come of it.
If Trump beats the impeachment his already considerable ego will be death star proportions and galvanize him to keep on behaving how he's behaving. Anyone who hasn't displayed dog like loyalty should dust off their resume and start looking for a new job.

I'll try to sum it up best I can:

US Constitution allows for a sitting president to be impeached "for high crimes and misdemeanours". HC&M  is not defined; it's not like a criminal charge where you get specifically charged with 'assault' or 'fraud' or 'bestiality', or 'alarming the Queen' or some such. Rather, it's a concept that allows for all manner of potential misdeeds to be looked at. Impeachment means the House of Representatives votes 50%+1 to 'impeach', which then results in a trial in the senate. 2/3 majority in the senate is needed to remove a president from office. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court conducts the trial.

Donald Trump made it known to the president of Ukraine that a large sum of military aid would be withheld unless an anti-corruption investigation were conducted against Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, who Trump sees as one of his chief rivals from the Democrats. Basically he used US national influence for partisan political and electoral advantage. The facts on this are pretty strongly established at this point.

Impeachment is an inherently political exercise. In this case, senior Democrats in the House were resistant, as they (correctly) percevied there to be little chance that this would succeed in the senate. Nonetheless, as Trump's shenanigans vis a vis Ukraine came to light,t he push to begin proceedings basically couldn't be held off, and the House judiciary committee investigated, heard from witnesses, and returned two articles of impeachment, essentially alleging that Trump had 1) obstructed the investigation, and 2) had inappropriately wielded his executive influence in America's foreign affairs for personal electoral benefit. The House DID put together a very clear and strong case on the actual facts of the matter. Trump was offered the chance to testify in his defense or to submit to questions, at about the same time he was whining that he wasn't getting due process. He never did elect to offer his side, which is fine- that's his right. It just doens't jive with some of his complaints. Trump was impeached as a result of a vote in the House, which was to then send the matter to the Senate for trial.

Senators who are to take part in an impeachment trial swear an oath/affirmation to basically be impartial and to conduct a fair hearing. That notwithstanding, several prominent Republican senators from the Senate leadership affirmed before it started that they absolutely would not vote to impeach, and wanted the matter done as quickly as possible. The House democrats expressed consider about this (understandably) and also wanted it to be determined how the trial would actually proceed- there's no fixed rule book for this. Eventually after some political wrangling, Pelosi had the articles of impeachment sent to the Senate.

At about the time the matter went to the Senate, John Bolton, Trump's former National Security Advisor and a longtime republican, made it known that he had a manuscript written for a book that would substantiate some of the claims made by the prosecution, and would repudiate some of the defences. Much gnashing of teeth ensued. All the Democrats, and two of the Republicans in the senate wanted to call additional witnesses - there were none in the Senate hearings. To call witnesses would have required a straight majority vote in the senate, which was not achieved. Note that this is the first impeachment trial in the Senate including a few Presidents, and a number of other senior appointees such as judges, in which no witnesses have been permitted to be called.

Where that now leaves us is that this is all but done with. There will soon be a vote on the actual charges in the Senate, and it will result in Trump not being removed from office.

The two big questions were essentially 'Did he do it?' which is pretty much a resounding 'yes' including from some republicans, and 'Does 'it' meet the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanours"?, which several republicans have said 'no it does not' despite conceding that he did the acts alleged. At the end of the day a preponderance of evidence has established that while Trump is corrupt (which we knew long ago), he is not sufficiently corrupt as to be tossed on his *** by his party in an election year, which we also knew. Nobody should be surprised that it played out this way.

At the low, low cost of probably 300 milpoints, that's about as tightly as I can sum it up.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2020, 20:00:25 by Brihard »
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Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2020, 20:42:02 »

A fitting response to the House majority, which tried to make the Senate do the House's job.

Au Contraire. The House did its job, its the Senate that didn't its duty.
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Online Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2020, 00:33:33 »
>Democrats bragged about having all this evidence about Trump and they're going to nail him to the wall in an open and shut impeachment case.

The case for the charge alleging abuse of power is strong (that Trump wanted to withhold Congressionally-authorized aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate Burisma and the Bidens' involvement, and to investigate the discredited "Crowdstrike-Ukraine connection" theory).  The case for the charge alleging obstruction of Congress is meaningless (a party claiming an immunity from another party's power is not obstruction).

>They held off on submitting the evidence for a while for some reason but finally released it/sent it?

Specifically, the House delayed transmitting the articles of impeachment.  (There is one vote to impeach, and another to send the articles to the Senate; the latter was delayed.)  "Some reason" is supposedly that the Democrats wanted to pressure the Senate to adopt procedural rules to the Democrats' liking.  It was always an empty bluff.

>The republicans are finding ways to screw with the process

No.  Within the scope of the few rules imposed on either House or Senate, both essentially have wide latitude to set their own rules and procedures (the Senate more than the House).  It's vacuous to accuse someone of not following rules when they have power to set their own.

>Trump won't be found guilty of anything or, like our own PMs ethical violations nothings going to come of it.

"Nothing's going to come of it" is the more accurate description.  Senators are not obligated to vote for removal even if they believe the charges are proven; they can decide the conduct doesn't merit removal.  This won't be the first time: there was (and is) little doubt that Bill Clinton was guilty of perjury, but even some Republican senators declined to vote for removal.  Nor are Republicans likely to overlook something not much commented upon: removal of the president now would leave Republicans scrambling to put together their presidential campaign.  And of course, adopting the "let voters decide" stance is always safe.

>If Trump beats the impeachment his already considerable ego will be death star proportions and galvanize him to keep on behaving how he's behaving.

I don't see how it can be worse.

My view:

This was a deliberate misuse of impeachment to throw mud at the president (as was Clinton's impeachment).  Huge expectations were built up during the Mueller investigation and it ended with nothing of consequence after months of lies and misrepresentations.  Democrats needed to orchestrate a new situation to fight Trump's possible re-election by parading Trump's flaws.

The decision to undertake impeachment proceedings was a risk.  I still wonder if Pelosi regrets being rolled by Schiff into committing before all the subsequent events - starting with the release of the memo of telecon - which muddied the righteousness of the "whistleblower"'s complaint.  I suppose Democrats would have properly litigated the administration's claims of privilege if there was confirmation that Democrats were gaining political advantage, but polls were showing little if any damage to Trump and there was increasing likelihood of damage to the re-election prospects of Democrats in vulnerable districts.  Trying to move the litigation-and-testimony circus into Senate would solve that problem, but there was no leverage to do so.

The "obstruction of Congress" charge was a huge blunder - it sets a very low bar for future impeachments, and blackens the three past presidents (Obama, Bush, Clinton) and probably the two before them (Bush, Reagan) with the same brush (worse, actually, since the Trump administration's degree of co-operation with the Mueller investigation set a new high standard for compliance).  The indelible reputational smear is of no particular consequence, but the new impeachment standard is very consequential.  Any House majority not liking an administration's assertion of privileges and immunities can probably impeach in a week: Mon morning, a floor vote to begin; Mon afternoon and Tue to package up the requisite documents and draft the article; Wed and Thu for members to "consider"; Fri morning vote to impeach; Fri afternoon vote to transmit articles to Senate.  It'd be all done before the talking heads could even begin to write their "Wait, this time is different" talking-points explainers.

Another blunder was trying to change message from "we have an overwhelming case, and there's no time to delay voting for impeachment" in the House to "we need to take time to hear more testimony and obtain more documents" in the Senate.

The final blunder also relates to the attempt to have another testimony circus during the trial phase.  If Democrats hadn't tried to turn a trial into a fishing expedition (which is grossly unfair to a defendant), the argument to hear Bolton (new information directly relevant to one of the charges) might have been persuasive to moderate Republicans.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

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Online tomahawk6

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Re: The US Presidency 2020
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2020, 00:58:01 »
You anti-Trumpers, have no fear this was just impeachment 1.0 .They will try again. If they wait until the election they might pick up a majority in the Senate but of course they might lose their House majority.