Saturday, December 14, 2019

At This Point Richard Nixon Resigned

Richard Nixon resigned as president after the House Judiciary Committee recommended he  be impeached, the vote that just happened yesterday for President Trump.  In the case of Nixon that vote was followed by a famous visit from three poerful GOP senators, including Barry Goldwater, who informed Nixon that he had lost the support of the GOP in the Senate.  Of course now we have the GOP Senate Majority Leader McConnell going on Sean Hannity to promise that Trump will not be convicted and that he will "coordinate" with Trump's lawyers to make sure there is no conviction.

Curiously, public polling support for impeaching Nixon only got ahead of opposition to it after the SCOTUS ruling that led to the public  release of the so-called "smoking gun" tape about a month before Nixon resigned.  In contrast, support for impeaching Trump has exceeded opposition to it since soon after it was announced the impeachment hearings would happen and appears to be holding steady, even as the Trumpists run all over the place declaring how he is  going to gain or is gaining from the impeachment proceedings.  It may be that his base is all riled, but so are those who do  not like Trump.

I find it also a bit weird that Trump and his supporters are running around threatening that the next time they control the House under a Dem prez, well, they will just go and impeach him.  They seem to forget that we have already seen this show with the Clinton impeachment, also a thoroughly partisan affair, which never had support from more than about 30 percent of the population.  That one went to trial with all the GOPs voting for conviction, with one Dem also voting for it, Mr. Clean Russell Feingold of Wisconsin.  Of course the current GOPS say Clinton committed a crime, perjury, while they claim Trump has not, although last time I checked, bribery is a felony.

Now they did not try to impeach Obama, for which I suppose we should be grateful, although he was largely squeaky clean.  But they certainly did endlessly harass him over nonsense, 8 separate hearings on the nothing that was Benghazi, lots of time and millions of dollars, not to mention endless aggrieved ranting by Sean Hannity, although somehow we never hear a whisper about that now.

Ass a final comment on the changed attitude of the GOP, I can look at my congressional representative.  In 1974, that was GOP M. Caldwell Butler of  Roanoke, a member of the House Judiciary committee, who voted in support of recommending to impeach Nixon.  As successor (after a six year spell with Dem Jim Olin) was a former staffer of Butler's, Richard Goodlatte, who also was on the Judiciary committee, eventually becoming its Chair in recent years. He just stepped down and was replaced in the  2018 election by one of his staffers, the mostly mild-mannered Ben Cline. However, not only did Cline not vote for impeaching Trump, he even joined the gang led by Matt Gaetz that raided the House Intelligence committee during one of its hearings.

Needless to say, Ben Cline is no M. Caldwell Butler, even though he sits in Butler's old seat.

Barkley Rosser


2slugbaits said...

I sometimes wonder if convicting Clinton would have been a blessing in disguise. As a counterfactual it would have given us President Gore and very likely an Electoral College win in 2000. Imagine how different history might have Iraq war and a very different attitude towards deregulation of the financial sector.

Normally I think Pelosi has excellent political instincts, but with respect to the Trump impeachment I believe she made some unforced errors. The Democrats never made a serious attempt at getting WH and Cabinet officials to testify. The House does have the power to enforce Article I subpoenas, but this was never used. Pelosi could have ordered the physical arrest of a few key witnesses and held them in contempt. This might have concentrated the mind of folks like Mulvaney and Pompeo. The Democrats didn't even make much of an effort at going with Article III subpoenas. Half-hearted at best. John Bolton could have testified with a little more prompting. The Republicans are probably right in saying that the rush to get impeachment done was driven by the primary calendar. At a minimum the Dems should have kept the investigation going even if kept at a low boil. The point should not be to just impeach Trump, but to keep his gutless toadies on a legal hook in the event a Democrat wins in 2020. As it is, Congress just looks toothless.

But we are where we are. At this point I would recommend that Pelosi proceed with the impeachment vote and then sit on the resolution and NOT send it to the Senate. In the meantime, the House could continue to investigate and issue subpoenas. Let things stew for a while in the public realm before sending the impeachment resolution over to the Senate. Pelosi can't affect how the Senate will vote, but she can affect when the Senate votes. How would Sen. Collins vote if she had to make that vote closer to next November without the luxury of 10 months of Maine voters forgetting? Especially if the Senate votes after GOP primaries are done.

justsomeguy05 said...

At that time, some Republicans might have voted for impeachment & removal. That version of the Republican party have been gone for at least 30 years. said...


Hmmm. Intereting point on Gore and Clinton. One good thing that did come out of the Clinton impeachment is that it apparently held him back from pusing for damaging and unnecessary Social Security "reforms," at least Dean Baker claims that.

I have thought it might have been good to arrest some of these witnesses ignoring subpoenas. Waiting for the courts to rule has been just farcical. OTOH, I can see that Pelosi has probably beeen afraid that the oprics might not go over well, with the GOP already complaining (falsely) about how badly and unfairly they supposedly have been treated. Arreesting people like Pompeo would habve them screaming meeemies.

On the matter of sitting on an impeachment, that also looks like some sort of gamesmanship and likely not to go over well with the public. As it is, this looks to be kind of a wash on net, so maybe it is best to just get it over with and then move on.

Heck, what we may get in June, hopefully, we had better, is SCOTUS finally letting us see Trump's taxes, which could prove to be more damaging than getting ipeached but then not convicted.

2slugbaits said...

I agree that the optics of sitting on the impeachment might not look good; however, Pelosi could offset that by publicly announcing that she won't ever send the impeachment resolution over to the Senate because the GOP leadership has already guaranteed an acquittal. Sen. Graham went so far as to say that he wasn't even going to pretend to give the impeachment a fair hearing. If Pelosi just decides not the send the impeachment resolution over to the Senate, then this would deprive Trump of the opportunity to acquit himself and there's nothing he could do to change that fact. Just impeach him and never send it over to the Senate thereby denying Trump the opportunity of an acquittal. It would be a permanent stain on his name that would deny him any opportunity to change. You know that would tick him off big time.

pgl said...

Clinton was impeached for lying (yes under oath) about a consensual affair. Trump has done more than bribery. What he did that should be called treason. Which of course does not bother Lindsey Graham in the least. After all - Graham has said he likes Trump. Go figure. said...


Again, it might be justifiable,, but sitting on the impeachment will end up giving too much fodder to the GOP. Pelosi needs to scrupulously follow the rules and traditions, if for no other reason for history to record that it was the GOP that broke those rules, whichc so far the Dems have been playing very well by.


Yes, Trump is guilty of treason and much else. And people like Grahem know it. Heck, look at some what he said about Trump before he got the GOP nominations. A lot of these people will look very bad in the history books. At least Jim Jordan knows it and has said he does not care how looks in them. Really.

pgl said...

In 1974 we had actual Senators. Today it is a body dominated by sycophants. said...


Just to reiterate here, I grant you insight that Pelosi has a card to play on sending the voted on articlees to the Senate. It looks like Pelosi may well not send the articles instantly to the Senate. Probably she will not hold into the spring as you have advocated. But it looks like she will demand some conditions from McConnell regarding the Senate trial before she sends them over. Good for her.