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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

WHEN YOU'RE RIGHT, YOU'RE RIGHT

One week ago, I made the following prediction, based on the assumption that the Democrats would take the House but not the Senate:

"The day after the results are in, Trump will without the slightest evidence of unease or hesitation pivot to being a non-partisan supporter of DACA guarantees, comprehensive immigration reform, infrastructure spending, guarantees for those with pre-existing conditions, and whatever else Democrats want that does not negatively affect his own financial interests.  Overtly, covertly, or implicitly, but in all events unmistakably, he will communicate it to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer that he will work cooperatively with them for the next two years so long as they squelch the Democratic lust for investigations of him or his family and allow him to summarily shut down the Mueller probe. 

This will pose a terrible dilemma for the Democrats, and I fear there is a grave danger that they will succumb, in which case they will pave the way for Trump’s re-election and the death of what remains of constitutional democracy in America."

It turns out I was exactly correct.

How should the Democrats respond to Trump's press conference today?

1.  They should make a great show of cooperating with Trump while passing a series of bills, which they send to the Senate, calling for:

   a.  Guarantees of protection for those with pre-existing conditions
   b. Infrastructure
   c. Protection for DACA recipients
   d. Comprehensive immigration reform
   e. Reuniting of children separated from their parents
   f. Protection of the Mueller investigation.

Let the Senate refuse to pass these and send them to the President.  They will become the platform of the 2020 campaign.

2.  Meanwhile,  the leadership should allow the several committees to initiate whatever oversight investigations they wish.

3.  They should leave impeachment strictly alone until Mueller issues his report.  If, in effect, he labels Trump an unindicted co-conspirator in impeachable acts, they should allow that report to simmer and bubble until they see whether Republicans decide they want to get rid of Trump.  Only when they have 2/3 of the Senate should they initiate impeachment proceedings.

Why do I say this?  Because a failed trial in the Senate would be far worse than no trial at all.  Recall what Ralph Waldo Emerson said.  "When you strike at a king, you must kill him."

Recall as well that if Trump is removed from office, we get Pence.  Far better to have a weakened, disgraced, and damaged Trump running for re-election.

10 comments:

MS said...

Well, things have just gotten even more precarious for our constitutional republic. Trump has just fired Sessions. He will undoubtedly seek to replace him with someone who will rein in Rosenstein and terminate Mueller’s investigation.

Anonymous said...

I don't subscribe to the less of two evils argument, here Trump vs. Pence. Justice has to be pursued no matter what the consequences. That's the best path to hope for.

Michael S said...

That's all fine and good and sensible strategy - but if Trump (as no one should expect him not to do) decides to blackmail the Dems, properly, with a govt shutdown, for instance, then it's anyone's guess what happens. It will depend (as previous govt shutdowns have) on what comes out in the popular-opinion-media wash: who gets stuck with the blame. If enough people believe that the Dems are to blame for shutting down the govt for a week, two weeks, three weeks, and so on, because they refuse to call off the attack dogs unfairly trying to bring down with lies the elected president who's doing his patriotic best to make america great again, then to say we'd all be in trouble is putting it mildly. One of the many problems with having the head of the executive branch with (no morals, no shame and) not an iota of concern for any other mortal being on this planet - or indeed, the species.

MS said...

Anonymous,

I believe in pursuing justice when the evidence indicates that justice has a better than even chance of prevailing. But there is no way that the current Senate will convict Trump if he is impeached. Why engage in a futile effort that will turn Trump into a martyr and only strengthen support for Trump among his base, enhancing his chance at re-election? When Nixon was threatened with impeachment, there were principled Republicans in the Senate, e.g., Howard Baker and Barry Goldwater, who approached Nixon, told him they could not continue to support him and persuaded him to resign. With Flake and Corker gone, I do not see any Republicans in the Senate who have a conscience or backbone comparable to that of Baker or Goldwater. Do you? Will the newly elected Mitt Romney be that person? How about the re-elected Ted Cruz? I doubt it.

Carl said...

Not at all sure about your last claim. Pence strikes me as a very weak candidate.

MS said...

Addendum

I know I may be sounding like a hypocrite. In a previous comment to another post (regarding the Kavanaugh confirmation vote) I echoed James Stewart’s declaration in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington that the lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for. And I love those words. Still, it only makes sense to fight a lost cause, even if defeat appears to be inevitable, if the defeat will sufficiently ennoble the lost cause to enhance its chance of victory in the near future. And I do not see the lost cause of impeaching Trump and then losing the trial in the Senate as enhancing the Democrats’ cause in the near future – it could seriously hurt those chances.

By the way, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington was written and directed by Frank Capra. And I am a big fan of Frank Capra films – Mr. Smith, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, Meet John Doe, Lost Horizon, and the Christmas favorite, It’s A Wonderful Life. All wonderful, idealistic movies. Now, if you ask people familiar with his movies which political party Frank Capra supported, most people would confidently say the Democratic Party. Well, no; as it turns out, Frank Capra was a diehard Republican, never voted for Delano Roosevelt and opposed the New Deal. https://www.nytimes.com/1992/05/03/books/it-wasn-t-such-a-wonderful-life.html So, in real life he was not like the idealist characters whose ideals he championed in his movies. Go figure.

MS said...

Errata

I erroneously stated that Frank Capra wrote the screenplay for Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. He did not; he produced and directed the movie. The same is true of the other Capra movies I listed, with the exception of It’s A Wonderful Life – he co-wrote the script for that movie.

Michael S said...

And, it will continue to bear repeating: 45% of voters approve of Trump *today*. HOW?? I mean, who knows anything about anything; I do not know how you fathom it. Like the rest of Trump, one risk is 'normalisation'. "Well, of course so many people support him, it's hardly surprising". It *is* surprising. It is in fact pretty shocking.

The nice simple stories - people don't *really* support him; or they lie to pollsters; or they're evangelicals who only care about the SCOTUS; etc. - these act to conceal the truth that lots of humans are stupid and bad. That we all are, in part, or at least all can be. And that there's no magical guarantee we'll survive in our current form or at all.

Tom Cathcart said...

What a mysterious country. We elect a bunch of wonderful, marginalized people and at the same time, we elect a bunch of deplorables. Then I think back to public school. We all knew who the bullies were and the numbskulls and the sociopaths and the gentle people. I guess the cliche that in adulthood we self-segregate is, like most cliches, true. I talk only to folks like you, read and watch the same stuff you do, live in places that are for the most part like the places you live, and go to bed feeling that the world is a beneficent place. I knew more about the world when I was in grade school. How did we get by then? Mostly by muddling through, I think. Argues for proceeding cautiously and not waging war on their turf.

MS said...

Tom,

Kurt Vonnegut once observed that the world is just one large high school, with all of the same juvenile antics, petty rivalries, sexual jealousies, and egotistical demonstrations that we experienced as teenagers.