Coming Soon:

Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."

Total Pageviews

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


I don’t know why I bother, but writing a blog post is better [marginally] than screaming at the TV and compulsively hitting the Mute button, so here goes.  First, a hat tip to Claire McCaskill, not usually one of my faves, but someone who finally uttered the simple truth that all the big deal cable commentators and all the heavyweight Senators seem incapable of grasping.

The Republicans have 53 Senators.  They can call Hunter Biden or Adam Schiff or Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi or the Whistleblower as a witness any time they want to.  They do not have to make a deal with the Democrats.  The Democrats are entirely powerless to make any deals at all, not for John Bolton, not for Mick Mulvaney, not for Mike Pompeo.

When Ted Cruz threatens to call Hunter Biden, he is not threatening the Democrats, he is threatening Susan Collins.  He is saying to Susan Collins, “If you [and three others] vote to call Bolton, thereby lengthening the trial so that it is still on-going when the State of the Union Address comes next week, we will force you to vote against calling Hunter Biden and use that against you in your primary, or else to vote for calling Hunter Biden which will lose you all those cross-over votes you will need in the general election.

That is what is going on.


Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

I suspect the dominant concern of the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus folks is to keep the alternative reality of Biden family corruption alive. In so doing they create an alternative narrative of corruption to balance against Trump's. Then the rationale that what Trump did was 'business as usual,' corrupt perhaps, but normal and not grounds for conviction and removal from office. The paranoid and delusional House republicans kept this story going, and I figure they think it will elevate the narrative further to have it investigated by the Senate. After the paired witnesses have been deposed and testimony given, the business as usual defense will, they think, carry the day.

This tactic, used against HRC in the Benghazi investigation, the email debacle, and used by Rep. Blackburn to try to prolong the the sale of dead baby parts crap to push the pro-life agenda, is a tactic that Trump has long used and most likely learned from Roy Cohn. I call it the chimp strategy: throw shit at the wall and see what sticks, aka attack your opponent on all levels, personal, professional, etc.

Anonymous said...

Before ANY witnesses can be called, mustn't there be a vote whether to allow witnesses to be called in this circus? This may be a problem for McConnell.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Quite correct. One can but hope.

Jon Rosenthal said...

There is no strong Republican candidate to challenge Sue Collins from the right. Dana Rohrbacher, the deposed congressman from California has moved to Maine! (Welcome to winter, Dana.) So who knows. The balloting is on March 3, so there isn't much time to add names.

David Palmeter said...

I refuse to take up any more of the time left to me on this earth (I'm 82 today) on Trump or anything associated with him. I can't completely do that--I read the headlines, but that's about it. I spent my day preparing for a short OLLI study group I'll be doing next week on the poetry of Seamus Heaney. Beats the hell out of current events.

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

Happy Birthday, David Palmeter!! Reading Heaney is well worth it!

s. wallerstein said...

Happy birthday, David Palmeter.

David Palmeter said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes.

"As I age and blank on names
As my uncertainty on stairs
Is more and more the lightheadedness

Of a cabin boy's first time on the rigging,
As the memorable bottoms out
Into the irretrievable,

It's not that I can't imagine still
That slight untoward rupture and world-tilt
As a wind freshened and the anchor weighed."

--Seamus Heaney, "In the Attic"

Anonymous said...

Just a thought: If Republicans acknowledge by their vote that it is now OK for an elected official to use government resources to investigate a political opponent, then Adam Schiff would be justified in opening investigations of all Republicans running for re-election in the House (all) and the Senate in 2020 election. He certainly has the bona fides to assert it's in the best interest of the country.

Jerry Fresia said...

happy birthday David Palmeter....and it is mine too...!!

Jerry Fresia said...

,,,and the anniversary of FDR's . and I think the Professor is right on this one!

s. wallerstein said...

Happy birthday, Jerry.

David Palmeter said...

Happy birthday Jerry. Actually, we don't have the same birthday--mine's the 29th. When I was in first or second grade, in about 1944, I had a classmate whose birthday was the 30th. His father had connections with the local Democratic party, and my classmate received a birthday wish letter from FDR. I was green with envy.

Dean said...

Happy birthday to all whose birthdays fell on or around today. I approve of the poetry thread here. I myself am reading Robert Browning for the first time (not counting "My Last Duchess") and enjoying it quite a bit. My copy of Seamus Heaney's Collected Poems is inscribed by him, and in fact he borrowed it from me during a reading he gave many years ago at UCLA, because it included a poem he'd meant to read but hadn't brought to the event.

Jon Rosenthal said...


I wrote "There is no strong Republican candidate to challenge Sue Collins from the right. Dana Rohrbacher, the deposed congressman from California has moved to Maine! (Welcome to winter, Dana.) So who knows. The balloting is on March 3, so there isn't much time to add names." Not true! It's the presidential primary on March 3.

The United States Senate Republican primary in Maine is on June 9. The candidate filing deadline is on March 16. There's still time for Dana or any other right winger to challenge Sue.