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Tuesday, January 21, 2020


We now have Mitch McConnell’s proposed rules for the impeachment trial, and they are, to put it mildly, bizarre.  Twenty-four hours of presentation time for each side, to be completed in two days for each.  Each individual piece of evidence that the prosecution [or the defense] seeks to introduce to be the subject of a separate vote.  Each day to begin at 1 p.m.

This is clearly nonsense.  No bathroom breaks?  No breaks for dinner?  Even the army, when it marches, takes a ten minute break every hour!  They won’t finish each twelve hour day at 1 a.m.  They will finish at 4 or 5 a.m.  Is the Chief Justice going to agree to that?  Many of these senators are rather long in the tooth.  There are a number of Republicans who will fade like week-old cut flowers well before the Chief Justice bangs his gavel to suspend for the day [and night.]

What is going on?  The conventional answer is that McConnell wants to rush the trial to a conclusion.  The slightly more sophisticated answer is that he wants Trump acquitted before the State of the Union address, which is scheduled for February 4, two weeks from today.  But seriously, folks, that seems a real reach.  And if the Fab Four [Collins, Murkowski, Alexander, and Romney] vote for witnesses, all bets are off.  McConnell knows that.  So what is really going on?

Obviously, I do not know.  But since this is a blog, ignorance is an invitation to opine, not to refrain, so here goes.  I got a clue from something I heard former senator Barbara Boxer say on some talk show.  Boxer was never one of my favorites, but she served for a long time and knows McConnell well.  She said something unexpected. She said, “McConnell is furiously angry.”

That intrigued me.  Whom is he angry at?  The Democrats?  Hardly.  From his point of view, they are just playing politics, as he is.  He expects that.  No, he is angry at the Republicans, I think, and specifically at those four or more who have refused to vote for a summary dismissal of the charges.  So he is going to make them pay!  He has the votes for acquittal.  Everyone knows that.  But by God, if these grandstanding wobbly-kneed poseurs want a trial, he will give them one they will wish they had been willing to vote to avoid.

Well, that is as good an explanation as I have heard, absurd though it is. 


Unknown said...

Do you have a reaction to the WSWS series on the 1619 Project? Off-topic I know.

Unknown said...

Sorry, here is a link:

Jerry Fresia said...

And then there is Hilary's new documentary where she cravenly tears into Bernie ("Nobody likes him.") Suffice it to say that there are an unusual number of psychos in power who are ripping off their masks.I think the ruling class is having a nervous breakdown - especially with Bernie gaining momentum and the Trump regime fully exposed. Midnight Mitch can't seem to figure out how to stop digging.

s. wallerstein said...

Hillary's statements are pretty ugly. If she doesn't like Bernie (and nobody expects her to like him), she could have kept silent out of party loyalty and out of the very pressing need to unify support behind a candidate who looks like he can beat Trump.

Jordan said...

But the problem, s. wallerstein, is that Hilary doesn't really consider Bernie to be a Democrat, and so "party loyalty" is not really relevant. Bernie winning the nomination would mean a corruption of what she takes to be the party's real message. And so it may be worth it to her to fight that off, even if it takes away her ability to do something to fight Trump in the general election. She's not very popular, and so I'm not sure how much difference it would make for her to tell people to vote for Bernie in the general once he's the nominee anyway.

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

Moscow Mitch has been running the party as if it were the Stalinist C.P. These clowns have marched to the far right, are satisfied with the absurd positions they hold, and think that they saving us from a socialist takeover. They are delusional, paranoid, and authoritarian sado-masochists. At the same time, they are afraid of their base, and Trump's control over it. The Republicans would rather face an election with an acquitted Trump than with him removed from office and Mike Pence. Trump's charisma and the campaign funds he controls are the basis of the control through fear he appears to command.

I think of this situation as an existential crisis for the right. They risk losing everything this year. The blue wave will continue, they know it, and fear it. The stakes are even higher for the capitalist interests behind the republicans. Let's assume a Democratic win. Then add up the expenditures necessary for long deferred infrastructure maintenance, the need for national health insurance, reinvesting in education and scientific research (the need for research on new antibiotics is critical and can only be financed through government expenditures), etc. with the existential necessity of massive investment in fighting global warming. It will effectively mean the end of laissez faire capitalism, the revival of which has been the raison d'etre of republicanism.

Anonymous said...

Trump is essentially the ugly american dream and he now is haunting the architects of this dream-The Government that created him. Most of the high ups in Gov't lie, cheat, and steal anyways so let Trump run amok. The little people across the board are happy with the bread and circuses and hope Trump makes it hurt. Lets forget all this academic pretentiousness and enjoy the show. Occupy wall street fizzled out and so will this.

TheDudeDiogenes said...

I have read every single interview on the subject that WSWS has done, and I found them all highly enriching.

TheDudeDiogenes said...

As I read somewhere online today, I forget where, the Democratic Party is really two parties at this point, both duking it out for control.

I am with the Bernie faction myself. Given 2016, and this most recent bullshit from HRC, I'm not hopeful that Bernie will win the nomination.

Regardless, I've been donating monthly (or more if I can) to his campaign for a year now.

LFC said...

The comment by Anonymous on 1/21 @6:11 pm is baffling, and that is the most polite thing I would say about it. How did "the government" create Trump? It didn't. Reality TV, coupled with an inherited fortune and some other things, "created" Trump. said...

LFC, I think rather that what created the Trump Presidency was a crescendo frustration with politics as usual, often as practiced even by the Obama administration. Such as FOX News channel viewers, however, are unlikely to recognize the utter bankruptcy of Trump's promises. A steady stream of malevolent right-wing propaganda seems always to sway a certain portion of the electorate.

LFC said...

I don't disagree with that. I was referring to the creation of Trump the public person or persona, not the Trump presidency, but the two are obviously connected.